For over 60 years Spain has been one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, and with its sandy beaches, unique architecture, and flavourful culinary dishes, it is no wonder why.
From flamenco dancing, city exploration, and visiting the country’s 49 UNESCO world heritage sites, there really is something in Spain for everyone. But, of course, one of our favorite things to do, in between siestas and giant bowls of paella, that is, is paddle boarding.
Spain is full of incredible waterways that are perfect for stand-up paddle boarding, so if you’ve been wondering where to paddle board in Spain, keep on reading because we have a list of 14 destinations that you won’t want to miss.
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Alicante, on Spain’s southeastern coast, is a port city that boasts narrow streets, beautiful colored houses, and a medieval castle, the Castillo de Santa Barbara, that is set on top of a hill offering the most incredible views of the Mediterranean sea.
The city is also home to some beautiful beaches with soft white sand that is perfect for launching paddle boards. One of the most visited beaches is Playa de Levante Beach which stretches for 2 kilometers along the well-known holiday resort of Benidorm. Because of the beach's close proximity to the holiday resort, you’ll find tons of SUP rental stores where you can hire a SUP if you don’t bring your own.
The Playa del Portet Beach in the resort of Moraira is another fantastic SUP location as the scenic sandy beach slopes gently into the water. We also highly recommend taking a snorkel out with you as crystal clear waters are a haven for marine life.
A 15-minute drive north of Moraira is the Playa del Portixol Beach in Xabia, which is a popular destination for water activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddling, and snorkeling. As with many destinations in Spain, you’ll find beautiful blue waters which shimmer in the sun, and if that isn’t enticing enough to water sports enthusiasts, then I don’t know what is. If you’re visiting Playa del Portixol Beach, however, be sure to pack your water shoes as stones make up the majority of the sand.
Other paddling destinations in Alicante:
When you think of Barcelona, the football club more than likely springs to mind. And although the city is well-known for its outstanding football team, incredible architecture, and its nightlife, you’ll also find some excellent waters for your next SUP adventure.
Barcelona is roughly a 5 hour's drive north along the coast from Alicante, and as the two cities share a coastline, you can only imagine that the beaches are just as beautiful in the bustling city, even if they are slightly more crowded.
Barceloneta Beach is the most popular beach in Barcelona, where locals and tourists alike flock to the sand to soak up some sun and participate in outdoor activities, one of them, of course, being paddle boarding.
If overly crowded beaches aren't your thing, however, then not to worry, Barcelona also has some quiet stretches of sand, like Nova Icària Beach. Nova Icària is a blue flag beach that has incredible calm waters that even the most beginner paddlers will truly appreciate.
And finally, one of the city’s and the country’s best beaches is Bogatell Beach. Bogatell is also a designated blue flag beach that has coarse clean sand which stretches for 600 meters. The average age of Bogatell Beach goers is 38, so if you’re after a semi-relaxing day out paddling without the noise of screaming children, then we highly recommend it.
Other paddling destinations in Barcelona:
Initially, Ibiza may not seem like the ideal place to take a paddle board, I mean, after all, it is renowned for being a party island with numerous clubs blaring electronic dance music. But, as with many other places in Spain, the island has some spectacular places that’ll certainly change your mind.
If you do want to mix partying with paddling, then head to San Antonio, which will give you the best of both worlds. Beaches like Cala Gració Beach and Cala Gracioneta Beach will act as the perfect hangover fix as you can splash about and paddle your way across the calm waters, washing away the regrets of the night before.
For paddlers who want to steer clear of the party scene, however, then Benirrás on the island's northwest coast will suit you perfectly. Benirrás has some incredible sunsets, a white sand beach, and a lack of development, making it a faultless option for SUPers of all abilities.
Ses Salines is another beach that combines the great fun of partying with the even greater fun of paddle boarding. The beach, which was named after the nearby salt flats, is wide with soft fine sand, and crystal clear waters, and there is even a natural park nearby that you can explore once you’ve finished up with your paddle.
Other paddling destinations in Ibiza:
If you’re holidaying on Spain’s north coast, then La Zurriola Beach should be on your paddling itinerary. The beach, which was remodeled 15 years ago, has become a hotspot for surfers due to the high-quality waves in both low and high tides. The waves, however, are suitable for beginners, and if you’ve been looking for a slightly more challenging stand-up paddle, then you’re in for a treat.
Malaga on Spain’s south coast is another hotspot tourist destination that has 16 unforgettable beaches and fascinating culture. Calahonda Beach may only be 120 meters long, but this tiny stretch of dark-grey sand with its clear, inviting waters appeals to sunbathers, swimmers, and paddle boarders.
Cabopino Beach in Marbella has increased in popularity thanks to its exceptionally clean water, its long stretch of sandy beach, and its amenities that are relatively close by. Surrounding the beach is the Dunas de Artola nature preserve, which is home to breathtaking sand dunes and vegetation. The area was declared a Natural Monument in 2001, and it’s definitely worth a visit after your stand-up paddle boarding trip.
We just want to give you a heads up, however, that Cabopino Beach is a clothing-optional beach, so you might have a slightly different view than what you’re used to.
One of the less overcrowded beaches (and clothing mandatory beaches) in the area is Maro Beach. Maro Beach is encompassed by rocky cliffs, high-quality waters, and facilities like showers, toilets, and restaurants where you can discover local cuisines and specialities. If you do like to dabble in a water sport or two, then you can choose between paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, and snorkeling.
