Unusual travel experiences are becoming harder and harder to discover in our age of mass tourism, where everyone seems to have done everything. Luckily you’ve wandered across this article, which means you’re about to get the insider’s low-down on one of the newest fast-paced travel experiences known to man. |
You’ll have heard of bungee jumping and windsurfing, but have you ever heard of sand yachting? The sport was actually invented in the fifties but has only recently seen a surge in popularity. The vessel in question resembles a slim kayak affixed to three wheels with a large sail. Once inside, it is then up to the “sailor” to make use of the wind and complete the race course which is usually based on beaches but has also been staged in deserts. Don’t be fooled by the idea of gentle winds though, the top speed ever recorded on one of these things was 121 mph.
The ideal place to experience this extreme sport is in France. The country has seized the opportunity to become a world leader in the activity thanks to its large coastline and outgoing community of thrill-seekers. Here you’ll find professionally trained and licensed coaches to ensure your safety throughout the course. Without further ado let’s have a look at my top three sand yachting destinations in France.
Cancale Bay, Brittany
The winds of northwest France are perfect for the sport of sand yachting (or sailing). To top it off, this beach, in particular, is so large that whether the tide is in or out they’ll be plenty of space to get some practice. Beginners’ lessons are available giving all novices a gentle introduction to the sport before they have the opportunity to hammer it out on the flats. The ancient and imposing Mont Saint-Michel provides a stunning backdrop to this most beautiful of bays. There’s also an original feel to this club which is explained by the fact that it was set up by passionate fans and not by corporate interests. Helmets to the ready then, for this superb introduction to sand sailing by the sea.
The Manche, Normandy
Further along the coast, Normandy provides another opportunity to become a sand sailor. There are a plethora of beaches in the region offering introductory lessons to the fast-paced sport. In particular, I would recommend the Cove of Sciotot which is nestled beside miles of undisturbed coastline. This provides breathtaking 360-degree natural views wherever you find yourself in your sand yacht!
Bay of Somme, Somme
Further east and we find ourselves at the splendid Bay of Somme in northern France. The sport has really taken off here and I would recommend it for visitors looking to hit the sands on more than one occasion. Four clubs service the beach and all provide stunning quality equipment and tutelage. The clubs pitch the activity for anyone between the ages of 7 and 77 making it a sport for all the family.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab the kids and pack your bags, these destinations are just a short drive from Calais and will have you literally teetering at the edge of your seat. Unusual travel experiences are increasingly on everyone’s bucket lists when they go abroad, beat them to it with this unexpected but familiar sport!
Ethan Bailey is an adventure traveller with a passion for unusual travel experiences and an insurance expert with the team at Let's Go Insure. Ethan’s passion is to inspire his clients to go just that little bit further, deeper and higher on their travels and his expertise in providing the ideal insurance cover allows them to do just that. If you're looking for the best backpacker travel insurance Let's Go works with the most experienced underwriters, intermediaries and insurers to offer a range of competitive insurance without compromising on cover.
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