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The World's Top Surfing Destinations for 2024

by Octavia Drughi

The go-to resource for planning your surf camps. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and take your surfing to new heights.
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Looking forward to your next surfing adventure? 2024 can be the year when you go on that surf camp you’ve always dreamed of!

From mellow waves where you can learn the basics to more advanced breaks to challenge yourself, the world is full of amazing destinations where you can make this dream a reality.

As you might guess, Portugal and its consistent swells, Costa Rica and its chill vibes or Hawaii and its mysticism are all excellent options. But which countries are joining them on the list? Here’s the breakdown of the world’s best-surfing destinations in 2024. Check them out, wax your surfboard, and get ready to ride the wave of your life!

Portugal

surf-portugal

When it comes to surfing, Portugal has been stealing the spotlight. In the last few years, it has strengthened its position as Europe’s number one surf spot. This is all thanks to its irresistible combo of outstanding wave variety, top-notch surf camps, great weather, chill vibes, booming surf culture, laidback surf towns, and delicious food.

Even more so, it’s a very affordable surfing destination, with dozens of budget surf camps in Portugal to choose from.

From the uncrowded waves near Porto in the north to the renowned surf meccas of Peniche and Ericeira, the surf beaches near Lisbon, and all the way down south to the Algarve, there are waves for everyone, from complete beginners to pros.

Portugal is one of the best places to learn to surf on the globe. At the same time, some of the world’s gnarliest waves can be found here. Nazaré is home to the biggest waves ever surfed, Supertubos is one of the best beach breaks on the planet, while Cave is Portugal’s heaviest wave.

What is the best time to surf in Portugal?

Portugal is a year-round surfing destination, but the most reliable conditions can be found between October and April.

Summer (May-September) is the perfect time for beginners, as the waves are smaller and less powerful. September through November are extremely reliable months, with quality waves that are bigger and more challenging, warm water, and fewer crowds.

Autumn and winter are the best time for advanced surfers, as powerful Atlantic swells roll in every day, creating well-shaped waves that can really pack a punch. There are plenty of sheltered waves for beginners during the colder months, too. In winter, some breaks get crazy big and become unsurfable, so it’s best to stick to the sheltered spots.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Portugal

Morocco

surf-morocco

Mint tea, tagine, argan oil, bazaars, medinas, and some of the best waves on the African continent are on the menu. With Berber, Arabic, African, and European influences, as well as powerful right hand point breaks rolling in one after another, Morocco is a sensory overload.

Offering both mellow waves and punchy points, not only is it a great place to learn to surf but also to make progress. That’s right, Morocco is one of the world’s best destinations for intermediate surfers, all thanks to its user-friendly waves.

The stretch of coastline between Essaouira and Agadir has the highest concentration of quality waves in the country. Here, Taghazout and Tamraght are Morocco’s premier surfing destinations, thanks to their proximity to world-class waves, their chill vibes, and a great number of surf camps.

Here, it’s freight trains like Anchor Point and Killer Point that are on any experienced surfer’s bucket list, and long waves like Cathedral Point and The Bay that offer the ride of a lifetime. But all levels are spoiled for choice, too. High-quality points like Desert Point, Hash Point, Panoramas, and Banana Point offer a little something for everyone.

When is the best time to surf in Morocco?

The best surfing conditions can be found between October and March, when the Atlantic pumps big and consistent swells.

For beginners, spring, summer, and early autumn bring smaller and friendlier waves. But you’ll are sheltered spots all throughout the year. For experienced surfers, winter months are when the most challenging point breaks in Morocco fire up.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Morocco

Canary Islands, Spain

surf-canary-islands

Thanks to their year-round sunshine and pleasant water temperature, the Canary Islands are a classic winter getaway. But when it comes to surfing, any time is a good time to catch a wave here!

The most popular surfing destinations in the Canaries are the islands of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Lanzarote. Each of them has its own personality and a remarkable selection of surf spots for all levels, from mellow beach breaks to rippable reefs and some incredibly long rides as well.

The Canary Islands are among the best places to learn to surf on the planet. Corralejo, Famara, Las Palmas, and Playa del Ingles are renowned surf hubs for beginners, with friendly waves all year round.

