Introducing us to the Bay of Biscay is ‘Itxaso and the Sea,’ a teen drama show from the mind of creator María Cortés, set on the tranquil oceanfront of the Basque Country. The Netflix series follows a 17-year-old resident of Mexico, Itxaso, who is forced to uproot her life and move after her mother passes away. She has only an estranged father to rely on, who lives in a coastal town in Spain. Her father, Mikel, is a former surfing champion who manages a modest surf school and is a relative stranger to Itxaso. She feels at odds with him, out of place in her own homeland, and plans to move out as soon as she turns 18 in the coming summer.
Yet, the rustic charm of Biscay begins to grow on her, and she soon makes friends with other teens attending her father’s school, even getting romantically involved with an oddball, Urko. She begins to warm up to her father, but soon they find themselves in a situation where he may need her help as much as she needs his. There is more going on beneath the serenade surface of this quaint town than meets the eye. What does more than meet the eye, however, are the paradisiacal visuals on display throughout the series. With such a buffet being presented for the senses, fans may find themselves wanting to know more about the locations where the series is filmed.
Itxaso and the Sea Filming Locations
The series is set in the Basque Country, an autonomous region in northern Spain. All the locations used in the show throughout its narrative remain true to their real-world counterparts. Filming for the inaugural season of the Spanish series commenced in September of 2022 and was completed within two months by November of the same year. Let’s dive deeper into the specifics of the enchanting Mediterranean landscapes we see in ‘Itxaso and the Sea.’
‘Itxaso and the Sea’ is set and filmed entirely within the Biscay province in northern Spain. A territory of the Basque Country, it is home to cities, rural expanses, and several mesmerizing beaches especially suited for surfing. Filming for the show has taken place more towards the rural side of the province, among beaches and coastal villages. Plenetzia and Gorlizeko are twin towns with a beautiful crescent beach punctuated by a rocky cliff and have been featured in the background in multiple episodes of the series.
Sopelana Beach (Playa de Sopelana) served as a quieter setting, especially suited for surfing and swimming scenes, where a substantial number of the film’s beach shots have been lensed alongside its surfing scenes. With surfing being a central element of the series, it was imperative to have beaches with tides fit for the cast to practice in, and ultimately ride the waves for the camera. As the characters surf, they are often framed by a rocky, vegetated cliffside behind them, a series of which can be observed on either side of Playa de Sopelana. The beach is known for its unspoiled beauty, large waves, and as a nudist retreat.
For a more urban backdrop, the cast and crew also frequented Muskiz, a rustic town with abundant vegetation and backwater channels from the bay passing through it. Its colorful midrises are captured in some scenes of the show, with rolling green hills presiding over them. Rainfall in the Basque region is quite abundant, and some episodes in the show sport a cloudy and gloomy look as a result.
The near-kilometer-long La Arena beach falls between Muskiz and Zierbena. It is the easternmost beach in the Basque Country and is regarded as one of the best beaches for surfers. Naturally, the film had to make use of this magnificent location, as seen in the father-daughter conversation between our leads while taking a walk along La Arena beach with their surfboards.
With such perfectly placed scenery and atmosphere for the plot and its characters, it would not be surprising if the show’s creator was inspired by the coastal retreat to write it in the first place. The gorgeous sights in Basque may have been beheld previously by audiences of ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Enemy,’ James Bond’s ‘The World Is Not Enough,’ ‘The Invisible Guest,’ and ‘Jupiter Ascending.’
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