The 19 Best Storm Watching Destinations Around the Globe

The sounds of nature are incredible, but it’s not just the howling wind that makes your heart beat faster. Picture this: you’re standing on a cliff watching as storm fronts come in and wave after wave crashes against each other before crashing into shore with an ominous boom.

During storm season, storm watching is a popular activity that many people enjoy. There is numerous storm watching destinations worldwide and in this article, we will explore 18 of them.

We will share the best locations on Earth, why they make for an excellent storm watching experience and how best to get the most out of each destination.

15 Best Storm Watching Destinations on Earth

1) Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

This storm watching destination is located on the west coast of Canada and is a must if you are visiting Vancouver Island.

Tofino storm season typically runs from November to March, so it isn’t something that can be taken advantage of year-round. In other words, late fall and winter would be your best time to storm watch in Tofino.

There have been waves as high as 30 feet during storms here, so it is not for the faint of heart. However, what makes Tofino so unique for storm watching is its location – it’s located right on the Pacific Ocean and offers some of the most spectacular views in all of Canada. 

There are also numerous storm watching locations available here, making it an excellent destination for those who want to make the most of the Pacific storm watching.

The storms here are fierce, characterized by moody skies, gale-force winds, seabirds dancing, and wild waves.  

Related: 17 of The Best Things to do in Tofino

Tofino Storm Watching Hotels

If you are looking for the best place to stay for storm watching in Tofino, a few different accommodations will give you the perfect view. Pacific Sands Beach Resort is one of the best, as it offers beachfront views right from your hot tub and easy access to the best storm watching locations in Tofino.

The resort even offers a pacific storm watching package that includes a bottle of wine, daily hot chocolate and rain slickers to stay warm and dry on your storm watching adventure!

During fall and winter, there’re discounted rates available on your multi-day stay at the resort.

The Wickaninnish Inn on Chesterman Beach is another storm watching hotel that the McDiarmid family built because they enjoyed storm watching. You can enjoy 270-degree views from both the hotel and its Pointe restaurant.

Spend the night at Long Beach Lodge Resort or enjoy a meal in the Great Room, which is an excellent choice to give you close proximity to the storm waves. The Great Room restaurant is also a popular winter storm watching location as it is situated right on the edge of Cox Bay Beach.

Another favorite spot is Middle Beach Lodge, with cozy storm watching cabins overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Middle beach.

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, head to the visitor center inside Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which overlooks the storms rolling into Wickaninnish Beach or stay at Ocean Village Resort. You’ll be able to watch the storm from your private balcony. 

It pays off to shop around to find your top Tofino storm watching packages and deals.

Storm watching in Tofino BC offers some of the best views you can find anywhere on Earth, and it’s something everyone should experience at least once. 

To make the most of the next storm season in Tofino, read our:

2) Cape Disappointment State Park

lighthouse on steep cliffs at ocean

Although the name infers otherwise, Cape Disappointment Park, along the beautiful Washington coast is most definitely not a disappointment! You will feel like you are sitting along the edge of the earth while the waves pound the beach and the steep cliffs below the lighthouse.

There are yurts and cabins to rent just a short walk from the beach, where you can do some of the best storm watching on the Washington coast. If you are feeling adventurous, there are 8 miles of hiking trails to explore, but the best one is the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse trail.

This hike will end with the most spectacular view of the waves crashing at the base of the lighthouse. End your day in your rented yurt or cabin, falling asleep to the sound of the crashing waves.

You can also find some great accommodations with views for storm watching along Lincoln City, Pacific City, Manzanita, and Seaside.

For a unique experience, you can storm watch on the top of the observation tower of the Westport Marina. Seeing the King Tide waves here is an unforgettable experience that will blow your mind. 

3) Shore Acres State Park, Oregon

waves crashing against cliffs
Image Credit: Savoteur.

Winter storms in the Pacific bring with them an incredible show of mother nature that is not to be missed. From crashing waves reaching up 300 feet high, to dramatic rock outcrops jutting into the air like fingers waiting for deliverance-it doesn’t matter how many times you see this phenomenon because each time brings something new and exciting.

Winters with epic Oregon coast storm watching are anything but dull. 

The best storm watching locations on the Oregon Coast are Shore Acres State Park, Bastendorff Beach Bluff, with views of Cape Arago, and Sunset Bay for those looking to get a safe distance from waves below. 

