For those enamored with the idea of a paradisiacal surfing escape, a plethora of choices awaits beach enthusiasts worldwide. While surfers may have varied opinions on the best surfing destinations, certain beaches stand out for their remarkable breaks, scenic beauty, and historical significance in the surfing realm.
Our list of the best surfing destinations
When plotting your surf-centric getaway, consider these exceptional beaches.
Huntington Beach (Surf City, USA), California
Renowned as “Surf City, USA,” Huntington Beach sits just an hour south of Los Angeles, offering the quintessential Southern California beach ambiance that surfers and beachgoers crave. Whether showcasing your expertise near the town center pier or taking lessons from local schools, Huntington Beach provides a cool experience. With its chilly waters, a wetsuit is advisable for most of the year. Beyond surfing, explore ocean-related activities and delve into surf history at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum.
La Jolla, California
Further down California’s coast lies the laid-back town of La Jolla, home to the historic “Windansea” surf break. While this break is for experienced riders, the paved walkway above the beach offers a stunning view. For those seeking easier conditions, La Jolla Shores to the north is beginner-friendly, crowded with shops, and offers rental options and lessons.
Punta de Mita, Mexico
The serene Punta de Mita in mainland Mexico boasts expansive beaches and popular surfing spots like La Bahia, Palmitas, and La Lancha. Ideal for both long and short-boarders, this coastal gem is only 40 miles from Puerto Vallarta, making it an accessible day trip. Lessons and board rentals are readily available at local surf shops, and the tranquil atmosphere adds to the overall allure.
Known as the “happiest place on earth” for surfers, Costa Rica features some of the world’s best surfing against golden sands and pristine rainforests. From the massive waves of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast to the beginner-friendly Witch’s Rock, surf camps cater to all levels. The diverse opportunities for skill advancement and the stunning surroundings make Costa Rica a surfer’s paradise.
Portugal, with its dramatic 1,000-mile coastline, offers picturesque surf breaks for avid surfers year-round. From the rugged ocean-scapes to wide sandy coves, the country caters to beach lovers and shredders alike. Notable spots like Nazare attract big wave pros in winter, while towns like Cascais and Sesimbra offer unique personalities and surfing experiences. Despite the chilly Atlantic Ocean, numerous surf camps throughout the country make it easy for enthusiasts to learn and practice.
Morocco stands out as a year-round surfing destination with varied waves along its unique northwest and southwest-facing coastline. Coastal towns exude a laid-back surf vibe, attracting surfers of all levels. Challenging breaks like La Source and Safi cater to experienced surfers, while mellow spots like Essaouira and Hash Point are perfect for beginners. Wetsuits are essential, even in warm weather.
Considered the ultimate surf destination by many, Bali offers exceptional surfing year-round at numerous breaks. The relaxed ambiance, budget-friendly prices, and a vibrant surf culture attract enthusiasts of all ages. With 60 left-hand and right-hand breaks, Bali’s aquamarine surf breaks provide beauty and variety for surfers at every skill level.
Bondi Beach, Australia
One of Australia’s most legendary surfing beaches, Bondi Beach, located just 4 miles from Sydney’s center, is a major tourist attraction and local favorite. Crystal-blue waves, consistent swells, and a vibrant culture make Bondi a year-round destination for passionate surfers. Beyond the surf, Bondi offers bars, restaurants, boutique shops, food markets, and hiking trails.
Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach, with the majestic Diamond Head State Monument as a backdrop, is a legendary surf spot offering endless longboard rides on beautiful turquoise waves. Easily accessible board rentals and lessons make it convenient for surfers of all levels to enjoy the waves. With a year-round surf season and proximity to hotels, restaurants, and beach bars, Waikiki provides a complete surf experience.
Maui, the “Valley Isle” of Hawaii, stands as a premier surfing destination surrounded by palm trees, mountains, and crystal blue waters. Home to world-class surfing events, Maui offers diverse breaks, including the famous Pe’ahi or “Jaws” surf break. Whether seeking casual waves or lessons, Maui’s magnificent beaches and tropical scenery create an ideal surfing backdrop.
Oahu’s North Shore, Hawaii
Oahu’s North Shore, globally renowned for its massive winter waves, hosts major surfing competitions from November to March. Experienced surfers flock to iconic breaks like Banzai Pipeline. In the summer, the calm and mellow waters provide an ideal setting for a relaxing beach day with snorkeling or stand-up paddleboarding. Basic facilities at most north shore beaches enhance the overall experience.
The world’s best surfing destinations offer not just waves to ride but a rich tapestry of experiences for surfers of all levels. From the iconic shores of California’s Huntington Beach to the tranquil beauty of Punta de Mita in Mexico, the surf havens in Costa Rica, Portugal’s picturesque coastline, and the laid-back charm of Morocco, each destination brings its unique flavor to the surfing culture.