magazine | Gatherings | Retreats & Workshops

16 Surf Getaways Around the Globe for Legends, Surf Groms or Your Mom

photo: Amber Mozo
Whether you’ve been shredding the gnar your whole life or are just beginning to dip your toes into the world of surfing, stealing away for a surf-heavy vacation might be just what we all need. Days on end of sandy feet, salty hair and that sun-stretched-skin-feeling could be the ideal antidote to our screen-saturated lives—even if we’ve never stepped foot on a board to date. We’ve rounded up this series of surf retreats, destinations and hotels to run the gamut from pro-level surf spots to beginner beaches fit for the smallest groms. Shaka brah.

Reporter: Julie Pointer Adams
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Hotelito Casa Las Tortugas

Isla Holbox, Mexico
The island of Holbox is a mercifully under-the-radar hideaway located magically where the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea meet, offering silky sand and a decidedly calmer setting than it’s nearby neighbors Cancun or Tulum. Casa Las Tortugas is a gorgeously bohemian boutique hotel, and while the gentle waves won’t impress most tried-and-true surfers, the super mellow beach is perfect for those just testing the waters.
Photo: Tim McKenna
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Teahupo’o is not for the faint of heart. This glorious beach serves up one monster-sized wave after another so unless you’re keen to eat it hard, consider this a surf retreat for observing the pros—and finding tamer waves elsewhere.
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Casa Chameleon Mal Pais

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Located in one of the five blue zones of the world and only accessible by 4X4, this jungle hideaway is a haven for locals, surfers, yoginis and barefoot wanderers. This secluded oasis is proudly crowd free and tourist minimal, meaning you'll have the surf swells (mostly) to yourself. 
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Nihi Sumba learn more

Forget rickety beach shacks; this world-class resort on Nihi Sumba Island will customize your surf lesson based on your level of experience—all while you surf on a private left-breaking wave limited to 10 people a day. Yes, please.
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Wrightsville Beach

North Carolina
For those wanting to stay a bit closer to home, believe it or not you can find some pretty decent surf off the tiny island of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Come here for clear waters, friendly surf culture and a bit of Southern hospitality.
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$675 avg. room rate
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Alila Villas Uluwatu learn more

The Alila Villas are a dream come true for the upscale surfer who likes to travel in luxurious, swanky style. Known for being one of Bali’s most legendary surf spots, Uluwatu is best left to the most experienced and pro-level surfers.
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Hotel Escondido

Puerto Escondido, Mexico
These hip beachfront bungalows are a welcome escape at the end of a long day of surfing—especially at what’s known as Mexico’s Pipeline. Though famous for its pristine conditions, only head here to surf if you really know what you’re doing.
Photo: Villa Palmier
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Anse des Cayes learn more

As if the idea of St. Barth’s weren’t already dreamy enough, the turquoise, crystalline waters at this surf-friendly cove-like beach will cement this place in your mind forever—especially with that steady onshore breeze that makes for killer waves.
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Photo: Ben Rembert
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French Polynesia
If you’re itching for a truly “paradise lost” situation where you can surf off deserted pink and white sand beaches, this tranquil oval-shaped atoll is your go-to destination. Offering plenty of family-run guesthouses for an affordable stay, we’re all about this island topping your list.
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Las Olas Surf Safaris

Sayulita, Mexico
Gals, this one’s for you. The Las Olas Surf School is exclusively for women, making it an extremely safe and enticing place for the ladies to either learn or hone their surf skills. Not to mention, Sayulita’s not a bad place to post up, either.
Photo: maue.r
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Balian Villa

Balian Beach, Bali, Indonesia
This set of four two-bedroom villas tucked a few hundred feet from the epic surf and black sand of Balian Beach is the ideal getaway for surfers looking for consistent waves. The small village of Balian is easily navigated by foot, making it the perfect destination for a seriously low-key vacation.
Photo: Paradis Plage
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Paradis Plage

Imi Ouaddar, Morocco
At this peaceful seaside resort you’ll experience the best of Moroccan hospitality and culture (like camels parading down the beach) while still getting a dose of surfer stoke. With options to either attend surf school or simply have a surf guide lead you to the best waves, this spot’s for everyone.
Photo: Lucian Andrei
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The Algarve

Filled with abundant waves and well-styled beachside resorts, the Algarve is picking up steam as a must-visit location for surfers and sunbathers alike. Hit up the gorgeous Portuguese coastline if you’re looking for a bit of shaka with a side of European sophistication.
Photo:Cotton House
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Cotton House Bay

Head to Cotton House Bay if you’re looking for a quiet, mellow beach to practice your beginner or intermediate-level surf skills—and possibly be the only one there. While limited in amenities along the actual beach (i.e. there are none), this is just the kind of deserted hideaway most surfers long for.
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Surfcamp Ericeira

Tucked within a traditional fisherman’s village in Portugal, Ericeira’s beach offers up waves suitable for any level of surfer—and with four levels of classes available from Lapoint Surfcamps, anyone from a novice on up will be comfortable here.
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Cabo Surf Hotel

San José del Cabo, Mexico
This laidback California-style beach house hotel is just steps from a sandy stretch with gorgeous jade-colored waters, where surf lessons are available every day, all year round. With super easygoing, lazy rides, this is a great spot for longboarders.

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