San Juan Gaztelugatxe

Exploring the Magical World of San Juan Gaztelugatxe


Discover the hidden gem of san juan gaztelugatxe in Spain with its breathtaking views, rich history, and unique cultural significance. Plan your visit now!

San Juan Gaztelugatxe, a hidden gem off the coast of Spain, offers breathtaking views, a rich history, and a unique cultural significance. Embark on a journey through this magical destination and discover all that San Juan Gaztelugatxe has to offer.

Location and Accessibility

San Juan Gaztelugatxe is located in the Bay of Biscay, near the town of Bermeo in the Biscay province of the Basque Country in Spain. Situated about 35 kilometers from Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque Country, the island attracts tourists from all over the world with its stunning views of the bay and surrounding landscapes.

To get to San Juan Gaztelugatxe, you can drive or take public transport. If you prefer driving, park your car near the town of Bakio and enjoy a scenic 45-minute walk to the island, taking in the beautiful sea and cliff views along the way.

Alternatively, you can use public transport by taking a bus from Bilbao to Bermeo, and then another bus from Bermeo to Bakio. From there, a short walk will lead you to the island. The total journey time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Attractions and Activities

San Juan Gaztelugatxe offers a wide range of attractions and activities that cater to all interests. The highlight of the island is the small chapel of Saint John the Baptist, which sits atop a staircase consisting of 241 steps. Though challenging, the climb rewards you with stunning views of the Bay of Biscay and the surrounding landscapes. Don’t forget to ring the bell at the top for good luck!

For those interested in marine life, fishing tours allow visitors to try their luck at catching local fish, while boat tours provide a unique perspective of the island and its surroundings. Hikers and nature lovers can explore the nearby mountains, valleys, and forests, where the beauty of the Bay of Biscay is on full display. The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, in particular, offers a diverse range of flora and fauna.

History and Culture

San Juan Gaztelugatxe has a rich history dating back to the 9th century when it served as a fortress to defend the region against invasions. Occupied by various conquerors over the years, including the Moors, the Castilians, and the French, the island’s small chapel has been a place of worship and pilgrimage for sailors and fishermen seeking protection from the dangers of the sea.

Deeply rooted in Basque culture, San Juan Gaztelugatxe serves as a symbol of Basque identity and a reminder of the region’s history and traditions. Festivals and traditions celebrate the island’s patron saint, Saint John the Baptist, with locals climbing the stairs to the chapel, participating in traditional Basque dances, and enjoying music.

Accommodation and Dining

When planning your visit to San Juan Gaztelugatxe, you’ll find several comfortable accommodation options nearby. The Hotel Ercilla de Bilbao, located in the heart of Bilbao, offers modern rooms, a fitness center, and a rooftop terrace with stunning city views. The Hotel Artetxe, just a short drive from San Juan Gaztelugatxe, features cozy, rustic-style rooms with beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes.

To experience the local culture through food, indulge in delicious seafood dishes and traditional Basque cuisine. Asador Etxebarri, located in Axpe, specializes in grilled meats and seafood cooked over a wood-fire grill. Restaurante Mina, in Bilbao, offers fresh seafood, meat dishes, and pintxos (bite-sized snacks) along with a beautiful terrace providing breathtaking city views.


San Juan Gaztelugatxe is a hidden gem that promises an unforgettable adventure. Its enchanting views, rich history, and cultural significance make it a unique tourist destination. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a remarkable experience, San Juan Gaztelugatxe has something for everyone.

Plan your trip, pack your bags, and head to San Juan Gaztelugatxe for an extraordinary journey. Discover more exciting articles and news at TooLacks – your go-to source for information on nature, gardening, and animals, among other topics.