For the first time ever, surfing made its Olympic debut at the Summer Games in Tokyo. In honor of the sport’s recognition, we’re highlighting some of the best surf spots around the world. Discover the top sandswept locations, and where to stay to unwind in luxury after a day on the waves.
Peru’s entire coastline is surfing heaven: it’s known as the Hawaii of South America. But most head to Lima to hit the waves with like-minded people, where surf culture reigns supreme. Head to La Herradura for some of the world’s longest rideable left waves. Or brave the waves at Pico Alto, where waves regularly reach 30-feet tall.
Life in Santa Barbara is tuned to the lull of the surrounding waves. From Gaviota Coast to Hammonds Reef and beyond, surf-lovers will be spoilt for choice. With plenty of right-hand point breaks, autumn is the best time to ride the waves under the sunshine. Oozing with California cool, Santa Barbara is the perfect location to lap up the SoCal spirit.
With both awe-inspiring nature and a bustling cosmopolitan centre, Cape Town has the best of both. As a result, it’s considered one of the most versatile surf locations for long-haul travel. Some of the top spots include Glen Beach, Big Bay, Long Beach and Muizenberg. Just make sure you consult with Shark Spotters to avoid any sharp-toothed friends on your paddle out.
When you think of Rio, one of the first images that comes to mind is the endless stretches of coastline, dotted with wave-hunting adrenaline junkies. From the smaller local beaches like Joatinga to the world-famous Ipanema, there are beaches here for every level of surfer. With reliable wave swells and a buzzing surf culture, Rio is often considered the most reliable surf destination.
Considered to be one of the best surf spots in Europe, Madeira is perfect for intermediate surfers. Take advantage of the northeasterly swells at Jardim do Mar. Or head to Fajã da Areia, where waves regularly reach six-foot. Winter is the best time to surf here, but don’t worry about the cold: this Island of Eternal Spring stays mild year-round.
It’s easy to see why Bali is famous for its surfing. The water is crystal-blue and warm, while the tropical, laid-back atmosphere perfectly matches the surfer aesthetic. Head to the island’s southern tip for endless beaches offering left-hand reef breaks, with options for both beginners and experts.
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