13 Best Surfing Destinations Around the World Every Surfer Needs to Visit

Whether you are a seasoned surfer or you just recently joined a surf camp to learn, there’s always that urge to find a new spot to try to surf on. There are those that you want to try because of their wind patterns. The ones you want to go to because the tide schedule matches yours. A lot of people travel all over the world in search of that one perfect spot they can ride to work on their riding skills. Here is our list of the best surfing destinations around the world that you shouldn’t miss if surfing is your passion.

#1. Waikiki, Hawaii

waikiki view

Discovering new destinations is always cool but we should also never forget about the roots of this sport. While most would agree that California is the capital of surfing, Hawaii is where the sport has its roots.

Waikiki offers warm waters with waves rolling gently that help make the rides long. The beachfront region of Honolulu has gotten bad raps from surfing’s hard-core, however, it is now coming across fresh favor from visitors simply wanting sultry and tropical beach holiday.

Be delighted with this surfing spot’s slow-breaking waves that are perfect for any surfer on the months of May, June, September, or even October.

#2. Banzai Pipeline, Hawaii

banzai pipeline

Often referred to as the “Seven Mile Miracle,” Banzai Pipeline covers the coastline of the North Shore, bringing out 26 top-notch surf break. Banzai Pipeline is known for its dangerous and unforgiving waters that attract so many experienced riders. Hence, it’s no wonder that the Banzai Pipeline is the place where the Surfing Professionals Worlds Tour finishes off every year.

Come and see for yourself how Banzai Pipeline gets full of surfing legends every December, and understand why it has been included on this list.

#3. Hossegor, France

hossegor surfing

Forty minutes north of Biarritz, Hossegor is where you will find the best of France, the US East Coast, and California all rolled into one. With its sand dunes and cozy warm beaches, this is the heartland of European surfing.

You will enjoy longboarding with the variety of coastlines that has frequent swells from offshore winds that make them epic – from the 1-ft riding to the 8 up to 20-ft rides down the face. And if that’s not enough, Hossegor is also the perfect place for summer vacation with calmer waters and fewer tourists around.

#4. Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada

tofino vancouver

A sleepy but magical town located on Vancouver Island, Tofino is the best place to visit during fall through spring. A 5-hour drive away from Victoria, this surfer town is one of the best surfing destinations in the world, but it’s also ideal for your outdoor activities and fine dining.

It is not just fall through spring that you can ride the waters of Tofino, you can do so in just about any time of the year. Experience calm, small waves in the sheltered bay, along with the breathtaking rocky coastline on every side you look at.

Just be sure to bring thick wetsuits if the cold waters bother you.

#5. Safi, Morocco

safi sunset

Perfectly situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, “The Garden,” the biggest wave in Safi is where massive winds whip the water up, for the powerful forces that create the best waves on the planet. The Garden has the waves breaking on lovely beaches outfitted by warm and welcoming locals making it a world-famous surfing destination.

Hence, it’s no surprise that professional surfers are well-acquainted with the best waves in Safi. The point breaks that start breaking and can hold 12ft make the most powerful tube in Morocco. Kelly Slater rode it in 2009 and surfing virtuoso Edouard Delpero also gave it a go and rode it for 15 seconds.

#6. Nazaré, Portugal

nazare best surfing destinations
Photo by Mister No CC by 3.0

For many years, Nazaré seaside in Portugal was a spot were fathers would remind their youngsters to avoid because of the biggest waves that crashed against nearby cliffs. The central coast can be easily accessed from Lisbon and it actually holds the biggest and most consistent waves in Europe.

However, it wasn’t until Garrett McNamara, a surfer from Hawaii, who recently held the world record for the highest wave ever surfed, describing it as the “Holy Grail” and the “Elusive Wave,” that Nazaré became a surfing destination.

The uncharted waters had McNamara conquer 78-ft wave, turning him into a world-record holder while also putting Nazaré into the surfing map throughout the surfing world.

#7. Ulu Watu, Bali

uluwatu surfing

Bali is not just famous for its Hindu temples but its professional-grade waves. Bali is filled with great surfing spots but Ulu Watu is the most legendary one among them all. Located at the southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula, it is just beneath the iconic 11th-century Hindu temple.

5 amazing spots of Ulu Watu that you should try depending on the time of day and swell are The Peak, Racetrack, Outside Corner, Temples, and The Bombie.

#8. Cloud Nine, Siargao Island, Philippines

Siargao is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines alongside Malapascua island, Boracay, and Luzon but also home to one of the best surfing spots in the world. Cloud Nine offers both fun and challenge with its perfect barrels that are brought by relatively short waves that guarantee satisfaction.

Cloud Nine is perfect during mid to high tide. The picturesque island has mesmerizing beaches but also hollow tubes, and it’s no wonder that it’s popular among holidaymakers and surfers alike. Ride the waves from November to April when the swells are abundant. Experience the extra inches of water lift that get you comfortable above the reef.

The best thing is feeling the warmth of the sun as you dash across swells of clear waters and abundant sea life.

Planning to extend your Philippines vacation and visit some other islands? Check out this guide to Malapascua Island travel and this Boracay travel guide.

#9. Lagos, Portugal

lagos portugal

Lagos is one of the best holiday spots in Portugal but surfing the waves of Lagos is also an incredible experience that attracts a lot of surfers from around the world.

During the high tide, waves can go a little soft but on a low tide, it can speed up and can be a boundless ripper of waves. While it is very accommodating to professional and experienced surfers, it can be very welcoming to newbies, too. The coastline of Lagos is also home to numerous surf schools likes, Algarve Surf School, Fil Surf School, Extreme Algarve, Algarve Watersport, and Raven Surf School.

