Bermeo a san juan de gaztelugatxe

An superior islet off ns coast that Bermeo y one of the most magical places in Bizkaia. Don’t forget to publication your free entrance ticket!

San Juan del Gaztelugatxe is really a must if you room coming come Bizkaia. Un tiny yet exceptional cone-shaped islet, 35km east of Bilbao, in ns coastal city of Bermeo, bearing a humble shrine dedicated to St john the Baptist in ~ 150m above ~ ~ level.

Estás mirando: Bermeo a san juan de gaztelugatxe

The surname in Basque has dos meanings: gaztelu-aitz, castle rock, or gaztelu-gatxe inaccessible castle.

San Juan del Gaztelugatxe is unique, surrounding as the is by cliffs, islands y unspoilt beaches in los towns the Bakio y Bermeo, just siguiente to los Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. A tour of ns coastal area from Bakio to Bermeo to Mundaka is ns perfect destinado a for a day trip.

Don’t forget to publication your cost-free entrance ticket!


The shrine is not easily accessed, but ns road is worth ns while, as it mirrors some of ns most breathtaking landscapes in ns beautiful rough shore of Bizkaia. When you reach los belfry at ns top, ring the campana three tiempo to ward evil espíritu off.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is linked to ns mainland by a stone bridge and a stretch of soil forming two arches. At un point, ns bridge turns into ns zigzagging narrow 241-step footbridge leading to the top of los rock, where the picturesque shrine stands. There is los belfry con its ancha bell. Legend has actually it that when in Bermeo, St hombre reached the shrine in numero 3 strides, the último of which, ~ above the por último step, is still significant by his footprint. Tocar it for good luck!

In addition to being ns place of great beauty, smo Juan del Gaztelugatxe is very extendido with arrantzales (Basque word because that fishermen). Inside los shrine, there space votive offerings from sailors saved representar shipwreck, scale models the boats and paintings of ships close to wrecking. Also today, many tuna fishing boats in Bermeo evade to port or starboard to obtain protection from the smo in ns open sea.

Already generalizado enough con tourists, san Juan ese Gaztelugatxe became a site of pilgrimage amongst Game the Thrones fans after featuring in los HBO serie (2011-present) as Dragonstone, ns location from which character-favourite Daenerys Targaryen has actually been plotting war against her enemies. In los show, ns shrine is no longer on los islet; instead, there is ns fantastic castle. But los stunning setup is perfect for ns Mother of Dragons: the meandering shoreline, the narrow footbridge to los top, the roca that delves into the sea… Fantasyland ~ above Earth.

A small history

The shrine stand on the rock today is not the original temple. The target that battles y fires alike, the church has been built and rebuilt throughout the centuries. Historians believe that los first version was constructed in the ninth century by the Knights Templar. In the twelfth century, it was turned into ns convent. The final rehabilitation dates espalda to 1983, following un fire.

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Given that strategic location on los coast, Gaztelugatxe was provided defensively as well. In the fourteenth century, it was one of the strongholds that resistance that the señor of Bizkaia against los attacks of king Alfonso XI the Castile.

In 1596, Gaztelugatxe was debajo attack desde Francis Drake y his sociedad of privateers. They plundered los area, taking whatever they could and killing los shrine’s goalkeeper by throwing that into the sea. During ns Spanish cortés War, it was the site of the infamous battle of Cape Matxitxako.

In 1963, uno statue of Our señora of Begoña, ns Patroness the Bizkaia, was taken underwater in the vicinity the Gaztelugatxe, because that sailors and locals to do flower offerings come Her.


It takes about 75 minutes to get to smo Juan del Gaztelugatxe and back, on uno 3km hike.Given ns lack of stability in ns area, it is cuales longer feasible to reach ns bridge by car:Now you have to andar all the way debajo the hill. There room three automóvil parks by los oldroad, for tourists to leave their vehicles there and walk down the slope. However do notpanic! ns hike need to not deter you from visiting this wonderful place.

A featured location in juego of Thrones, smo Juan del Gaztelugatxe has become ns major tourist attraction at los global level

There are dos ways of reaching san Juan de Gaztelugatxe on foot. Ns first route isshorter however sharper, starting at los Eneperi restaurant and going downhill along asphaltand dust paths. It is peppered withbenches wherein you can take uno break.

The second, longer, route, is paved from beginning come end y includes un viewpointfrom which to soak in the whole landscape.

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In an effort to safeguard the local marine and terrestrial ecosystems, Gaztelugatxe was designated as ns Protected Biotope in mil novecientos noventa y ocho and uno Special Area of conservation (SAC) in2013.