Pilgrimage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

A pilgrimage in honour of the saint of the islet and a pilgrimage to the hermitage are held on 24 June.

Marijesiak

Ancient tradition that is still maintained in several municipalities of Urdaibai and is connected to Christmas. It consists of going out onto the streets to sing in the early morning on the nine days prior to 25th December. They are verses in Basque on the mystery of Christmas and the birth of Christ. Gautegiz Arteaga, Ea, Ibarrangelu, Muxika and Gernika are the towns that preserve this tradition. On many occasions, it is the children who preserve it in exchange for “alms” on the last day of the singing. In Guernica-Lumo the marijeses choirs enjoy great tradition and expectation. They go out onto the streets at 4 a.m.; adult voices that sweeten the dreams of those sleeping in their homes. What is raised on the last day is always given to the old people’s home. It is believed that the origin lies in a piece of theatre that over time became street singing.

Mundaka carnivals. Aratusteak

These are singular, unique carnivals, also called Aratuste. Men and women take to the streets. The men, or atorrak, in the morning, wearing a skirt, blouse and white trousers, and a hooded cloak and colourful handkerchief; and the women, or lamiak, in the afternoon, wearing black and with their faces covered in white make-up. The music is another important part because both the atorrak and the lamiak liven things up with enjoyable tunes. An ancestral tradition in which having fun is obligatory and which is experienced in Mundaka in a devoted manner.

Madalena. Elantxobe

This is celebrated on 22nd July and is a date that all inhabitants of Urdaibai have in their diary. A seafaring tradition festivity that is celebrated jointly by the municipalities of Bermeo, Elantxobe and Mundaka, and that has a curious story as its origin. In a festive and brotherly atmosphere between the towns of Bermeo, Mundaka and Elantxobe, the town of Bermeo confirms ownership of the island in a traditional seafaring procession, in which the mayor of Bermeo throws a shingle into the sea while, in a reaffirmation of the possession of the island, proclaims: “this is where Bermeo’s outlying areas reach” (“honaino heltzen dira Bermeoko itxuginak”, in Basque). A festival that begins very early, where the important things are the ambience, music and good humour. Some decide to celebrate in Bermeo and others in Elantxobe, and those with a boat have the good fortune to join the official cortege and enjoy a lively journey. It is also characteristic to dress in blue, with the traditional nankeen dress of our fishermen.

Madalena. Bermeo

This is celebrated on 22nd July and is a date that all inhabitants of Urdaibai have in their diary. A seafaring tradition festivity that is celebrated jointly by the municipalities of Bermeo, Elantxobe and Mundaka, and that has a curious story as its origin. In a festive and brotherly atmosphere between the towns of Bermeo, Mundaka and Elantxobe, the town of Bermeo confirms ownership of the island in a traditional seafaring procession, in which the mayor of Bermeo throws a shingle into the sea while, in a reaffirmation of the possession of the island, proclaims: “this is where Bermeo’s outlying areas reach” (“honaino heltzen dira Bermeoko itxuginak”, in Basque). A festival that begins very early, where the important things are the ambience, music and good humour. Some decide to celebrate in Bermeo and others in Elantxobe, and those with a boat have the good fortune to join the official cortege and enjoy a lively journey. It is also characteristic to dress in blue, with the traditional nankeen dress of our fishermen.

Madalena. Mundaka

This is celebrated on 22nd July and is a date that all inhabitants of Urdaibai have in their diary. A seafaring tradition festivity that is celebrated jointly by the municipalities of Bermeo, Elantxobe and Mundaka, and that has a curious story as its origin. In a festive and brotherly atmosphere between the towns of Bermeo, Mundaka and Elantxobe, the town of Bermeo confirms ownership of the island in a traditional seafaring procession, in which the mayor of Bermeo throws a shingle into the sea while, in a reaffirmation of the possession of the island, proclaims: “this is where Bermeo’s outlying areas reach” (“honaino heltzen dira Bermeoko itxuginak”, in Basque). A festival that begins very early, where the important things are the ambience, music and good humour. Some decide to celebrate in Bermeo and others in Elantxobe, and those with a boat have the good fortune to join the official cortege and enjoy a lively journey. It is also characteristic to dress in blue, with the traditional nankeen dress of our fishermen.

Gernika Last Monday of October. Market

Its title exactly defines the day on which it is held and brings together hundreds of farmers, artisans and livestock farmers from all over the Basque Country. The main streets of the regional city are turned into a great market; the local field workers put their best produce on sale, displayed with care and delicacy. Each year almost 100,000 people attend this show, excited about the possibility to buy quality raw materials and the good atmosphere it creates. The traditional cheese auction generates much curiosity, which reaches unbelievable prices of over 6,000 euros. Bertsolaris, musical entertainment and sport in the afternoon, with cesta punta games on the Jai Alai fronton and hand ball matches, complete the festival day.

Bermeo Fish market

The most important sea-related fair in the Basque Country. The local gastronomy is characterised by heritage, crafts and art. The food reflects the different periods of our history. They show what we were and what we are, and an example of this is our industry and our way of life. Fishermen and fishermen, preserves and corners.

