Those who think of Spain probably think of paella, bullfighting and long sultry nights. Spain has long been a very popular holiday destination among the Dutch. The wonderful climate, good food, a vibrant nightlife and a wide range of cultural activities make Spain a holiday country that has something to offer everyone. But as you are used to, we will focus on surfing in Spain.
Like France, Spain has a long Atlantic coastline, which unlike in France, is oriented mainly to the north rather than the west. In the southwest, between Portugal and the Strait of Girbraltar, there are also some good surfing destinations. Of course, the Canary Islands also belong to Spain, where there are many beaches that are good for surfing. There are, however, a lot of rocks, so beginners have to seek their luck on the few beaches where the lava and reefs are not a problem.
One of the first real Spanish surfers was Jesus Fiochi. He came into contact with surfing in 1962, in Bayonne (near Biarritz), just across the Spanish-French border. The story goes that he bought a surfboard in Bayonne, but to make an impression he sanded the French logo off the surfboard, to give the impression that the surfboard came from Australia. Fiochi took his board to Cantabria, where the Sardinero Playa beach near Santander became Spain’s first real surf spot. Soon Fianchi was followed by many other surfers.
Spain offers many beautiful locations throughout the country for surfing. But where is the best place to go surfing as a beginner? The best and most famous surf spots on the mainland can be found in the north of Spain. Most surf camps and surf accommodations are located in the regions of the Basque Country and Cantabria. The Canary Islands also offer excellent surf spots, where you can enjoy great weather and waves all year round.
Northern Spain offers many places for beginners to learn to surf. Not only to surf but also to learn the Spanish language. Besides, this region offers many places to enjoy nature, the hospitable people and of course, the delicious Pintxos.
The first top location for beginner surfers in northern Spain is San Sebastian. This city is located in the region of the Basque Country and is the capital of the province of Gipuzkoa.
The excellent surfing conditions that the city offers are due to its open location on the ocean. Because of this, the waves constantly roll against the beaches. Which surfers go into the water depends on the tide. Advanced surfers go into the water when the tide is high. For novice surfers, it is advisable to go into the water when the tide goes out.
San Sebastián is not only known for surfing, but also as one of the most gastronomic places in the world. The city has the most Michelin stars per square metre in the world! For example, you can also enjoy the popular snack Pintxos here.
Twenty minutes from San Sebastián lies the village of Zarautz, an authentic surf town in the province of Gipuzkoa. Due to its location between the mountains, it can rain heavily in autumn and winter, which gives Zarautz a beautiful, green environment.
What makes this a top location for beginners is that the town is situated in a bay. As a result, there are no different currents, so the waves roll consistently against the beach. The bay is long and expansive with about three kilometres of beach and beach breaks. As in San Sebastián, Pinxtos is the local speciality in this city! Zarautz is a top location for partying, eating and learning to surf.
Loredo is located in the Spanish region of Cantabria. One of the most popular towns on the Cantabrian coast among surfing travellers. This surfing village offers one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in the region.
The beach is about five kilometres long and offers good quality waves. The Praya de Somo Y Loredo beach is considered worldwide to be one of the best surf spots for beginning surfers. The waves roll consistently against the beach, while rarely getting too high. These are the ideal conditions if you really want to make progress on your surfboard.
San Vincente de la Barquera, also called ‘Sanvi’, is also located in the Cantabrian region. It is an old fishing village in the west of the region. This place is known for its beautiful beaches and green surroundings. It is located between the nature park Oyambre and the national park Picos de Europa.
The mountain peaks of the Picos de Europa and a fantastic bay make San Vicente de la Barquera a must visit for a surf holiday. The best months for surfing here are June, July, August and September.
Next to San Vicente de la Barquera you will find the town of Oyambre. The bay of Oyambre is large and surrounded by hills and authentic farms. It is always quiet here because this place is part of a national park.
The best place to surf in the Bay of Oyambre is on the far west side. The more you go to the west side of the bay, the smaller and calmer the waves are. This makes it an ideal spot for beginners and surfers with some experience.
El Cotillo is probably the most famous surf spot in Fuerteventura. During the autumn and winter months, it is a spot mainly for experienced surfers. During the summer months, it is an excellent spot for beginners.
This town in the north of Tenerife boasts a number of distinctive black beaches, where excellent waves roll in from the Atlantic. Playa de Martiánez, located at the end of the boulevard and right next to Lago Martiánez, offers good conditions for surfing. Here you will find several surf shops and surf schools.