Surf Trip Diary
Billabong never misses an opportunity to get out there and reconnect with the world. We like to practice what we preach - Surf every wave like it’s your last. Savour every last moment of sunlight until the very end of the day and always live to the fullest. This time, aficionados and surfer mates Lolita, Justine & Sirikit set off for an exciting 3-day surf trip through the North-West coast of Spain. We couldn’t have been more excited to have our talented friend from California, Serena Lutton join the crew to capture this authentic journey.
While we were dreaming of the perfect surfing conditions with endless waves rolling onto the Spanish coast under a beaming sun, the forecast had announced something completely different. Pouring rain and 4 meter waves sparked by the remnants of Hurricane Irma. Determined that nothing (not even bad weather) would stop us from our post-busy-season escape, we decided to leave Hossegor and hit the road. With our surf mobiles filled to the brim with cool stuff and more boards than the recommended standard. We agreed to forget about the plans we had made, and simply let the swell be our guide. Here we go!!
Zarautz, Basque Country
First on the agenda, a quick stop at the Pukas Surf Shop – a popular Basque Surf Brand in Zarautz. What better place to do some last minute gear shopping. We couldn’t resist getting these cute little thermos bottles « Surfing the Basque Country » 100% relevant for our trip. We had lunch a few blocks away at Mele Mele: a very friendly restaurant with a cool surfer vibe, where you can make up your own burgers & salads. We then wandered through the streets of the old town along the seaside. If you are there at night, make sure you taste the local sparkling white wine called Txakoli, it goes perfectly with the local salty pintxos!
Top things in the Basque Country:
San Sebastian – Pintxos and tapas, great vibes, cool cafés, shopping
Getaria - Small fishing port
Mutriku – Historical fishing village & natural swimming pools
Zumaia - Flysch & stunning cliffs
Oma – Land art « Bosque Animado »
Mundaka – Playa de Laga with its pine forest overlooking the beach & Playa de Laida
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe – There’s a Chapel on top of an island facing the open ocean. It’s a 25 minute walk and 250 steps to the top. Once you’re at the Chapel, ring the bell 3 times and make a wish.
Bakio – Surfer village, popular beach break
Sopelana – Evening surf & sunset beers
As we were heading South with some seriously good tunes helping us forget about the rain, we spotted a perfect back-up surf spot. It was the kind of spot which was worth a swerve in the middle of the road and an express U-turn to get a closer look. Despite the menacing dark sky, it didn’t take long for the girls to step into their wetsuits, wax their boards and join the lineup. Islares is a beach break that works best with offshore winds from the South and favours rights around mid-tide. With its stunning view of the beach and cliffs, it’s also a great place to park & stay for the night.
After a good session in Islares, the crew met up with Erik, a local friend in Laredo. Laredo is a large bay with several beach break peaks, the swell was impressively massive when we were there, a true spectacle. As night fell, we grabbed a few beers, wrapped ourselves in our warm winter jackets, kicked back and enjoyed the show that the ocean was putting on for us.
A few minutes drive from Laredo, we found an Italian restaurant in Somo called l’Artesano. The food was exceptional and it was the perfect way to warm us up. Time to think about the next morning. Because we love waking up to a beautiful view, we parked our 2 vans by the ocean at Barrio El Bosque overlooking the Isla de Santa Marina. We woke up to a stunning vista and enjoyed a Sunday Collab coffee, a perfect way to start the day.
Our faithful travel partner « I love the seaside » helped us find a hotspot café in Somo called Curros&Co, pure bliss. It’s the kind of place you don’t ever want to leave, except for when good waves start calling.
Noja might be our favourite back-up surf spot. This beach break offers mainly left-hand waves, just be careful of the rocks in the lineup! The girls surfed until the very last pink shades of the setting sun had dimmed. You can park in front of the beach at El Paseo de Trengandin and make the most of the outdoor showers. For the first time since the beginning of the trip, we woke up with bright rays of morning sun flooding into our vans. Oh, and we took a shower! It felt so good.
Berria is a long beach with fine sand placed between two rocky headlands covered in holm oaks and is protected by a nature reserve. This beach break works with offshore winds from the South and offers both left and right-hand waves. It can feel a bit surreal with the large prison facing the East side of the beach, but it’s worth it.
Other surf spots in Cantabria:
Laredo, El Brusco, Liencres, Langre, Los Locos, La Fortaleza, La Maruca & El Sardinero.
While the sky cleared up after the rain, we moved on to our next destination. Once you get into Asturias, the coast becomes wilder and a lot more rugged. If the waves don’t deliver (as was unfortunately the case for us) you’ll still have the epic cliff views, gorgeous little fishing ports, authentic markets & the local food to discover.
Things to do in Asturias:
San Vincente de la Barquera – A thriving fishing port with a spectacular view on Los Picos de Europa
Mountain range of the Picos de Europa – Hiking trails with river gorges, stunning peaks, river valleys, beaches and forests. A favourite spot for hikers and climbers.
Andrin – Wild surf spot
Gulpiyuri Lake - More of a beautiful sight than a sunbathing spot. This magical, 50m long hidden cove framed by cliffs and greenery is one of Spain’s most famous inland beaches.
The Bufones de Arenillas - A dozen fountain-style natural jets pumped through holes by seawater pressure. Depending on sea levels, some jets can reach a spectacular height of 20m.
Ribadesella – Summer hotspot
.Billa Babes IG
- Below is a collection of unique polas from the trip -