One of the first stops on the tour of Spain’s coast: Gaztelugatxe, an islet in Basque country. It is a beautiful combination of man and nature with a man-made bridge connecting the island with its hermitage (Gaztelugatxeko Doniene/ San Juan de Gaztelugatxe), dating from around one thousand years ago! The rocky coast surrounding it is so beautiful with exposed layers jutting out of the ocean in bold stripe patterns. The partially submerged rocks provide habitat for some ocean creatures which, if you’re lucky, may make an appearance.
A very steep one kilometer walk from a parking lot followed by a few hundred stairs takes you up to the hermitage with views of both the coast and wide open ocean. Although I traveled here by personal vehicle, the area connects to coastal hiking trails. Navigation was a bit challenging with many road signs in Basque but nothing Google translate couldn’t assist with. I was pleasantly surprised that the site was both free to access and not crowded, although it was a Thursday morning.
The stop was a gorgeous introduction to the dramatic Basque coast which eventually mellows as you go further East.
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