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5 Best Surfing Destinations in Europe

by Derek Dodds June 13, 2016

Let’s admit it, Europe isn’t the first place that pops into mind when thinking about great surfing destinations. Hawaii, Australia, Bali – that’s where the magic happens, right? True, but add Europe to the list and you’ll get some real magic!

Europe isn’t just home to stunning landmarks and diverse cultures, it’s also home to stunning beaches and perfect waves. Today, we’re going to take a look at the five best surfing destinations in Europe and the top surf spot in each one of them. We all need a bit of guidance, especially when it comes to finding the perfect spot for our surf holiday.


5. Ireland

5 Best Surfing Destinations in Europe
Top 5 Surfing Destinations in Europe  Image credit: http://dels-school.com

Ireland is an island located in the North Atlantic Ocean; it is also the third-largest island in Europe. Ireland’s beaches are perfect for surfing, because of the strong winds that always seem to be present, no matter the season. Your neoprene wetsuit is a must here! 

Top Surf Spot: Bundoran

Bundoran beach is the perfect surf spot in Ireland. Great for both rookies and more experienced surfers, the beach will grace you with stunning waves and lots of opportunities to perfect your surf stances. The fishing village with the same name, will charm you into falling in love with Ireland!

4. Portugal

Top 5 Surfing Destinations in Europe
Top 5 Surfing Destinations in Europe  Image credit: http://cdn.thedailybeast.com

Portugal seems to have the sweetest spot on the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean for more than 1,200 km, meaning that you’ll have plenty to choose from for your perfect surf holiday!

Top Surf Spot: North Canyon, Nazaré

North Canyon beach is located in the picturesque fishing village of Nazaré, along the center of the country’s coastline. In case you didn’t already know, North Canyon beach was home to the most famous wave in Europe, if not the whole world. In 2011, surf legend Garret McNamara made the Guinness Book of World Records when he rode the biggest wave in history. If that’s not going to make you want to visit North Canyon, we don’t know what will! Be careful, though, the sea is a harsh mistress there!

3. France 

% Best Surfing Destinations in Europe

5 Best Surfing Destinations in Europe  Image credit: http://www.surfholidays.com

France has access to the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean, which means that beaches abound here. Visit France during summer to get the ultimate surfing experience, complete with sun tanning and awesome vacation photos. 

Top Surf Spot: La Gravière 

La Gravière is a small and quiet beach, east of the mother beach, Hossegor. It is without a doubt, the best surf beach in France, thanks to its massive waves and strong winds. Gorgeous waves, such as the one in the photo, are to be expected regularly, so if you’re ever planning a trip to France, make sure you visit La Gravière. 

2. U.K. 

5 Best Surfing Destinations in Europe

5 Best Surfing Destinations in Europe  Image credit: http://magicseaweed.com/

The United Kingdom is surrounded by water! The North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Celtic Sea ensure that there are enough beaches to go around for everyone! The only downside is that the water does tend to be on the cold side, so bundle up! 

Top Surf Spot: Thurso East, Scotland

Thurso East in Scotland is such a great spot for surfing and you will rarely find it empty. Which is why we suggest you have a bit of patience and wait for your turn. Just look at that wave and tell us you don’t feel your board calling you to Scotland? 

1. Spain 

5 Best Surfing Destinations in Europe

5 Best Surfing Destinations in Europe  Image credit: http://www.surf-action.eu

Spain is bordered to the west and north by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea, which can mean only one thing: beaches galore! There is no way a surfer can go to Spain and not find the perfect beach for them! 

Top Surf Spot: The Sotavento Beach 

According to many, the Sotavento beach is a surfer’s Paradise! It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and offers both stunning waves for daredevils and smooth waters for newbies. It’s also quite massive, with smooth sand and no rocks whatsoever, so it’s perfect for sun bathing, too. It is the place every surfer has to visit if ever in Spain. 

About the Author

Cristina is the Community Manager of BookSurfCamps.com, a themed travel website offering a vast collection of surf camps and holidays. She is also a passionate traveler, cat aficionado and novice writer.




Derek Dodds
Derek Dodds

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Size Chart

Surfboard Leashes

You Break It We Replace It in First Year. 

Buy a leash closest to your board size—i.e. for 6'4 surfboard you need a 6' leash. 

All leashes are 7mm thick, competition leashes which are lighter/thinner 5.5 mm. 

Pioneer Day Boardbags - Fits One Surfboard

All boardbags have +2 inches. Thus a 6'6 board fit's perfectly in a 6'6 boardbag. All Pioneer bags have expandable fin gussets, so you can keep your fins on your board in the bag—or you can roll with glass-on fins.

Pioneer Sizes:

All bags have interior pockets (fins, leash and wax), bags fit industry standards. 

Our 8'6, 9'6 and 10' bags have fin slots and round noses. 

Pioneer bags also have an exterior pocket and zip all the way to the nose.

Travel Bags - Fits Two Surfboards

All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Surfboard Travel Bag Pockets Fin Wax Leash

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Travel Bags with Wheels - Fits Two Surfboards

New in 2016 is the double travel bag with wheels. Sometimes you want a smaller bag with wheels, now you can have it. All Global boardbags have +2 inches, so if you buy a 6'2 boardbag, the real length is 6'4—thus you have a bit of room to play. 

Global Travel Bag Sizes:

Travel boardbags are 6'-8' inches deep to accommodate two boards—though you can travel with one in these bags without a problem—there are two interior pockets for leash, wax, and fins.

Wave Tribe Wheelie Surfboard Travel Bags

Travel boardbags have two padded boards separators and two pockets for your gear. 

* Travel boardbags also have 13mm + 13mm of extra padding in the nose and tail.

Boardbag Material & Hardware - All Bags

Side A of the bag is made from a strong density Rugged Eco Hemp exterior which is one tough fiber and naturally built to last with high impact padding protection with Rebound Foam Dynamics including open-to-nose technology.

Side B is the reflective (rental-car-roof-side) made from Reflective Energy Shield for "Cooler Surfboard Safeguard" protecting your surfboard from the sun's harmful rays made from an alloy-steel mesh weave.

All Sides are guarded by our Japanese Never-Rust-or-Break Nickel Platted Zippers streamline zipper trails and our trademarked Easy Flow Zip System.