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Spain in-depth: Adventure

Surf in Spain: the ultimate guide

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Surf in spain: the Ultimate guide

There have been a lot of world-renowned surfers coming to the Northern coast to enjoy the surf in Spain because of the large number of beaches on the coast where one can find the perfect waves to surf on – suitable for people of all levels.

Starting in the Basque country, where the waves can go from 0.5 meters to 6 meters high, you’ll find surf spots like Punta Galea, Menakoz, Playa Gris, Orrua, Lemoiz, Matriku, Zarautz, and the Zurriola beach in Donostia (an urban beach with an amazing surfer atmosphere where a lot of competitions are held). 

Surfing in Spain

Top Surfing sites in Northern Spain

The northern coast of Spain spans over 800 kilometers and it is home to some of the best surf beaches in all of Europe, and maybe even the world. Spain is the most popular surf destination in Europe due to its consistency throughout the year. It is also a very versatile coast, offering waves for all levels and styles. Check out our top ten picks of the best beaches in Northern Spain. 

1. Mundaka, Basque Country

If you are into surfing, you probably already know about Mundaka. It is one of the most highly renowned Spanish beaches for surfing in the world, if not the most. Mundaka is well known for its giant waves, its long tubes, and long-lasting waves. 

2. Razo, Galicia

Razo is a long sandy beach with many sandbars that create A-shaped waves that are ideal for all levels. The beach is consistent because it is very open and even the smallest of swells get all the way to the beach. Because the beach is so big it rarely gets crowded which makes it a perfect spot for smooth surfing. In addition, in Razo, you will find the famous ArtSurfCamp, so its a great place to go to learn how to surf.

meñakoz

3. Meñakoz, Basque Country

Before we get into it Meñakoz is a very dangerous big wave spot, and should only be surfed by experts! This being said it enjoys a great reputation among big wave surfers across Europe. Meñakoz seemed to gain more and more popularity each year, attracting large and larger crowds to surf this wave. However, you have to be careful with the locals. If you feel up to this challenge, get ready to face waves of over 5 meters, sharp rocks, strong currents, and much more. If not, you always have the option of watching the wave surf from the cliffs. 

4. Rodiles, Asturias

AKA Mundaka’s little sister. In Rodiles you will also find world-class waves, slightly smaller and shorter than the ones in Mundaka, but still top-notch. It offers left pipes of up to 3 meters. However, due to the strong currents, we only recommend this spot to intermediate or advanced surfers. It is also somewhat of a “fan-favorite” and can attract large crowds at times. 

5. Sopelana, Basque Country

Sopelana, located just outside of Bilbao,  is one of the more beautiful spots, with a mixture of sand and rocks, and known for the great variety of waves it offers. On the other hand, it is also one of the most crowded spots in Spain, so if what you are looking for is a quiet spot, this isn’t the place for you. 

sopelana
zarautz

6. Zarautz, Basque Country

Another very popular beach on the northern coast of Spain is Zarautz, just a few kilometers from the amazing city of San Sebastián. It is a sandy beach and it is usually pretty crowded. It has been the site of some world-class competitions such as the WQS which takes place every September. That shows the great capacity of this spot. It is versatile enough to accommodate all levels, but always be mindful of the other surfers! It is very important to respect the rules in spots like these.

7. Nemiña, Galicia

Nemiña is an ideal spot for surfers of any level. In addition, it is located in a very quiet and picturesque area, so if you are looking to avoid crowds, this might be a good option for you. However, it offers some very fun waves to surf. In addition, it has a caravan campsite on the beach that is perfect for enjoying the tranquility and surf of Nemiña for a couple of days.

8. Santa Marina Island, Cantabria

A reef break known for its big and strong rights. As the name implies, the waves break on an island that you have to reach by paddling. These waves offer heart-stopping vertical drops, solid walls, and sometimes long pipe sections.

9. Somo, Cantabria

If what you are looking for an excellent all-around surfing experience this might be your spot. Here you will find everything: surf shops, surf schools, campsites, restaurants, bars … you really couldn’t ask for more. It is one of the most consistent surf spots in Spain. It features a huge beach with many peaks and ideal for all levels.