The viewpoints will allow you to see winter storms coming in November through March without too much risk but be aware that these spots may fill up quickly as people flock here when storms are approaching.

The highest winter tides, other known as king tides, hit the Oregon coast in November, December and January. For specific dates, you can check this website. 

Oregon’s Adventure Coast encompassing Coos Bay, Charleston and North Bend, is another very popular spot for storm watching.

For epic storms, head to Cannon Beach, which is home to one of the most iconic features in all of this rugged coastline packed with cliffs and sea stacks. 

Haystack Rock, is a 235-foot monolith that stands just offshore from Cannon beach’s prime accommodation options like The Ocean Lodge, which is positioned perfectly for watching the powerful waves.

This coastal town also offers some great restaurants with fresh-caught seafood, so you don’t need to venture too far from storm watching. Oregon coast storms are not to be missed!

4) Half Moon Bay, California

hotel on edge of cliff

Half Moon Bay, just under a 40-minute drive from downtown San Francisco is one of the best places in California to go storm watching. In fact, on a Winter’s day, in the right conditions, the waves can reach up to 60 feet (18 meters).

One of the best places to watch the waves is the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Miramontes Point Road. This luxurious hotel is built very close to the cliff edge, so you can watch the storm and crashing waves from the comfort of your room – just be sure to ask for a sea-facing room.

The best storms can be experienced from November to January. January is an especially good month as it’s the rainiest month in Half Moon Bay, and storms are common! 

Further along the coast is Mavericks break which is one of the most popular surf beaches in California, so as you can imagine, the waves here get pretty high. The largest wave recorded here was over 80 feet tall! However, you are likely to see brave surfers taking on the giant waves even in those conditions!

When you’re done with storm-watching, then why not venture into Half Moon Bay, which is considered one of the prettiest towns near San Francisco. It is filled with cute B&Bs, cozy hotels, and many Cafes and Restaurants.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is a great place to grab dinner, and it has live music and a fantastic location next to the sea. Also, half Moon Bay Lodge on Cabrillo Highway is a great place to spend the night near town.

By Aimee of Snap Happy Travel

5) Puerto Escondido, Mexico

beach in mexico
Image Credit: Savoteur.

Since the 1950s, Puerto Escondido has been a mecca for surfers in Mexico. Located on the Pacific Ocean, it is now considered one of the best beaches in Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca (pronounced waa-haa-kah) is a popular destination for culture travelers, backpackers, foodie travelers, and beachgoers.

In the summer months, professional surfers descended in droves to Puerto Escondido. One of the best beaches in town, Playa Zicatela Beach, is nicknamed Mexican Pipeline, and its waves can reach about 11 feet tall (3.4m).

You can see both pro surfing competitions at Zicatela Beach, as well as just huge, crashing waves and incredible storms. When the waves are at their biggest, the summer months coincide with the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1 to November 1 each year.

While sitting on the shore, or even from a balcony at your hotel, if you get one with an ocean view, you can watch the storms roll in. But, as it’s the powerful Pacific Ocean, beyond watching the storms, it’s also magnificent to hear the huge waves crashing onto the shore.

As a popular town, there are plenty of accommodations in Puerto Escondido. There are also other beaches you can enjoy storm watching in Puerto Escondido, like Playa La Punta, Playa Carrizalillo, Playa Marinero and Playa Puerto Angel.

Playa Carrizalillo is a gorgeous beach cove with rental homes overlooking the beach below. Booking a place here means you have uninterrupted views of the sky, as well as the Pacific Ocean below. While it’s a farther walk to the beach than staying on Zicatela Beach, the views are better at Carrizalillo.

Regardless of which beach you stay on, the Puerto Escondido storm season is predictable. You’ll see huge waves and thunderstorms (or even tropical storms) during the summer months of June to August — and you’ll also get to watch a big wave surf competition with professional surfers.

By Shelley of Travel Mexico Solo

6) Puerto Progreso, Mexico

coastal town in mexico for storm watching
Image Credit: Savoteur.

Puerto Progreso is a cruise port beach town that’s located on the Gulf of Mexico, less than one hour from Mérida, which is considered the safest city in Mexico. It is located in Yucatán State, Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, and is often called one of the best beaches in Yucatan.

Though Mexico’s Gulf beaches are known for calmer waters, Puerto Progreso gets larger waves of up to 3 feet tall (1m). However, its real draw isn’t big wave surfers; rather, it’s windsurfers and kitesurfers who “surf the sky” instead of the waves.