#10. Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa

jeffrey's bay

Another haven for surfers is located in Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa. It stretches far and wide boasting a picturesque surfing mecca that generates the finest right-hand surf break in the world.

Jeffrey’s Bay is a place where the legends are created because of the waves they have shredded and their egos that got bruised and eventually boosted. Surfing in Jeffrey’s Bay is easy- just grab your board and just about every beach will offer an epic surfing condition. No wonder this is one of the best surfing destinations in the whole world.

#11. Tel Aviv, Israel

tel aviv surfing

As if history and religious significance aren’t enough, another reason for you to hop on that plane to Tel Aviv is the vibrant beach scenes with waves tapping on all year round. Amid the ancient buildings are loads of opportunities to surf.

Tel Aviv is a city gleaming with history, one of the oldest cities in the world, but also the most popular surfing spot in Israel. With surf schools dotting the city’s coastline, surfboards and surfers are seen everywhere. The long Tel Aviv Beach has Hilton, Maravi, and Dolphinarium. All of which have wave conditions that are ideal for all-year-round surfing. It must be why the country has embraced the sport.

#12. Les Cavaliers, Anglet, France

les cavaliers surfing

With hollow tubes at offshore winds, Les Cavaliers is one of the best surfing spots in Europe. Furthermore, the two rocky girders that border the canyon, give surfers the chance to paddle into some killer waves. This grinds effectively during the season of offshore winds with west swells.

Les Cavaliers’ consistency of swells sees over 100 surfers in the water during peak summer and autumn season. With everyone rivaling for the strong swells that meet nicely through the river mouth and unfurling over the outer banks at low tide, this river instantly makes it to the list of best surfing spots around the world.

#13. Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia

best surfing destinations

The list of best surfing destinations in the world wouldn’t be complete without at least mentioning a spot from Australia. Known as one of the premier surfing destinations, it doesn’t disappoint surfers with the various beaches that make up Australia’s coastline.

Home to the Rip Curl Pro Surfing and Music Festival, Bells Beach in Victoria gives you the chance to hit waves, whether you are a beginner or a professional. With pro surfers and amateurs getting into the grips of huge swells, it is no surprise Rip Curl also made it the spot for their annual event.

Finally, for information regarding what surf gear to take along with you, check out Surf Hungry.

Are you a fan of surfing? Do you think surfing is a good way to stay fit when on vacation? Did you like this list of the best surfing destinations in the world? Do you think we didn’t mention some other great surfing spots? Let us know in the comments!

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18 thoughts on “13 Best Surfing Destinations Around the World Every Surfer Needs to Visit”

  1. Happy to know that you included one from my country. 🙂

    Cloud Nine is indeed one of the best surfing spots we have in our country. I just wish that they develop the place more to have more services (e.g. emergency response, hospitals) since this has been the issue in Siargao.

    Reply
  2. Fantastic list of destinations for surfers here, however I don’t surf and I don’t think I want to. But the destinations on here are all beautiful places espeically the North Shore on Oahu island, I will always treasure the memories here. Also Waikiki is ok but give me north shore over this town anyday of the week. And I totally love Vancouver Island, stunning destination and a great place to eat and drink after a good hikes or sporting activiting during the day.

    Reply
  3. You have a great list of Surfing Destinations here. I am from Indonesia, and I also saw that you mentioned Uluwatu, Bali, on your list. If you are looking for some inspirations for surfing destinations, Mentawai island and Kuta Lombok in Indonesia are great places for surfing.

    Reply
  4. I am just a beginner at surfing and would love to visit these places. I had visit Ulu Watu and it was incredible. I was surprised to find Tel Aviv in the list. I had never associated surfing with Tel Aviv. I will definitely look forward to it.

    Reply
  5. I am not a surfer myself but looking at these amazing visuals makes me want to start surfing for sure. I am surprised at some of the destinations you have highlighted as I would have never thought about a place like Safi in Morocco as a great surf destination. I am looking to travel to Tel Aviv later this year and might give it a shot. I did visit Navare in Portugal last yer and yes there were plenty of surfers there . Great list and a must read for every surfer.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Amar. We have tried to cover all the places for surfing with our best of knowledge and yes some places may startle others too.

      Reply
  6. I’ve never been surfing before, but I have always thought about trying to learn somewhere. I never thought about Canada as being a good destination for surfing. Might be a good spot for me to give it a try if they have calm, small waves! Lagos, Portugal sounds like it might be another good spot for a beginner, especially with all the surf schools.

    Reply
  7. This is a great list of surfing destinations around the globe. I am not much of a water person. My tryst to water is upto waves crashing at my feet! But I really do like to watch people doing all the stunts in water. Surfing is one activity that I might not try ever, but hats off to all those who surf. Managing the wind and wave is no mean feat. I did not know that surfing had its roots in Hawaii. I would love to know more about it. All the places you mentioned looks equally tempting for a non-surfer like me.

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  8. I do not surf but I love surfing destinations as they have amazing beaches and I love to watch those huge waves crashing the shores. Nazaré seaside in Portugal looks very beautiful though it has huge and dangerous waves. I loved that sleepy and magical town which is located on Vancouver Island – Tofino and it really looks the best place to visit near Victoria. It is the best surfing destinations in the world. Thanks for sharing wonderful list.

    Reply
  9. Though i haven’t given surfing a try yet, all the places that you have included in the list, look like amazing places to surf, provided you know how to. Which is why, I have taken it upon myself, to try and learn how to surf, before 2020 runs out. I personally would love to check out teh one in Cloud Nine in Philippines first.

    Reply

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