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Surfing in Spain: A Complete Guide From the Basque Country to Andalusia

Surfing in Spain: A Comprehensive Guide From the Basque Country to Andalusia
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Ever thought about surfing in Spain? The country has it all: stunning beaches, delicious food, rich culture, and a vibrant atmosphere. But what sets it apart from other coastal destinations is its surf potential.

From the Basque Country in the north to Andalusia in the south, Spain offers a wide range of surf spots catering to all surfers. Whether you’re a beginner looking for gentle waves or an experienced surfer seeking a challenge.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll take you through the best surf spots in Spain and give you insider tips on where to go and how to make the most of your surfing adventure. So grab your board, pack your bags, and get ready to experience the thrill of surfing in Spain like never before.

The Best Time for Surfing in Spain

Let’s start by talking about the best time to go surfing in Spain. It’s a year-round surf destination since the north coast is best from autumn to spring, while the south coast shines from spring to autumn. Generally, the best swell season is from September to May, with the biggest waves happening in winter.

The water temperature also varies according to the region and time of year. The water is colder in the north, so a wetsuit is necessary year-round. But In the south, where the water is warmer, a wetsuit is only needed in the wintertime.

Spain can get really crowded during peak season, especially in popular surf spots. So, to avoid the crowds, consider making your surf trip during the shoulder seasons when the waves are still good.

Let’s go surfing in Spain!

Surfing in the Basque Country

Zurriola beach, Basque Country
Zurriola beach | Photo by Andrea Huls Pareja in Unsplash

The Basque Country is known for its world-class surf spots and picturesque coastal towns… and is my favorite surfing area in Spain!

The region has a variety of breaks that cater to all levels of surfers, from beginner-friendly beach breaks to challenging reef-bottom waves.

One of the most famous surf spots in the Basque Country is Mundaka, a left-hand river mouth wave considered one of Europe’s best waves due to its long, hollow, and fast-breaking barrels.

This was where I had my first experience surfing in Spain, and it was pretty challenging.

In Mundaka, you will have to deal with going in and out of the water, the currents and the tide movement. Not to mention the local crowd. But it’s a must-do surfing experience in this area.

Besides, this picturesque fishing village sits at the mouth of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. It boasts a rich history, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant surfing community.

Other notable surf spots in the Basque Country include Sopelana, Zurriola, and Bakio.

Sopelana, located near Bilbao, is known for its powerful beach breaks and long peeling waves. The spot is suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers, thanks to its variety of wave sizes and shapes. During low tide, the waves break closer to the shore, providing a perfect playground for learners. In contrast, high tide brings more challenging conditions for advanced surfers.

In the heart of San Sebastián, Zurriola is a lively urban beach that attracts surfers, locals, and tourists. This spot is famous for its fast and hollow waves, making it a favorite among experienced surfers. However, the beach’s southern end offers mellower waves suitable for beginners. The bustling atmosphere and numerous surf schools and equipment rental shops make Zurriola an ideal destination if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Spanish surf scene.

Lastly, Bakio, nestled between rugged cliffs and green hills, is a picturesque surf spot with a mix of beach and reef breaks. The waves here are generally more forgiving, making it an excellent choice for intermediate surfers looking to improve their skills. The stunning landscape and laid-back vibe create a serene environment for surfers to connect with nature while riding the waves.

Apart from surfing, the Basque Country is known for its delicious food and rich culture. Try pintxos, the Basque version of tapas, and visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Surfing in Cantabria and Asturias

Liencres, Spain
Liencres, Cantabria | Photo by Raúl Entter in Unsplash

Cantabria and Asturias are two neighboring regions in the north of Spain that offer great surf spots. The rugged coastline, stunning scenery, and consistent waves make this region a surfer’s paradise.

One of Cantabria’s most famous surf spots is El Brusco, a powerful beach break that works best on big swells. Its consistent, powerful, and hollow waves offer both left and right-handers suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers. With stunning surrounding landscapes of lush pine forests and dramatic cliffs, you’ll find here the perfect backdrop to connect with nature.

Other notable surf spots include Liencres, a stunning beach break nestled within the protected Parque Natural de las Dunas de Liencres; Somo, a long sandy beach near Santander; and Loredo, just across the bay from Somo. These locations are highly regarded for their consistent waves, diverse surfing conditions, and beautiful natural surroundings, making them ideal destinations for surfers of all levels.

