Interested in surf travel? You need to research the best surfing locations in the world!
The best surf trips should include sunshine, frothy waves, sandy beaches, exciting surf destinations and waxed boards. I’m a big believer that surfing and travelling actually go hand in hand.
Many an adventurous traveller has tried their hand at surfing whilst on the road. there is a vast array of surf holiday spots around the globe to choose from, many in stunning locations.
Surf travel guide
I’ve spent a few years trying to master the sport on an unruly and unpredictable ocean abroad and at home.
Despite 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 of awesome surfing spots that are recommended by travel bloggers from around the world.
This bumper surf travel guide should hopefully give you some ‘surfspiration’ and ideas for surfing destinations around the world.
[bctt tweet=”Interested in surf travel? The best surf trips should include sunshine, frothy waves, sandy beaches, exciting surf destinations and waxed boards.” username=”pip_says”]
Newquay is clearly the epicentre of British surfing. Its famous Fistral beach offers all the surfing amenities you could need, as well as beautiful views and some pretty great waves. It is one of the best places to surf in the UK.
Fistral beach 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.
It has a cool, laid back vibe and is a great place for a night out. They have a selection of bars, clubs and cafes as well as surf competitions and festivals throughout the year.
If you are looking for surfing holidays for beginners, this is a great place to start.
Huntington Beach, California
Known as Surf City USA, Huntington Beach, California, features 9.5 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline as its Western border. It’s one of the best surf beaches in California.
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. Chosen by Empty nesters hit the road.
The Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
If you’re looking for a truly epic surf trip in Indonesia, then the famed Mentawai Islands in Indonesia must already be on your list. Trust me – it’s totally worth it! Sat 3 hours off the coast of North West Sumatra, this chain of islands is home to a whole array of world-class, uncrowded waves.
All set against a backdrop of tropical islands, palm trees and warm waters. It’s an amazing place for surfing in Indonesia.
From fast, barrelling waves like Bankvaults, NiPussi and Macaronis to more intermediate and longboarder friendly spots like Burgerworld, Beng Bengs and Good Times it’s not hard to find your perfect wave.
Surf charters are the most luxurious way to sample the waves (and avoid the crowds).
Tjornuvik, Faroe Islands
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. Chosen by Megan Starr.
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. Surfing in Waikiki is one of the best things to do in Hawaii.
This is definitely one of the best surf trips for intermediate surfers. Along Waikiki beach, there are also shore breaks and surfboard rentals. This is ideal for surfing beginners.
It’s a unique surfing spot because you have views of the Honolulu metropolis, as well as natural icons like Diamond Head.
If you are a beginner surfer, why not get the full Hawaii surf experience with a group surf lesson?
You can get the best surf instruction and supervision from experienced surf instructors. You’ll be surfing like a pro in no time! Chosen by Intentional Travelers.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
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. It can often be windy, as the weather comes in from the Atlantic Ocean.
There are many surfing places in Fuerteventura, with varying swell and wind conditions.
It’s a unique place to surf in the Canary Islands for sure. You can almost always find a great Fuerteventura beach to suit your surfing level, no matter what the weather.
Surfing in Fuerteventura
Make sure to always look at the surf swell report before surfing in Fuerteventura. Especially if you are a beginner surfer.
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 are based around the town of Corralejo, which has plenty of amenities, bars, and restaurants.
It’s also within 5-20 minutes’ drive of the surf spots. Why not learn how to surf in Fuerteventura and book a surf lesson with an experienced surf professional?
You’ll be riding those waves in no time! Chosen by Tales of a backpacker.
Book your surf lessons in Fuerteventura in advance!
El Salvador, Central America
El Salvador is a little-known country in Central America that has some of the best surfing in Central America.
Because a lot of people fear the safety concerns around it, surfing in El Salvador is still in its infancy.
It’s only known to the most adventurous and advances surfers, who manage to enjoy almost constant waves in sometimes empty spots.
Surfing in El Salvador
The most popular and easiest to reach surfing is in la Libertad. Ths surfing city can be reached by bus from San Salvador in half an hour and is the second-largest city in the country.
However, this is one of the most dangerous parts in the country so the best choice is the smaller towns and villages along the coast, north of La Libertad.
Here you can find very cheap surfing board rental, food, and accommodation. Try Punta Roca, El Zunzal, El Tunco, El Zonte or Las Flores for some great breaks frequented by surfing geeks. Chosen by Once in a lifetime journey.
Coffee Bay, South Africa
During my 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. It’s one of the best places for surf travel in South Africa.
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.
The surf conditions are actually great for surfing 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! Chosen by The crowded planet.
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. This little fishing town located near Trujillo features world-class waves in 3 different spots, accessible to all levels.
Surfing in Peru
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. If you are looking for uncrowded surf destinations, this is the place for you.
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. Chosen by Tales From The Lens.
