10 Beautiful Basque Country Beaches

The Basque Country is one of the best places to stay in Northern Spain. This special region is renowned for its lush green rolling hills, unspoilt beaches and food culture. The dramatic long coastline not only provides the ingredients for famous Basque dishes but is the ideal place for nature lovers, surfers, families and those looking for a romantic beach escape.  

Discover 10 of the best beaches in the Basque Country and read for yourself what makes them so special. 

La Concha beach

San Sebastian - Playa de la Concha 

La Concha beach is located in Concha bay in the city of San Sebastián. On one side of the bay, you will find the Urgull mountain, next to the harbour and the city hall, and on the other side, you will find the Igueldo mountain. It is no wonder that Paya La Concha is often referred to as the most beautiful city beach in Europe. As you look out to sea from the bay you will see Santa Clara Island which you can reach by kayak or boat from Concha bay.

La Concha is ideal for sunbathers and swimmers. Located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, this beach is surrounded by mountains and is perfectly protected against the wind and high waves.


Pais Vasco, Lekeitio

The Lea estuary divides Isuntza beach from neighbouring Karraspio beach. From Isuntza you can see straight out to the small island of San Nicolás which is easily swimmable or even walkable at low tide. To the left of the beach is where the picturesque town and port of Lekeitio sit. Walk along to the other beach of Karraspio, which is ideal for paddleboarding and is a little more secluded.

Isuntza beach is ideal for all beach-goers. Great for families with children and for non-confident swimmers as the beach regularly has low tides and small waves. The nature surrounding this beach, amenities and its location makes Isuntza beach one of the best beaches to visit in the Basque Country.


Itzurun beach, Zumaia

Itzurun beach is located in Zumaia. The soaring cliffs extend out into the sea and this beach often experiences a heavy swell making it ideal for surfers. This beach is extra special as it is situated in the middle of the world's longest series of continuous rock layers. You can find fossils here dating back to over 100 million years ago. This is perhaps why parts of season seven of Game of Thrones was filmed here. For fans of the show - this beach featured in the scenes when Daenerys Targaryen returned to Dragonstone on the shores of Westeros. 

Itzurun beach is a raw, unspoiled natural beauty. Ideal for nature lovers, surfers and windsurfers.

Playa de Zarautz

Zarautz beach, Basque Country

Zarautz is a classic beach resort in northern Spain with a 2.5-kilometre long sandy beach. The beach can be divided into three sections: the middle part belongs to the surfers (with some of the best surfing in the area), the western side is a perfect fit for families with children, and on the sand dunes below the golf course you’ll find more privacy, ideal for couples.

There is a beach promenade lined with bars and restaurants that stretches along the town and continues to the neighbouring town of Getaria.

Depending on what you look for in a beach, you can find your spot. This beach is ideal for surfers, families and couples alike. Find many surf schools here too, it is no wonder that Zarutz has produced some of the best surfers from Spain.

Laga beach

Playa de Laga, The Basque Country

Playa de Laga is situated in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve nestled between the green mountains of Atxarre and Ogoño. Laga beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Basque Country. Protected by spectacular rugged cliffs, it is truly wild and unspoiled. This beach is also a favourite for surfers as it faces the open sea producing great swells, and has a chilled laid-back vibe. Just a 45-minute drive from Bilbao city, this is a must-see if you are staying in the Basque Country.

Laga beach is ideal for nature lovers, surfers, windsurfers and people wanting to spend a relaxing day at the beach. There is also a surf club here and the beach has lifeguards in the summer months.

Ondaretta beach

Ondarreta, Pais Vasco 

Ondaretta sits cosily at the foot of the Igueldo mountain just west of San Sebastián and is the lesser-known beach of the city. The Igueldo mountain acts as a natural barrier preventing strong currents hitting the shores. You can also visit the island of Santa Clara from Ondaretta beach. Hire a kayak or paddleboard to reach the islands, or if you don't fancy the challenge, head over by boat. 

Ondaretta beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Basque Country and is best for families with children and those looking to bathe. Due to its unique location, it enjoys frequent low tides making it ideal for young swimmers. There is also a children's entertainment area on the beach as well as volleyball nets for fun with friends.

Arrietara-Atxabiribil beach

Atxibiribil beach, Pais Vasco

The beach of Atxibiribil is located in Sopelana and forms a mega beach with Arrietera to the west. These bays are some of the biggest in the area and are protected by several cliffs, but there are still great swells here for surfers.

Arrietara is the surfing epicentre and is where many important sporting events are held such as the World Bodyboard IBATOUR and different ASP contests. Atxabiribil, also known as El Peñon, is part of the same stretch. Here the waves break on a rock and the beach holds important sporting events such as the Projunior contest on the European ASP circuit.

Arrietara-Atxabiribil beach is ideal for lovers of surfing and bodyboarding. The surroundings are rugged and unspoilt making this area ideal for nature lovers too.


Arrigorri beach, Pais Vasco 

You will find Arrigorri beach in Ondárroa. This beach has a more urban feel, with numerous bars and leisure areas, as well as a promenade, which takes you to the Gipuzkoan beach of Saturraran. Although this is a semi-urban beach, it is surrounded by lush green hills making the surroundings equally as beautiful as some of the other best beaches in the Basque Country.

This beach is ideal for families with children. It does get fairly popular in the high season.  There is entertainment nearby and the water is shallow with pleasant swimming conditions.

Bakio beach

Bakio beach, Basque Country

Bakio beach sits in a small valley at the bottom of the town itself. This stunning setting is surrounded by mountains to the east, south, and west; and to the north, opens up to the Cantabrian Sea.

This beach is also popular with surfers. There are a number of surf schools nearby as well as a range of facilities including restaurants and bars. 

Bakio beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Basque Country. It is ideal for families, nature lovers, groups of friends and surfers. It's a long beach with plenty of room to walk along the shore or just to set your towel down and watch the waves roll in. 

Zurriola beach

Zurriola Beach, San Sebastian 

San Sebastián's second beach, Zurriola, is located between the mouth of the river Urumea and Mount Ulla. Zurriola beach underwent extensive renovations in 1995. This included the construction of a breakwater to allow safe swimming. Since 2004, nudism has been allowed at Zurriola beach. It is one of the few Spanish city beaches where being fully nude is permitted.

The surf here is great for all levels and there are surf schools if you are looking to get started. In the summer, the surf zone is separated from the swimmer's zone to allow for safe bathing. There is a great vibe here, find friends hanging out on the sand, coming in and out of the water with their surfboards, locals and families on holiday.

Zurriola beach is ideal for families, groups of friends and surfers. There are all the amenities as well as volleyball nets in a special area reserved for sports and Basque ball games such as ‘pala’ and ‘pelota’ which gives the beach a local feel.

The takeaway

The Basque Country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain. Basque Country beaches are unspoilt, rugged and surrounded by lush nature. The beaches in this part of Spain are a surfers paradise but can be equally enjoyed by families, nature lovers and those seeking a romantic beach escape. Which one will you visit first?

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