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Don’t be misled with the idea that surfing is the occupation only for the bravest, most daring and the strongest ones. If you think you’ve got no chances, visit one of European Atlantic surf clubs, where they teach anyone how to surf.
Those who are tired of beaches and excursions around the city, but still want to have fun on the sea coast, are ready for anything. For instance, diving and surfing are considered to be ordinary occupations. To catch a heavy and warm wave they often travel to Hawaii, California or Indonesia – but this refers to winter time. If you live in Europe, in summer you can find a closer site for surfing. For instance, water in Bay of Biscay and the Portuguese coast gets really warm in summer. In addition to this, Europe guarantees lots of other impressions.
A good opportunity to combine an acquaintance with one of the most famous French wine regions and surfing is to make a trip to Bordeaux suburbs. Beaches that stretch from Royan to Arcachon were the place where half a century ago European surfing culture was born. Having reached Bordeaux, you are recommended to hire a car and go to Lacanau resort town located 30 kilometres to the west. Lacanau is considered to be the best place for surfing: among its advantages are: a long sandy beach, medium waves and lots of hotels and apartments to suite any taste and purse. A week of studies in a surf school (five lessons, each lasting 4 hours) will cost approximately Eur 245. As for cultural attractions - half an hour ride from here there are famous Gironde wine yards and castles. But don’t overdo with wine tasting – don’t forget that you came here for surfing!
France, Cote d'Argent (The Silver Strand)
Cote d'Argent is always associated with active water sports – however, nowadays surfers subdue even the waves of Biarritz grand beaches, which changes the image of this aristocratic city, full of casinos and luxury hotels. A 15-kilometre stretch from Anglais to Saint Jean de Luz contains 17 popular surf spots. If you are not going to stay in a luxurious Hotel du Palais, you can go to Lagoondy Surf Camp on the Côte Basque: here a week of accommodation and surfing lessons will cost less than in other hotels. By the way, you can come here with children – 24-hour tending is guaranteed.
Spain. Basque Country.
In July and August, the southern coast of the Bay of Biscay turns into a real Mecca for surfers. And is it no wonder why: water here is really warm (you can surf without surf clothing), there are surf spots for the beginners as well as professionals, delicious food and rather a cheap living (if to compare local prices with the ones all over Europe). An interesting variant might be to go to San Sebastián and combine language studies with surf practices: a couple of weeks will cost approximately 800-900 Euros, including living in a family or in a hostel. Besides, the Basque Country boasts of its interesting culture, incomparable tapas, museums and a seething nightlife.
A real edge of the world with wildlife, severe winds and heavy waves. At the same time, in July and August water gets very warm. That is why surfers have long settled in this region, densely populated but still very beautiful. Before you start surfing, you should definitely visit Santiago de Compostela with its grand medieval attractions, and the cities of La Coruna, Pontevedra and Vigo with restaurants serving the best Galician seafood. The most popular surfing spot is Costa da Morte. Surfing studies here are rather cheap – one of the surf schools we can advise you is Surf & Rock 20 minutes from La Coruna.
Even though this is the south of the Atlantic, surfing in Estremadura is an occupation for the daring ones: even in summer water temperatures rise no higher than 20 degrees centigrade. But despite this, long desolate beaches and superb waves attract lots of surfers from all over Europe. You can go surfing just 10 kilometres from Lisbon, but local beaches are rather crowded and water is not that clear. So, another good variant is to go to a surf school about 70 kilometres from the capital - in the Peniche town. A famous Supertubos is found next to this city, but it is suitable for professionals only. As for local culture and nightlife, you will find them in Lisbon.
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