Other paddling destinations in Malaga:
Mallorca is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, and when we tell you its waters and beaches deserve to be on a postcard, we truly mean it. Along with its incredible coastlines, Mallorca is best known for its beach resorts, limestone mountains, and historical buildings like the Moorish Almudania royal palace and the 13th-century Santa María Cathedral.
The island is full of natural beauty, and if you’re taking your SUP, then you’ll want to first head to Es Calo des Moro Beach. Now, we will say that getting down to Es Calo des Moro is slightly challenging as you’ll have to scamper over rocks and down some steep inclines, but once you reach the bottom, the sand, sea, and the views are totally worth it. As I’m sure you can imagine, hard-to-reach beaches are usually some of the quietest and as there aren’t any hotels or beach bars around, the area is incredibly untouched and breathtaking.
Cala Mesquida is our next paddle boarding in Mallorca destination because of its shallow waters that stretch out a far distance making it ideal for young or inexperienced paddlers. The areas around the water are also incredibly inviting, with a resort on one side boasting an array of dining options, and a nature reserve on the other with protected pine trees and sand dunes.
When it comes to paddle boarding, In our opinion, secluded beaches are the best as you can truly unwind and relax without the distractions of other visitors. Cala Pi, which is easy to get to with adequate parking, is one of the less crowded beaches in Mallorca, and although the beach itself isn’t huge, the waters are shallow turquoise and ideal for a SUP board.
Other paddling destinations in Mallorca:
Paddlers who also love snorkeling and diving will want to make a trip over to the Medes Islands. The islands are roughly an hour and a half north of Barcelona and are located a mile off the coast of L’Estartit Beach. The islands are made up of seven islets and are one of the most important flora and fauna reserves in the Mediterranean Sea.
You can take a boat trip over to the Medes Islands and launch your SUP from the boat, or if you’re in peak physical health, you can paddle over from the beach. If you do decide to head over to the islands, whether that be with a tour company or on your own, don’t forget your snorkel gear because trust us, you’ll want to dive down and see all the wildlife the islands have to offer.
It’s also important to note that there are regulations in place in order to preserve the natural space of the reserve, so make sure you’re compliant and respectful of your surroundings.
Menorca is another of Spain’s Balearic Islands that is known for its endless sandy beaches, turquoise bays, and pine trees that fringe the coast. Of all the Balearic Islands, Menorca is the most lowkey, so if you simply want to kick back and relax on your SUP, this is the place to do it.
Cala En Brut doesn’t have a sandy beach, but it is one of the top places to go swimming and paddling in Menorca. On either side of the narrow inlet are manmade bathing platforms that you can use to launch your SUP from. And if you do plan on visiting Cala En Brut, be sure to take your snorkel, the water is extremely warm and clear.
Down the southern end of the island is the unspoiled and natural beach of Bellavista. The waters are fairly shallow, and they give off the typical blue color that the Mediterranean is known for. Bellavista shares a bay with the slightly shorter Son Saura Beach, however, Bellavista’s waters are clearer and free of seaweed.
Families paddling with young kids will love the vibe of Cala Turqueta. There are twin coves that makeup Cala Turqueta, and as they’re tucked between headlands, the bay is extremely sheltered and calm. Getting to the beach is simple from the nearby car park, and once you reach the sand, you can participate in cliff diving, snorkeling, or paddling.
Other paddling destinations in Menorca:
Oyambre is another must-visit destination in northern Spain as the waters are situated within a nature reserve. The area of Oyambre has a range of different landscapes, from dramatic cliffs and open beaches to inland beaches and estuaries. When visiting Oyambre, you’re guaranteed to see a huge variety of wildlife in the skies, the marshes, and in the ocean.
The waves at Oyambre are surf worthy and manageable by stand-up paddlers with experience, however, the winds and waves can sometimes be strong, so it's recommended to only paddle or swim when the green flags are flying.
We will disclose that Torimbia is a nudist beach, but nudism aside, it is still incredibly beautiful and worthy of a paddle. Waves of a substantial size accompany many beaches along Spain’s northern coast. However, because of Torimbia’s sheltered bay, the waters aren’t as extreme and are fairly reasonable for paddlers with intermediate paddling skills.
The final must-visit Spanish paddling destination on our list is Zarautz Beach. Zarautz has unique golden sand and beginner-friendly waves, however, as there is an abundance of surf schools dotted along the beach, the waters can often get slightly crowded. With that being said, if you’re willing to test your skills and stand-up paddle some waves, you should definitely add Zarautz to your paddle boarding in Spain bucket list.
Spain is a haven for paddle boarding with flat and turquoise waters along the south coast and slightly more challenging waves in the north. Here are some of our top paddling destinations in Spain:
Of course! If you prefer to have your own paddle board on hand, then you can totally take it to Spain with you. We highly recommend taking an inflatable paddle board as they’re far easier to transport, and they won’t acquire any oversized baggage fees.
If you are planning on traveling with your inflatable paddle board, then check out The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with an Inflatable Paddle Board for tips, tricks, and the correct and safest way to transport your SUP.
Spain is an excellent paddle boarding destination as along the north coast, there are waves suitable for SUP surfing, and down the southern end are calm, flat, turquoise Mediterranean waters that even the most beginner paddlers will have no trouble managing.
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