Travelling to France

Language

French is the official language. English is relatively spoken and understood along the country but don't worry, our Surfinn staff is English fluent!

Climate

France is a big country with many different climates. Regarding the South-Western part of the country, it is considered a temperate maritime climate. This means that usually gets warmer during summer with occasional rainfall and the other way around during winter. Despite winter might be a little unpredictable, spring and autumn are quite steady.
From November till February it's colder and often wet but it's when the best waves arrive!

Cuisine

French cuisine is serious business! This is more than just food, it's an art form and a way of living. Don't leave France without tasting some of its most precious tresures, like mussels, oysterscrêpecheesewine, ... everything! Wisely chosen restaurants guarantee delicious meals for non-expensive prices. Just ask locals for the best menu or formula - a 3 course meal.
Service charges are usually added to hotel and restaurant bills, otherwise it is customary to leave no more than 10% tip. Bar staff and taxi drivers also expect tips, which usually entails rounding up of the bill to the nearest Euro.

Time

Local time is GMT+1.

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. outlets will fit the Europlug - round two-pin plugs.

Health

There are no health risks attached to travel to France. Health facilities are good and reciprocal health agreements exist with most European countries, including the UK, whose citizens can receive low-cost emergency care at state hospitals. It is advisable that travellers obtain an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travel. Dental care and repatriation costs are not covered under this agreement, and medical insurance is therefore advised.

Safety

Safety is not a problem for travel in France but the main concern for surf travellers is car-breaking - especially foreign cars.

Duty Free

Travellers arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 2 litres of liquor; 60g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette; gifts up to the value of €175.

Entry requirements - Visas

The Schengen Treaty is fully applied in France.
For EU countries or those under the Schengen Treaty, you may remain in France as a tourist for a period not exceeding three months.
It is a legal requirement for foreigners to show some form of identification on request.
You need a valid passport or identity document for entry to and exit from France. There is no minimum passport/document validity requirement but you should ensure that it is valid for the proposed period of your stay.
For other nationalities, procedures and required documents change according to different protocols established with those countries. Please check it in your country before travelling.
A minor under the age of 18 travelling to France must either:
  • be accompanied by a parent or guardian,
  • carry a letter of authorisation to travel from a parent or guardian. The letter should name the adult responsible for the minor during his/her stay.

How to get there

You can get to France by planecarbustrain or high-speed train.
Because there is no national bus network in France and the other major bus companies offer international but not domestic routes to/from France, it is impossible to travel by a French-owned “public” bus between regions of France. Buses are used quite extensively for shorter-distance travel within départements in France — especially in more rural regions.
Many flight companies, including low-cost, operate more than one daily flight to France. There are plenty direct flights from almost all countries in Europe and overseas to many airports all across France. All Surfinn Surf Camps are located in no more than 1 hour from the closest airport.
You can check here all the flight companies flying to France.
International trains and buses also head up to many Spanish cities everyday from Europe's main stations.

The last way from the airport/station to the surf camp can be done by bus, taxi or transfer. We always send to costumers all customized info about “how to get there” between the arrival point and the selected surf camp. Surfinn transfers must be booked in advance.

For train informationhttp://www.sncf.com

Communications:

The international access code for France is +33. There are no area or city codes required. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). France is well covered by all modern mobile phone networks. Internet cafes are available in most towns and resorts.


Useful Contacts:

  • SOS: 112
  • Ambulance: 15
  • Police: 17
  • Fire: 18
  • Anti-Poison Center: 01 40 05 48 48
  • 24h Pharmacy: 01 48 74 65 18 / 01 45 62 02 41
  • Gas Leaks: 01 43 35 40 87
  • Electricity: 01 43 35 40 86
  • Doctors (house call): 01 47 07 77 77 / 01 43 37 77 77
  • Dentist: 01 43 37 51 00
  • Lawyers: 01 43 29 33 00
  • Sea or Lake Rescue: 1616
  • Child Abuse Hotline: 119
  • Drugs & Alcohol Hotline: 113
  • French Red Cross: 08 00 85 88 58
  • Rape helpline: 08 00 05 95 95
  • Racial discrimination helpline: 114
  • AIDS helpline: 08 00 84 08 00
  • Cancer helpline: 08 10 81 08 21
  • Lost or stolen bank card helpline: 08 36 69 08 80