2019 #BasqueCountry | Zumaia, the beginning of Ruta del Flysh
Updated: Jan 8
There are a lot of amazing places on the Basque coast, but one of them definitely became my top favorite and endless love. Zumaia area, where famous Ruta del Flysch begins, the must visit of anyone who's travelling in the Basque Country.
Once you arrive to Zumaia, park the car in the center along the seaside promenade (#lifehack it's no parking around the area where Ruta del Flysh begins, only residential cars are allowed). Then just walk by feet following the plates with written direction to San Telmo Chapel. Teeny tiny white San Telmo, perched high above Zumaia overlooking the Bay of Biscay. The chapel, named for the patron saint of sailors, is a religious sanctuary during Zumaia’s days as a whaling outpost. The habitants of the village watched for ships returning from whaling expeditions and prayed for the sailors safety at sea.
The San Telmo Chapel overlooks Itzurun Beach, which you can also access from the town via a walkway through the cliffs. Itzurun is surrounded by towering flysch strata, which goes out into the ocean creating natural piers protect swimmers from big waves.
A bit of science. The K-Pg boundary starts at Itzurun beach and fossils can be found, notably of ammonities. The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary, formerly known as the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K-T) boundary, is a geological signature, a thin band of rock. K, the first letter of the German word Kreide (chalk), is the traditional abbreviation for the Cretaceous Period and Pg is the abbreviation for the Paleogene Period. The K–Pg boundary marks the end of the Cretaceous Period, the last period of the Mesozoic Era, and marks the beginning of the Paleogene Period, the first period of the Cenozoic Era. Its age is usually estimated at around 66 million years ago. Can you imagine the power and energy of this place, it's incredible.
The coastal line here is breathtakingly beautiful.
Ruta del Flysh actually is a hiking path connects the towns of Deba and Zumaia, located in the heart of Geological park of Basque coast with the longest set of continuous rock strata in the world. It has over 60 million years of geological history of one of the most singular geological formation in the world. The length of Ruta del Flysh is around 15 kms, it goes from emerald top hills to the beaches with awesome flysh cliffs. The path is divided to five trails, the approximate time of full journey is 5.5 hours (if you're in the perfect sport shape, at least).
Everything is made very convenient for travellers here, e.g. you can download special app for your smartphone with the maps and all needed info, just by scanning the QR code on the information desk. Thus if you have enough time, you're in a healthy shape for hiking and the weather conditions are good, then it's should be really an amazing journey to do.
Unfortunately I didn't have so much time and the weather was bad that day, so I decided to discover at least a part of this splendid place, the first trail.
Algorri is about 1.6 km long in total, but I made just a first part on the top hill side, and didn't go down at the end to the beach side as weather was pretty bad with slight rain, slippery clay floor and wet grass on the ground, super strong wind, so hiking was simply dangerous.
Anyways I absolutely enjoyed the fantastic panorama on the top part of Algorri trail. The nature, powerful Atlantic ocean, steep flysh cliffs dropping to the turquoise water, sloppy green hills, everything around is just terrific.
Can imagine how much higher even this strong impression could be, when the weather would be good and sunny.
Ruta del Flysh is a magnificent place, I truly hope to come back here some time in summer.