Les spots caraïbéens du Finistère Nord

In kitesurfing jargon, a spot is a practice site. Sainte-Marguerite, Tréompan, Le Vougot, Keremma… North Finistère proposes some of the most beautiful spots in France. And the weather is very generous, with more than 200 days of sailing a year thanks to a stable and regular wind.
For the more experienced among you, your instructor will take you to a few secret spots or downwind for a new discovery of the Brittany coastline and an exceptional sailing experience.

Penn Ar Bed Kite

Article written by our instructor and published in Kiteboarder magazine n°129

If you hear the name North Finistère, you think of a coastline at the end of the world, lined with reefs, storms and cold, stormy seas and shipwrecks… You’re not entirely wrong. But beyond preconceived ideas, the reality can be quite different. We’ve even heard that it’s one of the best regions in France for kiteboarding. But shhhh, the people of Finistère don’t like to talk about it, as if they wanted to keep this sailing paradise to themselves…


Flat session at low tide at the Dunes de Sainte-Marguerite

With its bays, peninsulas and archipelagos, Finistère has an impressive length of coastline. Of the 5,500 km of coastline in France, the department has 1,250 km… Yet the number of kite spots remains limited. The shoreline is extremely varied. Some white sand beaches are several kilometres long. Others are tiny, tucked away at the end of a cove. And the reefs that have made the reputation of this land of shipwreckers are omnipresent. With currents, surf and jagged shores, it’s best to know where to put your board.

Temperatures and wind statistics

The story goes that when the Titanic sank, one of the Breton passengers was swimming through the ice cubes when he shouted to the others: “It’s OK, once you’re in, it’s fine! The temperature of the water in North Finistère is no legend. At its hottest in summer, it barely exceeds 17-18°C. A 5-4mm wetsuit is recommended for most of the year. In winter, on the other hand, in this ocean-influenced region, the sea temperature rarely drops below 10°C. The same applies to the ambient temperature. With an average of 20°C in summer and 10°C in winter, sailing all year round is no problem at all.

In front of the Ile Vierge lighthouse, the most remarkable “amer” in the Pays des Abers. It is the highest lighthouse in Europe.

Especially as the wind statistics are particularly generous, with over 200 sailing days a year. And what we’re talking about here is a stable, steady wind provided by the many lows that pass through the Celtic Sea. Nothing to do with the gusts of off wind spoken of by our Occitan friends who love the Tramontane?
There is one caveat, however, when it comes to the statistics for North Finistère. The thermal winds are very discreet. In spring, with their north-easterly orientation, they offer kitesurfers some memorable days on the water. However, they are rare in summer. During the hurricane season in July and August, the anemometer regularly peaks at between 8 and 15 knots. Foil and light kite recommended.

Tides and curents

Grazing the rocks in Korejou Bay

Tides in North Brittany are among the highest on the planet. Tidal ranges in North Finistère can exceed 8m.
For the uninitiated, understanding the concept of tidal range is not very complicated.
Stand with your feet in the water at the lowest point of a high tide. Wait 6 hours. You will then be immersed in 8m of water.
The direct result of these colossal movements of water masses is ocean currents.
These can be very powerful, up to 15km/h in the Fromveur on the island of Ushant.

More reasonable near the shore, they can nevertheless reach a few kilometres per hour. In any case, you should take these currents into account when planning your sessions. If they work against you, they will make your life as a kitesurfer more complicated. For example, recovering your board after a fall, riding upwind or getting back to your starting point. On this subject, a special mention for riders who like to sail far away, especially foilers. In the event of a problem, if you have to swim back to shore and you’re a good swimmer, your speed will be 2 or 3km/h at best. And that’s without having to tow any equipment. With a current against you, even a light one, if you have to cover a long distance, it’s highly likely that you’ll never reach the mainland.


North Finistère is the capital of “goémon”. This is what we call seaweed. It’s everywhere, and despite its peaceful appearance, it can be a tricky place for riders who aren’t used to it.
The classic case: during a descent or following a piloting error, your kite falls into the water. By the time you’ve relaunched it, it’s drifting. One of your lines gets stuck under some seaweed, with one end attached to the bottom and the other floating on the surface. The kite regains power and pulls you underwater. In such cases, you need to cast off immediately.

Less dangerous, but very annoying, are lines buried under algae. We’re still in the situation where the kite is in the water with a light wind. This time it’s floating algae that covers one or more lines. This usually happens at the boundary between the water and the sand, where the rising tide has accumulated large quantities of seaweed. If the lines are too heavy, the kite will not take off again, which is a good thing. On the other hand, hurry up and get out of this mess, because the longer you wait, the heavier the lines will become. You could soon have several hundred kilos of seaweed blocking your lines. Then be patient as you work your way through the tangle.
Last but not least, the slide-fall. You’ve just taken off your kite and are walking towards the water to start a well-deserved session. Be careful if you have to go over seaweed mats, as some of them are particularly slippery. The sequence is then like clockwork: your kite pulls a little hard and you go into a slide-fall. If, in addition, you have the bad reflex of grabbing the bar to balance yourself, the tumble can be very violent.

