María Vázquez. Fotolia.
Surfer in Zarautz. Guipúzcoa.
Happy Alex. Fotolia.
Surfers walking into the sea.
Andy Ilmberger . Fotolia
A surfer riding a wave. Andalusia.
If surfing is your life philosophy, or if you want to experience a sensation of freedom and oneness with the sea, Spain is the place for you. Here you'll discover a large number of beaches where you can find the perfect wave and enjoy this addictive sport. All you need is to feel comfortable in the water and be willing to travel in your quest for the best waves.
You can book your surfing experiences on this page. You'll find information on prices, the dates when you can do the activity, how long it takes, what language options are available and its target public.
Because of its spectacular beaches, famous among surfers the world over, which are perfect for surfing and with a wide range of sea floors and breakers. Because it has a great variety of waves, some renowned all over the world. Because of its warm climate, with all types of winds and currents. Because of its numerous surf schools and companies offering surfing courses and surfing-themed accommodation. Because it's a venue for surfing-themed festivals, often combined with other types of complementary activities like music, cinema or yoga. Because Spain's the destination chosen by some of the world's top surfers.
Types of surfing
In addition to surfing, you can try your hand at other variants in Spain. Do you want to know which ones? Bodyboarding: a small surfboard, normally polythene, will help you to glide across the waves. The size of the board may vary depending on your weight and height, and they're lighter and easier to carry than classic surfboards. You also use flippers. Kneeboard: this type of surfing is done kneeling on a shorter-then-usual board, and using flippers to propel yourself along. Skimboard: this involves throwing your board –similar to a surfboard but shorter and wider– to the shore and plunging into the waves to catch it. You can also do it in calm water. Stand-up paddle: you need good balance for this, because you have to stand up on the surfboard while paddling. The great advantage is that it's easy to learn. Longboard: in this case you stand on a longer and wider board and glide over the waves.
Best times of the year
You can go surfing all year round in Spain. If you're a beginner we recommend you come in summer when the waves are gentler; but if you're an expert, you'll be fascinated by the swells awaiting you in winter.
Cantabria is a pioneer for surfing in Spain. The most highly recommended beaches for surfing in this area are: Los Locos (Suances): located in the central coast of Cantabria and surrounded by cliffs. Canallave and Valdearenas (Liencres-Pielagos): both located in the Dunas de Liencres Nature Reserve, and a place of exceptional natural beauty. Somo and Loredo (Ribamontán al Mar). Somo is one of the best-known beaches among surfing enthusiasts, and the first surfing nature reserve in Spain. Ris (Noja): this large sandbank 4 kilometres long is one of the most popular beaches in Noja. What's more, in the Canary Islands you'll find over 200 kilometres of coastline open to the sea that are great for surfing: El Confital (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria): its waves are regarded as being among the best in the Canary Islands archipelago. El Quemao (Lanzarote): with its seabeds of volcanic rock, this is perfect for more advanced surfers. El Socorro (Tenerife): well known for being a frequent venue for competitions and training. You can also surf in other Spanish regions such as at the beaches of Mundaka in the Basque Country; Yerbabuena in Cadiz, and Rodiles in Asturias.
Check the weather conditions, the waves and the wind direction before setting out to sea, and pay particular attention to the currents. The best wind is the one that comes off the land towards the sea, against the waves. You'll find numerous websites that will tell you the state of the sea, the wind, and the weather, including the websites of the AEMET and The Weather . Make sure you have the right equipment. It's essential to have a wetsuit to avoid getting hit and to keep you warm (you'll find various types of suits, some of them specially designed for the season of the year in which you're going to use them). You'll also need a surfboard. If you don't have one, you can rent one at your holiday destination, where experts and instructors can advise you about which one is best for you. If you have your own board and you want to travel with it by plane, it must be perfectly packaged. Remember that many airline companies charge a supplement for surfboards, so we recommend checking beforehand. If you're planning to ride big waves or surf on a beach with a rocky sea bed, it's advisable to wear a helmet. If you're planning to enter in a championship or surfing competition in Spain, you need to be federated and have all the obligatory insurance in order. You can go surfing on your own, but –as with any sport involving risk– we recommend you do so in a group. You'll find companies that can organise everything for you, and you'll also have a great time meeting other people and sharing your experiences. In the case of accident, you can contact the emergency service by calling 112. For more information on surfing, visit the tourist offices in each area or contact the respective surfing federations. You can also visit the website of the Spanish Royal Surfing Federation. We recommend you read our practical health and safety tips .