Gorliz: The Oceanside Promenade

10/05/2021

The Gorliz promenade is one of the nicest oceanside walks in the province of Biscay (Bizkaia). From Plentzia to Astondo this promenade provides a great activity for all ages. Whether you are looking to walk, bike, or hit the beach (playa) it's the place to be. This promenade sets the standard for what an ocean walk should be.

Gorliz is located just past the last subway station on line 1 of the Bilbao Metro. This memorable stroll begins where the Plentzia Riverwalk ends and continues around the Plentzia bay and reaches its conclusion at the end of a break water nearly kilometer and a half away.

Promenade

The Gorliz promenade starts the moment you leave Plentzia and concludes at the breakwater in Astondo. This pathway is a popular walk for locals and tourists alike. Walking the promenade in its entirety, there and back, will take roughly 45 minutes. If you are walking from the metro station it will take roughly twice the time.

The promenade pathway is made out of concrete in most sections and is split into two sections. The larger of the sections is designated for pedestrian traffic. The pedestrian section is roughly eight meters wide with a white line painted in the middle. This line is meant to direct people to walk on the right side to ease the flow of traffic. The second smaller section is designated for bikes. This section is also split in half with bikes going in either direction. The bike paths are located on the side of the promenade that is furthest away from the ocean.

There is one section of the promenade that is made out of wood. This area is built differently in deference to the environment. The wooded section is done this way in order to give priority to the vegetation and stream below. There is also a path that goes underneath that allows people in the nearby park to access the beach.

Beach

The beach in Gorliz is 842 meters of white sands. Not exactly a hidden gem but a gem nonetheless. The slope of this beach is gradual which leads to large fluctuations in the width of the beach from high to low tide. During low tide the beach is huge and allows people to walk along the playa unobstructed from Astondo to Plentzia.

The beach also offers seasonal showers so that you can swim, shower, and go back to sun tanning without leaving the playa to rinse. This is a common practice to locals who do not want the salt drying out their skin.

Services

The promenade offers different services that make this leisurely walk even more enjoyable. There are multiple washrooms that include showers for those who are leaving the beach. Throughout the promenade there as wifi hotspots that allow you to stay connected, if desired.

Next to the beach is the Gorlizeko Pinudia Park. This park offers picnic tables, multiple playgrounds, a seasonal restaurant as well as many stone BBQs.

The Walk

The promenade begins at the large white building that is being shared between the University of Pais Vasco and the Plentzia Marine Station.This research centre is the divide between where Plentzia ends and Gorliz begins.

Heading down the promenade there will be a white building on your right. This is your first set of washrooms and showers. During peak season there is a small bar that offers drinks and snacks along with a grass patio. Across from the promenade you will see a ramp that leads you down to the beach. If you want to abandon your walk this is a good place to do it. The beach is calling!

Continuing down the promenade you will go around gradual corners before reaching a pedestrian intersection. To the left will be a wooden ramp that leads down to the beach. On the opposite side there will be a paved path that leads up the hill. In the summer there will be another small bar that offers drinks and snacks to go along with the outstanding view. If you continue,you will come to a large children's park.

As you continue along the promenade you will cross the wooden bridge section of the path. At the end of this section the promenade will take a hard left and you walk directly towards the ocean. At the next corner there are a few benches to rest on as well as another ramp that leads down to the beach.

Once you turn the corner to continue you will find yourself walking roughly five meters above the beach below. To the right of the promenade there is a large white building that dominates the scene in that direction. This large building was opened in 1919 and is the Gorliz Hospital (Osakidetza). It is famous for being located in a position that offers the longest views out of the bay and gets the most amount of sunshine.

At the far side of the hospital there is another seasonal bar with a grassed patio. Next to the bar is another washroom with showers and a water fountain. Across the promenade for the washrooms is another wooden path that leads down to the beach.

The path then takes another left and begins to wrap around the edge of the Plentzia Bay. There is an information plaque on the right hand side that talks about the nordic walking trails around the area and approximately how long it takes to complete them. The entrance to one of these trails is next to this information plaque.

The promenade concludes another few hundred meters ahead where it loops around a grassed area in the centre. This centre area also has a large statue of Doctor Areilza. This is the man credited with getting the Gorliz Hospital built. Next to the promenade is a breakwater that protects the beach of Astondo. You are able to walk to the end of it and enjoy an impressive 360 degree view. This breakwater is also a very common fishing hangout for locals. At this point there is nowhere left to go but to retrace your steps along this amazing and leisurely walk.

The promenade in Gorliz is one of the most enjoyable walks you can do in Biscay. Plus, you can indulge in this activity without having to break a sweat. It's relaxing, the views are incredible and the beach is a marvel. Spending some time walking the promenade will reaffirm to you that you're living the good life.

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