Experience Epic Surfing in Northern Spain

If you’re looking for a thrilling surfing experience, Northern Spain should be on your radar. Known for its epic waves and stunning coastlines, this region offers the perfect setting for an unforgettable surfing holiday.

From Bilbao to San Sebastian and beyond, Northern Spain boasts a variety of surf destinations suitable for all levels of surfers. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pro, there’s a surf spot waiting for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Surfing in Northern Spain offers an exciting and unique experience
  • The region boasts a variety of surf destinations suitable for all levels of surfers
  • Northern Spain’s surf culture and stunning landscapes add to the appeal of a surfing holiday

Discover the Best Surfing Beaches in Northern Spain

When it comes to surfing in Northern Spain, the region boasts some of the best beaches and waves in Europe. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, you’ll find your perfect match among the variety of surf spots available. You’ll also discover that the surf culture in Northern Spain is vibrant and welcoming, and the coastline is dotted with charming towns, picturesque cliffs, and breathtaking views.

Here are some of the best surfing beaches in Northern Spain:

BeachLocationWave QualitySuitability
Zarautz BeachZarautzConsistent waves, long sandy beachBeginner to advanced
Somo BeachCantabriaPowerful and hollow wavesAdvanced
Orrua BeachZarautzLeft-hand waves, reefIntermediate to advanced
Los Locos BeachSuancesPowerful and fast wavesIntermediate to advanced

Other notable beaches include Playa de Berria, Playa de Sopelana, and Playa de Rodiles. Each beach has its unique characteristics, from secluded coves to vast stretches of sand, and from shallow breaks to fast and hollow waves. You’ll find that the water temperature is pleasant from May to October, making it possible to surf without a wetsuit during the summer months.

Whether you want to experience the thrill of riding the best waves in Northern Spain or simply relax and enjoy the scenery, the surfing beaches of this region are not to be missed.

Surfer catching waves at a beach in Northern Spain

Surfing Near Bilbao

If you’re visiting Bilbao and longing for some surf action, you’re in for a treat. Northern Spain’s surf spots are easily accessible from the city, offering a convenient and exciting opportunity for both beginners and advanced surfers.

One of the closest surf spots to Bilbao is Sopelana, located just 20 kilometers away. This beach offers consistent waves and a relaxed atmosphere, suitable for surfers of all levels. The beach is surrounded by impressive cliffs and a long promenade, where you can enjoy refreshing drinks and snacks after your surf session.

Mundaka is another world-renowned surf spot located within an hour’s drive from Bilbao. Known for its left-hand river mouth wave, it’s considered one of the best waves in the world. However, due to its popularity, the spot can get crowded, making it more suitable for experienced surfers.

surfing near Bilbao

Image: surfing beaches in north spain,best surfing in northern spain

Other notable surf spots near Bilbao include Bakio, Plentzia, and Zarautz, each with its unique characteristics and surf culture. Bakio is a picturesque village with a beautiful long sandy beach and a left-hand point break. Plentzia is a charming seaside town with a sheltered beach, ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers. Zarautz, located further east, offers a long sandy beach and consistent waves, attracting surfers from all over the world.

Whether you’re looking for a quick surf session after exploring the city or a day trip to discover the best surf spots in the region, Northern Spain won’t disappoint. Just grab your board, hop in your car, and get ready for some epic surf adventures.

Explore San Sebastian’s Surfing Scene

San Sebastian is one of the most popular coastal cities in Northern Spain and boasts a vibrant surfing scene. Surfers come from all over the world to experience the quality waves, stunning beaches, and laid-back atmosphere in San Sebastian.

The city has several surf schools catering to all skill levels, making it an ideal destination for beginners and advanced surfers alike. The instructors are experienced and knowledgeable, providing excellent guidance and tips for improving surfing skills.

San Sebastian has a variety of surf spots suitable for different surfing levels. The Zurriola Beach, located in the heart of the city, is a popular spot for surfers of all levels, with consistent waves throughout the year. Savvy surfers head to Playa de Gros, which has a more relaxed vibe and is perfect for longboarders.

surfing in San Sebastian

Image:  northern spain surf spots

San Sebastian has a lively surf culture, with plenty of surf events and competitions throughout the year. The city’s surf shops offer everything you need, from boards to wetsuits, allowing you to travel light and hire equipment on site.

