Overview of surfing in Spain

Spain is one of the most diverse and culturally significant countries in Europe. It also happens to have an extreme amount of quality surf hidden along its coastline. Being a very large part of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is surrounded by water on three of it’s four sides (nevermind Portugal, which also has amazing surf, which lies on the western side). This makes for a huge diversity in surf options when one is looking at Spain as a surf destination. There is truly something for everyone, and given the cultural magnitude, culinary expertise, and incredible lifestyle any trip you take to this country promises to be unforgettable. So grab a glass of wine, imagine you’re having tapas with it, and read on to discover why Spain will be your next surf trip.

The Surf

Given that Spain has so much coastline it follows that there will be plenty of set ups. There are, and they are as diverse as the country itself. The Mediterranean side tends to be very mellow and reliant on inconsistent storms but also very warm and centered around meccas like Barcelona. These breaks tend to be beachbreaks suitable for all levels of surfer as they tend to lack the power that can be found on the north coast.

Turning towards the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline turns after Gibraltar and you can find decent surf here when swells angled not too South and not too North arrive. This region is called Andalusia. You can find beachbreaks as well as reefs and points here, which can turn on but are pretty fickle. The northern stretch of coastline from the border with Portugal to the border with France is the premier area for high performance, big wave, and consistent surfing. This area will see big swells from the Atlantic hammer the gnarled coastline. Beaches, points, reefs are all around and there is always a spot working if you are willing to drive. You can find surf here for all levels, but when the swell is pumping it’s definitely best for intermediate and advanced surfers.

Top Surf Spots


Mundaka is the premier surf spot in Spain and potentially Europe. This left hand rivermouth break does not work as often as we all would like, but when it does this wave barrels and spits with alarming reliability. Watch out for the gnarly currents, shallow sand bottom, and insanely crowded lineup.Learn more here!


Also found in the Basque region, Menakoz is a the better big wave spot in Spain. It gets big and hollow, daring those brave enough to paddle out and try their metal. Take care as this wave is best left to the experts and the boulder covered bottom is not to be trifled with.

El Palmar

Found on the Andalusian coastline near the city of Cadiz this beachbreak is one of the more consistent and better surf breaks in this area. On most days the surf is suitable for all levels, but when a bigger swell arrives it turns hollow and heavy best for intermediate and advanced surfers.


Spain, like most developed countries, will have a range of accommodation, although you might need to be a little outside of the major cities to find something affordable, especially on the Mediterranean coast. If you want big luxury resorts there are plenty along the entire southern coast, as well as amazing hotel options. There are also cheaper hostel options in the small towns or cities, just avoid the resort towns and you will be fine. In the north there are definitely amazing hotels in the major cities like Bilbao, and plenty of hostel and cheaper accommodations everywhere. There is also more camping up here as the coastline is less populated and more rugged than the South. Surf camps are available and popular on the entire northern coastline, as well as the Andalusian coast, these are great options to get inside information on surf breaks and conditions, which on both coasts can be the difference between cross shore garbage and offshore barrels.

The Good
Amazing Surf
Culture and History
Mild climate year round
The Bad
Seasonal Surf
Some localized breaks
Pricey compared to 3rd world countries
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Getting there


Spain, at least in terms of surfing, can be divided up into three seperate regions. The first would be the Mediterranean Coast. This extends from the southeast French border and continues up until Gibraltar. This is the least consistent region as it is only open to the Mediterranean sea. Amazing culture and warm weather can be found here, not to mention the nightlife in the cities such as Barcelona is legendary. The next region extends from Gibraltar to the southern border of Portugal. This is open to the Atlantic but does not receive as much swell as Portugal or Morocco because it is shadowed by both regions. Therefore it needs a very Western swell to start working, which happens mostly in the winter months. This area still has warm water from the Mediterranean but can deliver some solid surf o both beaches, reefs, and points when the right swell hits. The Northern region is both the coldest but also has the best and most consistent surf out of the three. It extends from the northern border with Portugal to the Northeast border with France. Here you will find spots Spain is famous for such as Mundaka. You’ll be looking at big swells from the North Atlantic that rip into the coastline here creating many surfable set ups. As long as you take care to monitor wind forecasts you’ll get some solid surf. Keep in mind these are surfing designations only. The whole coastline is incredibly culturally diverse. You wouldn’t want to confuse the Basque region with Galicia to a local.

