Spain has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with its fascinating history, vibrant culture, mouth-watering food, and truly diverse landscapes.
Bridging the gap between Europe and Africa, with coastlines stretching from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean, Spain offers an enriching experience to all those who visit. Whether looking to relax on the white sandy beaches or trek into the mesmerizing mountains, there are interests and activities available throughout the country that appeal to people from all walks of life.
The surfing scene in Spain has grown considerably over the last two decades, offering waves and breaks suitable for beginners and experts alike. There is fantastic surf to be found in both the North and South of Spain, from the choppy waters of the Atlantic to the sun-kissed beaches of the Mediterranean.
With the ever-increasing popularity, surf schools offering lessons, camps, and hire have sprung up all along the coastline. Each region in Spain has a strong, and unique cultural identity, represented in the local cuisine, history, attire, and pace of life. Whilst this offers an incredible choice of destinations, it can be difficult to decide on where to go.
With this in mind, let us help you decide which locality you wish to visit, and which surf school will offer the experience you are after.
1) Shelter Surf Eskola By Aritz Aranburu
Located on the spectacular beach of Playa de Zarautz, on the coast of the beautiful town of Zarautz, in the Basque Country. This beach is infamous amongst surfers due to the quality surfing conditions year-round, and the breathtaking location.
The school was founded by legendary surfer Aritz Aranburu, a local legend and widely respected competitor at a world level. His influence has helped the school, and area’s reputation, grow considerably, with surfers of all ages and abilities keen to learn from his technical prowess and know-how.
The highly skilled and well-trained instructors ensure an in-depth experience no matter your level. With individual tuition, group classes, and surf camps available, you can be sure to find the experience that’s right for you.
- Reputation – Founded by champion surfer Aritz Aranburu
- Location – Visit the town of Zarautz to embrace local culture
- Inclusive – Equipment is included with the lessons and they even provide health insurance to cover any potential injury
2) Ocean Life Surf School
Learn to surf in Playa de Las Americas on the picturesque island of Tenerife. The beach offers varied conditions and surf for all levels of abilities, and it’s suitable throughout the year. The breaks are ideal for learning to ride your first wave, and you can be certain their highly skilled instructors will guide you carefully each step of the way.
The area is close to various famous surf spots that are easily reached, to offer you a variety of locations and surf. Although group classes have a minimum age of thirteen years old, semi-private and individual tuition is available for those as young as six years old. Instruction is available in English, German, Spanish, Italian, and Polish. All the necessary equipment is included, as well as accident insurance.
- Personal Instruction – Group sizes of a maximum of six people ensure that your progress will be carefully monitored
- Location – On Tenerife, you will find varied entertainment and cuisine to suit all tastes
- Diverse Clientele – Offering classes in many languages
3) Calima Surf Lanzarote
Take a trip to the scenic Canary Islands, with white sandy beaches, fascinating volcanic terrain, and alluring waters, to enjoy a surfer’s paradise in Lanzarote. With the school running since 1996, their instructors, who are trained to the professional standards of the British Surf Association (BSA), provide tuition to surfers from beginner level to advanced.
They also offer specialized surfing lessons and camps for children. Their five-day surf camp is guaranteed to have you feeling confident and able on the board and in the waves.
You will leave with a certificate to confirm how many hours you have completed on the course, and their staff will capture your progress each step of the way, so you can follow your journey and share it with friends and family alike. All the necessary equipment is included to ensure there are no hidden costs.
For those advanced surfers, take off on a Surfari to visit many surf spots along the coast. There are opportunities to engage in many other activities, from yoga to hiking.
- Experience – The school has been running since 1996 and their instructors meet the high standard of the British Surf Association
- Location – Lanzarote on the Canary Islands is an ideal location for all aspects of a holiday
- Variety – As well as surfing, you can paddleboard, kitesurf, hike, and unwind in a yoga class
4) Latas Surf House
Located in the region of Cantabria, close to the idyllic city of Santander, and with close access to both Somo and Loredo beaches. Somo beach provides the perfect small waves for beginners and more challenging breaks for advanced surfers.
Lessons and camps are available to all abilities, their instructors will carefully consider your previous experience (if any) to ensure that you get the most out of your time with them. With focused tuition in the mornings, before enjoying some independent, but supervised, surfing in the afternoons.
Everything is included when you attend the camp, and they offer a whole host of entertainment and activities, as well as providing transport to many of the local beaches and towns. The provided accommodation is suitable for free-spirited solo travelers, groups of friends, and families, with the facilities wide-ranging to ensure all your needs are catered for.
- Location – Visit Santander or one of the many local towns, as well as easy access to both Somo and Loredo beaches
- Inclusive – Equipment included and a wide range of activities to enjoy when not on the water
- First Waves – Great waves for beginners and those looking to gain more confidence
5) Prado Surf
Prado Surf was founded in 1998 in Galicia and has continued to grow in strength. With schools in four locations, they offer the perfect surf environment to surfers of all ages (from six years old up) and abilities. With a focus on the four main disciplines of surfing: longboards, surf, bodyboard, and paddle-surf, you can be sure to find just the right discipline for you.
Surf lessons and camps are available from one to six days in length as well as specialized events and trips, throughout the local area, and further afield. Their environmental and educational focus has seen them establish the Surfescolas program for school children and build associations with numerous universities in the area.