After a day of surfing, San Sebastian has plenty of options to unwind and refuel. The city is renowned for its fantastic cuisine, with a range of restaurants offering traditional Basque dishes, including pintxos, seafood, and cider.

If you’re looking for a surfing holiday in Northern Spain, San Sebastian should be at the top of your list. Its spectacular beaches, surf culture, and lively atmosphere make it one of the best surf destinations in Spain.

Conquer the Waves in Zarautz

Zarautz is a Mecca for surf enthusiasts visiting Northern Spain. Located in the Basque Country, this charming coastal town boasts a stunning 2.5-kilometer long sandy beach and consistent waves that cater to surfers of all levels. The beach is lined with surf schools and rental shops, making it easy for beginners to get started and experienced surfers to rent gear.

The waves in Zarautz are known for their quality, with long and peeling breaks that allow for great rides. The beach is also ideal for longboarders and has hosted the annual Zarautz Pro Surf competition for over 30 years. The event attracts some of the world’s best surfers and transforms the town into a vibrant hub of surf culture.

surfing in Zarautz

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The town itself is a great base for exploring the Basque Country, with lively bars and restaurants that serve delicious pintxos (Basque tapas) and excellent local wine. Visitors can also take a stroll along the promenade, visit the nearby UNESCO-listed San Telmo Museum, or hike in the surrounding hills for panoramic views of the coastline.

If you’re searching for a fun and exciting surfing holiday in Northern Spain, Zarautz should be at the top of your list. With its consistent waves, vibrant surf scene, and laid-back atmosphere, the town offers an unforgettable experience for surfers and non-surfers alike.

Get Thrilled at Mundaka’s World-Class Waves

When it comes to surfing destinations in Spain, Mundaka is a standout location, known for its world-class waves which attract surfers from around the globe. The small town located in the Basque Country is home to one of the most famous waves in Europe, the left-hand river mouth wave that barrels over the sandbar. This challenging surf spot is not recommended for beginners, but experienced surfers who dare to conquer it are rewarded with an unforgettable ride.

What makes Mundaka’s waves so special is the unique combination of the river estuary and the sandbar, which creates a hollow, fast, and powerful wave. The best time to surf in Mundaka is during the autumn and winter months when the swell is at its most consistent.

best waves in northern spain

Besides the incredible waves, Mundaka’s charming atmosphere and stunning landscapes make it an excellent destination for a surfing trip. The town’s picturesque architecture and narrow alleys lined with traditional Basque houses are a sight to behold. The surrounding Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai is a natural paradise that features lush forests, marshes, and cliffs.

When visiting Mundaka, surfers can stay in surf camps, guesthouses, or hotels that cater to their needs. The local surf community is welcoming and friendly, with several surf shops and schools that offer equipment rental and lessons for all levels.

Overall, Mundaka is a must-visit destination for experienced surfers who seek a challenge and an opportunity to ride some of the best waves in Northern Spain.

Other Fantastic Surfing Locations in Northern Spain

If you’re looking for even more exciting surfing opportunities in Northern Spain, there are plenty of hidden gems to explore. Here are some additional surf destinations worth considering:

SomoConsistent waves, suitable for all levels, stunning natural beauty
CovasRelatively uncrowded, reliable waves, beautiful coastal scenery
LagaUncrowded waves, remote location, rugged landscape
OrruaSecluded beach, powerful waves, experienced surfers only

These locations offer unique surfing experiences that are off the beaten path. Whether you’re seeking uncrowded waves, stunning natural landscapes, or challenging conditions, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Northern Spain.

surfing in Northern Spain

Don’t be afraid to venture beyond the most popular surf spots and discover something new. Northern Spain is full of hidden treasures waiting to be explored by the adventurous surfer.

