So, do you like to defy the odds and let yourself be one and free with the waves? Planning to immerse yourself with the curling seawater soon? Well you should buckle up, because here are 15 surfing destinations just to please your surfer or beach kid souls.
Here’s a pitch: delicious food, big and friendly waves, wide beaches, lovely sunny weather and reliable offshore winds for almost a year round? What’s not to love about this country? You can go to San Juan del Sur, which is the surfing capital of Nicaragua, but you can also go to Playa Remanzo, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Maderas.
The surf breaks are great for beginners and advanced surfers. If you’ve just started, you can take lessons from the local surf schools. If you’re only looking for waves, you can go to Panga Drops, the north of Playa Colorado. That place never gets crowded because of the wilderness.
2. Hoddevik, Norway
Norway?! Yes, Norway. And yes, you’ll be surfing in cold, icy waters. But, you can always gear up with wetsuit. Norway made it to this list because the beaches are still wild with natural amphitheaters and steep mountains around you. The cliffs protect waves from the wind, giving you consistent swell and breaks that suit all levels.
What’s more, there are zero crowds and there are some camps that run packages for beginner and intermediate surfers. You can get small-group lessons, wetsuit rent, and accommodation for a few nights.
3. Hainan Island, China
You rarely think of China when you think about surfing, don’t you? Well apparently, Hainan is surfers’ paradise with its high-quality, empty waves. The weather and wind patterns from South China Sea provides the most consistent waves in the region.
The best time to ride the waves of Hainan would be from November to April. Surfing culture isn’t popular yet in China (so you’ll stand out a bit), but if you can find them, there are passionate and friendly local surfers too.
4. Maresias, Brazil
This town is the birthplace of Brazil’s first World Champion of surf, so you know you’re gonna be visiting the real deal here. The waves are powerful, and you can enjoy the rainforest that has amazing landscape and fauna. A double win if you’re a surfer soul who loves the nature.
Because of the barreling waves, this area is most suited for intermediate and advanced surfers. But if you’re a beginner and want to try a piece of Maresias’ waves, you can try them around the left-hand corner. The teachers of North Shore Riders Surf School are good and educated, so you might want to learn some things from them.
5. Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Zanzi what? You might have never heard of this place, but the archipelago region is a top destination for diving, kitesurfing, and surfing. The waves are fun and very suitable for beginners to advanced surfers, there are even rumors about amazing reef breaks which hasn’t been added on the surf map.
The best surf spot is around the north and south reefs, right-hand break on Bongoyo Island, and beach breaks at Oyster Bay. If you have extra time and cash, make sure to visit other destinations in Tanzania, such as wildlife sightseeing or even climb Mount Kilimanjaro. (Other mountain/hiking destinations here)
6. Raglan, New Zealand
This area became well-known because of a surfing film called The Endless Summer. Because it’s popular, you will see some crowds in here. But you’re still going to have fun in the waves of Ngarunui Beach (for beginner to intermediate) and Many Bay (for expert surfers).
To enjoy your surfing at best, go from November to February where it’s summer in NZ. You can take lessons at Raglan Surfing School and rent the wetsuits there. You can also learn more about Kiwi culture by visiting Waikato Museum in Hamilton.
7. Tofo Beach, Mozambique
Just like Zanzibar, Mozambique has surfable spots, but it’s relatively unexplored. But once you get there, you’ll fall in love instantly with the tropical blue waters and white sand. The waves are small, clean, protected by a headland and reef. Perfect for learners and improvers. But advanced surfers can go to the right-hand point breaks near Tofinho Beach.
Tofo itself is a pretty beach town with a central market that sells sarongs, fresh fruit, veggies, and fish. For convenience, you can stay at shared houses which offers surf lessons and board rent.
8. El Paredón, Guatemala
This area is actually a small fishing village, but the beach has the most consistent beach brakes for all levels of surfer. There are turtle nests on the black sand beach and there are mangrove forests around the area. It rarely gets crowded too in here, which is great for surfers who enjoys being one with the nature.
You can get private surf lessons here. If you’re the philanthropic type, you can also help a surf house’s social enterprise teaching English lessons for children. It’s never wrong to do something helpful while you’re having fun, isn’t it?
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state, but Bali is the surfing capital of the country. It has mellow waves as well as gnarly waves suited only for the pros. For beginners, check out Kuta Beach, Canggu, Dreamland, and Medewi. If you’re ready to conquer Balinese waves, look no further than Impossibles, Bingin, and Uluwatu.
It’s best to surf during May through September because it’s dry season and the groundswells and offshore winds are consistent. But it’s also possible to surf during wet season (November to March) on Nusa Lembongan.
10. Muizenberg, South Africa
With its gentle rollers, Muizenberg is a go-to place for beginners and casual beachgoers. The waves are so small and mellow that there’s a surf therapy for kids from low-income neighborhoods. Moreover, this area is available for you all year round.
There are some sharks in the sea, but afraid not because there are shark spotters to keep you safe. Muizenberg is located in a cosmopolitan town, you can find friendly locals, beachsides cafes, and even local wineries. If you love nightlife, you have to go to Kalk Bay.
11. Cornwall, England
Cornwall is a place with small settlements and original architecture that can take you back in time, but it’s mixed with youthful energy and growing surf culture. It’s a nice old-meets-new scene.
As for the surfing part, the beaches hold swells and wind of all strength and size. Some beaches have low-tide to high-tide breaks. The huge tidal swing is the main attraction of the surfers here. Just don’t forget to wear a wetsuit there. September to February has great swells, while summer is best for the learners. Also, make sure you surf in beaches with lifeguards too.
Thailand has great beaches, no denying that. But the swells. are not really powerful, which makes this country perfect for beginner to intermediate surfers (great for longboard surfing too). The most popular destination would be Phuket, with its more than 25 beaches and large number of surfing schools.
13. Waikiki, Hawaii
Hawaii is where surfing is originated, so it’s only natural to ride the waves in its spiritual home. Waikiki is a great place to learn surfing because the water is warm and the waves are gentle with long rides. When you do a stand up, you really have all the time and you’re going to enjoy it.
Other than that, Waikiki is a great place for tourists who want to have a beach holiday while enjoying urban life at the same time. The downpoint is that affordable hotels are quite hard to find.
Morocco is packed with hundreds of surf beaches for all levels of surfers. Taghazout, Agadir, Dakhla, and Tamraght are suitable for beginners. Advanced surfers can ride the waves of Anchor Point, Essaouira, and Killer Point. Those waves from Atlantic are perfect for experts who want to challenge themselves.
Believe it or not, Morocco is best surfed in Winter. This is because the consistent swells are available between December and March, offering world-class waves, and the water temperature isn’t so cold (18 °C). And if you like winter sports, you can also go skiing here. Yay!
15. Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is a city that never sleeps. The beach is incredibly vibrant and the waves are excellent in a year-round. When it’s summer, there are a lot of pop-up bars and parties. So if you love surfing and nightlife, look nowhere else.
But if you’re here for the sole purpose of surfing and you don’t really care about the parties, it’s best to wake up early because the morning offshores are top notch. The best time to visit Tel Aviv is around November to March.
Are you ready to surf now? What are your plans for next vacation? Tell us your surfing tips and experience or other surfing destinations that we didn’t put in the list. If you change your mind about going surfing, check out this and this to get other ideas for your holiday.