ATXURRA

Atxurra Country Hotel-Apartment is a hotel in Urdaibai Reserve in Bermeo (Bizkaia) very close to Bilbao and its airport.

The Atxurra Hotel has 12 spacious rooms and 4 fully equipped apartments. The Hotel is surrounded by a rural and nature setting, because of its strategic location.

HEMINGWAY KANALA HOUSE

Hemingway Canal House is located in the Busturian Valley. It has several apartments and bedrooms, gardens, free wifi, fully equipped kitchens, free electric vehicle recharge and all the amenities you deserve.

URDAIBAI KM0

The Urdaibai Km0 Apartments are located on the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, in Busturia, near the Madariaga Tower Ekoetxea Urdaibai Equipment. It is a soustanaible building, newly built, and is carefully integrated with the Urdaibai natural environment.

ASTOBIETA

Located in the heart of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, the Astobieta farmhouse is an ideal place to relax and enjoy an incomparable natural environment, traditional gastronomy and culture. The farmhouse, more than 150 years old, has been recently restored and therefore has all kinds of comforts; spacious rooms, living room with fireplace and TV, lounge-dining room, central heating, wifi, equipped kitchen, separate entrance and parking, all surrounded by 10,000 m2 of fruit trees and indigenous trees.

GAMETXO

The Gametxo cottage annexed to our apartment building offers simple rural-style accommodation in the heart of Urdaibai with all the comforts. It is perfect for a group getaway for up to 12 people due to its spaciousness, equipment and the large communal areas it offers guests on the two levels into which it is divided.

IBERREKO ERROTA

Old mill completely renovated in the Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai, 20 minutes from Bilbao and 15 minutes from the beaches. Accessible,with terrace and surrounded by green areas.

PORTUONDO

Its privileged location on the banks of the Mundaka estuary, opposite Laida beach and in the heart of Urdaibai, makes Portuondo Campsite an exceptional place to spend a few days' rest.

LURDEIA

Charming country house with views of the Bay of Biscay. Is located in a picturesque stone building on an organic farm in the foothills of Mount Sollube.

ARRIZURIETA

Located in Bermeo, near the Biosphere Reserve of Uraibai, Arrizurieta land-hostel is situated in a beautiful area surrounded by nature and well communicated. It is strategically located along the routes of nearby tourist destinations such as Bermeo, Bakio, Mungia, Mundaka, Gernika-Lumo or Bilbao. It is 20 minutes from Bilbao Airport and has Bermeo-Bilbo-Bermeo route bus stop.

APARTAMENTOS MUNDAKA

The flats are located in Mundaka, in the heart of the Basque Coast and offer magnificent views of the sea and the beach. Only half an hour from Bilbao

ANGIZ

Angiz Country Eco Hotel is located on a redeveloped farm that serves the needs of customers. The hotel is located in the Biosphere Reserve of Uraibai, in the San Bartolome district of Busturia, and is situated near Gernika, Mundaka and Bermeo.

MUNDAKA

From the restoration of a historic building in the center of an old fisherman’s town, borns in 1995 the Eco-Hotel Mundaka, a family project that works with care day by day to offer the best service and an unforgettable stay.

CASTILLO DE ARTEAGA

The Arteaga Castle was remodelled by Empress Maria Eugenia de Montijo and today the ornamental and decorative elements have been preserved, maintaining the essence and atmosphere of forgotten times.

IBAIGUNE

Hotel Ibaigune is located in the village of Murueta, 4 km from Mundaka and 5 km from Gernika, in the heart of the Urdabai Biosphere Reserve. The hotel is a perfect resting place for those who want to surf the famous left wave of Mundaka, visit the Oma Forest or the beautiful hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

ERMINTXO

Hotel Ermintxo offers all the guarantees to enjoy relaxation and tranquillity with natural landscapes of unusual beauty, surrounded by sea and mountains. It is the perfect place to spend a few pleasant days surrounded by nature and tranquillity. Its location makes it an ideal base for excursions to nearby villages.

EA ASTEI

Five lodgings with swimming pool, txoko, gardens, free wifi, fully equipped kitchens, free charging for electric vehicles and all the comforts.

ETXELAIA

Etxelaia is located in Gautegiz Arteaga, in the Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai, a luxurious building, in a luxurious surroundings.

NAFARROLA

Looking towards the sea and the foothills of the mountain, surrounded by pastures and pure nature, in Bermeo, in the heart of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and just a few minutes from San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Hotel Nafarrola offers its guests a space of peace and tranquility within the framework incomparable of a farmhouse proposed as monument.

MADAIXAGANE

A traditional cuisine, with a large vegetable garden base, high quality natural and seasonal produce, as well as meats and raw materials from the area. With a "zero kilometre" philosophy.

ALMIKETXU

The Almiketxu Grill Restaurant is a restored farmhouse dating back to 1850 and located in the Almike neighbourhood, 5 minutes from Bermeo.

ARITA BERRI

Built in 1986 on the structure of a 19th-century farmhouse, the AritaBerri restaurant offers traditional food with avargarde touches in front of a large coastal landscape.

BASERRI MAITEA

Basque cuisine in traditional tipology building, with farmhouse stile.

KATXI

The Katxi restaurant has a history of nearly 200 years and has some innovative touch and many traditional dishes with high quality products.