  • Take time to research lesser-known surf destinations before your trip.
  • Consider hiring a local guide to help you navigate unfamiliar locations.
  • Be prepared for varying conditions and bring appropriate equipment.
  • Respect the local environment and surf culture.

With a willingness to explore and an open mind, you’re sure to discover some unforgettable surfing experiences in Northern Spain.

Surf Culture and Lifestyle in Northern Spain

Surfing in Northern Spain is not just a sport but a way of life. The region has a vibrant surf culture that embraces surfers of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

The surf culture in Northern Spain is closely tied to the region’s identity and heritage. Surfing has become an integral part of the coastal lifestyle, with surf schools, surf shops, and surf-related businesses popping up all over the region.

The locals are welcoming and friendly, with a laid-back attitude that perfectly complements the surf lifestyle. In fact, surfing in Northern Spain can offer a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and a chance to immerse yourself in the relaxed surf culture.

Surfing events and competitions are a big part of the surf culture in Northern Spain. Every year, the region hosts several surf events, attracting surfers from all over the world. Some of the popular events include the Zarautz Pro Surf competition and the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro competition.

The Best Surfing Cities in Northern Spain

San Sebastian and Zarautz are two of the most popular cities for surfers in Northern Spain. The surf culture in San Sebastian is alive and thriving, with many surf schools and surf shops dotted along the coastline. The city has several surf spots that cater to all levels of surfers, including the Zurriola Beach and the Gros Beach.

Zarautz, on the other hand, is considered one of the best surf destinations in Spain. With its consistent waves and long sandy beach, it is a surfer’s paradise. The city hosts the annual Zarautz Pro Surf competition, which attracts professional surfers from all corners of the globe.

In addition to these cities, there are many other fantastic surf destinations in Northern Spain. From Mundaka to Gijon, each location offers a unique surf experience that is worth exploring.

Surfing in San Sebastian

Whether you are a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to try something new, surfing in Northern Spain is a must-do experience. The combination of world-class waves, stunning natural scenery, and vibrant surf culture makes it a surfing destination unlike any other.

Essential Tips for Surfing in Northern Spain

If you’re planning a surfing holiday in Northern Spain, here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your experience:

  • Visit during the peak surfing season, which runs from September to May, to enjoy the best surf conditions.
  • Make sure to pack a wetsuit, as the water can be chilly, especially in the winter months.
  • Research the surf spots beforehand and check the weather and wave forecast before heading out.
  • Be respectful of the locals and surf etiquette, which includes taking turns and not dropping in on someone else’s wave.
  • Consider taking surf lessons from a reputable surf school to improve your skills and knowledge of the area.
  • Choose accommodation near the surf spots to maximize your time in the water.

Additionally, be aware of any local regulations, such as designated surfing areas or restrictions on surfing during certain hours.

Surfing holidays in Northern Spain offer the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation. With a little preparation and planning, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the incredible surf destinations in Spain and create unforgettable memories.

surfing holidays in northern spain

Explore Beyond Surfing in Northern Spain

While Northern Spain is an undeniable paradise for surfers, there’s more to this region than just catching waves. Whether you’re seeking cultural immersion or outdoor adventures, Northern Spain has something for everyone. Here are some of the must-see places and activities to complement your surfing trip:

Explore Vibrant Cities

Head to Bilbao or San Sebastian for a taste of urban life in Northern Spain. Bilbao is known for its cutting-edge architecture, including the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, while San Sebastian boasts a charming old town and a vibrant culinary scene. Take a stroll along the promenade, indulge in pintxos (Basque tapas), or attend cultural events for a well-rounded experience.

Discover Cultural Treasures

From prehistoric caves to medieval towns, Northern Spain is steeped in history and heritage. Visit the Altamira Caves in Cantabria to marvel at the world-renowned Paleolithic cave paintings. Explore the fortified town of Hondarribia or the medieval village of Santillana del Mar for a glimpse of the region’s architectural gems. Don’t miss the chance to witness traditional Basque sports, including stone lifting and wood chopping, during local festivals.

