Plentzia: A River Walk to the Ocean 

17/08/2021

Plentzia is located at the end of the Bilbao Metro Line One. It is located roughly 25km north-east of downtown Bilbao. The Pletnzia riverwalk is one of the most popular spots in the province of Bizkia (Biscay).

At the end of Bilbao Metro Line 1 you find the vibrant town of Plentzia. There you will find a large white pedestrian bridge. A beautifully slick suspension that crosses the Plentzia river. During the summer's high tides you will often find locals fishing and  teenagers jumping off it.

Plentzia is quite flat so the difference between low and high tide is pretty dramatic. During high tide the river will appear to be going in reverse, back upstream. During low tide the boats will either be hovering just above the riverbed or resting seemingly haphazardly on the exposed bedrock. 

Next to the river there are many restaurants that have great patios. They are wonderful places to enjoy a cool beverage in the afternoon sun. These restaurants offer a variety of different food and drink options. It is worth popping into one of them for a pint of beer, a glass of wine, or try the Basque style of cider.

Astillero Plaza

Further up is the Astillero Plaza. It is a popular place for locals to gather. This plaza is an open space with a pavilion in the middle. Throughout the year many performances take place out of it. Underneath the pavilion are public washrooms.

On one side of the plaza is a popular boutique hotel. Opposite is the City Hall (Ayuntamiento). It is an older building designed in the traditional Basque style. Next to the City Hall, is a small candy stand. On the other side is a playground for younger children.

As you continue walking along the riverwalk you will go around a bend and past a concrete soccer field and a skate park. Both are regularly occupied by children having fun. Continue around the bend and you'll find yourself on a long straight stretch. It is about equal in length to the stretch before the bend.

This stretch of the riverwalk is known for the large Basque heritage homes. Some of these houses have been renovated over the last few years. However, most of them have kept their authentic Basque style.

Plentzioak Portua

When you reach the end of this straight stretch you'll come upon a small marina known as the Plentzioak Portua (Puerto de Plentzia in Spanish). Surrounding the marina are a series of condo buildings, many of which have restaurants or pubs.

It should be known that once you pass the marina, if it is not peak season, there are no further places to eat or drink. This does not include water fountains which there are many. Once you get around the marina you will begin to see the Bay of Plentzia.

Plentzia Beach

The Plentzia beach is a white sand beach that is wide open. It has plenty of space to throw down your towel and bathe in the sun. It has a small playground for young children that is next to the walking path.

The majority of the beach is quite flat but becomes less gradual as you get closer to the ocean. This beach has three different sets of outdoor showers so that you can wash off the salt water in between swimming sessions.

A nice thing about the beach here is that it possesses multiple lifeguards who keep eyes on the beach. They also put out and maintain flags showing how dangerous the rip tide is. These are green for ideal conditions, orange for intermediate, and red for do not swim.

The Plentzia Beach is a well known surfing destination. So don't be surprised to see them on the break line. It's a perfect spot to catch a wave for all levels of riders. During peak season lifeguards put out flags identifying where the surfers must stay in between.

Opposite the beach are multiple ice cream stands. These will come in handy when you need to cool off. These ice cream stands however are seasonal and are removed during the winter months.

There is a pub that sits next to the walkway and across from the beach. It is common for parents to get a beverage and chat while their children play. Being next to a white sands beach with a cold drink on a hot summer's day is one of the many peaks of the Basque lifestyle.

Come to Plentzia, enjoy the riverwalk and end up at a beautiful at a picturesque white sands beach. What could be better than that!

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