Have you been wondering the best places to surf in October? I’ve got you covered!
In this guide, we’ve rounded up the best places to surf in October from all over the world.
October is an exciting month for surfers. It marks the beginning of the north swell season in some parts of the world, and since it’s a shoulder season, surf lineups are likely to be much lower in October than in other moths in a lot of October surf destinations.
From California to Portugal, here are the best places to surf in October. Enjoy!
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- 11 Best Places to Surf in October
- FAQs about the best October surf destinations
- Final Thoughts: Best places to surf in October
11 Best Places to Surf in October
1. Chile- Best October surf destination for catching long lefts
Chile, with its expansive coastline stretching an incredible 4,000 miles, is without a doubt one of the best places to surf in October. This South American surfing gem boasts a diverse range of breaks that cater to all surfers, from beginners to professionals.
In October, the central and northern regions of Chile, especially the areas around Pichilemu and Arica, take center stage. Pichilemu, often dubbed the “Surf Capital”of Chile, is famous for its powerful left-handers. If you’re seeking a more remote experience, the far north surfing area of Arica offers world-class waves combined with an authentic Chilean vibe.
Chile Surf Conditions in October
October marks the tail end of the season of the SW swell season, so the surf in Chile in October will still be big, but it does start to simmer down around this time.
Surf breaks like Pichilemu typically offer waves in the bracket of 4-6+ feet, and there are definitely still days when the ocean churns out bigger sets. Arica can also roll out a red carpet of formidable 8-foot waves, especially when the swell is generous.
The more famous surf spots in Pichilemu can definitely still experience a crowd, especially during weekends, the vast coastline ensures there’s always a serene alcove or an undisrupted lineup awaiting the discerning surfer.
Overall, Chile is one of the best places to surf in October for strong intermediate to advanced surfers.
Cost of a Surf Trip to Chile in October
- Flights: From the mainland US: $800-$1,200, Australia: $1,200-$1,600, Europe: $900-$1,300.
- Rental Car: Expect to pay around $30-$50 per day for a standard car.
- Accommodations: Budget surf hostels in Chile start as low as $9 a night! Hotels in Chile start at around $40/night and go up from there.
- Food: Estimate around $20-$40 per day for local meals and treats.
October Water Temperature in Chile
Regarding the temperatures in October, the air in Chile ranges from 54°F to 68° (12°C to 20°C). The water temps sit between 57°F to 61°F (14°C to 16°C).
When suiting up, you’ll definitely want at least a 4/3mm wetsuit and booties & a hood aren’t a bad idea for the colder days either.
🌊 Catch dreamy lefts at this surf camp in Pichilemu
Having grown up surfing in California, I can confidently say that California is BY FAR one of the best places to surf in October. The weather is still warm, the ocean temps are some of the warmest all year, and we get a beautiful combination of late summer swells, and early fall swells.
In Southern California, the Santa Ana winds kick into action, meaning you get all day offshore winds, resulting in those fantastic, uncrowded midday surf sessions. October marks the start of the N and NW swells, and surf breaks around Santa Barbara and further north start to come to action too.
One of my favorite things about surfing in California in October is that all of the summer tourists have gone home- making for much less crowded surf.
California Surf Conditions in October
If I didn’t already make this clear: October in California is a treat. The North Pacific finally begins to wake up, sending crisp autumn swells down the coast.
While Southern California spots like Huntington and Trestles serve up 3-6 feet waves, Northern breaks like Ocean Beach and Mavericks can see the arrival of early big wave season.
Despite its popularity, the vast Californian coastline promises pockets of serenity for those willing to search.
One of my local surf spots, Morro Bay, also starts to get really fun in October.
Cost of a Surf Trip to California in October
- Flights: For those flying within the US, expect prices ranging from $100-$400, depending on your departure location. From Europe, you can find flights from $600-$800, and from Australia, prices range from $1,000-$1,600
- Transport: Want to take a classic California surf/road trip? Rental car prices in California in October start at around $270 for the week.
- Accommodation: From beachfront motels to boutique hotels, set aside $80 to $300+ per night.
- Food: California has some amazing food. Budgeting $40-$100 daily for food will let you try it all! Be sure to hit at least a few Mexican places- there’s nothing like a post surf burrito!
