• сhristinabutorina

2019 #BasqueCountry | Lekeitio

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

It was a cloudy and a bit rainy spring April's day in Basque Country, but a trip to Urdaibai area and surroundings was planned a long time ago. Taking on my raincoat and feeling brave enough to walk even under the rain, I started that day trip driving up to north from Bilbao and the first place to visit was Leketio a teeny tiny town situated on the Atlantic coast. Frankly, never heard and read about this town before, but knowing the way up through Urdaibai is going to be beautiful and wanting to see more truly Basque small authentic places, so I've decided to stop at Lekeitio to discover new one.

Once you arrive and park (parking slot is in the special area outside of the town, but no worries it's just 10 min walking to the beach and the port), you're informed at the entrance that nobody is in hurry here as this is a slowlife town! Apparently you immediately catch that mood and make yourself adapted to the rhythm of that snail, it's like what you need when you're on vacation. Already love this place.

The town has around 7000 habitants, so you can imagine its size. Even in such a cloudy day the colors of those houses look bright and positive.

Locals know perfectly how to drive inside the town and park like a pro on such a narrow Lekeitio's streets.

Just going down from the parking through whole town, you'll find right in front of you an awesome gothic basilica Santa Maria de la Asuncion. Pity it was closed and I had no chance to see it from inside.

Nevertheless, just take those stairs going around the church heading directly to the port and the beach, two little gems of the town.

The harbour is a truly fisherman's mecca, once you step in you feel that typical smell of sea salt mixed with a freshly caught fish, brought early in the morning by local fishermen on their small boats.

You can buy fresh fish just right in the port, good option though for those who enjoy cooking.

The port is nice and charming...

...with a great view to the basilica.

The Lekeitio bay hosts not only the port but the great beach, rightly say two beaches Isuntza and Karraspio, divided by river Lea.

The time I arrived it was a low-tide and the beach was quite wide.

#lifehack if you have time, take a walk onto the top hill to Calvario mirador, to enjoy the best views of the town, beaches, port and the island.

During the low-tide there is a walking path on the beach right to the San Nicolas island. If you're going to hike there just be careful with your timing to do not catch up the high-tide on your way back, as the island becomes fully isolated once the tide goes up. I didn't do that exercise due to lack of time as I should move to Urdaibai lagoon in the afternoon.

Like everywhere else in this part of the country you're always reminded that you're in Basque Country, where people are proud of their origins and culture.

Lovely architecture is around, feel yourself a bit like in a fairytale.

The place is so peaceful, calm, quiet and nice, that you'll definitely want to come back.

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