LEZIKA

At the foot of Mount Ereñozar lies the restaurant of Lezika, near the caverns of Santi Mamiñe, Basondo and Omako forest.

PORTUONDO

It´s privileged location overlooking the Mundaka estuary, and in front of Laida beach, makes the Portuondo Restaurant a unique vantage point from which to enjoy exceptional views while tasting the dishes on its menu, a beautiful window onto Urdaibai. It has its own car park and a free shuttle service for transfers from Gernika and Bermeo. It also has WIFI and a children's playground.

REMENETXE

A typical Basque Country farmhouse converted into a restaurant in 1987, where you can enjoy traditional cuisine with a few signature touches.

BODEGA BERROJA

The Berroja winery is in Muxika, in the heart of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. On the 24-acre surface of the winery, plants a variety of autoctones black and white Hondarrabi and foreigner Riesling and Syrah. They cultivate vineyard cultivation with integrated production techniques and sustainability parameters within the concept of circular economy. Txakoli is made with tolerable criteria in the barrel, reducing the use of external additives, and making the best use of the acid and differentiation characteristics given by the local varieties. They cultivate enogastronomical activities using a local product, KM0, for individuals as well as family and business groups. The social space of the winery has an space for 200 people, equipped with visual resources and industrial cooking.

BODEGA ITSASMENDI

Discover the magic of txakoli. It is a natural Bodega, complex and plentiful and constantly evolving, like the Biosphere Reservation, where the mountains meet the sea. Vanguard craftsmen of pomegranate and winemaking, the innovative, bold barrel, but with all due respect for origin from the natural environment, landscape, and history. 360º enoturism, where nature will guide your emotions in the experiences of knowing the magic of the txakoli.

BODEGA AMUNATEGI

Txakoli Amunategi belongs to the Bizkaiko Txakolina Designation of Origin and has its origins in the family farmhouse of the same name, located in a dominant position overlooking the San Bartolomé valley in the municipality of Busturia (Bizkaia). For centuries, generation after generation, at the Amunategi farmhouse we have been making txakoli in the traditional way, although the oldest written reference to this activity dates back to 1812.

CONSERVAS CAMPOS

White Tuna Canneries in Bermeo

CONSERVAS SERRATS

In 1890, José Serrats established himself industrially in Bermeo, with the aim of preserving and taking the delicious freshness and flavour of the products of the Cantabrian Sea to the most distant places. Helped by the exceptional quality of the fish, he introduced new preservation techniques from France, which allowed him to quickly introduce his products into the European markets. In 1914, "Hijos de José Serrats, S.A." also began to export to the North American market.

CONSERVAS ZALLO

Conservas Zallo was founded in 1926 by Atanasio Zallo. Since then, the company has been dedicated to the traditional production of canned and semi-canned fish, especially White Tuna, Cantabrian Anchovy and Yellowfin Tuna.

CONSERVAS ARROYABE

Arroyabe produces canned White Tuna, Cantabrian Anchovies, Yellowfin Tuna and shellfish following traditional methods.

UR URDAIBAI

A marine tourism, adventure and natural activity center. Water activities in canoe and kayak, downpours, stand up paddle rides. Training courses on picturalism and stand-up paddle, sea kayak routes. Activities for the general public include services for individuals, couples, family groups, school groups, youth groups, and business groups. Enjoy your adventure on the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve.

LAGA SURF CAMP

Laga Surf Camp is a surf camp and surf school located in the municipality of Ibarrangelu, Bizkaia, in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, one of the most beautiful places in the Basque Country.

MUNDAKA SURF SHOP

Mundaka Surf Shop is located a few meters from the famous left hand wave of Mundaka.

URDAIBAI KIROLEROAK

We have decided to make our hobbies a way of life and thus show our environment to tourists and natives of the Urdaibai area.

WILLEX TOURS

Wilex tours offers international guided tours, specialised in nature and animal observation.

IZKIRA URDAIBAI

Hop on-Hop off points at the port of Mundaka and at the Portuondo pier (Sukarrieta). Guided routes: "Urdaibai tide track"s and Mundaka-Ogoño-Elantxobe. Hiking and tourist excursions along the Mundaka river and inner Urdaibai, from Mundaka to Gaztelugatxe and Mundaka-Elantxobe. Geological walks along the Mundaka river and Birdwaching in the marshes of Urdaibai. Pets and bicycles are allowed.

URDAIBAI BOAT

Urdaibai boat trips

EKOBIDEAK

The Center for Geology and Environment promotes small-scale technology, and focuses on geotourism, forest baths, and environmental education.

VISIT URDAIBAI bai NUEVA EUROPA SL

In Gernika-Lumo since 1995. His taste for local culture is at the root of his activity. Directed to the general public, with the original offer of directional quality visits, programmed and made at pleasure, to interpret the legacy from the severity of scientific knowledge through a responsible documentation. The tourist offering, based primarily on culture and nature, combines material heritage, immaterial history, biodiversity and social context to encourage new ways of looking and knowing. Family tourism and active tourism, with pedestrian and electric bicycle visits, have an important space on offer, interesting to the specialized public and accessible to the general public.

