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Spain has almost 5,000km of coastline, taking in the Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic. Surfers began exploring here in the 60s, heading southwards from Biarritz, and it wasn't long before legendary waves like Mundaka and Menakoz entered surfing folklore.Nearly half a century later Spain is still relatively unexplored, remaining a wild west-style frontier that could hardly be more unlike it's genteel French neighbour.

Although the rugged, colder, wetter north is undoubtedly the place to get the best waves, many locals now regularly surf breaks around Cadiz and Tarifa in Andalucia and even, occasionally, the Mediterranean.

Just across the border from Biarritz, the Pais Vasco is the most well-known of Spain's surfing regions. Home to the legendary Mundaka, a powerful tubing left rivermouth that is world class, as well as a huge variety of quality reefs and points, the region was once autonomous, has its own language, some surprisingly cosmopolitan cities and occasional (hopefully resolved) problems with terrorism. It is here that you are most likely to experience difficulties related to overcrowding and localism.

Continue along the coast through the regions of Cantabria and Asturias and you will be amply rewarded for your efforts. With 1,000km of jagged coastline backed by the mighty Picos de Europa, these two regions pick up consistent and powerful north and west swells and host them expertly in a multitude of sheltered coves and hidden spots. Los Locos, in the Liencres area, is the biggest and most consistent spot in Cantabria while the exposed Playa de Xago, in Asturias, is a good choice in summer and works on a very small swell.

Galicia is one of the seven Celtic nations and, indeed, in terms of climate and landscape has more in common with Brittany and Cornwall than with the rest of Spain. Pretty much all of Galicia's hugely contorted coastline gets waves, although the north is the most consistent, with beaches such as Pantin, near Ortiguera, working year-round.