BEST BEACHES for water sports in Andalucia

ANDALUCIA’S 800-kilometre sun-drenched coastline is home to some of Spain’s most spectacular beaches.

From Almeria’s Cabo de Gata to the Costa de la Luz in Cadiz, Andalucia offers a fantastic selection of beaches and its crystal-clear waters makes Spain’s southern coast the perfect destination for water sport lovers.

Kitesurfing, diving, boating, canoeing, windsurfing, parasailing, kayaking, snorkelling, jet skiing, fly-boarding, and paddleboarding are among the options on offer.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced water sports enthusiast, here is the Olive Press‘ list of the best beaches in Andalucia to find everything from courses and trips to boats for hire, and enjoy a refreshing day on the waves.

Kitesurf paradise, Andalucia. Credit: Pixabay.

Valdevaqueros Beach (Tarifa)

Located about 12 km from Tarifa is Playa de Valdevaqueros otherwise known as the kitesurfing beach. Its constant winds, fine sandy beach and a significant low tide make it a perfect place to glide over the waves.

The beach has a smallish parking lot with waste containers and during the high season, there are a few scattered chiringuitos open for business.

Valdevaqueros has several schools and shops specialising in water sports. Regarded as one of the best kitesurfing schools in the area is Tarifa Kite Experience. This kitesurfing school, located on the very beach of Valdevaqueros, offers kitesurf courses for all levels (with classes in English, German or Spanish) as well as kayak routes in Tarifa. They only work with fully qualified instructors and have a rescue boat at the ready for any eventuality. The friendly personnel can also help out with accommodation arrangements in the area if needed.

For an unforgettable kitesurfing experience, Valdevaqueros Beach in Tarifa is a must!

Valdevaqueros, aca ‘The kitesurfing beach.’ (Tarifa). Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Zahara de los Atunes Beach, (Cadiz)

Zahara is a beautiful gem and an excellent example of Cadiz coast, famous for its 6.3km-long shoreline of virtually untouched sand, natural beauty and crystal clear waters. This beach stretches from the little fishing village of Zahara de Los Atunes all the way south to Cabo de Plata and is perfect for those looking for a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere. Its gentle and constant waves make it a perfect choice for beginners and intermediate surfers as well as being an ideal spot for paddle surfing and sailing.

The beach itself is well-equipped in the high-season with lifeguards, a first-aid hut, flags to signal the state of the sea, changing rooms, public toilets and showers. Additionally, three beach bars open during the summer, as well as two restaurants.

Zahara Surf is the first Official Surf School opened 2012 in Zahara de los Atunes, Cádiz. The school is open all year and specialises in all kinds of courses like surfing, body board and stand up paddle.

Sunset at Zahara de Los Atunes. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

La Fontanilla Beach, Marbella (Malaga)

In the glitzy town of Marbella, La Fontanilla Beach—located to the west of Marbella Marina—is a popular choice for water sports. This beach offers optimal conditions for surfing, paddle surfing, jet-skiing and sailing.

The beach stretches across 1km long and has a disabled access, free parking, public toilets and showers, hammocks and parasols for rent and there is also a Red Cross first aid point and life guards monitoring the beach in summer.

Additionally. the beach backs onto the paseo maritimo which is full of restaurants, cafés and shops and plenty of places which offer water sports equipment for rent such as Marbella Sports Boat, located in the nearby Puerto Deportivo, which hires out jet-skis and boats to those who have a navigation licence, and those without can enjoy a guided tour with a local skipper.

Marbella’s proximity to other popular tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol makes La Fontanilla Beach a convenient choice for water sports enthusiasts who also wish to enjoy a lively nightlife.

La Fontanilla Beach, Marbella. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

El Palmar Beach, Vejer de la Frontera (Cadiz)

Playa de El Palmar is another gem for water sports enthusiasts on the Costa de la Luz. Its long golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters make it an ideal spot for surfing and bodyboarding. Surfers of all levels can enjoy its gentle and constant waves. In addition, the beach has surf schools and offers equipment rental, such as the Beltxa Surf which, apart from being a surf school that organises surf camps all year around, is also a restaurant and beach terrace.

This 5km long windswept beach is well-equipped with free parking, toilets, showers, litter bins, a surf practice area and anchoring area, it is also lined with a succession of bars and restaurants along the coast road that follows it, and it has lively nightlife in the summer.

El Palmar Beach, Vejer de la Frontera (Cadiz). Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

La Herradura Beach (Granada)

Located in the province of Granada, La Herradura Beach is a privileged place for diving. Its clear waters are home to a rich marine life, including coral reefs and diverse species of fish. In addition to diving, you can enjoy snorkelling, kayaking, and paddle surfing. There are several dive centres in the area too, which offer courses and excursions for all levels and experience, such as Open Water La Herradura which organises daily excursions and also has trained personnel to carry out the necessary revisions to diving equipment so they are always up to date and in safe conditions of use.

The beach itself, which lies just outside a protected nature reserve, is just over 2km long and almost 50 m wide and has showers and restrooms, restaurants and bars and an easy access to town.

What’s more, one of the most famous sailing routes along the coast of Andalucia runs from the very bay of bay La Herradura to the cliffs at Maro Cerro Gordo in Malaga. A sailing route which passes secluded coves, inlets, and stretches of unspoilt beaches.

La Herradura Beach at night. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Andalucia has a reputation for being a brilliant place to enjoy all kinds of watersports, and is fast becoming a sought-after destination for water sport lovers.


Cristina Hodgson

Half English, half Spanish animal person. Cristina loves writing about all things fitness, travel and culture, she is also a script writer and novelist. When she's not typing away, you can find her enjoying outdoor sports somewhere off the beaten track in Andalucia. If you have a story get in touch!

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