October Water Temperature in California
California in October is a mix of warm days and cool evenings. Air temperatures can vary, with 65°F (18°C) to 80°F (27°C) being common.
Water temperatures in Southern California linger around 64°F to 68°F (18°C to 20°C), while the Northern coast can be cooler at 58°F to 62°F (14°C to 17°C). A 3/2mm wetsuit is usually enough for southern California, but you might prefer a 4/3mm as you venture north.
🚗Rent a car to explore California’s off the beaten path surf breaks
3. Sydney, Australia
The iconic Opera House, shimmering harbors, and, of course, world-class waves — Sydney truly has it all. For those plotting their next surf adventure in October, Sydney is one of the best places to surf in October.
Bondi Beach, the city’s crown jewel, offers consistent waves and a backdrop dotted with cafes, eateries, and vibrant street art.
But don’t stop there; the Northern Beaches, with spots like Manly, Narrabeen, and Dee Why, bring a medley of breaks, catering to both beginners and pros. And after you’ve had your fill of waves? Dive into Sydney’s rich culture, explore its vibrant food scene, or simply enjoy a coastal walk, letting the Aussie charm envelop you.
Sydney, Australia Surf Conditions in October
As spring blooms in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney’s surf scene thrives.
Bondi can offer surfers waves between 3-6 feet, though swells can sometimes pack more punch.
While weekends at popular spots can get super crowded, there are a few beaches in the area that are less crowded.
Cost of a Surf Trip to Sydney in October
- Flights: From the US, ticket prices generally hover between $1,100-$1,600. From Europe, you can find flights as low as $600, and as high as $1,200+.
- Transport: Car rentals in Sydney start at $180 for the week.
- Accommodation: Whether you’re eyeing city hotels or beachside lodges, budget anywhere from $100 to $350+ per night for hotels in Sydney. A bed in a dorm in Sydney starts at $25/night.
- Food: Food isn’t cheap in Sydney, you’ll want to budget at least $50/day if you plan on mostly eating out.
October Water Temperature in Sydney, Australia
Sydney’s temperature in October is pretty pleasant. Air temps range between 63°F (17°C) to 78°F (26°C). The water temps around Sydney are refreshing, hovering around 65°F to 68°F (18°C to 20°C).
A 3/2mm is good for early surfs and longer sessions, but you can also get away with a springsuit.
🛌This magical surf hotel is just steps away from Bondi Beach🌅
Beyond its iconic boulevards, sophisticated culture, and gourmet delights, France is also one of the best places to surf in October.
The southwestern coast, particularly the stretch from Biarritz to Hossegor, comes alive during this time. Biarritz, often dubbed as the “birthplace of European surfing,” promises legendary waves, while Hossegor boasts of arguably Europe’s best beach breaks. Thanks to the powerful Atlantic pulses, these spots become total swell magnets in October.
France Surf Conditions in October
As October graces France, the surf season starts to kick into full swing.
The Landes coast, notably Hossegor, can surprise with sets ranging from 4-10 feet, depending on the swell’s temperament. Biarritz, while slightly more mellow, guarantees consistent waves, ideal for both advanced surfers and beginners.
While the more famous surf spots might see their fair share of crowds, there is plenty of coastline and waves to go around.
Cost of a Surf Trip to France in October
- Flights: From within Europe, you could be looking at $70-$250. Those hopping over from the US might spend between $500-$900. And for surfers journeying from Australia, anticipate a range of $1,100-$1,500.
- Car Rental: Rental cars in France start at about $200 for the week.
- Accommodation: From quaint guesthouses to luxurious stays, budget between $50 to $250+ per night, depending on your style. A bed in a dorm starts at $32.
- Food: To really explore the French cuisine, budget around $40-$80 a day if you plan on mostly eating out.
October Water Temperature in France
Come October, things in France are starting to cool down a bit. Air temperatures float between 54°F and 68°F (12°C to 20°C).
Water temps hover from 59°F to 64°F (15°C to 18°C). You’ll want either a 3/2mm or 4/3mm wetsuit to stay warm.
🏄♂️ Explore the best surf camps in France
I recently spent all of September & October surfing in Portugal, and October was fantastic. The water is still pretty warm, all the summer crowds are gone, and the Atlantic is finally starting to come to life and providing some more consistent surf.
