The Basque Coast
Zurriola is a consistent beach in the town center of San Sebastian and has good waves on small days which makes it a great spot for beginners. Parking is expensive and spots are rare so better leave your car elsewhere. If you’re heading west then stop at Zarautz with its long beach and plenty of waves to choose from. Works for most of the year and through all tides. North of Bilbao you get to Sopelana with two spacious beaches and surf lessons being offered on both of them.
When the waves are very big and you are looking for a sheltered spot then the east facing Playa de Laredo is your place to go. On the other hand, if there seems to be no wave anywhere then check Playa de Ajo and you may be up for a pleasant surprise. Further west you find the beaches of Galizano and Langre, both usually uncrowded and with an impressive setting. Passing Santander and heading for the town of Suances you’ll find a mellow beachbreak right in the center with surf shops, schools and rentals. Near the picturesque fishing village of San Vicente de la Barquera there is Cabo de Oyambre, a natural reserve with good beginner spots on either side of it. Playa de Oyambre on the eastern flank and Playa de Meron in the west. At the latter, you can see the snow-capped summits of the Picos de Europa from the line-up on a clear day.
Asturias and Galicia
Compared to the Basque coast and Cantabria, the crowds get considerably thinner and the environment becomes increasingly mountainous and wild. Galicia has one of the widest swell windows in Europe but also the coolest waters on that latitude. In return you find countless beaches receiving waves from every direction and therefore providing classic surf conditions in the most of scenarios.
The coastline from Cadiz to Tarifa from where you can already see Africa features mainly beachbreaks and has some of the finest weather in Europe. El Palmar is the best surfing beach in the area and only needs a bit of swell to get you gliding.Isn’t Spain what you are looking for? Try surfing in Morocco or try surfing in France. You can always also go and surf in Portugal
The Basque Coast
It is the world famous, powerful lefts of Mundaka throwing their grinding barrels into the mouth of the river Gernika that are mostly associated with surfing in Spain. Packed out with literally more than a hundred surfers on smaller days and left to a few tow surfing afficionados during the biggest of swells, good timing, a bit of luck and some endurance to battle the current are handy ingredients to score one of its epic rides. Sopelana is the most consistent place in the area and has two bays separated by a rocky headland. La Triangular is the outside right breaking over reef in the southern bay and holding waves up to 4 meters. The occasional left is less busy but can be tricky at low tide as you might end up in the rocks. For some, these are the training grounds to prepare for the suicide waves of Menakoz, Punta Galea and Roca Puta.
West of Santander is Los Locos, a popular, good quality beachbreak that works through all tides and gets busy especially in summer when it’s the only place sheltered from the prevailing NE winds.
Asturias and Galicia
Rodiles is the most famous spot of Asturias and produces mind-bending rivermouth lefts in a nature reserve with aromatic eucalyptus forest. It can be either occupied by protective locals or you have it to yourself, flip a coin! In Galicia, Pantin picks up pretty much all swell and has amazing beach waves. When the swell is big and and with strong S winds, head to Xurxo where you’ll find an excellent left that gets huge. Use the channel next to the rocks to get to the line-up where you are not unlikely to be the only one.
There are some notable highlights in the area south of Cadiz adding to the numerous, high-quality beachbreaks. The classic reefbreak of Canos de Meca south of El Palmar delivers long and hollow rights at low tide and when the swell is big enough. Barbate is a rivermouth left that needs a fair bit of swell and low tide to start working properly and when it does, it has superb, long reeling barrels.
1 = Not to good
2 = Ok
3 = Good
4= Very good
5 = Very, very good
In a bar
In a café
In a surfshop.