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Bizkaia, the coast of whales

The coastline of Bizkaia offers the chance to see and observe different species of cetaceans up close as they glide through the sea. There are proposals for all tastes and the experience is unforgettable



April 2023

Up to three towns on the coast of Bizkaia have whales on their coats of arms: Bermeo, Ondarroa and Lekeitio. Evidence of the relationship between cetaceans and this coastline.

The characteristics of the seabed, the currents and the temperature of the water favour the abundance of food. So blue whales, Basque whales, fin whales and sperm whales were abundant on the horizon and have been hunted for centuries. Much of Bizkaia’s ancient industry depended on whale products.

Today, the same ports that used to charter boats to hunt them are committed to protecting them. And, from April to November, they offer the opportunity to sail in search of the herds.

Specifically from Bermeo and Santurtzi, unless a storm prevents it.

Barco cetáceos

At Ekoetxea in Urdaibai you can arrange whale watching trips with three options. The first, which is very economical, does not require sailing, it is enough to approach the rocky viewpoint of Cape Matxitxako, the cetaceans continue to pass very close by.

The other two options, one lasting 4 hours and the other 6 hours, offer trips in a boat, accompanied by specialised monitors, to meet the pods of bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, fin whales, fin whales, beaked whales, turtles and sharks.


Bizkaia dolphin jumping

On the other hand, the tourist office in Santurtzi, very close to Bilbao, can put interested people in touch with In this case, a training session is held the day before an outing that lasts around 7 hours. The boat may come across groups of dolphins playing in the mouth of the Bilbao estuary. Further out, sperm whales, humpback whales and many other species may appear. If you are lucky, you may even see a blue whale.


It is necessary to book in advance and be well informed of the conditions for embarking. Prices vary depending on the length of the trip. It is advisable to carry binoculars and it is compulsory to pay attention to the numerous species of seabirds that will be curious about the boat.

Let the sea set you free.


Bizkaia, the coast of whales


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