Plus, the locals are SO friendly, and Portugal has so many amazing surf towns to explore. And, October is the start of the low season in Portugal, meaning prices are much lower than they are in the summer.
Portugal Surf Conditions in October
A lot happens in Portugal in October. October is the start of the surf season/ winter in Portugal, when the west coast of the country starts to get hammered by north swells.
In October, the surf spots in Ericeira start to get really good, and the Algarve surf breaks also start to work. October also marks the start of the big wave season, and Nazare, one of the biggest waves in the world, starts to work.
While popular surf breaks are still a little crowded, the October crowds in Portugal are nothing compared to the summer crowds. And, if you’re looking for smaller waves, you can always head to the more protected south coast, and surf in Sagres.
Cost of a Surf Trip to Portugal in October
- Flights: If you’re flying in from Europe, you might be looking at a range of $50-$200. For those traveling from the US, expect to spend around $450-$800. From Australia, flights range from $1,000-$1,400.
- Car Rental: Unless you’re booking a surf camp, you’ll definitely want a rental car in Portugal. Rental cars in Portugal can be super super cheap- if you know where to look. Check here for the lowest rental car rates in Portugal– starting at $7 a day!
- Accommodation: For a bed in a dorm in Portugal, rates start at about $25/night. Hotels typically start at around $50/night, and go up from there.
- Food: Food in Portugal isn’t crazy expensive. If you plan to eat out most of your meals, you’ll want to budget roughly $30-$60 a day.
October Water Temperature in Portugal
October in Portugal is a transition season. Air temperatures hover between 59°F and 73°F (15°C to 23°C).
Water temps maintain a comfortable 63°F to 66°F (17°C to 19°C). A 3/2mm wetsuit is usually sufficient, though if you’re heading to chillier spots further north, and then a 4/3mm might be your best bet.
🌊 Read our curated guide to the best surf camps in Portugal
6. Northern Spain
Northern Spain is another of the best October surf destinations. From the spirited shores of San Sebastián to the rugged beauty of Mundaka in the Basque Country, Northern Spain has more than its fair share of great surf spots- and they all start to roar to life come October.
October is still the shoulder season for the surf here, making it a great time for a both beginners and intermediate surfers.
Northern Spain Surf Conditions in October
October in Northern Spain offers waves anywhere from the 2-8 foot range, though there can occasionally be much larger waves. The crowds are also much fewer than during the summer months.
Cost of a Surf Trip to Northern Spain in October
- Flights: From within Europe, flights range from $60-$220. From the US, flights range from $450-$850. From Australia, flights are in the range between $1,050-$1,450.
- Car Rental: Rental cars in Northern Spain start at about $80/week.
- Accommodation: Hostels in surf towns around Northern Spain start at around $35/40 a night, and for hotels in Northern Spain surf towns, prices start at around $70/night.
- Food: Budget $35-$70/day for dining out in Northern Spain.
October Water Temperature in Northern Spain
Air temperatures in October in Northern Spain hover between 57°F to 72°F (14°C to 22°C). Waters are around 61°F to 64°F (16°C to 18°C). Either a 3/2mm or 4/3mm wetsuit will be perfect for these conditions.
Best Surf Hostel in Northern Spain: Surfing Extea
7. Imsouane, Morocco
The mystique of Morocco stretches beyond its golden dunes and intricate medinas- Morocco also has some fantastic surf. And nowhere is this more evident than in Imsouane.
As one of the best October surf destinations, Imsouane offers a mesmerizing blend of Atlantic swells and Moroccan charm.
The bay here is legendary, often whispered about for its long rides, sometimes extending over half a kilometer. Further, the Cathedral Point offers a mix of rights and lefts.
Imsouane, Morocco Surf Conditions in October
The surf season officially kicks off in September, and by October, you can expect more consistent surf in Imsouane.
The Bay of Imsouane, famous for its consistency, produces right hand waves ranging from 2-6 feet. Cathedral Point is a little steeper, and produces rights & lefts, and is great for more experienced surfers.
Cost of a surf trip to Imsouane, Morocco in October
- Flights: From Europe, flights range between $50-$250. From the US, flights range from $450-$950. From Australia, anticipate somewhere between $1,200-$1,600.
- Accommodation: A bed in a dorm in a surf hostel in Imsouane starts at about $15/night. Hotels in Imsouane range from $25/night to $200+ for more luxury surf resorts.
