Difference between revisions of "Sopelana"
Revision as of 13:35, 3 May 2013
Located on the northen coast of the Basque country, Sopelana is a suburb to the city of Bilbao. Coming from a history of mostly farming activites, Sopelana has turned itself into an upscale suburb with splendid beaches for surfing.
Located just 10 kilometers north of Bilbao, the most convenient way of traveling into Sopelana is by Metro. The greater Sopelana area is serviced by two metro stations on the Metro Bilbao line 1, Sopelana for the city proper and Larrabasterra for easier access to the beaches.
Sopelana is rather small, walking around the city will take you half an hour from end to end. The beaches are located about 15 minutes walk from the city centre. There are taxi services in the area as well as several buses that ferry people between the metro stations and the beach.
Bizkaibus A3531, which joins Sopelana with Gatika, through Urduliz, Laukiz, Mungia and Maruri-Jatabe. Sopelana departures occur on weekdays (including Saturdays) from 07:00 to 21:00 every hour. On Sundays and holidays from 08:30 to 20:30 every two hours. In Sopelana, bus stops at the Gatika direction in Gatzarriñe (near Larrabasterra Metro station), Akili Arriola (next to public school Zipiriñe) Akilino Arriola (next to the church) and Sabino Arana, 14 (along Sertutxa bar). In the reverse direction (back towards Sopelana), A 3531 stops in Sopelana at Sabino Arana, 11 (next to the bar Sertutxa) Akilino Arriola (next to the church), Akilino Arriola (next to public school Zipiriñe) and Gatzarriñe (near Larrabasterra metro). Payment with cash or Creditrans card.
Sopelana is known for the two beaches Barinatxe and Arrietara. They are rather exposed to the elements of the Bay of Biscay and have good conditions for surfers. A third beach, Meñakoz is of less appeal for sun worshippers, and more for the surfer crowd due to the pebble bed ground. Sopelana is frequently the host of regional surf competitions as conditions are adequate for surfing in its beaches. A less famous, but also internationally known event, is the yearly nude race on Barinatxe beach in the fall. Barinatxe is a clothing optional beach.
Hit the beaches, have some pintxos (the Basque variety of tapas), and join in on the fiestas during summer. The party crowd is usually centered around the beach bars in the evenings.
There are good possibilites for paragliding off the hills above the beaches, strong winds create hours of drift for keen paragliders.
Sopelana has several stores specializing in surfing related gear. There are also various manufacturers of surf boards in the area, making it a go.to place for getting surfing clothes, gear and getting close to the expertise dealing in surfing.
Sopelana has several bars, as most towns on the Iberian peninsula, but a few are worthy of notice. Each of the larger beaches in Sopelana has bars close to the beach, but bars such as Sunset and El Peñon have excellent views of the beach, sea and spectacular sunsets.
Make sure to get your terminology right when ordering drinks in the Basque country: A large beer is called "Caña". A small beer is called a "Zurito". Wine is ordered by type and quality, more than by brand. A "Tinto" will get you the cheapest red wine in the bar, the house wine. Likewise for "Blanco" for white wine. A "Crianza" will get you an aged wine.
Sopelana Municipality 
Sopelana tourist office, near the Larrabasterra metro station: Loiola Ander Deuna, 28 Sopelana 48600 / Phone: 94 406 55 19, email: [email protected]