NATURTEK

Geological routes and workshops

HEGALUZE

Tourism trips by boat in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve estuary and regular sea transport between Mundaka-Sukarrieta-Laida beach, with hop on/hop off points in Mundaka port and the Portuondo pantry (Sukarrieta).

URDAIBAI ON

Sightseeing and cultural boat trips in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve

URDAILIFE

Guided tours to discover the most hidden Urdaibai. Private tours with or without a guide

EKOETXEA URDAIBAI

The Madariaga Tower in Busturia houses Ekoetxea Urdaibai, a centre belonging to the Basque Government's Ekoetxea Network that focuses its work on Education for Sustainability. Activities for all audiences, exhibitions and the Didactic School Programme make up its offer to provide citizens with experiences that invite them to get to know and enjoy the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, to understand its value and to commit themselves to its care.it has large outdoor spaces, a children's play area, a bar-cafeteria and a viewpoint with spectacular views over the Urdaibai marshes.

URDAIBAI BIRD CENTER

Urdaibai Bird Center is a space open to the public. A great bird research centre and a privileged observatory of the tideland, it is ultimately a great live museum of nature where birds set the course. An obligatory stop for ornithology lovers and for all those who enjoy the spectacle of nature. It is located in Gautegiz Arteaga, in the very heart of the Reserve, and has some amazing views. It is a centre managed by the Aranzadi Sciences Society, which is engaged in scientific research and dissemination on birds, their migrations and the habitats where they live.

SANTIMAMINE

Santimamiñe Cave is the most important archaeological site in Bizkaia. It preserves the remains of human settlements dating back more than 14,000 years and contains almost fifty cave paintings of great beauty, depicting bison, horses, a bear, a deer…

BASONDO

Basondo is a Wildlife Refuge. In its facilities you will find animals from our environment such as roe deer, wild boars, deer, foxes, wildcats... most of them from different Recovery Centres. Almost all of them are animals that have an irreversible injury and are therefore unable to be reintroduced into the wild.

BBK Urdaibai Center

The BBK Urdaibai Center offers a new experience in which visitors can go deeper into climate change and sustainability.

The Casa de Juntas and the Tree of Gernika

The Casa de Juntas and the Tree of Gernika form a monumental complex declared a Cultural Heritage Site, and are, above all, a symbol of the history of Biscay and the Basque Country. The heart of the complex is the Tree of Gernika. This oak tree is the most universal symbol of all Basques and is the site of important acts, such as the taking of office and the swearing in of the Lehendakari (President of the Basque Government) and of the General Councillor of Biscay. The current Tree of Gernika was planted in 2014 and all have been shoots from the first Tree of Gernika which is remembered. In the garden of the Casa de Juntas is the so-called Old Tree. While not the first of all the Trees of Gernika, it is the oldest remains that have been conserved. The Casa de Juntas is a Neoclassical building that was built between 1826 and 1833 under the leadership of the architect Antonio de Etxebarria. Before it was built, the sessions were held at the Santa María de la Antigua Hermitage, demolished to undertake the construction of the current building.

Euskal Herria Museum

This is a museum where you can learn about the cultural, political and historical history of the Basque Country. It is in Guernica-Lumo, next to the Casa de Juntas and the Tree of Guernica, and is housed in the Baroque palace of Alegría. This museum was created by the Regional Government of Biscay to exhibit the cultural, historical and political significance of the region in which it is located and to explain the characteristics of the spiritual community that makes up the Basque Country.

Gernika Museum of Peace

This is a themed museum dedicated to the culture of peace and human rights. The origin of the museum lies in the fateful bombing the town of Guernica-Lumo sustained in 1937. The reconstruction, forgiveness and peace resulted in this museum. Interactive and with activities for a varied public. Visiting it will leave its mark on you.

Fisherman´s Museum

The historic Ercilla Tower, declared a National Monument in 1943, has since 1948 been home to the rooms of the Arrantzaleen Museoa. Here you will share and understand the life and work of Basque fishermen. The museum describes their life and customs, the boats they have used and the techniques they have employed over time for fishing and the selling of fish. We can also learn about the history of the Basque Auxiliary Navy, whose primary core was made up of Basque fishermen. There is also a space dedicated to learning about the history of Ercilla Tower, a building from the late 15th century, merely urban and commercial and the site of an illustrious family of merchants.

OFICINA TURISMO BERMEO

Tourist information centre in Bermeo

OFICINA TURISMO GERNIKA

Tourist information centre in Gernika

OFICINA TURISMO MUNDAKA

Tourist information centre in Mundaka

The Casa de Juntas and the Tree of Gernika

The Casa de Juntas and the Tree of Gernika form a monumental complex declared a Cultural Heritage Site, and are, above all, a symbol of the history of Biscay and the Basque Country. The heart of the complex is the Tree of Gernika. This oak tree is the most universal symbol of all Basques and is the site of important acts, such as the taking of office and the swearing in of the Lehendakari (President of the Basque Government) and of the General Councillor of Biscay. The current Tree of Gernika was planted in 2014 and all have been shoots from the first Tree of Gernika which is remembered. In the garden of the Casa de Juntas is the so-called Old Tree. While not the first of all the Trees of Gernika, it is the oldest remains that have been conserved. The Casa de Juntas is a Neoclassical building that was built between 1826 and 1833 under the leadership of the architect Antonio de Etxebarria. Before it was built, the sessions were held at the Santa María de la Antigua Hermitage, demolished to undertake the construction of the current building.

