AT LESS THAN ONE HOUR FROM BILBAO

10 MINUTES AWAY: GETXO

Town located between the Cantabrian Sea and the mouth of the Nervión, Getxo contains some of the most beautiful stately homes in Bizkaia, a memory of the era of greatest splendour for the district of Las Arenas between the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century. The Church of Santa María, Andra Mari, built in the 12th century, is not to be missed, as is a stroll starting at Aixerrota Mill along La Galea Cliffs.

Getxo

30 MINUTES AWAY: GERNIKA-LUMO

A town with great architectural wealth and a symbol of freedom and peace. Visit the Gernika General Assembly Hall, home of the highest institutional body in Bizkaia. It is a building in impressive neoclassical style built next to the legendary tree that symbolises the spirit of the Basque people. The Peace Museum that recalls the tragic bombing of the town on 26 April 1937 at the hands of the German air force, and tries to radiate a culture of peace. We can also see the mural that reproduces Picasso's “Guernica”.

Gernika. General Assembly Hall

30 MINUTES AWAY: URDAIBAI

As well as twelve beautiful beaches, the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, in which we will find the estuary at the mouth of the river Oka, has some spectacular places in which to lose oneself. It is, given its large area and degree of conservation, the most important wetland in the Basque Country, and represents an important resting and wintering place for migratory birds. The Roman ruins of Forua and Castro Arrola de Arratzu, a fortified town from the Iron Age, are of note for their great historic value.

Urdaibai

30 MINUTES AWAY: URKIOLA NATURAL PARK

In the far south of Bizkaia, Urkiola Natural Park, a climbers' paradise, has some of the most beautiful natural forests of beech, oak, holm oak, birch and Pyrenean oak. The mountains offer shelter in the different habitats to a rich and varied fauna. Two other important districts, Durango and Elorrio, are also in the vicinity of the park.

Urkiola Natural Park

40 MINUTES AWAY: SAN JUAN DE GAZTELUGATXE

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is an island accessed by an isthmus in the town of Bermeo. It is home to the hermitage of San Juan, and accessed along a path of 231 steps. Together with a small neighbouring island, Aketx, it forms a protected biotope which stretches from the town of Bakio to Cape Matxitxako, in the Bay of Biscayan.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

40 MINUTES AWAY: THE FOREST OF OMA

The Forest of Oma, also known as the painted forest, is a magical spot where the Basque painter and sculptor, Agustín Ibarrola let loose his imagination, painting the pine trees so that they change shape depending on the angle at which you look at them.

The Forest of Oma

50 MINUTES AWAY: LEKEITIO

A pretty fishing village, Lekeitio lies at the mouth of the river Lea, between the beaches of Isuntza and Karraspio (Mendexa). The town’s notable artistic heritage includes the Basilica of the Asunción de Santa María with its splendid gold-plated Gothic altarpiece. Be sure not to miss the walk out to San Nicolás Island at low tide.

Lekeitio

ALSO AT LESS THAN AN HOUR AWAY...

Go to Vitoria-Gasteiz to visit the Cathedral of Santa María in the interesting tour, Open for Construction, and ride your bike through the Green Belt parks. Or enjoy the world of wine in the Rioja Alavesa wineries and end up with a wine therapy treatment at one of the many spas. Or visit La Concha beach in San Sebastián and eat extremely well on the famous Pintxos Route.