San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Top choice natural feature in Bermeo

On the road between the small towns of Bakio and Bermeo is one of the most photographed features of the Basque coast: the small island of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Attached to the mainland by a short causeway, this rocky isle is topped by a hermitage. The island is named after St John the Baptist who local tradition holds visited the island. Game of Thrones fans will recognise the setting, which was featured in season 7.

The island is the goal of pilgrimages on June 24th, July 31st and August 29th. Legend has it that by ringing the bell outside the hermitage three times you will be granted a wish and banish bad spirits. And if you don’t believe in such things then the spectacular views along the coast should prove reward enough for the walk out here. Keep in mind that this place gets very crowded in the summer. If coming then, go very early in the morning to beat the worst of the bell-ringing hordes.