San Juan de Gaztelugatxe travel information and photos

It’s quite an adventure out to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, but it’s definitely worth it. The tiny island is connected to the mainland by a bridge and hosts a small 10th century church atop. Though the rocky waters isn’t ideal for a swim, it is ideal for a picnic and lots of photos. You may access the island via a narrow bridge and 231 steps.

Travel (from Bilbao):

Unless you have your own car, you will need to take a bus to Bakio and a taxi to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

1) Metro/bus/walk to Mayua Plaza.

2) Bus to Bakio. The first bus you will need to take is the Bizkaibus bus into Bakio (Bilbao-Muniga-Bakio #3518). There are a few bus stops in Mayua Plaza (it’s a round-about), but look for stop ID #1052. It runs every 30 minutes. It costs 1.70 euros (one way).

The bus ride is 28 minutes long with 18 stops, according to Google, but I don’t remember that many stops. The bus stop is called Olaskoetxe, but it will be easier to know it’s the very last stop.

At the bus stop will be a Bizkaibus information station and a Bakio information station. Either station can give you further directions, but they weren’t open when we were there.

3) Taxi/Walk to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. You can get a taxi or a bus. The buses do not run too often, but probably more in the summer months. The taxi ride is about 5-10 minutes and costs 10 euros from the bus stop.

4) Hike. The hike is about 20-25 minutes (we didn’t actually keep track, but that’s our estimate). It’s steep and parts of it are uneven.

5) Return to Bakio. We walked back, which took about 25-30 minutes. We were told there was a bus and a taxi to take us back, but the restaurant at the top said we had to walk. It’s a gorgeous walk nonetheless.

6) Return to Bilbao. It’s the same bus stop and bus back home. Easy. It runs every 30 minutes.

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