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 for beginner surfers.
Bali is also a good spot for surf beginners as Bali surfing lessons are very affordable and easy to find right on the beach.
Surfing in Bali
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 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 stunning cliffs down there which are definitely worth a visit.
Surfing is one of the best things to do in Bali and you should definitely try it! Chosen by German Backpacker.
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
If you’re looking to learn or improve your surfing, 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 surfing beginners.
When you master those waves there are a number of excellent surf breaks for more advanced surfers within easy reach. It’s definitely one of the best Costa Rica surf resort places.
Costa Rica Surf Trip
Not only are the waves perfect in Tamarindo, but the town is also geared towards 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 surf lessons and rentals.
If you are worried about your Costa Rica surf trip cost, rest assured that it is reasonably priced here.
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! Chosen by Past The Potholes.
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. They’re often higher than the surf waves what you find elsewhere in the Netherlands.
Surfing in the Hague
That said, a lot of people wear dry suits when surfing in the Netherlands, as the North Sea can be fairly chilly.
Wearing wetsuits does make 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. Chosen by Wanderlustingk
Imsouane is a surf haven for both amateurs and pros and I fell for it the minute I arrived. It’s one of the best places for surfing in Morocco.
Imsouane has the country’s longest right break. It’s so long, you could potentially ride it for over two minutes!
The best part for me as an amateur surfer was being able to see the pros shred the larger waves. As the wave approached the shore (and it got a bit smaller), I was able to hop on and ride it the rest of the way.
Surfing in Morocco
There’s surfing for everybody at Imsouane and it’s hard for it to be too busy considering it’s such a long break, you can always find a spot! Aside from the wicked surf, the town itself is adorable and quaint.
The surroundings are beautiful with the rugged mountains hugging this famed surf spot. It’s definitely a place you can get lost! Chosen by Where in the world is Nina.
Bondi Beach, Australia
Bondi is not only Australia’s most famous beach but one of the most recognised and talked about in the world. It’s one of the best places for surfing in Australia.
It should definitely be high on your surf travel list! Situated on the eastern side of Sydney about 20 minutes drive from the CBD, it is very popular with hipsters, surfers and tourists.
It’s also home to a thriving restaurant scene, good shopping and high-end real estate.
It is also where Australia’s first surf life-saving club was established, which is also now involved in the successful TV show ‘Bondi Rescue’. Bondi is one of the best summer surf destinations.
Surfing Bondi beach
Surf conditions in Bondi beach can be very favourable with waves close to shore, although it can get very busy. Especially on weekends.
It’s easy to rent surf gear if you are visiting, there are plenty of surf shops and services in Bondi Beach.
If you are travelling around Australia, you can also get to Bondi by public transport, take train or bus, and it is very family-friendly with a large grassy park adjacent to the carpark and showers and amenities in the original bathing pavilion. Chosen by Tray Tables Away.
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 went to Praia do Norte in 2011.
He established the surfing world record for the largest wave ever surfed. An impressive mark of 23.77 meters.
Surfing in Portugal
The special underwater geology of Praia do Norte, [known as Canhão da Nazaré], makes this beach prone to such wild waves.
This is a place for advanced surfing in Portugal. The unconquered waves are 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. Chosen by Amass Cook.
Rincon, Puerto Rico
Rincon, Puerto Rico is a perfect place for those wanting to catch some waves in a low key and cheap surfing 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. It’s one of the best places for surfing in Puerto Rico.
Surfing the Caribbean
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.
There is also a handful of respected surf schools for surfing beginners, hoping to experience their first ride.
For the truly dedicated, websites such as Surfline.com will give you the latest surf forecast and surf conditions.
When surf 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. Chosen by Gypsy with a day job.
Dulan in Taiwan is not famous for its beaches like nearby countries such as the Philippines.
Few travellers are even aware that you can surf in Taiwan. But surf you can! 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.
Surfing in Taiwan
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.
It’s a haven for local and expat surfers, artists and musicians. They 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. Chosen by Spiritual travels.
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.
Surfing in Sri Lanka
Another great place to surf in Sri Lanka is Unawatuna. It’s 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 surfing beginners.
There’s also plenty of good accommodation options for all budgets. Weligama is a very popular surf spot in Sri Lanka and is a great destination for surf travel.
If you are looking for beginner surfing in Sri Lanka, why not book a surf lesson in Weligama? You can learn to surf with a professional surf instructor in one of the best places for beginner surfers in the world. Chosen by My adventures across the world.
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 one of the best places for surfing in Chile. It’s also 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 surf spots with a beach break and point break.
Surfing in Chile
You can start learning to surf here with a couple of surf schools at the main beach. They offer surf lessons and surf gear rental including surfboards and wetsuits.
You’ll need a wetsuit for surfing in Pichilemu. The water temperature 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. Chosen by Stingy Nomads.
