The highest waves in the world, the most reckless surfers, but above all the most beautiful beaches: this is where board lovers go to face the fury of the sea and come out victorious. However, surfing is also an excellent excuse for a beach holiday. Board under the arm and off to adventure. The waves crash in the distance, roaring and frightening, but we fear nothing. It is not the foam of the sea, nor the roaring din of the water that folds in on itself that makes us give up. Also because most of the time we are just spectators. And maybe we are not even on a beach, but in front of the computer watching some videos of the reckless surfers. All right, raise your hand if you surf. Don't bluff, if that were the case you'd already be around the world chasing the perfect wave. The Big One, as one would say in jargon. Or maybe you are on these pages just to get some advice on which are the best places in the world to surf. Well, we don't have a big Wednesday, but we read a lot, and we take expert advice into consideration. While we bask in the sun of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the most beautiful of the situation challenge the wrath of Neptune by riding its waves. But on the other hand, the most beautiful places in the world for surfing do not differ much from the most beautiful ones for lying on a towel to get a tan, don't you think?
Let's start with what is considered the home of modern surfing: the Hawaiian Islands. It seems that centuries ago the Polynesians loved to ride the waves. However, it was the Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku who brought the sport from Honolulu to the Australian and US coasts at the beginning of the last century. So let's go back to the origins by landing on Ohau where waves nine meters high await only those who have the guts to tame them. This is where the infamous Banzai Pipeline is located: the storm surges meet the coral reef and form waves that fold in on themselves creating real pipes. The more experienced surfers are dedicated to the activity of tube riding, and cross the wave inside it just as it is breaking down. A risky and often lethal practice that has cost the lives of many professionals, but which guarantees honor and glory to anyone who succeeds. The most popular beach for surfers is Kailua Beach, but you can also show off on Maui. Big Wave Surfing is the discipline that sees the greatest riding epic waves that can only be found naturally offshore (otherwise you would risk a tsunami). Surfers get carried away by jet skis and then let go and face their destiny. The place that sees this specialty prevail over all is Mavericks, California: 25 meters high ridges are the godsend for the brave (or crazy) reckless. And here lives have been claimed. Another Californian spot suitable only for experts is Black's Beach in San Diego. Smaller waves can instead be appreciated near Malibu's Surfrider Beach. From the West Coast to the East Coast: the island of Hatteras has been known since the 1970s for the waves caused by violent hurricanes, which often caused the sinking of many ships. So much so that the area near the lighthouse is known as the "cemetery of the Atlantic". We leave the United States and fly north: Tofino, on Vancouver Island, is known as the surfing capital of Canada. Suitable for all skill levels. The only thing you really need is a thick enough suit – the cold can get really bitter around there.
In the Caribbean Barbados is the surfers' island par excellence. Here the different currents form waves of all kinds, giving both experts and beginners the opportunity to have fun. The Surf Festival, a world-renowned event, is organized every year on the Soup Bowl beach. Another Caribbean island where you can exercise at all levels is Costa Rica, with its Tamarindo Beach: here the sound of the breaking waves mixes with that of the howler monkeys who will watch you from the top of their trees. We fly to Mexico: Puerto Escondido in Italy is famous for the film of the same name, but among surfers it is a well-known destination. As sadly famous is Baja Malibu: the waves are ideal to feel like the kings of the world for a moment, but the waters are polluted and once you have fallen off the board you have to be careful not to accidentally swallow. Florianópolis, affectionately called Floripa, is one of the most populated seaside resorts in Brazil. As well as a favorite place for surfers. There are 42 different beaches to choose from, from Barra da Lagoa, suitable for beginners, to the more difficult Praia da Joaquina. And the best part is that you surf until sunset, because the parties go on even without a board. Not far from the great metropolis of São Paulo is the small São Francisco do Sul, where, however, numerous national championships are held. If, on the other hand, you want to go to a little visited spot, the Montanita beach in Ecuador is for you. Many skip it to go straight to the Galapagos, but it is one of the most beautiful places to surf. And where the local sportsmen are among the friendliest, and will gladly invite you to have an aperitif on the beach to relieve you from the blows inflicted by the waves.
