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Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve

Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Bilbao: Basque Country Tour

1. From Bilbao: Basque Country Tour

Follow the river road of Bilbao towards the coast and admire the old industrial areas that once powered Bilbao. You will visit the Transporter Bridge of Bizkaia, the oldest bridge of this type in the world, still active and considered a beloved icon by locals. Afterward, you will see the neighborhood of Neguri and its old mansions owned by rich industrial managers before you head towards the interior of the province. Admire the traditional local houses and farmhouse structures, and discover the imposing old Castle of Butron. Arrive at the coastal village of Bakio, a popular summer holiday destination among Basque natives, before you follow the beautiful and wild coastal road, eventually arriving at your second stop, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.  This place is said to be one of the most beautiful locations along the Basque coastline. It is a huge rock on the top of the old hermitage of San Juan, and it is connected to the mainland by means of a long stone stairway. Next, you will continue to the fishing town of Bermeo. Here, you will stop to visit the narrow streets, the Juradera Church, the Ercilla Tower, the old port, and the Town Hall, among other sites. Enjoy free time for lunch, and your guide will recommend a selection of local restaurants. Later, you will stop at Mundaka, a beautiful site with magnificent views of the Urdaibai Biosphere, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Afterward, you will arrive at the village of Gernika to visit the Basque Sacred Tree and Casa de Juntas, or old Law House. Finally, you will return to Bilbao around 2:00 PM.

From Bilbao: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo, & Gernika

2. From Bilbao: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo, & Gernika

Leave Bilbao and discover other exciting and historic locations on the Basque Coast on this day tour. See the Vizcaya Bridge, the historic city of Gernika, visit a traditional fishing village, and enjoy a tasting of local products. Travel along the river of Bilbao, discovering the interesting industrial past of the city, and once at the coast, stop to see the Vizcaya Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage designated site. Pass by the majestic Castle of Butron, and eventually arrive at the Biosphere of Urdaibai. Admire the beautiful view from its lookout point, and discover the secrets of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a filming location of the famous TV series “Game of Thrones”. Make another stop in Bermeo, a typical fishing village, and stop to take a walking tour to enjoy its charming atmosphere. Take part in a tasting of local food, where a sample of pintxo is included. Reach the last stop in Gernika, and make a visit to the interesting Assembly House and the famous Tree of Gernika.

Gernika, Mundaka and Gaztelugatxe From San Sebastian

3. Gernika, Mundaka and Gaztelugatxe From San Sebastian

Learn about Basque history by visiting the legendary Gernika tree and the tragic bombing of the village during the Spanish civil war. Enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape along the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the views of the famous world-class surf wave in Mundaka, the San Juan de Gaztelugatxe viewpoint and many more!

La Rioja: Jamon Iberico Farm Tour and Tasting with Wine

4. La Rioja: Jamon Iberico Farm Tour and Tasting with Wine

Come and learn about our Duroc piglet breeding project under the organic farming method in the Ocón Valley, La Rioja, in the heart of the Biosphere Reserve. We will start the visit in our organic farm 'El Encinar' where our piglets live and breed happily, enjoying the sun and the open air, in contact with nature. We will continue the visit in our facilities where we elaborate our organic artisan meats and sausages and you will be able to see up close how we carry out the whole process. You will learn how Jamón Iberico de Bellota is created. The most prestigious ham in the world. Finally we will enjoy a tasting of our organic Jamónes paired with Rioja wine. Get ready for an amazing Experience!!!

From Guernica: Urdaibai Reserve Boat Trip with Transfers

5. From Guernica: Urdaibai Reserve Boat Trip with Transfers

Declared a protected area by UNESCO in 1984, the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve is a diverse area that includes forests, beaches, and islands. Take the opportunity to explore it on a guided boat tour and see what makes this part of the Basque Country so special. Start with pick up from Guernica before boarding the boat and crossing the estuary which is surrounded by forests on both sides. Then, head to some of the best beaches and islands that are part of the biosphere reserve. Your guide will take you to some of the reserve's most beautiful ports, beaches, and marshes and help you to discover some of the highlights of this unique ecosystem. Enjoy some local wine and a snack before you head back to land and return to your hotel.

