Top world surf holiday destinations

On flat days when there is no swell to speak of, surfers daydream about packing a board and heading off to one of the more glamorous surf destinations. Sometimes even the most dedicated cold-water surfer longs for warm seas, and almost anyone can see the attraction of a gorgeous sunny beach with perfect waves and fine golden sand. There is surf to be found on almost every coastline, but it varies in quality from place to place and there are a handful of absolutely stunning surf spots scattered around the globe.

Bali, Indonesia, has the full Pacific Island package- warm water, tropical rainforest, cheap drinks and sandy beaches. June to September (the dry season) is the best time to go, and you’ll find a full selection of beach breaks, coral and rock reef breaks, and conditions that suit everyone from beginners to pro surfers. Padang Pandang and Uluwatu attract the crowds, but if you’re really nice to the locals they might let you in on a secret or two.

There is a town on the Australian Gold Coast called Surfer’s Paradise. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about it. The waves around here are rarely massive, but the Gold Coast is home to four world-class point breaks and plenty more good spots. The surf is easy to find and easy to get to- the beaches stretch for 50 miles and there are excellent waves to be found all along the coast. The weather is warm all year round and so is the water. South Africa is a destination for the more serious surfer. The swells are on the big side. The Billabong Pro WCT Competition is held at the aptly-named Supertubes, near Jeffrey’s Bay, every year. Standards are high, and there is just one drawback- the odd shark or two!

Top surf destinations

No discussion of world surf holidays would be complete without mentioning Hawaii. It was here that surfing as born and it was here that surfers first built up the skills and the courage to tackle really huge breaks. It’s still the number one destination for those who dream of riding monster waves, and quite a few less ambitious surfers too. The north shore of Oahu regularly sees waves in excess of 20ft or more in the bigger winter season. It draws the best surfers from all over the world, and even makes a popular dry land tourist attraction- plenty of people go to Oahu just to watch. There are actually some very good, milder breaks in Hawaii, and these are perfectly suitable for beginners. However, it’s not all good news. Hawaii is jam-packed with surfers and if you’re expecting a spacious, uncrowded lineup, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.

Morocco is a popular winter retreat for European surfers, but it deserves a global reputation. In recent years it’s been the hangout of choice for a number of big names in pro surfing and while Morocco’s reputation is growing, it’s still relatively quiet and relatively cheap. That might change as more surfers realise just how good it is, so go there soon! There are plenty more- Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Tenerife to name just a few. In most world-class surf destinations you can combine fantastic breaks with culture and cuisine, and if you don’t want to travel with your board, it’s usually not difficult to hire a board out there. It’s hard to find a reason not to go.

  • Vince
  • February 24, 2018

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