20th June is International Surfing Day – Best Surf Locations in Europe
5 of the best European surf spots
With International Surfing Day just around the corner, we take a look at some of the best European places to ‘catch a wave’.
Summer is here and International Surfing Day is held on the 20th June and its aim is to celebrate and promote the sport of surfing, and to encourage people to get out and enjoy their favourite beach.
If you’re inspired to grab a board and hit the surf, you’ll be pleased to know you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to do so. Europe is blessed with some fantastic surfing spots which are just a short car or plane journey away – so you can be riding the waves before you know it.
Known amongst surfers as ‘Europe’s cold-water Indonesia’, Ireland is a must-visit destination for any serious surfer. And with its impressive North Atlantic swells, the fishing village of Bundoran is the perfect place to start. The main surfing beach is Tullan Strand, but the area has a selection of beaches and reefs that suit surfers of different levels. The main drawback of Ireland is the weather, but when the water gets too cold, you can be sure of a warm welcome in one of the many traditional Irish pubs nearby. September, October and November are the best months to visit Bundoran – the tourists have left, the water is as warm as it’s going to get, and the waves rolling in off the Atlantic are spectacular.
Hossegor on the south west coast of France has been dubbed ‘the surfing capital of Europe’ and is renowned for having some of the best surf spots on the continent. Located on the Atlantic 30km north of Biarritz, Hossegor possesses some of the best beach breaks in the world and it’s easy to see why the Quicksilver Pro Championships are held here. The shallow sandbank produces tubes and heavy waves that can rival those in Hawaii, and it’s a great place to watch professional surfers show off their tricks. Beat the summer crowds and head to Hossegor in the autumn to catch the best waves the Atlantic has to offer.
If you’re looking for great surfing conditions, you don’t even need to leave the UK. Visitors to Newquay in Cornwall, the ‘surf capital of the UK’, can enjoy beautiful golden beaches along with some of the best and most consistent surf in Europe. Fistral Beach is the most well-known of Newquay’s surf spots, but the town has a number of great beaches to explore. There is also something for every level of surfer, from gentle beach breaks for beginners through to big wave spots where advanced surfers can enjoy swells of more than 20 foot. Winter is the best time of year for surfing in Cornwall, but it gets very cold so make sure you have the appropriate equipment for cold-water surfing.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Situated just 90km off the African coast, Fuerteventura boasts some of the best surf of all the Canary Islands and is even considered by some to be Europe’s answer to Hawaii. With more than 150 beaches to choose from, less experienced surfers will also find plenty to enjoy, and the island boasts a number of professional surfing schools to help you brush up your skills. Great surf is practically guaranteed all year round on Fuerteventura, but try to time your visit between autumn and spring to catch the best waves – the island also boasts a year-round warm climate making it a perfect location for winter surfing breaks.
The Portuguese island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean is a relative newcomer to the European surf scene. However, its excellent surfing conditions means that it has quickly become a firm favourite with surfers from all over the world. The island is perfectly situated to catch the northwest swells that surge across the Atlantic, and visitors to Madeira can enjoy a variety of wave types, including point breaks and reef breaks – although the steep, rough and rocky coastline means that it is better suited to more advanced surfers. The best months for surfing are November to February – happily this coincides with the low tourist season, meaning that there are some great deals to be had on accommodation.
While it’s undeniably fun, surfing can also be dangerous so it’s important to ensure you have adequate travel insurance. Surfing is classed as an adventure sport and so may not be covered in many standard policies. Our comprehensive travel insurance provides free cover for over 90 sports and activities, including surfing, giving you total peace of mind on your search for the perfect wave.