The world

The best surf destinations: Where to escape Winter

Winter is coming. And don’t we all wanna escape it for just a little bit? Grey rainy days, alarms going off while it’s still dark, and freezing temperatures. Doesn’t sound too appealing right? Well, we got the solution for you! Our favorite surf destinations for this winter where the sun shines, the water still ticks that 20 degrees (or more) and the only alarm you set will be for sunrise surf sessions. Buckle up guys, we’re gonna chase waves and follow the sun!

karma surf retreat sidi kaouki essaouira morocco

Taghazout, Morocco

As Europeans, we might be quite lucky to be in the middle of most destinations ( I know, I know… the earth is round). It might be a long flight to Asia or South America, but it’s all doable. However, how dreamy those far away surf destinations might be, sometimes it’s nice to jump onto that plane and arrive 4 hours later. With winter in full galore, how good is it we have Morocco with an always 25 degrees or more only 4 hours away? It’s not only weather-wise this country is so appealing, but the best waves (especially during our European winter), authentic villages, and beautiful nature make this the perfect surf destination to escape to.

Taghazout is probably the most well-known town for surfing with its coastline covered in surf spots with long rides, steep barrels, and different reefs, beaches, and point breaks. With plenty of surf and yoga retreats in this beach town, this place is your perfect last-minute escape!

Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique

Ponta do Ouro is a true paradise. Just next to the border of South Africa, this little town is all about relaxing, surfing, and good food. There are no roads (so make sure you have a 4×4 ride), there’s no supermarket (just a market where every little stand sells cigarettes, Coca-Cola, and rum), and you can only get cash with a Visa card. A bit challenging maybe, but seriously, this place is all worth it!

ponta do ouro beach view mozambique
swimming dolphins conservancy project ponta do ouro mozambique

Ocean playground

Daily surf sessions, empty beaches (read: white sands, crystal clear blue water, palm trees), and fresh fish for dinner. It’s also the perfect spot for scuba diving and swimming with dolphins. Can it get any better?! They got a conservancy project going on for the dolphin community that’s been living in the area. They will teach you all about those dolphins and will make it possible for you to swim with them (but not in a theme park kind of way, they’re seriously all about protecting them). On a lucky day, you might even be able to spot some whales as well!

Need more reasons to hibernate in Mozambique? Then don’t forget to visit the 360-degree restaurant in Ponta Malongane for stunning views!

hiriketiya bay surfing sri lanka

Hiriketiya Bay, Sri Lanka

If you’re truly depressed during those dark cold winter months, then book a ticket and fly straight to Hiriketiya Bay in Sri Lanka. Make sure you do book a return ticket, otherwise you’ll probably just get stuck there. Hiriketiya ticks all the boxes of a paradise surf destination. So palm trees, white sands, good waves, it’s all part of the deal. This beautiful bay will offer you both beginner and advanced waves and will make you forget that winter is actually a recurring phenomenon.

Looking for a place to stay? Dots Bay House will cover all your needs, including yoga and surf lessons and well-deserved comfort food.

Punta Banco, Costa Rica

Punta Banco is your ultimate getaway fully off the grid. Leave your wetsuit at home and bring loads of sunscreen because the 28-degree waves will keep you warm for sure. This place is well known for its never-ending lefthanders, paradise beaches, and Pura Vida vibes. European Winter means Costa Rican summer offering you super clean mellow waves, clear blue skies, and stunning sunsets. If you’re looking for a bit more power in the waves, make sure to book your trip for March or April, when the swells pick up a bit.

Surf photography in Pavones Costa Rica
Surfer during sunset at Playa Popoyo Nicaragua

Popoyo, Nicaragua

Popoyo got me hooked. Oh my, do I love the waves around here. Right-handers, left-handers, you name it, Popoyo got it. Because of the offshore winds blowing all day long, the waves are glassy and perfect almost every day of the year the whole day through. There are waves for every skill level, ranging from mellow beginner waves to hollow, racey reef breaks or monster barrels. The fact that it isn’t discovered by the crowds just yet, makes this place definitely one of the best surf destinations to hibernate and surf your ass off.

Planning a trip this way? Make sure to check out our Nicaragua Surf Guide.

Surf spot at Simeulue Island Indonesia

Simeulue, Indonesia

A bit of a surfer has heard of the Mentawais at some point in their surfer life. The Mentawais sure are beautiful and have amazing waves, but have been discovered for quite some time now and that’s been filling up the line-up. A few island groups North of the Mentawais you’ll find Simeulue island; just as beautiful, amazing waves, minus the crowds. Not really a beginner spot, but intermediates and advanced can properly skip Winter here trying out the abundance of waves this tiny island has to offer.

Wanna know more? Check out our Simeulue article!

Costeño Beach, Colombia

Since Colombia is based around the equator it doesn’t really matter which time of the year you visit this beautiful country. The sun will be shining any day and the water will always be above 20 degrees. So pack your bags. With Colombia as number 2 on Lonely Planets destinations for 2017, you must be quick before the masses discover this amazing country as well. The waves aren’t the best in the world, but Costeño beach gives you hammocks, good food, empty beaches with palm trees, and the Caribbean vibe.

Check out our Costeño article for more info!

surf destination costeno beach palmtrees colombia

Surf your way through Winter

Getting a little restless already? I hope these surf destinations inspire you a bit and make your winter blues a little less present. Central America, Asia, Africa, you can do a world trip exploring one tropical surf destination after another. If you found your spot, will you send us a postcard?

Love,

Marthe

Surfing at Popoyo Nicaragua

Photos by: M. Barends & J. Roeland©

Privacy Preference Center