From Otxandio to Barrika in 5 steps
From the mountain to the sea in 5 steps Otxandio, Dima, Igorre, Gatika and Barrika
Otxandio is a unique town that hides next to a huge reservoir, among forests, in the valley that separates Gorbea and Urkiola natural parks.
Its past can be witnessed in the Vulcano fountain, the mighty tower of its church and the size of the town square, which can be reached through streets dotted with small palaces. Otxandio has a special charm that is well worth getting to know.
Leaving the town heading towards Durango and taking the road that climbs up Urkiola you will come to a turning on the left signposted to Dima.
You will pass through the Arratia valley along a gentle but winding road, with meadows full of sheep, patient cows and one or two horses with blond manes.
On this road, there is a basque traditional farmhouse that is home to a rotisserie, Korostondo, which is highly recommended both for its architecture and cuisine.
On the other side of the hills, already in the valley, the laborious Dima rises up.
It is the perfect place for a walk. With enough time to spare, you can visit the Balzola caves, one of the world’s leading climbing spots, as well as the Jentile zubi bridge, a large rock that forms a natural bridge between two hills.
Take the road towards Bilbao. You will pass through Igorre, the industrial and service heart of Arratia.
Despite this, the neighbourhoods surrounding Igorre preserve all their original flavour, as do the hermitages and shrines that guard the paths.
Follow the road from Igorre towards Bilbao, but take the Erletxe direction as soon as you get the chance. At Erletxe, turn at the roundabout towards the Txorierri corridor. You can visit Larrabetzu or Lezama, home to the Athletic Club’s sports facilities. You must follow signs indicating Mungia. Take care of them.
Then, look out for the sign for Gatika, where you will have the chance to enjoy the Wakepark water park and Butron Castle, a magnificent neo-Gothic dream on the site of a medieval tower.
Heading towards the sea, you will come to Barrika, with its flitch that looks like the back of a dragon caught between two waters. Its coves and cliffs were, indeed, part of the locations for Game of Thrones.
Just walk along them.
Listen to the whisper of the wind and the sound of the breathing sea.
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According to the London Institute for Quality of Life.
The Royal Academy of the Basque Language – Euskaltzaindia, founded in 1919, is the official academic institution that watches over Basque language.