Surfing in Europe: best spots and destinations

Surfing in Europe: best spots and destinations

The best thing about surfing in Europe is the abundance of different countries and their respective surf culture. Be ready to smash your stereotypes about different regions and their habitats since surfing will give different countries different flavours.

Here is our selection of the best surf breaks in the summer time, winter time, an answer whether you should surf in the Mediterranean (hint: many do!) and what should be your pick if you are on a shoestring budget and also what is the ultimate surfing capital of Europe.

Oh, and while you are at the planning stage we recommend you plan at least a two weeks long adventure – there are a lot of spots to cover. 

Best European surf spots in summer

1. Coxos, Ericeira, Portugal

North from Ericeira, you can find Coxos beach that is often said to be the best wave of Portugal.

Best summer month to surf: August
Water temperature: 20 to 22°C
Best swell direction: NW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools Coxos
Tiago Pires Surf School
Private lesson: 90€/h
Group lesson: 50€/h (high season)
3surfer’s Surf School 
Private lesson: 75€/h
Group lesson: 35€/1,5h
— Rapture Surfcamps
Average board rental: 20-30€/day

Coxos, Ericeira, Portugal surfing spot

Coxos, Ericeira, Portugal

2. Supertubos, Peniche, Portugal

A notorious surf spot is on the Medao beach that is located few kilometres away from Peniche, a small fishing village close by. 

Best summer month to surf: August
Water temperature: 19 to 22°C
Best swell direction: SW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools in Supertubos
Escola de Surf de Peniche 
Group lesson: 30€/2h
Drop Surf Center
Group lesson: 40€/2h
Private lesson: 80€/h
Baleal Surf Camp 
Group lesson: 35€/1,5h (high season), 30€/1,5h (low season)
Private lesson: 80€/1,5h (high season) 69€/1,5h (low season)
Average board rental: 20€/day

 

3. Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, Spain

One of the best surf town in Spain with the most long beach (2,5 kilometres) and  consistent surf – Zarautz is located on the Spanish Basque coast. 

Best summer month to surf: June
Water temperature: 20 to 25°C
Best swell direction: NNW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf school in Zarautz
North Shore Surfcamp Zarautz 
Group lesson: 35-55€/1,5h 
Private lesson: 70€/h
Surf Eskola Essus
Group lesson: 70€/3h
Good People Surf
Group lesson: 28-40€/1,5h
Private lesson: 70€/1,5h
Average board rental: 20-30€/day

Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, Spain surfing spot

Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, Spain

 

4. Côte des Basques, Biarritz, France 

The surf Mecca of France? Côte des Basques is close to the town Biarritz and its located at the northern border of Basque Country. 

Best summer month to surf: June
Water temperature: 22 to 24°C
Best swell direction: W
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools in Biarritz
La Vague Basque 
Group lesson: 40-45€/1,5h
Private lesson: 100€/1,5h
Surf in Biarritz 
Group lesson: 40-45€/1,5h
Private lesson: 100€/1,5h
Hastea Surf School Biarritz 
Group lesson: 40/1,5h
Private lesson: 100€/1,5h
Average board rental: 20-30€/day

surf spot Biarritz, Aquitaine, France

Panorama of port area in Biarritz, Aquitaine, France

5. Esquinzo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

One of the seven islands in the Spanish archipelago, Fuerteventura has what it takes for an amazing surf holiday during summer months as well. 

Best summer month to surf: August
Water temperature: 20 to 22°C
Best swell direction: W
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools in Esquinzo: 
Fuerteventura Surf School
Group lesson: 45€/2,5h
Private lesson: 150€/2,5h
Surfintrip 
Group lesson: 50€/1,5h
Private lesson: 100€/1,5h
Orange Surfschool 
Group lesson: 50€/3h
Private lesson: 100€/2h
Average board rental: 20€/day

Esquinzo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands surfing spot

Esquinzo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

6. Arrifana, South Algarve, Portugal

Escape busy spots of Ericeira and Peniche to the South of Portugal to the beautiful region of Algarve. 

Best summer month to surf: June
Water temperature: 20 to 23°C
Best swell direction: NW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools in Arrifana:
Arrifana Surf School 
Group lesson: 35€/1,5h
Private lesson: 100-120€/2h
Surf Camp Portugal 
Group lesson: 40-60€/2,5h
Amado Surf Camp 
Group lesson: 55-65€/3h
Average board rental: 20€/day

Arrifana, South Algarve, Portugal surf spot

Arrifana, South Algarve, Portugal

7. La Graviere, Hossegor, France

Depending on who you ask – Hossegor is arguably the best beach break in Europe. The vibe, the culture and the waves – this is where more advanced surfers hang. 

