The WaveGarden that is already operational in Korea. / WAVEGARDEN

Surfers could be riding on the crest of a wave in a Spanish town with no sea or beach

Planners are set to give the green light to the first WaveGarden project in Spain, located on a golf course and hotel complex not far from Malaga Airport

JUAN CALDERÓN / ANDREA JIMÉNEZ

There is good news on the horizon for surfers in Malaga and Andalucía. A project to build the first artificial lake WaveGarden in Spain, is to be issued with the necessary planning permits to allow investors to start work on the 14-million-euro scheme.

After being stalled for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic, Alhaurín de la Torre town council will give the green light to the artificial wave lake and 200-bedroom hotel in the grounds of Lauro Golf.

WaveGarden is the leading company in this sector and already has operational pools in Korea, Brazil, Japan and Australia. But the Alhaurin wave pool will be the first centre of its kind to be opened to the public in Spain and only the third in Europe, after those in Bristol and Switzerland. It is expected that surfers from all over Europe will travel to the town to surf the artificial waves.

Rumours

The existing golf offer and the proximity to Malaga Airport, in addition to the all-year-round good weather conditions of the province, will give it a great advantage over other facilities of this type already existing in Europe.

The project was stalled due to the pandemic, giving rise to many rumours in the surfing community, that the Alhaurín project had moved to another Malaga town, but it has now been reactivated.

With the approval of the permits by the town council an important step forward has been made and now an announcement is awaited from both the investors and the project promoter. The first step will be for them to release part of 14 million euros to start the works on two hectares in Lauro Golf. The construction time is estimated to be around two years, although the wave lagoon could be operational before, as has happened in other parts of the world.

A thousand waves an hour

According to WaveGarden, its machinery can generate up to a thousand perfect waves an hour of different sizes, and in both directions, and for different levels of surfers.

To give an idea of cost, the price per hour in the company’s Bristol pool is between 45 and just over 57 euros per hour, for adults and about 35 euros for children. Instructor courses are also offered from around 70 euros for an hour and a half. Prices include a wetsuit and surfboard.

The WaveGarden in Brazil is already operating. / WAVEGARDEN

With six operating facilities (Praia da Grama (Brazil) Alaïa Bay (Switzerland) Wave Park (South Korea) Urbnsurf (Melbourne) The Wave (Bristol) and Surf Snowdonia (Wales) and a WaveGarden Cove in (Surfland Brazil), the Spanish company has a portfolio of more than 46 projects in different phases of execution on the five continents.

On the international surf map

The mayor of Alhaurín de la Torre, Joaquín Villanova, said that this project will place the town "on the international surf map without having a beach", and will complement the sports offer with "quality" tourism.

He explained that within a period of approximately one month, the detailed study of this project will be approved in order to start the works. "It is a great initiative to promote all-year-round tourism, as surfers will be able to enjoy it 365 days a year."