Air raid shelters

Gernika had several shelters, both public and private, with capacity for 3,000 persons. They have been preserved and two of them can be visited. The Astra shelter saved the lives of those who sheltered for more than four hours during the 1937 bombing. It was built from concrete with a domed roof, so that it was safer in the event of impact. This construction was “hidden” under a false roof that, from a bird’s perspective, looks like a house. Pasealeku shelter had tunnels that were 16 feet long and 6.6 feet wide and high. Here you can have a unique experience through the recreation of the bombing, using images and audio material.

The Old Port

Portuzarra or the old port, is the small traditional fisherman’s port of the village. The houses of fishermen hold on to their design and medieval form. Other than the changes made to the facades, the majority of the homes follow the original blueprints. We can find the oldest fountain in Bizkaia built at the end of the XVI century.

Old Town Bermeo

The current day Casco Viejo represents exactly what the medieval village once was, times in which Bermeo became the head of the Lordships of Bizkaia. Streets oriented from east to west cross with streets that go up and down irregular inclines forming one of the oldest a greatest historical centers the Basque Country has to offer.

The San Juan Arch

The San Juan arch is the only left standing out of seven arches that originally formed a medieval wall. The gates connected the old town to the main paths. The arch is named after San Juan because it is the arch that’s path led to the hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (named after John the Baptist). This was the main gate of the wall because of the structure above the arch in shape of a tower. The XIV century arch has an interior and exterior gate. The interior gate is shorter with a lower pitch, while the exterior is taller and ends in a point. In the space between them the gate could be opened and closed. Above the interior arch there is an opening in the wall with the image of Saint John inside.

Urtubiaga Foundry

The passage of time has made the remains of the Urtubiaga Mill and Foundry in Ea merge into their pastoral environment. The walls, arches and ancient reservoirs rest after their industrial past as a source of wealth. Early references locate this industrial complex in the 15th century. Today they are monuments of cultural interest. A pretty trail that leaves the city of Ea takes you to the mill and foundry. A tour on foot, totally accessible and of great natural and cultural value that follows the paths of the ancient traditional way and the actual water channel of the ancient foundry.

Jai Alai Playcourt

"Jai alai" means "merrymaking" in Basque. It is as much a celebration as it is a sport. See the fastest sport in one of the biggest working courts in the world. Learn first hand just how rough and powerful this sport can be. The Gernika Jai Alai court is one the biggest operational courts of its type in the world. It was designed by Secundino Zuazo, one of Spain’s leading architects of the 20th century, and first opened in 1963. It is included in the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest sport in the world: the ball may travel at up to 300 km per hour. It is acknowledged by players of the game to be the finest court in the world.

Gernika Market

Every Monday, people buying and selling farm products from the whole Busturialdea region gather at the Gernika market. In fact, this Monday market can be thought of as meeting point for local residents. It continues to play its social role as it did decades ago, when people did not have as many means at their disposal and Monday was the day not only to buy and sell, but also to socialise. This is one of the few traditional markets still held in Euskal Herria.

Reproduction of Guernica by Picasso

A mosaic of tiles which depicts in puzzle form Picasso’s great work Guernica, the original of which is currently on display at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.

The Ercilla Tower

This XV century tower/home is the oldest civil building that has been preserved in Bermeo. In the historic center of Bermeo there was at one point thirty tower homes. Until the middle of the XX century the Ercilla tower had people living in it. Nowadays, it is the Fishermen’s Museum.

The Franciscan Church and Cloisters

The convent of San Francisco in Bermeo is the oldest in Bizkaia according to provincial documentation. The Lordship of Bizkaia, the Count Tello and his wife Juana de Lara gave the order to construct it the 30th of January 1357. When the Franciscans first arrived to Bermeo, they didn’t find enough space to build their convent inside the town’s walls. Because of this, just as other mendicants in the era did, they built their buildings outside of the towns walls. In this way the San Francisco convent was constructed in front of the Portal de Ferrerías (entrance of the smiths) with a dowry from the Santa Maria de Alboniga monastery. In it’s surroundings shipyards and ironworks were built.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Gaztelugatxe, a magic place. An island that emerged from the constant battle between earth and sea. It’s natural beauty, with arches and caves chiseled throughout centuries, never disappoints it’s visitors. In it’s depths, the sea keeps coral reefs full of color and the image of the Virgin of Begoña. It was a refuge during many battles, for example the resistance against the Crown of Castile. At the same time, since the middle ages it has been a reference for religious beliefs and customs. On the Basque coast it is the most visited by pilgrims, the most important day being the 24th of June.

