From the farm to the table
Appetisers and main courses alike hide locally grown treasures, well-known for their top quality
One of the characteristics that make Basque food so special is the way ingredients are handled. Farms in Bizkaia tend to be small, and most products are artfully and lovingly processed by hand.
Peppers from Gernika, mushrooms, Idiazabal cheese, red onions from Zalla, honey, tomato and lettuce grown in the Basque Country will be your favourites on your trip across Bizkaia.
You will find them at any time of year at farmers’ markets and specialty stores in every town in Bizkaia. Treat yourself to our delicacies!
A taste of Basque cuisine
Culinary Nation's heart
Hand-harvested foods are part of the Basque identity and enduring traditions. They are used to make age-old dishes that will make your mouth water: red beans with chorizo, ribs and vegetables, vegetable stew, porrusalda (vegetable soup), pisto (ratatouille)…
Euskadi has been known for its acclaimed gastronomy for years now. It offers world-class food experiences, courtesy of renowned chefs who use locally grown produce sourced by baserritarras (owners of small, family-run farms), gardeners and cattle breeders. Their good work ensures superior quality products.
Blessed with a temperate climate and a rich soil, Bizkaia grows or processes products identified with the Eusko Label as high-quality foods. Eusko Label products include beans and peppers from Gernika; tomato and lettuce from the Basque Country; legumes, chard, leek, apples, pears and red onions from Zalla; and mushrooms, the seasonal fruit of the land that grows throughout Bizkaia.
In addition to fruit and vegetables, livestock products are also great in Bizkaia, most of them identified with the Eusko Label quality seal. DO Idiazabal cheese made from Latxa and Carranzana sheep milk, beef, suckling lamb, pork and chicken, eggs and milk from the baserris (family-owned farms)… They are all excellent.
Suppliers of the very best produce are not far from towns and cities in the region. As a result, you can buy the freshest products in specialty stores, as well as in agri-food and cattle fairs held throughout the year and drawing crowds from all over Bizkaia.
Lunes Gernikes (Monday in Gernika) is a market that opens every Monday in Gernika-Lumo. The town is particularly attractive on market days, since vendors sell the finest foods Bizkaia has to offer. Come on the Last Monday of October to visit the great fair of the year, with nearly 900 stalls.
The festival known as Last Monday in Gernika (October) is a great opportunity to buy locally grown produce from the farm as you enjoy the festive atmosphere
The chief attraction of the annual fair is the fruit, vegetable, flower, artisan cheese, honey and txakoli wine expo and competition. You will bring something back home for sure, but to pick from the wide array of products on display is no easy task. At this big fair, you will also peep into the essence of Basque rural life.
If you are coming for the market, you should not miss a tour of the town, a symbol for peace and freedom. You can start at Plaza de los Fueros, the beating heart of town, with the Town Hall and the seat of the former courthouse, converted to Museo de la Paz – a museum commemorating the tragic bombing of Gernika by the Condor Legion on 26 April 1937. The museum’s mission is to inspire people for peace.
At the square, climb the stairs to get to the upper part of town. You will find the Church of Santa María, built in the Gothic style. Then head for Parque de los Pueblos de Europa, a green area with trees and bushes, featuring sculptures by Eduardo Chillida and Henry Moore. From the park you can see the Casa de Juntas (Assembly Hall) and the nearby Tree of Gernika, an oak that stands for the ancient roots of the Basque people.
How to get there
Gernika-Lumo lies in the area of Busturialdea, in the heart of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Relevant to the history of the Basque people, the town is well connected, with excellent links to Bilbao and other towns in Bizkaia by road or rail, both by public and private transport.
The Atxuri-Gernika-Bermeo train, run by Euskotren, departs from Atxuri station in Bilbao and gets to Geltoki central station in Gernika.
Bizkaibus has several bus lines that reach Gernika from Bilbao and the other towns in Bizkaia. Check bus lines and timetables at the Bizkaibus website.
Gernika is 36 kilometres away from Bilbao, so it takes half an hour or so to get there. Take the AP-8 to Amorebieta-Etxano and from there road BI-635, which leads to the centre of town.
Where to eat
Before leaving Gernika, taste a good plate of beans, especially in winter, or fried Gernika peppers – they are delicious! Talo (corn tortilla) and chorizo or Idiazabal cheese pintxos are traditional artisan foods they sell at bars, markets and fairs.
Gernika lies in the heart of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, a natural area surrounded by small vineyards. We recommend a tour of a DO Bizkaiko Txakolina winery to sip txakoli, the typical Basque wine made mostly in coastal areas. On a winery tour you will learn the basics of wine tasting and food-wine pairing.
Where to sleep
If you are planning to spend the night in Gernika-Lumo, you will need to book a hotel, country house or apartment in advance, since there is not a wide choice of places to stay.
If you are driving a car, the nearby lovely towns in the area are only a short drive away from Gernika-Lumo.