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7 Best-in-Class Surfing Destinations for Your Next Vacation

by Ashley Rosa

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Imagine the cold breeze blowing in your hair as you make your way over the waves, one after the other. Suddenly, the world is silent and you can’t hear anything save for the sound of the waves hitting the shore. For miles, there is nothing on the horizon except for the ocean, glittering in the warm sunlight. 

Sounds like a dream come true for any enthusiastic surfer out there. We’ve rounded up some of the best surfing destinations from around the world. If you love surfing, then you should definitely have them on your list.

 

1. The Gold Coast, Australia

 

surfing-gold-coast-australia

 

Australia’s Gold Coast is a surfer’s paradise. This party destination has 43 miles (70 km) of beaches with consistent waves and is host to numerous international surfing competitions. Offering a variety of beaches and breaks, the Gold Coast is an excellent place for beginner surfers.

 

gold-coast-australia

 

In Queensland, Palm Beach is ideal for people who prefer to surf close to the city. For a fast and furious ride, check out the Gold Coast’s Superbank, is formed by Snapper Rocks, Greenmount, Little Markey, and Kirra. When the swell kicks in, you can ride one wave from Snapper Rocks all the way to Greenmount and even Kirra. On those rare days when all of these breaks connect, The Superbank will probably offer the longest ride of your life!

 

2. Hoddevik, Norway

 

surf-hoddevik-norway

Photo credit: surf-norge.no

Norway doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking about surf spots. Not your typical surfing destination, Hoddevik is a small village with a lovely sandy beach surrounded by majestic green mountains on the westernmost coast of mainland Norway. With consistent swells, the place is great during windy weather, as it is protected by the surrounding mountains.

Surfing in Hoddevik is a unique experience, with mesmerizing scenery, tall mountains, and old Viking settlements. The spot is perfect for beginner surfers in summer. Experienced surfers will get their share of the thrill at the right time of the year, with big swells kicking in during winter months, producing fast and powerful waves. Apart from surfing, you can also enjoy hiking and a drive towards the hilltop for a bird’s eye view of the village and the beach.

 

3. Lagos, Portugal

 

lagos-portugal

 

The old city of Lagos on the Western Algarve coastline is a popular destination that offers exciting nightlife and sight-seeing opportunities. On top of that, there are four beautiful beaches located in this city, and the glorious waves here are just perfect for surfing. 

 

lagos-algarve

 

The largest beach is Meia Praia. Praia Dona Ana and Praia do Pinhão are relatively smaller and are surrounded by spectacular sandstone cliffs. Praia da Batata, on the other hand, is at the mouth of the estuary. From gentle waves to hollow beach breaks, the Algarve offers everything for beginners as well as experienced surfers. In case you are backpacking through the city and don’t plan to stay for long, you can opt for a surf school to provide you with the necessary equipment.

 

4. Thurso, Scotland

 

surf-thurso-scotland

Photo credit: surfergalaxy.com

Located in the far north of Scotland, Thurso is a beautiful town that is perfect for exploring the countryside. Even though Scotland may not be as popular as other surfing destinations in the old continent, the little town of Thurso offers some of the best surfing in Europe. Thurso was once an ordinary town known only for its agriculture. Today, the town has earned itself a reputable place on the international surfing map. If you are brave enough to survive the cold water, then you can enjoy the uncrowded waves at Thurso.  

Despite the cold weather and freezing water, the remote town of Thurso was able to host a world event, the O’Neill Cold Water Classic, for three years. Thurso regularly hosts local championships, and it recently hosted the Thurso Surf festival organized by the UK Pro Surf Association. 

 

5. Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa

 

surf-j-bay-south-africa

Photo credit: aaronchang.com

Jeffrey’s Bay is a small seaside town that is famous for its world-class surfing and for hosting annual World Surf League (WSL) events. Experienced surfers from all around the world gather here to enjoy the breaks and the barrels, especially during winter months, when the waves are at their best.

The breaks at Jeffrey’s Bay are divided into several sections according to the surfers’ level of expertise. The legendary Supertubes is reserved for advanced surfers only. If you are unsure about your skill level, you should not even attempt it. The Point, on the other hand, is perfect for intermediate surfers. However, it can get a bit tricky because of the sharp rocks there. Kitchen Windows is a small reef break near the main beach and a perfect spot for beginners. 

 

6. Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

 

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With a laid-back atmosphere, this small charming town is the perfect holiday destination for surfers. Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka is one of the world’s best surfing destinations and is host to numerous national surfing competitions. 

Just like Jeffrey’s Bay, Arugam Bay has three spots that you can choose from according to your skills. The Main Point offers quality waves and is suitable for advanced and intermediate surfers. Whiskey Point is a beautiful beach and an ideal spot for beginners. Peanut is another spot that beginners can enjoy.  

 

7. Banzai Pipeline, Oahu

 

surfing-banzai-pipeline-oahu

 

This place is definitely not for newbies. In fact, some experts have also had unfortunate events here. The waves at Oahu’s Banzai Pipeline form some deadliest tubes when they hit the shallow reef.

The destination is home to the famous Billabong Pipe Masters that is held every year and attracts some of the best surfers from the World Surf League. The waves here can get up to 20 feet (6 meters) high, especially during winter (November to February). The place is not ideal during summer, as the waves go flat and you can only go snorkeling, scuba diving, paddle boarding or kayaking. The legendary Banzai Pipeline does not only attracts international surfers but also spectators and photographers who come here to watch riders test their limits on the gnarly waves.

 

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