Urdaibai is located on the Bay of Biscay coast, in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. Urdaibai covers an area of 220 km2 (85 sq mi) with some 45,000 inhabitants, most of them concentrated in the towns of Bermeo and Gernika. The territory is characterized by a hydrographic basin of small streams that merge in a great salt marsh surrounded by high sheer cliffs. The surrounding countryside is occupied by meadowland, oak groves, leafy woods and specially by plantations of fast-growing conifers (Pinus radiata). The coastal landscape is covered with Cantabrian woods of Holm Oak and Strawberry Trees.
In Urdaibai have been described 615 species of vascular plants and 318 species of vertebrates, 245 of which are birds.
The area contains remnants of the Prehistoric, Roman and the Middle Ages. Particularly notable is the Santimamiñe cave, which has yielded archeological artifacts from theMousterian (Middle Paleolithic Age) to the Iron Age.
The economy is based on metallurgy, fishing, farming and forestry. An important tourist sector is based on the quality of the local beaches. Mundaka is especially appealing for surfers around the world.
One of the most emblematic towns of Vizcaya, symbol of Basque rights and peace, Gernika Lumo has many attractive spots that are necessary to visit.
Do not loose: The Assembly House, with Gernika’s Tree (this oak is the most well known symbol for the Basques), The Church of Santa Maria, The museum of Euskal Herria or the Europe Park
Más información: http://www.gernika-lumo.net/es-ES/Turismo/Paginas/default.aspx
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
On the road to Bakio is the lighthouse of Matxitxako, on the cape which has the same name. Further on, is the isle called Akatz, next to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a peninsula linked by a bridge. In the 14th century there was a castle on the top of the isle. Nowadays, there is the hermitage of Saint Juan.
On the 24 June, people use to celebrate a procession to the hermitage from Bermeo. A lot of people use to come to participate. On 29 August, there is a mass to celebrate the day of Saint Juan. On 31 December, there used to be another mass to say goodbye to the year.
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is the most attractive tourist place in the Basque Country; thousands of visitors visit it every year.
The isle and its environment are considered protected area.
Seaside municipality belonging to the historical territory of Bizkaia, Caope Ogoño and several cliffs shelter and protect Elantxobe and give the town its original appearance of narrow steep streets. The staggered buildings will draw your attention. They all looh towards the sea and seem to be waiting for the fishermen.The smell of salpetre leads the visitor to the port, core of the fishing activity.
Walking through the streets we can visit the church of San Nicolas de Bari, patron saint of sailors. Old sandstone walls housing plants border the Calle Mayor Street.
In a privileged natural environment and inevitably linked to the sea, Mundaka is a pleasant, quiet seaside town in the province of Bizkaia who has managed to maintain its culture, its traditions and its language: Basque.
Located in the Busturialdea-Urdaibai area, on the left bank of the estuary which bears the same name, heart of the Natural Reserve of the Biosphere of Urdaibai, Mundaka has always been closely associated with the sea and open to the world. For centuries its people have played leading roles in the Basque Country’s history of sailing and fishing.
Walk along the port, the Atalaya or discover Santa Catalina´s hermitage and taste the famous “pintxos” enjoying the landscape is a great pleasure for the senses.
Surf lovers from all over the world also come to enjoy what is considered one of Europe’s best left hand wave.
Neighbour of Mundaka, Bermeo is one of the main ports in the historical territory. Founded in 1239, the municipality has a peculiar charm and personality. Moreover, in the ancient town we will have the opportunity of visiting many monuments like the church of san Francisco or Santa María, the Townhall, or the the Fishermen,s Museum, located in Ercilla Tower.
The small neighborhood of Oma, in the peaceful town of Kortezubi, has a hidden treasure that combines art, nature and a connection with the artistic endeavours of our earliest ancestors.
It is the Oma Painted Forest, where Agustín Ibarrola, the painter and sculptor, has turned the landscape into the frame, medium and raw material of one of his best known works. Visiting this unique “open air museum”, where there is no entry charge, involves going on a peaceful walk among pine trees and ferns, as you look for the trunks transformed by the artist’s paintbrushes and where he plays with the point of view and depth, that make mysterious compositions emerge out of the middle of nowhere that connect with the Palaeolithic representations of the nearby cave of Santimamiñe.
For centuries Lekeitio has always faced the sea and has been the origin and destination of whale hunters, adventurers and navigators. Actually is quiet and peaceful in winter and lively and busy in summer. Lekeitio offers beaches, nature, gastronomy, monuments like the basilica of La Asunción, and an interesting cultural programme, packed with fairs, street theatre, exhibitions and popular festivals like San Antolín or San Pedro.