The Urdaibai Reserve of the Biosphere

When you come to Bilbao, don’t miss to visit URDAIBAI, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1984, and a heavenly landscape to discover.

Nearby Bilbao, the Urdaibai estuary is a natural area starting at the mouth of the Oka Riverin the Busturialdea area. Twenty-two municipalities are included in the designated protected area, among them:

Guernica, where you will find a mosaic of tiles which represent Picasso’s great work, the bombing of Guernica. It is a reproduction of the original painting which it is at present at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. Another sight to visit is the “Oak Tree of Guernica”, under which, representatives of the villages of Biscay would hold assemblies in the middle ages. This tree symbolizes the traditional freedoms of the Basque society. Furthermore, there are parks, squares, shops, and on Saturdays during the summertime, the Farmer’s market with fresh vegetables, fruits, crafts…and so on, restaurants and bars where you can eat delicious pintxos and seafood. Continuing on the road towards Bermeo, you will reach:

Busturia, with its small urban center, Santa Maria de Axpe Church, the Humilladero of Crucified Jesus and the Madariaga Tower, being this a strategic place to observe the Urdaibai estuary. Recently, the Madariaga Tower has been restores to house the Euskadi Biodiversity Centre – Madariaga Dorretxea. Afterwards, take the road to Sukarrieta, go for a walk around the Island of Txatxarramendi, from where you will have one of the best views of  the estuary of the Urdaibai River, with the Laida beach in front of you, and the Izaro Island. Next is,

Mundaka is a small fishing village with a small port. The village turned into an important touristic centre due to its unique left wave that brought surfers from all over the world. And, last but not least,

Bermeo, with its beautiful fishing port and an entire history closely related to fishing.

Before you reach Mundaka, stop at Portuondo, a sight that has 2 restaurants with fantastic panoramic views over the beautiful estuary. This place invites you to take a break while having an aperitif or if you prefer, a comfortable lunch in-between tourist sights or a larger evening meal. One of the restaurants provides menus a la carte, and the other one, with tables outside, offers a more economical menu as grilled chicken, salads, peppers, and so on. A perfect place to enjoy warm summer evenings on the bar terrace with live music.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday.

Come and explore a unique area, The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve!

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