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Surf in Spain

Surfing in Spain

Surfing in Spain. Some of the greatest surfing, windsurfing or kite surfing is found off Spain's northern coast, in Andalucía and in the Canary Islands.

“Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world,” said best by the Beach Boys seems to be about right if that wave is anywhere near the coast of Spain. Some of the greatest surfing, windsurfing or kite surfing is found off Spain's northern coast near France, in the southern province of Andalucía, and off the coast of Africa in the Canary Islands.

The Bay of Biscay is an inlet of the North East Atlantic created by the southwest of France or Basque region and the northwest of Spain. The shallow waters are known to be exceptionally rough here because of the continental shelf that extends through the water.

Mundaka, in the Vasco region, is where everyone goes surfing. More than a dozen rivers empty out into the inlet near this small fishing town. The estuary of fresh and salt water have been eroding the terrain and shaping the sandbanks for centuries, resulting in some of the best naturally-occurring waves.

Head south to Andalucía in the province of Cadiz to find Tarifa, near the Straights of Gibraltar, the next picturesque surf and windsurfing destination in Spain. Tarifa is located so far south where the Mediterranean and Atlantic meet that enthusiasts have great views of the Rif mountains of Africa.

The wind conditions are exceptionally consistent along the southern coast of Spain, making the windsurfing conditions ideal for beginners or experts alike. Tarifa's beaches and coastline are also highly touted as a nature and bird lover's paradise. Horseback riding, hang-gliding, kite-surfing, diving, and rock-climbing can also be found for the adventurous type.

Tenerife, in the Canary Islands off the Moroccan coast, is the third and most exotic destination to surf in Spain. The energy that comes in from the Atlantic waters collides with the volcanic steps and reefs surrounding Tenerife creating great riding waves.

A cold stream of water dubbed “the Canary cold stream” also brings with it a year-round strong wind making for great wind- and kite-surfing. El Medano, El Cabezo and La Jaquita are noted as some of the best wind zones to take advantage of in Tenerife. The summer is the peak season in Tenerife to surf or just take lessons. There's a host of surfing schools to choose from: for novice or experienced surfers.

Whether you are a beginner or experienced surfer, heed the following advice: Drop-ins and snakes are a way of stealing a fellow surfer's wave or generally disrupting the rotation, so don’t do it. Like golf, or downhill skiing, be conscious of your fellow players (surfers) and abide by the local customs. As mentioned earlier, surfers are naturally territorial, so mind the unwritten law whenever you find yourself treading water. “Hang ten!”