In Asturias, the surf spots are less crowded but equally impressive. Rodiles is a long left-hand point break considered one of the best waves in the region. This powerful left-hand wave that breaks over a sandbar formed by the Villaviciosa River can offer rides up to 300 meters (!). However, don’t take it lightly. Due to strong currents and rapidly changing conditions, Rodiles can be challenging, particularly for inexperienced surfers.

Asturias has other notable surf spots worth checking out.

Tapia de Casariego is a picturesque fishing village that boasts several surf breaks catering to different surfing abilities. The main beach, Playa de Anguileiro, combines beach and reef breaks, providing consistent waves for beginners and experienced surfers.

Also, Salinas, situated near Avilés, is a popular surf destination characterized by its long stretches of sandy beach and reliable wave conditions. The beach break at Salinas offers a mix of left and right-hand waves, making it suitable for surfers of all levels. In addition to its consistency, the town is renowned for its lively atmosphere and thriving surf culture, hosting various events.

Apart from surfing, Cantabria and Asturias offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking. Make sure to try the local cider, a traditional drink in Asturias.

Surfing in Galicia

Pantin, Galiza
Pantin, Galicia | Photo by Tino Rischawy in Unsplash

Galicia, in the northwest of Spain, is known for its rugged coastline, Celtic heritage, and delicious seafood. The region has a variety of surf spots, from beginner-friendly beach breaks to challenging reef breaks.

One of the most famous surf spots in Galicia is Pantin. This beach break offers a mix of left and right-hand waves suitable for surfers of all skill levels, ensuring an exciting and challenging experience. Pantin’s consistent wave conditions, which you can enjoy throughout the year, make it an ideal destination for your surf trip.

Additionally, the lively surf community and events, such as the annual Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series event, contribute to this place’s reputation as a world-class surf destination, attracting surfers from around the globe.

But there are more surf spots to explore in Galicia.

Doniños is a stunning beach break known for its powerful and hollow waves. It offers both left and right-handers suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers. The long stretch of sand and water and the surrounding dunes and hills create a serene atmosphere for an immersive surfing experience.

Near Ferrol, Valdoviño is also a popular surf destination in Spain that boasts several breaks. The main beach, Playa de Frouxeira, combines beach and reef breaks, providing consistent waves throughout the year. Valdoviño’s picturesque setting, with its unspoiled coastline and lush vegetation, adds to the overall appeal of this surf spot.

Santa Comba, nestled in the heart of the Costa da Morte, is a lesser-known gem that offers an uncrowded lineup and high-quality waves. This beach break is characterized by its powerful swells and hollow sections, making it suitable for more experienced surfers. The dramatic cliffs and untouched landscape surrounding Santa Comba make for a breathtaking backdrop while riding the waves. Being more secluded is best if you pay particular attention when surfing here.

Apart from surfing, Galicia offers plenty of cultural attractions, such as the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and the Tower of Hercules in A Coruña. Make sure to try the local seafood, such as octopus and mussels.

Surfing in Catalonia

Garraf, España
Garraf, Catalonia | Photo by Manuel Torres Garcia in Unsplash

Catalonia is a region in northeast Spain known for its vibrant cities, stunning beaches, and rich culture.

One of the most famous surf spots in Catalonia is Garraf. This beach break is located along the Mediterranean coast and offers consistent waves and beautiful surroundings.

Additionally, the charming village of Garraf, with its unique architecture and picturesque setting, adds to the overall appeal of this surf spot, creating an inviting atmosphere for surf enthusiasts seeking an enjoyable experience near the vibrant city of Barcelona.

Other notable surf spots in the Catalonia area include Masnou, Montgat, and Tossa de Mar.

Masnou is a beach break known for its consistent waves and favorable wind conditions, providing both left and right-handers. The town boasts a lively atmosphere, with numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops, adding to the overall appeal of this surf spot.

Located just north of Barcelona, Montgat has beach and reef breaks that cater to various surfing abilities. Its proximity to the city makes it an easily accessible destination for locals and tourists. Montgat’s consistency, especially during the winter months, ensures you are likely to encounter enjoyable waves during your surf trip.

Lastly, Tossa de Mar, nestled along the beautiful Costa Brava, is a lesser-known gem that offers a more secluded surfing experience, with powerful swells and clear water, ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers.

Apart from surfing, Catalonia has plenty of cultural attractions, such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Dali Museum in Figueres. Make sure to try the local cuisine, such as paella and cava.

