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The minimum recommended age is 14 years

El Palmar

El Palmar

Cádiz - Vejer de la Frontera - South Spain, Spain

Surf, Bodyboard

El Palmar is the most extensive and consistent winter beach break in the Cadiz province. It’s considered by many as Andalucía’s surf capital and is well known throughout the rest of Spain and even Europe. It has excellent links to all of the important nearby cities with Cadiz just over half an hour away, Sevilla an hour and Malaga, home to one of the most important Spanish international airports, is just two hours away on the motorway.

El Palmar works with the W and SW swells that are created in the northern Atlantic Ocean. With these swells the various peaks along this extensive beachbreak start to work. When this moment arrives, this beach break is the reference for the whole zone as almost everyone checks Palmar, either to surf there or to decide which other nearby peaks will be working. As well as the quality of the waves it’s a paradise which enjoys an extraordinary climate and mild temperatures throughout the whole year along with 300 days of sun. All of these factors facilitate not just the surfing, but also the happy and unique environment. The beach and extensive golden sands encourage you to enjoy a wide range of activities based around the sea, making the possibilities there infinite. The sea conditions outside of the main holiday season are perfect for practising various disciplines, the accommodation options are much more economical and all of the services that you need will still be available, from equipment rental to surf schools and a variety of places to eat and drink.

El Palmar Surf


The best time to go is from September when the first autumn swells arrive until March as the swells are more consistent during this period. From April onwards, the swells have too much north component and less constancy. It is possible however to get good conditions until June but in the summer the possibilities to surf are nearly inexistent. In the winter it’s normal to wear a 3 or 4 mm wetsuit and in spring and autumn a 3 or 2 mm. The best tide is a low rising tide, but before it reaches high. It’s a beach which has frequent currents from north to south when the tide rises and most of the peaks are in front of the tower and in front of the restaurant Alferez and the bar Cartero. These are the locals’ favourites but as the beach is so extensive, they’re not the only options. Occasionally, depending on the tide, there are other peaks where the conditions can even be better.

El Palmar is a beach with a sandy seabed so it’s ideal for all levels. With light N and NE winds, W and SW swells and 1 to 1,5 m groundswell with periods of more than 11 seconds, really fun peaks distributed along the whole of the beach will be breaking. With these conditions it will be very busy with surfers and bodyboarders but as it’s such a large beach, there are always options for all. When the groundswell is more than 1,5 to 2 m and the periods maintain around 12 or 13 seconds, El Palmar is very good quality with continuous rights and lefts at all of the peaks. Occasionally, if the banks are well placed and with the right tide, there can be barrels, usually on the rights.

The circumstances can change radically if it rises to 2 m so with these conditions it’s advisable to know the dynamics of the beach well. You have to take into account the fact that it’s an exposed spot where the sea is very powerful, the recovery is hard, the series are sometimes uncontrollable and unless the banks are perfectly placed, it’s a hard battle to select good waves. If it’s over 2 m there is always the option of going to the left side of Trafalgar, in front of Caños de Meca, a protected spot which with low tide works with rights that are suitable for those who want a fun but more relaxing session. The only downside is that this area gets very busy and it can be difficult to park on public holidays.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
  • Wind
  • Tide
    Low - Medium
  • Swell
    W - SW
  • Bottom
  • Size
    1 to 8 ft
  • Time of year
    From September to April
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