Progreso Beach is one of the windiest places in Mexico. It is well known as one of the best places for kitesurfing and windsurfing, especially on the western end of the beach, where you’ll find all the kiteboarding and windsurfing schools. For those who want to try these sports, Progreso is the perfect place to learn.

Puerto Progreso is rather windy all year-long, but if you visit in the summer, you’ll have the opportunity for storm watching as well. Located on the Gulf, you can expect rainstorms, tropical storms and even hurricanes from (about) June 1 to November 1, which is the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

As this isn’t one of Mexico’s top destinations, you can get an ocean view hotel right on the beach for relatively little money. Having a hotel room with a balcony that looks out onto the Gulf is the best way to watch the storms in Puerto Progreso.

To get to Progreso, you can fly into Merida International Airport (code: MID) and rent a car or take the bus for the short drive to Progreso. As the storm season coincides with Hurricane Season, visiting in the summer months of June to August almost guarantees you’ll see some epic storms in Puerto Progreso, Mexico.

By Shelley of Travel To Merida

7) Molokai, Hawaii

father and sons on beach in molokai

The Hawaiian island of Molokai offers many different areas for storm watching during the winter months. This authentic island of Hawaii is one of the least visited islands by tourists, and many of the beaches are empty to enjoy the stormy weather.

Popohaku beach is on the western end of the island and provides three miles of stunningly sandy beach. As beautiful as this beach is, it is best enjoyed from a safe distance as it has sharp hidden coral reefs and swift, treacherous rip currents.

It can be quite windy on Papohaku, and waves can get quite substantial in size. If you don’t want to brave the storms from too close, there is a lookout that you can hike to watch from a distance.

There are many large homes and Airbnb‘s that line the beach and make for the perfect accommodations for storm watching on Molokai.

The beach where the Hotel Molokai sits offers unprecedented views out over the ocean and the crashing waves during storms in Molokai. Hotel Molokai is the only hotel on the island, so if you are looking to visit during storm season, it is a perfect spot to explore the island from.

Kaupoa Beach is an abandoned beach village on the western end of the island, just a few miles from Popohaku beach.

The lava rocks that line the beach accentuate the crashing waves and it is highly advisable to stay well back during storms. Kaupoa beach can be accessed by parking at Dixie Maru Cove and walking 15 minutes along the shore trail.

The Kalaupapa Peninsula is surrounded on three sides by ocean and by massive 2000 foot sea cliffs on the other. This area offers some of the most spectacular storm watching in Hawaii. There are no hotels or accommodations in Kalaupapa.

The only way to get to the Kalaupapa Peninsula is to take a scenic flight with a tour company that includes a permit, airfare, and a day tour by bus. Mokulele Airlines offers a package tour and is undoubtedly the most popular tour on the island of Molokai and tops our list of the best things to do on Molokai.

8) Puna, Hawaii

waves crashing against rocks in hawaii

Most people looking for a tropical getaway don’t equate Hawaii with stormy weather. Still, the winter season is also the rainy season in Hawaii, and during the summer season, hurricanes do occur sporadically that affect the entire state.

The most affected area that always gets hit first is Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island. The east side of the island is always the first affected area with fierce storms, and power lines knocked down, making it difficult to do daily things for some time.

The best times to visit if you love seeing storms and wild coastline areas of East Hawaii of Puna are from December to March.

Hawaii is a year-round destination, but wintertime is very popular, with visitors worldwide looking for warmer weather to chill out in the area.

Unfortunately, if you are looking to stay in East Hawaii, there are no hotels in this area. It is mostly covered by Airbnb or Vrbo units, with the closest city being Hilo for hotel accommodations or family-run inns to stay at. 

But those that love to go storm watching will love all the dramatic effects, especially with lava rock cliffs, swaying palm trees, and rough surf along the shoreline, creating an authentic experience to witness.

It is fun, scary, and impressive to see nature at her wildest force on the islands, and you will love visiting the Puna coastline and surrounding areas during the winter season.

Waves are dramatic and can reach up to 30 feet, which is exciting for local surfers who love to surf during stormy or dangerous conditions.

If you’re looking for calm and tropical sunny days instead of terrible rainy clouds or storms, just wait a few days, and things may dramatically change overnight to picture-perfect blue skies and pleasant swimming conditions out in the water.

