At Family Surf Co. we put in a lot of legwork to ensure we discover the best places for family surfing holidays. So all you have to do is live to the beat of the waves and feel the sand between your toes. Our company was born from our lifestyle and our passion for surfing. We’ve travelled the globe with our own tribes of mini surfers from the ages of 10 months to 10 years, so we’ve got a pretty good idea what’s needed to make beach life a breeze on your surfing holidays.
We’ve handpicked accommodation where you can yo-yo between the surf and luxury lodgings. The sort of placed that you can enjoy excellent family facilities on tap, tee up surf tuition or guiding, and experience the food, culture and beach life, whilst also enjoying time out to relax.
Here are 5 of our top locations for family surfing holidays in spring… And don’t just take our word for it – our surfing tribe pipes up to say what’s great about them, too…
RIDE RESORT & SPA, Baleal, Peniche
Action, style and relaxation merge seamlessly at this family surf and spa resort. As well as a surf academy, high-tech kit and a shuttle to the best waves of the day, there’s a skate academy and skate park, slack line, swimming pool, bouldering wall and games areas. Our tribe loved catching up on the latest surf flicks in the chill out lounge between activities, or playing table football, air hockey, snooker and table tennis. Meanwhile the grown-ups stretched out in yoga sessions, steamed in the Turkish bath and sampled contemporary Portuguese cuisine with a glass of vino branco. All this is enough to keep any family stoked – and parents can even grab some me-time for a solo surf or dinner out by making the most of the babysitting service.
“This is my favourite resort in Portugal because there’s always something to do. There’s a slack line, climbing wall, skateboards and ramps, a warm outdoor pool and bikes for getting around on. I loved playing air hockey and arcade games and slept really well in my huge bunk bed with a blackout blind. ” – says 9 year-old Leo
THE LOWDOWN: Double Ride Room with a Queen-size bed and two large bunk beds, from £1,100 per week in April (including breakfast, yoga, gym, Turkish spa, skate park, bouldering wall, slack line). 3-day surfing packages including all equipment and transport, £95).
TRAVEL: Fly to Lisbon, from where it’s a 1-hour drive/ transfer.
Watergate Bay Hotel, nr Newquay
Nowhere tees up family surfing and beach-chic accommodation quite like Watergate Bay Hotel. Here you’ve got surf in/ surf out access, a surfing and watersports academy, and flawless facilities for all ages from tots to teens. As well as an Ofsted-registered crèche and kids zone for up to seven year-olds, there are supervised activities for older kids. So grown-ups can take time out to enjoy the waves without the whole tribe in tow. Or you might prefer to simply bubble in the hot tub, dip in the indoor infinity pool, steam in the sauna, or sink into an armchair with a cocktail. When evening comes and you have finally exhausted the pitter-patter of sandy feet and hung your wetsuits in the drying room, rig up a complimentary baby monitor system, or book a private babysitter and choose which beachside restaurant to wine and dine in.
“Watergate Bay is my favourite surf break in Cornwall and the hotel is amazing. There are hot showers for after your surf, and the swimming pool is awesome as it’s really long and you can watch the waves from it. I love the breakfast buffet and lush sea views, and enjoyed hanging out with my brothers in the games room, where we played pool, X-box and chilled out on the beanbags. Our bedroom was really comfy and mum could put us to bed and keep an eye on us with a video monitor from the restaurant.” – says 10 year-old Oli
THE LOWDOWN: From £2,135 per week for a standard family suite in March, breakfast included. Surf lessons from £35 (minimum age 8).
TRAVEL: Fly to Newquay Cornwall airport, from where it’s a 5-minute drive/ taxi.
Mullins Grove, Mullins, St Peter’s
If you want the flexibility and privacy of self-catering, yet with hotel service, then you can’t really outdo these swanky apartments on the doorstep of a dreamy beach with a decent reef break. Step out of your designer pad with open-plan living, a pool and a spacious balcony, and hit the white-sands. There are plenty of palm trees for tots to shade under, while older kids will love making a splash on the inflatable water park if they’re not ready for the paddle out to the reef break. Rest assured that whatever your level of surfing, the excellent Bodie’s Surf School will pick you up and take you to the best waves for your ability. And if you’re not the surfer of the family there are some tranquil coves for snorkelling with turtles and dipping your toes in the Caribbean Sea.
“Barbados is an awesome destination for a family surf holiday. I’m not the keenest surfer in my family, but I loved swimming with turtles and spent loads of time on the beach while Dad hit the longboard spots and a few more challenging breaks on the west coast.” – says 12 year-old Mia
THE LOWDOWN: 2-bedroom luxury apartment sleeping 4, from £2,310 per week in March/ April. Surf lessons with Bodie’s School of Surf.
TRAVEL: 45 minutes’ transfer from Grantley Adams International Airport
Lion’s Rest, Coconuts, Gurubebila, nr Weligama
Yoga, surfing and relaxation are top of the agenda in this tropical oasis beside Coconuts and Plantations surf breaks. If you’re not tempted into the surf from sunrise to sunset, you can sit and watch on the village green, stretch out in a yoga session or chill out on a hammock by the pool. The reef breaks in front of your retreat aren’t great for younger children, but it’s only 2km to the mellow, sandy-bottomed waves of Weligama, which are perfect for beginners. Lion’s Rest has two private tuk-tuks to take you to other nearby spots including the famous Lazy Left and the more challenging Rams. And you won’t miss out on Sri Lanks’a cultural gems – you can head off on an elephant safari, whale watching and visit the heritage city of Galle.
“My four-year old loved getting a fresh coconut and watching his Dad surf. I’d take in turns with my husband, getting up early for a sunrise yoga session or surf, and in the evenings we’d stroll along the shoreline to a little cove for a family swim. In the heat of the day we’d chill out in the pool or in the hammocks. We also loved the seafood barbecue and our son Jago enjoyed learning to surf on the smaller waves at Weligama.” – says mum Frances
THE LOWDOWN: A large family room with 2 king-size beds and sea views, from £1,462 per week in Feb/ Mar. Breakfast included.
TRAVEL: About 2.5-3 hours transfer from Colombo International Airport.
Malibu Popoyo, Popoyo
This boutique surf resort is infused with Latin American style, whilst offering everything you need for a luxurious, adventurous, all-inclusive family surfing holiday. Individually designed rooms boast indoor gardens, interconnecting doors in family suites. And your private sanctuary comes with easy access to the swimming pool, restaurant/ bar and yoga studio. Make the most of transportation and guiding to the best surf spots for you and your family, and take surfing lessons from the local experts. You can even rent some of the world’s best surfboards, so you can travel light and leave yours at home. Fuel up on the finest ingredients plucked from the ocean and the neighbouring organic farm, sip cocktails at sunset and reconnect with your family and a soulful way of life.
“The family rooms with adjoining doors are perfect. The pool has a wading area for tots, there are lovely beaches nearby where the kids can play in the surf and there’s even a dedicated grom board rental area. There’s also childcare available so I could head off and experience some of the more challenging reef breaks while the kids were looked after.” – says mum Celine
THE LOWDOWN: Two-level loft suite sleeping a family of 4, with a Queen-size bed and twin beds, from £2,150 per week in March. Including a full meal plan, daily yoga class and unlimited surf guiding/transportation. 3-hour surfing lessons $80pp.
TRAVEL: Fly to SJO Costa Rica and get a domestic flight to ECI (2 hours), from where it’s a 10-minute transfer.