While surfing might have gotten its start on the Hawaiian Islands, it’s become popular all over the world. Currently, surfers are chasing giant waves off different coastlines across the globe. If you’re looking to combine your love of beaches and travel, you’re probably in search of a good surfing destination. If you’re planning a trip with your friends, maybe for this spring or summer break, it might be hard to decide on the best destination. Here, we’ve assembled a list of some of the world’s most iconic surf spots.
10. HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA
A sunny California city located southeast of Los Angeles, this town is known for (and named after) its plethora of beaches. There are a number of beaches to choose from throughout the city, and it can also be a great starting destination for individuals trying to surf their way up the coast of California.
9. PLAYA GRANDE, COSTA RICA
Also known as Salinas, this little beach community has achieved international fame in recent years and is now renowned as a fantastic surf spot. While there’s great surfing throughout most of Costa Rica’s coastline, Playa Grande boasts some of the most scenic beaches and consistent waves in Central America.
8. HANALEI BAY, KAUA’I, HAWAII
Located on the North Shore of the Island of Kaua’i, this incredibly scenic bay offers nearly two miles of fantastic shoreline. Surrounded by mountains and rainforest, it’s hard not to be impressed while you surf the incredible waves that routinely hit the North Shore. The bay offers ample space for swimming and paddle-boarding if you’re not into surfing, or if you just like to relax in a super-chill Hawaiian beach town. The Bay is consistently hit with some pretty serious overhead tubes, and it might not be for the faint of heart.
7. SULTANS, NORTH MALE, MALDIVES
An exotic location that is probably best for intermediate or advanced surfers, Sultans is home to a consistent set of waves that forms off the reef near the coast. All of Maldives is worth exploring and surfing, however, Sultans (named in reference to the Sultans that once ruled the Maldives) is a particularly incredible spot to enjoy some waves. To many, Sultans is considered the best surfing in all of Maldives, and worth a visit if you’re traveling to this island nation.
6. BLACK BEACH, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
San Diego is one of the best beach cities in the world, and there are a number of great surfing beaches to visit on your next trip. Black Beach is often considered the best surfing in the area (which really says something, considering the fierce competition). In peak summer the beach can get crowded, but if you’re planning a spring-break trip you might be early enough in the season to beat out the worst of the crowds.
5. BUNDORAN BEACH, IRELAND
Most people don’t think of surfing when imagining the rocky hills and sheer cliffs that Ireland is known for, but Ireland is actually home to some really incredible beaches. This island nation offers some stellar waves that are rarely crowded, however, the waves are rarely crowded because they’re often freezing cold, and the weather is frequently rainy. But if you’re willing to put on a good wetsuit, Ireland can offer some phenomenal surfing in a country that is English speaking and extremely hospitable.
4. MANU BAY, RAGLAND, NEW ZEALAND
With its rocky beach and views of the New Zealand Alps, the little town of Ragland makes for a memorable surfing experience. The waves are consistent and can be surfed by individuals of all skill levels because Manu Bay rarely sees huge tube waves. This is generally an area that can be enjoyed by novice surfers that are just getting a handle on the sport, but we highly recommend packing your wetsuit for this destination.
3. GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA
Home to nearly 35 miles of surfing beaches, the Gold Coast of Australia is aptly named. The Gold Coast is an absolute surfing destination, with plenty of options that are suitable for beginner and advanced surfers. In addition to surfing, the warm and clear waters of Australia offer a ton of swimming and snorkeling options for individuals not interested in surfing.
2. TAVARUA ISLAND, FIJI
Fiji is known as an island paradise, and it is totally a surfers dream. If you’re looking for a trip that will catch you some serious waves you need to look no further than Fiji. The entire island is home to beaches that are worth surfing, and you can find waves suitable for novice surfers.
Cloudbreak is a world-renowned wave that consistently crashes off the coast if you’re interested in tackling this legendary wave it will require a jet-ski to tow you out, advanced surfing skills, and a boatload of courage. Don’t expect to surf Cloudbreak without some serious preparation ahead of time.
1. OAHU, HAWAII
There is perhaps no wave more iconic than the Banzai Pipeline. A surf reef break located just off the coast, this area is home to some of the largest surfing competitions in the world. If you’re really into surfing, there are few waves that are more legendary or prestigious than the fabled Pipeline. If you choose to surf this water, you’d be following in the footsteps of some of the most legendary surfers of all time. This is definitely not an area hospitable to noobs, but it is a lifelong bucket-list item for many serious surfers.
Keep on surfing!