Top ten surfing destinations

Top 10 destinations to spot a celebrity

Surfing is a year round sport. Discover some of the world's top surfing spots, from the big waves of the spiritual home of surfing Hawaii to the shores of western France.

1. Oahu

Monster waves. Huge wipeouts. Hawaii is, of course, America's surfing Mecca, and the North Shore of Oahu is the state's Holy Grail. Waikiki was the playground for Hawaiian royalty and where they came to surf so if you are just learning then the calmer waves of Waikiki will help you find your feet but if its pro waves you are after head up to the North Shore and hit the likes of Sunset Beach, Pupukea Beach and of course the much celebrated Banzai Pipeline.

  • Best time to surf: beginners March - May, pro surfers/big waves Nov-Feb
  • Ideal for: the adventurous, the free spirit and the budding surfer in us all.

2. Portugal

Northern Portugal in the Cortegaca region offers true surfing paradise, quality surfing, great atmosphere, and is just perfect for those people looking to escape crowded conditions further south. You fly to Porto for this region. Lisbon area is the heartland of Portugal surfing stretching all the way down to Peniche. You fly to Lisbon for this region. Finally the Algarve, has a very mild climate with solid surf often with offshore morning breezes are extremely common. Fly to Faro for surfing in the Algarve.

  • Best time to surf: beginners april - august, pro surfers/big waves Nov-Feb
  • Ideal for: those seeking some culture too or wanting a less crowded wave.

3. California

Most of the Californian coast is blessed with the pacific coast highway that stretches the length of the coastline and enables easy surf checks and access to hundreds of spots. California offers something for the beginner in Malibu or Manhatten beach to the professional with waves like Mavericks outside San Francisco. Steeped in surfing history it should be on the top of your list for a surfing holiday.

  • Best time to surf: all year round, depending on experience
  • Ideal for: beginners in certain areas as the average surf height all year is between 2 to 4ft.

4. France, west coast

France is not only renowned for its superb food but also for its glorious beaches and quality surfing waves that make it one of the World's greatest destinations to surf. The whole stretch of West coastline sees a varying quality of surf. The further down the coastline you venture the better the surf becomes. The French surf zones like Barriatz, Hossegor and Seignosse Le Penon means waves of quality and perfection.

  • Best time to surf: March - November
  • Ideal for: ladies, the aspiring Cameron Diaz among you.

5. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Lanzarote, the most northern of the Canary Islands chain is located 100 km off the Moroccan coast, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. For over two decades it has been known to surfers as the North Shore of Europe. There are two main surfing resorts on the island of Lanzarote , Costa Teguise on the east coast and Famara on the west coast. Costa Teguise is a purpose built resort that is a haven for water sports enthusiast, however it does not have immediate access to surf and is more geared up for those looking for a quality type accommodation with transfers daily to the surf clinic or those surfers wishing to experience quality with surf only a few minutes ride away. The small surf resort of Famara is 1,500 metres of beautiful beach with magnificent backdrop of volcanic mountains and has become a Surfers' paradise, although retaining its pure innocents and simplicity. Playa de Famara is considered by many to be its most beautiful surfing beaches in Europe.

  • Best time to surf: October - March, smaller waves for beginners April - August
  • Ideal for: beginners and families.

6. Fuertaventura, Canary Islands

The island has perfect surfing beaches to suit all abilities, with the most consistent surf found on the North West coast but with many spots still undiscovered and most hardly surfed. There is surf to suit all standards of surfer but also some absolute gems for the more advanced adventurous types. Fuerteventura provides quality fun waves and is best suited for those surfers who want a quick, warm destination with mild water temperatures year round. Corralejo has managed to retain its original charm and atmosphere, and there are still beautiful white sandy beaches in the town centre, where you can 'drop down' and soak up the Canarian sunshine after a hard session surfing. Most of the shops, bars and restaurants are along the main street which leads right down through the music square and on to the harbour which looks across the other side of town and the sand dunes.

  • Best time to surf: October - March, smaller waves for beginners April - August
  • Ideal for: families and some hidden hot spots for the adventurous and experienced wave rider

7. Madeira

Sitting alone in the Atlantic, 350 miles west of the Moroccan city of Casablanca, Madeira stands defiantly in the way of any swell coming out of the North Atlantic. It is an extremely picturesque rich cultural island, rising sheer out of the ocean, and generations of local people have moulded its cliffs into an amazing system of fertile terraces full of flowering trees. The surf of Madeira is an experience to be cherished with powerful uncrowded waves offering a real chance to test your skills to the fullest with the full force of the Atlantic. The surf break at Paul Do Mar is a fast hollow right hand point break.

  • Best time to surf: October to April
  • Ideal for: Intermediate and advanced surfers only

8. Australia

Australia is one of the world greatest surfing destinations. It is a destination that has surfing as a main stream sport and it is regarded as a way of life, part of the culture and is a major industry. The dazzling Sunshine Coast encompasses a string of coastal towns strewn along the sparkling Pacific Ocean, with stunning blue-green hills as a backdrop. The region is a haven for surfers, swimmers, fishers, adventurers, or those who just want to hide away.

  • Best time to surf: West coast all year round, Gold Coast April - October. Wave size varies throughout the year but generally there is always something to ride
  • Ideal for: : all levels of experience and families, there is something for everyone

9. Bali

It's been 25 years since the island of Bali became the epicentre of exotic surf adventure. Bali is still an excellent destination a quarter of a century on and offers true surfing magic. There is no denying the quality and quantity of Bali surf. The mystical Island of Temples-and a thousand surfing waves. The southeast trade winds start in March and continue through to November each year this offers good offshore conditions in Bali and provides classic and sometimes hollow tubes of pure surf fun! And the Balinese will welcome you with open arms.

  • Best time to surf: all year round but the surf is best from April - October
  • Ideal for: : all standards from beginners to professionals

10. Florida

Florida's Cocoa Beach as one of the finest all-purpose surfing destinations in the world. Whatever your standard of surfing you'll enjoy Cocoa Beach, which is one of those rare places where alluring natural beauty melds harmoniously with a 21st century lifestyle. Cocoa Beach provides you with six miles of soft sand fronted by consistent 2-4 ft waves. Water temperatures never drop below 62F and air temperatures rarely dip below 72F, meaning that for most of the year it's a board shorts only destination.

  • Best time to surf: August - March
  • Ideal for: : families and beginners