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10 Winter Surfing Destinations You Need to Check Out [Updated]

by Octavia Drughi

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If you haven’t already made plans for the winter holidays, we have some hot ideas for you to consider. How does watching the sunset from a palm-fringed beach while swinging in a hammock and sipping cocktails in the midst of winter sound? 

Throw in some amazing surfing sessions on some of the world’s best waves and you have yourself a recipe for an unforgettable winter surfing holiday! 

Plus, winter months are a great time to go on a budget surf trip

In the Northern Hemisphere, the best waves come in during winter. At the while, it’s summertime in the Southern Hemisphere! So check out our list of the best winter surfing spots, along with some recommendations of awesome surf camps you can join while there.

Note: BookSurfCamps offers a flexible cancellation policy. Should you not be able to travel as scheduled, we’d be happy to help you alter your booking with the same organizer or a different organizer.


1. Morocco


If the long-haul trip to Indonesia, Hawaii or the Maldives seems like too much of a drag, there’s an equally excellent option closer to Europe. And it’s much cheaper too!

Morocco has become the number one choice for European surfers, especially during those long and cold winter months. Unruly waves like Anchor Point, Killer Point, Safi, Boilers, Imsouane (The Bay) and Essaouira await experienced surfers, while the many surf camps in Taghazout, Tamraght, and Agadir welcome beginners looking to catch their first wave, intermediates looking to progress to gree waves, as well as advanced surfers in need of some extra guidance.

Winter is the best time of year to go surfing in Morocco. Excellent swells hit the coast between December and March, while the water temperature stays around 64°F (18°C).

» From the surfing seasons and the best waves to budgeting your trip and what to eat, find out all you need to know about surfing in Morocco.


Top-rated winter surf camp in Morocco

8 Days Unforgettable Surf and Yoga Camp Vacation in Tamraght


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From US$595

Have a taste of Moroccan sunshine in the midst of winter on this surf camp in Tamraght that welcomes all levels of surfers. You’ll enjoy 6 days of surfing lessons, morning or evening yoga classes, and daily meals featuring Moroccan cuisine.​


2. Portugal


Known as the ‘Brazil of Europe’, Portugal is a surfing mecca. Why? Are powerful Atlantic swells, wild nightlife, tons of beach bars and Nazaré, the biggest wave ever surfed in history, good enough reasons for you?

With great weather and surf conditions all year round, the prime time to surf in Portugal is between October and April. This time of year means big, powerful waves. Unfortunately, it also means cold water, so get ready to strap on your wetsuit. The average water temperature in December stays around 59°F (15°C). But look at the bright side – that mulled wine after a surf session will have never tasted as good.

» For more on the waves, check out our guide to the best surf spots in Portugal.

Top-rated winter surf camp in Portugal

7 Days Surf Camp in Maiorca, Figueira da Foz


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From US$444

In the historical Coimbra district, in the charming city of Figueira de Foz, the fast and hollow waves of Cabedelo and Europe’s longest right-hand break at Buarcos await surfers from far and wide. Located only 10 minutes from Cabedelo Beach, this surf camp includes six days of surfing lessons with separate programs for beginners, intermediate, and advanced surfers.


3. Bali


What? Surfing in Bali during the wet season? While this might have sounded a bit crazy a decade ago, more and more surfers flock to Bali’s East Coast between November and March. World-class waves like Serangan, Playgrounds, Nusa Dua, Keramas, and Green Balls are firing during winter months, and offer something for all skill levels. What’s more, surfing during the rainy season means uncrowded line-ups.

During the wet season, winds blow from the northwest, producing long barreling breaks for all skill levels. And let us not forget that, during this time of year, water temperature is sick – 79°F (26°C)!

» For more on the surfing seasons, best waves, how to budget your trip and what to eat, read our complete guide to surfing in Bali.


Top-rated winter surf camp in Bali

3 Days Budget Surf Camp in Kuta


  • Skill level: Beginners
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From US$195

Wave hunters from around the world are invited to spend their winter holidays in a heavenly tropical paradise on this revitalizing budget surf camp in Kuta. Surround yourself with tropical nature and enjoy with daily surfing lessons on the island of the Gods!


4. Australia


Winter is a great time to visit the Land Down Under and enjoy…their summer. Australia is a world-famous surfing destination year-round, but there’s no better time to head down here than when the cold winter back home seems like too much to handle.

Water temperatures stay at a ‘cool’ 75-79 °F (24-26 °C) in December and January, meaning that you can surf in board shorts and bikinis. It may be summer in the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s also cyclone season. This means great swell, off-season prices, and fewer crowds. And, regardless of the season, Australia’s party scene never rests.

» For more on the waves, check out our guide to the best surf spots in Australia


Top-rated winter surf camp in Australia

3 Days Shaka Surf and Stay in Byron Bay


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: February till December
  • Price: From US$165

Experience the thrill of surfing during your winter holidays on a surf camp in Byron Bay, an excellent opportunity to surf world-class waves, meet other surfers and immerse in local culture and the surrounding natural beauty. Professional surf coaches will introduce beginners to surfing on some of Australia’s best surf beaches, while advanced surfers will be shown the best waves Byron Bay has to offer.​


5. Costa Rica


Come and have a taste of La Pura Vida on Costa Rica’s spectacular coasts, where white, golden and gray sand beaches await surfers of all levels throughout the year. Surfing in Costa Rica is broken down into four main areas: the Caribbean Coast, the North Pacific Coast, the Central Pacific Coast, and the South Pacific Coast. All have exceptional surf, with an average water temperature of 86°F (30°C).

» From the surfing seasons and the best waves to what to eat and how to budget your trip, here’s all you need to know about surfing Costa Rica.


