Back in 2016 we came across a blue Volkswagen van in Portugal. We took a picture and posted it on Instagram with the caption: “One day…”. I dreamed about a surf road trip through Europe for a long time. Doing it in a Volkswagen camper van was definitely high up on the bucket list. Little did we know that ‘one day’, arrived a few weeks ago!  

So, we got the chance to go on a surf road trip across Europe with Roadsurfer! Roadsurfer offers all types of camper vans and motor homes for all your off the beaten track surf adventures. All you gotta do is show up with your boards, wetsuit (hello, surfing Europe) and some fresh clothes, and you’re good to go on an adventure of a lifetime. We had our eyes set on the Atlantic Coast for this trip. Because, what’s better than waves for days, fresh croissants for breakfast, and stunning Galician coastlines? Right, nothing! 

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What you need to know beforeembarking on your surf road trip

Before going on your surf road trip across Europe, there are a few practical things you need to keep in mind. In general, we don’t like planning our trips, but sometimes a bit of a plan comes in handy. Especially, when you’re just like us a rookie in terms of ‘vanlife’.

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Wild camping

Wild camping is not allowed in France and Spain. However, there’s some wiggle space here. You are allowed to park and put your roof up in most parking lots, as long as you’re not leaving anything (chairs/table/complete camp setup) outside and causing any nuisance. If that’s all a bit too adventurous for you, there are many campgrounds and special parking spots for camper vans. Definitely download the app ‘Campercontact’ to find spots during your road trip.

Toll ways

Driving through France and Spain? Be prepared for toll roads. Driving from The Netherlands we were up to almost a €100 of toll on our way to Hossegor/Biarritz in France. If you’re road tripping Spain’s coastal road you can avoid most toll roads, keeping the costs low. 

Pack light

There's very limited space in your camper van, so packing light is essential. We didn't pack light (hello, two camera gear bags, surf gear, AND suitcases), and we were constantly moving our stuff around when we wanted to cook or drive away. Roadsurfer can arrange basically anything you need, so all you need to bring is your surf board and some warm clothes for chilly nights.

The Ultimate Surf Road Trip Itinerary

There are many great spots to be found all over Europe, but if you’re going on a surf road trip, there’s one route you definitely need to follow. From the hollow tubes in Hossegor, to the city beaches of San Sebastián, Spain’s best wave in Mundaka, and the unspoiled beaches and uncrowded waves in Galicia. This is where we’ll take you!

First stop: Hossegor | Les Landes

We have visited Hossegor many times before, and we keep coming back to this wave magnet. There are so many waves on offer here, ALL YEAR long. Even in summer, when the swell is obviously smaller, you can still find many spots that work up some decent waves. Exploring the coastlines of Hossegor’s surroundings with a camper van is actually the best way to do it. There are many camp spots available, ranging from very basic to more luxurious campgrounds.

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: parking at Plage des Casernes
  • Camper van parking: Aire Camping-Car Park de Seignosse
  • Camping: Les Chevreuils 
Surf spots:
  • La Graviere: Hossegor’s most famous spot and definitely not for the faint-hearted. This is an expert only spot with its steep, hollow, and fast tubes.
  • Le Sud: If you’re a beginner, Le Sud is your safest bet for a more forgiving surf session. It’s also quite a mellow wave, making it attractive for longboarders.
  • Le Nord: this is Hossegors big wave spot which can hold up to 6 meter. Definitely an expert spot only as well.
  • Seignosse: honestly, this is my favorite spot. There are multiple peaks here, offering you more forgiving waves than Le Nord and La Graviere, but a bit more challenging ones than Le Sud. Le Penon is perfect for intermediates and more advanced surfers.

The good thing about surfing France, is that there are so many good after surf treats. From fresh croissants for breakfast at L’Autre Endroit or big breakfast plates at Pacific Coast Cafe, to yummy lunches at Spot Palace and typical French dinners at Le Bistro Balneaire: you will be spoiled. Want a more extensive guide about Hossegor’s surf spots and places to eat? Make sure to check out our Hossegor Guide!

Plage les Casernes in Hossegor

Biarritz | Pays Basque

Beautiful Biarritz can’t be missed during your surf road trip through Europe. The good thing about Biarritz is that it combines all the good things France has to offer in one town. All year consistent surf, good wines, good food, the ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’ looks, and stunning beaches. While most of the French towns along the Atlantic are little holiday towns, Biarritz gives you city vibes with a holiday touch. The surf in Biarritz is definitely more crowded than all the other towns in Les Landes. But you know what they say; the early bird gets the worm. Go for the sunrise and sunset sessions to avoid the (surf school) crowds. Even though Biarritz isn’t really camper van friendly, there are a few options for you to park your home on wheels within walking distance of the town’s center and surf.

