Myself and the missus planing a trip to France/Spain/Portugal (mostly SW France). We cant decide on April to June or August-September. Any suggestions for best time of year for surf, weather, least crowds?. we both love wine, not sure if time of year effects that.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Right now - late summer into autumn. August will be hot, crowded, and prone to flat spells, but September it's starting to shine. Even better to go September-October.
April-June is like spring anywhere, flukey swell, except the water remains colder.
Not sure about the grapes.
Thanks sounds good.
Can only repeat what others have said about timing for waves. Autumn is the go. Still good weather and better waves.
Regarding wine though ive found it very different to the Australian set up. Of course the wine in shops/restaurants is good but as far as visiting wineries ive found it lacking. Around Adelaide i am used to wineries welcoming people and on weekends maybe putting on some food and in some cases there is music etc.. even though im not that into wine its still a fun trip. I havent really visited wineries in Spain and Portugal so i cant compare but in France though, the is a wine merchant system(that i dont fully understand) where they are mainly the ones who buy from wineries, then you buy from them so the cellar doors arent set up for people visiting, tasting and buying. Certainly wasnt as welcoming as i was used to.
The wine is great in the Sth West area of France. Go to Bordeaux and sample some reds, you won't be disappointed ! Any of the supermarkets in the Hossegor will sell pretty decent wines at not bad prices also.
Baguettes and red wines !!! Hmmm France.....love it !!
great part of the world mate. a lot of parisiens head to sw france in the summer holidays. depends what your priorities are. a lot less people around by the end of august once everyone heads back. check their holiday dates. weather is still great at this time, and the swells generally start then although theyre smaller and less frequent than september onwards. ive had great waves in france late august. id suggest if you want a bit of a cultural experience as well to skip hossegor. theres waves everywhere. we've gone to some of the smaller towns around bordeaux and gone to some cool little vineyards to sample some reds. i think they may tend to close down a bit as the weather cools down from memory but i could be wrong. if i can remember the names of any of these towns ill let you know. good waves on the spanish north coast too, rioja also great wines, and portugal is great. porto is a cool city especially if you want to down some fortified wines. polluted water though that part of portugal.
Best time to go is late September into October, you'll avoid the majority of European summer holidays and still have decent weather. October will be better for waves although the Atlantic doesn't stay quiet for long.
Head anywhere coastal in the SW and you can't really go wrong, the name spots will of course be crowded but unless you want to tick them off there's no need to battle for waves. Head off the beaten track a bit and you'll have the place to yourself.
Good idea to hire a little car then you can explore into Spain, Portugal. Wineries wise it's generally less polished than SA although around Bordeaux there are more wineries with a tourist set up. it's not hard to find a good drop, every supermarket has good local wine for a euro or two a bottle not to mention an awesome deli.
Your best bet is to book a Gite through somewhere like https://en.gites-de-france.com it's self catering accomdation in all shapes and sizes and will keep you away from the tourist haunts. Find the local cave (pronounced cav) and there you will likely find a vaulted candle lit underground chamber, a couple of half cut Frenchman and the best wine you have tasted. Take a baguette, some saucisson and you could be there for a while.
Thanks all, looks like Aug to October it is. Thanks upnorth for the link very handy. Yes SA has some amazing wineries, i dont expect France/Spain to be as good but still keen to to check out so keep sending thru recomended France wineries that anyonr has. Cheers