- Environmental and Educational Awareness – Expertise in teaching children and educating all their customers on the environmental issues affecting the areas
- Broad Knowledge – Whatever discipline of surfing you wish to try, they have it covered
- History – With over twenty years’ experience, the school and its instructors are at the top of their field
6) Surf Life Tenerife Surf Camp
Based at the Surf Hostel La Tortuga, this is a one-stop-shop for your surfing and holiday needs. The surrounding area has all you could ask for, with bustling attractions, entertainment, and amenities.
Want to enjoy a peaceful evening out of the way? Then visit some local villages to enjoy a taste of the local culture whilst enjoying the incredible sunsets.
Their fully loaded surf camp package includes accommodation, a delicious breakfast, a swimming pool, and a communal kitchen for those wishing to cook up some tasty dishes. You can even enjoy a yoga lesson and learn about post-surf stretching techniques to keep you feeling fresh and limber after a hard day’s surf.
Extra activities are also offered including snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, and boat trips, to give you a close-up view of the local wildlife including dolphins and turtles.
- All-inclusive – Covering all your needs, equipment, and accommodation
- Nature – See wild dolphins and snorkel with turtles, majestic
- Location – Busy tourist areas and quaint villages are within a short distance
7) All-Inclusive Zarautz Surf House
A simply mesmerizing location in the Pagoeta Nature Reserve, with breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean and diverse Basque countryside. Lessons take place on the famous Playa Zarautz, with their experienced instructors guiding you as you take your first steps in the water.
Teaching you the theory behind surfing as well as the technical skills, to help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the art of surfing. With lessons available to all from beginner to advanced levels, and everything you need is included, meaning a stress-free and engaging experience. Their all-inclusive packages include everything you could think of and more.
On top of your surfing experience, accommodation is included where they provide three nutritious healthy meals a day and for those party animals, free sangria, beer, and traditional Basque sidra for the duration of your stay.
They also offer a wide range of alternative activities and the required equipment such as yoga mats, skimboards, and even a skatepark for those looking to carve up some concrete.
- Location – Set in the Pagoeta Nature Reserve and panoramic views of the ocean and mountains
- Value – Lessons, equipment, accommodation, meals, and extra activities
- Local Knowledge – Their guides will take you out to many of the local attractions and sites
8) Bilbao Surf Camp
Stay in a renovated traditional 19th-century Basque building, surrounded by mountains, the ‘Surf Castle’ has it all. The school has been running for almost twenty years, and they pride themselves on their Surf Federation qualified, local instructors, having a vast knowledge of surfing, as well as the culture and history of the local area. Easily travel into the historical city of Bilbao and dive headfirst into the local way of life.
Located in the heart of the Vizcaya coast, close to numerous famous surfing beaches, you will be spoiled for choice whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time surfer. With a mind-boggling range of alternative activities available including but not limited to archery, climbing walls, skateboarding, and an open-air cinema to relax after a vigorous day’s surf.
- Location – Close to Bilbao, access to many beaches and surrounded by mountains
- Activities – A wide range of extra activities included
- Instructors – Local teachers all Surf Federation qualified
9) Riders Surf’n Bike
Offering a diverse range of activities and adventures year-round in El Cotillo, located on the north of Fuerteventura. With lessons for surfers from beginner to intermediate, small classes guarantee attentive and focused instruction and swift progression.
Their instructors are certified by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the Federacion Canarias de Surf (FCS), ensuring great knowledge and coaching ability.
The company is environmentally conscious, which shows in its use of ecological sunscreens, washing detergent, paper bags, and reusable water bottles. Their Surf’n’Sleep package is all-inclusive for the duration of your stay, with a diverse range of accommodation available. Explore the local area with bike tours and horse riding, relax with yoga classes, or ride the concrete waves on skateboards or longboards.
- Certified – ISA and FCS certified to guarantee top-notch coaching and engagement
- Activities – Surf, bike, and ride in this spectacular location
- Environmentally Conscious – Great efforts are taken to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the local area
10) La Wave Surf House
La Wave Surf offers lessons, camps, and accommodation at La Wave Surf House on Somo Beach, Cantabria, in the bay of Santander. They also run schools at two other locations, in Galicia and the Canary Islands, so you have an interesting choice to make on where you stay. With waves suitable for all levels, beginners can find their sea legs and more advanced surfers can rip it up to their hearts’ content.
During your stay, their local instructors and staff aim to initiate you into the surfing methodology whilst you learn about the local culture and environment. A sustainable company, with a focus on recycling and ecological conservation to “leave it better than we found it.”
- Locations – Schools in three locations offer varied surfing and culture
- Local Knowledge – Local instructors and staff to provide insight into the local culture and environment
- Sustainability – Focused on respecting the local environment and proactively engaging the local community to do the same
When Is The Surf Season In Spain?
You can surf year-round in Spain, though each season brings with it a unique setting and range of surfing. In summer and early autumn, you will find the most suitable conditions for beginners, due to the smaller waves and less ferocious breaks. Though you will find that the beaches and surf are a lot busier, with it being peak tourism season.
For those with more surfing experience, visiting between autumn and spring will offer the bigger waves and less crowded beaches.
Where Are The Best Spots To Surf In Spain?
With various locations in the north and south of Spain, you can find great surf almost anywhere. The surf on the Mediterranean to the south and the east coast near Barcelona has a strong reputation, but the ‘home’ of surfing in Spain is on the north Atlantic coast.