Church of Santa Eufemia

This is Bermeo’s oldest church. It’s claim to fame is being the church where the lordship swore to uphold the fueros, traditional code of laws granting sovereignty. The Santa Eufemia was originally constructed sometime during the XIII century and then reconstructed towards the end of the XV century. Located between the ports of Bermeo, it’s known as the “church of the port”. We can see examples of the gothic architectural style while observing the windows, doors and rib vaulted ceiling. The church has only one nave, with the choir at one end and the polygonal apse in the front, along with two lateral chapels. Next to the second chapel on the right hand side we have the tomb of the Mendoza family. This tomb previously was the tomb of the Aroztegi family. It was built in the blooming era of gothic architecture. It’s tower was erected in 1783 with one cupola and decorative finials, following the design made by master Gabriel Kapelastegi. It’s claim to fame is being the church where the lordship swore to uphold the fueros, traditional code of laws granting sovereignty. San Emeterio, San Celedonio in Goikoelexea, Larrabetzu and the Andra Mari church in Gernika are the other churches in which the fueros had to be signed by the lordship of Biscay. In 1995 the church was declared a Historical Artistic Monument.

Santa Maria Church

Built when the older Grand Santa Maria de la Atalaya church had fallen down. The church was built throughout 1820-1866 in the center of the village where the palace of the counts of Baños was once situated thanks to the donation of the property by this family. The Santa Maria church is one of the most significant works of neoclassical architecture in Bizkaia. The neoclassical portico (porch area just outside of the church for congregating before and after services, traditional of Basque churches), part of the main façade, draws attention with it’s Doric columns that support a triangular pediment. The church has a ground floor built in the shape of a cross, a semicircular apse and two towers that are connected to the main façade. The central part of the church is covered with a large 8 piece cupola. The rest is covered with smaller cupolas with the exception of the apse and the lateral chapels that are corner pieces. On the inside, the altarpieces are of high quality. The sculpture of the Assumption of Mary is Romanist and probable reused from the old church of Atalaya, a work by Martín Basabe. The construction of the church was ordered in 1783 by Colón de Larreategi, but the construction did not commence until 1823. The blueprints done by the architect Silvestre Pérez were followed and the church was inaugurated in 1858. Every August in Bermeo there is a week dedicated to international music and it is celebrated in this church, making use of the breathtaking organ and the acoustics of the grand cupola.

San Andres Church

This church in its interior has an extraordinary carved wooden and polychrome dome that has been given the title of The Sistine Chapel of Basque Art. This great wooden ceiling with no central arch and with complicated vaulting is decorated with paintings that represent a complex symbolic world: masks, cranes, pumpkins, gentlemen and monsters are just some of the examples we will find mixed in with the purely Catholic figures. It was built in the 16th century to replace another Medieval church on a hillside of the Elexalde neighbourhood in Ibarrangelu. It is easily recognisable by its tower, crowned by a sculpture of the Sacred Heart of Christ.

San Pedro of Atxarre

Hermitage located at the top of the Atxarre mountain. The observatory for the whole Oka river´s sea-branch and its estuary.

Santa Katalina

This is a picture postcard. The beauty of the setting, its strategic location, right at the entrance of the ria, next to the simple beauty of the building, makes for an idyllic photo. The hermitage dates back to the 19th century and is a transition building between Gothic and Renaissance. The walls surrounding the hermitage are ancient remains of the fort from the same era. A pretty path that leaves Mundaka Port takes you easily to the site.

Santimamiñe Cave

This is the most important archaeological site in the Basque Country and a World Heritage Site. A cave that preserves remains of human settlements from over 14,000 years ago, around 50 cave paintings and numerous stalactite and stalagmite formations of great beauty. It is located in the municipality of Kortezubi near Guernica-Lumo.

Oppidum of Arrola

On the summit of Mount Arrola a fortress was built 2,300 years ago that sheltered the local population. An oppidum that shows the way of life of the Iron Age II, with monumental walls, doors and trenches. It is one of the most important fortified towns of eastern Cantabria. To learn more about it, you can also visit Arrolagune, its interpretation centre in the Loiola neighbourhood in Arratzu. Here you will find an exhibition with panels and illustrations, and a recreation of a life size cabin. Guided visits to the oppidum are organised in summer and you can visit Arrolagune Interpretation Center at weekends in the morning.

Roman settlement and historic complex of Forua

This comprises San Martín de Tours Church and the Roman town. The Church is home to 2,000 years of history, constituting the archaeological space with the most complete historic sequence in Biscay. The temple is from the 16th century, but its interior is where we will find remains of a temple from a previous era, ancient necropolis and Roman era buildings. The installation on the ground of a glass platform allows us to enjoy these vestiges that were hidden for centuries. San Martín de Tours Church is connected to the remains of the ancient Roman town of Forua, the main settlement created by Rome in Biscay. Established in the 1st century on a surface area of 14.8 acres, it was inhabited until the 5th century. A strategic site that encourages trade exchanges with other coastal cities in Cantabria and on the coast of Aquitaine. Guided visits are organised in summer.

San Miguel of Ereñozar

Over the town of Ereño, in a privileged spot of unbeatable views, amidst the vestiges of its walls, landscape and legends, is the “Medieval summit” of San Miguel de Ereñozar. The hermitage is visible from almost every corner of the river of Mundaka and you can make out the mountains of Durangaldea from the summit of Ereñozar. There are guided visits to this summit in summer to relive one of the most unknown eras of our history. Archaeological research confirms a historic sequence from the Middle Ages to the present day. Its main elements are: a necropolis with different stages, a parish and a castle, which is no longer. The ascent is relatively simple, except in the last section that has a steep slope. It is around a 40-minute walk from Ereño. In summer, you can enjoy guided visits to the site.