10. Pantín, Galicia

The best-known beach in Galicia for surfing. The famous Pantín Classic, one of Europe’s premier surfing events, has been held here every year for over 25 years. It has several peaks and is very consistent.

Top Surfing sites in Southern Spain

Though the northern coast of Spain may be more well known among surfers, the southern coast is “no slouch”. Especially in the province of Cádiz, beaches like Los Lances in Tarifa, Caños de Meca in Barbate, or La Fontanilla in Conil are famous among surfers and totally worth checking out.

At some of these beaches, surfing is only allowed in the summer season and outside bathing hours, so as not to endanger beach goes. If you are a novice surfer, the best option is to head over in summer, and if you are looking for more of a challenge, aim for the winter months. 

There are also excellent beaches you can find in Malaga, Huelva, and Granada that are great for all different level of surfers. The Andalusian coast is also full of surf schools, which makes Andalucía a great place to learn how to surf.  

cabopino beach

1. Cabopino, Marbella 

Cabopìno, located on the beautiful coast of Marbella, is an amazing beach to learn how to surf. The waves are moderate and there are a good amount of sports schools in the city that teach you all the ins and outs of the sport. It is ideal if you are traveling with children. The beach and waves are safe enough that they can also have fun with their own board.

2. Santa Amalia, Fuengirola 

Santa Amalia is probably the most famous and well-known surfing beach on the Costa del Sol. Lovers of this sports flock to this beach every season. It can get crowded, but with good reason, this is one of the best surfing spots in the south of Spain. On the promenade, you will find a plethora of surf, restaurants, and bars. 

3. Los Lances, Tarifa 

We find this amazing beach nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea is, a unique place to practice surfing. Located just 14 kilometers from Africa this beach attracts a constant stream of surf lovers from all over the world. The strong wind that blows in the area causes high waves and the chance to pull off some awesome moves. This is a great option to enjoy both the surf and the scenery. 

4. Pala de los Bateles, Conil

Fine sand and excellent surf are all you will find at Conil de la Frontera. For surfing, there is nothing better than Los Bateles beach where the waves can reach giant hights. In the town, there are several schools for first-time surfers, so whether you are an expert or a novice, Los Bateles has something for you.

tarifa surf
playa cortadura cadiz

5. Playa de la Cortadura, Cádiz

The coast of Cádiz is a great place to learn how to surf. The coast of Cádiz enjoys gentle waves and the beaches are far from dangerous since the bottom is sandy and there are generally no currents. La Cortadura is possibly the best of the best for first-timers and is set in a beautiful and wild backdrop. If you want to get started in this sport, don’t hesitate and come to the capital of Cadiz.

6. Atalaya beach, Estepona

The coast of Estepona is very versatile and has something to offer every level of surfer. Atalaya beach attracts a pretty big and youthful crowd, that flock to the beach to enjoy the fun and challenging waves that get generated in this area. 

7. Yerbabuena beach, Barbate 

Surfing on the Costa de la Luz is a world-famous activity. Also located in the province of Cádiz, specifically in Barbate, Yerbabuena beach is great for surfers. The wind creates big waves that smash into the beach. As an added bonus there are some excellent places to eat and drink nearby. The local delicacy is red tuna from Almadraba that will replenish your energy so you can continue surfing until the sun goes down. 

8. El Palmar beach,  Vejer 

Another excellent surfing location in the province of Cádiz. This beach located in Vejer de la Frontera and has waves that can reach three meters and it is one of the more popular surfing spots among local surfers. It consistently appears on all the lists of the best beaches in Spain to practice this sport. Surfing culture is ingrained in the population and many bars and shops have specialized in this sport.

el palmar cadiz
mazagon beach

9. Punta Umbría, Huelva

Punta umbría in Huelva plays host to several important surfing competition every year. The strong winds from the Atlantic Ocean and its general weather conditions make it an ideal place for surfing. In addition to this, in the town there are several beach bars and bars frequented by surfers where you can kick back and relax.

