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Surfing throughout Europe – what to expect

Surf Tales Europe

Surfing throughout Europe – what to expect

Surfing in Europe, there’s a lot to write about that. Europe’s mainland is home to hundreds of surf spots, well suiting novice surfers up to the world’s most experienced and thrill-seeking surf professionals. Europe’s most well-known spots include Biarritz (France), Ericeira and Nazaré (Portugal), San Sebastian (Spain) and Bundoran in Ireland. The Atlantic Coast provides numerous surf spots and over the last couple of years, surfing and surf holidays have closed the gap between regular to popular when regarding holiday options.

As many understand, surfing is a sport that’s very accessible to anyone really. However, it won’t be fair to claim it goes without any risk at all. Therefore, it might be wise to look into travel insurance for your next surf trip as there may be just some more risk included compared to your regular beach holidays. When debarking on a surf trip there are several ways to go about. You can decide to leave for a road trip, equipping yourselves with just a tent and some utensils to prepare your food. After all, all that you really need is your surfboard and a proper wetsuit. However, the ones that are seeking that all-in experience, or novice surfers that want to get some proper training tend to opt more often for a surf camp experience. It’s clear that the ever growing number of possibilities to take some sort of a surf trip have truly enhanced the popularity of the sport, making it even a main activity for holidays.

Especially Portugal finds itself back in the top-flight when considering surfing in Europe. Along the entire coast, surfers are treated to the best possible circumstances. The North and Centre of the country provide waves throughout most of the year whereas the South Coast (Algarve) starts to work properly from October/November onwards (through to April). Given the weather and climate conditions, it’s easy to conclude that Portugal is a true top-class destination for any surfer.

Surfing at Zavial Beach (Portugal)

The ever increasing enthusiasm over surfing, along with the brilliant standards of living has made Portugal to the surf-destination it is nowadays. I’ve published a surf guide with around 80 surf spots in Portugal but the options in Portugal stretch much further. The country host many secret spots, of which many I have never heard of. It’s up to you to go out there, meet the locals and explore. Portugal might even be the best country for surfing in Europe.

Spain’s a country that has two coastlines that provide surfing conditions. There’s the eastern coast too and waves might appear every once in a while (let’s say once a month – if you are lucky, and do not expect anything spectacular). However, much better conditions will be found on the Northern Coast throughout most of the year. The months May to September are great to surfers with non to little experience – among the best coast to learning how to surf in Europe. The other coast of Spain that can work well for surfing is the Costa de la Luz, in the South. The conditions for surfing here would be working at the same moments roughly as the Southern Coast of Portugal. Spots like El Palmar are well famous and attract many surfers when the surf’s on.

France also has quite an extensive coastline with many overpopulated spots, such as Moliets, Mimizan and the well-known Hossegor. The latter hosts a yearly WSL (World Surf League) event, justifying why so many surfers make their way to this part of France on a regular basis (Europe even hosts more WSL events). Waves here can well be a couple of meters so some proper experience is required when surfing in Hossegor. When going more to the North, European countries like Belgium and the Netherlands can provide waves too. The United Kingdom, as well as Ireland certainly also has several top-class surf spots that are well worth a visit. However, it cannot be stressed sufficiently how important an insurance might be here as it can literally safe your life.

My name’s Olmo and I am working in surf travels for over 6 years. Our company is operating the website Errant Surf Travel after we’ve launched SurfaWhile back in 2015. On both these websites we promote surf holidays, where we aim to sell these in combination with the World Nomads Insurance. I do travel myself regularly and from my own experience I know how important it is to have adequate insurance.

Picture credit: Mylan Rosendaal


Co-founder of SurfaWhile, with a passion for travel, surf, cooking, salsa, football and meeting new and interesting people.

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