The serene beauty of green valleys surrounded by mountains that characterises Bizkaia makes it the perfect place to go hiking or kayaking, and to discover wonderful villages. Experience the adventure of a lifetime!
Bizkaia’s seaside towns like Lekeitio and Bermeo will leave you speechless. The Cantabrian Sea is perfect to do all kinds of water sports. You can go surfing in Mundaka’s Left-Hand Wave or enjoy the beaches in Sopela or Bakio. But if such an active holiday is not your cup of tea, you’d better head for Laida, Laga, Meñakotz, Barinatxe and Barrika, or the natural heaven of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve.
In the hinterland, the Pozalagua Cave is waiting for you at the heart of Armañón Nature Park. In Gorbeia you will discover what shepherds do for a living. In Urkiola you will encounter goddesses, lamias and other mythological creatures. Bizkaia’s countryside is ideal to get active outdoors. It has unrivalled spots to go hiking, climbing, mountaineering or biking. The list of activities goes on and on.
Open-minded and friendly
Bizkaia likes you just the way you are; here you are free to be yourself
Whether you are an active traveller or you prefer to go at a slower pace, there is always something for you in Bizkaia. If you are looking for adventure, the mountains are your destination. If you want to relax instead, there is nothing like a day on one of our beautiful beaches.
If you feel good when you are in contact in nature, you could not have picked a better destination. In the north, our extensive fine-sand beaches line the coast bathed by the Cantabrian Sea. Atxabiribil and Barinatxe, in Sopela, are beautiful beaches, but they can get crowded in the summer season. Meñakotz, Azkorri and Barrika are secluded enough for nudity, as is Barinatxe, also known as La Salvaje. To the east, there are the sands of Plentzia and Gorliz, while in Urdaibai the top beaches are Laida and Laga.
Meñakotz, Azkorri, Barrika and La Salvaje are secluded enough for an all-over tan
In the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, located between Bakio and Bermeo, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a must-visit place. The islet found fame as a Game of Thrones location, but even before the series was released, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe was one of our most treasured shrines. Fishermen would ask the saint for protection in the past.
Inland, you can do almost every outdoor sport at Armañón, Gorbeia and Urkiola Nature Parks. In Armañón, you can explore large underground caves. In Gorbeia, there are trails leading to grasslands where shepherds have tended their livestock for centuries. From the wrought-iron cross standing atop Mount Gorbeia, the panoramic views are really amazing. Home to mythological creatures, Urkiola is wrapped in magic. Inside the park is the shrine of San Antonio Abad and San Antonio de Padua. From this spot, you can follow numerous paths that lead to the dwellings of goddess Mari, the lamias (half women, half animals), witches and other characters from Basque legends. You will walk through forests, meadows and caves that are brimming with life.
Ride a kayak in the river that flows through Bilbao. It is a fun way to take a look at the city from a different angle. The tour starts by the Town Hall in central Bilbao and ends at the dam of La Peña. You will pass under the Ayuntamiento Bridge and then under the Arenal Bridge, from which you will catch a full view of the beautiful Arriaga Theatre. The tour continues by the traditional La Ribera Market and under La Merced Bridge until it reaches its final destination in La Peña.
Once you have toured the coastal area and the interior of Bizkaia, you should come to the capital, Bilbao, to explore its watery backbone – the Nervión
Paddling in the opposite direction, the tour starts at the Ayuntamiento Bridge and goes under the Zubizuri Bridge, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, with the Isozaki Towers in the background. Leave the colossal La Salve Bridge behind to admire the glittering titanium skin of the Guggenheim Museum.
Continue paddling under the modern Pedro Arrupe footbridge to see the University of Deusto on your right. Soon, you will be under Deusto Bridge (an old iron drawbridge), with the Euskalduna Conference Centre on the left. The sights that come inmediately afterwards are the Maritime Museum and the Carola crane, where you will reach the city boundary.
If you continue paddling, you will reach the Bizkaia Bridge and the industrial area of the Ría, peppered with the remains of manufacturing plants and blast furnaces like the ones that used to belong to Altos Hornos de Bizkaia. The kayak tour along the river estuary is a fun thing to do with your family in Bilbao.
For a more romantic plan, try a boat ride in the Ría by night. The views of the city lights from the river estuary are fabulous.
How to get there
Where to eat
On the coast, you can have freshly caught cod, marmitako (fish stew), sardines and all the seafood you can imagine. After trying Bizkaia’s fish and seafood, you will hardly forget their awesome flavours.
Travel inland to try for hearty dishes like alubiada (bean stew), porrusalda (vegetable soup) or pisto (vegetable paste), prepared with fresh ingredients from local gardens or baserris (farmhouses). Their meat and dairy products (from both cow and sheep milk) are world-famous.