Written by: Andreína Peñaloza / Espiritu Aloha
Within the coasts of Europe in Mundaka there is the legendary left wave! It is considered the best on the continent and is located in the Basque Country, in the “Urdaiba Biosphere Reserve”.
This left wave starts at the “barra de Mundaka” and ends at Laida beach. It can be surfed with a big smile because of its 400 meters long, offering between 3 and 5 meters of height (on average). It also forms an amazing tube for all surfers who enjoy this fantastic wave, especially in autumn and winter. In summer the wave is calmer, ideal for learning and perfecting your surfing technique, with a swell between 0.5 and 2 metres.
The village of Mundaka is a coastal area of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve in the Basque Country. For many decades the main income of the village was thanks to the fishermen, but today there are none left. Nowadays the main income comes from tourism.
Today in Mundaka you can live and breathe a pure surfing atmosphere. Its famous left wave has been considered a World Class that from 1998 to 2009 brought them the Billabong Pro Mundaka, and the ASP World Tour. The best surfers in the world have been here to be part of this wave that breaks along the sandbank that forms at the mouth of the Urdaibai estuary and is currently protected by UNESCO.
Gudari Caribe Surf School
Surf with Gudari caribe in Mundaka
The Gudari Caribe Surf School is very special, thanks to its Director Denny Mendoza Salazar who always supports you by explaining the currents and tides that occur in the town in an impressive way. Mundaka, goes beyond traditional surfing, you have to be very aware of the forces of nature that move the estuary and the sea in an overwhelming way, in just hours. That is why safety, vigilance and good practice of this sport is crucial to live a weekend full of joy.
This school also has a very nice detail with the children. The atmosphere in summer is charged with a very welcoming vibe for the young surfers of the village who decide to learn this sport during their holidays. Besides trips to “the bar” he takes them hiking in the mountains with overnight camping trips and of course yoga with his wife Roxy.
His partner Roxana is a lovely woman with a fighting spirit and a harmonious attitude. She works hard to make sure you have fun and connect with all the nature that Mundaka has to offer. Paddle boarding where you can appreciate the brutal changes of the tide, visiting the neighbouring villages of Busturia and Laida.
In addition, we did SUP Yoga classes, a modality that I love because it combines the imbalance of the board in the sea, with the physical effort involved in Yoga postures, plus a final relationship that connects you with the environment.
With Gudari Caribe, everything can start early in the morning with a Yoga practice at the Ermita de Santa Catalina, where the view of the sea and the green that is everywhere accompany you in a practice that prepares you for surfing and the rest of the day’s activities.
What does Gudari Caribe do besides surf lessons?
We were lucky enough to contact a surf school that has very similar values to mine: respect for nature and different options to share doing sport. As you well know, adventure sports are “dependent” on nature and surely you know that you can visit a place because of its conditions for: surfing, kitesurfing, snowboarding and the conditions are not there, what do you do at that moment? Well, in my case, I love having more options.
Gudari Caribe is a school that always looks at the weather forecast and recommends Paddle Boarding: if there is little wind and high tide. SUP Yoga in the morning tied to the buoys on the shore at high tide. Pilates and Yoga on grass: an ideal activity to do in the morning or late afternoon. Hiking: to connect you with the forest of Mundaka this is a beautiful way to appreciate the town from another perspective.
Although surfing is the main activity of Gudari Caribe, it is worthwhile to value other activities that you can enjoy with or without waves.
Tradition and Culture:
The Basque Country has an exquisite gastronomy and in Mundaka this flavour is also present in each of its pinchos and tortillas, really delicious! We visited the town on the weekend of the summer solstice “Día de San Juan” (St. John’s Day). It was a very special date because we had a front row view of the bonfire and burning of the witch where we saw dances, music and where we also made our wishes to be burnt in the big bonfire. It is really fascinating to travel and get to know the traditions of each place.
In the Basque Country there are different spots and schools for surfing but for a more personalised treatment and attention with quality learning I would recommend Gudari Caribe. They work with small groups (maximum 13 students per group) which is another difference between the other schools.
Surf with Gudari Caribe in Mundaka, Aloha!