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The 10 Best Surfing Destinations of 2019

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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Another year has gone by. We’ve learned and grown together. We caught our very first waves and joined our first surf camps. We’ve made great progress. But, the journey is never-ending.

Let’s make 2019 the best year yet by taking on even bigger challenges. Break out of your comfort zone and go on a surf camp for beginners!

After having visited the best surfing destinations of 2018, it’s time to refresh our bucket list. We looked through our statistics to bring you the best surfing destinations of 2019, along with our recommendations of surf camps you can join any time of the year. Check them out and decide where you want to surf in 2019.


1. Portugal


One of the most surfer-friendly countries on the planet and one of the best places to learn to surf, Portugal welcomes aspiring surfers as well as pros to have a taste of its epic surf spots.

The central coast boasts some of the most powerful surf breaks in Europe. This is the home of Nazaré, the biggest wave ever surfed, and Peniche, with its legendary Supertubos beach break, Portugal’s own ‘Pipeline’. Ericeira, the only World Surf Reserve in Europe, and the surf beaches near Lisbon, Europe’s answer to San Francisco, welcome surfers of all levels.

Last but not least, the sunny and picturesque Algarve region, with its year-round warm water and reliable surfing conditions, offers something for all skill levels throughout the year.

Discover the best surf spots in Portugal.


Best time to go: Spring and autumn. Summer, between June and September, brings mellow waves and warm water, and is more recommended for beginners. During winter, between November and April, powerful swells bring in fierce waves for more advanced surfers.


Our recommended surf camp in Portugal

7 Days Yoga and All Levels Surf Camp in Ericeira, Mafra, Portugal

Enjoy a fun and personalized surfing experience in Ericeira any time of the year. This package includes 6 surf lessons and 3 yoga sessions. If that still doesn’t seem enough, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll also benefit from unlimited use of the surfing equipment during your stay.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 345 per person for 7 days/6 nights

Availability: All year round


2. Indonesia


With thousands of miles of postcard-perfect beaches, a fascinating culture, scrumptious food, timeless temples and authentic villages, as well as upscale resorts, Indonesia is all about variety.

The most famous surfing (and tourist) destination in the archipelago is, without any doubt, Bali. Home to legendary reef breaks Padang Padang, Uluwatu, Bingin, Nusa Dua, and beginner-friendly surf beaches at Kuta and Canggu, Bali is on every surfer’s bucket list.

But there are many more world-class surf spots in Indonesia worth checking out. Lombok is less crowded and the Mentawai Islands are among the most consistent surfing destinations in the world.

Discover the best surf spots in Indonesia.


Best time to go: During the dry season, between April and October. During the wet season, between November and March, the surf can still be good but the conditions are less reliable. On the bright side, this is when the east coasts of the archipelago receive powerful swells and the prices tend to drop.


Our recommended surf camp in Indonesia

4 Days Semi-Private Surf Camp in Canggu, Bali

Recommended for all levels of surfers, this budget-friendly surf camp in Canggu offers daily surf lessons catered to your specific needs. Each day, you will be taken to the best surf spots according to your skills, after which the instructor will provide a video analysis of your session.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 161 per person for 4 days/3 nights

Availability: All year round


3. Morocco


A premier winter surfing destination, Morocco’s Atlantic coastline comes to life during the cold season. Thanks to its proximity to the Old Continent, many European surfers flock to this colorful and fascinating African country to escape the cold winters at home.

But, surfers from far and wide come to sample Morocco’s waves. The many beginner-friendly surf beaches near Essaouira, Sidi Kaouki, and Taghazout, as well as the powerful, spine-tingling waves at Anchor Point, Killer Point, and Boilers draw an international crowd.

Discover the best surf spots in Morocco.


Best time to go: Although Morocco is considered a year-round surfing destination, the most reliable conditions can be found between October and April, when powerful groundswells hit the coast, producing world-class waves. Don’t worry, you can still find plenty of sheltered surf breaks any time of the year.


Our recommended surf camp in Morocco

6 Days Surf and Yoga Holiday in Morocco

Join this surf camp in Taghazout Bay and surf world-renowned waves, bask in the Moroccan sun, watch incredible sunsets, make new friends, and welcome the surf lifestyle into your everyday life.

You will enjoy daily surf lessons and 2 yoga classes per day to help improve your surfing and ease those sore muscles. Transfer from Agadir, all daily meals, a visit to a traditional local hammam and the Souk El Had market in Agadir, as well as a trip to Paradise Valley are included in the package.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 400 per person for 6 days/5 nights

Availability: All year round


4. Costa Rica


With year-round surf, waves for all skill levels, a friendly tropical climate, warm water all year round, and probably more sunshine than you can handle, Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise and one of the best beginner-friendly surfing destinations in the world.