Bilbao and Basque Country Guided 7-Day Tour from Bilbao

6. Bilbao and Basque Country Guided 7-Day Tour from Bilbao

Explore the Basque Country on a week-long journey to the sites of historical and cultural importance on a trip that includes 4-star accommodation. Using Bilbao as your base, enjoy half-day and full-day excursions to surrounding cities and towns. Travel along the coast to see fishing villages, old ports, and picturesque beaches. Spend time inland visiting mountains, wineries, and remote villages. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Bilbao After arriving in Bilbao, transfer to your hotel. Receive your dossier with information about the Basque Country and the program. Depending upon your time of arrival, there will be free time for exploring on your own. Lodging at the hotel in Bilbao. Day 2: Urdaibai – Bermeo – Gernika - Bilbao Breakfast, Depart for the coast on a half-day excursion, heading along the right bank of the river and by the industrial towns of Barakaldo, Sestao, and Portugalete. Travel past the famous Transporter Bridge of Biscay, through the imposing Castle of Butron, and to the hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Visit Mungia, the fishing village of Bermeo, Mundaka and the Urdaibai Reserve of Biosphere, and Gernika. Return to Bilbao and free time for lunch (your guide will recommend you the best options). Later, walking tour of Bilbao, visiting the old quarter and seeing the main squares, churches, and more. Lodging at the hotel. Day 3: Biarritz – San Sebastian Breakfast. Travel to Biarritz and tour the old port, the Virgin on the Rock, and the Beach of Kings. Continue along the coast to Saint Jean De Luz, and then stop in Hondarribia where you have some free time for lunch (your guide will recommend the bets options). In the afternoon, you will arrive in San Sebastian, for a panoramic tour of the city’s mountain and historical quarter, followed by free time. Then return back to Bilbao and accommodation. Day 4: Vitoria – Rioja Breakfast. Travel to Vitoria for a tour of the city and the best preserved Old Town in the Basque Country. Then follow the route toward the wine region, passing by Labastida, to arrive in the medieval village of Laguardia. Enjoy a walking tour and a visit to a traditional Rioja winery. By mid-afternoon you will return back to Bilbao by way of Elciego, where you will see the magnificent architectural work of Frank Gehry at the Marques de Riscal Winery. Accommodation in Bilbao. Day 5: Sanctuary of Loyola – Getaria – Zarautz – San Sebastian Breakfast. Make your way to the Sanctuary of Loyola, then visit Getaria, a charming fishing village and the birthplace of Juan Sebastian Elcano. See Zarautz, home to the longest beach in Basque Country. Then go to San Sebastian for a city tour, followed by a walking tour in the historic center, before returning to Bilbao in the afternoon. Day 6: Elorrio – Oñati – Sanctuary of Arantzazu Breakfast. Spend the day exploring the traditional inner Basque Country. Head toward Durango, located near Gorbea Natural Parka and Urkiola Natural Park. Stop in Elorrio, an area characterized by the abundance and slenderness of its palaces and manor houses of stone and carved stonework. Continue to Oñati, home to the oldest university in the Basque Country. Travel up a road between cliffs to reach the Sanctuary of Arantzazu, where you can tour the grounds and enjoy the view, before returning to Bilbao in the afternoon. Day 7: Bilbao Breakfast. Enjoy free time in the city until it’s time to transfer to the airport, train station, or bus station.

From San Sebastian: Guggenheim and Basque Coast Day Trip

7. From San Sebastian: Guggenheim and Basque Coast Day Trip

A day trip in a van through back roads of the Basque coast, visiting historic town and unique natural landscapes, ending up in the most cosmopolitan city in the Basque Country. The road has curves (a few) but there will be plenty of stops to breathe the sea air and contemplate the horizon. The French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote: “Gernika is the happiest town in the world. Their affairs are governed by a board of peasants that meets under an oak tree and always makes the fairest decisions ”. And here we go, to the city bombed by Nazi planes in 1937 that inspired one of the most well-known paintings in the world, Picasso’s mural-sized “Guernica”. We will visit the city and, of course, the tree under which the (we hope) “fairer decisions” are made. Memorize this name: ‘Urdaibai’ and try to pronounce it well (it’s not easy, we know) because you won’t forget it. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco, Urdaibai is a large estuary at which mountains, rivers, the sea and large stretches of sand come together. Depending on the tide and time of day, the landscape (and the dozens of birds that inhabit it) may be radically different. We’ll also stop at Mundaka, a hot spot on the world's ‘surfaris’ routes: its beach has one of the most (possibly the most) perfect waves on the planet, with a left-hand break. Some call it “Dragonstone,” but its name is San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, an islet connected to the ground by a line of 241 stairs and crowned by a hermitage. Gaztelugatxe became ultra-famous after appearing in the Games Of Thrones series disguised as Dragonstone: Though the 'castle' is a cgi effect, everything else (dizzying cliffs, sharp rocks, flocks of birds, the noise of the sea ...) is rabidly real . The people of Bilbao have always claimed that their city was the capital of the world. When the Guggenheim museum opened in 1997, that prophecy came true and the building became an architectural phenomenon whose influence has spilled over into the rest of the city. The people of Bilbao say that the museum is actually the “doghouse” of Puppy, the iconic statue that welcomes you at the entrance (Basque ironic mode on). We’ll get to know the building and its main works of contemporary art.

Other Sightseeing Options in Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve

Want to discover all there is to do in Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 14 reviews

Really nice! Normally I organize everything by myself and I don't use pre-made packages, but this time not having a car was the only way to visit these places. So I was a bit skeptical, but the tour was really a surprise! Stephan our guide was very knowledgeable and kind. He spoke in both Spanish and English giving us time for everything. We were picked up a stone's throw from the hotel and then brought back to the center. The places visited are wonderful and unmissable. Personally I think it would only be more interesting to reduce the visit to Birmeo by giving more space to Guernica. Super recommended experience! Appropriate price

Great tour with lots of interesting and amusing information from Stefan the guide. May have been better to collect everyone from single central location at start of day rather than a tour of lots of hotels but I don’t knof if feasible with parking restrictions. We were nearly 40 people. But made friends on way so very enjoyable.

Another fantastic excursion with the driver/guide Josh. Speaks English and Spanish. First stop at Puente Vizkaije. Then to Gaztelugatxe with a magnificent view. Then to Bermeo with a delicious pinxto and then end with a beautiful walk in Gernika

The tour was very cool. Unfortunately, we didn't have long to visit each town, but it left a good impression and makes you want more. Our guide gave us a lot of knowledge and made the tour exciting.

Great experience with Estefan guide, really interesting tours and places with nice and professional explanations