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Bilbao UNESCO sites

Our most recommended Bilbao UNESCO sites

From Bilbao: Gaztelugatxe and Gernika Tour

1. From Bilbao: Gaztelugatxe and Gernika Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Bilbao, and then get back to nature on a trip to the amazing rock islet of Gaztelugatxe, located on the coast of Bizkaia just 35 kilometers from Bilbao city center. Arrive at the viewpoint and get 2 hours of free time to explore independently. Use the time to climb to the 10th-century hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, where you can touch the bell of the chapel three times and make a wish. Soak up the stunning views of the Bay of Biscay before traveling to Bermeo to take a walking tour of the charming fishing village. Continue to the historic town of Gernika, site of one of the first aerial bombings by Nazi Germany, and visit the Casa de Juntas (Assembly House) with the famous Tree of Guernica that symbolizes the traditional freedom of the people.

From Bilbao: Basque Country Tour

2. 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

3. 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.

Bilbao: Off-the-Beaten-Path Seaside Cycling Tour

4. Bilbao: Off-the-Beaten-Path Seaside Cycling Tour

Explore the Bilbao seaside by bike on this 2.5-hour fun and informative guided tour. Start your tour right at the feet of the iconic Vizcaya Bridge, where you’ll learn about its history, fun facts, and the present role of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a pleasant ride along the seaside, enjoy your first stop at Puerto Viejo. Beautiful and filled with history and anecdotes, you’ll have the freedom to roam and walk around its hidden corners and streets. Blend in among the locals and join them as we taste some world-famous pintxos (small snacks), and maybe a glass of wine, or a Caña for beer lovers.   You’ll then continue on to a few secret local spots before heading on to the route to the Cliffs where you’ll experience the Biscay coastline at its best. With its unmatched scenery, the majesty of the sea and fresh air will accompany you for one of the most beautiful bike routes in the Basque country.   After the tour, you can enjoy the beautiful Arrigunaga beach just meters away, grab a bite in one of its panoramic resto-bars, have a drink with your feet on the sand at the beach bar, or just read your book on the beach.

Bilbao: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe and Txakoli Wine Day Trip

5. Bilbao: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe and Txakoli Wine Day Trip

Get into the geology and wine ettiquette of Basque with a guided day tour that wows the senses. Take in the breathraking scenery of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe as your tour a Txakoloi winery paired with 3 wine tastings, appetizers, and a delicious lunch. Depart from Bilbao and enter into one of the most impressive destinations in Basque country, lying just within the UNESCO Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Admire the stunning beaches and coastal environmnet, boredered with white cliffs. Find yourself at a local family winery, located close to this protected natural area. Visit San Juan Bautista's hermitage and climb 241 steps to the top of the viewpoint. Take in the view and make a wish from the top of the bell. Enjoy a tour of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) on the way to the Txakoli wineries. Txakoli wine is a local favorite, with the white wine of choice among Basques and Basque sailors. After drinking as the sailors do, sit down to a special lunch of regional appetizers and pintxos, complemented by regional wines. Discuss the culture and history of the wine you sip and truly relax into the environment.

Getxo and Vizcaya Bridge From Bilbao

6. Getxo and Vizcaya Bridge From Bilbao

During the 19th century the region of Bilbao experienced a huge industralisation development that led to two very different social classes: working class and bankers. Each one laid on river Nervion's West and East banks, and both areas developed their own way. This tour will take you to learn about the Bizkaia bridge, built in late 19th century as a representation of the iron industry in the area, and the link of both river banks. On the left side there lies the medieval village of Portugalete, with steep and narrow streets and Camino de Santiago routes. On the right side, you will discover Getxo, with all her different areas: from majestic Las Arenas and exclusive palaces of Neguri to the charming centuries-old houses of the Old Port in Algorta and the astonishing views from the cliffs of Punta Galea. The estuary of river Ibaizabal, coming from Bilbao, has many secrets ready to be discovered. Do not miss this chance of seeing all of them!

Getxo and Bizcaya Bridge (UNESCO Site) Bike Tour from Bilbao

7. Getxo and Bizcaya Bridge (UNESCO Site) Bike Tour from Bilbao

Throughout this five-hour bike tour, starting in Bilbao, discover the maritime and industrial history of the villas. Explore the iron mines and learn about the way the citizens were able to transform the natural landscape into a place worth admiring. Begin your trip by visiting the new icons of the city, including the Guggenheim Museum, Euskalduna Congress Palace, and the Maritime Museum. Continue pedaling along the left bank of the estuary until it joins the open sea.  The Pendant or Bizkaia Bridge, which was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2006, links the Portugalete's Villa with Getxo. Once there, continue to The Gold Mile of Biscay, among the outstanding palaces built by the aristocracy at the beginning of the 20th-century. Visit the Sailing Club and Ereaga beach. End your journey in the quaint and picturesque Alcorta's Old Port.

From San Sebastian: Guggenheim and Basque Coast Day Trip

8. 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.

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What people are saying about Bilbao

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 52 reviews

Our guide Benyet was excellent, a native of the Basque region he had a deep and personal connection to Bilbao and Getxo. We left the tour with a great appreciation of the amazing history of the area. From farming, whaling, heavy industry to the amazing Guggenheim. The only negative was the trip back from Getxo, if your 65 plus navigating the Metro was a challenge.

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

I thoroughly enjoyed the climb to the church at Gaztelugatxe. our tour guide, Stefan, provided lots of intetedting insights about the places we visited and the Basque country and culture. it was an excellent trip.

On time pick up was great and our Guide Stefan was excellent with a great understanding of English

Excellent guide with an excellent bicycle tour of the city. Lots of fun - and FUNNY!