10. Mazagón beach, Huelva

Mazagón is very popular for its immense beaches and the pine forests that guard it. this amazing beach is located right next to the Doñana Park National Park. Surfers from all over Spain come to this enclave to enjoy its waves that are perfect for a more acrobatic style of surfing. Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, this beach has an exceptional atmosphere. In addition, being in the province of Huelva after a good surfing day, nothing better than to regain strength with a good plate of typical local prawns.

11. Caños de Meca, Barbate

In Caños de Meca you will find some of the best beaches for surfing in Andalusia. With a rock bottom and various types of waves that can be surfed very close to the shore. They are perfect beaches for intermediate and advanced surfers. Not suitable for beginners.

12. Playa del Carmen, Barbate

In the area near the mouth of the Barbate river, we find this gorgeous urban beach. With a sandy bottom, no currents, long and soft waves, this beach is a good option for beginner and intermediate surfers who want to surf in Andalusia.

13. Playa de la Fontanilla, Conil de la Frontera

Playa de la Fontanilla in Conil de la Frontera is well known by the best Andalusian surfers. It has hosted several scoring events for the Spanish Championship, for many years. It is protected from the wind by its cliffs, and offers good peaks on the right and left. It does not usually offer tube waves.

In summer, you can only surf outside of bathing hours. It is one of the main urban beaches of Conil.

14. Punta del Río, Salobreña

Punta del Río beach is one of the best spots on the Costa Tropical for surfing. Punta del Río is tucked away in a hidden corner of the coast of the municipality of Salobreña, on the border with Motril.
It is a shallow beach located at the mouth of the Guadalfeo River. Perfect for those who are just starting out and intermediate level surfers alike. The waves do not usually rise beyond a meter and a half in height, and break very close to the shore. In addition, there are surfable waves almost every day of the year. 

15. Playa de la Chucha, Motril 

La Chucha Beach is another spot on the Costa Tropical perfect for surfing in Andalusia. It is located in the municipality of Motril. It offers medium and high difficult tube waves similar to those you would find in Hawaii. 

Top Surfing sites in The Canary 

 

Spain owns two amazing chains of islands one in the Mediterranean and another on the western coast of northern Africa. We are talking of course of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. these two locations are touristic magnets and naturally, among these droves of tourists, there is bound to be eager surfers as well.

The Canary Islands in particular is a prime destination for surfing. Lets’s check out the top spots for surfing in the Canary Islands. 

1. San Juan, Lanzarote

On the northwest coast of the island, there is one of the best left-wing waves for surfing. It’s not just the quality of the wave, but the location as well. San Juan hosts events of the Women’s Qualifying Series of the World Surf League, and a number of local competitions. It can only be reached by a dirt road that connects to a nearby fishing village: Caleta de Famara in the municipality of Teguise.  At the end of the dirt path, you will reach a small beach of sand and rocks with views of the Risco de Famara and the island of La Graciosa in the Chinijo Archipelago.
The left of San Juan wave breaks into a defined peak with volcanic reef bottoms, making it one of the best-left waves to surf in Lanzarote. It is a very long wave with a vertical drop. If you are traveling by car, you can park less than 100 meters from the beach, and getting into the water is can be done without difficulty from the beach, but you will have to swim for a good while to reach the peak. Between the months of September and May there are the best conditions for surfing.

2. Igueste, Tenerife

On the northeast coast of the island, near the town of Igueste de San Andrés and its famous traffic lights, you will find one of the best left-wing waves in Tenerife. Its sections allow the surfer to choose each section according to his or her ability, without having to enter the main breaker, which makes this spot the ideal place for surfers of all levels. The wave is located in front of a pebble beach, where you can park easily.
Its fame as one of the best surf spots in the Canary Islands is well deserved, since the long wave forms on a volcanic bed of stones with large walls that allow radical maneuvers and a powerful take-off.  The most regular conditions occur between the months of September and May.

3. El Hierro, Fuerteventura

The most famous wave for surfing on the island of Fuerteventura is in El Hierro, in the north of the island, next to Majanicho beach, in the municipality of La Oliva. The regularity and quality of its breakers are what sufferers come to El Hierro for. This is one of the most popular waves on the island. To access it, you can use the dirt tracks that connect the area with the town of Corralejo and El Cotillo or the asphalt road from Majanicho to the town of Lajares.