This beachbreak is supposedly one of the most crowded in Spain. The Bilbao Metro connects the spot within 30 minutes from the city center, besides that it has a huge parking and free campers seem to be welcome. You can get a 24 hours parkingcard for 5€.
Sopelana is a very consistent beachbreak, which works almost all the time. The ground has some rocks, but the waves base on some sandbanks. Sopelana picks up quite a lot of swell. When we surfed there, the forecast was 3 ft / 10s, even tought the period was quite short it had nice sets coming in. Especially in the morning when the onshore wind isn’t here yet and the locals have to work, it was quite nice. The beach is huge and the travelers / surfers around spread over the different peaks. It is a completely different story in the evening, when it seems as if everyone from Bilbao comes here to get some waves or to nude-sunbath.
Next to Sopelana beach is a reefbreak called “El Sitio”, which works on small swells. Didn’t work when we were there, tough.
Ajo and Galizano
Sopelana was nice, but too crowded for us. Also a bit competitive during the dawn sessions. Not the best place to get used to surfing, again. Therefore we searched for a not-so-crowded beach. After considering the Stormrider Guide Europe we decided to head down to Cantabria region, which is 1 hour west of Bilbao.
First we went to Galizano, which is a breathtaking beautiful rivermouth beachbreak. Unfortunately it wasn’t working and the freecamping possibilities weren’t optimal. That’s why we ended up in Ajo. Ajo is very consistent beachbreak. It’s even called a swell magnet. There are two different beaches, the mainbeach just in front of the parking (freecamping possible) of the main beach. The beach picks up quite a lot of crosswind, but can get very good, even if there is almost no swell around! The beach just over a small hill is better protected from the wind. I think its called Playa Antuerta, not sure tough.
Anyway, right now we are in Liencres, where we are enjoying quite a strong storm and some huge stormswell, more on that in the next blog post.