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: is definitely not allowed here. There are regularly check-up’s if you’re parked with a van here.
  • Campervan parking: there are two options to park your camper van in Biarritz during your surf road trip. Either Motor Home Aire Millady, which is closest to town. Or Aire de Camping Car which is further away, but nicer with more green and quietness. Far from the surf though.
  • Camping: Biarritz Camping. Relatively close to town, but it’s a very busy camping with small spots. Also, dogs are not allowed.
Surf spots:
  • Le Grande Plage: it’s an exposed beach break with both left and right handers. Doesn’t offer much surf over summer, but can work well all the other months of the year. It’s a crowded spot, though.
  • Côte des Basques: during low tide this can be a fun spot for beginners and longboarders as it offers long, mellow rides. With high tide, however, it gets more challenging, so avoid surfing here then. For a fun surf here without any risks (read: tens of surf schools); make sure to catch the sunset and sunrise sessions.
  • Le Miramar: more of an intermediate/advanced spot, as it offers hollower and steeper waves than the other spots in town.

Planning a trip to Biarritz? Make sure to check out our Biarritz Guide!

San Sebastián | Basque Country

San Sebastián, our favorite city in Europe! A surf road trip isn’t complete without at least three nights in this cool place. The city is not really camper van friendly, so we would suggest booking a hotel or Airbnb for a few nights to properly enjoy it. San Sebastián is all about surfing, good food, good wines, and the typical Southern European outdoor living. Believe us, you wouldn’t be the first that gets hooked here.

The good thing about San Sebastián is, that it’s not just a beautiful city with lots of things to do, but it also has a surf beach right in town. It’s not the most reliable spot on the Basque Coast, and it does get pretty crowded when it works. But hey, who doesn’t like an early morning surf session before a day of city exploring? The surf is best to be enjoyed from September till May.

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: definitely not allowed. Regular check-ups and fines here.
  • Camper van parking: Autokarabanak Paseo de Berio. It is about 4 km from the city centre of San Sebastián, but public transport is well arranged. Get here early in the morning, though, as it fills up quick.
  • Camping: only available outside San Sebastián. Wecamp south of the city or Camping Oliden north of town are worth checking out.
Surf spots:
  • Zurriola: San Sebastián’s main surf beach is Playa Zurriola. It’s a nice A-frame beach break, offering lefts and rights. There’s not much going on in summer, but the rest of the year it’s a fun intermediate wave. Does get very crowded.
  • La Concha: only works outside the summer months, and it needs quite a bit of swell to work. When it works, it’s a good spot for beginners.

As there are so many spots to eat and stay, San Sebastián obviously requires its own guide to share it all. So make sure to check out our Ultimate San Sebastián Guide when visiting this beautiful city!

View over San Sebastian in Spain

Mundaka | Basque Country

Mundaka is known for having the best wave in Spain. What makes this wave so special, you might think? This firing left hander can produce fast rides of over 200 meters, giving you perfect deep barrels and spaghetti legs by the end of it. It’s definitely not an easy wave due to strong rips, steep take-offs and the speed of the wave, so mostly suitable for good intermediates and advanced surfers. But even if you’re learning the ropes of surfing, Mundaka is worth visiting. Due to its location at the entry of a sanctuary, nature if absolutely stunning around here and there are many (surf) beaches around to explore.

And are you, just like us, a Game of Thrones fan? Then make sure to check out Gaztelugatxe when you’re not surfing. You might be invited for tea with Daenerys Targaryen at Dragon Stone.

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: official not allowed, neither did we find a good spot.
  • Camper van parking: no official sites.
  • Camping: camping Portuondo. Might be our favorite camping of this trip! It’s quiet and green, super friendly staff, and the facilities clean and new.
Surf spots:
  • Mundaka: world-famous, yes. A bit fickle, as well. When it works, it’s an absolutely firing, fast, hollow wave that lasts for a few hundred meters. It does need the perfect conditions to do so, however. Best around low tide with a NW swell and south wind.
  • Laga: this wave is a lot more forgiving than Mundaka. Therefore, way more suitable for beginners and intermediates. It’s a bit of a drive from Mundaka itself, but the views will be worth it!
Surfers at Mundaka wave in Spain

Playa de Loredo & Playa de Somo | Cantabria

While you’re making your way down the coast, stopping at Loredo and Somo can be a whole lot of fun. These two towns share a big bay that’s spilling waves all year long. Though summers are small and crowded with surf schools and beginners, the rest of the year this place might surprise you. The town of Somo is a proper surf town, while Loredo is a bit smaller and low-key. Both towns, however, are directly situated at the long stretch of golden sand beach that goes on for about 8 km.

