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Best places to learn how to surf in Europe

It may be easy to think that you need to go to Bali or Sri Lanka to learn how to surf, but there are beautiful locations in Europe with great surf spots – especially for beginners now that we’re approaching summertime and calmer waters. Do you want to know the best destinations to learn how to surf in Europe? Then this guide where we list our top 7 surf towns is for you!

Europe is the home to many world-famous surf spots that surfers from all over the planet want to cross off their bucket lists.

Here are our top picks for surf towns in Europe:

The best surf destinations in Europe

2. Peniche, Portugal 

Take a one-hour drive along the Silver Coast from Ericeira and you’ll reach the seaside town of Peniche. Peniche is the yearly host of the Rip Curl Pro every October, where professional surfers come from all over the world to surf the famous beach break called Supertubos. But we leave that spot for the pros. Thankfully there are enough surf spots for everyone in Peniche, some great beginner beaches to check out are Cantinho da Baia and Praia do Baleal. 

3. Biarritz, France

While some argue that the European birthplace for surfing was Portugal, others claim it to be France. During the summer you will find gentle beginner-friendly waves in beautiful Biarritz. Unlike the authentic and picturesque vibes in the fishing villages of Ericeira and Peniche, Biarritz is a more expensive surf destination with a French charm. In this luxury sea town are top class hotels and restaurants for a fancier surf trip experience. Here you’ll find surf spots such as Biarritz Grande Plage and Côte des Basques, both being great spots for beginners!

4. Alaïa Bay, Switzerland

Surfing probably isn't the first thing you think of when someone mentions Switzerland. But maybe it should be! At Alaïa Bay, an artificial wave pool in Sion, you can surf waves for every level while enjoying the spectacular view of the Swiss Alps. This wave pool is located close to some of Europe's largest ski resorts, so why not surf in the morning and ski in the afternoon? A pretty unique combination!

6. San Sebastian, Spain

One of Spain's most iconic surf locations is in San Sebastian, located close to the French border. The famous Zurriola Beach is THE must-visit spot for surf interested travellers. Zurriola Beach is a good choice for surfers at any level, but be prepared that this popular spot can get crowded even though it stretches for more than 800 meters. This beach is most suitable for beginners during the warm summer months when the conditions are small. 

7. Newquay, United Kingdom

The town of Newquay is located in Cornwall on the coast of southern England. Newquay is known to be a party town with rich nightlife, so a morning surf might be just what you need after a night at the pubs! A good beginner beach is Watergate Bay Beach, a beach break with frequent swells. Fistral Beach is another popular choice, this beach is perfect for both experienced surfers and beginners. Both Watergate Bay Beach and Fistral Beach have been hosting big and prestigious surf competitions. 

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