Sports in Spain

Sports in Spain
Updated 2021-06-25 14:58

From football to tennis, cycling to basketball, there are sports for every athlete or fan to enjoy. As in many countries, playing and watching sports are extremely popular activities in Spain. Of course, football tops the list, but others such as handball and golf are widely played. The country also hosts several prestigious international sporting events annually. So, whether you're an active or armchair sporting enthusiast, you'll have a wide choice of sports to watch and play. 


Football is more than just a game; it is a way of life for many fans. The Spanish are very enthusiastic and passionate about football, whether attending matches or watching them at home or with friends in a bar. 

La Liga is the men's top league and reputed to be one of the best in the world. It consists of 20 teams with the three lowest placed sides at the end of the season relegated to the Segunda (Second) Division. Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Deportivo de la Coruna, and Valencia CF are among the country's most popular teams.

Spanish football teams also participate in the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Europa League and the Champions League.


Basketball is almost as popular as football in Spain. The top Spanish League is Liga ACB, and teams compete domestically and in a European league and a European cup. Many matches are broadcast on TV. Liga ACB is contested by 18 teams. However, during the 2020-2021 season, 19 teams participated due to the pandemic. At the end of the season, two sides are relegated to the LEB Oro.


Spain is a country of cyclists who enjoy thousands of cycling routes along coasts, through the mountains and across and around cities. Every year the country hosts Vuelta a España, one of the leading cycling races in the international calendar.


No matter where you're located, you should have easy access to tennis courts. Tennis is a popular sport in Spain, and millions follow and have followed the fortunes of past and current Spanish players such as Rafael Nadal, "Arantxa" Sánchez Vicario, Carlos Moyá, Garbine Muguruza and David Ferrer.

Padel Tennis

Padel tennis is also a prominent racquet sport. It was adapted from tennis and takes place on a smaller court with walls, which are played off, just like squash. According to the World Padel Tour, headquartered in Spain, padel tennis is the third most popular sport in the country.


Many parts of the country boast a perfect climate for golf. There are lush green courses all over Spain, some with glorious sea and mountain views. If this is your sport, it's a good idea to apply for membership in one of the clubs near you.

Sports for thrill-seekers in Spain

Spain's coastal areas, national parks and wilderness landscapes support many activities for those who want to get the adrenaline pumping. They include mountaineering, skiing, rafting, karting, paragliding and water sports such as surfing, jet skiing and windsurfing. There is also an array of excellent scuba diving sites in the Atlantic Ocean in the north and the Mediterranean in the south.

Motor racing in Spain

Motor car and motorbike racing are also popular. Every year the country hosts the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. Other major events include the Euroformula Open Championship (formerly known as the Spanish Formula Three Championship).


Handball is another sport widely enjoyed throughout Spain. The men's professional league is divided into two divisions - Liga ASOBAL and División de Plata de Balonmano. División de Honor Femenina de Balonmano is the premier women's professional handball league, contested by 14 teams.

Useful links:

La Liga

Liga ACB

Go Tarifa

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