Where are the awesome surfing spots around the world? Sunshine, frothy waves, sandy beaches, exciting destinations and waxed boards, surely surfing and travelling go hand in hand? Many a traveller has tried this exhilarating and hip sport whilst on the road and there is a vast array of surf spots around the globe to choose from, many in stunning locations.
I’ve spent a few years trying to master the sport on an unruly and unpredictable ocean abroad and at home but despite the numerous wipeouts and ‘board to the face’ situations, I can’t help but feel like the queen of the sea on every wave I catch. I’ve compiled a list awesome surfing spots that are recommended by travel bloggers from around the world to give you some ‘surfspiration’, happy wave hunting! Also, remember to search for flight deals to these awesome surfing spots around the world with the Skyscanner app.Where are the awesome surfing spots around the world? Surely sunshine, frothy waves, sandy beaches, exciting destinations and a waxed board, surfing and travelling surely go hand in hand? Click To Tweet
Newquay, England – Pip and the City
Newquay is clearly the epicentre of British surfing, with the famous Fistral beach offering all the surfing amenities you could need, as well as beautiful views and some pretty great waves. This place is nearly always crowded with surfers trying to catch fairly consistent waves, just watch out for the occasional rip. Newquay is a great town to visit for a surf trip, with it’s laid back vibe, selection of bars, clubs and cafes as well as surf competitions and festivals throughout the year.
Huntington Beach, California – Empty nesters hit the road
Known as Surf City USA, Huntington Beach, California, features 9.5 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline as its Western border. This stretch of beach is famous for its swells all year long, resulting in one of the country’s most well known and popular surf spots. Each year the US Open of Surfing–the world’s largest surf competition–is held on the beaches of Huntington Beach. Over 500,000 people from around the world attend this event. The history of surfing is deep in this beach town. It’s believed that the first surfer entered the water here in 1914. The city has hosted the US Open since 1959. And it’s because of this history that the International Surfing Museum opened in Huntington Beach in 1987.
Mentawai Islands, Indonesia – Backpacker banter
Tjornuvik, Faroe Islands – Megan Starr
Tjornuvik is a village in the Faroe Islands that sits at the north of Streymoy, the same island as the capital city of Torshavn. Tjornuvik is known for its amazing black sand beaches and surfing! Most people don’t think of the Faroes when it comes to surfing, but Tjornuvik definitely proves people wrong. The waves come into the bay very glassy and in perfect sets (unless the temperamental Faroese weather gets to it first!) and it can make for ideal surfing conditions. Surfing is becoming increasingly popular in this spot and as tourism grows in the Faroe Islands, it will likely increase and gain more recognition. But don’t just go there for surfing- go there for some of the most epic views on the planet.
Waikiki, Hawaii – Intentional Travelers
Growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii the surf spots were plentiful. But the offshore breaks near the famous Waikiki beach have always been some of my favourites. Parking between the Ala Wai boat harbour and Hilton Hawaiian Village, experienced local surfers enjoy breaks like “In Betweens” and “Kaiser’s.” Along Waikiki beach, there are also shore breaks and surf board rentals ideal for beginners. It’s a unique spot because you have views of the Honolulu metropolis as well as natural icons like Diamond Head.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands – Tales of a backpacker
Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands, which are part of Spain. The islands are located off the south-west coast of Morocco, so the weather in Fuerteventura is usually good throughout the year. The location of Fuerteventura means the weather is usually warm and dry, and often windy, as the weather comes in from the Atlantic Ocean. There are has surf spots all around the coast of Fuerteventura, with varying swell and wind conditions so you can almost always find a great beach to suit your level, no matter what the weather.
Fuerteventura has several sandy beaches which are great for beginners to learn to surf, and there are big waves for more advanced surfers too. There are lots of Surf schools in Fuerteventura to choose from, most based around the town of Corralejo, which has plenty of amenities, bars, and restaurants, and is within 5-20 minutes’ drive of the surf spots.
