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8 Of The Best Surf Destinations In The World

8 Of The Best Surf Destinations In The World

March 18, 2020

Are you on the hunt for the best surf destination in the world?

There are so many incredible places to surf all across the globe! It might even become a lifelong quest to find the spots with the perfect swells. 

Here is a round-up of 8 of the best places to surf in the world. 

Whether you are a beginner and just want to learn or you are a pro there is a place in this list for you.

1. Portugal

Portugal is arguably the best destination in Europe for surfing and should definitely be on your list! The coastline boasts impressive surf spots from the north to the south thanks to the cool swells coming in from the Atlantic Ocean.

To top this Portugal on its own is an amazing place to visit with hot Meditteranean weather, delicious food and buzzing culture. Not to mention it is the most pocket-friendly country in Western Europe.

In the north, you can visit Viana Do Castelo which is a gorgeous seaside village. The main surf spot here is called Cabedelo Beach which has waves great for beginners and intermediate surfers.

In central Portugal, you can visit the world-famous surf spot of Nazare. Nazare is a big wave destination and is home to the ‘biggest wave ever surfed’. This spot is only suitable for very advanced surfers or spectators. There is an annual WSL Big Wave Challenge in Nazare which draws in huge crowds each year.

A great spot to go surfing in the south of Portugal is Sagres. This coastline has a variety of swells in different directions and plenty of protection from the wind. This spot is really popular with travellers so has many options for surf schools and camps. 

surf destinations

2. The North Island- New Zealand

The North Island in New Zealand is filled with epic surfing spots. The west coast and the east coast both offer a variety of top surf destinations. The ocean in New Zealand is chilly even in summer. So pack a wetsuit, hire a van and set off around the North Island in search of the perfect wave!

The beaches of Piha and Muriwai on the west coast about 40 minutes from Auckland are great places to surf. The Tasman Sea is wild and so these spots are better for intermediate to advanced surfers.

surf destinations

Raglan is another amazing town on the West Coast in the Waikato, which offers great surf and even better vibes. The beaches on the west coast of New Zealand also have incredible clifftop views and unforgettable sunsets. In summer these places are buzzing with travellers, making them the perfect spots to hang 10!

The east coast of New Zealand is famous for its white sand, blue water and sweeping bays. It is much calmer than the wild west but still has plenty of swells rolling in, perfect for people learning how to surf. So wake up before dawn and enjoy catching some waves as the sun comes up. Mangawhai Heads has great surf breaks and Tutukaka Bay near Whangarei heads is a famous spot for surfing competitions. 

surf destinations

Further down the East Coast in Gisborne, you can find plenty of famous surf beaches. Gisbourne is the Easternmost point of New Zealand with good swells from the North and the South. Wainui beach is the most popular surf beach in the Gisborne area with good surf all year round, especially on the southern tip of the beach.

3. Siargao- Philippines

Siargao is a small, idyllic tropical island in the Philippines. In recent years it has been gaining popularity as a top surf destination in Asia with more young surfers flocking here each year. The island is remote and with little infrastructure, but that is all starting to change as more businesses start setting up shop in this tropical paradise.

Siargao has perfect surfing conditions for both beginners and advanced surfers with breaks dotted around the island. The most famous spot for surfing in Siargao is world-renowned Cloud 9. Cloud 9 close to the most developed part of the island making it the perfect spot to take up surfing.

surf destinations

Other great surf spots on the island are Jacking Horse, Mamon Island, Tuason's Point, Pacifico and Stimpy’s. Mamon Island and Stimpy’s are only accessible by boat. Otherwise, grab a surfboard, jump on your scooter and hunt out the best surf break on the island.

4. Bali

There is a reason why so many people love to visit Bali. Bali is a tropical paradise in Indonesia, there are so many incredible things to do in Bali and one of them is surfing! It is a mecca for surfing in Asia.