- Food: $15-$40 a day.
October Water Temperature in Imsouane, Morocco
Air temperatures in Imsouane in October linger between 64°F to 79°F (18°C to 26°C). Water temps sit comfortably between 63°F to 68°F (17°C to 20°C). A 3/2mm wetsuit will most likely be warm enough, but if you’re one to feel the cold, a 4/3mm might be better, especially towards late October.
🏄♀️Browse the best surf camps in Imsouane, Morocco
8. Bali, Indonesia
For intermediate surfers, Bali is one of the best places for an October surf trip. October marks the end of the big swell season in Bali, so waves will be a bit smaller.
October is also outside th epeak surf and travel season for Bali, so the crowds will be much thinner at this time than in June, July, and August.
Bali, Indonesia Surf Conditions in October
October in Bali is a great middle ground. Uluwatu, popular with experienced surfers, boasts waves ranging 4-10 feet. Canggu, with its trio of breaks, caters to every level, with waves ranging between 2-6 feet.
October is also getting towards the end of the dry season in Bali, so there might be some light rain.
Cost of a Surf Trip to Bali in October
- Flights: From the US, flights to Bali range from $750-$1,400. From Europe, flights range from $600-$1200. From Australia, flights range from $400-$800, but you can find better deals booking far in advance.
- Transport: Motorbikes are much more popular on Bali. Motorbike rentals will cost about $6-$15/day.
- Accommodation: Surf hostels in Bali start as low as $6/night for a bed in a dorm. Private rooms start as low as $15/$20 night, and can go up quite a bit from there for more luxury villas.
- Food: Budget $10-$50, on the lower end you can enjoy warungs (local eateries) and on the higher end you can eat at more upscale restaurants.
If you’re trying to plan a surf trip on a budget, definitely consider Bali, because it’s one of the most affordable surf trip destinations in the world.
October Water Temperature in Bali, Indonesia
Bali in October is pure tropical bliss. Expect air temperatures around 86°F (30°C) to 91°F (33°C). Ocean temps in October hover around a toasty 80°F to 82°F (27°C to 28°C).
Just bring along a rash guard, and some reef safe sunscreen!
Browse the best surf camps in Bali 🏝
9. Outer Banks, North Carolina
If you’re looking for a great October surf destination on the East coast of the United States, check out the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
As the summer crowd dwindles, October stands as one of the best times to surf in this barrier island chain. The unique geography of OBX – thin, elongated strips of land sandwiched between the vast Atlantic and serene sounds – offer a great variety of surf breaks.
Some surf spots/area to look out for in Outer Banks include Avalon Pier, Cape Hatteras, and Nags Head.
Outer Banks Surf Conditions in October
With hurricane season around, the potential for crazy swells in the Outer Banks drastically increases. Rodanthe can serve up waves from 3-8 feet, while Buxton and Cape Hatteras are no strangers to the occasional double overhead when conditions align.
The shifting sandbars of OBX mean every session is unique.
Cost of a Surf Trip to Outer Banks in October
- Flights: If you’re flying domestically within the US, consider ticket prices ranging between $150-$450. From Europe, flights are around $600- $800, and from Australia, flights range from $1,000- $1,800.
- Transport: A rental car is your best bet to explore OBX. OBX rental cars start at $265 for the week.
- Accommodation: Hotels in the Outer Banks start at around $80/night, and go up from there.
- Food: Budget $60-$100 per day if you plan on eating out most of your meals.
October Water Temperature in Outer Banks
During October in the Outer Banks, Air temperatures typically rest between 65°F (18°C) to 75°F (24°C). Water temps at this time range between a comfortable 70°F to 73°F (21°C to 23°C). A springsuit should be enough to stay warm, or maybe a 3/2mm if you chill easily.
🚗Rent a car to explore off the beaten path surf breaks in the Outer Banks
10. Siargao, Philippines
Siargao, the surfing capital of the Philippines, is another great place to surf in October.
This teardrop-shaped island boasts some of the best surfing in the Philippines, thanks to its many great reef breaks. Some surf spots not to miss in Siargao include Guiuan (great for beginners), Bumee and Cemetary for the intermediates, and of course- the famous Cloud 9, which should only be surfed by the pros.
