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10 Winter Surfing Destinations You Need to Check Out

by Octavia Drughi

The go-to resource for planning your surf camps. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and take your surfing to new heights.
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If you haven’t already made plans for this winter, 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, the winter months are a great time to score a budget surf trip and avoid the crazy summer crowds.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the best waves roll in during winter. At the same time, it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Whether you’re looking to score some gnarly waves or escape the cold weather in a tropical paradise, we’ve got you covered!

So check out our list of the best winter surfing spots, along with some recommendations of surf camps you can join while there.

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

9 Days Surf Camp for Surfers of All Levels in Tamraght

9 Day Surf Camp for Surfers of All Levels in Taghazout-bay, Tamraght, Agadir

  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From US$728

Have a taste of Moroccan sunshine in the midst of winter at this surf camp in Tamraght that welcomes all levels of surfers. You’ll enjoy 8 days of surfing lessons and daily meals featuring Moroccan & Mediterranean 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$1,064

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, Indonesia


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$248

Wave hunters from around the world are invited to spend their winter holidays in a heavenly tropical paradise at 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: Until October
  • Price: From US$236

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

8-Day Surf Camp in Playa Avellanas


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: US$543

Escape the cold winter and feel the tropical energy of Costa Rica as you surf on some world-class waves in Guanacaste. 

No matter your level, at this surf camp you’ll improve your skills. Professional instructors are ready to answer all your questions.

Ride the best waves, from the beginner-friendly to the most advanced. 

This package also includes yoga lessons, meant to reenergize your mind and body before a day under the sun or help you relax after a thrilling adventure with the waves. 

In addition, you’ll enjoy two daily meals and free access to surfing equipment.



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: All Year Round
  • Price: From US$739

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).


8. Hawaii


Hawaii, the birthplace of modern surfing and a dream holiday destination…you simply cannot come here and not give surfing a whirl. And if you’re already a seasoned surfer, then Oahu and Maui’s north shores should definitely be on your bucket list.

Hawaii is famous for its gnarly reef breaks, the likes of Banzai Pipeline, Haleiwa, Waimea, and Jaws, just to mention a few. But there are spots for all levels all throughout the yar. Plus, its surf culture is without rival.

The Hawaii Islands are exposed to a 360-degree swell window, which makes surfing possible all year round. That said, the surf conditions are different on the south shores compared to the northern ones. 

During winter (October-April), the famous waves on Hawaii's northern shores come to life. This is the best time to surf on Oahu’s legendary North Shore, home to the Seven Mile Miracle, a stretch of coast that’s home to 36 world-class breaks. This is also when Maui's North Shore receives powerful swells.

During this time of year, the southern shores have small and friendly waves, suitable for beginners, but there can be periods with no swell at all.

Thanks to its tropical climate, the water is warm and pleasant all year round. In winter, you can expect an average water temperature of 77°F (25°C).

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Hawaii


Top-rated winter surf camp in Hawaii

7-Day North Shore Surf Camp in Oahu


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From US$4,295

Located at the famous V-Land Beach, this surf camp will give you the chance to ride some of the best waves in the world. Based on your previous experience, the instructors will take you to the best surf post for your level on the North Shore of Oahu. 

You’ll have easy access to Valzyland, Sunset Beach, Pipeline, and Waimea, which have incredible waves for all levels. During your stay, you’ll enjoy daily surf lessons and board hire. There will be one surf lesson in the morning and a second surfing or SUP lesson after breakfast. Daily breakfast, lunch, and snacks are included.


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

7 Day Surf & Yoga Retreat in Magical Santa Catalina


  • Skill level: Beginners & intermediate surfers
  • Availability: February till July
  • Price: From US$1,819

Santa Catalina is a quaint fishing village turned dreamy surf town, with uncrowded beaches and friendly waves that are just perfect for beginners and intermediates. This week-long surf and yoga experience is tailored to beginners and intermediates, offering personalized surf coaching, yoga classes aimed at improving your surfing, and meditation sessions. 

During your stay, there’ll be five progressive surf lessons with ISA certified instructors. There will also be two surf theory lessons, as well as daily yoga classes. All daily meals are included in the price. Boat trips to the secluded beaches of Santa Catalina Island are also included. 


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 (27ºC), 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-Day Yoga & Surf Camp in Weligama


  • Skill level: All levels
  • Availability: All year round
  • Price: From US$448

If you’re looking for a thrilling surf and yoga experience in a tropical destination, this affordable surf camp promises the perfect beach holiday. 

The camp is located in the middle of perhaps the best surfing area in Sri Lanka, right next to the beach in Weligama, a renowned beginner surf spot. There are ten more surf spots within a 10-minute radius. Simply put, you’ll have some of the best beginner and intermediate surf spots in Sri Lanka right at your doorstep.

There’ll be six days of surf lessons and six days of yoga classes. The goal is to get you up and ripping the waves as fast as possible. To make sure of that, each instructor only takes four people out in the water. That way, you are sure to get the personal feedback and tips that guarantee fast progress.


*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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