Surfing is top-notch on both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts. You’ll find uncrowded surf beaches, downright scary waves like the Salsa Brava reef break, laid-back surf towns like Nosara and Jaco, and world-class surf spots in Costa Rica that offer something for all levels, like Playa Tamarindo and Santa Teresa.

Discover the best surf spots in Costa Rica.


Best time to go: All year round! On the Caribbean coast, the best conditions can be found between December and April, during the dry season. On the Pacific coast, the waves are more powerful between May and November.


Our recommended surf camp in Costa Rica

8 Days Affordable Surf Camp in Santa Teresa, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica

Discover one of the best beginner-friendly surf beaches in Costa Rica – Santa Teresa. This surf camp offers 6 daily surf lessons using the most advanced surfing equipment, with tips and coaching.

Professional surfing instructors will help you catch your first wave or guide you as you improve your surfing. Whatever your level may be, they’ve got you covered!

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 623 per person for 8 days/7 nights

Availability: All year round


5. Spain


Some of the best waves in Europe can be found on the Iberian Peninsula and, although Portugal often steals the spotlight, Spain has quite a few spectacular surf spots to brag about. In the Basque Country, Zarautz, the country’s surfing capital, Mundaka, Meñakoz, Sopelana, and Playa de Somo have written surf history.

The Canary Islands, Europe’s answer to Hawaii, offer plenty of mellow waves for beginners as well as fast and technical surf breaks for advanced surfers. The water temperature is warmer than in mainland Europe, and the weather is sunny all year round!

Check out our guides to the best surf spots in Spain and in the Canary Islands.


Best time to go: All year round! The best time for beginners to surf in mainland Spain is during summer months. Between September and April, the ocean is restless and this is when the more advanced surfers flock here.

The best time to surf in the Canary Islands is between September and April, but you can find surf spots that work all year round.


Our recommended surf camp in Spain

8 Days Surf Camp in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Catch your first wave or improve your surfing skills on this surf camp in sunny Tenerife. Take full advantage of the 5 surf lessons and free equipment rental. The package also includes insurance, 1 yoga lesson (you can book more), 1 surf theory lesson, and daily breakfast.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 379 per person for 4 days/3 nights

Availability: All year round


6. Maldives


The waves in the Maldives may not get too big, but they are the embodiment of perfection. Think glassy waves, endless barrels, and empty line-ups. The Maldives are a great destination for intermediate and advanced surfers, but beginners will find plenty of spots too.

The majority of surf spots in the Maldives are located on the outer reefs and are only accessible by boat.

The North Male Atoll is the most visited surfing destination in the Maldives, thanks to the many resorts that make the surf breaks more accessible than in the other atolls. The Central Atolls are blessed with the longest swell window in the archipelago, and most surf breaks can only be accessed by boat. The off-the-beaten-path Southern Atolls are home to the most impressive waves in the Maldives. Unfortunately, they are exposed to the shortest swell window.

Find out where and when to surf in the Maldives!


Best time to go: It depends on the atolls you wish to visit. Generally speaking, September and October are the most reliable months. You’ll find great conditions between March and May, while June to August usually welcome bigger swells.


Our recommended surf camp in the Maldives

7 Days Breathtaking Surf and Yoga Holiday in Himmafushi Island, Maldives

Join this surf camp on Himmafushi Island in the North Male Atoll, and stay near legendary Jailbreaks, the fastest wave in the Maldives. The package includes 2 activities per day, and you can choose between surf, yoga or both. All daily meals and boat tours with traditional dhoni boats are included.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 532 per person for 7 days/6 nights

Availability: All year round


7. Sri Lanka


With year-round warm water and very reliable surfing conditions, Sri Lanka is the place to chase the endless summer. Regardless of your level, you’ll find a surf spot in Sri Lanka to your liking.

On the southwest coast, Hikkaduwa is an excellent beginner surf spot, while Unawatuna has waves for all levels. Further south, in the Matara District, Weligama welcomes beginner surfers all year round and is among the best places on the planet to learn to surf.

On the east coast, the surf is concentrated around Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka’s surf hub, which also serves as a basecamp for the numerous top-notch surf breaks located nearby.

Discover the best surf spots in Sri Lanka.


