A Day Plan Revealing the Contrasts of the Grand Tour of Basque Country

Green and blue. Beach and mountains. Rioja Alavesa and Txakoli wine. Traditional and avant-garde cuisine. Classical art and contemporary art…

Euskadi has many differences that will surprise you: from modern cities to ancient villages, from high mountains to the endless coast.

Here, tradition and avant-garde come together uniquely, creating an unforgettable atmosphere.

Do you dare check it out in this one-day plan that you can do on stage 2 of the Basque Country Grand Tour?

The Basque Coast Geopark

Stage 2: Zarautz – Donostia / San Sebastián Basque Country blue and green

The Basque Coast Geopark, recognised by UNESCO, covers approximately 90 square kilometres in the towns of Deba, Zumaia and Mutriku. You will find them in stage 2, in the section between Zarautz and Donostia / San Sebastián.

This Geopark is noted for its impressive geology, especially the 13 kilometres of cliffs. It is home to a unique rock formation called Flysch. These rock layers act as a visual encyclopaedia, revealing more than 60 million years of Earth’s history.

The Karst area of the Geopark has many caves, such as the Ekain cave in Deba, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. A visitable replica of the cave, called Ekainberri, can be found in the town of Zestoa.

5 must-see places in the Geopark:

Explore the treasures of the Basque Coast Geopark. This natural jewel takes us through millions of years of geological history.

From the beaches of Saturraran to the valley of Lastur, every place in this Geopark shows the history of the Earth. The black Flysch and sinkholes reveal the relationship between man and nature. Every corner is a window into the evolution of the planet.

1. Itzurun: the treasure of the Geopark

The Flysch reaches its maximum importance at Itzurun Beach in Zumaia, where the verticalised layers of this geological phenomenon have contributed to the understanding of the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Today, geologists around the world continue to use this impressive natural book to get answers about the behaviour of the Earth.

Did you know that the dragons in Game of Thrones stopped at the Flysch and the cliffs of Itzurun in King’s Landing?

2. Elorriaga: Txakoli-flavoured cliffs

To explore Elorriaga is to immerse yourself in an experience that will leave indelible traces in your memory. This charming corner, steeped in rural tradition, is home to the cultivation of the local Txakoli wine. As we enter the interior, we have the opportunity to contemplate the limestone mountains of Andutz or Izarraitz.

Don’t forget to visit the Baratzazarrak viewpoint, a wooden platform that shows the cliffs of the Flysch. It has a unique view of the Basque coast.

3. Sakoneta: open-air geological museum

Sakoneta, nestled in the heart of the Deba-Zumaia Protected Natural Landscape, is a corner that reveals its connection with the wild forces of nature. Here, the cliffs constantly struggle with the onslaught of the Bay of Biscay, breaking into pieces.

The Flysch, witness to geological history, is proudly on display in this setting where the tidal flats stretch out incomparably. This territory attracts surfers and walkers, who can venture out on the Sakoneta georoute or join guided walks to explore the rich biodiversity of the tidal flats.

4. Saturrarán: the fascinating dance of the black Flysch

Saturraran emerges as a jewel among the beaches, presenting a unique crescent-shaped configuration that opens towards the west, sheltered from the indomitable force of the Bay of Biscay by the imposing cape that bears the same name.

This cape is formed by the black Flysch, which represents the oldest layers of the Geopark. These layers were created more than 100 million years ago during the opening of the Bay of Biscay. Visit the Museum Nautilus of Mutriku and be amazed by its collection of giant ammonites collected from the cliffs over more than 30 years.

5. Lastur: the hidden valley of the Geopark

Enter the mysterious charm of Lastur, a hidden valley that reveals itself as a deep and elongated gorge in the interior of the Geopark. his closed valley is characterised by the disappearance of its waters underground, guided by a series of impressive funnels known as sinkholes.

Lastur is a gloomy place with a long rural history. Water has been important here since the 14th century. There are old ironworks, such as the Plazaola mill, which can be visited in the village square. It is worth exploring this valley and discovering its viewpoints, as well as looking out over the highest peaks of the Geopark.

What to do in the Basque Coast Geopark

If you like geology and the history of the Earth, don’t miss the Basque Coast Geopark. There are many activities and experiences to enjoy.

During the guided tour of the Geopark, you can take a close look at the impressive cliffs and discover the secrets they hide. Specialised guides will explain the formation of these rocks and show you the most remarkable fossils found in the area. n addition, you will learn about the geological history of the Earth and how it has evolved over time.

However, the experience is not limited to observation from the sea. The Geopark also offers other guided tours, such as hiking routes along the cliffs and visits to the geological museums in the area. These activities will help you learn more about geology and how fossils and cliffs are formed.

In short, the Basque Coast Geopark is a unique place where you can enjoy an unforgettable experience. Whether you are an expert in geology or simply curious to discover more about the history of the Earth, this place will surprise you and leave you wanting to come back.

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