Gorgeous beach surprise: Playa de Itzurun

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The title pretty much sums up the ingredients of a successful day trip for me: something beautiful, the sea and the option to spend the entire day swimming and the surprise element. The 32-year-old me and the 6-year-old version rejoice of many of the same things and water activities and ice cream are high up on that list.

Playa de Itzurun is spectacular. A hidden gem, really. It’s located on the coast of Zumaia, around half an hour car ride from San Sebastian. My travel companion (the best one) planned this excursion and promised that the destination would be nice. And was it ever. It was gorgeous (hence the awstruck surprise factor).

We discovered the beach by first climbing up to the chapel of San Telmo, the patron saint of sailors. From the cliff opens the breathtaking view to the beach and to the Bay of Bizcay. About the chapel by the way: if you are looking for a truly unique and purely visual place to get married in, well then here’s a strong alternative.

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We marvelled at the long vertical cliffs and the limestone walls that led down to the beach. The beach is long and the sand is soft. If you’re a water sports enthusiast, you can go surfing, windsurfing or bodyboarding. And if geology is your thing the beach is very likely of interest to you because of the rock strata formations that rise vertically from the sea. Flysch, they call it, part of the longest continuous rock formations in the world.
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There definitely was something magical in this place. A day trip of ten points. And what is a day trip without something delicious. We lunched in the fishing village of Getaria, a convenient pitstop to enjoy something fresh from the sea.

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Playa del Silencio and a bit of beach luxury in Oriñón

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I was quite the beach creature as I child. Nowadays not quite as much, but a private beach held it’s place on the holiday wish list. And we found it! I don’t mind other people on the beach but a private one does have a sense of discovery combined with a pinch of luxury.

The beach was in Oriñón, about 15 km west from Castro Urdiales, and the reason why we had the beach all to ourselves was that it was off-season and the apartamentos by the shore were still all empty. The long strip of sand, the blue sky, the sail boat approaching the horizon and just that moment. The essence of holiday.

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The one playa in the North of Spain I had read about and so wanted to visit was the Playa del Silencio. It’s located 15 km west of Cudillero. It’s a cove backed by rocks, cliffs and caves. The view is absolutely beautiful. The name is also very apt: the beach is quiet, solitary and serene, almost as if it was a hidden place. In addition to us there were a few more couples.

The beach is made of pebbles and my hint would be that bring swimming shoes so that rising from the water resembles a bit more a graceful water goddess than – well, something else. The beach is located about 500 metres down from the road where you leave the car. This secluded place is really worth the trip and the short steep hike down.

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IMG_5807Ok, it was a bit chilly still.

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