But the Canaries owe much of their reputation to their heavy, hollow, and merciless reef breaks, the likes of El Quemao, The Slab, The Bubble, the Spanish Left, and El Confital. These are some of the gnarliest waves on the globe. Breaking over shallow and razor-sharp reefs, their epic barrels are not for the faint of heart.

What is the best time to surf in the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are a year-round surfing destination, but the most reliable surfing conditions can be found between September and April.

For beginners, summer and autumn have gentler waves. However, there are sheltered spots with friendly waves all year round.

For intermediate and advanced surfers, November through February is the best time to go. Powerful swells create epic conditions and this is when the Canaries’ spitting reef breaks come to life.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in the Canary Islands

 

Indonesia

Top Surf Destinations in 2024

Ready to charge big waves that pack a lot of power, work on your aerials, and level up your skills? 

You can do all that in Indonesia, one of the best destinations to go on a surfing holiday. This tropical country has a lot of epic surf spots and is one of the best places to improve your skills.

Most of Indonesia's excellent surf spots are regularly covered within the essential timetable of the worldwide surf championships. Thanks to its diverse range of waves, pleasant atmosphere, and year-round warm water, no wonder everyone wants to surf here!

With plenty of surf camps dotting the country, it could be hard to choose where to go.

Bali, the Island of Gods, is a great place to learn to surf and enhance your skills. From first-timers to intermediate surfers and pros, there’s a spot for everyone. 

Another great place to surf is on the western coast of Sumatra, the Mentawai Islands, a haven for intermediate and advanced surfers.

When is the best time to surf in Indonesia? 

The dry season between April and October is the ideal time to join a surf camp in Indonesia. This is when consistent Indian Ocean groundswells hit the islands and the south and southwest coasts receive strong offshore winds.

The wet season, also known as the off-season lasts between November and March. The swells are less consistent but many East Coast breaks begin to fire. Plus, the off-season is less crowded.

Costa Rica

surf-costa-rica

Thanks to its wide variety of mellow and user-friendly waves, as well as more challenging spots, Costa Rica is one of the world’s best places to learn to surf and improve. But it does have its fair share of world-class reefs and points that will challenge even the most experienced of surfers.

With Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, both offering exceptional surf, year-round warm water, and tropical climate, Costa Rica has secured its position as one of the world’s most sought-after surfing destinations in 2023.

Surfing in Costa Rica is spread across four main regions: Northern Pacific, Central Pacific, Southern Pacific, and the Caribbean. The Northern and Central Pacific coasts are the most visited by surfers, with the Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces the most popular surfing destinations.

Here, the chic little surf towns of Tamarindo, Nosara, Santa Teresa, and Jaco are surrounded by quality waves and welcome surfers of all levels, any time of the year.

The Caribbean coast is home to the most powerful waves in Costa Rica. In Puerto Viejo, the Salsa Brava reef break will put advanced surfers to the test.

When is the best time to surf in Costa Rica?

The best time to surf on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast is between April and November. This is when the waves are bigger and more powerful, but beginners will find sheltered spots, too. Occasional glassy conditions can be found between December and February.

The best time to surf on the Caribbean Coast is between December and April.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Costa Rica

Mexico

surf-mexico

Mexico’s epic Pacific coastline is dotted with classic point breaks, barreling beach breaks, and uncrowded beaches, while strong offshore winds prevail.

Not only will you find some of the gnarliest waves in the Americas, but also friendly surf spots for beginners and authentic surf towns with all the amenities you could ask for. Plus, it’s an affordable surfing destination and the weather’s warm year-round.

From Baja California to Nayarit, Mazatlán, and all the way to Puerto Escondido, you’ll find an outstanding variety of waves offering something for everyone.

In Baja California Sur, Cabo is famous for its party scene and for its challenging point breaks. In Nayarit, Sayulita is a paradise for beginner surfers and longboarders.

All the while Puerto Escondido is the proud home of the legendary Zicatela. Also known as the “Mexican Pipeline”, it is widely considered the world’s best beach break. Puerto Escondido may be a favorite destination among pro surfers, but there are also waves for all levels near this charming surf town.

When is the best time to surf in Mexico?