Spots from the Pays des Abers to the Côte des naufrageurs

Le Conquet – Plage des Blancs-Sablons

Situé en face de l’ile de Ouessant au cœur de la Mer Celtique, le programme est annoncé…  La Plage des Blancs-Sablons est avant tout un spot de vagues pour riders confirmés. Il est surnommé le « spot carotte » car il reste imprévisible en termes de conditions de navigation.

  • Wind directions
    South-westerly to northerly, the most favourable being westerly to north-north-westerly. The wind is often irregular and gusty outside this sector.
  • Tide and tidal range
    The sea never retreats very far. However, beware of high tides with a coefficient of over 80. The beach, surrounded by cliffs, is very small or non-existent. Sailing between low and mid-tide is preferable.
  • Visitor numbers
    Les Blancs-Sablons is not the most popular spot for kitesurfers. But it does attract a lot of surfers, bodyboarders and windsurfers. When the waves are good, cohabitation can be tight.
  • Specific hazards / Sailing area
    This is not a spot for beginners. With a big swell, the waves can be imposing. Be particularly wary of high tide, not only because the beach disappears, but also because the waves close in more and more and the wind becomes gusty. From 1 July to 31 August, a bathing area has been set up in the western part. It is marked by flags planted on the beach.
  • Parking / GPS coordinates
    There are several car parks around 400m from the beaches. The most practical and used by riders: 48.36810, -4.75982

Lampaul-Ploudalmézeau et Saint-Pabu – Plage des 3 Moutons

The communes of Lampaul-Ploudalmézeau and Saint-Pabu offer 2.8km of large, almost continuous beaches. The fine white sand will delight your children during your session. You can sail all over the area. By far the best-known and most popular spot is Plage des Trois-Moutons, just to the west of the area.

  • Wind direction
    West to north-east, the most favourable being north-east.
  • Tide and tidal range
    The spot remains navigable whatever the height of the water. At low tide, the sea can recede to more than 500m, but will generally offer you a stretch of water with pretty flat areas. It will be choppier at high tide. During periods of swell, beautiful waves form on the way up. They will delight kite surfers, but may pose a problem for beginners or the uninitiated.
  • Visitor numbers
    The locals know how to choose the times when they can have the spot to themselves. In summer, particularly from the north-east, the area attracts a lot of people, kitesurfers, wingfoilers and windsurfers. But it’s a big place. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the space while all the fleet is concentrated to the west.
  • Reefs and pebbles
    There are a few reefs dotting the beaches, but they are visible and not really problematic. On the contrary, they are generally appreciated for the flat areas they shelter.
  • Specific hazards / Sailing areas
    There are no particular dangers apart from the reefs mentioned above. Just bear in mind that as you move significantly away from the shore, you are entering areas where there are currents. In summer, an area to the far west is reserved for schools. Similarly, to the east of Plage des 3 Moutons, yellow buoys mark out an area reserved for bathers.
  • Parking / GPS coordinates
    There are several car parks close to the beaches. They are visible on aerial maps. The largest and most convenient for riders is this one: 48.57045 – 4.66413


The Sainte-Marguerite spots in the commune of Landéda are undoubtedly the most famous in the region. And with good reason. At high tide, a lagoon forms. If you know how to choose the right moment, you’ll be sailing in a steady wind on a flat glacis, with your foot almost everywhere. The nuances of the water are astonishingly beautiful. From the white of the sand to the deep blue of the open sea and the green of the Caribbean. In the background, islets, swell breaking on the reefs and the majestic lighthouse of Ile Vierge.

  • Wind directions
    Navigable from south to north-northeast, the ideal wind directions are west and north-northwest. From the south, the wind is generally gusty.
  • Tide and tidal range
    The lagoon, modestly called “la bassine” by Finisterians, is navigable from 5.50m water level, i.e. 2 hours before and after high tide. Ideal coefficients are between 40 and 80. Beyond that point, the areas where you can get a foothold are reduced and the chop takes over. Outside the high tide window, the spot remains perfectly navigable. At full low tide, don’t be afraid to walk. The water can recede to 800m. But it allows you to discover areas of great charm. Follow (discreetly…) the locals.
  • Visitor numbers
    You can’t be an exceptional spot without attracting people. Weekends and summer periods can be busy, especially with a south-westerly wind when the lagoon is navigable.
  • Reefs and pebbles
    As in all North Finistère spots, sandy areas are never far from the reefs, which require you to use your common sense. For example, avoid sending a death jump 100m upwind of the pebbles. Some oyster beds appear at low tide, and here again, you just need to look around a little to avoid trouble.
  • Specific hazards / Sailing areas
    When the tide is high (over 95) and the lagoon empties, it can generate a strong current, making it difficult to return to shore if the wind is light. From July 1 to August 30, a bathing area in the southern part of the lagoon prohibits all forms of navigation. Although quite small, it’s not a nuisance, and the lifeguard will remind you of the rules if necessary.
  • Parking / Gps coordinates
    Several parking lots within 200m of the beaches. The most practical and used by riders: 48.59481, -4.60585

Keremma and surroundings

From Kerurus to the Bay of Kernic, via the beaches of Keremma, 5km of seashore welcome kitesurfers to spots as beautiful as they are varied.

