You are here

Occitania: a destination with the wind in its sails

The number one destination in France for kitesurfing fans! In Occitania, the Mediterranean coast is a vast board-sports spot. The sea, the lakes, the wind… the ingredients are combined to bring you all the fun of board sports: standup paddleboarding, windsurfing, sky flying water skiing, sailing or land yachting…

Tous les sports nautiques

Kitesurf à La Franqui
Kitesurf à La Franqui


Internationally famous spots

35 schools, 70 spots along over 200 km of coastline, 50 % French participants, 12 world champions, spots that are now internationally famous: the "Grand Travers" in La Grande-Motte, Frontignan beach, La Palme lake, Les Coussoules in La Franqui, the Basses bridge in Canet, etc.: kitesurfing has helped the Mediterranean coast in Occitania reach the summits. But why here? Because nowhere else will you find such exceptional landscapesconstant, varied and strong winds, and not forgetting the calm waters of the lakes and the vast extent of the gulfs. 

Did you know?

The first kitesurfing school in Europe was opened in Carnon, near Montpellier. It was set up by Laurent Nees, the French kitesurfing champion in 1997.

Local winds

Between Banyuls-sur-Mer and Narbonne, the Tramontane, a westerly / north-westerly wind regularly blows at over 100 km/h. It shares the skies with the Mistral near La Grande-Motte. On all the Occitania coast, the Marin, a southerly wind, is a turbulent wind blowing in from the sea.

Windsruf sur l'étang de Bages
Windsruf sur l'étang de Bages


Beginners or advanced levels

Want to try a board sport? Are you already experienced and want to make progress? All through the year, lessons are available from certified professionals. They are open to everyone aged 6 and over, from beginners to advanced levels. 
For groups or individuals, lessons for one hour, a day or longer coursesfor several days: choose your option on the websites of the seaside resorts of Gruissan, Leucate, Palavasor Canet-en-Roussillon.

Top tip

The Mediterranean climate is very mild. Storms and strong waves are rare, so that board-sports fans can enjoy long days to practise all the year round.




Visit NîmesMontpellieror NarbonneEnjoy a bike ridealong the Canal du Midi, between Béziers and Carcassonne. Buy fishat the fish market in Le Grau du Roi… Enjoy a night outin Cap d’Agde, go bargain-hunting in Collioure, dance on the sands at a beach restaurant in Carnon… Listen to musicat the Déferlantes Festival in Argelèsand at the Fiest’A Sète Festival… Something for all ages and all tastes on the beach or not far away.


Don't miss

International competitions! The "Mondial du Vent" event brings together kitesurfing and windsurfing champions every April in Leucate-La Franqui. In May, there are two top-level competitions in Gruissan: the Défi Kite and the Défi Wind. 

Char à voile à La Franqui
Char à voile à La Franqui


It's more fun in the sun 

The big beach at Les Coussoulesstretches for 12 kilometres between Leucate and Port-la-Nouvelle. The Cercle de Voile du Cap Leucate centre rents out equipment and gives lessons for beginners. With the Corbières mountains and the silhouette of the Canigórising to 2,784 metres in the background.


Paddle à Leucate


A sport for all the family

There's no age limit to enjoy this relaxing and dynamic sport. Standing on a surfboard, equipped with a paddle, you just need to know how to swim and have a good sense of balance. 
On the calm waters of the lakes of Sigean, Thau, Leucate or Gruissan, everyone can have a go from ages 5 or 6 to - any age you like! Once you have mastered the basic technique, you can set off very quickly on the deeper waters of the Mediterranean between the legendary Espiguette beach and Spain

Board sports in the Narbonne region

Between Leucate and Narbonne-Plage is the Narbonne region… also known as one of the top spots in the Occitania region for fans of board sports and everyone who wants to experience the wonderful sensations of kitesurfing or windsurfing. Video 1:23 © La Narbonnaise Méditerranée.


Kitesurf à la Franqui
Kitesurf à La Franqui
Windsurf à Leucate
Windsurf à Leucate
Kitesurf à la Franqui
Kitesurf à la Franqui
Mountainboard à Leucate La Franqui
Mountainboard à Leucate La Franqui

Our selection

Sports leisure


Sports leisure


How to get there


  • By car: the beaches are never more than 30 minutes away from the A9 motorway exit between Nîmes and the Spanish border. 

  • By plane: in all seasons the Nîmes, Montpellier, Béziers, Carcassonne and Perpignan airports have flights from a large number of French and European cities. 

  • By train or bus: Montpellier, Nîmes, Béziers and Perpignan have high-speed train services. The TER regional train line Avignon-Cerbère stops at 12 stations on the Occitania coast. The Ouibus, Flixbus and Eurolines coach lines run to Nîmes, Montpellier and Perpignan.