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: there are different parking spots close to the beach
  • Camper van parking: Area de Somo
  • Camping: camping Derby Loredo has the best location right at the beach. Facilities aren’t the best and there’s very little shade to find.
Surf spots:
  • Somo: a sheltered beach break that has some of the most reliable surf in Spain. It’s very beginner-friendly, but also has a few more challenging peaks. Somo can be surfed during all tides, ideally with a NNW swell direction.
  • Loredo: as Loredo is even more sheltered than Somo, the waves are even more mellow and beginner-friendly. You might have some flat days during summer here.

Playa Oyambre | Cantabria

The surroundings of Playa Oyambre are reason enough to visit this place. The rolling hills, big beaches, and epic views wherever you are, are all postcard material. Add some very fun waves all year long, and you’ll understand why we’ve been returning here a few times already. It’s also a great spot for camping as there are many options, ranging from wild camping at a farmer’s land with hardly any facilities (but epic views) to campings with anything you could basically wish for. Most of these spots are only footsteps from the beach, so that’s definitely a bonus as well!

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: the best spot is parking at a farmer’s land for €10 per night. Drive down the road passing the La Guerra bars towards the end of the cliffs.
  • Camper van parking: there’s no official spot, as most park spots don’t allow overnight stays.
  • Camping: Oyambre beach camping. Ask for the ‘surfer spot’ to set up camp on the little field above the beach (MUCH nicer than the campground itself). Gets busy here starting June to September, so book ahead in these months. 
Surf spots:
  • Playa Oyambre: a great beginner and longboarder spot as the waves are mellow and pretty consistent. Ideal conditions are with upcoming tide, with a NW swell and SW wind.
  • San Vicente de la Barquera: San Vicente is a bit more exposed than Oyambre and therefore, offers a more reliable beach break. This also makes the spot more crowded. The wave works best during low tide, with a NW swell and SE wind.

While staying in the area, make sure to visit La Ostrería de San Vicente for delicious seafood with ocean views and El Rayo Verde at La Gerra for sundowners!

Playa de Esteiro | Galicia

You’ve made it to Galicia! This is where the real fun begins. Galicia is well known for its unspoiled nature, waves, and great cuisine and wines, and all of that without the masses of holiday crowds. We walked empty beaches, surfed empty waves, and had sunset picnics at the most amazing viewpoints all by ourselves. It’s also the place where you’ll definitely need to start using a 4’3 or 5’4 wetsuit and might wanna bring some booties.

Your first stop in this beautiful part of Spain should certainly be Playa de Esteiro. The area is absolutely stunning and gives you a real taste of the remoteness Galicia has to offer. There are many beautiful beaches like Playa de Esteiro, Playa Caolin, and Playa de Bares. There are also many hiking trails on offer to explore the surroundings. As the area is quite remote, there are no campings around. Though wild camping is officially prohibited, you’ll see many people doing it outside the holiday season.

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: parking at Playa de Esteiro for surfing, or parking at the cliffs of Praia do Picon for epic views. Look up “el Banco mas bonito del Mundo” in Google. 
  • Campervan parking: no official spot. If you need to get water or need to get rid of your waste; gas stations would be your best bet.
  • Camping: there are no campings close by. But if wild camping isn’t your cup of tea, you might want to consider spending a few nights at the Banana Longboard House.
Surf spots:
  • Playa de Esteiro: a consistent beach break that works almost the whole year through, offering both left and rights.
  • Praia Sarridal: another fairly consistent beach break with both left and right handers. It won’t work all year long, though; the best time to visit is either spring or autumn.
Surfing at Playa Esteiro in Galicia in Spain

Pantín & Praia de Doniños | Galicia

If you go surfing in Galicia, you most probably have already heard about Pantín. It’s the most well known spot in this area, and not without reason. Because of its almost perfect location, it picks up any swell coming through, giving you waves for days all year long. It is definitely no beginner break, so if you’re not an intermediate + or advanced surfer, I’d recommend checking out Praia de Baleo. Another great spot for all levels would be Praia de Doniños. This long stretch of golden sand beach has different peaks along it. It offers multiple A-frames with better lefts than rights.

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: parking at Praia de Doniños & left up on the cliff of Pantín both offer stunning views and are footsteps from the surf breaks
  • Camper van parking: Aparcamiento autocaravanes at Praia de Doniños. Limited spots available, so be here early.
  • Camping: there are not many campings available in Galicia. The closest one to both spots is A Lagoa in Valdoviño. Not the most charming camping spot, but it has all the facilities you need and was recently renovated. 
Surf spots:
  • Pantín: due to its reputation, this spot can get crowded. Works best with a NW swell and SE winds. Can be surfed during all tides, but best with low tide and upcoming tide.
  • Praia de Baleo: this spot is more sheltered than Pantín and therefore a little more forgiving. It’s a beach break with both left and right handers that works best around low tide.
  • Praia de Doniños: a very popular spot, so this one can get crowded as well, especially on weekends and holidays. Nevertheless, a great beach break with multiple peaks that work all year through.

