Exploring Metro Bilbao: Lutxana Station

09/07/2021

You'll find Lutxana Station on Line 1 of the Metro Bilbao subway system. Located in the district of Erandio, this station is one of the links for Greater Bilbao's active commuters. This industrial area has parks, a riverside walk, a hike, and more. This often overlooked commuter hub offers a perspective of the city not often seen. Check out these gems when you're near.

Bilbao's metro system is terrific. It allows you to travel around Greater Bilbao with ease. With 41 stations over 2 lines, Metro Bilbao provides ample opportunity to explore this great city. From Plentzia to Basauri there is plenty to see and do.

Lutxana Station

Lutxana Station was opened in order to service the area of Erandio. This open air station is located between a children's playground and a park. The south end of the station is butted up against a hillside that the train tunnels through.

The original tracks and station were built in the late 1800's as part of a connection between Bilbao and Getxo. Shortly after, the station also became the terminus stop for the Luchana-Mungia railway. The railway to Mungia ceased operation in 1975 when the route was cut short due to the expansion on the Bilbao Airport runway.

Ownership was transferred to the CTB (Consortium for Basque Transport) in 1995 with the intent of creating Metro Bilbao Line 1. Luchana Station was renovated and renamed Lutxana Station. It officially opened as part of Metro Bilbao Line 1 on November 11, 1995.

Today, not only is Lutxana a station for Metro Bilbao but for Euskotren as well. The part of the Luchana-Mungia line that wasn't removed to make room for the airport expansion was converted to a shuttle service between Lutxana and Sondika. It is known as the Euskotren "Line L" and began operation in 2015. The connection between the two metro lines is connected by a pedestrian overpass.

Parks

There are two parks that are beside Lutxana Station. The one on the Euskotren side of the station is a greenspace with many places to relax. A well maintained path circles this pleasant park. There are many picnic tables and a couple BBQs that are yours to enjoy. This public space is conveniently tucked in between two hillsides and feels more removed from the city than it is positioned.

The second park is located on the Metro Bilbao side of the station, towards the Nervión River. This park has been planned with children in mind. The main playground is built on a colourful rubber flooring that softens one's tumble. The playground consists of a play structure with a slide, a couple of swings, and many spring rockers.

Next to the playground is a basketball court that doubles as a soccer field. This is conveniently located as there is a school across the street. On the other side of the playground there is a small grassed area, many benches, and a drinking fountain.

River walk

Less than two blocks from the metro station is the Bilbao Estuary. The sidewalks and walking paths go for as far as the eye can see. You can walk further into Erandio, towards Getxo and the Bilbao Port. Walking in the northern direction will take you past some commercial buildings, the Asua river and under the Arrontegi Zubia (bridge).

Walking the opposite direction, away from the Arrontegi Zubia, you'll head towards the community of San Ignacio, part of the Deusto District. This section has a  separated biking and walking path goes alongside the Nevión River. 

Follow this path to the first roundabout and take the second exit onto Agirre Lehendakariaren Etorbidea and then your first left on Ignacio Ellacuría Kalea. When this Kalea (street) ends you'll be at the trailhead for this area's main hike.

Monte Cabras

Monte Cabras offers an interesting hike in this urban community. When Ignacio Ellacuria Kalea terminates at Orixe Kalea, there is a paved soccer field. You'll take the dirt path to the left of the soccer field, up a small hill to an elevated path called Ibarrekolandabidea. You will want to take a left in order to head towards the Cabras summit. If you go right you will continue on the Ibarrekolandabidea pathway. This pathway goes a long way before terminating in central Deusto. It is a nice walk and easier than Monte Cabras.

Continuing left down the elevated pathway you will take a side trail to the right. It begins with a few concrete steps followed by a quick fork in the trail. The left trail is the one you will want to take.

The trail heads up the hillside at a relatively consistent rate. As you gain elevation you can see further up and down the estuary. The trail has one switchback about 60% of the way up. This hike is by no means the largest or most difficult hike in Bilbao but it does offer a perspective of the city unlike other hikes.

This hike features views of the old shipping yards and industrial parks along the estuary. The views also include the San Ignacio and Lutaxana communities as well as the mountain on the other side of the valley. It is worth the roughly 10 minute trek up Monte Cabras. When finished taking in the view, the trail continues towards Avenida Enekuri in Deusto. However, if you want to end up back at Lutxana station it is easiest to retreat down the trail from which you came.

2 Tidbits

Firstly, the Church of Fatima Eliza is close to the Lutxana station and is a beautiful building. It is worth seeing, however, it is awkward to get to from the station. You have to walk on the road for most of the journey and it does a dipsy doddle. If you have limited time or don't feel comfortable walking on the street then it may be something worth skipping.

Secondly, the link between the Metro Bilbao and the Euskotren stations may become even more important, in the near future. There is an expansion of the Metro Line 3 in the works, that will extend out to the Bilbao Airport. When this is complete the shuttle from Lutxana may be linked to that system. This would mean that when heading to or returning from the airport, anyone using the northern parts of Metro Bilbao's lines 1 and 2 would be served quickest by transferring at Lutxana Station. 

Lutxana Station is one of the stations with the most history. It is a link between the Metro Bilbao and Euskotren systems. A link that will undoubtedly become more important as time passes. It has some nice things to experience around it that are often overlooked in the vastness of Biscay. Lutxana allows for river walks, hikes and public BBQ's all within a hop, skip, and jump from the station. Lutxana is often overlooked, certainly underrated, and its importance is growing.

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