5 Best Things to Do in Bakio
Bakio is a beautiful oceanside town on the coast of Biscay. Known for its surfing and extensive beach. It is a perfect place to go on a sunny day or to spend a weekend. Here are the five very best ways to spend your time in Bakio
Though it is not accessible by metro, it can be reached by Bizkaibus or car. The trip from Bilbao to Bakio is roughly 35-45 minutes and well worth it. If you need a rental car we usually book through Auto Europe Rental Cars.
The biggest attraction in Bakio is the beach, and for good reason. It is over a kilometer long and well maintained. This white sand beach with infinite views is a perfect place to lay down a towel and spend some time. The beach can get quite busy in peak season but that is pretty normal for all the main beaches of Basque Country.
Outdoor showers are grouped throughout the beach for rinsing off the salt after taking a dip. Lifeguards are on duty (peak season) and flags are flown in either green, yellow, or red to distinguish the swimming safety. You guessed it. Green means safe, yellow means use caution, and red means no swimming permitted.
The south side of the beach has a playground built on the sand, next to the Estepona River. It is worth noting that the beach does not allow dogs during peak season, which runs May 1 - September 30.
Bakio is known as a great surf location. There are three different spots that offer breaks that vary in size and difficulty. You can find the more challenging waves at the northern break, Pena Rojas. The central break is known as El Callejon and is the most common area to surf. The southern break only happens on certain days and is less reliable.
There are at least three surfing schools located within one block of the promenade. Here is a link to "Bakio Surf '' options and the business' reviews on Trip Advisor.
Walk the Promenade
The promenade is a nice place to take a stroll in the morning while it is still in the shade. For those who like to bask under the hot sun, an afternoon or evening stroll would be ideal.
The promenade takes roughly 25 minutes to walk each way. It stretches across the beachfront, continues along the Estepona River and up to a breakwater where you can look back at the beach, and city behind. There are several restaurants along the promenade to stop in and grab a pintxo and a vino blanco (white wine). Which brings us to our next topic.
There are a variety of patio options along the Bakio promenade. If you make an evening of it, you can experience them all.
Starting on the North end, there are two options. The first option you will find is La Bakiense Restaurant. They have a lovely patio that is right next to the beach. It is one of the largest patios you'll come across in Bakio. It has good views of the beach and of the oceanside bluffs to the north. If you're budget conscious, it isn't the cheapest of the options.
The Arimune Restaurant is by far the most high end option along the promenade. It specializes in traditional Basque gastronomy. The patio is more private than the others around. It has several trees growing throughout that provide some welcome shade. The restaurant is also attached to a hotel of the same name. If you decide to spend the night you might want to leave this location till last and enjoy a night cap here.
The rest of the patios are at the south end of the promenade and across the street from the river. There are at least five restaurants and bars all side by side. The five restaurants face the beach and are, for the most part, less expensive than the previously mentioned restaurants. You could easily spend a couple hours here if you have a drink at all of them.
Further up the street, heading towards the left side of the breakwater is the Itxas Ondo Tavern. It usually has a wide selection of beers and pintxo that are reasonably priced. The streetside patio offers some of the most unique views of Bakio. It is the only patio that allows you to look lengthwise at the beach and back at the city. Amazingly, it offers views down the coastline where you can see one of Biscay's crown jewels, San Juan de Gasztelugatxe.
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
Okay, so San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is not in the city center. However, you'd be crazy to go to Bakio and not take the five minute drive to see this epic location! It is definitely one of the most eye popping attractions in Basque Country.
This island plays home to a lone church. It is connected to the mainland by a stone bridge before you climb the 241 steps that guide you to the church. The bridge and path to the summit church is always undersold in how spectacular it is.
When you're at the church, place your foot over the footprint of John the Baptist and ring the church bell three times for good luck. The church itself is not the original as it was destroyed and then rebuilt.
Game of Thrones fans will recognize San Juan de Gaztelugatxe as the Dragonstone Island from season 7. Since its airing on one of the most popular shows of all time, this spot has become an incredibly sought after tourist attraction. For this reason you do need a ticket to visit. Thankfully, tickets are free. The ticket requirement is to limit the flow of traffic though this protected area. Reserve your free ticket here.
Bakio is a wonderful and somewhat hidden city that is worth exploring. This Basque oceanside town is a great place to surf, swim, and sunbathe. Spend some time enjoying the views, savoring the food and exploring San Juan de Gaztelugatze. It's one of those things you'll always remember.
Authentic Basque Country was started by Adam, on a rainy day in Gorliz, Biscay.