• Mybilbaobizkaia
  • Urdaibai

Urdaibai, Cultural Landscape

One of the best-kept secrets of Urdaibai (declared a Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO in 1984) is to be found in the valleys of Basondo Oma, in Kortezubi, in the heart of Vizcaya under Ereñozar hill.

The Special Protection Areas are the estuary, the coast, the Cantabrian holm-oak forests and the area of ​​archaeological interest. The mouth of the Oka River forms a marsh that is a resting and feeding point for birds migrating to Africa. Moreover, the animals that roam this impressive spot include the gazelle, the genet, the wildcat, the polecat, the weasel and the fox.

 

URDAIBAI

It covers an area of ​​23,000 hectares, in which there are 22 Biscay towns and villages. Of these, Bermeo and Gernika account for the highest percentage of the population. The reserve is bounded to the north by the coastline and to the west by Cape Matxitxako, the main geographical feature along the Basque coast, protecting the entrance to the estuary. The southern border is established by the massifs of Bizkargi and Oiz and the eastern border by the Donesolo and Kanpona mountains.

 

Its forest hides some great natural gems that have been enhanced through human intervention. One example of this is the Santimamiñe Caves, where cave paintings, more than 15,000 years old and from the Upper Palaeolithic period, have been found. We also have the Forest of Oma, an artistic work created by the Biscay sculptor and painter Agustín Ibarrola that reflects the relationship between man and the earth. This offers a magical walk full of colours, where nature becomes a canvas for the artist. It is also a highly rated area for sports. Not only land sports such as hiking or climbing, but more particularly water sports such as kayaking, canoeing trips and surfing.

 

In fact, Mundaka has the best Left Wave in its category in Europe, which can reach 4 metres high and 400 metres long and has been enjoyed by the best surfers in the world. The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve has a centre whose fundamental objective is to promote biodiversity, disseminate its benefits and raise awareness about the negative consequences of species extinction. This Basque Biodiversity Centre is housed in Madariaga Tower, specifically renovated to accommodate this project and located in Busturia. The exhibition allows visitors to discover what biodiversity is, what role it plays and its importance for the economic and social development of the area. Visitors can also book in advance for guided tours of the marsh, where they can see at first-hand the treasures of the reserve.

 

Beaches, forests, rivers marshes and river meadows. A tour of vivid colours and immense ecological and natural heritage. A real luxury within our reach.

  • Mybilbaobizkaia
  • Urdaibai