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Bundoran

WHY: In northwest Ireland, Bundoran has formerly hosted both the European Surfing Championships and the Quiksilver World Masters, as the jade waves of the Atlantic crash on to the Emerald Isle’s headlands and flat rock reefs. Perhaps best known is Tullan Strand, which can produce fast hollow waves, as well as mellow peaks. For the lowdown on where to surf, plus lessons and lodges, check out Bundoran Surf Company (bundoransurfco.com).

FACT: The Peak in Bundoran is considered the cream of breaks in Ireland, in terms of both consistency and quality. This is for experienced surfers only.



Fuerteventura

WHY: The Canary Islands are a great place to catch a wave, thanks to warm waters and year-round sun. The islands lay off the coast of Africa and – even more confusingly – are often hailed as Europe’s answer to Hawaii. Fuerteventura in particular has a huge surf scene, with the largest Atlantic swells hitting the island’s north. Head to Et Cotillo beaches for paradise-pristine sands, mellow waves up front for beginners and big surf at the back for show-offs.

FACT:
If you fancy changing things up, the strong winds at Flag Beach are top notch for kite surfing.


Iceland

WHY: The Reykjavik surf scene comprises about 20 people, so there’s probably no better place to work the waves in peace. Icelandic surf school Arctic Surfers promises everything from gentle rolling point breaks for beginners to gnarly tubes. Plus, its ‘surf and snow’ trips mean you can snowboard from mountain to sea on the Trolls Peninsula, then hit the waves. Awe. Some. (arcticsurfers.is)

FACT:
If you want a really refreshing dip, try paddling the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon.



Norway

WHY: Norway is described by magicseaweed.com as “a rare surfing frontier”. If you’re serious about surfing and looking for an offbeat challenge, the cold Arctic swells here can be extreme. Jaeren is widely held to be the best surf spot, with long, sandy beaches and granite and boulder reefs. Pretty city Stavanger is an hour’s drive away and has a hedonistic waterfront on summer nights for a post-surf scene.

FACT: The best swells come in winter, when it’s mostly dark. But the long periods of light throughout summer make up for it, enabling round-the-clock action.


Hossegor

WHY: Hossegor has a rep as the best beach break in Europe for serious surfers, thanks to its consistent tubes. Its big shorebreak barrels pull in the Rip Curl Pro World Championships and Quiksilver Pro France, but be warned that Hossegor is prone to Atlantic flat spells, so you’ll need patience. Beginners can get involved from May to September, when the Atlantic is most active and produces decent waves.

FACT: A deep underwater chasm focuses the swell on Hossegor’s few miles of sand, which is why it’s so great
for green rooms.

 

 

Image: Getty Images

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