Barcelona is the busy, bustling capital of Spain’s Catalonia region.
A hugely popular tourist destination, Barcelona is best known for its incredible architecture, wonderful food, interesting attractions, and of course one of the biggest football clubs in the world.
There is one thing often overlooked though.
To many people’s surprise, Barcelona also has some great surf. Yep, you read that right. Barcelona, the city famous for La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi, and Las Ramblas has some fantastic surfing spots.
Though the surf in Barcelona isn’t up there with the best surfing locations in the Mediterranean, there is still plenty of surf to catch.
If you’re in Barcelona for a short break and want to simply give surfing ago or develop the skills you already have, Barcelona has something to offer.
To show you exactly what Barcelona has to offer, we have put together a comprehensive guide to everything surf in the city.
After reading the guide you should know exactly what to expect if you choose to surf in Barcelona. where all the best spots are, where to stay, the best time of year to surf, and who offers the best lessons.
If all of this sounds like something you’ll enjoy, be sure to keep reading.
Where Is Barcelona?
Barcelona is one of if not the most iconic cities in Spain. You will find this amazing city in the northeast of the country, along a long stretch of coastline that heads southwest across the Mediterranean.
To the north of Barcelona is the Costa Brava.
The beach resort cities of Valencia and Sitges are to the south.
How To Get To Barcelona
Getting to Barcelona is pretty straightforward. As the city is such an important tourist destination there are plenty of ways in and out of the city. The most obvious way to get to Barcelona is to fly in. Just outside of the city is Barcelona Airport.
This airport is big enough to accept long-haul flights from all over the world.
From the airport, you will then need to get a transfer into the city. This is nice and easy because the city also has a pretty impressive metro link.
Running directly from the airport to the center of Barcelona, the train will take you to exactly where you need to be.
If you don’t want to fly into Barcelona the other alternatives are to travel by cruise ship or by car.
These two types of transport will also easily take you into the city but they aren’t anywhere near as quick or hassle-free as flying.
Let Us Introduce You To The Surf In Barcelona
Most people are quite surprised when they find out you can surf in Barcelona, but you honestly can.
In all honesty, the city is nowhere near the top of the list when it comes to top surfing locations, but it does have plenty of waves to jump on.
Some of the breaks on offer are even only a short walk from the old Gothic Quarter.
Most surfing spots Barcelona has to offer are found just outside the city in small Catalonian villages.
There’s no need to worry though they are all easily accessible. Before we dive into the main bulk of this guide we would just like to put out a few disclaimers.
Barcelona is simply not the place to travel to if you’re looking for a fully immersive surfing holiday.
It is great for a wonderful city break full of incredible cultures and stunning sights, but the waves are nowhere near the best.
Waves can be quite sporadic and unreliable, even in the winter months. Relying solely on wind swells, when suitable waves do come in they are better suited to beginners.
If you are a seasoned professional looking for the best waves on a surf trip, you may want to look elsewhere.
On the plus side, surfing in Barcelona can be super enjoyable. You’ll catch waves on the vibrant Barceloneta Beach with La Sagrada Familia looking down on you.
The water is relatively warm and if you’re lucky enough you might encounter a hollow wedge coming in.
The Best Surfing Spots In Barcelona
Surfing in Barcelona is unlike anywhere you’ve ever surfed before. The breaks here rely on wind swells in the Mediterranean which are very unreliable.
In our opinion, your best bet is to hire a car and be ready to travel.
With access to a car, you can check the surf forecast before driving to the best location that day. Usually doing this also helps you find a spot that is more relaxed and quieter.
To give you a good idea of the best surf spots in Barcelona we have provided you with a brief description of locations in and around the city. You can find them below.
Surf Spots In Barcelona
Barceloneta Beach is easily the most popular beach in the whole of Catalonia. This soft white sand beach runs along the south side of the city, only a short walk from Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter.
