Surf Trip Northern Spain- Pais Vasco and Cantabria

February 14, 2012 6:29 pm2 commentsViews: 28


by Street Talk Savvy

The start of any Spanish surf tour will either begin from Hendaye in France to Irun or the Spanish/French Motorway where there are customs boths on the border at Behobia, Spain. The French don’t usually stop you at the border but the Spanish will sometimes stop you going to France, for security reasons and especially if you are driving a van. The other entry point is maybe the airport at Bilbao. There are also trains that start from Irun on the border and connect through past Hendaye in France.

As soon as you cross the border you’ll feel your hip pocket relieved as your money won’t fly out the door, anywhere near as fast as when you were in France. The Spanish know how to party like no other European so you be catching up on some great party action. Get yourself some tapas, go to the huge shopping complex called Txingundi just off the motorway at Irun, and stock up on some groceries (olives etc). You’ll save a bucket of money.

Mundaka harbour by Street Talks Savvy, Spanish Slang

Mundaka harbour in Pais Vasco

San Sebastian is one of the first places with waves after Hendaye in France. It has very protected beaches, so you don’t want to stay here long, if you’re wave hungry. But the fiestas here are one of Spain’s best. San Sebastian has probably the highest concentration of bars in a single party zone, than any other city in Spain. Just head to the old town and go bar hopping, there are more than 100 small bars there. The local specialty is kalimotxo pronounced kalli-moat-cho which is cheap red wine and coca-cola. Perfect cheap drop for the budget traveller.

Probably the next main stop you want to make are the beach towns of Zarauz or Zumaia. Both have great beach breaks, similar to the beachies in southern France. Like France the water is a warm 21-24°C in summer.

The next would be the legendary wave of Mundaka.

If you want to hang around waiting for a decent swell for it to break, Playa de Laga can keep you happy in the meanwhile or some days with windswell in the beachtowns of Bermeo or Bakio. If you are lucky to be around in September a few of the local villages have interesting fiestas like Lekeitio, Bermeo and Bakio.

On your way out of Pais Vasco don’t forget to visit another legendary break of Meñakoz just outside of Bilbao, which is one of Europe’s best breaks, but mostly for experienced surfers.

After Bilbao you will be entering Cantabria. A relaxed part of Spain, where they don’t care about anything much, except the relaxing lifestyle that they lead.

At the beginning of Cantabria you can catch  Playa de Ajo (Garlic Beach), for some good waves. Santander, the capital has some beaches but because it’s in a bay it’s not always happening. On big swells you can catch an interesting wave called “El Muro- the wall” which breaks against the wall at the end of Sardinero the main beach in Spain. Santander also has a great party scene, and you can go bar hopping, or catch some great club action after 2am.

For some great tapas, you can go to the bar La Cruz Blanca in the old town.

Just outside of Santander is the beach area of Liencres. It is a long open beach, and has room for many peaks, which move from palce to place. This beach probably is what keeps most Santanderianos sane while their home breaks are flat.

Just further on from Liencres is Playa Los Locos- Crazies Beach. When it is big it can be quite crazy, but it is a good wave and is one of Spain’s most consistent.

The last beach worth visiting in Cantabria is playa de Meron at San Vicente. This wave is at the mouth of a small river and has a good wave, which is ready to prepare for what to experience is the next state Asturias.

Get your last warm surf in because it is going to start to get chillier.

El Sardinero by Street Talk Savvy, Northern Spain Surf Trip, Spanish Slang

Santanders popular main beach El Sardinero

To learn some Spanish Slang to get around check out our Spanish Slang mainpage, and Iberian Spanish Slang

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  • Be careful not to buy tins of seafood that say Miau on them. My friend bought one and told me it tasted wierd. I checked the tin and discovered Miau written on it and worked out that this is the sound that cats make in Spanish. Therfore it was cat food not seafood.

  • If you are an olive lover, in the supermarket you can find cans of all types of stuffed olives. THey come stuffed my ham, feta and almonds just to name a few

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