Water Sports in Santa Pola

The breeze coming off the shimmering crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean at Santa Pola has made the beach resort a top destination for practising water sports such as surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle, sailing and kitesurfing.

Santa Pola is a delightful holiday resort just 10 kilometres from Alicante international airport, 16 kilometres from Alicante city, 28 kilometres from Elche which is well-known for its 200,000 palm trees and shoe industry, and 33 kilometres from the larger beach resort of Torrevieja which is well-known for its beautiful salt lakes, restaurants and things to do.

Levante beach at Santa Pola

So Santa Pola is in a perfect position to enjoy a wide variety of water sports as well as exploring the Alicante region’s culture, cuisine, shopping, beaches and nightlife.

Its location, winds, shape of the bay and balmy climate have turned Santa Pola into a top spot for water sports particularly windsurfing and kitesurfing while the newer trend of stand-up paddle or paddle surf is also getting a look-in.

It’s ideal for any sport with a sail because of the weather and prevailing winds from the sea. When the surf is up and the wind is blowing in the right direction, you will see dozens of colourful sails as the windsurfers head to the beach.

Kite surfers in Santa Pola

Watching kitesurfers, you will see the different tricks and techniques they use to catch the wind and sail high into the air. The sport is an exciting mix of skiing, wakeboarding and surfing which can be practised in Santa Pola by all enthusiasts from beginners to professionals.

It was even offered the ultimate accolade of being chosen to host the world windsurfing championship in 2009 which enhanced its position as a great resort for surfing.

The winds change throughout the seasons so you may want to book your holiday depending on the wind direction and speed.

Kitesurfing in Santa Pola

In autumn and winter the north-east wind is usually strong - about 15 to 20 knots - and is also accompanied by surge.

Winter also brings the north-west winds which can be even stronger - about 20 to 30 knots - with the wind coming off the land. You need to be very advanced to withstand these winds.

The hotter months are quieter at sea with an easterly or south-easterly wind of medium intensity - about eight to 15 knots - so is great for beginners. There's also a thermal wind from the south-west from about midday in the summer which can be strong - anything from 12 to 30 knots.

It's always advisable to check the wind directions and speeds before venturing out as well as looking at the forecasts as the weather can be unpredictable, especially in autumn or winter.

With the wind in the right direction, it is possible to travel the entire 11 kilometres of Santa Pola's beaches in next to no time.

Beach,Isla Tabarca

More experienced windsurfers may even fancy the adventure of heading over to the island of Tabarca which is just three miles from Santa Pola port.

On windy days, especially with an easterly or levante wind, you may see several paragliders taking to the air. It is one of the top paragliding spots throughout Europe as there are take-off areas which are easily accessible and you can enjoy hours of flying time.

Paragliders can be clearly seen along the beach by the lofty Barranc d’Escolger de Crist nature reserve near the lighthouse.

Santa Pola marina

Closer to the town centre are the best-known beaches by the marina with a lovely seaside promenade and close to the main Avenida Vicente Blasco Ibanez.  This is a great place to charter a boat for sailing or to book one of the organised trips around the bay or over to the beautiful little island of Tabarca.

Real Madrid fans will love the fact that one of the most popular beaches in town is called the Calas Bernabeu in honour of the Real Madrid president Santiago Bernabeu, whose name also adorns the football stadium in the capital city. The president spent his holidays here, staying in a house by the beach and so it seemed fitting to name them after the town’s most famous summer resident.

This is Santa Pola's busiest beach with great restaurants serving delicious paellas and the local fish stamped Peix de Santa Pola which is a hallmark of its quality.

This is a popular beach for swimming or snorkelling to see the interesting quality of fish in the waters.

Sailing in Santa Pola

Playa La Gola is 1,710 metres long and has an interesting history as it was from here that most of the smuggling was carried out in the area after the Spanish Civil War. You can also see bunkers from the Civil War in this spot.

You can only reach it by walking from the beaches at Pinet or Tamarit and is a designated area for kite surfers, kayaking and stand-up paddle.

 The calm days when there are no waves to speak of to interest the surfers, people can still enjoy kayaking to explore the bay or practise their technique on the paddle board.

Many people also use SUP as a way to exercise by performing yoga techniques or strengthening exercises while on the board. It’s great for the legs as you try to keep your balance on a floating board while carrying out these exercises.

Sailing in Santa Pola

Windsurfers also enjoy catching the waves at the beaches of Gran Playa and Playa Lisa, which have been popular with holidaymakers for many years.

Santa Pola started to be recognised as a summer resort at the start of the 19th century. Huts made of reeds and rushes were put up in Gran Playa and Playa Lisa for the holidaymakers, many of whom came from the nearby city of Elche.

The 'Banos de las Sirenas' where the harbour is today, was more of a social centre for the richer holidaymakers who could gather there to exchange pleasantries by the beach.

Playa Lisa is 600 metres long and is home to a windsurf school as well as having sun loungers and beach bars for a more relaxing day at the beach.

 For further information about water sports in Santa Pola, visit the tourist information centre in Plaza Diputacion 6 and Calle Astilleros 4 or visit the website 

There are several water sports clubs in Santa Pola including Parres Water Sports, Club Windsurf Santa Pola,  Parapente Santa Pola (paragliding), and Santa Pola Nautical Club 

You can read more about Santa Pola's charming fisherman's quarter and cuisine here

Pictures used are courtesy of the Ayuntamiento de Santa Pola