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What are the top 10 surf towns and cities?

Surfing during the day, evenings or at night? This is what many are looking for when planning their vacation. In some of these places, the surf industry represents a significant share of employment and income, from the production and export of products like surfboards, clothing, accessories to services such as restaurants, hotels and surf schools.

Some would point out that a surfing capital is not chosen according to its contribution to GDP but rather by the number of barrels it produces. Again, it is a difficult decision.  In this post, we will talk about some destinations that may be suitable for you in respect to surfing.

1. Tel Aviv, Israel

It's not California and it's certainly not the Australian Gold Coast, but there is surf in Israel. And good surf even off the eastern Mediterranean. The beaches of Tel Aviv such as Hilton Beach Jetty and Dromi in the south can provide large sessions, while in the north the spots are more accessible to beginners.

At night, Tel Aviv is the cultural capital of Israel. And despite the great tensions that occupy the entire region, Tel Aviv seems to be out of time with its festive spirit. It is also a very tourist town.

2. Bilbao, Spain

With a mild climate, an abundance of sunshine and a central location among the best surf spots in Europe, Bilbao is the largest surf town in the Basque Country. Mundaka, arguably one of the best left in the world, is about an hour from the town. In the Spanish Basque Country, the best time of the year for your sessions is autumn, even if there are waves in spring and summer.

The architecture of Bilbao is recognized worldwide. Moreover, the culture, with its famous Guggenheim museum, is omnipresent in the city. With great bars and restaurants, Bilbao is not to be pitied. Trust the Spaniards.

3. Honolulu, Hawaii

You are in Hawaii, hard to convince you more about surfing. Honolulu is regularly one of the best cities in the world where life is good. And for good reason, with its climate and safety (Honolulu is one of the safest cities in the United States), the Hawaiian city has grown enormously in recent years.

4. Cape Town, South Africa

The South African waves are certainly among the most difficult in the world to surf. Indeed, with the wind and swells that change so often, you have to a real surfer to appreciate South Africa. Needless to say that the South African waves are also very appreciated by the great white sharks.

With its natural beauty, mild and temperate climate and world-renowned architecture, Cape Town is one of the world's most sought after places to live. Rent is relatively cheap, as is food and other services. There are famous museums, restaurants, beaches and nature trails. But in a city of four million people with a high rate of income inequality, experiences can look extremely different from person to person. Of course, tourists and residents with the appropriate means can access all that this world-class city can offer, but Cape Town's high crime rate, economic volatility and susceptibility to extreme weather events like drought threaten people from all walks of life.

5. Los Angeles, USA

When Californian surf culture emerged, Los Angeles became known worldwide. More than for surfing, Los Angeles has introduced all of the culture and lifestyle of the surfing. With millions of inhabitants, Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States. Let yourself be carried away by the beautiful sights of the City of Angels.

6. New York City, USA

New York is more and more competitive in surfing. The Rockaways offer fairly regular surfing at an impressive distance from most of the five boroughs. Further east, the island's long surfing scene is as varied as NYC, from the heavenly New Jersey beaches like the Lido to the classic New England points of Montauk's vacation town. Although the conditions are unreliable, spring and summer bring warmer waters and surfable waves, although you must thwart the crowds of bathers who also visit the coast.

With 8.5 million people speaking over 200 languages, there is a reason people continue to come to New York. Whether it's for an artistic muse or for financial gain, people come to New York to follow their dreams. Some of the best theaters, museums, art galleries, restaurants and public parks of the world are here. The lifestyle of the city is, however, not for everyone. In fact, rent prices can be expensive for an apartment the size of a room.

7. San Francisco, USA

Located a few miles from the legendary wave of Maverick's, San Francisco is still popular with surfers. Indeed, the waves are great. 

The adjacent neighborhoods of Sunset and Richmond, traditionally home to the eclectic and underground surf scene, are now almost as affordable as the more central neighborhoods like the Haight and the Mission (which is unaffordable).

8. Lisbon, Portugal

One of Europe's sunniest cities, with ancient architecture, superb seafood, incredible nightlife, quality surfing and relatively reliable public transport, Lisbon is a dream city for surfers. Lisbon has great surf and plenthy of other attractions.

9. Sydney, Australia

Sydney is the world-renowned epicenter of wave-rich New South Wales. Cut in the middle by the largest natural harbor in the world, both sides of the harbour offer sandy beaches and warm temperatures all year round. The two most popular beaches in the city, Bondi and Manly, face opposite directions. Of course, the surf quality is low compared to other regions of New South Wales, but with waves well above average near the city center, and the rest of the NSW coast nearby, Sydney is one of the best cities in the world to be a surfer. 

With beautiful weather and beautiful beaches, superb restaurants and bars, an entrepreneurial and creative spirit, lots of economic opportunities, there is a reason why more than 5 million "Sydneysiders" are currently on the move. It is also one of the most expensive cities in the world.

10. Rio De Janeiro

If you follow professional surfing, your impression of Rio's surf quality has been perpetually filtered through a dirty lens. Imperfect, dirty, crowded, the truth is, however, that the Rio Coast - which has miles of beaches, is a surfer's paradise, with warm, turquoise water, a consistent swell, a thriving beach culture, and easy access to many waves.

Rio experiences difficult economic situations with income inequality - which has always been a problem in this part of the world. However, despite recent setbacks, Rio remains a richly eclectic, artistic and romantic city, where surfing pairs well, with an almost tropical climate. Beyond the urban appearances of Brazil's second most populous city, renowned restaurants, thriving arts and cultural scene, hectic nightlife, there are giant green mountains, rainforests and miles of sandy beaches. Rio deserves its nickname, ‘Maravilhosa Cidade’ (wonderful city).