Best summer month to surf: June
Water temperature: 20 to 25°C
Best swell direction: W-NW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 
Hossegor Surf Center
Group lesson: 40€/1,5h
Private lesson: 100€/1,5h
Surf Trip
Group lesson: 37-39€/2h
Private lesson: 95€/1,5h
Yosurf School
Group lesson: 35€/1,5h
Private lesson: 70€/1,5h
Average board rental: 25-30€/day

 

8. La Nord, Lacanau, Landes, France

One of the top surf spots in France serves surfing for all levels and it’s located close to the city of Bordeaux

Best summer month to surf: June
Water temperature: 20 to 25°C
Best swell direction: W
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 

Ecole Surf Lacanau 
Group lesson: 35€/2h
Magic Surf School 
Group lesson: 34-39€/2h
Private lesson: 75-85€/1,5h
Tengo Frio Surf School 
Group lesson: 30-39€/1,5h
Average board rental: 20-25€/day

Silhouette of a surfer at sunset on the atlantic ocean, Lacanau France

Silhouette of a surfer at sunset on the Atlantic ocean, Lacanau France

9. Somo, Cantabria, Spain

This town is close to the city of Santander and has a consistent beach break that works during most tides.

Best summer month to surf: June
Water temperature: 17 to 22°C
Best swell direction: NNW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 
Koa Escuela de Surf & Surfcamp
Group lesson: 30€/2h
Private lesson: 60€/2h
Escuela Cantabra de Surf
Group lesson: 30€/day
Somo’s Beach Surf School
Group lesson: 30€/2h
Average board rental: 20€/day

Somo, Cantabria, Spain surf beach surfers

Somo, Cantabria, Spain

10. Zurriola, San Sebastian, Spain

One of the most beautiful cities in Spain, the town is famous for its surf vibe and both for its cuisine.

Best summer month to surf: June
Water temperature: 16 to 23°C
Best swell direction: NW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 
Zurriola Surf Eskola 
Prices available upon request
Blue Motion Academy 
Prices available upon request
Puka’s Surf Eskola
Group lesson: 68€/3h
Average board rental: 30€/day

. Zurriola, San Sebastian, Spain surf beach

Zurriola, San Sebastian, Spain

 

Where can you surf in the winter in Europe

Winter months produce the most consistent swell and most amazing waves in Europe so make sure to opt your winter holiday for the cold months. Most important thing is to remember to take a proper gear – some people can survive with 3/2mm wetsuit but if you are heading into more colder regions take your boots, 4/3mm or even 5/3mm wetsuit with a hood with you. It’s all about your level of comfort in the cold water. 

 

1. Anchor Point, Taghazout, Morocco 

Taghazout is a perfect example of a sleepy fishing village with its charming Berber culture and smashed together with surf culture.

Best months to surf: November to February
Water temperature wintertime: 16 to 19°C
Best swell direction: NW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 
Surf Berbere 
Group lesson: starting from 17€ with lunch and beach transfer included
Private lesson: Price available upon request
Hashpoint Surf Cam
Lesson: Price available upon request
Surf Camp Taghazout 
Group lesson: 30€
Private lesson: Price available upon request
Average board rental: 15€/day

Anchor Point, Taghazout, Morocco surfers beach

Anchor Point, Taghazout, Morocco 

2. Safi, Essaouira, Morocco

Known for its windy condition, Essaouira is headquarter of all sorts of wind-related activities surfing included.

Best months to surf: November to February
Water temperature wintertime: 16 to 19°C
Best swell direction: NW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 
Moga Surf 
Group lesson: Price available upon request
Private lesson: Price available upon request
Loving surf Essaouira 
Group lesson: 30€
Private lesson: 80€
Explora Water Sports
Group lesson: 30€/2h
Private lesson: 90€/2h
Average board rental: 15€/day

Safi, Essaouira, Morocco surf spot

Safi, Essaouira, Morocco

3. Cantinho da Baia, Peniche, Portugal

This right-hand and left-hand beach with perfect condition for beginners and intermediates.

Best months to surf: November to February 
Water temperature wintertime: 14 to 16°C
Best swell direction: NNW
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 
Baleal Surf Camp 
Group lesson: 30€/1,5h 
Private lesson: 69-80€/1,5h
Go4Surf 
Group lesson: 25€/2h
Private lesson: Price available upon request
Peniche Surf Camp 
Group lesson: 25€/2h 
Private lesson: 50€
Average board rental: 25€/day

4. Rocky Point, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

A great wave that breaks over a shallow reef just outside Corralejo harbour in the island of Fuerteventura.

