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Basque Coast

Mutriku, Day of the Mackrel

Every first Saturday in April, the fishing village of Mutriku celebrates the Day of the Mackrel or ‘Berdel Eguna’. Supported by the local fishing association, to bring visibility to the local mackerel season that begins in the spring, these once simple and unassuming fish become the star of the show.

Over 4,000 kilos of freshly caught mackerel are served on this day, prepared by locals and chefs dressed in traditional costume dozens of recipes can be sampled from grilled mackerels, to pintxos, puddings, hot and cold apps, stews and more.

The party begins early in the morning and consists of two main routes, the first includes a downhill stroll through the historic town of Mutriku while visiting local establishments. Bar hopping in honor of the Verdel or Berdel, involves sampling the mackerel appetizer concocted by each bar or restaurant owner accompanied by a glass of white wine, beer or sidra (cider). At the bottom of the town lies the port area where the full length of the port has been used to prepare thousands of kilos of mackerel for visitors and locals to enjoy in the afternoon. A small concert, dancing and costumes of people dressed up as fish complete this fun and tasty fiesta. Come dressed in warm clothes if you plan to stay for the evening festivities.

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