By Noel from This Hawaii Life

9) Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

dark sand beach in iceland

For the best place to watch lightning storms in Iceland, head to Reynisfjara Beach. It is one of the most beautiful non-tropical beaches globally that attracts many visitors every year. Reynisfjara is famous for its tall waves and black volcanic sand. 

Basalt columns on the beach and sea stacks are fascinating for tourists and professional photographers. However, you should be very careful during your visit to Reynisfjara. It is also known as the most dangerous beach in Iceland.

Waves that look calm are building up in strength on the Atlantic Ocean. There is no land in a straight line between Antarctica and Reynisfjara beach. Therefore, when sneaker waves reach Iceland, they are massive and powerful. They occur when nobody expects them, so please never come close to the water.

If you want to go storm watching, winter is the best time to visit Iceland. Strong winds on the exposed coast make it the best season to admire the power of the ocean. 

You can find accommodation in the small village Vik which is just 10 minutes drive from Reynisfjara beach. Another option is Welcome Holiday Home in Evindarhólar, which is also a great spot to see Northern Lights. 

Remember to buy some food in Vik as you will not find any shop open between Reynisfjara beach and Evindarhólar during winter.

To sum up, Iceland is a fantastic country with one of the most beautiful black sand beaches in the world. It contrasts perfectly with the white foam of waves and white snow in winter. 

Game of Thrones season 7 was filmed, among others, in southern Iceland. Visiting Reynisfjara beach is an amazing experience. You can see the power of the Atlantic Ocean and its great movie location. 

Wintertime makes it even more magical as there is a golden hour for the entire day. I am not surprised that many movies were filmed in Iceland as this is one of the best places to visit in the world.

10) North Berwick, Scotland

coastal town in scotland

As much as a serene sea view can bring feelings of tranquillity and calm to your getaway, there’s nothing quite like a stormy sea and the drama and dynamism it brings to the coastal scenery.

So if unforgettable storm watching is what you are after, look no further than Scotland‘s North Berwick! Found along the south shore of the Firth on Forth near Edinburgh, this coastal town has an abundance of accommodations, parks, historical sites, and cafés for you to use as your base when the storms hit.

Here are a few to note:

Drift Café

Based on a quintessential East Lothian cliff edge, Drift Café is an upcycled shipping container with great food, hot drinks, and cakes – and even greater views of the stormy ocean.

Tantallon Caravan & Camping Park

Situated a stone’s throw from the beach, the Tantallon Caravan & Camping Park has all types of accommodation for both families and couples – including caravan holiday homes, glamping, and camping spots – all with a view.  

The Beaches & Bays of North Berwick

Choose from an array of beaches or coastlines, including the West Bay, the East Bay (with a breath-taking view of Bass Rock and its colony of gannets), and Yellowcraig Beach (with its film-like views of the old Victorian lighthouse on Fidra Island to accompany the stormy scenes). Wave swells can reach over 3 meters, with the largest swells occurring over December.

The Scottish Seabird Centre

While you may not be birdwatching at the Scottish Seabird Centre in the middle of a storm, here, you can join ‘The Watcher’ – a life-size sculpture by Kenny Hunter of a man with binoculars overlooking the ocean – as you head out with your own pair of binocs to set your eyes on the eye of the storm.

To catch the rainy weather in North Berwick, visit between Autumn and Winter – with it being off-season, accommodation will be more cost-effective, and other tourist attractions in the area will be less busy, too.  

By Graham from My Voyage Scotland

11) Orkney Islands, Scotland

cliffs and ocean for storm watching

The Orkney Islands are a small group of islands in the North Atlantic. They are 8 miles off the north coast of Scotland across a treacherous stretch of water known as the Pentland Firth.

The storms that batter these small islands through the year have thousands of miles of open ocean to gain momentum before breaking along the coastline. The islands are battered mainly from the north and west, but the waves and wind can be amazing even in a northeasterly storm.

Two places to watch a storm are the cliffs at Yesnaby, and the small tidal island called the Brough of Birsay. While these two places are very close together, the way the storms and waves impact is very different.

Yesnaby is on the west coast of the Orkney mainland and has high sea cliffs. There are beautiful walks to Yesnaby Castle on a calm day, a solitary sea stack. However, when a storm blows onto these 30 meter high cliffs, it is a different experience.

There are two small buildings on the cliffs, and it is best to use these as a shelter when parking your car. The storms will throw large pebbles from the sea bed onto the cliff tops. A constant hazy mist from the breaking waves covers the area, and the noise is intense and unrelenting.