Top-rated winter surf camp in Costa Rica

6 Days Surf Camp in Nosara


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: US$563

Give yourself the rest and peace you deserve as you bid farewell to 2019 and welcome the exciting year ahead on a surf camp in Nosara, with four days of surf lessons for all levels of surfers, as well as stretching sessions to relieve any tension in the muscles. Daily breakfast and free use of surfing equipment in the afternoon are included in the package.


6. The Canary Islands


Europe’s very own Hawaii, the chain of volcanic islands off the coast of Africa has long been on the international surfing map. Exposed to swells generated by the North Atlantic, with an abundance of consistent hollow reef breaks, year-round sunshine, and vibrant nightlife, the Canary Islands are where European surfers flock to during winter months.

Surfing in the Canary Islands is great all year round, but the best waves hit the coasts between October and March. There is a wide variety of breaks, from beginner-friendly to behemoths only pros know how to handle, and from highly accessible to secret spots. Did I mention that water temperature stays at a nice 66°F (19°C) in winter?

» Plan the perfect trip with the help of our guide to surfing in the Canary Islands.


Top-rated winter surf camp in the Canary Islands

7 Days Family Surf and Yoga Holiday in Lanzarote


  • Skill level: Beginner and intermediate surfers
  • Availability: From November till July
  • Price: From US$453

The sleepy fishing village of Caleta de Famara on Lanzarote’s north coast lives for and from water sports, be it surfing, kitesurfing, SUP or kayaking. Here, Playa de Famara welcomes beginners and intermediate surfers on a family surf & yoga retreat.


7. The Philippines


The surfing capital of the Philippines fires up during winter months when the Pacific Ocean sends powerful swells towards Siargao Island. This is where you’ll find one of the most famous reef breaks on the planet – Cloud 9 – a raging right-hander. While this may be a pros-only wave, there are plenty of breaks for all levels of surfers around the island and on the nearby islands.

Primetime for surfing in the Philippines is between December and April when the average water temperature stays around 80 °F (27 °C).


Top-rated winter surf camp in the Philippines

7 Days All Level Surf Camp with Daily Yoga in Baras


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: February till December
  • Price: From US$460

Come and enjoy daily surfing and yoga classes on this surf camp in Baras. This wonderful combination of adventure and relaxation in a tropical paradise includes island hopping, a 2-hour body massage, and daily breakfast.


8. South Africa


Picture this – surfing the legendary Supertubes at J-Bay in the morning and observing elephants in their natural environment in the afternoon! How wild is that?

One of the world’s top surfing destinations, surfing in South Africa is at its best between November and February, although surfing is pretty good all year round.  


Top-rated winter surf camp in South Africa

5 Days Surf Camp in KwaZulu-Natal


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From US$153

Ride the best wave in South Africa on this thrilling surf camp in KwaZulu-Natal, the country’s surfing mecca, and take advantage of the one-on-one instruction for beginners to intermediate surfers!

Durban has some of the best beaches in South Africa and is home to an exemplary surfing lifestyle and world-famous shapers and surfers. Water temperature drops at a nice 70°F (21°C) during the Southern Hemisphere summer, meaning that all you’ll need is bikinis and board shorts if you wish to celebrate New Year’s Eve on these shores.​


9. Panama


If it’s secret beaches and remote surf spots you want, look no further than Panama! Just off the east coast of the country, the stunning Bocas del Toro archipelago consists of nine islands, 52 keys, and 200 islets, all with year-round warm water, consistent surf and uncrowded line-ups.

The time to go surfing in Panama is between December and April, when cyclones in the Atlantic send massive swells towards the shore, firing up the numerous reef and beach breaks. Water temperatures stay around 80°F (26°C) all year.


Top-rated winter surf camp in Panama

8 Day Surf Experience in Playa Venao, Los Santos


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: November till June
  • Price: From US$510

Until recently, Playa Venao was a well-kept secret, a wild white-sand beach on the southeastern tip of the Azuero Peninsula. It has now become a go-to destination in Panama and, if you’re looking to catch some waves, you seriously need to add this charming little seaside town to your bucket list. Enjoy seven surfing lessons, unlimited use of the surfing equipment during your stay, and daily poolside breakfast on this budget-friendly surf camp in Playa Venao.


10. Southern Province, Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka is a swell magnet. The water is always warm and the waves are not too aggressive, which makes the country a great destination for those learning to surf or progress on green waves. That being said, there are a few surf spots that even advanced surfers will find challenging. 

Sri Lanka has two distinct surfing seasons. The west coast gets clean and reliable waves during the dry season, between November and April. The west coast fires up between May and October. You can surf on the south coast of Sri Lanka all year round, as it benefits from whichever swell hits either coast. The water temperature averages around 81ºF (27 ºC), and there are over 330 days of sunshine a year. 

» For more on the surfing seasons, best waves, how to budget your trip, and what to eat, read our complete guide to surfing in Sri Lanka.


Top-rated winter surf camp in Sri Lanka

8 Days Beginner and Intermediate Surf Camp in Ahangama


  • Skill level: Beginner and intermediate surfers
  • Availability: From November till April
  • Price: From US$478

Discover a little slice of paradise that will become your home away from home as you escape the harsh winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Stay in a jungle villa and surf Sri Lanka’s waves like a local.

If you’re looking to catch your first wave or improve your technique, join this surf camp in the Southern Province. You’ll get 5 surf lessons, 3 surf-fitness lessons, your very own surf video with analysis, and a surf-fitness evaluation form, Plus, you are free to use the camps surfboards as much as you like during your stay. 


*Prices are subject to change depending on the date of arrival.

Are you looking to jump-start your New Year’s resolution by trying something new and improving your skills? Why not go on a surf and yoga camp in an exotic location?

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