Spain is definitely the best country in Europe for windsurfing. Thousands of kilometres of coastline, warm climate almost all year round and excellent winds statistics. Have a look at our ranking of the best beaches for windsurfing in Spanish Andalucia.
Top windsurfing spots on Costa de La Luz
1. Tarifa windsurfing – Playa de los Lances is one of the favourite spots for windsurfing in the Andalusian capital of water sports. You will find here lots of kitesurfers and windsurfers all year round. Another very busy spot, bordering Los Lances beach, is Playa de Valdevaqueros. In Tarifa, you will find lots of windsurfing schools and renting shops. Recommended to everyone.
2. El Palmar near Conil de la Frontera windsurfing – very long beach, nearly 5 kilometre long, with good surfing schools. It is directly exposed to the wind what makes it absolutely excellent for windsurfers and surfers.
3. Ayamonte windsurfing – located at the border between Spain and Portugal, the tranquil and peaceful Ayamonte offers excellent conditions for windsurfers. The sandy beaches of Isla Canela provide a beautiful backdrop for windsurfing. Because of the proximity of Atlantic Ocean the currents and winds tend to be much stronger here. Recommended to experienced windsurfers.
4. Valdelagrana windsurfing – in Puerto de Santa Maria, near Cadiz – large beach, nearly 2 kilometre long, very popular among windsurfers from Cadiz. There are some good chiringuitos and restaurants near the beach. There is a big parking available there as well.
5. Chiclana de la Frontera windsurfing – nearly 6 kilometre long Playa de la Barrosa is another great windsurfing spot. The winds are moderate here, so it might be a good sport for beginners.
6. Embalse de Bornos windsurfing – big reservoir near Arcos de la Frontera might be a good choice for beginners.
Top windsurfing spots on Costa Tropical
1. La Herradura windsurfing – near Almuñécar on the Costa Tropical – tropical vegetation, beautiful virgin landscape all around you, wide beaches and the blue Mediterranean sea. All this has helped La Herradura become the capital of water sports on Costa Tropical. You will find here windsurfing schools, shops with equipment quality chiringuitos and great atmosphere for windsurfers.
2. Roquetas de Mar windsurfing, near Almeria – this popular resort, boasting more than 10 kilometres of beaches, has become increasingly popular among windsurfers in the recent years. Recommended for beginners.
1. Tarifa kayaking – Playa Chica (the Mediterranean part of Tarifa) as well as Valdevaqueros-Punta Paloma route are the top two places for kayaking on Costa de la Luz region. There is a surf ski company operating in Tarifa (sit on top type of kayak), Epic Surfski Centre.
2. Algeciras kayaking – starting point Getares beach in Algeciras and the finishing point Punta Carnero, very popular route, great for beginners. Punta Carnero offers unforgettable views of the Gibraltar Strait and Morocco.
3. Cabo de Gata-Níjar near Almeria – amazing route on the beautiful sea. Great views of the rocky coastline, magical cave tunnels on the way. Depending on how much you want to see, the trip can last anytime from a few hours to full day. There are companies organizing kayak tours there. Much recommended.
4. Nerja-Maro kayaking – stunningly beautiful route along the Maro beach, crystal-clear water, beautiful rock formations, small waterfalls – all this make you feel as if you were in a paradise. The water is very shallow in most places, so it’s safe as well. There are companies organizing kayak tours there. Much recommended.
5. Fuengirola kayak rental – if you spend your holidays on Costa del Sol and have little resources to organize a kayaking trip, head off to Fuengirola. There is a water sports centre where you can rent a single boat (25 Euros for half day)/double boat 935 Euros for half day) and much more – Cristopher’s Kayak Rental.
6. Vinuela lake near Malaga canoeing – perfect for beginners as the lake is much calmer than sea, beautiful turquoise lake, only 50 kms inland from Malaga. It’s possible o rent a canoe at the local sailing club.