At the Brough of Birsay, it is easier to watch the storm from the comfort of an armchair as there are several places to rent along the clifftop.

The waves roll around the island and meet across the tidal causeway between the mainland and the island. This intensifies as the tide comes in and the two bodies of water meet.

By Suzanne from Meandering Wild

12) Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland

woman standing on cliffs over ocean

The Old Head of Kinsale is the most southern point on the famed Wild Atlantic Way, one of the most popular road-trip routes globally! The ‘Old Head’, as it’s known locally, is a 20-minute drive from the colorful town of Kinsale in the region of West Cork, and it’s one of the must-visit places in West Cork.

The vast and dramatic cliffs towering over the wild Atlantic Ocean below is one of the best photo opportunities in Ireland.

If you love storm watching, then visit the Old Head of Kinsale in the Winter, ideally in December or January, when the rain and wind are at their worst.

The largest wave ever recorded here was a huge 85.6 feet (26.1m) back in 2014, but during a stormy Winter’s day (which is common in Ireland), the waves at the Old Head reach an average of 75 feet. 

You can park in the small car park here and watch the storm roll in from the comfort of your car, but for the best view of the waves crashing against the cliffs, you will need to get out and stand close (as is safely possible) to the cliff’s edge. Just make sure you have your rain gear!

If you’re a history fan, then you may know that this site is the closest land point to where the Lusitania ship sank during World War I, with the loss of 1200 lives. 

The best place to stay near the Old Head of Kinsale is Kinsale town. Kinsale is known as the foodie capital of Ireland, so there are loads of fantastic restaurants; seafood is a specialty here. As for hotels – Actons Hotel on Pier Road and the Trident Hotel are the best places to spend the night.

By Aimee of Snap Happy Travel

13) The Isles of Scilly, UK

waves crashing on shore of town
Image Credit: Savoteur.

The Isles of Scilly gets some of the worst stormy weather in the UK due to it being a small group of islands located off Lands End and the last piece of land between England and America.

Thus the strong Atlantic winter storms bring the swells across the ocean and make landfall there first. At that time of the year, the waves can get up to around 10 meters (30 feet) in height. The locals have a simple term for this: “Too much water!”

There are many good places to see these waves crashing into the Scilly rocks, but three places stand out as good observation points, partly for safety but also for a good show.

The first of these on the island of St Mary’s is to go around to the back of the Garrison fortified walls, a wild place and only several minutes walk from the main town, so it is easy to get to.

The second place would be at Pennines, a headland around 30 minutes walk from the town on St Mary’s. This is a great place when winds are from the east or south, like the back of the Garrison.

The third spot is on a different island called Bryher at an aptly named place called Hell’s Bay. It is very wild and rugged there and can be hard to get to in a large storm, but if you can fight the winds and the spray from the waves, it is the best area to view heavy waves crashing.

If you want to see some waves but don’t want to get wet, one final place is to sit in the Mermaid Inn and enjoy a drink while watching the waves hitting into the quay. There are plenty of guesthouses on the islands to stay at. A good choice for the views is Mincarlo.

By Jonny from the Backpacking Man

14) Vlissingen, The Netherlands

coastal town in the netherlands

I know, even if you have visited The Netherlands, there is a good chance you have never heard of Vlissingen. And most likely not even of the province it’s in, called Zeeland.

Vlissingen is a pleasant coastal town with a long sandy beach and a lively boardwalk. In summer, it attracts many tourists, both from within the Netherlands and from neighboring countries.

After summer, though, experiencing Vlissingen can get quite different!

Vlissingen gets hit by several storms each year, mainly in the fall and winter. And as weird as that may sound to some, it attracts tourists excited to see Vlissingen’s beach disappear and the waves crashing up against the boardwalk violently.

It’s a unique sight and even when there isn’t an actual storm, Vlissingen’s winter weather lures people to its shores to breathe in the cold, crisp air, watch the waves break, and admire the often dark, moody sky.

Beaufort force 9 and 10 storms aren’t uncommon in fall and winter. That means wind speeds of over 50 miles an hour, waves that can get anywhere from 23 to 40 feet high, and dense streaks of foam.

The waves get most spectacular when the wind is coming from the southwest and the tide is going out.

Occasionally, but thankfully less frequently, a violent force 11 storm hits the coast of Zeeland as well.

Because Vlissingen is such a popular destination in summer, it’s not difficult to find accommodation in winter either. However, if you want to be closest to the storm and maybe even watch part of it right from your window, then I’d recommend staying on the boardwalk.

