A few kilometres away from the city, you can find spectacular places like Armañón Natural Park, the hills of Mount Gorbeia (the highest mountain in Biscay with 1,482 metres) or Urkiola Natural Park with its dreamy landscapes. They are ideal for a day out, having thousands of trails everyone can follow and countless magical corners to discover. You can also be in contact with nature and take part in one of the most rooted traditions in the Biscayan mountains, shepherding.

Biscayan shepherds open their homes to us near the stunning Pozalagua Cave –a real underground cathedral full of eccentric stalactites–, at the foot of legendary Mount Anboto –where the mythical goddess Mari may appear at any moment if we keep our eyes wide open–, and within the Itxina Protected Biotope. In their traditional houses, called ‘baserris’ in Basque and ‘caseríos’ in Spanish, we can enjoy the pleasure of living a shepherd’s life for a day, looking after Latxa, our local breed of sheep.

Not only they will let you lead a flock with the help of expert sheep dogs, but you can also learn how to milk sheep with your own hands, and make white cheese, curd or delicious Idiazabal cheese. Depending on the time of the year, you may have the chance to shear some sheep, handle their wool or feed one of their babies.

After the hike and the valuable experience with the sheep, we can go for a peaceful family walk in Atxondo along the Arrazola Greenway¸ a 10 km flat trail suitable for all ages. Surrounded by nature, the trail follows the route of a former mine railway, passing by rural areas, forests, fields and ‘baserris’ with the beautiful Mount Anboto in the background. But if you are looking for a livelier trip, the best you can do is go to Hontza Extrem, near Urkiola, an adventure park located in a gorgeous native forest in Otxandio. Circuits with different levels of difficulty will allow you to jump from one place to another among oaks, beeches, and hollies, do some archery practice, learn to find your way in the forest, or even walk barefoot to experience the surrounding nature with all your senses.

A former mining area where the famed Biscayan iron was extracted, La Arboleda in Valle de Trápaga, is now a recreational zone in the middle of the mountain. Full of quiet paths, this is the perfect place for you and your family to appreciate the imprint of a past mining activity while you have a stroll next to lakes (formed naturally where the mines used to be), sculptures, playgrounds, barbecue and picnic areas, or even a golf course.

On your way to La Arboleda, you will find the best views over the Abra, the point at which The Estuary of Bilbao meets the Cantabrian Sea. Just take Larreineta Cable Car, a transport link between the core of Valle de Trápaga and its mining neighbourhoods since 1926, to get there. Once in La Arboleda, you must pay a visit to the wooden houses where miners used to live, and we suggest you taste our traditional kidney beans, one of our many gastronomic delicacies prepared in the restaurants in the area.

Enkarterri, a region for adventurers

In Güeñes, in the comarca of Enkarterri, the youngest ones can have a lot of fun by becoming true pirates for a day. In Bizkaia Park Abentura, everything has been designed to offer the most enjoyable experience to children aged 1 to 15, although adults are equally welcomed to join the fun.

Adapted to kids of all ages, the park contains activities of all sorts: from escaping dangerous buccaneers and their nets by climbing trees, to sliding down zip lines and slides at full speed. Each circuit has its own surprises.

Also located in Enkarterri is Sopuerta Abentura, an adventure park among trees that adrenaline lovers will simply adore. Fun is guaranteed for them thanks to its over 100 challenges, separated in 10 different circuits. Their level varies to make sure everybody has a good time, and they include from games designed for 2-year-old children to activities that are only recommended for daring people who have a head for heights.

Tons of games, challenges, zip lines, climbing walls, rope bridges, huge tyres, trees to climb, reed rafts, and swings are hidden in the treetops of the park, wating for the bravest adventurers in the family and ready to test both their skills and their balance.

Another destination that will thrill and delight the little ones is Karpin Fauna, in Karrantza, a shelter where more than 55 species of wild animals that cannot be returned to their habitat have found a new home. In addition to seeing fantastic species such as wolves, panthers, roe deer, deer, birds of prey, tortoises, iguanas, racoons, macaques, or marmosets, in Karpin Fauna you will be taught how to look after animals and natural environments to prevent species from going extinct.

To round the visit off, we cannot miss neither Gastornisland, a trip back in time to meet the animals that survived the extinction of the dinosaurs, nor Terrasauro, where we will see the work of palaeontologists in fossil sites and Jurassic life-size dinosaurs in motion. The latter visit includes a roaring Tyrannosaurus rex, whose head pokes out from behind a stockade fence. Children will be pleasantly surprised!