Southern France can be a great place to visit in summer. So, an awesome thing to do during the summer is take a tour down the Atlantic coast in South West France. There you can have a lot of fun and join in on the festivities of people from all around Europe, and surfers from all around the world.
The waves in SW France are barrelling beach breaks which often go all the way to the shore. The SW France surf area covers more or less from Lacanau, a train ride just west of Bordeaux, down to Hendaye on the border with Spain.
The pine forests planted by Napoleon to drain the swamp, provide a great shady atmosphere to cool yourself from the hot sun, and if you are lucky you might find some wild raspberries to munch on.
From Lacanau down to Capbreton near Hossegor the beaches are basically long stretches of sand, sometimes not easy to access. When the waves are happening, this can be a good thing, because it means there are still uncrowded surf peaks you can enjoy, without the hassle of crowds.
On the flipside, when conditions are small and it is high tide, the waves tend to break directly on the shore without providing you with a surfable wave. In Pays Basque, the lower section of the surf coast, this tends not to be the case except for the surf break La Barre, which is right beside the Ardour rivermouth in Anglet. Even when it is 1 foot you can still get a surfable wave. For this reason I chose to spend my summers in Biarritz. Summer in most surf towns usually always equals a wave drought.
In August in Bayonne, is the fête de Bayonne, one of the largest parties in the world. To enter you must dress in red and white colours, tradition of the local Basque community.This will usually come with a big crowd.
There are many people in SW France at this time, and the smaller the waves get the more level the playing field is with surfability for people of all surfing capabilities. When the waves get bigger, it tends to sort the men out from the boys, and beach breaks from 4 foot plus, it gets less crowded.
Lacanau, Mimizan, Le Penon, La Seignosse, Hossegor main break, Anglet beachies, depending on where the banks are, Côte de Basque, Guethary. Hendaye right beside the Spanish border is a great wave for beginners.
To check out the local weather and wave conditions, you will usually find a section that talks about the waves in the local paper called Le sud-ouest, or also a great web site called FNOC, the shows swell forecasts.