After an early end of the Swiss surfing championships for Bea, the three of us were heading west. We just wanted to get away from Zarauz. We’ve heard good things about a spot called “Liencres”, located close to Santander. Therefore this was our first stop on our way to the famous surf spot Pantin in Galicia.
Unfortunately there was either none or stormswell during our time in Liencres, we didn’t see much of an actual wave, but the spot is plain beautiful. Freecamping is easy, as long as you are not sleeping in a tent (the police might knock on 3am to tell you to leave in early morning). And you can check the wave out of the car, which was not too often the case on this trip.
The beachbreak is supposed to have different really powerfull peaks. There are different beaches along the coast of liencres. Playa de Canallave has peaks at El Madero and swell sucking rights at La Lastra. The beach we were staying – Playa de Valdearenas, has different peaks and suppossedly a nice left at Copacabana. The spot is ultra consistent and often crowded. The surfing level is high, but you always will find an almost empty peak. Not polluted!
Checking Playa Oyambre and surfing Playa de Meron
Not too far away (maybe 30 minutes driving west from Santander) are the spots Oyambre and Playa de Meron. We stayed one night at Oyambre, almost no freecampers around. The spot is protected from a landmass and with not a lot of swell this results in, knee hight waves. Good for Alban to practice, with the longboard it was quite fun, too.
Meron, just 10 minutes away on the other side of Cabo de Oyambra and close to San Vicente de la Barquera gets more swell. It is actually quite a genius spot. The closer you get to the river and the jetty, the smaller get the wave. You can therefore choose. There is sometimes a long right wave, getting you from outside just as fas as possible into the shore break. There is some shelter from west winds. The freecamp scene is huge, there are cold showers and drinking water available 24h, different free Wifis just nearby, some cheap restaurants and a supermarket in walking distance and a camping to sneak in for a hot shower (but the owner got good eyes, it might be easyer to stay a night). There is a direct bus that connects Meron (or San Vicente de la Barquera) to Bilbao for 10€. When it is good, it can get quite crowded, tough.
Close to Meron / San Vicente de la Barquera are different climbing spots. We met two guys from England who combined early morning climbing with evening surfing, not too bad for a vacation, isn’t it?
Visiting Xago and enjoying beautiful Playa Cueva
After a couple of days surfing at Playa de Meron, Alban had to leave us. We headed further west on the same day. Rodiles (a wave similar to Mundaka) wasn’t working so we decided to do a bit more of driving. Some hours later we were checking out Xago, a west facing ultra consistent beachbreak. This one had quite some swell in it, looked more like stormswell tough. The place would be nice to freecamp, isn’t supposed to be crowded normally and is picturesque, too. Must be quite polluted due to is location (close to Aviles with a huge port and some huge industrial stuff. Not the right thing for Bea’s eye.
So there was some more driving. We wanted to surf only non or just lightly polluted spots. Considering the stormrider guide we decided to check Cueva. A high quality, west-facing beachbreak with a rivermouth at the eastern end, that shapes up the sandbanks nicely. It is sheltered from NE sea breezes. This is one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever been. Almost no buildings around, suppossedly no pollution, easy parking, friendly locals, some trees for the hammock. Well, just perfect. Forecast was shit, 3 days flat, so we needed to leave – but we will come back somewhen Cueva!
Pantin – best known galician wave
Later that day we arrived in Rodo, at Pantin. Most popular surf spot in Galicia and another wave you can check out of your car. More about Pantin in the next blog post.