Contis-Plage, a family holiday go-to on the French Atlantic Coast

img_0220On the Atlantic coast of France, sometimes referred to as French California due to ongoing kilometers of beautiful sand beaches and very surfable (sometimes very big) waves, lies a tiny town called Contis-Plage a.k.a. Contis to the locals. It is one of the Landes region’s best kept secret spot to spend an amazing family vacation.

img_4615 img_5521Located South of Bordeaux and North of Biarritz, Contis has all you could dream of: a huge sandy beach, great surf conditions, a wonderful pine forest with many bike paths, a cute lighthouse, a river, a few shops, cafés, restaurants and many accommodation options. It is also the perfect place to watch the most beautiful sunsets every evening.
We go to Contis every year as my husband’s family has a little house there and with each Summer my love for this place keeps growing.

img_5454 img_4820 img_5056Contis is a very small town, I would almost say a village. From the top of the lighthouse you get an excellent picture of how it is surrounded by the sea on one side and the woods on the other.
During Wintertime most shops are closed and only some of the restaurants open a few days a week. There is much more animation during the Summer but despite the growth of population and activities at this time of the year, everything remains charming and quite scaled down compared to bigger cities on the French Atlantic coast.

img_0477We have been lucky enough to enjoy a couple weeks of late Summer holidays in Contis this September and it was divine! If you can arrange a holiday at this time of the year, I highly recommend. It is less crowded, the weather is not too hot and most shops and restaurants are still open.

img_4981Here are a few tips I would like to share:

  • For accommodation, you could stay at the camping, offering different kind of rentals and sports activities for the whole family or you could book a room (or family suite) at the Hotel de la Plage located in Contis’ main street. Holiday rentals are also available on dedicated websites like AirbnbHomeAway, etc…
  • For breakfast, lunch or dinner there are quite a few cafés and restaurants in the main street. Our favorites are:
    – La Terrasse, the restaurant of Hotel de la Plage, the only one in Contis to offer a sea view, serving seafood and other mediterranean dishes,
    La Pibale for typical food from Basque Country and other French cuisine,
    L’Aloha Pizzeria for the pizzas from the wood fire oven and friendly staff,
    Contistador for the relaxed atmosphere, easy food and a few asian dishes.
    – For breakfast on the beach go to La Cabane de Contis, the wooden cabana on the right side of the main beach access. They also serve lunch, drinks and early dinner. Definitely the best location!
  • If you want to learn surfing or improve your skills, Max Respect surf school is the place to go and you can rent boards or shop for surf equipment and apparel at Bali Surf Shop. There is a fruits and vegetables market in Contis during the Summer (it wasn’t there this September though), a bakery and a very small grocery shop, also selling beach toys and water wings.

img_4839 img_5646If you are looking for a relaxing and easy family vacation on the French Atlantic Coast, search no more, Contis-Plage is the place to go!


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