El Salvador, Central America – Once in a lifetime journey
Coffee Bay, South Africa – The crowded planet
During my one month trip to South Africa last year I set myself a challenge – learning how to surf! I finally managed to learn in Coffee Bay, a beach along the Wild Coast, the stretch of coast connecting Port Elizabeth to Durban. The reason why I liked this beach so much is in the name of the coast – it’s wild, and only visited by a handful of people. The water is the ideal temperature, about 18°-20° in May, and conditions are great for beginners. There’s also a great surf hostel nearby, the Coffee Shack, organizing surf lessons and lots of other initiatives like a hike to the Hole in the Wall, the rock formation in the picture. I can’t recommend Coffee Bay highly enough to all surfers visiting South Africa!
Huanchaco, Peru – Tales from the lens
Huanchaco in Northern Peru is one of the best places in South America to go surfing. Away from the crowds, with incredible breaks and a year-long swell, the little fishing town located near Trujillo features world-class waves in 3 different spots accessible to all levels. So whether you are a beginner, looking to improve your skills or catch big waves, Huanchaco has it all. On top of that, the town is still very quiet compared to similar spots in the world.
But this isn’t all, our favourite part? Catching awesome waves at sunset alongside pelicans and local fishermen using 3,000 years old reed boats! To know more about surfing in Huanchaco and all the great things to do in Northern Peru, read Tales From The Lens’ full post here.
Bali, Indonesia – German Backpacker
Bali’s beaches might not be as beautiful or picturesque as the beaches in other parts of Southeast Asia, however, they are awesome for surfing! Especially the beaches in southern Bali are a great place to hit the waves. Bali is also a good spot for beginners since surfing lessons are very affordable and easy to find right on the beach. While I wouldn’t recommend the area around Kuta since it’s quite trashy, you should check out the beaches around Canggu – there’s a great atmosphere and especially Berawa beach is not as busy and crowded as other beaches in Bali. Another popular surfing hotspot is the Uluwatu peninsula – you’ll also see the stunning cliffs down there which are worth a visit. Surfing is one of the best things to do in Bali and you should definitely try it!
Tamarindo, Costa Rica – Past The Potholes
If you’re looking to learn or improve your surfing skills, few places beat Tamarindo in Costa Rica. The wide expanse of sand has some of the most consistent waves we’ve seen, making it a perfect spot for beginners. When you master those waves there are a number of excellent surf breaks for more advanced surfers within easy reach.
Not only are the waves perfect in Tamarindo, the entire town is geared to making your time there memorable. Every other building is a surf shop offering rentals and lessons. A number of hostels offer surf camps that include daily lessons and rentals with their accommodations. With so many surfers in town, there is a great atmosphere and a party is never hard to find. When you’re ready for a break from the surf, there is an unlimited amount of land-based adventures to be found too!
Scheveningen, Netherlands – Wanderlustingk
A lot of people don’t realize that the Netherlands has great surfing. One of the most famous surf spots in the Netherlands is Scheveningen, just outside of the Hague. This popular beach along the North Sea is considered to have some of the best waves in the Netherlands as they’re often higher than what you find elsewhere. That said, a lot of people wear dry suits as the North Sea can be fairly chilly, but it makes it possible to go surfing year-round as long as you’re willing to get into the water! Many locals love to hop down to the beach for a morning surf.
Imsouane, Morocco – Where in the world is Nina
Bondi Beach, Australia – Tray Tables Away
Nazaré, Portugal – Amass Cook
Nazaré is a beautiful fishing village located on the sunny shore of central Portugal, in the district of Leiria. The local culture around fishing traditions along with the area’s natural beauty makes a visit well worth it. Besides its idyllic settings, Nazaré fell under the global spotlight as a surfing destination when American surfer Garrett McNamara roamed to Praia do Norte in 2011 and established the world record for the largest wave ever surfed with an impressive mark of 23.77 meters. The special underwater geology of Praia do Norte—known as Canhão da Nazaré—makes this beach prone to such massive, wild, and unconquered waves only meant to be surfed by the highly trained and experienced surfers. Grasping the same bold spirit and at the same beach, Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa beat the prior world record by 60 cm in 2017.
Rincon, Puerto Rico – Gypsy with a day job
Rincon, Puerto Rico is a perfect place for those wanting to catch some waves in a low key and inexpensive destination. Lying on the northwest corner of the island, where the waters of the Atlantic and the calmer Caribbean intersect, geography has set the scene for amazing surf. The breaks and reefs that skirt the coast result in conditions for every level of surfer.
