August 22, 2007
Long or short, the size of your board doesn't matter - the size of the wave does! So hang ten-as Hostelworld.com, the leading global hostel booking website, unveils its pick for this year's top five surfing hotspots, and find out why France and England are topping the list of the world's best locations to catch a break.
The tide is in and the verdict is out - Hostelworld.com's Top Five Picks:
Portugal offers the best warm water surfing in Europe with over 800km of consistent waves and no shortage of sunshine. It is home to Lisbon, the only European capital that sits on the shore, and that lays claim to one of Portugal's finest surfing beaches, Praia do Guincho.
Praida do Guincho, is a big, beautiful haven for surfers and has become the site of the Surf World Championships. With killer waves and huge breaks, this is no place for beginners! However beginners, don't despair, Lisbon is a hot-bed for surf camps, and for those who like to combine surfing with lively entertainment, it provides a heady cocktail of excellent surf and nightlife for all wave-slaves.
Hostelworld Recommends: Rossio Plaza
Rates start at $28.00 per person/per night
Known as the "Surfing Capital of Ireland" this seaside resort is a also a mecca for surf lovers due to the famous spot known as 'The Peak' at Tullan Strand. The waves here have attracted surfers from all over the world who prefer to enjoy their waves without the crowds.
There are three surf schools in the town who provide lessons with hire equipment. All are ISA approved which means staff are fully qualified surf coaches and lifeguards.
Hostelworld recommends: Turfnsurf Lodge
Rates start at $28 per person/per night
Located along an endless stretch of sandy coastline, Biarritz is a haven for surf lovers from around the world. In 1957, the surfing world discovered the waves of Biarritz which has since become engrained in local culture.
This amazing destination is a year round surfing spot with weather depressions generating regular swells in to the Gulf De Gascongne. The Basque coast offers a variety of waves yielding to almost all conditions. This spot is not to be missed by surf enthusiasts.
Hostelworld recommends: Hotel Ardi Elder
Rates start at $37.00 per person/per night
San Sebastian, Spain
San Sebastian is nestled in the corner where Spain and France meet along the Atlantic coast. As the deep bay of Biscay becomes shallow in a wedge shape and directs the waves straight towards the region, surfers will find the perfect wave-riding conditions. With numerous beaches suited to both beginner and more advanced surfers, San Sebastian provides excellent surfing all year round. The most famous spot for surfers is Playa Zurriola, however if you are learning to surf, the best beach to visit is Playa Ondarreta, where the waves are smaller and the beach is protected by the Santa Clara island.
Try to get there in the late summer when San Sebastian holds Semana Grande, a week filled with concerts, dances, fairs where nightly fireworks display which lights up the bay. If you can't make it in August, make an effort to visit toward the end of September for the 54th San Sebastian Film festival where you can surf by day and mix with the glitterati at night.
Hostelworld recommends - Olga's Place
Rates start at $25.00 per person/per night
San Diego, America
Located on the sunny coast of southern California and the boarder of Mexico, San Diego has long been a surfer's paradise, attracting some of the world's best wave riders to its beaches year-round. The board culture runs deep in San Diego, attracting the world's biggest names in the business including Rusty Surfboards and TransWorld's Surf magazine. After a day of fun in the sun, hit up one of California's many beach-side restaurants known for their wood-fired pizzas or authentic Mexican and Asian cuisine.
Hostelworld recommends; Banana Bungalow
Rates start at $26 per person/per night
Byron Bay, Australia
One of the largest islands in the world, Australia has an abundance of lengthy beaches. Byron Bay is one of the most famous surfing areas in Australia with beaches stretching miles around the Gold Coast including Belongil Beach, Cape Byron, Clarks Beach, Wategos and Little Wategos beach. The selection of beaches in Byron Bay boasts some of the hottest surf spots, especially off the Pass towards the south end of Clarks beach. You might even catch a glimpse of some dolphins while floating on your board. If you're feeling adventurous, head to the most easterly point of Australia's mainland near Cape Byron, the perfect spot to watch the sun rise before an early morning ride on the waves.
Hostelworld recommendation: Byron Bay YHA
Rates Start at $27.00 per person/per night
Hostelworld.com is a leading provider of online reservations to the budget, independent and youth travel market. It offers confirmed online reservations for over 13,000 hostels and budget hotels in 166 countries worldwide. The site also offers budget travellers free podcasts, customised city guides, a travel social network and more. Hostelworld.com is headquartered in Dublin and is fully owned and operated by Web Reservations International Ltd (WRI).