Over the years, Spain's Aritz Aranburu has built a reputation among touring surf professionals as one of the most hospitable hosts in all of Europe.
"I always enjoy showing my international friends around when they are in town," says the 32-year old pro, who was once named the Basque Country's "Sporstman of the Year." "During the Hossegor WSL event is when I get most of the calls. It’s my favorite time of the year--September through October. The weather is still warm and the first real swells start to show up."
As he's grown accustomed to playing host, tour guide, and surf guide, Aranburu's gotten his native land dialed and developed a comprehensive list of must have items for travelers to the region. Aside from both a grovel-y shortboard and a step-up, Aranburu says visitors needn't forget their appetites.
"Come hungry," he says. “You can’t resist the tapas and the drinks. And I know all the best bars and restaurants."
In addition to quality surf and world-renowned grinds, there are mountains to climb, spectacular trails to traverse, and classy vineyards scattered about the region.
To help you jump start the planning of your old country itinerary, Aranburu shared a list of essential items, pivotal to any Basque-based excursion.
Pukas Surfboards X Eye Symmetry "Octorail" (5'9")
"Goes so fast on glassy and off shore conditions."
"Perfect wetsuit during fall. You will be able to surf as long as you want and you´ll never have too much rubber on you."
YOW Surf Skate
"A great way to cruise through town and to warm up before your next surf. There is plenty of skate parks around."
An all-weather jacket and a beanie
"These are essential for early morning surf checks. Bring some short pants as well, it can get hot during the day.
Arnette shades, cut back model
Tag Heuer watch
"Remember that our lunch time is at 2 p.m. and dinner will be served around 9 p.m. Good news for our international friends: You can eat tapas all day long."
Super 8 camera
"I love my Super 8, but, yes, iPhones have a super 8 application as well."
“Las inquietudes de Shanti Andia" by Pio Baroja
"Written in the early 1900s, this book gives you a lot of knowledge about our ancestors. We have strong roots with the ocean and we still have the same habits like back in the days."