Sea Arches along the Coast in Northern Spain

 Date: 30-Apr-2024Category:

Sea Arch with Tide Pool in Northern Spain

Colorful sea arches, rocks and tide pools

Well, I guess it's no longer a secret. We fell in love with the rugged coast in Northern Spain. The Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia - each of these places features different highlights. Tilted layers of sedimentary rocks eroded by the water, pinkish and orange sandstone, and tide pools with an incredible diversity of colors, textures and living creatures. And sea arches of course! Probably more sea arches than you can ever visit in your lifetime. Nevertheless we tried our best and visited as many as we could during our latest trip now in April/May 2024.
After a careful preparation at home (studying the tide charts along with sunrise/sunset tables), we spent additional hours scouting on site. Some of the cliffs were terribly high and steep with no obvious paths leading anywhere, and especially not to the secluded coves we wanted to reach. And even down at the water's edge the navigation remained challenging (slippery rocks all over the place and deep water channels or tide pools to be crossed). But all this was a lot easier now in spring than during our winter trip in December 2023, since the sea was much calmer. Many spots along the coast in Northern Spain can't be accessed at all when the wave height is above average.
On our most exciting day we found a cave system and a total of eight arches, all located close to each other and only accessible at extremly low tide. Whereas "accessible" has to be put in quotation marks, since the access still involved some deep water at the lowest tide possible. Nevertheless it was fun doing all those exploratory trips. We came across a sea cave full of percebes, also known as "goose barnacles" in English. They grow on treacherous intertidal areas and are hard to harvest, making them one of the world's most expensive seafoods. The price of 1 kilogram is usually between $100 and $250. We haven't tried them yet. Somehow these crustaceans did not really look "edible enough" for us. But who knows, maybe we should give it a try next time?
To be continued... ;-)

Image data: 2 s at f/16, ISO 100, three-stop ND filter, Canon RF 14-35 mm, f4 L IS USM at 14 mm, Canon EOS R5