Wind swells are the only way you can encounter waves here. The best surfing conditions are usually found in the winter months but you can experience some good riding days in the spring and fall too.
Winds from the north will also help massively so keep an eye out for those.
In terms of the waves here, Barceloneta tends to experience quite unreliable sandbars. They range from 1-4 feet in height, suiting beginners more.
The beauty of this spot is that you can catch some waves, before walking back into town for some delicious tapas.
Killer Point (Killers)
Also known as killers, killer point used to be a “secret spot” that only locals were aware of. As this spot has become more and more popular some localism has started taking place.
Unfortunately, some local surfers hate the fact tourists want to surf here too.
This is a huge shame because the spot has the best waves in Barcelona.
The waves here can reach up to 6 feet tall thanks to the extra exposure the beach receives from the Mediterranean. This occurs because the point reaches further west than anywhere else in the city.
With A-frames occasionally making an appearance, this great spot is the closest you’ll come to an Atlantic wedge. Just keep an eye out for locals who hold a completely unnecessary grudge.
This surfing spot is found near the Wounded Star Sculpture at Platja de Sant Miquel, towards the northwest end of Barceloneta Beach. The Tyson surfing spot offers rare hollow waves that again rely on wind swells to work.
Nearby groins add some steepness to this spot, creating waves that often barrel over.
Locals love this area too so we advise you to take caution when surfing here so you don’t disturb them.
Surf Spots Outside Barcelona
Montgrat is made up of a series of smaller breaks not too far away from the city.
The surf here is a lot more reliable and can be a lot more rippable. The fast waves here are best when the sandbanks are good and the south wind swell gives us some action.
With northerly winds present you can expect waves to roll in at 4 feet tall.
Masnou is an excellent surf spot approximately 45 minutes away from the center of Barcelona by train and a 30-minute drive. We recommend you hire a car for the journey so you can easily transport any equipment you have with you.
The journey to Masnou is regularly done by the surf crowd from Barcelona who seek longer rides.
This south-facing break is much more exposed to southerly winds that help to create some seriously fun right-hand points and waves that crash against the harbor wall.
These larger breaks provide more entertainment for more experienced surfers who want to see what Barcelona surf has to offer.
When surfing in Barcelona, if you can visit the Sitges. The Sitges is a great place to surf just southwest of the city.
Also known as the Cemetery you’ll be glad to hear this spot gets its name from the graveyard that sits right next to the location.
If you head for the harbor walls near Aiguadolc you can occasionally ride eight-foot swells with barreling waves that sometimes run with an overhead curl. The best time of year to surf here is in the winter months.
Unlike other surf spots in Barcelona, the Stiges has much friendlier vibes and less localism.
The Best Surf Seasons In Barcelona
Understanding the best seasons to surf in Barcelona is vital because the surf is so unpredictable. Having said that there is only really one season that offers conditions reliable and consistent enough for regular surf sessions.
Despite this, we have provided a rundown of every surf season in Barcelona. Here it is!
Spring (April – May)
The early weeks of this season can be bigger than the waves experienced in the middle of winter, but they simply aren’t reliable enough. If you can catch a good day then you’re in for a real treat so make the most of it.
After the first few weeks of spring, things start to die down. You are better off spending your time sunbathing as the waves will be slow and flat.
Summer (June – August)
If we were to give you a recommendation, we would tell you not to bother surfing in Barcelona in the summer months.
Sadly the breaks are flat. Packing your board or taking part in a surf lesson will be a waste of time.
The summer months in Barcelona are much better for swimming, sightseeing, and enjoying some scrumptious tapas.
Autumn/Fall (Sept – Nov)
Surf doesn’t kick off at the start of autumn in the Mediterranean with Barcelona being no different. You might catch some waves early on but to do so would be quite rare. Towards November things start to get a little more interesting.
In November sea storms start to kick in, bringing strong winds that get the waves pumping. When this occurs you can finally expect to start seeing some decent surfing conditions with waves roughly 3 feet tall.
