Capbreton, Landes: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Capbreton (Aquitaine region)

Visit Capbreton (Aquitaine, France)

This is a guest article for France This Way

Capbreton is north of Bayonne and Biarritz in south-west France at the point where the river Adour ends it’s passage to the sea. If you love seafood this is unquestionably one of the best places to visit in France. It’s income has traditionally been netted from the fruits of the sea, and it is recognised as one of the best places to eat fresh fish and seafood...

...perhaps it’s the Gauf, a deep water crevice extending to over 1000 meters below sea level or just the fresh ocean current that delivers this exotic mix of sea fruit, but ultimately for me it’s the freshness of the produce and the skills of the restaurants that cook and serve it. It’s superb, and a plate of 'fruit de mer' (seafood) is a brilliant reminder of your visit.

Exploring Capbreton

Nowadays, Capbreton is set up for the tourist market, but not like Newquay or Brighton… yes, there are surf shops, designer labels and sunglasses and yes of course you can buy buckets, fishing nets and coral jewellery, but the focus is on the sea, the waves, the sunsets, the brilliant weather and the lifestyle that calls itself… Capbreton.

Capbreton harbour

It’s where the French go on holiday and it’s a well kept secret, lapped by the channel. The area is clean and unspoilt with a timeless charm. For the children there are miles upon miles of sandy beaches, though watch out for the strong current. There are ice-cream shops that sell every flavour you could imagine, there are rock-pools with the opportunity to net your own oysters, and of course there’s the sand… and there’s lots of it.

Capbreton is divided into two parts. To the north, there is the port centre, with your usual suspects… the Surf Shacks and the bucket and spade vendors, sandwiches that cost the earth and well meaning restaurants serving this mornings catch at overinflated prices. You’ll find obstacle courses for fitness enthusiasts, playgrounds for the under 10’s and hairdressers and boutiques for the glamorous that shop!

Continue passed these and you’ll find a quaint harbour beach where you can revisit your childhood, finding treasures in the rock pools and shoals of miniature fry ready to be snapped up by your infants. You’ll discover crabs of every colour and pick fresh oysters from the rocks if no one beats you to it! It’s the place of childhood dreams as you play pirate on the jetty and scrape the sand from your toes!

All this – and Capbreton is not crowded! I don’t know why you wont need to queue for a pedalo or stand for hours in an ice cream shop that’s blaring out the latest techno craze, but instead you’ll find like-minded people there to lap up the atmosphere!

Slightly downstream, and usually after lunch, you can visit the Grand Plage. This is a luxuriously long beach with the odd parasol but not a wind break in sight, not a German towel, and no loud music and no rubbish! You have the choice of joining the throngs of French tourists, or walking further along the beach to find a deserted spot. The beach at Cap Breton is one of the cleanest in Europe, the sea is like a clear jewel, and the surf is great.

Edged by a surprisingly tasteful block of tourist apartments, there are no high rise buildings, parking is a nightmare and the ocean current can be dangerous, so don’t let your children in alone.

Attractions nearby

Capbreton is now a continuous resort with Soorts-Hossegor, three kilometres to the north.

On the outskirts of Cap Breton you’ll discover the Forest of Gascogne – you can’t miss it as it spans over a million hectares and occupies 45 % of the surface of Aquitaine, Gironde, the Landes and Lot–et–Garonne. Originally the forest was planted to extract pine resin, but now much of the wood is cut commercially.

Capbreton is a conveniently placed spot to base yourself for your holidays, Biarritz, and St Jean de Luz lie a short trip south, with Bordeaux and the rolling hills of Madiran to your north and east – you are spoilt for choice!

See more of the popular resorts and beaches in Aquitaine

You can find more local travel ideas in the Landes guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also:

Map of Capbreton and places nearby

Visit near Capbreton with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Landes

Address: Capbreton, Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse, Dax, Aquitaine, 40130, France || GPS: latitude 43.6431, longitude -1.43111

Plan your visit to Capbreton, Landes

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

Market days in Capbreton, France

Regular market(s) are held in Capbreton each every day except Monday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Capbreton (Francais)