This list of the best beaches in the Basque Country will help you discover one of the great attractions of this region of northern Spain, beyond its large cities and spectacular natural landscapes.
The Basque coast offers everything from cliffs and fishing villages to hidden coves with crystal clear waters, miles of sandy beaches with fine golden sand and all the necessary services, to beaches with incredible waves perfect for surfing, or to stroll along the beach enjoying a breathtaking sunset.
All these beaches, many of them close to the tourist towns along the coast, are easily accessible by car, although in summer they get crowded and it is preferable to arrive early to find a parking space and a good spot on the sand.
Having visited the Basque Country several times and writing this guide to the important places to see in the Basque Country, we have made a list of the ‘10 best beaches in Basque Country’ based on our experience. Let’s begin!
The 10 Best Beaches In The Basque Country, Spain
1. Itzurun Beach
One of the most stunning beaches in Basque Country is Itzurun Beach in Zumaia, which is part of an impressive stretch of the Gipuzkoa coastline.
A beach of golden sand surrounded by limestone cliffs that rise to 150 meters high, presenting the phenomenon known as flysch, which is composed of layers of hard rocks interspersed with softer ones, worn by centuries of erosion.
This beach also became very famous when some scenes of the series Game of Thrones were filmed here and the San Telmo Hermitage, which was the scene of the wedding of the protagonists of the film Ocho Apellidos vascos (Eight Basque Surnames), was next to it, making it another of the important places to see in Zumaia.
2. Beaches of Sopelana
The town of Sopelana is only 20 minutes drive from Bilbao and offers a spectacular cliff coast and four amazing beaches: Barinatxe, Atxabiribil, Arrietara, and Menakoz.
Besides enjoying the beauty of the landscape, these beaches are perfect for surfing and paragliding lovers. They are also suitable for those who practice naturism or simply take a refreshing dip in the cold waters of the Bay of Biscay.
The most famous is Barinatxe, known as La Salvaje (the wild one) and located among the most beautiful beaches of the Basque Country. However, it is worth visiting all four, as they are easily accessible and have paid parking near the sand.
3. La Concha Beach
Bathing at La Concha Beach, located in the picturesque bay of San Sebastian and considered the most stunning urban beach in Europe, is another must-see place in the Basque Country.
This beach of fine sand and shell-shaped, with the island of Santa Clara in front, is perfect for relaxing, lying on the sand, and disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of the city.
In addition, the beach has a beautiful promenade that stands out for its beautiful white railing dotted with more than a hundred huge lampposts and buildings of the Belle Époque, a time when the European aristocracy spent their summers in Donostia, such as the Balneario de La Perla.
At the end of the promenade is the Miramar Palace with beautiful views of La Concha and access to Ondarreta Beach, which ends with the famous sculpture El Peine del Viento by Eduardo Chillida.
For those who love surfing, we recommend visiting Zuryou beach, another of the important places to see in San Sebastian, known for its sound waves, making it an excellent place to start this sport.
4. Beaches of Lekeitio
Leikitio, a touristy fishing village located next to the mouth of the River Lea, has some of the best beaches in the Basque Country.
Apart from being easily accessible, its three beaches have the advantage of expanding and shrinking. Some even disappear, depending on the state of the tides.
Isuntza beach, located next to the port and one of the top places to see in Lekeitio, is the most popular. A stone and cement passage leads to the island of Garraitz or San Nicolas at low tide; it has calm waters and all services.
Karraspio beach, located on the other side of the Lea, is quieter, and it is common to see surfers. La Salvaje beach, on the other hand, can only be seen at low tide and impresses with its stunning natural surroundings.
5. Azkorri – One of the best beaches in Basque Country
Azkorri or Gorrondatxe beach, close to the beaches of Sopelana, is the least accessible of the four beaches belonging to Getxo and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Basque Country.
Surrounded by a wild environment of large cliffs and dunes, this secluded beach is a natural paradise where many surfers come to ride the Akanti wave, which can reach up to 3 meters.
Besides surfing, it is a beach where you can practice nudism and enjoy almost 900 meters of beachfront and its services, including a children’s area.
6. Malkorbe Beach
The coquettish beach of Malkorbe, located next to a marina and one of the two beaches to see in Getaria, is another of the stunning beaches in the Basque Country.
This beach with calm waters and views of Mount San Anton, known as the Mouse of Guetaria for its shape, is perfect for enjoying with friends or family a day of sun and beach or for finishing after eating a delicious grilled turbot at Asador Astillero or Politena (two of the most recommended restaurants to eat in Getaria).
7. Zarautz beach – Another of the most beautiful beaches in Basque Country.
From the beach of Malkorbe (Getaria), you can start an incredible 4.5 kilometers long pedestrian walk that runs parallel to the coast and overlooks the cliffs until you reach the beach of Zarautz.
Known by the nickname of the Queen of Beaches for its almost 3 kilometers of fine golden sand, the longest of the Basque coast, this beach is perfect for surfers and water sports lovers, as it has a strong swell.
At the end of the beach, you will find a wooden walkway that will allow you to approach the Protected Biotype of Iñurritza, a protected area formed by dunes, marshes, and an estuary where different species of flora and fauna coexist.
To end a morning at the beach, nothing better than having a drink and some good pintxos on the terrace overlooking the sea at Karlos Arquinaño’s restaurant, one of the most recommended restaurants to eat in Zarautz, and stroll along the promenade, full of sculptures.
8. Beach of Santiago de Deba
Santiago de Deba Beach, located next to the mouth of the river of the same name, is another of the most famous beaches in the Basque Country for surfing and windsurfing as it is open to the sea and has eleven quality waves, including the giant wave of Sorgin-Zulo, up to 5 meters high.
This beach, which is about 400 meters long and includes the beach of Lapari, is also ideal for beautiful sunset walks or for starting or ending the Flysch Route, which stretches about 14 kilometers to Zumaia and contains the most spectacular flysch on the Basque coast.
9. Laga Beach
Laga Beach, located in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, near Mundaka and next to Cape Ogoño, is another of the most charming beaches in the Basque Country.
With 500 meters of fine golden sand and 100 meters of width, this beach is surrounded by a wild and unspoiled environment, making it a perfect destination for photography enthusiasts.
Besides, its crystal clear waters are perfect for a refreshing swim, and its short waves attract many surfers.
10. Laida Beach
Another among the top beaches in the Basque Country is Laida Beach, located near Laga Beach, in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve.
This extensive sandy beach of almost one kilometer, the largest of the Mundaka estuary, stands out for the shallow waters that make it ideal for families with children and access to the left wave of Mundaka, considered one of the ten best waves in the world.
Near this beach, on the other side of the estuary, is Laidatxu Beach, a small beach full of charm and one of the most beautiful places to see in Mundaka.