The best surfing conditions in Mexico can be found between May and October. Southern swells pump all summer, which translates to big and powerful waves. In Puerto Escondido, the surf season is longer, from March till December, with the biggest waves in May-July.

In winter, (November-April), north and west-facing coasts get swells from the North Pacific.

» READ MORE: Surfing in Mexico – Your Guide to the Best Waves

Australia

Surf Camps in Australia


Dreaming of hitting the waves in Australia? With its world-famous Superbank, Byron Bay, Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and Torquay, Australia stands quite high on any surfers’ bucket list, with a variety of choices for both beginner and experienced surfers.

Throughout the year, Australia boasts amazing surf conditions, making it the perfect destination for a weekend packed with underwater adventures, beachside fun, and the delightful sight of palm trees gently dancing in the breeze. With a plethora of fantastic waves to choose from, you'll be in for an unforgettable experience.

New South Wales has the most crowded surf beaches in Australia. At the same time, it also has some remarkably empty line-ups. You just need to travel farther away from the main surf hubs to reach them. 

If you’d like to experience the alluring Aussie surf culture, travel in February and attend the Surfest Newcastle. This is Australia’s biggest surfing festival, a series of international competitions held at Merewether Beach in Newcastle, NSW.

And don't forget about the Gold Coast, another fantastic surf destination in the country. Packed with plenty of surf schools and beaches for all levels, the Gold Coast guarantees loads of fun on your surfing vacation! 

When is the best time to surf in Australia? 

The good news is that Australia is a year-round surfing paradise!

The Australian summer, which falls between December and February, and typically brings hot weather, is also the peak tourist season and a popular time for surfing. 

Autumn, from May to June, is a great time to go surfing in Australia. The swells are pumping, the water is at its warmest, the wind is mainly offshore, the weather is more pleasant, and the beaches are not as packed. 

Winter, from June to August is without a doubt, the best time to go on a surfing camp in Australia. Plus, It's also less crowded.

Sri Lanka

surf-sri-lanka

Renowned for its crystal-blue water, palm-fringed beaches, and epic surf breaks, it comes no surprise that Sri Lanka has increasingly gained the spotlight as one of the world’s most-sought-after surf destinations. 

Thanks to its world-class surf spots, year-round pleasant weather, and a relaxed atmosphere, surfers from around the world are flocking to this tropical paradise. 

When you join a surf camp in Sri Lanka, you’ll likely have plenty of time soaking up the sun or lazing around in the shade drinking coconuts during the day and hitting the waves for a few hours before chilling with other surfers with a beer or two at the local beach bar. 

If you’re a beginner or an intermediate surfer, you’ll enjoy the slow-peeling waves of Hikkaduwa, located in the Galle District. Whereas if you’re an advanced surfer, Arugam Bay, the surf capital of the Eastern Province, is not to be missed

All in all, this stunning country is a paradise for surfers of all-levels, with very friendly locals that take its hospitality to the next level.

When is the best time to surf in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is a great year-round surfing destination, but the most reliable surfing conditions can be found between September and April.

In the Eastern Province, the main surfing season runs from May through September, whereas in the Southern Province, the best conditions can be found during the dry season, between November and April.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Sri Lanka

 

 

Nicaragua

surf-nicaragua

Nicaragua’s landscapes are hard to beat. Just picture wide-open beaches with consistent waves and 300+ days of offshore winds per year to make for a surfing paradise. Furthermore, it’s a very affordable country and is less crowded than neighboring Costa Rica.

San Juan del Sur is the most popular vacation destination in Nicaragua. Half an hour from town, Playa Maderas, Playa El Remanso, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Yankee have fantastic breaks for all levels.

In the Southern Pacific region, Playa Colorado is a heavy beach break that throws some sick barrels. Further south, Playa Gigante is famous for its epic beachfront sunsets.

A few hours south of Managua, Popoyo is one of Nicaragua’s most famous surf spots, a white sandy beach that receives waves of all shapes and sizes.

For some truly remote surf, head to Northern Nicaragua, where you’ll find deserted beaches and a wide variety of waves.

When is the best time to surf in Nicaragua?

It’s possible to surf in Nicaragua all year round. However, the best time to go for experienced surfers is during the wet season, between April and September, when powerful south swells hit the coast. The dry season, between November and April, has mellower waves and cleaner conditions for beginners.