Roman Necropolis of Tribisburu

On Mount Sollube, at over 1,640 ft high, stands the Roman site of Tribisburu, a cremation necropolis used between the 1st and 3rd centuries. It comprises stone enclosures with a square floor, separated from each other by a narrow corridor, which reproduce the mausoleums used to store the remains of the deceased after cremation.

Zarragoitxi

It is an archaeological site located on the summit of Zarragoitxi, and, because of its location, had a defensive function as a fortress castle. As was the case in the several studied castles of the country (Unzueta, Ereñozar), this castle was built around the 1st century BC, at the time when the first lord of Biscay appeared. The C14 analysis of the mortar inside one of the towers is located in the first half of the 1st century. Conte Don Tello left the district and gave his stones to Bermeo to build the wall.

Cantabrian Holm Oak wood

This is one of the most representative ecosystems of Urdaibai and one of its hallmarks. It strongly marks its landscape and conditions its fauna and uses. They are important forests from an ecological and biogeographic points of view, with plant species that need to deal with water scarcity (especially in summer), develop extensive roots and small coriaceous leaves that can retain moisture, thereby avoiding the loss of water through the regulation of their stomas. The Cantabrian holm oak woods of Urdaibai are home to a diverse fauna. Their closed, thick structure makes this forest mass a protected refuge for many animal species. The most representative Cantabrian holm oak masses in Busturialdea are those that stretch from Ogoño Cape to Ereñozar.

The countryside and the Atlantic forest

The countryside is the natural setting of country houses and inhabited cities, made up of a mosaic of meadows, fields and small adjacent forest formations. Its formation is due to the territory’s agricultural and livestock farming. It is the ecosystem that has sustained direct human intervention, a diverse and harmonious landscape, with the presence of traditional Basque country houses of historical and economic importance and surrounded by fields, different animal species, pastures and forest plantations that give it that special uniqueness and wealth, making it one of the most representative landscapes of the Basque Country.

The coastline

This zone comprises two clearly different ecosystems: the coast and sea beds.

Coastline: These are areas of extreme conditions, on a steep gradient or open cliff, and exposed to the inclement nature the sea and wind. Few plant species grow on them. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Aketxe Island, Matxitxako Cape (Bermeo), the great cliffs of Ogoño Cape, the Antzoras coastline and the Cliffs of Lapatza are just some outstanding spots.

Sea bed: Beyond the coast, the marine environment is an ecosystem full of life and much more difficult to see than that of dry land, with a wealth of flora and fauna that is hard to find in other seas. The temperature of the water fluctuates between 10 ºC and 12ºC in winter, reaching 20ºC in summer. The most usual marine species in the waters that bathe the coastline of Busturialdea are molluscs, such as periwinkles, limpets, oysters, octopus and cuttlefish, crustaceans, such as crangon crangon, goose barnacles, lobster and crab or karramarro and fish, such as bass, mojarra, mackerel, Atlantic horse mackerel and red mullet. You can occasionally see large cetaceans in these waters, such as common dolphins or bottlenose dolphins, the fin whale, common minke whale, sperm whale and killer whale.

Red quarry of Ereño

The red quarry of Ereño is the origin of the stone that has dyed our heritage with the famous "Rojo Ereño".

Marsh of Urdaibai

The Urdaibai marshes currently occupy the bottom of the Oka river valley, approximately 10 km long and 1-2 km wide; it is one of the most protected areas of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, a paradise for aquatic birds and invertebrates.

Mundaka, the longest left

It is a gift from the sea to this locality and more specifically to lovers of this sport. The Mundaka break is considered the best left break in Europe. Kelly Slater, Mark Occhilupo, Aritz Aramburu and Kepa Acero have all rode the Mundaka break, as well as all the local surfers who enjoy it each year. The break starts at Mundaka Barra and ends at Laida Beach. It can reach a height of 13 feet and length of 1,312 feet. It is tubular in shape, enabling surfers to look at the entire coast from inside and adding value. Mundaka has hosted the World Circuit nine times.

Ogoño Cape

This rock, on whose hillside stands the picturesque town of Elantxobe, is a natural lookout that gifts us vertiginous panoramic views over Laga Beach, Izaro, Bermeo and our Cantabrian Sea. This impressive limestone mass of vertical walls can be ascended easily from Elantxobe (1.2 miles). A passage amidst the Cantabrian holm oak forest.

Sandindere island

It's amazing that in Oka´s center is an island like Sandindere. Therefore, this island is the most inland of all the islands of Biscay. Covered with a dense forest of Cantaurian oak trees, it is a rock of the High Cretaceous that has been more resistant than the soft triassic materials surrounding it. Sandindere Island is witness of the Urdaibai estuary.

Izaro island

The Isle of Izaro (the largest of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve), on its small four-acre surface, offers us not only an excellent view, but a great deal of information, both culturally and in nature. In the field of nature, we start with geology and make the transition to culture almost unnoticed, though it seems difficult. The materials that make up the island are flysch sediments created 100 million years ago in the Lower Cretaceous of the Black Flysch.