Rincon is called the surf capital of the Caribbean, and the Corona Pro Surf Circuit comes to town each March. The rest of the year, it is relatively quiet, with plenty of places to rent gear, and a handful of respected surf schools for beginners hoping to experience their first ride. For the truly dedicated, Surfline.com forecasts conditions and has a live stream from the hot spots. When conditions are flat, try out some of the stellar snorkelling locations, or toss back a cold one watching the glorious Rincon sunsets, while waiting for tomorrow’s perfect wave.
Dulan, Taiwan – Spiritual travels
Dulan, Taiwan Taiwan is not famous for its beaches like nearby countries such as the Philippines, and few travellers are even aware that you can surf in Taiwan. But surf you can, and Dulan on the southwest coast of the island is quickly becoming the country’s hippest surf town. While the waves here won’t blow pros away, they are ideal for beginners and can be surfed year round. The real draw of surfing here is the overall experience; Dulan is located in the stunningly gorgeous aboriginal territory in Taitung County, the last part of Taiwan be colonized. The tiny village is sandwiched between coastal bluffs, black sand beaches, and high mountains, and is a haven for local and expat surfers, artists and musicians, who gather every Saturday for a concert and arts market in an abandoned sugar factory turned arts village. You won’t find anything like this elsewhere in Taiwan. See here for more information about visiting Dulan.
Sri Lanka – My adventures across the world
Sri Lanka is a great destination for surf lovers. The country is blessed with many gorgeous beaches, scattered around the island, where there’s a great swell. While most travellers carry their surfboards all the way to Arugam Bay, on the east coast, the south also has some great beaches with excellent waves. One of them is Blue Beach, located between Nilwella and Dikwella. The area is not nearly as touristy as other beach destinations around the country, so it is pleasantly quiet and relaxing. Another great place to surf is Unawatuna, which is at an easy 20 minutes bus ride from Galle, one of the most famous places to visit in Sri Lanka. Here, there’s plenty of beaches with good waves even for beginners; not to mention plenty of good accommodation options for all budgets.
Pichilemu, Chile – Stingy Nomads
The small coastal town of Pichilemu in Chile 200km south from Santiago de Chile was a nice surprise for us. Having never heard about Pichilemu before we had no idea what to expect. Pichilemu is considered to be a surfing capital of Chile and one of the best places for surfing on the Pacific coast of South America. Waves here are good for both – beginners and experienced surfers there are different spots with beach break and point break.
You can start learning here with a couple of surf schools at the main beach offering lessons and gear rental; surfboards and wetsuits – you’ll need one the water in Pichilemu is between 14°C and 18°C depending on the season. The town itself is quite small with a nice holiday vibe, many hotels, hostels and even campsites close to the beach. Pichilemu is located in the Colchagua Valley – a famous wine area in Chile. You can visit wine farms and do wine tasting as a day trip with a tour or by renting a car. We came to Pichilemu thinking to stay for a day or two but ended up staying for a week – we absolutely loved this town!
Siargao, Philippines – Tara lets anywhere
Siargao is an idyllic island in the south of the Philippines and is considered the country’s surfing capital. Every year, thousands of surfers make a pilgrimage here to experience its 20+ surf breaks. There are breaks located along the coastline and offshore breaks reachable by a few minutes by boat ride. The most popular surf break in Siargao is Cloud 9, which is in General Luna. It’s included in the top 10 waves worldwide. Cloud 9 is fit for advanced surfers, though there are also beginner-friendly spots near the area. In our first visit to Siargao, we went to a beginner-friendly spot where a guide taught us the basics for just $10 an hour. Aside from its surfing locations, visitors will also love Siargao’s beaches, islands and endless source of fresh coconuts. The best months to visit Siargao for surfing is September to November. The annual surfing cup competition is also held in September.
Dakar Les Almadies, Senegal – Travellers Archive
For those who make their way to the country of Senegal Dakar will probably the first stop. Make sure to plan in some time here as you’ll find some amazing surf spots here. From the island Ngor to some of the Northern suburbs up until our favourite spot, which is Secret Point – surfing opportunities in Dakar are endless. Ths surf spot is located in one of the most upcoming areas of Dakar, in which you’ll find pizza places, nice beach bars and a wooden surf shack named Secret Point, which is located at the very surf spot we are talking about. Come here for nice and soft waves that you’ll share with the local surfers. An amazing spot to make new friends and to watch the sunset over West Africa.
