There are lots of sites in Getxo where you can soak in the local atmosphere and the amazing landscapes of the mouth of the river Nervión.
The Old Port of Algorta
In the area of the Old Port in Algorta you can find traditional sailor homes and lively bars – a perfect mix to enjoy a few pintxos and the best views, wrapped in a unique atmosphere.
The Old Port is a recreational area today, but it has had an eventful history that is reflected in deeply-rooted traditions. It had its origins in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, and it is associated with the boom of inshore fishing on small boats and the efforts made by Germans to prevent ship grounding on the sandbanks.
In response to the high number of shipwrecks in the area, a Shipwreck Rescue Station was set up with men trained to act in case of emergency.
The Shipwrecks’ Home is still standing, now housing the facilities of the Getxo Marina, including the Red Cross at Sea and the marina concessionaire.
The Shipwrecks’ Home stands at the entrance to the El Abra-Getxo Marina.
The marina opened in 1997, being the first of its kind in the Basque Country. It offers a wide range of services for yachts and sailboats, and for vessels in transit.
The marina includes a bar and restaurant area, where you can enjoy stand-up comedy shows, concerts and other events, and a movie theatre, Getxo Zinemak, screening the best indie movies, children’s films and live opera performances.
Recently, the Getxo Marina added a new cruise stopover, Olatua, to welcome cruise liners in the high season.
The marina is perfect for a walk filled with wonderful views of the Bizkaia Bridge, the Aixerrota cliffs and Ereaga Beach, among other landmarks, as well as the endless trail of cargo ships and small sailboats.
The Bizkaia Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006, is Getxo’s most popular landmark. Connecting the towns of Portugalete and Las Arenas, this transporter bridge offers breathtaking views of the area.
The bridge was built in response to the need to connect both banks of the estuary without blocking maritime traffic in the late nineteenth century. The project took shape during the regency of Queen Maria Christina, based on a design by architect Alberto de Palacio and directed by Ferdinand Arnodin, engineer and one of Gustave Eiffel’s disciples.
Construction work began in April 1890 and finished in July 1893. On 13 July, 2006, the bridge was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, becoming the first site in the Basque Country to get this recognition.
The Bizkaia Bridge is Getxo’s top tourist attraction. You can walk across at 50 metres high or take the suspended gondola. Both methods are worth the while!
La Galea and Aixerrota
La Galea is a trail amidst huge cliffs, affording the finest views of the mouth of the river Nervión. Moreover, it leads to some of Getxo’s hidden gems.
The Aixerrota Windmill was established in the eighteenth century, when the area was dealing with the negative effects of a severe drought. It was not the only windmill built, but it is the one that has come down to us. It was in operation from 1726 or 1727 to 1787. Today it is open to visitors and houses a restaurant, Cubita.
– La Galea Fort
This fort was built in 1742 to protect the trade routes to and from Bilbao. It is the only eighteenth-century defensive construction still standing in Bizkaia.
– La Galea Lighthouse
This lighthouse stands where there used to be bonfires marking the entrance to the port. The place used to be a vantage point for whale watching as well. The original lighthouse was built in 1782. This replacement is from 1950.
– Aizkorri Beach
This tucked-away, unspoilt, dark, fine-sand beach – known as Aizkorri or Gorrondatxe – is set in a beautiful natural area, surrounded by cliffs. Apt for surfing, it bears the Blue Flag certification for environmental quality.
– La Salvaje/Barinatxe Beach
La Salvaje is a haven for surfers and paragliders. A naturist beach, it also carries the Blue Flag. Most beaches in the area boast heavy swell, so be careful!
Getxo with kids
There are many different places for adult visitors in Getxo. However, children can have fun too…
– Recreational areas at Getxo Marina
There are several recreational facilities at the marina, in addition to a safe pedestrian zone. This makes it perfect for families, as parents can relax while children play.
– Getxo Aquarium
In the marina there is an aquarium too – a favourite with families! It is comprised of 27 sea world-themed areas, from Atlantic to tropical environments. No props and a wide range of species!
– Ereaga Beach
Ereaga has moderate swell in the summer, which makes it safer for little swimmers, and an extensive sandy beach where your children can spend hours playing out.
These guided tours take you along the steep alleyways in the Old Port, unveiling its best-kept secrets. There are so many special sites in Getxo, filled with historical charm… Have you been to them? Tell us about your special places in Getxo!
See you in Getxo!
Last modified: 8 March, 2018