Check out De Gevangentoren Suite if you want to stay in a unique place with a fantastic sea view. Alternatively, Fletcher Hotel Arion is a good, larger hotel option right by the boardwalk.

By Sanne Wesselman from Spend Life Traveling

15) Nazare, Portugal

stormy weather in nazare portugal

Located almost 150 km outside Lisbon, Nazare was once a typical fishing village in Portugal. Today it is a seaside resort in the Atlantic Ocean. It has large beaches, and it is perfect for sunbathing during summer. But during winter, you can discover where its notoriety comes from.

Nazare became famous around the world a few years ago when a well-known surfer came here for its gigantic waves. After his photo riding a giant wave became public, Nazare suddenly gained popularity.

The Guinness world record for the largest wave ever surfed was awarded for a wave in Nazare, and an annual surfing competition is organized here. It is very dangerous but also fascinating.

The underwater canyon ending exactly where the red lighthouse was built creates the perfect conditions for these waves. It is a great place to see nature’s force.

The best time to visit Nazare is during winter when the wind builds these waves. It is enough to see a picture on the Internet, and you will decide you must see that in person. To find a good moment for these waves, you can check the weather conditions on their official website.

Once you arrive in Nazare, head to the lighthouse and the Sao Miguel Arcanjo fort. You can have the best view of this natural miracle from the lighthouse.

But you can also go to the beach. Here the waves are not spectacular, but you can feel them since their splashes moisture everything around. It is fascinating to watch them and feel the salty drops on your hair.

Those who want to stay in Nazare for several days can book a hotel near the beach, like Hotel Mar Bravo. This way, you can sit on your balcony and admire the waves that made Nazare famous around the world.

By Corina from Another Milestone

Related: The Best Things to do in Molokai

16) Kerala and Goa, India

beach in india

Monsoon watching in India starts in earnest sometime in late May. As the intense heat of summer grips most of India with an unrelenting force, people begin looking up. They are looking for the annual southwest monsoon, which sweeps in from the west to India across the Arabian Sea. 

There is a long-held tradition among storm watchers – both amateurs and professionals – that the southwest monsoon touches the coast of Kerala in South India on June 1.

Tropical Kerala has a long coastline rimmed with beaches and is a great place to witness the southwest monsoon as it hits the subcontinent.

From Kerala, the monsoon travels upwards along the western coast of India, hitting the shores of several states, including Goa. June, July, and August are the best months in South India to experience the monsoon, the storms that sweep in from the ocean, and the warm, drenching rain. 

There are many great places to experience the monsoon in India, but I recommend Kerala and Goa. There are lots of beachfront locations across both these states.

I particularly like Varkala in Kerala, a tourist town with a stunning clifftop location, ideal for storm watching. In Goa, I recommend North Goa – as the quieter southern part tends to shut down.

In India, the monsoon is considered a joyful and carefree time. The rains bring down the ferocious temperatures, and the landscapes become lush and green.

Life slows down, and people enjoy watching the rain, reading, and undertaking cleansing and health treatments. The monsoon season is a great time to be in South India.

By Mariellen from Breathedreamgo


ocean in nusa penida

Situated off the southeast coast of Bali, Indonesia, is the small island paradise of Nusa Penida. Reachable by ferry boat only, a 45-minute journey will take you to the port of Toya Pakeh on the northern coastline of Nusa Penida.

From here, it will take you under an hour to drive from one end to the other, making Nusa Penida ripe for adventure. 

Most people come to Nusa Penida for snorkeling, exploring, and relaxing, but what Nusa Penida has in spades is epic storms. During the rainy season, between November and April every year, tropical storms hit this island paradise weekly, if not daily. 

A downpour of rain, lightning, and thunder accompanied by large waves (up to 20 ft) can be experienced in varying degrees throughout the ‘winter’ months. These storms sometimes only last a couple of hours each day but are dramatic nonetheless.

The best place to see lightning storms on the island is along the northern coastline. There are plenty of places to stay in Nusa Penida along the picturesque water, from luxury hotels to economy rooms; no matter your budget, you can enjoy storm watching in Nusa Penida.

While the north is the absolute best place to storm watch, you can enjoy it from anywhere on the island where the land meets the sea.

One of the best places to sit with a hot beverage or cocktail is Penida Colada Beach Bar. Grab a bean chair, order an avocado toast and watch the storm roll in. 

