Surfing in Pais Vasco - West

Surfing guide to Pais Vasco - West, ,

Pais Vasco - West has 5 surf spots . Go explore!

Overview of surfing in Pais Vasco - West

The Basque region boasts a rich coastline and history. Culturally this is one of the most unique areas in Europe, as it’s residents will be happy to expound to you. The waves here are varied, quality, and consistent for most of the year. This is one of the epicenters of surf culture in Europe and therefore houses the most and best surfers in all of Spain. The Western part extends from Bilbao in the West to the beaches of Deba where the main highway hits the coast on its way to San Sebastian. The waves range from lazy points to sucky and heavy reef breaks. There really is something for everyone. Bilbao provides urban entertainment and culture on this stretch of coast. The rest is mostly small villages and rugged cliffs dropping into the Atlantic. These cliffs are peppered with caves and coves which provide shelter from wind and an almost infinite amount of setup.

Surf Spots

The coastline here is rich in variety and quality. The spots here are numerous, both known and secret. Starting in Bilbao we have Punta Galea, a big wave venue on the Big Wave Tour multiple years. This wave breaks in the rivermouth of Bilbao, creating an arena like atmosphere from the cliffs when it does. It is fickle, powerful, dangerous, and at times perfect. If it is breaking it is a must see/surf. Heading East we come to Menakoz, a powerful reef. It starts working at around 12 feet over a sharp rock bottom. This wave is known for snapping boards and bones alike. If death defying reefs and big waves are not your thing, fear not, there are plenty of sheltered beachbreaks around for all levels of surfer such as Sopelana and la Derecha de la Triangular. Heading East we eventually come to Mundaka. Mundaka is the most famous wave in Spain, and perhaps the best rivermouth in the world. It offers up big freight train lefts that barrel and wall for those strong enough to hold position and paddle into them. When it’s breaking it is the best wave on the coast, but everyone knows this so be ready for competition. There are many more waves that are not named on most sites, buy a local some beers and show respect in the lineup, you might be invited to a secret reef or point break along the coast.

Access to surf spots

A car is king here. It allows full access to almost all spots and more importantly lets you search and get to the best spot for the wind on any given day. Almost all breaks are easily walkable from where you park. The most remote spots might require an arduous hike, but most of these are not named anyway.

Seasons

The climate here is damp and cool year round. Winter and fall bring more rain; on average every other day is rain. Summers are slightly warmer and drier, but you’ll be layering up a sweatshirt or two to be comfortable. Predominant winds are from the West and Northwest year round, making finding the right spot paramount but not impossible.

Summer

This time of year is drier and warmer than winter and fall, but not by much. Sunny days are not the most common. Tourists and travelers will pack the beaches this time of year, but the surf is also the most inconsistent. This makes summer the least desirable surf season in the region. This being said, there will be a few days where you can abandon your plate of tapas at the bar to grab a quick session. A 3/2 will make you more than comfortable this time of year.

Winter

Fall and winter are the prime surfing seasons. Swells start pumping out of the Northern Atlantic sending lines to the tangled coastline lighting up the spots that have been flat all summer. The rains also come, so pack some waterproof jackets. Winds are still a difficulty this time of year, proper forecasting and local knowledge are the keys to a successful surf session. A 4/3 with booties might be sufficient but a 5/4 is the safe option this time of year n the water. Crowds remain, especially around city centers, although the tourists have left.

Accommodation

There is a wide range of accommodation on the coast. Bilbao contains everything between cheap hostels and pricier hotels and resorts. The rest of the coast will definitely have hostels and some nicer options as well. Camping is common outside Bilbao on the coast. There are many campgrounds right next to fantastic waves, such as the one right next to Mundaka.

Other Activities

Bilbao is a cultural center of Europe. Check out the many museums and explore the old city for a more laid back day. Or head to the San Mames for an Athletic Bilbao match, you will not be disappointed. A little inland there are plenty of protected heritage sites. Cave systems and monasteries are common in this area, and well worth exploring. Along the coastline the cliffs that plunge into the sea offer many hiking opportunities as well as spelunking if that is more your vibe. Food is the ubiquitous option, as this area is renown for some of the best cuisine in Spain.

The Good
Scenic to the maximum
Amazing cities
Variety and quality of surf
Great activities when the surf is down
The Bad
Flatish summers
Crowds/competitive lineups
Weather if you don't like the damp
Short windows of opportunities due to tides
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The 5 best Surf spots in Pais Vasco - West

Overview of surfing spots in Pais Vasco - West

Menakoz

9
Right | Exp Surfers
100m long

Punta Galea

8
Right | Exp Surfers
200m long

Bakio

6
Peak | Exp Surfers
50m long

La Arena

6
Peak | Exp Surfers
50m long

Sopelana

6
Peak | Exp Surfers
50m long

Surf seasons and when to go

The best time of the year to surf in Pais Vasco - West

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