Where Should You Live If You Want To Ride Powder And Surf?
From California to Japan to Lebanon, you really can have your snow and going surfing too
If, like me, you spend Wednesday afternoons day-dreaming about sipping rum on a Polynesian beach or carving down an untouched face in Japan, then you've come to the right place.
We've all heard of those mythical destinations where you can ride powder in the morning and surf in the afternoon - but where exactly are they?
[part title="California, USA"]
Average House Price: $400,000 USD (£239,000)
Average Snow to Surf Distance: 3.5 hours drive
Let's be honest: who doesn't want to move to California? It's got the perfect combo of world-class surf year round and mountainous regions to get your shred on.
Los Angeles is just two-hours drive from Big Bear, so if the conditions are right you can quite literally ski or snowboard in the morning and surf in the afternoon. Mammoth is about five hours away, but definitely worth the drive.
That's also not forgetting that California is the home of skateboarding, so when the surf is flat you can head to one of the epic parks dotted around the county.
Shaun White comes from California - and he's pretty sick at, well, everything, so that's got to count for something.
[part title="Niseko, Japan"]
Average House Price: Y 50,000 (£292,000)
Average Snow to Surf Distance: 2 hours drive
Did you know that Japan has both waist-deep powder and cruisy beach breaks to surf?
If you want a slice of both, Niseko is perfectly positioned to cater for mountain and beach lovers.
It's tucked up on the north island of Hokkaido with a solid reputation for amazing powder skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
It snows pretty much constantly from December through to May - and locals prefer to stick to the pistes, leaving hundreds of acres of untouched snow for you to ride.
There's dozens of surf breaks within reaching distance - for hardy winter surfers and fair-weather summer sliders.
One of the closet to Niseko is Shioya. Just under two hours drive away, it's a popular beach break, ideal for all levels of surfers. Alternatively, check out Hamaatsuma on the island's south coast.
If you're looking for something a bit more challenging, head over to Rishiri Island by ferry from Wakkanai. There's dozens of perfect point breaks to surf, but it's probably a good idea to get a local guide to show you the ropes.
[part title="Vancouver, Canada"]
Average House Price: $400,000 CAD (£219,000)
Average Snow to Surf Distance: 6 hours drive
If there's one place on earth everyone thinks of when you want to combine beach time with the mountains, it's Vancouver.
Located on the far west coast of Canada, you're just 45 minute drive from the world-renowned powder mecca of Whistler. In the winter, you can ski and snowboard to your heart's content. Come summer, there's a sick array of mountain bike trails to rip up.
For your beach-related needs, there's a few located right in the city. But if you're looking for proper Pacific surf, then catch the ferry to Vancouver Island and drive up to the surf town of Tofino.
[part title="Scotland, UK"]
Average House Price: £160,000
Average Snow to Surf Distance: 4 hours drive
Chilly, I hear you cry? Yes, Scotland isn't exactly California - but it's got surf and snow by the bucket load.
Last season saw some of the most epic snowfall in Scotland for years. Take a look at the photo below to see how much powder covered the Nevis Range earlier this year.
Glenshee, Glencoe and the Cairngorms are notably some of the best places to ride during the winter months. They've got some dedicated local crews that keep the pistes in good nick and know every corner inside out.
Winter also sees some of the best surf in the UK hit northern Scotland, in particular the gnarly right-handed reef break of Thurso produces some perfect barrelling waves when the swell is just right.
Even in the summer, you can head over to the Isle of Lewis and try your hand at surfing the crystal clear waters of the Outer Hebrides.
You will need to watch the charts pretty carefully for both snowfall and surf - as it's not consistent all year round. But when it's good, it's very good.
[part title="Batroun, Lebanon"]
Average House Price: $235,000 USD (£140,000)
Average Snow to Surf Distance: 1.5 hour drive
Lebanon, you say? Another unlikely addition to our list, but its said to have a great mix of surf and snow.
If you're into exploring backcountry terrain and hitting natural features, then the big ski resorts, The Cedars and Faraya, are the places to go.
The majority of the mountain remains untracked even after a heavy dump, so you can be almost guaranteed fresh lines without hauling yourself out of bed for first lifts.
Climb in the car and drive an hour and a half north west, where you'll find the surf town of Batroun.
OK, so the Mediterranean isn't exactly known for its major swells, but they do happen. Keep your eyes on the charts for a storm and 14+ hours of strong winds.
If the surf is flat, you can learn to windsurf, kitesurf or go stand-up paddle boarding with Batroun Water Sports.
[part title="Santiago, Chile"]
Average House Price: $35,000 USD (£20,000)
Average Snow to Surf Distance: 4 hour drive
Chile is another hotspot along the west coast of the Americas for surf and snow lovers.
Valle Nevados is the most well-known ski resort in Chile with 7,000 acres of skiable terrain at well over 9,300ft above sea level.
Wondering why those buildings look so familiar in the picture below? Because the whole resort was built in 1987 and modelled on Les Arcs.
Since it opened, Valle Nevado has grown to become the best resort in South America, thanks to the development of restaurants, bars, a spa and a brand new cable car!
Valle Nevado just a four hour drive from the uncrowded beach of Ritoque and plenty of surf breaks along the coastline.
Ritoque is spectacularly beautiful just to visit for the day, while Punta de Lobos is known for enticing the more experienced surfers with its 6m waves.