Getxo: Walk Above the Cliffs (Part 2)

28/04/2021

Along the Paseo de la Galea there are beautiful beaches to visit with oceanside cliffs and jaw dropping views. On a clear day you can even see much of the coastline in Cantabria. This journey will take you over two hours to complete and it is worth it every step.

The Paseo de la Galea is a journey that will take you from Sopela to Getxo. In part one of this journey we went from the Larrabasterra metro station in Sopela to Gorrondatxe Hondartza (Hondartza meaning beach). In part two this journey is completed with the arrival at Bidezabal metro station. If you haven't read part one, you can here.

Gorrondatxe to Punta Galea

Walking south away from Gorrondatxe Hondartza along the Paseo de la Galea there is a straight stretch of about 800 meters (875 yards). During this portion of the trail the views are incredible and wide open. There are also a few trails off to the side that have secluded benches.

As you round the first bend in the trail and pass a brief section of bushes an expansive view opens. You can see well past the houses in Sopela all the way to the faro (lighthouse)in Gorliz

If you look inland you will see Real Sociedad de Golf de Neguri. This golf course is one of the most exclusive courses around Bilbao. As you wrap around the course the breakwater with five wind turbines become visible. This breakwater markers the entrance into the Port of Bilbao.

As you near Punta Galea there will be a series of coves. The walls of these coves as well as the rock below are interesting and worth studying. This geological phenomenon is called flysch. Flysch are jagged layers of sedimentary rock that are very visually compelling.

If you'd like to read more in depth, checkout our article on flysch.

Mirador del Espigón de Punta Galea

The lookout at Punta Galea is a beautiful place to take a break. Stretch out on the grass and relax as you enjoy the view. If you prefer shade, select a bench under the scattered trees. Several fountains offer a cool drink and an opportunity to refill your water bottle. Bicycle racks are available if you want to secure your bike while you stretch your legs.

The lookout itself is at a point (punta) that faces the breakwater with the wind turbines. If you're lucky, you might see some ships passing through. Across the port you can see where the ferry from Portsmouth, UK docks. Below the look out is another smaller breakwater that marks the near side start of the port entry.

When you leave the point to continue your journey, you will see an old lighthouse. This faro is fully operational and aptly called Faro de Punta Galea (Lighthouse of Galea Point).

Aixerrota Ruta

The walk from the point to the historical windmill is known as Aixerrota Ruta. This stretch of the journey is quite straight and has a parallel path for bicycles. Just past the lighthouse a trail leads down to the breakwater below. Proceed with extreme caution if the weather is less than perfect or it's high tide.

The Aixerrota Ruta continues above some very impressive cliffs. The views of the harbour and the suburbs of Bilbao get more impressive the further you get. On the right hand side between the path and the cliffs, you will come upon the Fuerte de la Galea. These ruins are what remain of this fort that was built in 1742.

After the ruins the path turns down hill and becomes lined with trees. This section provides welcomed shade on a hot day as well as benches for a rest. The views by this point are incredible. You can see most of Getxo, Algorta, Porteguante as well as other suburban areas. The beach up ahead is Arrigunaga Beach and is popular with the locals.

Near the end of the Aixerrota Ruta is a children's playground and the Aixerrota windmill. This ancient windmill looks like it was built centuries ago. Constructed in 1926 it functioned for 60 years before it ceased operation.

Getting to Bidezabal

When ready to head to the subway station, you continue on the Aixerrota Ruta until it turns into the Galea Errepidea (Galea Road). Follow this road to the end and take a right on Angel Etorb. Walk about 200 meters (650 feet) until you reach a small roundabout. Take a left on Bidezabal Kalea and cross the street to Bidezabal Park. Continue down Bidezabal Kalea and the second building on your right is the Bidezabal Metro Station.

The Paseo de la Galea is a coastal adventure that is full of beautiful beaches, epic views, and much more. It is unusual to find such an incredible place offering so much. You feel so removed from the city yet subway access is close by. Travel the entire route or part of it, but do try some of the journey. This ocean side trail is a stellar excursion well worth the trip.

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