[]   Your account

Great surfing destinations

Great surfing destinations

What makes a great surfing location? Well, handily placed inviting accommodation, friendly locals, a nice atmosphere and (of course) waves.

These are our picks of great surfing locations.

We’ve also added some handy tips when it comes to your  travel insurance,  so you can ride the waves with peace of mind that you’re covered in case anything goes wrong.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
Do you know someone who could benefit from this article?
Posted 29 JANUARY 2020

Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa

South Africa has perfect conditions for surfing. Its coastline is lashed by the Indian and Atlantic oceans and produces great waves pretty much anywhere. It’s the Cape area, though, that’s best known for its surfing.

Jeffrey’s Bay (or J-Bay to the locals), is one of the most famous surfing destinations on the globe. Located in the Eastern Cape, the area produces waves to challenge the most experienced of surfers. This includes the so called Supertubes offering the highest walls of water.

For beginners there’s Muizenberg, a safe and inviting environment with great waves for the novice to start honing their skills.


On 7 September 2020, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated the list of countries that are exempt from its ongoing advice against all non-essential international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination where the FCDO is advising against non-essential travel at the time of your departure, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim likely to be rejected.

For domestic travel, please check the local public health rules for the destination you wish to travel to within the United Kingdom.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Oahu, Hawaii

No surfing list is complete without the inclusion of the self-styled home of surfing – Hawaii. Here, surfing is more than simply a recreational sport, it’s become engrained in the culture of the islands.

Waikiki is probably the spiritual home of surfing and is a great place to learn to surf, as well as offering good swells for the more experienced.

Oahu, said by some to be the best place to surf in the US, is a surfer’s dream. Here you’ll have the chance to ride the perfect Pipeline waves, which can grow to more than six metres in height.

Compare travel insurance - USA

Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica

Costa Rica has literally hundreds of beaches along its coast and surfers have flocked to Costa Rica’s waves for years, well before the rest of the country caught up on the tourism possibilities.

With so many great breaks, it’s hard to single out just a couple of surfing spots in Costa Rica. The beach town of Playa Grande is famed for its leatherback turtles, wonderful sunsets and yes, great waves.

For beginners and experts alike, try Tamarindo Beach, half a kilometre of great beach, warm water and 30-metre long waves.

Tofino – British Columbia, Canada

The surf capital of Canada combines great waves with a truly magnificent environment. Surrounded by a spectacular looming rainforest in one of the prettiest spots on Vancouver Island, it’s set in nearly 350,000 hectares of beauty and wildlife.

Just as the scenery is stunning, so too is the surf. With a variety of breakers, the beach is suitable for surfers of all abilities. When you’re done with the sea, the summer brings nonstop markets, festivals, and cultural events.

For the hardcore enthusiast, the winter brings the biggest waves if you can brave the cold wind and water – just remember to take a really good wet suit.

Bundoran, Ireland

Ireland may seem an unlikely destination for surfing, but it’s known as “Europe’s cold-water Indonesia” and Bundoran is a seen as a must-do by many surfers.

The beach near the centuries old fishing village catches just about every breaker that makes its way across the North Atlantic. This makes for a great supply of waves that average about 3-4 metres in height – with the occasional giant thrown in for good measure.

Though the cold may put off some surfers, that’s more than made up for by the warmth of the hospitality in the local pubs.

Compare travel insurance - Europe

What about getting surfing insurance?

Surfing insurance could be included in your standard travel insurance policy, however restrictions may apply, so you may need to upgrade your policy.  

It’s a good idea to read the policy information carefully before taking out the policy, as a full list of sporting activities covered or excluded can be found in the policy wording.  

If necessary, talk to the insurance provider to make sure you get the cover that you really need for your trip. You’ll be able to find out if it’s included at no extra cost or if you need to pay an additional premium.

Put simply, travel insurance with surfing cover is a must because it may provide:

Looking for a quote?

Get a new travel insurance quote in minutes and you could start saving

Get a quote
Compare travel insurance Get a quote

comparethemarket.com uses cookies to offer you the best experience online. By continuing to use our website, you agree to the use of cookies. If you would like to know more about cookies and how to manage them please view our privacy & cookie policy.