Gaztelugatxe is a little island on the north coast of Spain on the Basque Country. It’s connected to land by a man made bridge. On the top of this tiny island there is a little church or hermitage, that is called San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, dedicated to John the Baptist, it dates from the 10th century.
The hermitage is accessed by a narrow path, crossing the solid stone bridge, and going up 237 steps or so, we went during the end of the first trimester of my pregnancy and I suffered a lot. You can hear the bells toll constantly and we found out that is because according to legend, once you reach the top you should ring the bell three times and make a wish, so we did!!!
We arrived around mid day, and there where a lot of cars parked at the main road. Now a days you cant access the bottom of the island by car, you park at the top of a mountain in the main road, and there is a path to walk down for at least 45 mi. It offers amazing views of the sea, the islands, and the mountain you are walking down own is pretty amazing.
Once you reach the bottom there is a little hut thing and a fountain, and the narrow bridge that crosses to the island, them the stairs begging to ascend. Is not so bad you can hold on the the side bar, and have little breaks every so often, I had a many.
The bad thing is that thanks to Pinterest, Instagram and sharing amazing pictures this secret spot is full of people.
The views are amazing all the time, the island is unique as the sea has eroded parts away creating arches and caves.
Once in the top is pure blue sea and some seagulls or fishing boats. We checked out the hermitage, ring the bell 3 times and made a wish, enjoy the sun and the views and back down we went. The problem with me came on going up the mountain, I didn’t know been pregnant this was gonna kill me so much. I was out for the rest of the day.
My friends thou went to eat to Gernika a village quite close, I would also recommend going to Bilbao for some pintxos, but in the Basque Country everything you find to eat is probably amazing.