Canggu is the perfect coastal town to base yourself out of. It is buzzing with travellers on a yoga and surf kick, has great nightlife and is home to some of the best vegan cafes in the world. If you are a beginner there are loads of options for surf lessons in Canggu to help you get on your feet.

surf destinations

Uluwatu is another epic spot for surfing in the south of Bali. It is more chilled out then places like Canggu and has some unreal scenery to enjoy. Uluwatu has wild beaches and the biggest swells in Bali so it is best for more experienced surfers. Surf spots in Uluwatu include Padang Padang Beach, Dreamland Beach and Bingin Beach.

surf destinations

Medewi is a great spot for surfing in Bali that is less crowded due to its isolation about 2.5 hours out of Denpasar. It is home to the longest left-hander wave in Bali! Medewi is the perfect spot for a surfing day trip. Just bring your bootings because the reef here can be pretty sharp.

5. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is another up and coming hot spot for surfing in the world. There are epic beaches dotted along the West, South and East coast for surfing. You can find a spot in Sri Lanka throughout the year that is great for surfing.

On the West Coast you can surf as the sun goes down in the beachside town of Hikkaduwa. Going further along the south coast Weligama is one of the best places in the world to learn how to surf. It’s teaming with surf camps like Elsewhere Surf Camps, trendy cafes and incredible nightlife.

Other amazing spots along the south for surfing include Midigama, Mirissa, Madiha and Hiriketiya. On the east coast, Aragum bay is the best spot to surf, chill and live the island life.

surf destinations

All of the beaches in Sri Lanka are lined with coconut trees with perfectly tropical blue seas and spectacular sunsets. You might even find yourself surfing with turtles!

Sri Lanka is not only great for surfing. It is great for spotting wildlife like blue whales in Mirissa or elephants on a safari in Udawalawe. Hike through beautiful mountains and chase waterfalls in Ella, explore tea plantations and catch the world-famous Ella to Candy train.

6. Mexico

The coastline of Mexico is filled with beautiful sandy beaches and clear blue waters. There are also many incredible spots to catch some waves before enjoying a few Coronas! 

Ensenada in Baja California is a great spot for surfing. It is close to the border with the United States so attracts surfers from around the world. San Miguel Beach is the best spot for more advanced surfers with big swells and consistent breaks. The water can be cold especially in winter which coincides with the best waves, so pack your wetsuit and get to this spot for a winter surf getaway.

Sayulita is a local favourite and hippie hotspot for beachside raves. It is also one of the best surfing destinations in Mexico. You can find many places along the beach to rent boards and take lessons. Other great surf spots in Mexico include Cuyutlan in Colima, Troncones in Guerro and Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca.

7. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a jungle oasis filled with rainforests, volcanic beaches and good waves of course! It has a variety of different surf spots suitable for beginners to advanced surfers. The quality of the waves is high and the crowds are usually low as Costa Rica remains a hidden gem in the surfing world.

surf destinations

There are loads of spots to surf in Costa Rica which are also surrounded by traveller communities making them a fun place to stay! You can even add on more adventures in the incredible rainforests of Costa Rica.

Spots that are perfect for surfing in Costa Rica include Roca Bruja for big swells, Playa Grande for intermediate surfers, Santa Teresa for huge waves and Matapalo which has a solid ex-pat community along with great surf.

8. Biarritz - France

Biarritz is one of the best surfing destinations in Europe. This French seaside town boasts swells year-round and 5 different surf spots in the beautiful Basque Country. It's easy to fall in love with Biarritz as a surf destination! It doesn't matter on the tide and the direction of the wind you will always be able to find a wave!

surf destinations

Make incredible memories by surfing as the sun goes down over the Atlantic Ocean with the Pyrenees silhouetted in the background. The consistent waves make Biarritz the perfect place to learn how to surf as well.

The best time to go to Biarritz depends on how advanced you are. July and August have the warmest weather and calmers waves, so it is better for beginners but much more crowded. In spring and autumn, the swell is bigger with fewer people in the ocean while winter is best for more advanced surfers.

Le Miramar, La Grade Plage, La Cote De Basques and Marbella are all excellent beaches in Biarritz to catch some waves.

surf destinations

Off The Map Jewellery makes unique jewellery perfect for the adventurous surfer to take with them. Travel charms bring luck and good fortune to travellers, keeping them safe even in the biggest of waves.

Grab Your Board!!

Pack your bags and get to one of these epic surf spots. 

The places on this list traverse the globe and the seasons so there will be a spot on here for you to go at any time of year, and might be closer to home than you think!

surf destinations



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