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.
It’s one of the best places for surfing in the Philippines. There are surf breaks located along the coastline and offshore breaks reachable by a few minutes by boat ride.
The most popular surf break in Siargao in Cloud 9, which is in General Luna. It’s included in the top 10 waves worldwide.
Surfing in the Philippines
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 from September to November. The annual surfing cup competition is also held in September. Chosen by Tara lets anywhere
Dakar Les Almadies, Senegal
Do you remember the scenes of the very first surf movie “Endless Summer”? The plot is that two Californians followed their dream of riding the perfect wave and end up in Senegal, Africa? Well, since then surfing in Senegal has become a popular activity.
Even surfing professionals from Senegal are making it to the top surfing league.
There are some amazing surf spots here. From the island Ngor to some of the Northern suburbs, up until our favourite spot, which is Secret Point. The surfing opportunities in Dakar are endless.
Surfing in Africa
This 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. Chosen by Travellers Archive.
Bells Beach, Australia
One of Australia’s best surf beaches, Bells Beach, is found just off the famous Great Ocean Road. Bells Beach hosts the second event of the annual World Surf League all thanks to its world-class breaks.
The contour of the ocean floor is perfectly formed to harness the huge Southern Ocean swells rolling in.
Despite the cold water temperatures, Bells is a favourite spot for us locals as well as international visitors, keen to ride its legendary waves.
It’s got some of the most consistent surf in the world. You don’t have to be a pro to surf at Bells.
The swell is suitable for surfers of all abilities. Just be prepared to watch the rip. Chosen by Untold morsels.
Gijón is one of the best places to surf in Spain. It’s never very crowded and with a few different waves on the same beach. San Lorenzo is a perfect surfing spot for all surfing abilities.
Whether you are a beginner surfer or a pro surfer, San Lorenzo has a few places to improve your surfing or to show off your surfing skills.
Talk to the guys at Tablas Surf School if you need surfing classes. They also have some SUPs available if there are no decent sure waves in sight! Chosen by A world to travel.
Jukdo Beach, South Korea
From Busan and Jeju island in the south, all the way up to the DMZ in the north, surf culture is slowly creeping its way into South Korea.
The most popular place to surf in the north is a district known as YangYang. It is known for its very expensive and equally as delicious pine mushrooms (songi boesot). It is also one of the best places to surf in South Korea.
While Jukdo Beach is the most popular and crowded of the surf beaches in Korea, if you drive a little further up north (about 10 mins) you’ll get to Gisamun harbour which is a nice beach break with both left and rights.
The surrounding view is beautiful and the iconic red mushroom-shaped light tower adds a bit of fun. The only catch, the waves are best in the midst of winter where snow covers the beach.
Surfing in South Korea
Beyond the surf, there are amazing fresh seafood restaurants in Jukdo Beach. There are also a few surf cafés where you can hire boards and wetsuits, or grab a coffee or craft beer after your surf.
After the surf, I would highly recommend a visit to nearby Naksansa temple or take a DMZ tour to peak into the North.
If you’re looking for budget surfing in South America, 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 in Montañita, you can enjoy Montañita’s 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! Chosen by Gamin Traveler
Snapper Rocks, Queensland
If you are looking for a surfing holiday in Australia, you should check out Snapper Rocks! It’s a great spot for surfing in Australia. 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.
This major surfing competition generally held in early March each year and is known as the Quicksilver Pro.
Surfing in Queensland
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. Chosen by 50 shades of age.
Donegal lays claim to some of the best beaches in Ireland and Rossnowlagh is no exception.
It’s also one of the best surfing places in Ireland. 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 surfing beginners. Chosen by XYUandBEYOND
Munich’s English Garden, Germany
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. It has 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! Chosen by Travel Lemming.
Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Playa Grande, Costa Rica is known as one of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. Surfers of all ages and levels head to Playa Grande. It is located just north of the popular beach town of Tamarindo.
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 is one of the best surf trips in Costa Rica.
There are plenty of surf shops in the area that offer surf lessons for surfing newbies. There are also swells are big enough that advanced surfers.
Unlike some of the other surf towns in Costa Rica, Playa Grande is easily accessible from the Liberia airport. This makes it a great location for travelling surfers as well. Chosen by Experience Coco.
Best surfing locations in the world
What do you think of this list of best surfing locations in the world for surf travel? Are there any surfing destinations you have visited?
What is the best wave in the world you have caught? Let me know in the comments below and happy surfing guys!
Planning your surf trip
Ready to book your surf trip? Use these awesome travel resources to get you started:
- Search for the best flight deals with Skyscanner
- Search for the best hotel deals on HotelsCombined
- Get the best travel tips with a travel guidebook
- Book an Airbnb and have £25 towards your first booking
- Get the best destination recommendations from TripAdvisor
Check out all the best travel resources on my bumper travel resources page!
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