Access to Surf and Location

Getting to Spain is simple for most. Direct flights come into many of the major cities in all of the major regions in the country. If you live in Europe, you could also drive in easily in order to save money on a rental car. You’ll probably want a car if you are planning on going to the northern coastline or the Andalusian coast. If you plan on sitting tight at a resort or hotel, especially in the Mediterranean region then no car will be needed. Surf spots are mostly easily accessible by car and a short walk. There are some areas in the North that will require longer hikes/treks to reach the spots, but I would recommend going with locals who can show you the path and surf break if you plan on surfing those spots.

Visa and Entry/Exit Information

Spain is a part of the Schengen region, which means some international diplomacy policies were put into place. For travelers and especially surfers it means that entry to Spain is very easy for almost any nationality and 90 day visits are visa free. It also means you can hop to Portugal or France with ease if you care to chase a swell or spot. Just make sure that you passport is valid for three months after your planned departure date.

The 65 best Surf spots in Spain

Overview of surfing spots in Spain


Left | Exp Surfers
200m long


Right | Exp Surfers
100m long


Left | Exp Surfers
150m long

Punta Galea

Right | Exp Surfers
200m long


Peak | Exp Surfers
100m long

Santa Maria De Oia

Left | Exp Surfers
100m long

Rio Siera

Peak | Exp Surfers
100m long

Salinas Y Espartal

Peak | Exp Surfers
50m long

Surf spot overview

Lineup Lowdown

Spain is generally a friendly place for visiting surfers to come. Especially in the Andalusian and Mediterranean regions. In the North it can be a little more localized as the surf tends to be better and the surf culture more built up. However, in general you should be good to go if you respect the locals (as always) and follow general surf etiquette. One thing to keep an eye out for are the many surf festivals that take place along the coastline, especially in the summer months. These can be amazing places to delve into the culture of the local region, make friends, and see some great surfing!

Surf seasons and when to go

The best time of the year to surf in Spain

Luckily for us, the surf seasons in Spain are pretty clearly outlined. For the Northern region and the Andalusian region (aka the regions exposed to the Atlantic ocean) the best time to go surfing is from September to March, or fall to winter. This time of year the Atlantic storms really pulse, and you’ll be looking for the spot with the best wind most of the time as swell shouldn’t be a problem. The Mediterranean works (as much as it ever does) year round. This area is very much, if you’re there when there is a storm you’ll get some waves, but other than that it is generally flat, although the water is always warm!

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Spain surf travel guide

Find trips that fit a flexible lifestyle

Activities other than surf

Beyond the thrill of riding Spain’s waves, the country beckons with a plethora of other attractions. Delve into the heart of historic cities like Barcelona, where the whimsical architecture of Gaudí meets the bustling lanes of the Gothic Quarter. In Seville, let the flamenco rhythms captivate your soul as you indulge in a late-night performance.

Culinary enthusiasts will find delight in the myriad flavors of Spain: from the sizzling paella pans of Valencia to the tempting array of tapas in Granada. For those looking to immerse themselves in nature, Spain’s diverse landscapes range from the verdant vineyards of La Rioja, perfect for wine tasting, to the rugged hiking trails of the Pyrenees. And, of course, no trip to Spain would be complete without participating in a local fiesta, where tradition, music, and dance come alive under the Iberian sun.


