Picardie
Best months:
July to October
LAST UPDATED 07/01/2008
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introduction

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Schaengel89: Picardie map; 18 May 2005

Picardie is one of the 26 regions of France, located in the northern part of the country - immediately north of the French capital Paris and the Ile de France. It is mostly an inland region, which borders the English Channel near Abbeville.

surfing

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Chris huh: Cap Blanc Nez Winter, 29 Decemeber 2005

The surf on the northern coastline of France in this area is pretty fickle and lacks punch. It requires huge westerly swells generated from the Atlantic Ocean to penetrate this protected coastline or a NW wind chop. However, the white chalk cliffs do make for a stunning coastline and its locality to Paris make it a popular surf spot none the less. A surfer in this area has to become accustomed to large tides, heavy rips and freezing conditions.

where to stay

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Half timber houses in France; TK; 18.09.2006

Accommodation is varied in France, as with most western countries, and offers a full range of choice to suit every budget and it goes something a little like this:-

Short term rentals

These are usually privately owned apartments or villas and can be rented from a week or so up to a couple of months. The term typically will run Saturday to Saturday and many are only available in the summer months. The main advantage to this option is it works out fairly cheap if there is a group of you and you can be totally self sufficient as they usually have a fully fitted kitchen and laundry. There are many letting agencies that you can book these through, just do an internet search on your preferred area, many websites are in both English and French.

Hotels

Hotels come in categories ranging from 1 to 4 stars in France, 4 being the most luxurious – and expensive. This option does fill up quickly in the summer months and in the larger cities such a Paris, so book well in advance. You’ll find most major hotel brands in France.

B & B’s

The French term for a bed and breakfast is a “Chambres d’hôte” and you can find them throughout France, mainly in the rural areas and towns. The prices are based upon a nightly rate but check that breakfast is included.

Gîtes

Gîtes or gîtes ruraux are holiday cottages, again usually found in the more rural areas, and are rented on a weekly basis. These come fully equipped with at least a couple of bedrooms, living area, kitchen and laundry so are geared up for a self sufficient, self catering type holiday.

Camping

Camping is by far one of the most popular ways to stay in France and the summer climate is ideal. Most campsites are in a pristine pine forest settings and are well maintained and often include facilities such as an onsite bakery or “boulangerie” and swimming pools, volleyball etc. Camping is a great way to meet fellow travellers in France and adds perfectly to the atmosphere of a European surfari as well as being very cheap. Many of the main surf breaks on the west coast of France are backed by campsites.

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