Surf's Up Dude: shares the Best 'Off The Beaten Track' Surfing Destinations

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Budget friendly destinations 2024

08 July, 2024

Fancy play on water? Surfing is the perfect sport to connect with the sea. Three quarters of global travelers (75%) agree that being close to water instantly makes them feel more relaxed, with over a third (36%) interested in water-centric vacations in 2024*. We have dived into our locker of more than 29 million listings in over 175,000 worldwide destinations to present five hidden-gem destinations perfect for a ‘Surf’s Up’ vacation for all those travelers looking to catch some waves.

Nazaré, Portugal

Boasting arguably the biggest rideable waves in the world, Nazaré is known as one of the best beaches in Portugal, and even globally. The source of these perfect large waves is the underwater Nazaré North Canyon, which reaches depths of about 5,000m, creating an ideal destination for any surfer, from novice to expert. The Big Wave Season crashes between October and March, but September and April are also great months to visit and may offer a quieter alternative to the high season. Beyond the renowned surfing scene, travelers can also ascend to the upper neighborhood by boarding the Nazaré Funicular, providing a memorable journey from the center of Nazaré to O Sitio. Perched atop rocky cliffs, O Sitio is a great viewpoint offering stunning vistas of the coastline and crashing waves, especially during the winter months, offering the perfect photo opportunity for travelers. Take a break from the water and spend some of the day exploring with this E-Bike Rental 4h,a great activity to get to know the sights and scenery of Nazaré a bit better!

Nazaré, Portugal

Where to stay: Enjoy a beachfront stay at the Nazaré Marisol Praia, a spacious apartment with a dining area, fully equipped kitchen, and balcony with endless sea views. Guests can also enjoy a meal in the outdoor dining area while overlooking the city. This property is in the heart of Nazaré, with Nazaré beach and Suberco Viewpoint just a short walk away, while a half hour drive will take travelers to Obidos Castle, standing tall with rich history, and providing visitors with great views of Obidos.

Anakao, Madagascar

A small fishing village perched on the southwestern coast of Madagascar, Anakao is a truly hidden delight for surfers of any level. With its pristine beaches and consistent waves, Anakao offers some of the best surf spots in the region, providing a haven for those who love the sea. Dive into the crystal clear waters and explore the abundance of multicolored fish, corals and underwater vegetation, a real delight for the eyes! What also makes the village so captivating is the friendliness of the local inhabitants, making sure visitors feel welcome from the day they arrive. If a few days on foot sounds appealing, this 5-day tour to discover the North of Madagascar is perfect. By spending some time connecting with the local surroundings, travelers will uncover a variety of different habitats, landscapes, and national parks whilst journeying on this exciting tour. 

Anakao, Madagascar travel 2024

Where to stay: Travelers ready to hit the beach and surf their days away will enjoy staying in a chalet at Longo Vezo with its panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Situated along a sandy beach, this family-run property is just a short walk to Anakao village, featuring an on-site restaurant, bar as well as a reading room and sun terrace.

Byron Bay, Australia

Home to Australia's most easterly point and the iconic Cape Byron lighthouse, Byron Bay is known for its spectacular beaches, unique shopping and dining experiences, world-class festivals, and vibrant community spirit. It’s also renowned for its iconic surf spots, but there are some less familiar areas that don’t attract huge crowds along the rocky headlands of Broken Head Nature Reserve. Located around a 10 minutes’ drive south of Byron Bay, the unpatrolled Whites Beach, Brays Beach and Kings Beach are popular with local surfers but hardly anyone else. Away from the beach, visitors can enjoy the many boutique stores and markets dotted around the town. If travelers want to uncover even more of Byron’s best kept secrets, this Byron Bay Hidden Gems Tour is a great way to see the area from a local’s perspective. Discover hidden landmarks, such as the Killen Falls and Lake Ainsworth, with a guide that provides insights into the history and culture of the area.

Byron Bay, Australia

Where to stay: Overlooking Byron Bay’s Main Beach, Beach Suites boast boutique apartments and studios with a private rooftop swimming pool and panoramic ocean views. A vast selection of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants are just a short walk away, along with the main beach being just a few steps away from the property. Overlooking lush garden terraces, these suites each have a barbecue on the patio as well as a well-appointed kitchenette, so a perfect evening can be spent outdoors cooking up a storm whilst taking in the peaceful surroundings.

Kyūshū, Japan

The third-largest island in Japan, Kyūshū is blessed with a subtropical climate, rolling mountains and seaside cliffs. From powerful waterfalls to serene forests and volatile volcanoes, Kyūshū offers a stunning surfing experience. Not only is Kyūshū a hidden gem when it comes to surfing, with its uncrowded beaches and surfeit of surf schools, there is also much more for travelers to savor. Visitors can drive to vibrant cities such as Fukuoka with its gastronomic delights and bustling nightlife or experience the steaming hot springs of Beppu, the scenic volcanoes of Aso and the picturesque coastline of Kagoshima. Those keen for even more island exploration can take in this Sengan-en Tour with Lunch and Experience and visit a traditional garden and mansion that dates back to the 17th century and which is now listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kyūshū, Japan

Where to stay: Situated just a short walk away from Cape Ikura, The Little Garden offers guests a tranquil stay with views to match. Nearby is Aoshima Shrinev, which features an ornate Buddhist goddess statue, as well as Kodomo-no-Kuni, an amusement park. After a long day in the sun, enjoy relaxing in the garden or shared lounge. Guests soaking up the coastline views may also be lucky enough to spot a monkey or two.

Montauk, Long Island, New York, United States

During the winter, as tourists head to warmer destinations, the town of Montauk turns into a quiet cold water surfer’s dream. Known as “The End” because of its location on the easternmost point of Long Island, Montauk has developed a reputation for being one of the best surf towns in the US. It’s also well known for its phenomenal fishing and holds more world saltwater fishing records than any other port in the world. With beautiful beaches such as Ditch Plains, and countryside hikes, including the Shadmoor State Preserve Trail with views of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, and an impressive range of restaurants and food shacks, there is plenty for travelers to enjoy. An alternative activity to surfing is the Montauk Mashup Scavenger Hunt. Off the beaten track, this hunt is equal parts tour, creative challenge, detective hunt and social experiment - all wrapped into one.

Montauk, Long Island, New York, United States

Where to stay: Located right opposite the beach and with boat rentals just a mile away at Port Pond, Hartman's Briney Breezes Beach Resort has it all. With an outdoor heated pool, picnic areas and BBQ facilities available for guests, this Travel Proud property is just a short drive from The Montauk Point Lighthouse Park and for the fishers, Camp Hero State Park. 

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