Visiting Nusa Penida and the small neighboring islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan is a fun-filled vacation.

The nice thing about storm watching in this area of the world is that you can be lying on a beautiful sandy beach sunbathing one minute, then curled up inside watching a mighty storm the next. 

By Haley of

18) Siargao, Phillipines

boat in ocean during storm in phillipines
Image Credit: Savoteur.

For locals and ex-pats living in the Philippines, boarding up your windows and setting up sandbags in preparation for a typhoon is a normal part of the summer storm season. The Philippines is known as “the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms,” with an average of 20 tropical cyclones threatening the nation’s archipelago each year.

As an outer island on the eastern side of the Philippines, the island of Siargao in the Philippines is one of the best places in the world to storm watch. It is not unusual for storms to form on this part of the Philippine Sea.

As an exposed island with no surrounding islands to blunt a storm’s force, Siargao provides perfect conditions for the storm to gather steam.

The Philippines is a treasure trove of over 7,000 beautiful islands. Siargao is one of those islands located off the coast of the country’s southernmost province of Mindanao. Siargao is an ideal place for an ocean storm watching getaway, as it is a relatively remote island.

While many tourists flock to the island to enjoy its beaches and resorts, it is still a 4-hour flight from the crowds of Manila. Even the Philippines’ 2nd largest city, Cebu, is an 8-hour ferry ride away.

Siargao is world-renowned in the surfer world as a paradise of 8-10 foot right-hard breaking picture-perfect barrel waves. However, as a tropical storm approaches, the ocean currents that power those perfect waves magnify twofold.

No one is on the streets when storms hit and beaches are empty. So if you decide to brave the whipping winds and torrential rain, the beach will be all yours.

As you stand on the boardwalk and gaze out into the churning seas, you can see the giant swells crashing on the reefs; it’s like watching a scene from a movie.

When it comes to awe-inspiring natural phenomena on Earth, some say ocean storms are the most captivating. When a tropical typhoon hits full force into an island, it’s hard not to be impressed by the fury and power of nature that are on full display. 

By Marco from Nomadic FIRE

19) Agnes Water, Australia

beach and ocean in australia

Storms in Australia are always an incredible experience. Many people say Agnes Water is the best place to watch thunderstorms in Australia.

Located on a peninsula, this small beach town is located between two shores, one facing a lagoon and the other the open ocean of the Pacific. Agnes Water sits in Queensland, north of Brisbane.

This area of Australia gets a lot of tropical storms, especially during the months of November and December. Agnes Water experiences quite a few weather extremes and is especially popular among surfers.

The waves are usually relatively small and suitable for beginners but during the storm season, they can get as large as 2-3 meters.

A great spot to experience storms is the tip of the peninsula where the tiny town of Seventeen Seventy is located. This is supposedly where Captain Cook first arrived in Australia in the year 1770 and only very few people actually live here. There is a small lookout point with incredible views over the ocean and the surrounding beaches.

Come here during a big storm and watch the waves crash and the rain come in. Just be careful when driving in bad weather, especially during the storm season.

The road leading to Agnes Water frequently floods and the town turns into an island. It won’t be accessible from the outside and you might just get stuck if you’re not careful.

Luckily there are worse places to be stuck in and Agnes Water is incredibly beautiful. Go swimming, explore the sandbanks or relax by the beach. There are also a decent amount of camp spots located in Agnes Water if you want to see this part of Australia on a budget.

How to Practice Safe Storm Watching

Storm watching is a popular pastime, and there are some important reminders to ensure your storm watching is a safe and enjoyable experience. First, even though some of the most iconic storm watching photos come from the edge of rocks, make sure to stay away from tidal rocks.

Large rogue waves can happen at any time and easily catch you by surprise. So stay well back from the edge; better yet, stay well inland to avoid getting washed away into the water and never turn your back to the ocean.

Dress appropriately in rain jackets and boots. Pacific Sands Beach Resort has its signature yellow rain jackets that hang in every room’s closet and make for some fantastic photos.

You will likely get wet if you venture outside to go storm watching, so have a sturdy pair of gumboots as you will probably be manoeuvring on uneven ground.

Check the tide before venturing outside. The water is incredibly powerful at the best of times and is even more so during storm watching season. So if you are planning on venturing to the beach for a stormy beach walk, make sure you know when the tide is coming in so you can safely exit the beach before it does.

Travel Writer at Savoteur | + posts

Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.