It is the storms that get the surf in Barcelona going, setting things up perfectly for an awesome winter.
Winter (December – March)
Winter is by far the best season when it comes to surfing in Barcelona. It is this time of year when strong gusts travel north northeast across the Costa Brava. These gusts have enough power in them to produce wind swells that are well worth riding.
Waves usually reach 5 feet tall when the winds also blow from the north. If it’s a stormy day you will be treated to even more impressive breaks that could reach 8 feet in height.
You will still require patience when waiting for the best breaks but we highly recommend you head to Barcelona in winter if you want to catch some Barcelona surf.
Surfing Schools In Barcelona
Due to the unreliability of the surf in Barcelona, there aren’t that many surf schools around offering lessons, never mind overnight camps.
Despite this, there are still a number of surfing schools providing lessons to tourists and locals.
Whether you are a new surfer that has never stood on the board before or an experienced surfer, surfing lessons are a great way to develop your skills and stand up in the water for the first time with confidence.
Here are some of the best surfing schools you will find in the city. Check them out if you’re keen to learn more. Above all else, they are also a great place to rent your equipment from if you don’t own or aren’t traveling with your board.
Manihi Surf School
Manihi Surf School prides itself on delivering fun and safe surfing lessons to anybody wanting to give it a go. Their highly experienced surf instructors are more than happy to help you ride your first wave.
For more experienced surfers they will work with you to perfect your technique.
This school runs private 1 to 1 lessons and group lessons so you have more freedom to learn in a way that suits you best. You can take part in weekend lessons, monthly lessons, or lessons that take place daily.
All equipment is included in the lesson fee so you don’t even have to worry about bringing your own equipment.
Barcelona Surfing School
This surfing school offers a wide range of lessons and courses that suit both beginner and intermediate level of surfers. If you’re interested in other water sports, they also offer fun paddleboarding lessons too.
Beginners can take part in the beginner level 1 course here if they want to learn some theory behind surfing as well as how to surf. Intermediate surfers can take part in the surf level 2 course.
If taking part in the courses isn’t up your alley there’s no need to worry. Barcelona Surfing School also runs daily lessons that can be undertaken in groups or on an individual basis.
This school also includes full usage of all their equipment.
Ungravity Board delivers a range of brilliant surf lessons, classes, and camps in and around Barcelona. One awesome package Ungravity Boards offers is the option to take part in surf holidays with them around Spain.
In regards to surfers visiting Barcelona, the best option available is to take part in one of the many daily lessons.
There are daily group or private lessons available all around Barcelona. The friendly instructors will take you to where the best surf is that day, ensuring you have the best chance of catching some bigger breaks.
After your surf lesson with this school, why not learn how to surf, skate, or paddle with Ungravity Board too.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Most surf schools in Barcelona give you the option to hire equipment even if you aren’t taking part in lessons.
This is handy to know because it gives you the chance to travel light.
If you choose to bring your own equipment here is a list of the essentials you should bring with you.
- Drinks bottle
- A hat for those sunny days
The Best Surf Shops In Barcelona
When it comes to sports it’s fair to say football takes the crown in Barcelona, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great surf shops here too.
Admittedly the surf shops don’t focus solely on surfing, however, you can find yourself a good buy.
Tactic Surf Shop
The Tactic Surf Shop stocks an enormous range of adventure sports equipment. Stocking paddleboard, skateboard, and surfboard-related gear, you will enjoy having a good look around this store.
In terms of surf-related equipment, they sell an array of high-quality surfboards, wetsuits, and surfing accessories.
La General Surfera
Slightly north of Eixample, this store is well-known for stocking surf and skate products.
Though the store stocks more skateboarding equipment, there’s still plenty of crossover equipment like GoPro cameras and your usual surfing products such as wetsuits and surfboards.
Where To Eat In Barcelona
Seen as though Barcelona has so many incredible places to eat it seems only fair we give you a bit of a head start when it comes to finding the best place to grab something delicious to eat.