 

Southwest France

surf-southwest-france

Some of the world’s heaviest barrels, epic big wave surf spots, chic little surf towns, renowned international surfing competitions, delicious food, and scenery that’s nothing short of amazing are on the menu in Southwest France.

The Nouvelle-Aquitaine region has some of the best beach breaks in Europe, spread across Gironde, Landes, and the French Basque Country. Each and every corner along this stretch of coastline exhales surf vibes.

Landes is one of the best places to learn to surf in France, while Biarritz is the birthplace of European surfing.

A remarkable density of world-class beach breaks is scattered along the stretch of coastline between Seignosse and Biarritz. From the heavy and fast spitting barrels at Hossegor and Anglet to the mellow waves at Mimizan-Page in Landes and Grande Plage in Biarritz, beginners and pros alike are spoiled for choice.

When is the best time to surf in Southwest France?

France receives constant swells from the Bay of Biscay. For beginners, summer and early autumn have smaller and friendlier waves. For advanced surfers, autumn and winter have bigger and more powerful swells.

Overall, the best surfing conditions in France, for beginners and pros alike, can be found in September, October, and November, when the swells are most consistent. The water is still pretty warm, the winds are mainly offshore, and it’s not as crowded as in summer.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Southwest France

Honorary Mention

Hawaii, USA

surf-oahu-hawaii

Hawaii is more than just a coveted vacation destination. It is the birthplace of modern surfing. You simply cannot come here and not grab a surfboard, even if you’ve never tried it before.

The archipelago owes its popularity to its gnarly reef breaks; the Banzai Pipeline, Waimea, Hailewa, and Jaws are on every seasoned surfer’s bucket list. Indeed, this is the land of the treacherous reef break; but there are waves for all, from beginners to pros

When thinking of surfing in Hawaii, the islands of Oahu and Maui usually come to mind, and with good reason.

Oahu is home to two legendary surfing destinations – Waikiki and the North Shore. While Waikiki is a famous surfing spot for beginners, albeit with quite a few challenging waves as well, Oahu’s North Shore is the ultimate surfers’ testing ground. This is where you’ll find the scariest, most dangerous, and most photographed reef breaks on the planet, with epic spitting tubes that pro surfers simply can’t resist.

When is the best time to surf in Hawaii?

The archipelago is exposed to a 360-degree swell window, which makes it possible to surf in Hawaii all year round.

The best time to surf on Hawaii’s north shores is during winter (October-April), when powerful swells sweep the northern coasts, creating epic conditions. This is a great time to see your favorite pros “at work”. It’s also a good time for beginners to visit the southern shores, where the waves are much smaller and friendlier.

The best time to surf on Hawaii’s south shores is during summer (May-October). Beginners will find plenty of mellow waves during this time. Between July and September, advanced surfers can see certain surf breaks on the southern coasts get double-overhead.

» READ MORE: All You Need to Know About Surfing in Hawaii

United Kingdom

surf-united-kingdom

The water may be colder and, on some days, the weather may not be so great, but the surf in the United Kingdom is certainly worth all the hype.

From the gnarly waves at Thurso East in Scotland to Portrush in Northern Ireland, Saltburn in North Yorkshire, Newgale in Pembrokeshire, and all the way to Sennen Cove in Cornwall, the UK’s shoreline is dotted with barreling reefs and sheltered beach breaks. 

Cornwall is the most popular surfing destination in the United Kingdom and one of the best places to learn to surf in the country. Nestled between Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach, Newquay is the capital of Cornish surfing. With a variety of waves for beginners and pros alike, Cornwall’s beaches often host international surf competitions.

When is the best time to surf in the United Kingdom?

The surfing season runs from autumn till spring, between September and May, when consistent swells roll in. Summer receives much smaller swells and is more suitable for beginners.

Overall, autumn is the best time to surf in the UK, for beginners and experienced surfers alike. The water is warmer, the weather’s pleasant, and the beaches are not as crowded as in summer.

 

 


Make 2023 the best year yet! Because the only way to get better at surfing is to practice more, opt for budget surf camps that enable you to surf more with less.

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