Come to see a tidal bore! - a giant wave on a river.

Vayres
Share Come to see a tidal bore! - a giant wave on a river.
Come to see a tidal b ...

Between June and October, it is the right season to come and witness the tidal bore on the Dordogne and the Garonne Rivers. This wave created by the big tidal range is spectacular, we tell you all the secrets to enjoy the show!


Openning : @ AdobeStock Freeprod


The tidal bore, a rare phenomenon in the world

 

It is not generated on all the rivers! The tidal bore is a rare phenomenon, capricious and volatile, that can be observed at the change between the low tide and the high tide. It is estimated that only around fifty rivers in the world have the right type of opening to the sea and a suitable riverbed, for a tidal bore to form and go up the river.


@ AdobeStock Stef44
@ AdobeStock Stef44


The tide rises, the dominant winds push the flood tides, which depending on the slope and roughness of the ground, concentrates and grow. At the place where the banks narrow, into a sort of bottleneck, the wave creates itself! It is not only one wave, there are several, from 5 to 10 depending on the size of the tidal range. They move at 15 to 30km/h depending on the areas. When it is shallower or the banks are wider, the waves slow down, and also when the banks are larger ... The wave of the tidal bore is mysterious, impressive, spectacular, and it gives ideas to the surf sport enthusiasts...


We suggest watching this super video from Spotsurf.fr:


 

Enjoy the tidal bore in Gironde

 

The tidal bore is a wave and like all the good waves, it is an invitation to surf! Surfers, kayakers, paddle-boarders, longboarders, canoeists and even jets skiers enjoy surfing on the tidal bore. It is not every day that we can surf so long, with ease, without paddling at all to reach the wave! I cannot give you any

technical advice as I am not a surfer myself, turn and ask the competent people (follow the surf boards on the roofs of the cars! ) ;)



Several places are good for getting a view of the tidal bore in Gironde:

 

  • In the commune of Vayres, in the Libournais, go to Saint-Pardon. This lovely harbour offers a pleasant walk, with a beautiful view on the river. It is a Natura 2000 protected are which gets a lot of care and attention. In the high season you can find, few small shops and a coffee shop. In September, you can participate in the River Fair, which celebrates this phenomenon in a lively way.
  • In Saint-Macaire, lovely medieval village
  • In Asques, at the fishing harbour
  • In Tressac
  • In Podensac
  • In Rions


Generally, you can see it from Macau to Libourne and from the Garonne River, up to Barsac.

 

For accommodation close to Vayres, where the tidal bore is the most impressive in Saint-pardon, we recommend the two following options:

 

 

The guest rooms in the elegant wooden chalets of the Bassin du Tertre, also in

Fronsac.



To know when the tidal bore can be seen, do like the surfers do and look at the tides! The tidal range is important, the bigger the difference, the bigger the wave (up to 2,5m I heard, in Saint-Pardon). The townhall of Vayres provides on its website a very useful calendar.

 

Finally, some safety advice: the tidal bore is a natural phenomenon which is both unpredictable and dangerous. For the spectators, we recommend not to be on the banks, but slightly higher: firstly to enjoy the whole show, but also to avoid being surprised by the rising water or debris swept by the flow of water. For the sportsmen, attach to your leash, because the topography is variable and objects or debris can be found. Do not surf too close to the banks, as they can narrow suddenly and block you or retain dangerous debris. Obviously, remain far from the other watercraft, such as boats and recreational crafts!

 



 For you viewing pleasure, another tidal bore in China with a really impressive wave!



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