Surfing in Valencia and Murcia

Playa de la Malvarrosa, Spain
Playa de la Malvarrosa, Valencia | Photo by Lynn Vdbr in Unsplash

Valencia and Murcia, another two neighboring regions in the east of Spain, also offer some of the best surf spots in the country. The warm water, sunny weather, and consistent waves make this region a surfer’s paradise.

One of Valencia’s most well-known surf spots is Playa de la Malvarrosa, a beach break that works in most swell directions. Additionally, the vibrant atmosphere of the Malvarrosa neighborhood, featuring numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops along the promenade, adds to the overall appeal of this place, creating an inviting setting if you’re seeking an enjoyable experience in the heart of Valencia.

Situated just north of Playa de la Malvarrosa, Patacona is another famous beach break you’ll want to check out.

Other notable surf spots in Valentia include El Saler, nestled within the Albufera Natural Park, and Cullera, located further south along the Valencian coast, which features a combination of beach and reef breaks with consistent waves, especially during the winter months.

In Murcia, the surf spots are less crowded but equally impressive. La Manga is a long sandbar known for its consistent waves and warm water.

Don’t leave Murcia’s region without trying other notable surf spots like Mazarrón and Cabo de Palos.

Apart from surfing, Valencia and Murcia have plenty of cultural attractions, such as the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia and the Cathedral of Murcia. Make sure to try the local cuisine, such as paella and horchata.

Surfing in Andalusia

El Palmar in Andaluzia
El Palmar, Andalusia | Photo by Christopher Eden in Unsplash

Last but not least comes Andalusia, a region in the south of Spain known for its stunning beaches, rich culture, and vibrant nightlife.

You can find a variety of surf spots in this area, being El Palmar, one of the most famous.

With an idyllic location along the Costa de la Luz, this beach break offers a variety of left and right-hand waves suitable for surfers of all skill levels. Additionally, the laid-back atmosphere of the El Palmar village, with its charming cafes, restaurants, and surf shops, adds to the overall appeal of this surf spot, creating an inviting setting for a fantastic experience on Andalusia’s coastline.

Tarifa is also a renowned spot in Andalusia, despite being a mecca for wind sports because of its consistent strong winds. Nonetheless, situated along the Costa de la Luz, Tarifa’s unique position between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean creates excellent wave conditions.

Make sure to try Conil and Caños de Meca. Both beach breaks present a variety of left and right-hand waves. The charming atmosphere of Conil’s old town, with its white-washed buildings and vibrant dining scene, combined with the bohemian vibe and stunning natural beauty of Caños de Meca, make these surf spots highly appealing.

Besides surfing, Andalusia offers many cultural attractions, such as the Alhambra in Granada and the Mosque in Cordoba. Try the local cuisine, such as gazpacho and pescaíto frito.


Surfing Etiquette and Safety Tips

Surfing etiquette is an essential aspect of surfing that ensures the safety and enjoyment of all surfers in the water. Some basic surfing etiquette tips include:
– Respect the locals and the surf spot’s rules.
– Don’t drop in on other surfers; wait your turn.
– Give way to the surfer on the inside.
– Don’t snake or paddle around other surfers.
– Respect the environment and leave no trace.
Regarding safety, it’s crucial to always surf within your limits, wear a leash, and be aware of your surroundings. If you’re new to surfing, consider taking a lesson or surfing with a more experienced surfer.


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Accommodations for Surfers in Spain

Accommodations for Surfers in Spain
Photo by Chris Rosiak in Unsplash

Spain has various accommodations catering to surfers, from surf camps and hostels to luxury resorts and apartments. The type of accommodation you choose depends on your budget, travel style, and surfing preferences.

Check some of the most popular accommodations:

HOSTELS AND SURF CAMPS

In Basque Country

In Cantabria

In Asturias

In Galicia

In Catalonia

In Valencia

In Murcia

In Andalusia

HOTELS

In Basque Country

In Cantabria

In Asturias

In Galicia

In Catalonia

In Valencia

In Murcia

In Andalusia

Book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability.


Surfing in Spain – A Complete Guide
Embark on the ultimate adventure of surfing in Spain! This guide takes you from the Basque Country to Andalusia, unveiling thrilling waves and hidden gems along the coast.
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Marlene On The Move

Marlene Marques

Marlene is the creator of Marlene On The Move. A journalist by profession, she created the blog to share her adventures around the world. It is not unusual for her to set off to discover new countries and cultures with a surfboard as luggage.

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