7. Zahara de la Sierra reservoir kayaking – the picturesque lake, surrounded by mountains and guarded by the beautiful white village, is a perfect venue for kayaking in summer. The western side of the lake, to the right of the A-2300 road, has three good starting points where you can easily park your car. Much recommended.
Spanish Andalucia is probably the best mountain biking region in Europe. 320 sunny days a year, very versatile landscape including valley dirt roads, narrow forest trails, bumpy trails leading down big virgin hills or dangerous rocky trails winding down formidable mountains. Andalusia is a true MTB paradise. There is something for both beginners and experts.
It’s hard to pick the best MTB destinations in southern Spain as individual expectations are always different and there are simply too many amazing spots. Here’s what Best Andalucia considers most popular:
TOP MOUNTAIN BIKING IN ANDALUSIA SPAIN
SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS – it’s best to come here in late spring, summer and early autumn, the virgin mountains near Granada are true mountain biker’s paradise
SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES NATURAL PARK – the area around Ronda and Montecorto area abounds in great mountain biking paths
MIJAS and BENALMADENA mountains, including the Cable Car trail, are easily accessible and very popular among mountain bikers on Costa del Sol
TARIFA region, including Valle de Ojen, is great spot on Costa del la Luz
Kitesurfing is a high adrenaline sport that is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. More and more young people take up kitesurfing because it’s actually quite simple to learn, much easier than windsurfing for example, and does not require a great level of fitness.
Spanish Costa de la Luz is a top destination for kitesurfers from all over the Europe, all year round. The best kitesurfing season on Costa de la Luz is June, July, August, September and October.
The amazing beaches of Tarifa, which look as if custom-made for kitesurfing, have become the most popular spot for kitesurfers. With around 30 kitesurfing schools, plenty of sports shops where you can buy all the equipment and outfits for kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing, Tarifa has recently turned into a real international water sports centre.
Best kitesurfing destinations on Costa de la Luz
1. TARIFA – the Surfing Capital of Europe or the Wind Capital of Europe as it is called, provides some of the best conditions for kitesurfing in the world, best beaches: Los Lances and the Valdevaqeuros beach
2. BARBATE – Los Canos de Meca west of Barbate is the most popular beach there
3. CHICLANA south of Cadiz – two recommended spots: Playa De Sancti-Petri, Playa de la Barrosa
4. PUERTO DE SANTA MARIA north of Cadiz – Fuentebravia beach
Costa del Sol tends to be underestimated when it comes to kitesurfing, because the conditions are not as reliable as on the Atlantic coast between Tarifa and Cadiz, but there are some really good spots there as well.
Popular kitesurfing spots on Costa del Sol
1. MALAGA – the best conditions can be found at Malagueta beach
2. TORREMOLINOS – Playamar and Los Alamos, which is the official kite zone, are the best sports there
3. CABO PINO located between Malaga and Marbella – local beach
4. ELVIRIA near Marbella – local beach
5. ESTEPONA – La Rada beach is quite popular among kitesurfers
In general, there are three very popular kitesurfing regions in Europe: the Spanish-Portuguese coast starting in Tarifa and ending in Lisbon, the Atlantic coast in French Aquitaine and the Basque Country and, thirdly, Cornwall, the westernmost part of Great Britain. Have a look at our ranking of the best kitesurfing destinations in Europe.
Best kitesurfing spots in Europe
1. VALDERVAQUEROS BEACH & LOS LANCES BEACH, TARIFA IN SPAIN
2. THE BUBBLE SURF REEF, FUERTEVENTURA IN CANARY ISLANDS
3. FISTRAL BEACH, NEWQUAY, CORNWALL IN ENGLAND
4. WATERGATE BAY, NEAR NEWQUAY, CORNWALL IN ENGLAND
5. HOSSGOR IN SOUTH-WEST FRANCE
6. CARRAPATEIRA, SOUTH PORTUGAL COAST
7. PEDRA BRANCA ERICEIRA, WEST PORTUGAL COAST
8. LES CAVALIERS BEACH, ANGLET IN SOUTH WEST FRANCE
If you are passionate about ornithology, make sure you visit Spanish Andalusia. The stretch of coast from Gibraltar to Huelva abounds in interesting places where migratory birds can be observed and photographed.