Spain resonates with linguistic diversity, echoing its rich regional identities. While Spanish (or Castilian) is the official language spoken across the country, many regions have their own native tongues that coexist alongside Spanish. In the Basque Country, the ancient Basque language (Euskera) fills the air, while the mellifluous sounds of Catalan can be heard in Catalonia’s bustling squares and beachfronts. Travelers will also encounter Galician in Galicia and Valencian in the Valencia region. Fortunately for visitors, English is widely understood, especially in major tourist hubs, ensuring easy communication. Nevertheless, a few basic Spanish phrases can open doors to warmer interactions and enriching experiences.

Greetings & Basics:

  • Hola – Hello
  • Buenos días – Good morning
  • Buenas tardes – Good afternoon/evening
  • Buenas noches – Good night
  • Adiós – Goodbye
  • Por favor – Please
  • Gracias – Thank you
  • De nada – You’re welcome
  • – Yes
  • No – No
  • Lo siento – I’m sorry

Getting Around & Directions:

  • ¿Dónde está…? – Where is…?
  • Izquierda – Left
  • Derecha – Right
  • Derecho/recto – Straight
  • Mapa – Map
  • Estación – Station
  • Aeropuerto – Airport
  • Parada de autobús – Bus stop
  • Entrada – Entrance
  • Salida – Exit

Emergencies & Health:

  • Ayuda – Help
  • Farmacia – Pharmacy
  • Médico – Doctor
  • Hospital – Hospital
  • Policía – Police
  • Estoy enfermo/a – I am sick

Accommodation & Lodging:

  • Hotel – Hotel
  • Reserva – Reservation
  • Habitación – Room
  • Llave – Key
  • Recepción – Reception/front desk


  • No entiendo – I don’t understand
  • ¿Hablas inglés? – Do you speak English?
  • Me llamo… – My name is…
  • ¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
  • ¿Cómo estás? – How are you?
  • Bien, gracias – Fine, thank you


Navigating the financial aspects of a Spanish adventure is made straightforward with the Euro (€) as its official currency. Travelers will find that Spain offers great value for money, especially when venturing outside the main tourist centers. From rustic family-run inns in Andalusia to bustling tapas bars in Madrid, there’s a range of options catering to various budgets. A meal at a local eatery might cost you anywhere from €10 to €30, depending on its location and exclusivity. Accommodations vary, with luxury hotels in prime locations fetching higher prices and budget hostels or pensions offering a more economical choice. Surf lessons, equipment rental, and other surf-related expenses should also be factored into your budget. Overall, with a bit of planning and some local insider tips, Spain can be a surprisingly affordable surf destination.

Cell Coverage/Wifi

In today’s digital age, staying connected is paramount, and Spain doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Across the country, cell coverage is extensive and reliable, particularly in urban areas and along the major coastal regions. Most of Spain’s prominent carriers, including Movistar, Vodafone, and Orange, offer widespread 4G services, ensuring that travelers can easily make calls, use maps, or post their latest surf shots on social media. For those venturing into more remote or mountainous regions, coverage can occasionally be spottier, so it’s wise to download offline maps or essential information in advance. As for Wi-Fi, it’s ubiquitously available. Hotels, hostels, cafes, and even many public spaces offer free or low-cost Wi-Fi access. For uninterrupted connectivity, consider getting a local SIM card upon arrival or using international roaming plans. With Spain’s robust telecommunications infrastructure, you’ll find it easy to stay in touch, share your adventures, and keep up with the world.

Get Going!

Spain is more than just a destination; it’s an experience waiting to be lived. From its world-class surf breaks that cater to both novices and professionals to its vibrant culture echoing in every flamenco beat and fiesta, Spain promises an unparalleled adventure. Beyond the waves, you’ll find ancient cities rich in history, landscapes painted with every hue of nature, and a cuisine that’s a love letter to the palate. Whether it’s the allure of riding the perfect wave at Mundaka, strolling through the cobblestone streets of Seville, or indulging in a midnight tapas spree in Barcelona, Spain offers a tapestry of experiences that cater to every traveler’s soul. A trip here isn’t just about the places you visit but the memories you create, the stories you gather, and the essence of España that stays with you long after you leave. So, pack your board and your spirit of adventure, because Spain is calling. And trust us, you’ll want to answer.

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