Itzurun Hondartza, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Beachin' Zumaia - To Heaven and BasqueSome days, things just magically fall into perfection. It's not often do I stumble upon a hidden gem like Itzurun Beach, let alone a town like Zumaia. We were tooling around Basque country on a bluebird July afternoon when we saw, or I should say smelled the town of Zumaia. Perched across from a small fishing harbor as the coastal road zagged inland, there was something drawing us in beside the lure of fresh fish pintxos. We found a great spot near the town zoccola to look around and the first thing we notice were the folks flipflopping their way up the hill with all manner of beach gear - big hats, chairs, surfboards; heading to what would appear to be the Bay of Biscayne.
After a quick bite at a tapas place, we made for the treasure. Hauling our gear, we followed a couple of surfers to the top of the hill and BANG. The world opens up into a spectacular gash in the coastline. The cliffs of flysch are part of the longest, continuous rock formations on the planet. Then there's the sand, tucked away between the cliffs with beach gear rentals and a restaurant/bar. Lots of locals.
Overlooking this beauty is Talasoterapia Zelai, a classic Spanish resort with views stretching to forever.
There was a reason surfers make the hill climb. The break is breathtaking. Perfectly formed 6-8' rollers supplying scenic rides on boards or bodies. I guess we could have found it in a guide book, but we didn't, making it that much better. Put it on your list - on Top.