Best time to go: Thanks to its two distinct surf seasons, surfing in Sri Lanka is possible all year round:

  • Between November and April on the southwest coast
  • Between May and October on the east coast

You can find good surfing conditions outside of the main seasons, especially around Weligama and Arugam Bay, which are renowned for their consistency.


Our recommended surf camp in Sri Lanka

8 Days Amazing Surf Camp in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka

Located in the heart of Arugam Bay, this surf camp offers 6 surf lessons catered to your specific needs – you’ll be separated into groups according to your skill level, with a 1:3 instructor to student ratio. The package also includes daily breakfast and 1 massage to ease those muscles.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 501 per person for 8 days/7 nights

Availability: All year round


8. Philippines


Its laid-back island vibe, palm-fringed white-sand beaches, and stunning barreling waves make the Philippines an ideal destination if you’re looking to unwind while adding a dash of excitement to your holiday.  

The Bicol region with its beginner-friendly surf breaks, Baras and its aptly named Majestic wave, Baler in Aurora, the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines, and Siargao Island with its famed Cloud 9, the most recognizable wave in the Philippines, all deserve a place on your surf bucket list.

Discover the best surf spots in the Philippines.


Photo credit: Majestic Surf Camp

Best time to go: Between October and April, when strong offshore winds stir up the Philippine Sea. The conditions may differ depending on the surf spot you wish to visit, as some are exposed to either a shorter or a longer swell window.


Our recommended surf camp in the Philippines

7 Days All Level Surf Camp with Daily Yoga in Baras, Philippines

Stay at Majestic Puraran in Baras, Catanduanes, an intimate beach resort named after the Majestic surf break, one of the fastest and most hollow right-hand barrels in the world.  

This invigorating surf camp offers daily surf sessions tailored to your skill level and daily yoga classes. Plus, you can take advantage of the unlimited use of longboards to surf even more! The package also includes daily breakfast, an island tour, and a 2-hour traditional whole-body massage.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 360 per person for 7 days/6 nights

Availability: All year round


9. Mexico


Mexico has been pinned on the surf map for decades. Its Pacific coastline is dotted with powerful point breaks and barreling beach breaks, beginner-friendly surf beaches as well as ferocious waves that are bound to give you the chills.

Northern Baja California, with its epic Rosarito Beach and Ensenada, is a popular weekend getaway for South Californian surfers and is often crowded. Luckily, the further south you go, the emptier the beaches become.

On the central coast, Mazatlán and Nayarit are swell magnets. However, the number one surf spot in Mexico remains Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca, the birthplace of surfing in the country and home to La Zicatela, also known as the ‘Mexican Pipeline’.

Discover the best surf spots in Mexico.


Best time to go: Between May and October, during hurricane season, when big and powerful waves hit the coast and the conditions are more reliable. That being said, you can surf in Mexico all year round.


Our recommended surf camp in Mexico

8 Days Yoga and Surf Camp in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Join this thrilling yoga and surf retreat in Puerto Escondido and enjoy 5 surf lessons with and 4 Hatha yoga classes for surfers. The package also includes 1 surf video coaching session and 1 private surf photo session.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 261 per person for 8 days/7 nights

Availability: All year round


10. Panama


Reef breaks, point breaks, long peelers, hollow tubes, you name it! Panama has it all, on both its Pacific and Atlantic coastlines. And, thanks to Panama’s narrow geography, it is possible to surf on both on the same day!

On the Pacific side, Santa Catalina has one of the longest beach breaks in Central America. On the Azuero Peninsula, the province of Los Santos is home to some of the best surf spots in Panama.

Bocas del Toro, off the east coast of mainland Panama, is an archipelago of nine Caribbean islands packed with secluded beaches. It’s the country’s number one tourist attraction and offers some of the best surf in Panama too, with waves for all levels.


Photo credit: Selina Surf Camp

Best time to go: All year round! Surfing on Panama’s Pacific coast is best between April and November. The Caribbean coast is best between December and March, but works throughout the rest of the year too, except for the months of September and November.


Our recommended surf camp in Panama

6 Days All-Level Surf Camp in Playa Venao, Los Santos, Panama

Catch your very first waves in Panama or improve your surfing skills with the help of Selina’s experienced instructors. Join this surf camp and get 4 2-hour surf lessons in the morning, adapted to your specific level.

Skill level: All levels

Price: From € 288 per person for 6 days/5 nights

Availability: All year round


Make 2019 a year to remember! Take a leap of faith and finally learn to surf in one of the world’s best surfing destinations.

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