Experience Natural Wonders

Northern Spain’s landscape is diverse and awe-inspiring, encompassing rugged mountains, verdant valleys, and dramatic coastlines. Hike the Picos de Europa National Park for panoramic views of the Cantabrian Mountains. Drive along the Basque Coast Geopark to admire the striking flysch rock formations. Or go on a whale-watching excursion in the Bay of Biscay to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Savour Local Cuisine

Food is a highlight of any trip to Northern Spain, with its emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and bold flavors. Indulge in a hearty seafood paella or a fragrant Basque fish stew. Treat yourself to a cider house menu, featuring an array of grilled meats and unlimited cider. Sample artisan cheeses, pintxos, and Rioja wines for a true taste of the region.

surf destinations in spain

Whether you’re a surfing enthusiast or simply looking for a new adventure, Northern Spain beckons with its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. Book your next trip to this enchanting destination and explore beyond surfing!


Surfing in Northern Spain offers an incredible adventure for surf enthusiasts of all levels. The region boasts some of the best surfing beaches in Spain, with epic waves and stunning coastlines. From the surfing opportunities near Bilbao to the vibrant scene in San Sebastian and the iconic Mundaka wave, there is no shortage of thrilling surf spots to explore.

While surfing is undoubtedly the highlight of any trip to Northern Spain, there is much more to discover beyond the waves. The region is steeped in history and culture, with delicious cuisine and breathtaking landscapes waiting to be explored. Whether you are a seasoned surfer or just starting, Northern Spain is the perfect destination for a memorable and well-rounded surfing holiday.

To make the most of your surfing adventure in Northern Spain, it is essential to plan ahead. Be sure to research the best time to visit, necessary equipment, and local regulations. Surf schools and accommodation catering to surfers are widely available. And don’t forget to venture beyond the surf and discover all that Northern Spain has to offer.

So what are you waiting for? Book your next surfing holiday in Northern Spain and experience the thrill of epic waves and unforgettable adventures.


Q: Is Northern Spain a good destination for surfing?

A: Yes, Northern Spain is known for its epic waves and beautiful coastlines, making it a great destination for surfing.

Q: Are there any beginner-friendly surfing beaches in Northern Spain?

A: Absolutely! Northern Spain has a variety of surfing beaches suitable for beginners, offering smaller waves and a friendly environment to learn and practice surfing.

Q: What are some of the best surfing spots near Bilbao?

A: Some of the popular surfing spots near Bilbao include Sopelana, Bakio, and Plentzia. These spots offer great waves and are conveniently located near the city.

Q: Is San Sebastian a good place for surfers?

A: Yes, San Sebastian has a vibrant surfing scene with plenty of surf spots and surf schools. The city’s beaches and energetic atmosphere make it a fantastic destination for surfers.

Q: What makes Zarautz a popular surf destination?

A: Zarautz is renowned for its consistent waves and long sandy beach, attracting surf enthusiasts from around the world. The annual Zarautz Pro Surf competition also adds to the destination’s appeal.

Q: Why is Mundaka famous among surfers?

A: Mundaka is famous for its world-class waves, particularly its left-hand river mouth wave. Experienced surfers are drawn to Mundaka for the challenge and thrill it offers.

Q: Are there any hidden surf gems in Northern Spain?

A: Absolutely! Northern Spain has many fantastic surf locations beyond the well-known spots. These hidden gems offer unique features, such as secluded beaches, reliable waves, and stunning natural landscapes.

Q: What is the surf culture like in Northern Spain?

A: Northern Spain has a vibrant surf culture with local surf communities, surf events, and surf-related businesses. The region embraces a laid-back atmosphere and a strong sense of camaraderie among surfers.

Q: What are some essential tips for surfing in Northern Spain?

A: When planning to surf in Northern Spain, it’s important to consider the best time to visit, necessary equipment, safety precautions, and local regulations. It’s also beneficial to explore surf schools and accommodation options catering to surfers.

Q: What else can I do in Northern Spain besides surfing?

A: Aside from surfing, Northern Spain offers a rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes. Visitors can explore historical sites, indulge in local gastronomy, and engage in various outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

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