Hire your campervan in Bilbao
Bilbao is only the beginning; here's all you need to know about the city and its surroundings
Between the mountains and the Bay of Biscay, divided between France and Spain, lies the frontier of the Iberian west coast: Basque Country. On the Basque Coast, green plateaus and jagged cliffs are constantly battered the great Atlantic ocean, and ancient ruins and villages look out over a timeless landscape.
To find most dramatic sight you’ll find along on the Basque Coast, you have to walk the man-made bridge to the hermitage on the tiny islet of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Or visit Hondarribia, one of the Basque Country’s most charming seaside towns.
Basque Country receives the full power of the Atlantic, with the horseshoe-shaped Bay of Biscay funnelling seemingly every swell possible. The sheer cliffs jagged rocks make for an adventurous surf, especially combined with some of the waves’ remote locations and heavy tidal shifts.
From Biarritz and San Sebastián, to Zarautz and Mundaka, the Basque Coast is a paradise for surfers. Take Mundaka’s world-famous tubular lefthander: it’s only half an hour’s drive from Bilbao and breaks over half of all winter days! La Salvaje Beach is even closer to Bilbao and proves a year-round surf spot, with shifting sand beds and a rocky area with a great peak.
The region is less popular among kite- and windsurfers, as the mountains affect the winds, making them unreliable. However, places like Gorliz and Sopelana have good winds under the right conditions.
Surrounded by green mountains, the industrial port Bilbao sits majestically in the river mouth on the western edge of Euskal Herria (Land of the Basque Speakers). It’s the capital of the Basque Country and it’s most populous city. This tough city has a raw edge with its grey shadows and industrial wastelands. At the same time, the city has cutting-edge design and avant-garde art. Just take a look at the Guggenheim Bilbao; isn’t it one of the most unique structures you’ve ever come across?
Visit Bilbao for a different take on the ancient and picturesque Basque lands. Here, you’ll find a cool urban scene that forms the perfect contrast to the quaint towns and lush hills of the area. In a sense, Bilbao is as raw and heavy as the Bizkaia waves!