France's most westerly region boasts a wide swell window and should attract the lion's share of Atlantic swells to its 1,500km of rugged coastline. Converting this promising aspect into good surf is a bit harder to guarantee, since tides of up to 14m, swirling currents and offshore islands have a negative effect on the waves. The imposing feel to the surroundings is reflected in many place names, like Baie des Trépassés (Bay of the Dead) and Fromveur (Channel of Great Fear). The high cliffs and indented estuaries of the North Brittany coast hide many a fickle reef where local knowledge is indispensable. This jagged coast gives way to larger bays, low lying land and longer stretches of beach in the South Finistere area.