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Where can I go surfing during the European winter?

Where can I go surfing during the European winter?  The common desire of every surfer consists of surfing good waves with a sunny and warm weather. During northern winter the biggest part of Europe sinks into the cold and many of the classic European destinations for our surf trips like France, England, northern Spain and northern Portugal become off-limits because of the cold and stormy weather. But don’t worry, for those who have a small budget, there are places in Europe and surroundings that give the best of themselves in winter with constant sunshine and pleasant temperatures:

- Canary Islands: These islands are located off the Moroccan coast and are perfectly positioned to receive the powerful and frequent winter storms coming from the North Atlantic. The winds that regularly sweep these islands in winter tend to blow with less intensity and it is not uncommon to find windless days. The waves will be smooth like glass. In addition, thanks to their proximity to Africa, the climate is always mild and sunny. The islands are indicated for the experienced and beginner surfer, since it is always possible to find a sheltered spot.

- Andalusia: The best area for surfing in Andalusia is from Cadiz to Tarifa. These locations are known mainly for kite and windsurfing but, especially in winter, this region can offer waves of exceptional quality. The West coast of Andalusia overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, but because of the Cabo de St. Vincent which protects it, requires deep low pressure positioned slightly further South in order to receive noteworthy waves. Swells must come from big depressive fronts from the North-West or from S/W local perturbations, although these are often accompanied by onshore winds. The best area is located near El Palmar that has excellent white sandy beach breaks, suitable for all levels. One benefit is that crowds are always scarce. Nearby there are 3 beautiful ancient cities: Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada where the ashes of the Arabian influence are still present.

- Algarve: Algarve is and has been the ideal place to spend the winter for many European surfers. In fact, here, during winter, when the sun is shining, you could still wear your t-shirt, like in the summer season. The coast is made up by a series of bays, hidden among the high cliffs, that gives beautiful waves. The Algarve’s waves are characterized by high frequency, because this region is exposed to swells coming from different directions. Sagres, located at the South end of the region, is a quaint little town on a cliff overlooking the ocean. In winter, when heavy NW swells, accompanied by strong onshore winds, hit the West coast of Algarve, making it impossible to surf, this Southern tip protects the East coast that goes from Sagres to Faro, generating exceptional waves, made clean by the same winds that here blow offshore. In cases like these, try to check the beautiful beach of Mareta (Sagres) or Lagos for good waves.

- Morocco: Morocco is situated in the northeast of the Sahara and its location, very close to Europe, has made it a destination increasingly sought after and popular among European surfers. Its exposure to northwest allows Morocco to receive winter swells coming from the North Atlantic and travelling thousands of miles before reaching the Moroccan coasts. All these factors, combined with the presence of several points, generate a certain number of world class right waves. Definitely, the most famous area for surfing in Morocco is the coast of Taghazout with its long and perfect right points. Spots like Anchor Point, Point Killers, Banana are a reference point in Europe. Here is where most of the surf camps of Moroccco are located. Morocco, thanks to its waves, its climate, low cost of living and proximity to Europe, has become one of the favorite destinations for European surfers. Some low cost airlines daily link many European cities to Morocco.

Thinking of enjoying these waves? Check our beautiful surf camps on


The Surfplanner team





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