Day Trip to Lekeitio


Lekeitio is a small coastal city situated on the Bay of Biscay, about an hour from Bilbao (55 km). It’s written up in the guidebooks as an attractive tourist destination, particularly in the summer, but it doesn’t feel overrun. It has charming cobblestone alleyways, colorful fishing boats docked in the pier, and impressive cliffs and stretches of beach. I would compare it to a much smaller and less touristy San Sebastián, and it’s certainly worth a visit if you find yourself in Basque Country. I can’t wait to return when it’s warmer to take advantage of the beaches and explore more of the coastline. We visited during a week in February where the tide was particularly high—in fact, some people in other parts of the northern coast were swept out to sea by a few rogue waves—so only a few brave surfers were enjoying the water. But we were lucky enough to have the sun break through for a few hours, and it painted Lekeitio in such a way that left me wanting more of the tiny gem of a coastal city.

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It was my first glimpse of the Basque Coast back in May 2012 that made me fall in love with the region, and the reason I chose to return to Bilbao to teach. Seeing Lekeitio reminded me of this initial sensation, and I feel lucky to live in a place that boasts some of the most stunning scenery in all of Spain.

And just for fun, here’s a video I took of the tide that weekend. The whole pier was blocked off, and even where we were standing, we had to jump back at times!

You can reach Lekeitio from Bilbao by taking Bizkaibus A3512, which leaves approximately every half hour from Termibus and takes 1.25 hours. (Cost one-way: 2.42 € with Barik card, 3.25 € without.)

Have you ever been to Lekeitio, or explored other parts of the Basque Coast? Would you give these little fishing villages a try, or prefer to stay in the larger cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián?