Urdaibai Estuary

Estuario de Urdaibai, paisaje panoramico de desembocadura del rio

Let´s talk about a unique and wild environment: the estuary of Urdaibai. UNESCO declared this site as Reserve of the Biosphere and therefore protected spot since 1984. It is part of the Man & Biosphere project aiming at preserving the natural and cultural environment where it is located by thriving biodiversity and economic and social development   on a sustained way and so improve  the life of the people inhabiting  there.

Urdaibai constitutes a reserve of great natural wealth: 729 species of fauna, 821 species of flora, 86 habitats and 52 places of geological interest. It has Areas of Special Conservation and a Special Protection Area for Birds, integrated into the Natura 2000 Network. It houses 85 species in danger of extinction or of community interest.

The estuary – where the oka river ends – is flanked by magnificent sandy beaches. On the west bank you will find the picturesque and typical Basque fishing villages of Pedernales and Mundaka. The latter a  well-known spot among international surfers that search the best waves. The bay and the marine bed configuration allow creating the “ longest left” wave. In this idyllic and ideal surfing scenario some contest of the World Pro Circuit have been held.

Southern of the estuary Gernika village is located. This is an iconic and legend site for the Basque identity and culture. In here since immemorial ages the different Basque clans gathered to emanate and establish consuetudinary laws obliging the total Basque land inhabitants.

Special mention the sad remind of the bombardment committed by the German air force  during the Spanish civil war, where thousands of people were killed during this raid. The painter Pablo Picasso in his masterwork “El Guernica” immortalized this historic event.

Quiet, secondary roads connect this part of the Biscayan coast crossing the villages in some parts through the bike lanes ( bidegorri in Basque language) net , built for the bike transportation, being this the most ecological, economical and healthy way to pass through the places and, why not, stopping  at the different wild beaches  (Laida, Laga ) where to  go for a  dip.