The best time to come is late autumn, when birds fly to Africa, and early spring when birds breed and embark on a journey to Northern Europe. Observe the weather forecast as well! For example, birds heading to Africa prefer Atlantic Poniente wind over the easterly Levante wind as the latter can easily push them towards the wide Atlantic.
MOST POPULAR BIRD WATCHING PLACES IN ANDALUCIA
1. Tarifa – a real migration hotspot, the strait of Gibraltar is a very busy migration corridor between Europe and Spain, recommended time to visit autumn when birds gather to rest before their final flight to warmer Africa. Between 350 and 400 different species can be observed each year near Tarifa, e.g. griffon vulture, black vulture, white-tailed eagle, short-toed eagle, black-winged kite, peregrine falcon, black stork, white stork, melodious warbler, kingfishers and many more.
2. Donana National Park near Huelva – one of the finest birdwatching sites in mainland Europe, this wetland reserve at the delta of the Guadalquivir River boasts around 360 species of birds. Bird watching is possible at a couple of centres around the park edges, but if you want to explore the park thoroughly, you need to take a guided tour. Guided tour takes about 3,5 hour and costs around 20 Euros.
3. Odiel Marshes near Huelva – well preserved wetlands reserve, second largest wetland in Huelva province, only half an hour drive from the famous Donana National Park.
4. Gibraltar – the Rock, with its unique flora, is a temporary home for many species migrating between the two continents
5. Sierra de Grazalema – great region for bird lovers, those fabulous limestone mountainous provide attractive and varied habitats for birds, they are home to nearly 300 hundred species including Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagles, Western Olivaceous, Orphean Warbler and many other.
6. Serrania de Ronda – unique mountainous region which similarly to Sierra Grazalema is a real paradise for those enjoying birdwatching, around 250 species of birds can be found there.
Costa de la Luz is widely considered the best holiday coast on the Iberian Peninsula. Wide beaches set in unspoilt countryside. Never overcrowded with soft golden sand and shallow crystal-clear waters. Affordable and quiet seaside hotels and holiday houses… If you don’t mind lack of fancy restaurants and shops of Costa del Sol or won’t miss full English breakfasts, you will fall in love with Costa de la Luz!
From time to time this idyllic vision of Costa de la Luz can be somewhat spoilt by excessive wind which makes sand get into your eyes when you lie flat on a beach towel, but, then again, the wind also makes Costa de la Luz the favourite destination for kitesurfers and windsurfers in Europe.
Costa de la Luz can be divided in three parts. The eastern region west of Tarifa, the middle Cadiz region and the most remote eastern Huelva region, up to Algarve in Portugal. We have prepared a separate ranking of the best beaches for regular beach goers for each region. Have a look at the most recommended beaches in the part of the Coast of the Light where you have booked your holidays!
Most popular beaches close to Tarifa
1. Bolonia Beach – once you leave the highway, it takes around 7 km to get to the beach, but the great time you are going to have in Bolonia is well worth the effort. The shallow waters in the large Bolonia bay make it an ideal destination for family holidays. In the quite northern part of the beach there is a 30 metre high famous sand dune surrounded by pine forest – get to the top to enjoy great views of the beach! Just next to the beach there is Baelo Claudia, the remains of a Roman fish-salting factory.
The sunny bay of Bolonia
2. Los Lances beach in Tarifa – most popular in Tarifa. Long family-friendly beach located in the northern part of the city between the small Chica beach and Rio Jara beach where the river enters the sea. Starting point of the Atlantic. Next to the kite surfing hot spot. Great for long family walks, great for sunbathing. Great crystal clear water.
