The island of san Juan de Gaztelugatxe looks choose it’s straight representar a movie set. Therefore it do not do it be any kind of surprise that it was selected as uno filming ar for the HBO series, game of Thrones. But whether you are uno fan that the serie or not, san Juan de Gaztelugatxe will certainly dazzle you with its raw beauty.

Estás mirando: De bilbao a san juan de gaztelugatxe

After uno landslide forced ns closing of ns access in January 2021, San Juan ese Gaztelugatxe is just partially open. Currently there is no access to los islet and the hermitage. The system that tickets and access direccion that worked before ns landslide is tho in place.

Located simply off ns shore along ns Bay that Biscay and treinta y cinco km (22 miles) east representar Bilbao, san Juan después Gaztelugatxe is ns definite “must” if you are visiting the Basque Country. Many will recognize smo Juan del Gaztelugatxe as the island fortress that “Dragonstone” desde season siete of Game that Thrones, however, its real name deserve to be interpreted as “castle rock” representar Basque (“gaztelu” = castle + “aitz” = rock).

Steps to san Juan del Gaztelugatxe

The island is associated to the mainland by ns man-made rock bridge. Los bridge transitions into a narrow route that contains 241 steps and zigzags its way back y forth to the top. These steps have also been well-known as one of the world’s grandest staircases.


Bermeo, Spain

Coordinates:43.447° N-2.785° W

The Chapel of smo Juan ese Gaztelugatxe

Once at the top of ns island, you will certainly find ns church which has actually a campana situated along the front of its facade. According to legend, after you have actually completed the climb, you have to ring the bell three times and make ns wish.

The church on top of the isla is dedicated to hombre the Baptist. Although no proven, it has actually been said that the even set foot on los island. The small church is however, no original. Gastos generales the centuries los church has shed down y been rebuilt number of times. The is thought that los first hermitage that existed here was set up in the 9th century. In los 12th century, it became ns convent. However, dos centuries later, los friars abandoned it taking con them whatever of value.

San Juan ese Gaztelugatxe
Miguel Guerra
View desde the peak of los island

History of san Juan después Gaztelugatxe

Later on, san Juan de Gaztelugatxe had a estratégico purpose as a defensive outpost for ns lords of Biscay. That was provided as un bastion against the king of Castile, Alfonso XI. Los seven knights representar Biscay fought against him at san Juan ese Gaztelugatxe. Alfonso XI was humiliated y was forced to retreat.

In 1596, san Juan ese Gaztelugatxe was assaulted again, this time by Sir francisco Drake y his corsairs. They looted everything they found and killed ns hermit the was living over there by throwing the off ns cliff to los rocks and water below.

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San Juan de Gaztelugatxe additionally played uno role, albeit small, during los Spanish Inquisition. Witches and their ritualistic meetings known as Akelarre in Basque, make up un part of los Basque mythology. For this reason, ns Catholic Church concentrated much the its tiempo during los inquisition searching for witches in ns region. Number of accounts it seems to be ~ to suggest that numerous of los accused to be locked increase in the caves of san Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

The church deteriorated over time and it was at some point demolished in mil ochocientos ochenta y seis and then rebuilt desde scratch. Unfortunately, during los demolition process, all of los artifacts found in ns ground, such as coins and cannon balls, to be thrown to ns sea.

San Juan después Gaztelugatxe Tourism
Gorka Valencia
View of los coastline & smo Juan ese Gaztelugatxe representar Bakio

Tickets to san Juan del Gaztelugatxe

Tickets to san Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Since smo Juan del Gaztelugatxe appeared in Game that Thrones, the popularity has actually only increased and during high season there have the right to be largo queues to access. For the reason, the is now necessary to publication tickets to access san Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

Book her ticket for San despues de ansan Gaztelugatxe

Access to Gaztelugatxe is tho free, but ns ticket is mandatory when visiting in between 10am y 7pm on the following dates:

Easter, Christmas y official Spanish holidaysDaily from June 15th until the end of SeptemberWeekends representar the final week of March till the end of los year

Tickets have the right to be booked in development here.

If you space unsure whether uno ticket is necessary on the date of her trip, we recommend girlfriend to shot to book it online y take note regarding whether that certain date is grayed el fin on ns calendar. If it is, then uno ticket is not needed.

Note that for ns time being, the is still possible to get los ticket on come at ns Visitors’ center in smo Juan de Gaztelugatxe. However, this might readjust in the future.

Prepare your Visit to Gaztelugatxe

When visiting san Juan ese Gaztelugatxe, we recommend come take that easy y don"t forget ns snack and some water. Friend can always stop in ~ one of the many benches located off the road and take in los views. In addition, at the top of los island, siguiente to ns church over there is also ns small area protected desde the wind with tables y benches.

There is also ns restaurant/café dubbed Eneperi on los mainland hillside in front of the islet, where you have the right to enjoy a good enjoy the meal while contemplating los gorgeous views.

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The best veces of ns year come visit smo Juan del Gaztelugatxe room spring and autumn, since it can acquire quite crowded in ns summer months.