Siargao Surf Conditions in October
As the ‘Habagat’ or southwest monsoon subsides, October in Siargao delivers consistent swells. While there are breaks working in October that are good for surfers of all levels, keep in mind that the surf breaks here are reef breaks, which can be tricky and a little dangerous for inexperienced surfers.
Since October sees some of the best surf conditions for Siargao, popular surf breaks will definitely see some crowds during this month.
Cost of a Surf Trip to Siargao in October
- Flights: From the US, flights to Siargao range from $800-$1,800+ for flights. From Europe, flights range from $600-$1,500 , and from Australia, flights range from $400- $1,000 +.
- Transport: Motorbikes, the island’s favorite, can be rented for around $10-$20 a day.
- Accommodation: Surf hostels on Siargao start at $8/night, and hotels range from $20/night to a few hudred for more upscale accommodations.
- Food: If you eat at local restaurants, you could easily spend under $10/day on food in the Philippines If you go to more touristy places, budget $35-$50 per day or more.
October Water Temperature in Siargao, Philippines
Siargao in October is every bit the tropical dream. Air temperatures rest between 80°F (27°C) to 88°F (31°C). Water temps rest between a balmy 78°F to 82°F (25°C to 28°C).
Best Surf Hotel in Siargao: Soultribe Beach Retreat
11. Canary Islands
Last but not least on our guide to the best places to surf in October is the Canary Islands. Swells in the Atlantic really start to stir in October, making islands like Fuerteventura and Lanzarote really sparkle on the surf radar.
If you’re an intermediate or advanced surfer looking for October surf destinations, you definitely don’t want to overlook the Canary Islands.
Canary Islands Surf Conditions in October
Come October, and the Canaries are primed for surfing. Lanzarote, especially its northern coast around El Quemao, regularly showcases waves in the ballpark of 4-8 feet.
Areas around Corralejo often serve up a delightful menu of 3-6 foot waves. Popular breaks might get a tad busy, especially during weekends, but the islands’ have more than enough surf spots for everyone.
The consistency of the Atlantic swells in October make the Canaries a reliable pick for a surf trip if you’re really hoping to not get burned.
Cost of a Surf Trip to the Canary Islands in October
- Flights: From mainland Europe, you’re likely looking at $100-$300 for flights to the Canary Islands. For those flying in from the US, prices range from $800-$1100. From Australia, $1,500- $1,900.
- Car Rental: Rental cars in the Canary Islands start at around $90 for the week.
- Accommodation: Hotels on the Canary Islands start around $35/night, and go up to $150+ per night.
- Food: Budget around $25-$50/day for meals in the Canary Islands.
October Water Temperature in the Canary Islands
The October weather in the Canary Islands is pretty nice. Air temps are between 68°F to 81°F (20°C to 27°C).
Water temps sit between 68°F and 72°F (20°C to 22°C). Typically, a 2mm to 3mm springsuit or full suit should be sufficient in October.
🌊This Canary Islands surf camp only steps away from an uncrowded surf spot 🤫
FAQs about the best October surf destinations
Where is good for surfing in October?
Some of the top spots for surfing in October include Chile, Southern California, the Canary Islands, Portugal, Indonesia, and Sydney Australia.
Can you surf in California in October?
Absolutely! October is one of the best months to surf in California. In October, the North Pacific begins to awaken, sending swell to both Northern and Southern California. Popular surf spots like Huntington beach, Trestles, and Malibu are active, and the early big wave season might kick off in places like Mavericks and Ocean Beach.
Are Nazare waves big in October?
Portugal’s Nazaré is famous for its mammoth waves, and while the peak big wave season typically starts in November and lasts through February, October can occasionally see the onset of larger swells.
Conditions vary year by year, but it’s possible for Nazaré to showcase its true power with sizable waves even in October, especially towards the month’s end.
Where are the best places to surf in Europe in October?
Portugal, Northern Spain, the Canary Islands, and France are all fantastic October European surf destinations.
Final Thoughts: Best places to surf in October
There you have it- the best places to surf in October. Whether you’re seeking the tropics, somewhere cooler, an advanced surfers, total beginner, or somewhere in the middle, there’s an excellent October surf trip out there waiting for you.
If you need a little extra guidance planning your next surf trip, take a look at our surf trip planning services. Or, if you’re thinking of taking a surf trip earlier in the year, check out our guide to the best places to surf in September.