Los Lances beach in Tarifa
3. Punta Paloma beach near Tarifa – located to the east of the famous surfing and kite surfing Valdevaqueros beach. Punta Paloma can be divided into two parts. The eastern more popular wider part features sand dunes. The western part of Punta Paloma is a secluded and narrow beach strip that ends at Arroyo de los Puercos. The only two ways to reach the strip is either a 20 min walk from the Punta Paloma parking or through a sandy pine forest. This narrow part offers loads of privacy, as it’s hidden behind steep bushy hills which often guard you not only from behind, but also from the left and right. For this reason, it is quite popular among nudists.
Playa Punta Paloma
4. Zahara de los Atunes, local beach – from the centre of Zahara you can access a fantastic wide 6 km long local beach. It’s never crowdy, even in peak season when people from inland Spain flock to the coast to seek relief from the heat. Zahara beach boasts some great fish restaurants and nice bars around. The water is mostly shallow – ideal for water fun, or snorkelling. There is a camping site nearby as well.
Wide beach in Zahara de los Atunes
Most popular beaches close to Cadiz
1. El Palmar beach near Conil de la Frontera and Vejer de la Frontera – one of the most popular beaches on Costa de la Luz, massive beach, 8 km long and 50 metre wide, with really warm water most of the summer, becouse of it’s size and the fact that it is not located directly in Conil it’s never overcrowded, even on summer weekends. The water is really shallow, therefore recommended for kids.
El Palmar beach
2. La Fontanilla beach in Conil de la Frontera – popular family beach in Conil, very close to the town centre, safe and well quipped beach with sun loungers, showers, toilets, lifeguards and red cross. The La Fontanilla beach turns is directly connected with another popular family beach Los Bateles
La Fontanilla beach
3. Zahora beach near Barbate – nice beach with great views of the Cape Trafalgar, one of the warmest waters in the area – the water is shallow and the waves low, difficult to access the beach by car which makes the beach perfect for those seeking tranquillity.
Zahora beach seen from the Cape Trafalgar
4. Los Canos de Meca, local beach, close to Barbate and Vejer de la Frontera – beach in a small sleepy village, beach sheltered by cliffs where the village is perched, never overcrowded, close to the famous CapeTrafalgar, camp sites available there, located 10-12 km off the main A48 road.
5. Cortadura beach, Cadiz suburbs– located at the entrance to Cadiz, the biggest beach in Cadiz, the only virgin beach in the city – 3900 meters long and about 60 meters wide, the characteristic feature of the beach is a long line of dunes that separates the beach from the road, there is a car parking available along the beach
6. Caleta beach in Cadiz – small size beach, the only beach in Old Cadiz, therefore, very popular in summer, nice views of Cadiz, especially during sunsets, shallow water, all the best restaurants and bars just across the street.
Most popular beaches close to Huelva
1. Isla Cristina beachesnear Huelva – west of Huelva, lots of water all around you as if you were on an island, 12 kms of nicest beaches in Huelva, excellent sea food restaurants nearby, great atmosphere in summer, this popular summer destination can get sometimes overcrowded on summer weekends
2. Beaches between El Portil and Punta Umbria, near Huelva – west of Huelva, miles-long stretches of somewhat secluded beaches conveniently located along the A-5052 road
Long beach in El Portil
3. Rompeculos beach near Huelva – east of Huelva, very wide 3 km long beach, beautiful countryside and nature around, close to the Donana natural Park; Rompeculos is close to the famous Cuesta Maneli beach which is equally beautiful, however, it is difficult to quickly access Cuesta Maneli on foot.
Rompeculos beach near Huelva
4. La Costilla beach in Rota – the most popular beach in Rota which tends to be a little be overcrowded in summer, lots of restaurants and bars located just next to the beach, very high standards including sun loungers, peddle boats, showers or changing rooms
5. El Rompidillo beach in Rota – the main beach in the city running alongside the town, clean and well taken care of beach, beautiful promenade
6. Pierdas Gordas beach in Rota – 2 km long, not many beach-goers can be found there, nice sand dunes and pine trees around.