  • Wind directions
    The area’s spots operate mainly in West to East winds, with North-West to North-East being the most favorable. Kerurus and the Baie du Kernic are also navigable from the south, but with gusty winds and a risk of drifting offshore for Kerurus.
  • Tide and tidal range
    The notion of tidal range takes on its full meaning to the west of the zone. On the Kerurus and La Chapelle spots, the sea retreats to Marathon-like distances. Best reserved for mid-tide sailing at high tide. As is the Bay of Kernic, which empties with the ebb tide. Conversely, the Ode Vras and Poste de secours spots will delight you at low tide, offering exceptional flat areas where you’ll have a foothold.
  • Visitor numbers
    With the exception of Odes Vras, which can attract crowds, particularly from the northeast, all these spots are less frequented than Trois-Moutons and Sainte-Marguerite.
  • Reefs and pebbles
    We’re still in North Finistère, and each spot has its own little patch of pebbles and reefs. But here again, nothing dangerous.
  • Specific hazards / Navigation area
    In high coefficients, currents can be strong in the vicinity of the Goulven (Kerurus) and Kernic bays, as they fill or empty. The entire site is an ornithological reserve. The Natura 2000 steering committee has defined several bird tranquility zones. In particular, at the head of Goulven Bay and Kernic Bay. Although not forbidden by decree, boating in these areas is highly inadvisable. It is also frowned upon by local residents and birds alike. Keep in mind that if birds fly away as you approach, you’ve disturbed them.
  • Parking / Gps coordinates
    • Kerurus (Plounéour-Trez), 100m from the beach: 48.6550, -4.30079
    • La Chapelle (Tréflez), 250m from the beach: 48.64062, -4.27958
    • Le Poste de Secours (Tréflez), 200m from the beach: 48.64927, -4.26178
    • Ode Vras (Plounévez-Lochrist), 500m from the beach: 48.6479, -4.23220

Santec-Le Dossen

Further east, near Roscoff, Dossen beach stretches over 1.5km of fine sand. It is particularly renowned for its waves. The spot also offers some great freeride sessions for all levels of rider, when conditions are good…

  • Wind direction
    The most favourable sector is from south-south-west to west, but the spot is still navigable from south to north. For north-westerly winds, you’ll have to take into account the disturbances generated by the island of Sieck, which closes off the north of the area.
  • Tide and tidal range
    At low tide, the sea can recede to more than 700m, when several clearly visible reef banks appear.
  • Visitor numbers
    During the school holidays and at weekends, the number of visitors will be proportional to the height of the waves… At low tide, you should also avoid setting up your kite in the middle of the sail-cart track…
  • Specific hazards / Sailing area
    In summer, the spot is often invaded by green algae, particularly at the mouth of the river to the south. This is a real problem, especially for beginners. As soon as a line touches the water, it becomes loaded with this salad-like seaweed and life as a rider immediately becomes more complicated. From 1 June to 15 September, a large swimming area is marked out by yellow buoys. It reserves a large part of the beach for itself. The kitesurf preparation and departure area is to the north of the zone. It’s a fairly small area, which doesn’t make life easy for beginners either.
  • Parking / GPS coordinates
    There are 2 car parks in the immediate vicinity of the beach. The most convenient: 48.6945, -4.05565


North Finistère offers some downwinds worthy of the best international destinations. Sailing along majestic reefs, you’ll move from islet to islet, lighthouse to lighthouse, discovering perfectly flat coves and breathtaking landscapes. Of course, this type of sailing requires a minimum level of skill and knowledge. Between 2 beginners’ courses, the AvelWest School offers this type of service.

Yec’Hed Mat

It goes without saying that we haven’t been able to show you all the spots in North Finistère. Being cautious by nature and to avoid the vindictiveness of my fellow sailors, I’ve also kept quiet about the ‘secret spots’. These are sites that the locals don’t like to talk about. They’re not the safest, nor the most accessible, but they offer some great sailing. If you’re nice, it won’t be too difficult to get Finisterian kitesurfers to talk about these confidential spots. And being nice to someone from Finistère isn’t too complicated – all you have to do is offer them a beer or two. Yec’hed mat.