Best months to surf: November to February 
Water temperature winter time: 18 to 21°C
Best swell direction: NN
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 
Corralejo Surf School 
Group lesson: 50€/4hours
Private lesson: 50€/4hours
Surf Therapy 
Group lesson: 45€/day
Private lesson: 160€/day
Laola Surf Camp 
Group lesson: 60€/4h
Private lesson: 140€/day
Average board rental: 20€/day

Rocky point surfer

Rocky Point, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

5. La Izquierda / Spanish Left, Tenerife, Canary Islands

Best months to surf: November to February
Water temperature wintertime: 18 to 21°C
Best swell direction: N, SE, E
Weather forecast: link

Best surf schools: 
Ika Ika Surf School 
Group lesson: 35€/1,5h
Private lesson: 75€/1,5h
Tenerife Surfing 
Group lesson: 40€/2h
Private lesson: 70€/2h
Palm Beach Surfing Expert
Lessons: Prices available upon request
Average board rental: 25€/day

Surfing capital of Europe

Hossegor, France 

This seaside gem is, without doubt, the surfing capital of Europe. Located in southwest France, the sand beach is one of the longest (230km) in the region and provides the most consistent surf. The reason why Hossegor was earned the title of the surf Mecca is annual surf competition held in town. World’s surf elite gathers to this French town for Quiksilver Pro & Roxy Pro France held this year on October 3-13. Another annual event is Newave Festival that celebrates the surfing culture through art, music and surf.

Conditions of surfing vary a lot due to shifting sandbars and tidal - hence keeping an eye on the weather forecast and relying on local tips is essential. Best spots to surf: La Graviere, La Nord and La Sud. Make sure to check spots nearby at Capbreton and Seignosse. Make sure to get there before – or after the high season – the popular town attracts over 40,000 visitors in the summer season.

 

Can you surf in the Mediterranean Sea?

Ask the surfers of Mediterranean and they say “oh yeah, for sure”. The Mediterranean Sea is definitely not the most popular place to surf since it requires specific wind conditions but there are still some waves to be found and surfed. 

The key to Mediterranean surf is proper weather forecast app (yours truly), location, patience and good board selection. We advise to take with you a longboard or a funboard to make sure to catch smaller waves. The great thing about Mediterranean surf – the water is warmest in the Europe so no need for rubbers. 

Best places to check the Mediterranean surf is Sicily (Playa Catania), Spain (Torravieja La Mata) and Spain (Gruissan).

Playa Catania, Sicily

Playa Catania, Sicily

Cheap surfing destinations in Europe

The great thing about surfing is the fact that the ocean is free. When it comes to equipment like boards, wetsuits and fins – that stuff costs – and you don’t necessarily want to go for the cheapest quality here. But there definitely differences where do you decide to surf. Some countries just happen to be more expensive than others. If you are on a shoestring budget, we advice you to head either to Morocco or Portugal. Affordable places to live and there is heaps of accommodation and surf school options. 

• Portugal
Being one of the cheapest countries in Europe (oh and one of the most laid-back as well), it’s easy to find reasonable accommodation, hire a car with roof racks and check spots like Ericeira, Peniche and Sagres. Oh, did we mention that the seafood is absolutely delicious and the wine outrageously cheap?  

•Morocco
The fact that Morocco is located technically not in Europe, makes it a bit more exotic and not that popular place to surf compared to countries like Spain and France. The country has been investing massively into the tourism sector providing excellent road infrastructure connecting all the surf destinations. Morocco is a perfect mix of rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, history, delicious food and pumping waves – and best of it – affordable prices. 

Morocco street

Morocco

Best surf camps in Europe

Surf camps are a perfect way how to have a hassle-free surf holiday having often accommodation, gear, transports, meals and surf guides included in one price. Not to mention like-minded crowd and good vibes. Here is a selection of one of the best surf camps in Europe. 

Sanctuary Surf 

Good vibes only and a hotel-like surf camp experience in South-West of France.

All inclusive 7-day stay from 780-890€.

Included:
• Private Ensuite Lodging
• Dinner, breakfast, lunch
• 5 x 2hr Surf Lessons
• Surf & Stand Up Paddle Equipment
• Transfers (Airport/Beach/Lake)
• Bordeaux City Visit
• 2 x yoga class

 

Rapture Surf Camp Ericeira, Portugal 

Suitable for all levels, Rapture offers beautiful surf camp experience in picturesque Ericeira.

7-day stay 840€ (board rental and lesson excluded).

Included:
• Private Ensuite Lodging
• Dinners (Monday to Friday)
• Breakfast • Weekly Surf theory
• Weekly Video Analysis
• Information on Portugal Surf Spots

 

• Dreamsea Surf Camp, Cantabria, Spain 

Looks like a dream, feels like a dream – located in the north-west of Spain, Dreamsea is a beautiful combination of surf, food and laid-back atmosphere.

All inclusive 7-day stay from 429€.

Included:
• Private Glamping Tent
• Dinners, breakfast, lunch
• Surf Equipment
• Camp Equipment

 

Wish you a nice break!