Many will be familiar with La Tranche sur Mer as one of France’s most popular windsurfing locations. Located on the west coast behind the Ile de Re (home of Antoine Albeau)and about 20 miles north of La Rochelle, it experiences a micro climate which seems to boost both temperature and sea breeze. One of the attractions of the area is that it is ideal for families and offers something for everyone whether a windsurfer or not. My son Rich and I have had some fantastic sailing there.
Despite La Tranche being a popular location many of the locals go to a spot around the corner to the north of the town known as Le Phare (look for the lighthouse). Le Phare is a more exposed and very beautiful beach which we sail at whenever possible on our annual trips to the area. In the right conditions it can produce pretty good wave sailing but generally is more suited to bump and jump sailing. This guide highlights Le Phare with a few notes about La Tranche.
How to get there
There are a number of ways to get to La Tranche most of which we have tried over the years but currently Speed Ferries from Dover to Boulogne are the cheapest ferry (£102 return for a long wheel base van and 4 passengers on a Bank Holiday weekend). From Boulogne it’s 400miles of wide open auto route. Other options include:
Longer day or overnight crossings from Portsmouth and Pool to Cherbourg or St Malo.
Ryanair fly to La Rochelle. Rich did this last year and ended up in Bergerac when La Rochelle was the only foggy place in all of Europe. Car hire is about £100 a week.