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Sakoneta, probably the 'grooviest' (and weirdest) beach in Spain
05 April 2021 @ 17:37

'WINDSWEPT' might be a way of describing one of Spain's oddest-looking beaches, or perhaps 'ploughed' – but the Sakoneta, as well as a photographer's and social media-user's dream, is also a geologist's paradise and a window on the world aeons before we as a species got here.

Hard to believe Sakoneta beach is entirely naturally created - and tens of millions of years old (photo: Donosti City TV on YouTube)

If beaches, for you, only hold any attraction where they're palm-fringed with velvety, golden sands, turquoise waters, parasols, kiosks, sunbeds, port-a-loos and foot-showers, this chunk of coast in Deva, Guipúzcoa province – of which the capital is San Sebastián – is unlikely to be on your travel bucket list; but if raw nature, Jurassic landscape and unique, one-off panoramas are your thing, this officially-protected Basque Country biosphere is very much worth the detour.

Known as 'Deba' in the regional language, euskera, the shores of the town sit between Haitzandi and Haitzabal and form part of the Deba-Zumaia bio-reserve, an eight-kilometre slice of cliffs that look as though they were turned out of a jelly-mould and then hit by a gale heading north before they were properly set. 

Rippled surface covered in heathland grass on the top, and barcode furrows on the ground, the rockface in the middle looks as though it had been sliced with a bread-knife.

It's hard to believe Sakoneta beach's design is pure accident.

Part of the northern Basque Country 'Flysch Route', the cove is perhaps one of the most striking examples along its length: Formed during the early Cretaceous era, after the end of the mass extinction that finished off the Jurassic period – so, about 100 million to 65 million years ago – the system runs from the Andutz fault, a 700-metre-thick plate of limestone and marl (calcite mudstone) strata interspersed with turbidite deposits.



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