Barcelona is famous for its tapas bars and bakeries so you keep your eyes peeled.
If you want to indulge in some beautiful traditional tapas dishes in a stunning setting, then Lizarran is the restaurant for you.
Situated next to Les Corts metro station and not too far away from Camp Nou, Lizarran is a lovely place to kick back and relax after your surfing session.
We can highly recommend the patatas bravas and several pintxos. This should give you a good taste of what tapas is available in Barcelona.
Federal Café $$
Located on Carrer del Parlament, in the Sant Antoni area, be sure to check out the Federal Café. A big hit with the locals, this cafe serves awesome coffee and an even better brunch.
Set out charmingly, this cafe is a brilliant place to grab a quick, tasty bite to eat and a coffee before carrying on with your day.
Can Ramonet $$
Can Ramonet is a gorgeous family-run restaurant based in Barceloneta, which is a perfect location in relation to where the surf is. In our opinion, this is one of the best seafood restaurants in the area.
There is a wide range of divine dishes including an insanely good paella that the family has been making for the last 60 years.
If you want a nice evening meal with your partner, family, or friends be sure to check Can Ramonet out, you won’t be disappointed.
The Best Places To Stay In Barcelona
Barcelona might not have too many options when it comes to surfing, but it certainly does when it comes to finding somewhere to stay. In fact,
Barcelona probably has one of the world’s largest ranges of accommodation out there, especially if you’re looking for a cheap option that ticks all the boxes.
Hostel One Ramblas $
This hostel is up there with the highest-rated budget places to stay in the city. Despite its cheap price it doesn’t look or feel like a budget accommodation.
The lovely minimalistic design of the property along with the private and super comfortable pods provides guests with a stay they’ll enjoy.
The primary surf locations are a metro ride away, but its close proximity to Las Ramblas easily makes up for things. By staying here you are also pretty close to some of Barcelona’s best nightlife.
Pensio 2000 $
If it’s a no-nonsense accommodation you’re after, Pensio 2000 could be a good choice.
Only a short walk away from the Gothic Quarter this eccentric, vibrant accommodation provides you with everything you need.
You get all of your amenities, a balcony, plenty of space, and a tasty continental breakfast every morning.
You get all of this in an amazing location. What more could you ask for?
Hotel Chic & Basic Ramblas $$
At the end of Las Ramblas, with Barceloneta Beach just a short walk away you will find this unbelievably cool and quirky hotel. Despite its name, this hotel is anything but basic.
The communal areas and bedrooms are vibrant.
There’s a billiards table, the rooms are comfy, and perfectly kitted out, oh and there’s a bright green SEAT 600 car in the lobby.
Staying in this fun-loving hotel for a couple of nights will provide you with the perfect base to relax after surfing and escape the busy, bustling city life.
In regards to surfing, we must also say, this hotel is in a much better location than the other hotels we mentioned previously.
The surf in Barcelona may not be as good as other surfing destinations in the Mediterranean, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have an amazing time.
Visiting the city in winter gives you the best chance to experience some great breaks.
Though they can be pretty unreliable if you catch a break you’ll be in for a fantastic session. When the conditions in Barcelona are perfect waves can reach a tasty 8 feet in height.
Whilst the city may not be the best place to visit on a full surfing break, it can be a fun place to take part in some surfing lessons during a wonderful city getaway.
The surfing lessons available in Barcelona are a great way to improve more advanced skills or stand on the board for the first time.
If we had to give you one main piece of advice ahead of your visit to Barcelona, we would say don’t visit in the summer. In the summer the waves are flat and very inconsistent.
If you visit in late fall or winter you will have a much better time.
Now you’ve read our guide, we hope we have given you everything you need to successfully surf in Barcelona. Though you aren’t guaranteed success, by being patient and planning your trip right, there’s no reason you can’t have an awesome time.