There is also no need to mention that Australia's east coast is the main hangout spot for surfers – the name given to one of the main tourist hubs, Surfers Paradise, doesn't leave much to the imagination. The most popular reef break is definitely that of Superbanks, where thanks to the tubular waves you could really experience the ride of your life. However, Gold Coast is an overly inflated city. If you want to surf in a more relaxed and hippy environment, Byron Bay is the place to go. There, between one storm and another, you can relax with a guitar on the beach and a quiet café with the locals. A completely natural location still not ruined by mass tourism. The more metropolitan alternative is Bondi Beach: the surf takes on a whole new flavor if you can admire the wonders of Sydney in the background. In New Zealand, Manu Bay, near Raglan, is a place of worship for having appeared in the documentary film The Endless Summer, a progenitor of the surf genre in the cinema. The waves range from one to three meters, but the real queen is the atmosphere all imbued with the myth of surfing: the bars and cafes all broadcast documentaries on the subject, and you can enjoy them while sipping a fresh fruit smoothie, hoping to meet a of the old glories that appeared in the film. Outside the mainland, a trip to Samoa is needed to experience the extremes: Special K is a spot with medium waves, while Coconuts is where the beast is unleashed.
Let's face it, here you are not looking so much for the biggest wave, as for the most beautiful beach where you can relax in the shade of a palm tree to recover from the fight against the god of the sea. Nonetheless, there is no shortage of points where you can unleash the Big Kahuna that is in itself. And if it is also an excuse for a holiday in the Maldives … For example, on the capital island of Malé you can face the wave that is created on the Sultans reef, even if the risk is high due to the rocky seabed. One of the most famous waves is that of Pasta Point, thanks to its over 100 meters of tube riding. Unfortunately there is a high price to pay: that of the Dhonveli Beach Resort, which occupies the island where the aforementioned spot is located. A single night around here can cost you up to € 270! Better then to fall back on a cheaper trip to Thailand. At least when it comes to the local cost of living, because Phuket's resorts are no different when it comes to the damage done to the wallet. But Surin Beach is a good place to sit on the table, and while it's not the best place in the world, Thailand's tropical charm makes it worthwhile. Where you would never expect to roam the waves is in China, a country not really famous for being the home of surfing. But you will change your mind when you go to Sanya, a renowned tourist center in the province of Hainan, famous for its tropical climate: it is no coincidence that it is the southernmost city in China. It's Riyuewan Bay is a hidden treasure for surfers looking for unexplored spots. We come to the islands. Bali's beaches are as famous as their waves, but perhaps not enough for all surfers from Australia and Hawaii. So much so that in Kuta the locals don't look kindly on foreigners. Better to head to Uluwatu, where the atmosphere is friendlier. On the island of Siargao, in the Philippines, the Cloud Nine is a break that creates a wave that can decide the death of the surfer who faces it at every second: just slide off the board to be able to break the bones on the sharp corals against which the force of the water can hurl you violently. The Mentawai Islands, west of Sumatra, represent a real paradise for surfers who just have to choose the most beautiful spot (it seems that the best are in the islands of Pagai and Siberut). Finally, Fulong beach, with its reckless waves, is certainly one of the many good reasons to visit Taiwan.
The mecca of all tube riding lovers is definitely Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, where you can run around for over three hundred meters inside the Supertubes. A great destination to start learning to surf is Muizenberg, but even the more experienced can head to Kalk Bay and Danger Reef (a not-so-reassuring name). The drawbacks, as usual, are those of the South African sea: cold waters and sharks. Better then to fly to Morocco, to Taghazoute: it will be worth it, if only for that unique mix of African and Middle Eastern culture that reigns in the coastal city. The most popular point is the Killer Point, but don't be scared by the name: it refers to the numerous orcas sighted in the area (in English killer whales). From the point of view of climate and landscapes, the Canary Islands are all African: and the island of Fuerteventura is the best choice to ride the wave. The Bubble, on the north coast at El Jablito beach, is a small tubular adventure that runs for a few meters. And for this reason the typical Spanish cheerfulness and welcome goes to be blessed, as the locals do not look favorably on tourists who try to steal their wave. The battle for conquest is an epic feat. In winter, Cape Verde is an excellent destination: the waves of Ponta Preta crash on a risky breaking point, and it is no coincidence that the meaning of the Portuguese name of the break is "black point".
Duration: 14 days / 13 nights
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