Best Surf Escapes this Winter

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If you live in a place that has to endure a cold winter, the need to escape to a more temperate climate and hit the waves can be overwhelming. This feeling can be especially powerful if you live in a place that rarely has the kind of waves you dream of riding. Here are the best surf escapes to add to your travel list this winter.

Queensland, Australia

If you plan on spending your winter vacation in the water, hit the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia. Most of the beaches are monitored by professional lifeguards and have waves that will appeal to a wide range of skill levels, making it the perfect spot for rookies and pros alike.

Rainbow Bay is one of the spots on the Gold Coast that will appeal to newcomers. You can even make it a family affair by booking a group lesson at Cooltanga Learcn to Surf. Burleigh Heads is the prime spot for more experienced surfers, with three breaks that make for an amazing ride.

According to HotelsCombined accommodation prices tend to rise during this time of year due to the popularity of the Gold Coast as a winter surfing destination, so make sure you book your hotel sooner rather than later.


When most people think of Peru, they think of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. However, Northern Peru has stunning beaches with a killer surf. Remember, when it is winter north of the equator it is summer south, so remember to bring a lot of drinking water and sunscreen with you when hitting the beach in Peru. The water is surprisingly cool compared to the air; don’t let it fool you.

Playa Chicama has the longest left-breaking wave in the world, making it popular for newcomers and pros. Lobito has a consistent left break that reaches up to ten feet, and smaller swells perfect for amateurs.

While flights to Peru are often costly, accommodations in Peru are extremely affordable. It’s not uncommon to find a penthouse suite in a Peruvian hotel for the same prices you’d pay for a regular room in Europe or North America.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are comparative to Hawaii in terms of surfing. Fuerteventura--also known as “The Rock”--on the north shore is a popular surf destination. Unlike many other beaches in the Canary Islands, the sand here is powdery and yellow rather than black.

Playa Morro is known for its calmer waves, creating a leisurely ride into shore for newcomers and pros looking to relax. For a more extreme experience, visit Playa Cotillo for huge, crashing waves. The Acid Drop and the Bubble are two breaks that are famous in the Canary Islands and with well-traveled surfers around the world.

Hotels around the Canary Islands vary in price, so there are numerous options available for both luxury and budget travelers.

British Columbia

British Columbia in Canada is known for its extremely active lifestyle. Whistler mountain is a prime snowboarding spot, while Tofino offers an amazing surfing experience year round. While the mountains tend to dominate the winter sporting lifestyle, surfers still flock to the waves in the winter. Remember to invest in the right gear, as the temperature hovers around freezing.

Winter offers the best swell in Tofino, particularly at Chesterman Beach and Long Beach. Chesterman Beach, in particular, is a great spot for beginners to learn how to catch the waves or for experienced surfers who want to ease themselves into the cooler climate.

Tofino is a surf town, with plenty of places to eat and sleep for all price ranges. Flights within Canada can be expensive, so budget accordingly if you plan on stopping anywhere else.

The options for winter surfing are endless, as many northern locations experience larger swells during the cooler months. Meanwhile, southern locations are experiencing summer weather, making them ideal escapes for those sick of the cold. Don’t let the winter get in the way of your next ride on the waves.

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