Contis: small cozy surf town in southwestern France
Contis is a small charming surfers’ village in southwestern France. A town we came across by chance on our way to the north of Spain. 1 night soon became 5 days and even on the way back we could not resist the temptation to stay here with the camper for a few more days. We are in love! This is perhaps our favorite destination in southwestern France. Wondering why? Then read on quickly.
Where is Contis located?
Contis can be found between Mimizan and Cap de l Homey. Whereas Mimizan is quite large and Cap de l Homey is in the middle of nature, Contis has a the beauty of both worlds. It is quiet, surrounded by beautiful nature but you also have some nice shops, cafes and restaurants where you can end the day. That’s secretly quite nice/
What to do in Contis
- Surfing: brave the waves of France
- Cycling to the different villages through the beautiful nature
- Climbing the lighthouse
- Biarritz Visits
- Admiring Europe’s largest dunes
- Picnicking on the beach
Like most towns on the southwest coast of France, Contis is almost all about surfing. Almost all year round you can surf well here. Also for beginners. Although that is a good thing to take a lesson or be well informed about conditions.
In the town you will find several surf schools where you can book a surf camp, take a simple surf lesson or rent a surfboard. If you’ve surfed yet, we definitely recommend booking a surf camp. After all, surfing is really hard and can be quite exciting in some cases. Especially when there are a lot of surfers in the water.
Contis is also the place to be if you want to shop some final surf items. The place is full of hip surf shops. Still need some wax, buy a surfer’s towel or even a complete surfboard? It’s all possible here!
Cycling along the beautiful Southwest Coast of France
Cycling may not sound very exciting to us Dutch, but the bike paths along this coastline are really great. The bike paths are really top quality and go right through the pine forest. Thus, from Contis you can easily bike to Mimizan and Cap D’el Homey, among others.
Forgot your bike? No worries! You can rent a bike at several places for a few euros.
The lighthouse in Contis is really not to be missed. Everywhere, this striking tower towers above. Contis lighthouse is a historical monument and you can even visit it. After 183 steps, you reach the dome for the best view of Contis.
A visit to Biarritz
We found Biarritz a bit too intense, but a visit to the city is fine if you spend a few days in Contis. Biarritz is surely one of the most famous travel destinations of Southwest France . The food, atmosphere and beaches are really there to be enjoyed. In short: this is actually where you should make a quick stop.
Visit the largest dunes in Europe
It’s a bit of a drive, but about a 2-hour drive from Contis you’ll find the highest dunes in Europe. Still a visit where not!
Picnicking on the beach with sunset
Something we may have done way too little of this trip, but actually always have on our to-do list at every beach destination is a bear picnic on the beach at sunset. Because let’s face it, nothing beats an ice-cold beer and a beautiful sunset on the beach with your feet in the sand.
Hotspots & food in Contis
Contis bursts with nice places to eat. From vegan restaurants to a wine bar and French cuisine, Contis has been buzzing with activity in recent years.
- Psychédélice: vegan ice cream and food. Their burgers are truly amazing! Don’t miss the vegan chorizo chicken burger.
- The Surf House: for a bite or drink with an incredible view from their rooftop.
- Wine Bar: enjoy the finest wines at affordable prices and pair them with a fantastic platter.
- Chez Dan: always bustling and the perfect spot for a drink.
- La cabane de contis: savor a bite or drink on the beach.
- Contistador: the place to be to wrap up your day.
- Also check out the article “Hotspots Contis” for more.
Best time to travel to Contis
The best travel time to visit Contis is from June to September. In high season it can be very crowded, so we recommend avoiding this period if possible. We visited Contis at the end of June, which we ourselves found to be a very nice period. It is also possible to visit Contis in early June, but most restaurants and shops are still closed then.
Which budget do i need in Contis?
In total, we spent 8 days in Contis and spent about 600 euros, a daily budget of 77 euros per day.
- Camp 25 euros per night
- Eating out: about 25 euros for lunch & 40 -50 euros dinner
- Groceries: 30 euros
- Gasoline: 40 euros
We ate out almost every day in Contis and we noticed it quite a bit in our budget. After all, eating out in France is not cheap. Of course, it is also possible to eat in your cottage or RV a little more often. That makes a huge difference in cost. Also, the campground was a lot cheaper in the off-season.
Practical information about Contis
- Buy a surfboard and wetsuit in advance. You can also rent a surfboard and wetsuit, but after 5 days you are almost more expensive. After all, a beginner’s board does not have to be so expensive. Tip! Buy your board secondhand through marketplace or take a look at Decathlon
- Try to avoid toll roads as much as possible. The toll in France is huge. It also takes you through pretty cozy French villages that you wouldn’t easily see otherwise
- Use the app campercontact or park4night to find the nicest RV sites and campsites
- We have already had 2x per breakdown on the road and then were very I with the ANWB. This year we even opted for the complete package, since last year we got stuck in Germany for 8 days and only spent 80 euros per day on accommodation
- Download the foreign affairs app and stay up to date with the latest travel advice
- Attention Orange Travel Advisory. Also, if you travel through an orange area, your insurance can deny charges. If there is an orange travel advisory regarding Corona, the insurance will only not cover the costs related to Corona
- Refueling is cheaper in villages. So never fill up your tank on the highway
- If you want to withdraw money in Europe, you often have to pay a small fee to your bank. We recently switched to Knab, which charges no additional fees
What are nice places to stay in Contis?
Camping in Contis
In Contis, we found a really nice campground. Ideal if you want to unwind for a few days and display your table and chair. When we arrived at the beginning of June we only had to pay 20 euros (unfortunately at the end of June it was almost 30 euros) and we were lucky that there were still places available at the waterfront. If you really plan to spend a few days here, we definitely recommend booking well in advance and reserving a waterfront spot. You then have a truly breathtaking view. We were in spot 305 and this was really a top spot.
Furthermore, the campground is very green and within walking distance to the beach. The plumbing is really very clean and modern. You also have a restaurant where you can eat great food (vega options too) and there is a pizza place. For shopping you can go to the supermarket and there is also a swimming pool for a while.
If you’re not into camping, you can also book a cottage here! Definitely worth the effort.
If you’re not into camping, you also have a simple RV spot near the dune area.
If you’re not into glamping or camping anyway, we also have some great hotel suggestions for you.