Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera)
Slowly meandering toward the Sea of Biscay, the Oca River Estuary forms a vast wetland, the Iberian Peninsula's most important. It is protected by both the RAMSAR agreement and as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera) is home to scores of seabirds and other wildlife.
Perhaps more importantly to some visitors, it is lined with wide golden beach and quiet coves of soft sand, undulating with the tides. If you tire of tanning and swimming, climb well-marked trails into the surrounding mountains for spectacular views over the islands and sea.
This unparalleled setting has long inspired humankind to build, from today's pretty fishing villages to a ruined hermitage atop the island ofSandinderi, connected to the mainland at low tide.
Far more ancient remains include the Dolmen ofSorbituaga-Arriatara (Busturia), perhaps dating to the Iron Age, and the ancient paintings ofCave Santimamiñe. Surrounding this last are theEnchanted Forests of Oma, where artist Agustín Ibarrola works directly with nature.
By car, you can access the park from the region's main city of Guernica, at the junction of the BI-2238 west to Lequeitio, and BI-635, which runs along the Oca River's west bank toward the coastal fishing town of Bermeo; both cities and this portion of BI-635 (BI-2235) are located well within the reserve. The highway turns inland at Bermeo and runs toward Bilbao.
EuskoTren Line 3 Atxsuri (Bilbao) -Bermeo stops at the entrance to Urdaibai as well.
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- Euskadi Biodiversity Centre
- Santimamiñe Cave (Cueva de Santimamiñe)
- Oma Forest (Bosque de Oma)
- Guernica (Gernika)
- San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
- Butrón Castle (Castillo de Butrón)
- Artxanda Funicular (Funicular de Artxanda)
- Zubizuri Bridge
- Bizkaia Museum of Archaeology
- Casco Viejo
- Basque Museum (Museo Vasco de Bilbao)
- San Vicente Martír de Abando Church (Parroquia de San Vicente Martir de Abando)
- Guggenheim Museum
- Arriaga Theatre (Teatro Arriaga)