Bells Beach, Australia – Untold morsels
Gijón, Spain – A world to travel
Along with a few Asturias spots like Salinas (near Aviles) and Tapia de Casariego (part of the WSL’s qualifying series circuit); Gijón is one of the best spots to be based if surfing the Northern Spanish waters of the Cantabric sea is in your plans. Never very crowded and with a few different waves on the same beach, San Lorenzo is a perfect place for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, San Lorenzo has a few spots to improve or show off your skills on a surfboard no matter the weather. Talk to the guys at Tablas Surf School if you need surfing classes. They also have some SUPs if no waves are in sight!
Jukdo Beach, South Korea – Singapore n Beyond
Montañita, Ecuador – Gamin Traveler
If you’re looking for a surfing spots around the world frequented by budget travellers going to South America, you can visit the village of Montañita in Ecuador’s Santa Elena Peninsula. It is a great place for surfers of all levels and is a great way to get to know locals. After a day of surfing, you can enjoy Montañita vibrant nightlife with your new found friends. The surfing scene in this community is still growing so it’s a nice place to just appreciate and enjoy the sport. This beachfront paradise is great not just for surfing but also for partying. The town has a very cool vibe where locals enjoy entertaining tourists, especially backpackers from all over the globe. It’s perfect for travellers who love being on their swimsuits all day. No shoes, no shirt, no problem!
Snapper Rocks, Queensland – 50 shades of age
Snapper Rocks is located in Coolangatta, Queensland right near the border of New South Wales. Actually, if you walk around 300 metres south you would be in another state. Its exact location is at the northern side of Point Danger and at the southern end of Rainbow Bay, Coolangatta. Snapper Rocks is a small rocky outcrop and is the venue of the first round of the World Surfing League, generally held in early March each year – known as the Quicksilver Pro. Generally, at this time of the year in Queensland, the swell can be huge and the setting of the rocks and the crashing waves makes for an awesome spectacle. On any given day you will see surfers jumping off the rocks here to surf the legendary quality waves that are one of the longest, hollowest and best waves in the world.
Rossnowlagh Ireland – XYUandBEYOND
Donegal lays claim to some of the best beaches in Ireland and Rossnowlagh is no exception. Easy to get to the beach lies just south of Donegal Town and it was the first beach in Ireland to have a Surf School. Stretching from the Coolmore Cliffs to Carrickfad the Rossnowlagh beach runs 3.5 km long. It is a sandy beach and the waves break on sand both left and right. It’s a Blue Flag beach with plenty of amenities and several of Ireland’s finest surf schools are located here. There are no hazards so it’s a brilliant beach for beginners.
Munich’s English Garden – Travel Lemming
Sure, surfing probably isn’t the first thing that pops to mind when you think of Munich. And you would be forgiven for thinking that because, after all, Munich is over 500 kilometres from the nearest shoreline. But in fact, Munich is home to one of the most unusual surf spots in the world: a single, steady break in a river flowing through the famous English Garden park. Come to Munich during summer and you’re sure to witness dozens of surfers try their luck with this challenging wave in front of the crowds that gather to watch every afternoon. The best part? The surf’s always up!
Playa Grande, Costa Rica – Experience Coco
Playa Grande, Costa Rica is known as one of the best surf spots in all of Costa Rica. Surfers of all ages and levels head to Playa Grande, just north of the popular beach town of Tamarindo, from around the world. Playa Grande is a surfer’s haven due to the consistent swells, clean water, and sandy bottom. It’s a great place for beginner surfers to learn and there are plenty of surf shops in the area to offer lessons but the swells are big enough that advanced surfers also love the area. Unlike some of the other surf towns in Costa Rica, Playa Grande is easily accessible from the Liberia airport, which makes it a great location for travelling surfers as well.
Remember to search for flight deals to these awesome surfing spots around the world with the Skyscanner app. What do you think of this guide to awesome surfing spots around the world? Where else should be added to the list? Let me know in the comments below.