Beginner-friendly surf spots in Europe

Embark on a journey through some of Europe’s most beginner-friendly surf spots, where the rolling waves beckon novices to embrace the surfer’s lifestyle.

From the sandy shores of the United Kingdom to the vibrant coasts of France, Spain, and Portugal, this article unveils a curated selection of beaches that are not only perfect for those taking their first steps onto a surfboard but also offer a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry and stunning landscapes of each region.

Whether it’s the user-friendly waves of Widemouth Bay in Devon or the gentle swells of Baleal in Portugal, these destinations promise an unforgettable adventure into the world of surfing, paired with scenic views, local charms, and a welcoming atmosphere for every aspiring surfer. Because that’s how we like it.

United Kingdom

1. Widemouth Bay


In Devon (UK) near Bude, Widemouth Bay is a long stretch of beach that has become the area’s go-to surf school and beginner surfer break due to its variety of peaks and user-friendly walls and is often considered one of the best locales to learn to surf in England.


2. Penhors in Britanny

penhors surf

A great beach to learn and improve your surfing. It has all the facilities like surf school, showers, restaurants, good parking. So yes it can get a little crowded from Britannies perspective, but it’s still okay compared to other more famous surf spots in France.

3. Plage du Ris in Britanny

plage du ris surf

A beach (small bay) with stunning views. Take a close look at the picture beneath. Miles away you can see the beautiful landscape of Britanny. And from this beach you can also see the charming town of Douarnanez. And the waves are gentle. Always better with the push of the tides. But it’s not picking up every swell. So if there’s just a small swell around, you better check Penhors.

4. Les Dunes in the Vendee

les dunes surf

The Vendee, overlooked by many. But why? We really don’t know. Maybe the countryside is not that inviting as Britanny or the Basque Country, but for the surf the Vendee is awesome. It has a lot of reefs, which is good for the shape of the waves. But Les Dunes is all sand bottom with a scattered rock here and there. Mellow waves are on offer here. Multiple campsites nearby.

5. Hendaye in French Basque Country

surf hendaye

The Basque Country is one of the best places to surf in France together with Britanny. At least, that’s what we experienced. All kinds of surf spots for all levels. Hendaye is an easy-going beach and even easier-going waves. When it’s big elsewhere head for this place. You can park directly at the beach side.


6. San Vicente de la Barquera in Cantabria

surf san vicente de la barguera

San Vicente is an authentic Spanish town situated in Cantabria which has views on the snowy mountains of National Park Picos de Europa. The region offers a lot of great surfspots with excellent quality & consistency.

San Vicente is more west orientated. But 5 minutes aways there’s a more east orientated beach aka bay named Oyambre. Which makes it easy to choose the best waves that matches your level.

7. Playa Somo

somo surf

Somo Beach, located on Spain’s North coast, is a beginner-friendly surf haven stretching over 8 km. It welcomes consistent, manageable swells from multiple directions throughout the year, making it an ideal spot for those new to the sport.

The beach features gentle lefts and rights, perfect for novice surfers to practice and improve their skills. Although it’s best at mid to high tides, Somo is accommodating under various conditions. Nearby, you’ll find one of Europe’s most famous surf schools, Escuela Cantabra de Surf, offering lessons and support for beginners. N

estled in a welcoming village with easy access from Santander, Somo provides a supportive environment and all the essentials for a memorable first surf experience. While it’s a popular spot that can get busy in summer, its friendly atmosphere and suitability for all levels make it an excellent choice for beginners eager to catch their first waves in northern Spain.


8. Baleal – Peniche in centre of Portugal


Between Lisbon and Porto. Not very far from Supertubos, one of the heaviest beach breaks in the world you’ll find Baleal, a world-class spot for beginners. You’ll find bigger and smaller waves by moving north or south to the more protected areas with easier sections. And when you feel ready to rise to the next level all you need is to walk a few yards away and test yourself.

Also discover more options for beginners in Portugal.

9. Praia do Amado – southwest Portugal

The quintessential beginners spot in the south of Portugal, Amado was one of the first spots in the country to receive “new surfers” from many European countries on a regular basis. Also a soft mellow wave with many surf schools to choose from, Amado is a beginners dream spot.

10. Mareta in the Algarve

Mareta surf

Mareta Beach in Sagres, nestled among stunning cliffs and near a historic fortress, is not just a surf spot but a family-friendly beach ideal for swimming and sunbathing. It’s easily accessible with ample free parking and offers dining options right on the beach. While known for its mellow vibe, Mareta can surprise with its waves when the south swells come in, offering gentler, beginner-friendly surf conditions compared to the more intense west coast. However, these waves can still pack a punch on bigger days, so it’s good to stay informed about the tides and seek advice if you’re new to surfing here.

11. Praia do Sul in Lisbon Region (Portugal)

Praia do Sul, a stunning beach near Ericeira, is just a short walk from local accommodations and offers a variety of surf breaks suitable for different skill levels. While the beach is more favorable with bigger swells, beginners have options too.

Toward the middle of the beach, there’s Furnas, a spot with gentler waves perfect for those just starting out or looking to practice in milder conditions. While the north side features Pico do Futuro, a spot for advanced surfers, beginners might want to stick to the more forgiving central areas.

Occasionally, the south end of the beach also offers a nice left-hand wave, providing another option for novice surfers to catch some rides.


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