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By Gayatri Bhaumik | April 19th, 2016

Where to? The Maldives

Why you’ll love it: If the pristine beaches and turquoise waters aren’t enough to tempt you, The Maldives also offers up some pretty sick surfing. It doesn’t always get pitched as an action-packed vacation spot, but the waters around the archipelago boast beautiful barrel waves that are perfect for intermediate and advanced surfers.

There are pockets of awesome surf spots throughout the atolls, especially in the Northern Atolls. The uninhabited island of Villingilimathi Huraa is home to the area’s fastest wave, an internationally acclaimed reef break called Chickens that features 10-foot-tall swells. It’s os named since the nearby island was once known for its poultry farms. Meanwhile Jailbreaks, on Himafushi Island, was recently opened up to surfers — and in case you’re wondering, this tubular tide is named after the nearby national jail.

If you’re feeling adventurous, grab a charter boat (and a government permit) and head for the deserted South Atolls. At Beacons, you’ll battle southeastern swells and an unforgiving shallow reef. Also in the south, Castaways is a soft right-hander that can be surfed in all tides, and features plenty of marine life and an isolated island as a backdrop.

Fun fact: Due to political restrictions, surfers are required to obtain a government permit to surf the farther-flung South Atolls, which can only be reached by charter boat.

Get there: Several airlines, including Cathay Pacific and British Airways, fly nonstop to the Maldives throughout the week.

Click here to return to The Loop’s 30 Days of Travel Inspirations series.