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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 26 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

When you need a break from the city, Bilbao offers an exceptional array of Atlantic beaches tucked in a stunning cliff-lined coast, ideal for walking, sunbathing or surfing. And nearly all easily are accessible; just drive or take the metro north to Getxo.

Here the 3-mile cliff-top La Galea Walk starts at the picturesque 18th-century Aixerrota Windmill. The path takes in truly breathtaking views as it leads past a fancy neoclassical cemetery, a Baroque church, the 18th-century La Galea Fort, and a lighthouse.

It ends at the beautiful black sandy Gorrondatxe/Azkorri beach with its unusual geological formations (the Flysch of Getxo). From there you can carry o to Sopelana, with its three beaches – a calm naturist-friendly beach in the west and two popular with surfers and paragliders further east.

While you're there

For a spectacular view of the coast, see it from the air. Sky Norte at Sopelana Beach offers year-round tandem paragliding flights from 11am until sunset.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 6+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Bilbao’s metro Line 1 will take you within walking distance of the beaches. Get off at Bidezabal station for La Galea Walk, then take the metro back to Bilbao from the Larrabasterra or Sopelana stations.

If you want to make a day of it, the same metro goes as far as the picturesque fishing village and big golden beach of Plentzia, where it’s easy to spend a lazy day.

El Penon de Sopelana on Sopelana beach is a popular surfers’ hangout; expect a great atmosphere, lovely views and tasty seafood, meat dishes and Basque wines.

When to do it

Summer weekends are the busiest time, but the beaches are big and rarely seem overcrowded. Autumn sees the biggest waves, but the coast here is one of the few in Europe where you can surf round.

The weather can be quite changeable and wet between November and March, but there are always fine days even in winter.

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Basque Country, Spain

Exterior view of the museum

Renowned for its Guggenheim Museum and edgy arts scene, this northern Spanish city has delicious Basque food and nearby golden beaches.

Basque Country

Basque Country, Spain

External view looking to the entrance. The curvy building has mountains behind

Fascinating ancient traditions, world-famous gourmet treats, Spain’s finest wine region and a gorgeous golden coastline.