Surfing holidays are one of those experiences that can quickly get addictive. When you’ve had your first taste of the waves, you might find yourself going back for more and more. This list is for those who would like to get that first taste as well as those who are already great surf lovers looking for new, exciting destinations. Just make sure you’re prepared for your surfing holiday.
1) San Sebastian, Spain
This is the perfect destination for beginners to surfing with a great urban environment with lots to do and lots of surf schools available offering lodging too so you can really dive into it. The waves at San Sebastian are steady and consistent in the summer. Just be careful going in the winter months as waves can get over fifteen feet tall! Before you go though, consider this guide to getting your perfect first surfboard. Surfers can load up the car/van with surfboards and get to San Sebastian easily on the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao.
2) Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii
This place ranks very high on this list for a reason. Oahu is the best place in the US to surf. The Pipeline is one of the heaviest waves in the world. The sea also hides a sharp bed of table reef. Still, if you’re well practiced and love a thrill in a gorgeous locale, Oahu’s for you.
3) Bundoran, Ireland
This coast on the southwestern edge of Donegal offers some of the world’s best and most consistent swells. It might seem an odd place to find good waves, but it also offers a great local surfing culture to get involved with. You will definitely have need of wetsuits here however as the water is pretty chilly!
4) Tofino, British Columbia
Far further north to many of the US’s more famous surfing hot-spots, Tofino might seem like an odd choice. Yet it’s perfect for those who want a surfing holiday without all the bleached blonde culture-soaking clichés. The area’s misty and full of gorgeous wildlife but you’ll want to go in Summer as the Winters can be absolutely freezing.
5) White Beach, Okinawa
Okinawa has a beach-side culture unique to the rest of Japan. The fact that this is one of the only surfing suitable coasts in the region has something to do with it. There are spots here for those of all skills and it shows in the beach’s popularity with locals.
6) Bells Beach, Australia
Australia is full of fantastic spots on the east coast but Bells Beach is perhaps the most famous for those well practised in the sport. We recommend this as the starting point for a surfing road trip up the Gold Coast. You won’t be disappointed. Just make sure to have your beach body ready.
7) Bay of Plenty, Durban, South Africa
Another great place for experts. The weather’s mild and the waves are ever present. There are very few times of the year that the Bay of Plenty isn’t ready for surfing. Just watch out for rocks, jellyfish and sharks.
8) Tahiti, Polynesia
We’ve listed the whole island here. The simple reason is that it’s not very big and brimming with excellent surfing points. Matavai, Papenoo, Taapuna, Maraa, just take your pick while you enjoy this exotic paradise.
9) Playa Negra, Costa Rica
This is for those of you who want a luxury holiday experience along with great surf. Thankfully, this place isn’t very packed, either, so you won’t be competing for space with hundreds of others. This is a great family holiday destination with restaurants, shops and a lovely beach. Not so great for nightlife as the town tends to shut down at nights.
10) Santa Cruz, California
Ever packed, Santa Cruz is perhaps the most popular surfing destination in the world. But that’s because it’s just that good for catching waves. If you want the whole surfing experience Santa Cruz is a safe bet each and every year. Here you can get caught up in the culture while exploring waves for all skill levels.