Urdaibai Reserve

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The biosphere reserve of Urdaibai is 22,452 hectares and encompasses one of the most naturally diverse areas in all of coastal northern Spain. The reserve is complete with the small protected biotope of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, one of the main tourist attractions in Basque Country.

Urdaibai Reserve extends on both sides of the Oka River, which runs towards the north and empties into the Cantabrian Sea by way of the Mundaka estuary. Urdaibai Reserve is composed of a series of ecosystems, including beaches, cliffs, and marshes along with forests and meadows farther inland. The northernmost parts of Urdaibai Reserve constitute, in essence, a wetland of great natural value that also contains several of the most emblematic landscapes of Biscay.

In the interior of Urdaibai Reserve there’s a landscape of meadows and forests with many archeological sites such as Santimamiñe Cave and other places of cultural value like Oma Forest, with its trees painted by the artist Agustín Ibarrola. Right nearby there’s San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a natural icon of the coast of Biscay.

Vegetation: The flora of Urdaibai Reserve is a reflection of the local biodiversity. Its ground is formed by a series of fields and pastures among which there are rather extensive forests of oak, holm oak, pine, and strawberry trees. The coastal zone of Urdaibai Reserve is an area of special interest from an ornithological standpoint, as it is home to a multitude of bird species, permanent as well as seasonal, including herons, cormorants, kingfishers, black storks, common shelducks, vultures, and ospreys. As in all of northern Spain, in the reserve’s forests there are wild boars, roe deer, and wildcats.

The great touristic character of this area makes it possible to partake in a multitude of active tourism activities, from hiking and cycling to cultural tourism and aquatic sports like surfing.

Several touristic towns are located in Urdaibai, such as Bermeo, Elantxobe, Mundaka, and Gernika, which can be reached by the BI-635 highway before it splits into two roads that go up towards the sea along both shores of the estuary..

Below are some recommendations of places to eat and sleep around the Urdaibai Reserve and the San Juan de Gaztelugatxe biotope

In Bermeo
Almiketxu’s Restaurant
Jokin’s Restaurant
Bengoetxe’s Restaurant
Asador Cannon’s Restaurant
In Elantxobe
Ixasmin’s Restaurant
In Mundaka
Asador Portuondo’s Restaurant
Erreka’s Restaurant
El Bodegón’s Restaurant
Casino de Mundaka’s Restaurant
In Gernika – Lumo
1000 Kolorau’s Restaurant
Lezama’s Restaurant
Zimela’s Restaurant
Zallo Barri’s Restaurant

In Bermeo
Hotel Txaraka
Hotel Atxurra
Casa Rural Lurdeia
Casa Rural MañukoBenta
In Elantxobe
Hostal Itxasmin
Casa Rural OgoñoMendi
In Mundaka
Hotel Mundaka
Hotel Atalaya
Hotel El Puerto
Hotel Kurutziaga
Camping Portuondo
In Gernika – Lumo
Hotel Boliña
Hotel Gernika
Hostel Akelarre

Centro Medioambiental Lurraska (Ajangiz)
Excursiones en Barco Atuntxo (Bermeo)
Excursiones en Barco Hegaluze (Bermeo)
Buceo Ur Sub (Gernika)
Turismo Activo Urdaibai (Ibarrangelu)
Canoas Laida Kanoak (Ibarrangelu)

Patronato de la Reserva de Urdaibai. Palacio Udetxea. Ctra. Gernika-Lumo, s/n. Gernika-Lumo. Bizkaia. España. Teléfono: 946 257 125. Coordenadas GPS aprox.43º 18′ 51.91″ N – 2º 40′ 33.5″ W)

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