angle-left In search for wildlife

In a surface area of 2166km2, Bizkaia is home to 230 animal species. The Urdaibai Bird Centre is perfect for you to learn about the habitat and behaviour of resident and migratory birds, and in the coastal area you will have the chance to embark on a whale watching tour from Bermeo.

Birds in flight will be your photographic subject when you go birding. Did you know that 60% of birds in the Iberian Peninsula fly over the sky of Bizkaia on their migratory routes? Griffon vultures and Egyptian vultures are among them.

The Urdaibai Bird Centre in Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve is the perfect place to understand every aspect of bird habitat and behaviour. The centre is a living museum with world-class facilities and services: bird observatory, tours, information centre, etc. Depending on the season, you can spot specimens of common loon, seahawk, purple heron, common buzzard, northern pintail, western yellow wagtail, and other bird species.

As you come closer to the seashore, the birds are not the same as those in inland nature reserves. In coastal areas you will see red-billed gulls, yellow-legged gulls, and so on. The Gulf of Bizkaia gives you the chance to make out not only birds but cetaceans too. Our coast is home to cetaceans like bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, long-finned pilot whales, Risso’s dolphins, fin whales, northern minke whales, sperm whales, killer whales and Cuvier’s beaked whales.

Routes

There are several boat rides on offer for you to enjoy unique views of the coastline. From Bermeo there are one-hour boat tours offered by Hegaluze.

One of the tours shows the spectacular coastline of Urdaibai from the sea

The comfortable boats take you to Izaro Island, wrapped in mystery, the undersea caves of Ogoño and the fishing villages of Elantxobe and Mundaka.

Another tour gets you close to the famous shrine of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Before appearing in Game of Thrones, the islet on the coast of Bermeo was well-known for its strategic location and was a pilgrimage site for sailors and fishermen. Leave this magical sight behind and head for one of the bars for some pintxos or a restaurant for a great seafood lunch.

How to get there

The Urdaibai Bird Centre can be easily accessed by car. From Bilbao you will drive 45 minutes on a scenic road. You can also get there by bus in one hour.
 

  • Train

    The Euskotren E4 runs from Bilbao (Atxuri Station) to Bermeo. Get off in Gernika to take the Bizkaibus bus A-3526 (Gernika-Laida-Laga-Ibarrangelu).

  • Bus

    Bizkaibus serves two routes with stops at the Urdaibai Bird Centre. From Bilbao, take the A-3513 (Bilbao-Hospital de Galdakao-Galdakao-Gernika-Lekeitio). From Gernika, take the A-3526 (Gernika-Laida-Laga-Ibarrangelu).

  • Car

    From Bilbao, take road N-637 and the Txorierri highway toward San Sebastián. In Amorebieta, take local road BI-365 to Gernika and then the BI-3228 in the direction of Laida. There are road signs giving directions to the Urdaibai Bird Centre.

  • Get ready for an amazing experience at the Urdaibai Bird Centre. No booking in advance required. Audio guides are available that provide in-depth information. The staff at the viewpoint will kindly answer your questions. Look through the telescopes and cameras to spot the birds that live in the lagoon.

    Urdaibai Bird Centre
    Barrio Orueta, 7. 48314 Gautegiz – Arteaga, Bizkaia.
    Teléfono: 946 251 157.
    E-mail: birdcenter@birdcenter.org

    • Timetable

      March to June
      Tuesday to Friday, 11:00am to 2:00pm
      Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 11:00am to 7:00pm
      Closed on Monday

      July and August
      Open daily 11:00am to 7:00pm

      September and October
      Tuesday to Friday, 11:00am to 2:00pm
      Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 11:00am to 7:00pm
      Closed on Monday

      November to March
      Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 11:00am to 5:00pm
      Closed Monday to Thursday

    • Price

      Adults: €5
      Ages 5-12: €2
      Ages 5 or under: Free admission

      Whale watching tours depart from the coastal villages close to Bermeo. At the Port of Bermeo there is a tour operator that organises boat rides for cetacean and marine bird watching. For more information on the tours they offer, check their website.

      Hegaluze (Whale and marine bird watching)
      Puerto Viejo. 48370 Bermeo, Bizkaia.
      Phone number: +34 666 791 921
      Email address: info@hegaluze.com
      From April to October
      Adults: €40
      Children under 12: €28

    • Location

      Urdaibai (Busturialdea)

  • If you are a nature or bird lover, do not leave your camera at home. You will be able to capture birds in action and take pictures of amazing landscapes in Urdaibai.

    If you embark on a whale watching tour, bring a bottle of water, sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat. The tours usually last 4 to 6 hours. For more information, contact the tour operator.