2019 #BasqueCountry | Mundaka
Updated: Jan 8
Mundaka is a small super charming village located in the Biscay bay on the Atlantic ocean's coast of Basque Country. Actually it's famous because of its #surfing scene, but besides that it's a nice place to be and definitely worth visiting. Mid of April, when I was there, is a low season for tourists, so let's take a chance to discover non-crowded place, just meeting some local residents on the way around. Btw the village has less then 2000 habitants, it's cozy, calm and adorable.
Actually I like the name #Mundaka itself very much, as majority of other Basque wordings which sounds an awesome cosmic language, for me it's one of the most beautiful in the world, but it's always interesting where all those names are come from. As found in internet, the name of the town has Danish origin, it has been proven that the vikings arrived there 900 years ago. There is a legend that attributes the name "Mundaca" to the Latin phrase "munda aqua" ('clean water'). It appears in the Chronicles of Biscay written in the 15th century. According to this story, a ship from Scotland carrying a princess who had been banished from her homeland arrived on the coast of Mundaka. The Scots called the place "in their Latin language" "Munda aqua" since there they had found a source of very clean water that contrasted with the murky waters of the estuary of Urdaibai. This princess would have a son who would come to be called Jaum Zuaria and would become, according to legend, the first Lordship of Vizcaya.
Saint Mary's Church is located in the center of the village, with its back to the sea. Its construction began in Romanesque style in the 10th century, but it gives rise to a new Gothic plant in the 16th century after its destruction and a neoclassical and neo-Gothic Tower of the 19th century.
Continuing walking along the seaside, reaching out port area.
The port is in the center of the village, from there the old part of it grew. Majority of the houses are medieval, fishermen's houses, always looking to the sea.
The fishermen historically kept and maintained their boats right here, on this little territory.
The residential area of the village is simply beautiful. The medieval and modern well-maintained houses are mainly placed on the slopes, sometimes stuck to each other wall by wall.
Chapel of Santa Catalina of 19th century is situated on the peninsula that bears its name and the walls that surround it, remains of a Fort of the 19th century.
There are some surprisingly nice hidden places, where you can take a rest and watch the nature being in a kind of isolated space.
The influence of surfing community is everywhere, love these graffiti, painted around the Chapel area.
There is a big green plateau around the Chapel...
...where they usually hold surfing festivals. This area is very convenient for watching the main surfing spot at the lagoon's entrance, where the famous Mundaka wave comes from.
On the opposite side you can see another part of Urdaibai, Laida beach with its small sand dunes.
As said earlier, #Mundaka is world wide well-known for its quality of surf. Huge swells roll in from the Bay of Biscay and slam into the rocky coastline of the Basque Country. The estuary at Mundaka has created a perfect sandbar which forms hollow waves that can be watched from the town's harbor wall.
The day I've visited the village ocean was super calm and looked like a mirror, it was a completely anti-surfing day, so pity. Hopefully, next time.
Normally the wave of Mundaka perfect for #surfing one of every three days of the year (apparently, when I visited the village it was one of those other two days). During the months of winter the possibility of surfing increases until surpassing 50%. And it is the month of January, with a 62% of surfable days, when the bar of Mundaka displays the best scene for the lovers of this sport. Enjoy watching this video to see how the waves can be really powerful in this quiet and romantic place!