Laga

Wild and open to the sea, it is surrounded by a green landscape presided over by the Ogoño Cape. It belongs to the municipality of Ibarrangelu and is an ideal place to surf.

Laida

Beautiful beach that belongs to the municipality of Ibarrangelu. With two different bathroom areas, one with running water facing the ria and the other open to the sea. Ideal for everyone.

Kanalape

Tucked away sandy area that forms in the ria and is protected by a hillside, giving it a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. Located in Gautegiz Arteaga. Reaching it requires descending a trail on foot.

San Antonio

Open golden sandy beach belonging to the municipality of Sukarrieta and protected by Txatxarramendi Island. Accessible on foot in low tide and well-equipped with a recreational area.

Toña

Open golden sandy beach belonging to the municipality of Sukarrieta and protected by Txatxarramendi Island. Accessible on foot in low tide and well-equipped with a recreational area.

Laidatxu

This is Mundaka’s beach near the city and accessible by foot. With fine, golden sand, it is ideal for families. It has an access ramp and adapted bathroom.

PR-BI 160

Circular path around Mount Atxarre. A route through the holm oak forest, the countryside and the beaches of the coastal area.

PR-BI 161

Circular path around Mount Atxarre. A route through the holm oak forest, the countryside and the beaches of the coastal area.

PR-BI 163

Mills abounded in the rivers of Urdaibai. This easy route will take you to some of them and you will discover the beauty of the marshes.

PR-BI 165

The Ogoño rock faces the Bay of Biscay and is one of the most beautiful coastal watchtowers on our coast. This path takes us to its summit.

PR-BI 167

A route of great natural and cultural interest in an area close to the Golako river, between Zarra (Mendata) and Elexalde-Arratzu.

PR-BI 174

A mountain route through the pastures of Illuntzar and the neighbourhoods of Nabarniz, where the farmhouse still conserves its essence.

PR-BI 176

Mountain route to the Katillotxu dolmen station from the picturesque coastal villages of Sukarrieta and Mundaka.

PR-BI 180

Strolling through the valleys of Basondo and Oma is a way of travelling back in time and enjoying what was and is the way of life linked to the farmhouse.

PR-BI 181

Circular route through the area around Gernika-Lumo, from the heights of Lumo to the paths and walkways of the upper estuary.

PR-BI 182

Enjoy the inland landscape of Urdaibai, a mosaic of forestry plantations and small rural villages, dominated by farmhouses.

GR 38. The Path of of Wine and Fish

GR 38 crosses our region from north to south, formerly by couriers and merchants. They followed the old route between the major fishing ports of Biscay and Araba for the trade of these goods and others. Stage 6. Maguna welcomes us to Urdaibai. And it does so along an old road that used to link Durango with the port of Bermeo.

GR 38. The Path of of Wine and Fish

GR 38 crosses our region from north to south, formerly by couriers and merchants. They followed the old route between the major fishing ports of Biscay and Araba for the trade of these goods and others. Stage 7. The old Royal Road linked Gernika with Bermeo, along old paths and cobbled tracks used by travellers and muleteers.

GR 123. Tour of Biscay

GR 123s crosses the limits of the historic land of Biscay. He crosses them in 19 stages. The path gets into Urdaibai by Lea-Artibai, in the village of Ea, and after crossing the coast, it leaves Urdaibai in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Stage 11. Along the coast, the GR 123 enters Urdaibai via Ea. Along the local paths it joins villages in a contrast of mountain and sea landscapes.

GR 123. Tour of Biscay

GR 123s crosses the limits of the historic land of Biscay. He crosses them in 19 stages. The path gets into Urdaibai by Lea-Artibai, in the village of Ea, and after crossing the coast, it leaves Urdaibai in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Stage 11 bis. This route starts at Laida beach and ends in the town of Sukarrieta. Kanala, Kortezubi on the right bank, or Busturia and Sukarrieta on the left bank are some of the many beautiful spots along this route.

GR 123. Tour of Biscay

GR 123s crosses the limits of the historic land of Biscay. He crosses them in 19 stages. The path gets into Urdaibai by Lea-Artibai, in the village of Ea, and after crossing the coast, it leaves Urdaibai in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Stage 12. Between Sukarrieta and Gaztelugatxe the GR 123 runs along the coastal paths to approach the protected biotope of Gaztelugatxe before continuing towards Uribe.

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Civil Architecture

Jai Alai Playcourt

"Jai alai" means "merrymaking" in Basque. It is as much a celebration as it is a sport. See the fastest sport in one of the biggest working courts in the world. Learn first hand just how rough and powerful this sport can be. The Gernika Jai Alai court is one the biggest operational courts of its type in the world. It was designed by Secundino Zuazo, one of Spain’s leading architects of the 20th century, and first opened in 1963. It is included in the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest sport in the world: the ball may travel at up to 300 km per hour. It is acknowledged by players of the game to be the finest court in the world.

Services:

  • Bizkaibus

  • Euskotren

  • Accesible

Interesting information

  • Access with pets is not allowed
  • Activities: Cesta punta demonstrations