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Whether you’re a novice or straight-up shredder, there are great waves in Europe just waiting to be caught.

The sun’s out across Europe – so surf’s up! It might not be Malibu or Hawaii, but there are some great breaks across the continent just begging for a road trip, or a couple of hours on an orange/ blue-and-yellow plane. 


WHY: The southwestern coast of the Algarve is arguably Europe’s foremost surfing mecca, thanks to the long Atlantic rollers that sweep its shores. Lagos and Sagres are the epicentres of the surf scene, with the former offering a frenetic party atmosphere, while the latter languishes in a chilled-out hippy haze. Winter swells are considered the best in this region, as strong winds over summer make better conditions for kite surfing. But it’s still a pretty good bet for a summer surfing trip, and with more than 150km of coastline to choose from, there’s every chance you’ll find a swell secret spot all of your own.

FACT: Local surfers often take to the River Tejo in Lisbon to ride waves caused by catamarans. The flat waters can enjoy 2ft swells in the right conditions.


WHY: This legendary surf spot on the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain neighbours Bilbao and San Sebastian, making it a great choice for those who fancy a side of holiday with their surf. Once a site on the World Championship Tour of Surfing, its deep barrels have hosted the likes of Kelly Slater and Andy Irons. Thanks to its renown, it can get dangerous out on the waves if the winds are strong and the crowds are out in full force. However, the sleepy fishing village itself is surprisingly unspoilt.

FACT: The Bay of Biscay can be treacherous as huge Atlantic swells batter the rocky coastline, so watch out for the rip.


WHY: The surf here at the southern tip of France doesn’t pack too much of a punch, which means it’s an ideal destination for beginners and intermediates. The Cote de Basque beach is great for newbies, with small swells and enough fellow foamie-riders to banish any self-consciousness. Grand Plage around the corner is suited to the more experienced, but is temperamental – the area of Anglet further north is more consistent and enjoys some huge swells.

FACT: Biarritz is a pretty luxurious seaside town, with prices to match and a popular beachfront casino. Don’t come here if you’re on a shoestring budget.

Image: Getty Images


Europe's best surf beaches revealed: short breaks this summer
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