Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve
Trip to Urdaibai Nature Reserve just 35 minutes from Getxo, a natural paradise.
Urdaibai is a gem of nature in the heart of Bizkaia, offering an extraordinary range of landscapes and ecological diversity. Due to its importance and for its conservation, it has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. This wetland area is a valuable biological treasure which is home to numerous ecosystems and a gathering place for particular plant and animal communities, boasting some very important species.
PTo get the most out of this trip, we have several watch points:
- The San Pedro de Atxarre Hermitage: It is possible to reach the hermitage by car from the road from Ibarrangelu to the Akorda neighbourhood. From here we take the footpath crossing the holm oak grove and after some 20 minutes we reach the vantage spot. The most outstanding of its botanical species are the creepers: Sarsaparrilla, red and white bryony, wild madder, blackberry briars and honeysuckle. Species which handle the lack of water with extensive root systems and small, coriaceous leaves, capable of retaining the humidity by regulating their stomas.
There is very varied animal life in the haven created by its thick, enclosed structure. Large endangered mammal species such as the wildcat and others more abundant in numbers such as wild boar, genets, martens or badgers.
- The Axpe-Busturia Espalanades: Access to this watch point is comfortable and easy and can be reached by car from the Gernika-Bermeo road. After reaching Busturia, having passed the Axpe neighbourhood, we take the road to San Antonio Beach.We will leave our car here in the car park beside the entrance to the beach and walk the last 200m to the watch point. Once at the Axpe esplanades, the view is broad and unhindered. The Atlantic countryside in Busturialdea is a man-made ecosystem. A natural environment made up by a mosaic of fields, crops and small patches of woodland, dotted with traditional farmhouses or caseríos, important both historically and for the economy. One of the most representative landscapes of the Basque Country.
- The San Cristobal-Busturia Sand Basin: In Urdaibai there are currently some 600 ha of salt marshes. Tidal actions make this ecosystem highly attractive to watch because the landscape is always changing. Access to the watch point is comfortable and easy along the Gernika-Bermeo road. When we reach the crossroads in the San Cristóbal neighbourhood in Busturia, we turn right and go to the railway station. We park and cross the tracks, following the path signposted in the sand basin.The sand basin offers visitors a magnificent view of the salt marshes, immerse in this ecosystem. We can observe the influences of the tides and the river waters and the border and the transition zone between the sand basins and the bogs.The predominant plants come together to draw the landscape: Dark green from the rushes, light green from the masses of purslane and the tall plant walls etched out by the reedbeds. This place is particularly suitable for bird watching; they use the salt marsh as a shelter. It is usual to see curlews, heron, egrets, geese and a variety of ducks.
- Cape Matxitxako: The cliffs of the Basque coast are of great interest for their landscapes and for nature in their two ecosystems: The shoreline and the seabed. The vantage point of the old lighthouse on Cape Matxitxako offers an exceptional viewing point of the shoreline and is unbeatable for enjoying the sea and its rich animal life.This place is easy to get to by car along the BI-4203 between Bermeo and Bakio. Car parking facilities are available