When the conditions are right, the Mediterranean serves some great waves for those who know how to be patient, drawing in more and more board fans each year. The windy coves on the northern coast of Barcelona are a worthy expedition for windsurfers and kiteboarders. Barcelona’s stunning architecture, mouth-watering cuisine, and vibrant nightlife make it a tempting option for your surf trip. Discover the best surf spots the Catalonian Coast has to offer.
Sunset Surf | Courtesy of Jan Wachtmeester | www.wesharebonaire.com
From Barceloneta to Sant Sebastià
The closest beaches can be found within 15 minutes’ walking distance form Las Ramblas. These spots are always crowded whenever there are waves. Barcelona’s most popular surf spot has a beach break, and waves break on the sandy seabed. This is the type of wave amateurs would like to surf in. The shifting sandbars at this spot cause the waves to form to the right as well as to the left. Parking spots are hard to find in this area, getting there by public transport and foot will save you a headache. The only hazard of this spot is theft: just don’t leave your valuables on the beach to be grabbed, and enjoy the waves to the fullest.
Barceloneta | Courtesy of Tamara Kiewiet
South of Barcelona
This small bay is one of the most picturesque surf spots, the old fishermen’s huts on the beach and houses scattered all over the cliff have shaped its unique appearance. During winter, spring and autumn, Garraf is just the spot for the wave-riders that like more quiet beaches. Parking at this location is fairly easy, except for the summer period. But then again, in summer the sea tends to be mostly flat. Garraf also has a beach break with waves both on the right and left. Near the pier is where most waves appear. The bay is located half-an-hour’s drive south from Barcelona between Castelldefels and Sitges. Watch out for the slightly rocky bottom.
Could it be the winds generated by the constant arrival and departure of airplanes at Aeropuerto de Barcelona – El Prat? Or are these waves caused naturally, just like in other spots of the Catalonian Coast? Regardless of the answer, El Prat’s beach break offers waves for the right and left handed. The spot is situated in the delta of the Llobregat river, with waves up to two meters for surfers at any level. Catalonian surfers favor this spot, and when the conditions are just right, El Prat has a full line-up. Get there by public transport on these days, because parking spots are like needles in haystacks.
The Cemetery is a spot at the Sitges. Sitges has a long surfing tradition. It’s one of the favorite spots for Catalan longboarders. The city offers a lot more than just a popular stretch of beaches, it also has tasty seafood restaurants and a buzzing nightlife scene. Because it’s such a popular spot, parking can be hard. But with good conditions, the sweet barrels at this beach are totally worth it. The location, close to the Sitges cemetery, has given this spot its name.
North of Barcelona
While most spots at the Catalonian Coast are beach breaks, this one differs from all the others. At Río Besos waves break onto a rocky point to the right, meaning that it’s a point break. And that’s not the only difference. This spot is located at the mouth of the river Besòs at Sant Adrià de Besòs, less than ten kilometers north of Barcelona. This is a secret gem among the Catalonian surf spots for the more advanced surfers.
Here, you will find the longest waves of the area just up north from Barcelona. Wind swells provide waves to the left at Masnou, up to a meter and a half. But rumors tell us that it can grow to three meters when the Mediterranean gets rough. The waves here are at their best when winter comes and the wind starts blowing fiercely to the east and south-east. No matter at what level you are surfing, Masnou has great waves for you to catch. It’s a beloved beach break, so it can get quite busy here.
The long stretch at Montgat has plenty of beach break peaks. Whenever the spots near Masnou get too crowded, Catalonian surfers take cover at the variable and changing peaks of Montgat. Be respectful of their secret hide-out and you will have found yourself an enjoyable hang out. The break provides both left- and right-hand waves for starters as well as intermediate surfers. The only down side to this spot is parking. The parking spaces are a bit far compared to other options.
Sant Pere Pescador
A one and a half hour’s drive north from Barcelona, you will find Sant Pere Pescador, a town at the Golf de Roses. the coastal area of Sant Pere Pescador is a very relaxing place for a kite-based trip. The sea breeze at Golf de Roses is amazingly reliable and generally blowing with a constant strength of 12 to 24 knots. The wind is side-onshore, from the right. That makes it an excellent lower intermediate spot. Add up the beautiful beaches and an abundance of charming Catalonian eats and this is the perfect stress-free kite spot. You will find multiple schools at this spot offering lessons and material for rent.
Does the name of this spot ring a bell? The idyllic town of Castelldefels is known for its over five-kilometers-long beach; and for its famous residents. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are nearly neighbors in this town. Anyhow, Castelldefels’ beach is also a popular and regulated kite zone located just above Sitges. The international Barcelona-based kitesurf school Mojokite offers lessons and rentals at this great spot. Wind conditions are pretty reliable and it’s just half an hour’s drive from Barcelona.
Before you start discovering this and other sweet spots along the Catalonian Coast, you should check which zones are forbidden areas during the tourist high season, from June to September.