Make sure to stop by Chiringuito Doniños after your surf session for a well deserved cup of coffee, ice-cream, or ice-cold beer!

Praia do San Xurxo | Galicia

White sands and crystal clear blue waters; Praia do San Xurxo is your Galician paradise. One of the prettiest surf beaches around with the best water quality as there are no river mouths. The waves are mellow here, so it’s a good spot for beginners, longboarders, and intermediates. When the wind picks up, this spot attracts a lot of kite surfers, windsurfers, and wing foils.

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: there are multiple parking lots next to the beach of San Xurxo which are suitable for wild camping. Especially the spot close to Club Ferrolvento is popular. Again, officially not allowed, so wouldn’t recommend it in high season.
  • Camper van parking: there’s no official spot at San Xurxo, but there’s one at the next beach of Praia de Doniños.
  • Camping: Camping As Cabazas is situated at the northern end of the beach. It’s an expensive camping with basic facilities, but you can’t beat the location of it.
Surf spots:
  • Praia do San Xurxo: an exposed beach and point break, offering waves all year long. It needs a SE wind and a NW swell, but will turn into kite surfer paradise when the winds are strong. It’s a popular spot, so can get pretty crowded when the swell is good and over the weekends.
Praia do San Xurxo in Galicia Spain

A Coruña | Galicia

A Coruña, our final stop during this surf road trip through Europe! This surprisingly pleasant city is a nice change of scenery after all the rugged nature and secluded beaches we’ve visited. Back to civilization after a few weeks of living the simple surf life in our Roadsurfer camper van. The good thing about A Coruña is that it even has a surf beach, so we didn’t have to say goodbye to early morning surf sessions just yet. Besides that it has a beautiful old city center, delicious food, and the longest promenade you’ll probably find in Europe.

Like any other city we have visited during this trip, A Coruña isn’t really camper van friendly either. The closest camping is outside of town, and overnight parking facilities are either far away or not easy to find. Nevertheless, A Coruña is a cool city to visit, even just for a day trip!

Camp spots:
  • Wild camping: official not allowed, neither did we find a good spot.
  • Camper van parking: parking lot at the Tower of Hercules.
  • Camping: the closest camping to A Coruña is Camping Bastiagueiro. Facilities are old, the price quite high, but the location close to the beach is pretty nice.
Surf spots:
  • Praia de Riazor & Praia do Orzán: the city beaches have quite the backdrop for your surf session. Best conditions can be found with a NW swell and offshore winds from the south. Like any other city surf break; it gets crowded here, including lots of inexperienced surfers.

Galicia is well known for their seafood, and if there’s one place you should sample it, it’s in A Coruña. We got the most delicious octopus and tuna empanadas at Ultramarinos Casa del Rio and can highly recommend visiting A Pulpeira de Melide for a seafood lunch with a cold glass of Galician Albariño.

A taste for more surf road trips

This was our first-ever van life experience. Did it disappoint? Absolutely not! We loved waking up in different spots every single morning and getting to live outside from sunrise till sunset. Europe is such a great place for a surf road trip basically any time of the year! There are so many surf spots to choose from, the camp facilities are in general really good, and it’s such a great way to explore off the beaten track areas like Galicia.

We are sold. And what do you think… wanna hit the road?



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views during surf road trip in Spain


Do you rather look at images than reading stories? No worries, we have a short recap of everything you need to know about our surf road trip through France and Spain below.

Camper van

Wanna bring your road trip to the next level? Then rent a camper van or motor home via Roadsurfer!

Best camping

Our favorite camping spot was definitely Portuondo in Mundaka. The campground was nice and quiet, lots of greenery around, and great showers.

Best time to visit

For a surf road trip we'd recommend visiting either in spring or autumn. The waves will be better, the crowds less, and the weather still absolutely beautiful.

Roadsurfer van during surf road trip at Playa Pantin in Galicia

Road trip music

What's a road trip without a good playlist? We got the perfect one for you!

Best food

Food wise, you won't be disappointed during this whole road trip. From Biarritz, to San Sebastián to Galicia, it is foodie heaven. Our favorites? Pulpeira de Melide in A Coruña, La Ostreria de San Vicente in San Vicente de la Barquera, Ganbara in San Sebastián, and Maison Adam in Biarritz.

Best beach

The most beautiful beaches can definitely be found in Galicia. Our favorites? Praia Santa Comba and Praia do Xan Xorxe.

Photos by: J. Roeland & M. Barends©

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