The Basque Country, located in northern Spain, has been and always will be a paradise for surf lovers. Although places like Tarifa and Fuerteventura are also considered incredible destinations for this sport, those who have surfed the waves of the Cantabrian Sea know that there is something special about them that hooks. Its beaches open to the sea, extensive and with a challenging swell, delight those who dare to dance on the water.
Since the 1960s, the beaches of the Basque Country were among the first to welcome surfers. Although many prefer to surf in autumn, summer can also be a good opportunity to enjoy the waves without wearing neoprene. Get ready to discover the best surfing destinations in the Basque Country!
Plentzia: The perfect place to get started in surfing
If you are taking your first steps in surfing, Plentzia is the ideal beach for you. This beach, adjacent to Gorliz beach, is very popular with surf schools, so it is common to see beginners practicing here. Although it is also frequented by families, Plentzia offers excellent surfing conditions when the sea is rough. With a long left wave and calm waters, it is the perfect place to learn and improve your surfing skills.
Zarautz: The queen of Basque beaches
Zarautz is the undisputed queen of the Basque Country beaches when it comes to surfing. This beach is perfect for beginners and experienced surfers alike, whether in autumn or summer. If you are a beginner, don’t worry, here you will find surf schools where you can learn and improve your skills.
With an impressive extension, Zarautz offers different areas for all tastes. At the western end, you will find spaces reserved for families and sunbathers looking to relax in the sun. In the center of the beach, surfers have their own space to enjoy the best waves. On the other hand, at the eastern end, the dunes are home to a rich fauna and flora, creating a unique natural environment. In addition, Zarautz hosts numerous surfing competitions throughout the year, such as the Rip Curl Pro Surf in September, which attracts internationally renowned surfers.
Hendaye: The border beach
Hendaye is a beautiful beach located in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in the French part of the Basque Country, a few kilometers from San Sebastian. With its three kilometers of extension, this beach is ideal for families as well as for surfers who are taking their first steps in this sport. In addition, very close to Hendaye is the Belharra reef, where expert surfers can enjoy huge waves and challenging conditions.
Mundaka: The jewel of Basque surfing
Laidatxu beach in Mundaka is a real gem for both surfers and those who wish to admire the experts surfing on one of the best beaches in the Basque Country. Located at the end of the Gernika estuary and declared an Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, Mundaka offers a unique experience all year round.
Mundaka’s waves are considered some of the best in the world, especially known for their perfect left. However, it is important to note that these waves are suitable only for specialized surfers due to their level of difficulty. The tubular wave of Mundaka is characterized by its great length and can reach up to four meters in height. In addition to surfing, you can also practice windsurfing, paddle surfing and canoeing in this wonderful natural environment.
Meñakoz and Sopelana: Wild waves for experienced surfers
If you are looking for movie waves and have surfing experience, Meñakoz and Sopelana are the ideal beaches for you. Meñakoz, which belongs to Barrika, is known for being one of the wildest beaches in the region. With its 400 meters long and waters open to the sea, this beach offers a solitary and perfect environment for nature lovers. It is also frequented by nudists and surfers looking to enjoy waves of up to 5-6 meters, with great strength and a certain degree of danger. In October, Meñakoz hosts the Punta Galea Challenge, an elite surfing event that brings together prominent international surfers.
On the other hand, Sopelana is another essential surfing destination in the Basque Country. With an extensive beach and ideal surfing conditions, Sopelana attracts surfers from all over the world. Its consistent and powerful swell creates perfect waves for maneuvers and long rides. Important competitions are also held here, such as the QS Sopela Women’s Pro surfing championship, which brings together the best surfers on the international circuit.
Biarritz: Europe's surfing capital
Biarritz, belonging to the French Basque Country, has become the surfing capital of Europe. It was here that surfing began in northern Spain during the 1960s, and since then numerous surfing competitions and festivals have been held. Biarritz has more than six beaches known for their quality surfing and the health benefits of seaweed.
The most famous beach in Biarritz is Plage de la Côte des Basques, a beautiful beach surrounded by cliffs that offers excellent surfing conditions, especially at high tide. Other popular beaches for surf lovers are Plage Marbella and Grand Plage, perfect for those who are taking their first steps in the world of waves.
In conclusion, the Basque Country is a true surfing paradise, with a wide variety of beaches offering ideal conditions for surfers of all levels. From the long beaches of Zarautz and Sopelana to the iconic Mundaka and the beginner options in Plentzia, there is a place for every type of surfer. In addition, the proximity to Hendaye and Biarritz