6 top autumn surf destinations

Michael Hegenauer
By Michael Hegenauer
Editor-in-Chief

Summer may be over, but the best surf season is still to come. And, with KAYAK’s travel search, finding flights and accommodation for an autumn surf break is easy.

With fewer crowds, more affordable flights and some of the best waves of the year, autumn could be the best time to book a surf holiday.

While we can’t find you that elusive perfect wave, we can offer up our favourite autumn surf spots and find the perfect flight to get you there. Read on and then head to KAYAK.co.uk to find a flight.

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Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Seasoned surfers will find big breaks at Playa Hermosa

Costa Rica is sandwiched between the Caribbean and Pacific, blessing it with coastlines from two different bodies of water – meaning a bounty of surf spots. One of the best is Playa Hermosa on the Central Pacific Coast about five kilometres south of Jaco in Puntarenas.

Because of the strong currents, this isn’t a popular beach for swimming, but the same currents make it paradise for skilled surfers who will appreciate the perfectly shaped waves and constant swell. Friendly locals are in the know on the best beach breaks and are happy to share their knowledge with visiting surfers.

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Kauai, Hawaii, United States

While there are lots of options, Kauai is a great place to start your Hawaiian surf adventure
While there are lots of options, Kauai is a great place to start your Hawaiian surf adventure

July and August are peak season in Hawaii, meaning beachgoers en masse and a shore full of surfers. In autumn, however, crowds begin to clear a bit, and surfers can find great conditions throughout the state. While there is no shortage of incredible surf spots on Hawaii’s diverse islands, surf enthusiasts can find everything they’re looking for on Kauai. Not only has the island produced some of the best professional surfers in the world, but it boasts conditions for all levels of skill.

Beginners should head to Kalapaki on the island’s Eastern Shore. Because it’s protected by a breakwall, it’s a great place for new surfers to get their sea legs. Also on the Eastern Shore, more advanced surfers should head to local favourite Kealia where the waves are a bit stronger.

Taghazout, Morocco

All skill levels will enjoy the surf in Taghazout
All skill levels will enjoy the surf in Taghazout

If you want to catch a wave without first catching a long-haul flight, not to worry. Head to Taghazout, a relaxed fishing village turned seaside resort town in the north of Agadir. With autumn temperatures in the mid-20s, it’s an ideal place to surf on a budget and extend summer a bit longer.

Taghazout is home to Morocco’s best surf spots which offer up some of the most perfect right-hand breaks in the world. And, with all types of waves on offer, there’s something for every skill set – from beginners to advanced surfers. Although those new to the sport should stay away from Anchor Point, which offers up an especially strong point break.

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Bondoran, Ireland

Consider an autumn surf break in Ireland
Consider an autumn surf break in Ireland

Visitors have been flocking to Bundoran in County Donegal for hundreds of years. But it’s more recently that surfers are discovering the popular seaside town for themselves. And autumn is the ideal time to see for yourself, as the gulf stream pushes warmer tides north in September, bringing great conditions to this stretch of coast.

The growing popularity of the area’s surfing has made the city a year-round destination, with surfers arriving from all over the world as autumn begins. After a day spent surfing, relax and ease aching muscles with a seaweed bath, popular in Ireland since Edwardian times and the perfect end to a day on the board.

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San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

Catch the perfect wave in San Sebastian
Catch the perfect wave in San Sebastian

San Sebastian offers summertime rolls all through autumn, and the area even hosts a number of championship events throughout the season. The most popular beach with surfers is Zurriola Beach in the district of Gros. With a variety of waves breaking to the right and the left, it’s perfect for different skill levels, and you’ll find surf schools right on the beach. The vibrant area boasts spectacular surf breaks as well as bars, restaurants and surf shops.

While in town, also check out nearby beaches La Concha and Ondaretta. While the latter offers up a more relaxed vibe, La Concha is popular with beachgoers and surfers can expect two usual peaks, the right from the wall under the city hall and the Loro Peak area. Head to either at high tide for great waves.

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Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States

The surf capital of the U.S. East Coast, Cocoa Beach is a must for surfing enthusiasts
The surf capital of the U.S. East Coast, Cocoa Beach is a must for surfing enthusiasts

If you’re hoping to catch a wave this November, Florida should be on your list – it’s called the “Sunshine State” for a reason. Head to Cocoa Beach, home to tons of legendary surfers including 11-time world champion Kelly Slater. November sees swell consistency higher than the summer months.

The area boasts easy-to-ride waves alongside more challenging breaks with warm temperatures year round. A local favourite is 2nd Light Beach, which you can aptly find at the second traffic light when heading south out of Cocoa Beach. While you’re in town, also stop by the Florida Surf Museum for a look at the history of the sport.

Check out additional surf spots with KAYAK Explore and find all the places you can catch a wave on your budget.

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