‘The Basque Country has castles ? ‘ was the question. The answer was an emphatic YES!
We had the great pleasure of accompanying a family from the Eastern Seaboard of the USA last week on a tour of the countryside and coast (and castles) of the Basque county of Bizkaia (Biscay like the Bay of…)
Their bespoke tour took in the less well known but equally fascinating sights that rarely get seen by the increasing number of visitors to the Basque Country, something we at Basque Experiences always try to provide.
As a contrast to the modern, headline-catching Guggenheim and the centre of Bilbao, we went on a tour to give some context to these now popular sights.
Bilbao is a city built on Industry, its history is indispensable when discussing the Guggenheim, The Zubizuri and the exemplary regeneration that has taken place over the last 30 years.
The Hanging Bridge across the mouth of the river was the first bridge of its type constructed in the world, functional, industrial and efficient, it still operates today much as it did after it’s opening in 1893
Going back several hundred years however and we learn about a hidden Mediaeval Castle, whose history dates back to the feudal families of the Basque Country in the 15th Century. Rebuilt over time, this nearly perfect example of neo-gothic and neo-romantic architecture has a few secrets to tell, and all hidden in the depths of the Bizkaian countryside.
A beautiful day and a beautiful village for lunch, with some truly spectacular views out over the River Oka and the Urdaibai Nature Reserve. Nothing rushed, we had a marvelous lunch, like the locals, in an excellent restaurant before finishing with the impressive San Juan de Gaztelugatxe before heading back to Bilbao.
All in all a great day, and whose itinerary we changed only that morning due to the fantastic weather and our advise to come visit the coast and these off-the-beaten-track sights, as opposed to staying in a very hot, busy and sticky Bilbao…. See you again soon guys!