The Basque Coast Geopark covers almost 90 square kilometres, belonging to the Gipuzkoan districts of Deba, Zumaia and Mutriku, and is included in the European Network and Global UNESCO Network of Geoparks. Although everything in the Park is beautiful, the most precious gems are the Flysch, a German word that means 'slippery land'. The Flysch look like real giants guarding the Cantabrian Sea, and are sedimentary rocky formations or facies which help to define how they were formed with significant accuracy. According to Walther's Law, when there are changes in a sedimentary environment, the facies are deposited one on top of another, overlapping, and remaining in order. In this way they become open history books. The Flysch formations stand at the edge of the sea forming peculiar cliffs and sedimentary rock beaches carved by the water over centuries.
In the region, you can also visit the Old Town of Mutriku, one of the best kept in Gipuzkoa, full of mansions and stately homes, with an ancient port and fishermen’s guild, now converted into the Bentalekua Museum where you can take part in a fish auction. And then of course, eat grilled fish with a good Txaxoli. Or visit the Nautilus Centre to view the large collection of ammonites, the fossil of a cephalopoda mollusc that was plentiful in the Secondary Era.
Do not miss a visit to the Parish of San Pedro in Zumaia, where the bell tower offers a beautiful view, or the Zuloaga Museum, an ancient hermitage and hospice for pilgrims on their way to Santiago which the painter converted into a beautiful museum housing his personal collection and part of his own work. Zumaia is also home to San Telmo Hermitage. Almost hanging off the cliff, with impressive views over the Cantabrian Sea, it has been made famous thanks to the film “Ocho apellidos vascos”.
You can also go to the valley of Lastur, in Deba, one of the prettiest and most remote, to visit the ancient Plazaola mill, a cheese farm or a textile workshop. As you go into the "Karst Route", ancient marine rocks create dreamlike scenery, recalling ancient legends. Once again the Basque Country revolves around fantasy based on the origins of this ancient land, still full of secrets to be discovered.
Want a tip? Set aside at least three days for the "Flysch Route" and discover the Basque Coast Geopark at leisure, recognised by the UNESCO for its uniqueness and excellent state of conservation, and stop for something to eat in the villages, to take the pulse of this land. When you get to know it, you will start to understand better how wonderful the planet and the Basque soul are.