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San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is one of those unforgettable trips where you don't know which photos to keep and you keep showing them to everyone once you're back home. A trip that you recommend and that instantly becomes your background... it's true, there's something magical about San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

For a start, you should know that you're in a Protected Biotope. This means that it's a space with a high natural and landscape value whose ecosystem we need to preserve. In addition, you're in a Geotouristic Place of Interest, perfect for taking a guided tour and learning from professionals about how everything you see has been shaped over thousands and thousands of years.

It's precisely the way in which time, the wind and the waves have sculpted the rock that makes the Gaztelugatxe landscape so alluring, spectacular and beautiful. Sheer cliffs, coves, islets, flysch... spectacular rock formations that surprise you at first sight.

The Atxulo area is an excellent gateway to Gaztelugatxe. Here we find a curious window-like hole in the rock with views of Bakio, a perfect setting to enjoy the sunset over the coast.

But the jewel in the crown is the islet of San Juan crowned by the hermitage. It's worth highlighting how few islands there are on this part of the Cantabrian coast, a fact which makes this landscape so unique.

Once here, a stone bridge and 241 steps separate us from the Hermitage of San Juan. Unfortunately it's not the original hermitage that is believed to date back to the ninth century and that later became a convent.

The truth is that, between battles, fires, looting and other damage, the temple has had to be rebuilt multiple times.

As is the case with other places that possess a magical quality, legends and customs also play an important role in this picturesque spot. Like the one that says that the footprint on the final step belonged to St. John the Baptist himself, who reached the hermitage from Bermeo in just three strides. If you put your foot here, they say it brings good luck. Ringing the hermitage bell three times is also said to attract good luck and drive away evil spirits.

Remember, coming to Gaztelugatxe is an unforgettable experience but first you must consider several things to prepare for your visit.


BY CAR: from Bakio via the BI-3101 Bakio-Bermeo road
BY BUS (BIZKAIBUS): check the timetables and frequencies of lines 3516, 3517, 3518, 3527 here