Hidden Gems

Bermeo - One of the most charming fishing villages of the Basque coast

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Estimated time to visit:  6 hours (lunch time not included)


Bermeo is one of the hidden gems of the Basque coast. Located just half an hour from Bilbao, Bermeo is a small fishing village, brimming with charm and history. It is one of the essential day trips you can take from Bilbao and a great place to enjoy the views, the coast, and a bite to eat. 


Bermeo in a nutshell

Bermeo, one of the most important towns on the entire Biscayan coast, preserves a large part of our history and culture intact between its streets and cliffs. This town was founded in 1236 by Don Lopez Díaz II de Haro and was the capital of Bizkaia until 1602.

Although Bermeo has countless tourist attractions, few people dedicate a whole day of their trip to the Basque Country to discover all the charms of this fishing village. Bermeo is the closest town to the famous Game of Thrones site, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, it is home to La Tala Park, old school canneries, a casino, shipyards and the boat and sculpture routes.

Bermeo is one of the largest and most populated towns in the Busturialdea region. It’s a town that is the second most important fishing port in Bizkaia thanks to the municipality’s fishing and canning activity. Today, Bermeo stands as one of the few fishing villages that continues in the same way its ancestors did. This is attested to by a large number of canning companies in the area and the colorful fishing boats found in its port.

This small fishing village has a strategic location on the Basque coast located inside the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, one of the wildest and most beautiful natural spaces on our coast. It’s an environment where human beings gain strength from nature. Peace, relaxation and tranquility are what the cliffs, mountains and islands that surround Bermeo offer. A town framed in a dreamy rural environment that is perfect isolation from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. It is time to relax and enjoy.

The town of Bermeo is located above the old port. A space that, thanks to the colorful fishermen’s houses, brightens the passage along the coast. Although small in size, the historic center of Bermeo was declared a Cultural Asset in the category of Monumental Complex in 1996. It’s a beautiful space, which seems mandatory to visit and enjoy.

Bermeo has always been linked to the sea and fishing, a tradition that has been maintained over the centuries and reflected in the town’s coat of arms that features a whaling boat. It’s evident that Bermeo was one of the most important whaling ports in the Basque Country. 

Today, the fishing industry is still one of the pillars of Bermeo. Although whales are no longer hunted, they are still one of the great attractions of our coast. A trip to the high seas to enjoy their company has become one of the most exciting experiences at Ekoetxea (Torre Madariaga). We recommend you sail aboard the Hegaluze boat if you are interested in whale watching.

What to see in Bermeo


Lamera Park

Lamera Park is located in the center of town next to the port and the train station. This park has open leisure areas and is one of the most emblematic places in Bermeo.


The port of Bermeo

The historic center of one of the most important fishing villages in Bizkaia, was created around it’s lively, busy port. The best place to take in  the port of Bermeo is from the old breakwater, next to the sculpture of the wave. Photographers will get great shots from this vantage point.

Fisherman’s Museum

The Fisherman’s Museum is located above the port of Bermeo in the Ercilla Tower, a noble building that was declared a National Monument due to its great historical and architectural value. The museum, established in 1948, will take you on a journey through the history of Bermeo and its union with the sea. It’s one of the few museums in the world dedicated exclusively to Basque fishermen and their way of life and well worth a visit. We recommend reading our article on the Bermeo Fisherman’s Museum before you go.

Bermeo Sculpture Route

Scattered throughout Bermeo we find a beautiful and varied collection of sculptures that show us the history, culture and traditions of this Biscayan municipality. Some works of art, which, with the “Monument to the fishermen” at the top, provide us with a beautiful route through the streets and squares of the town. The largest number of sculptures can be found around the port, in the historic center. A number of works symbolize the different aspects that were once part of the daily life of our ancestors. Nestor Basterretxea and Enrike Zubia are some of the artists chosen to give life to the different works of art scattered throughout the municipality.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

San Juan is one of the most visited places located on Bermean soil. A place where a hermitage, an islet, and a bridge take center stage to create a complex never seen before. Without a doubt, one of the wonders of our coast and the jewel in the crown. We recommend the route that connects the Eneperi Restaurant with the San Juan hermitage, a short walk that we detail in our article on San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.  Find out how to get there, where to park, and much more.

How to get to Bermeo 

The easiest way to make your way to Bermeo is by car. You can get there by public transportation taking the A5327 bus line, but it is somewhat of a hassle. If you are staying in San Sebastian, it will take you a bit longer, around 1 hour and a half, but your best option is also to go by car. 

Video of Bermeo