Category Archives: Getxo

Yes, you´ve heard of the Hanging Bridge…

This is something unique in the world (yes, there are 5 others, but nothing close to this one). And, surprisingly enough, off the beaten path by tourism.  A World Heritage Monument by the UNESCO, it´s been in use since 1893, designed by Alberto Palacio (not by Eiffel, as some may think). It serves to link both banks of the river of Bilbao at its finishing point (Portugalete and Las Arenas), runs 24h/365d and it transports both vehicles and people. There´s an elevator that takes you to the very top, where a recorded system plays the story of the Bridge. The views are spectacular and you can cross to the other bank walking on the iron grilled path on top., luckily also available in English!.puente colgante 1

It´s used daily by thousands of locals who take advantage of the cheap rates and extremely high frequency of trips (it´s constantly coming and going…). I´ve used it hundreds of times, many of my childhood memories are related to this Bridge and still remember how exciting it was to cross the river on a rainy and windy day, hung from cables on a kind of wagon…And then, going to Santurtzi to have some grilled sardines on the fishing port…

The Old Fishing Port of Algorta

puerto viejo 3Yet another place full of charm that you don´t normally visit when you come to the Basque Country. Located on the east end of the river of Bilbao estuary, it is the small fishing quarter that gave birth to the fancy suburbial town of Getxo. puerto viejo 1It consists of a group of typical fishermen´s houses, painted in white, red and green, uphill, and full of nice places to eat. But you don´t see any tourists here, it´s mainly locals, that like to walk along the beautiful promenade by the sea starting at the Hanging Bridge (, a Unesco World Heritage Monument, we´ll leave it for another time) and passing by the magnificent villas and mansions overlooking the beach of Ereaga, and ending at the Old Port, the Puerto Viejo.

You can also get there on bike or by car, but I recommend the walk along the beach to end having a glass of wine or beer together with a great pintxo at any of the bars on the port. Kids jump from top of the stairs to the water, just for fun, while people sit on the puerto viejo 2stone verandas watching them and enjoying an outdoor drink with some “caracolillos” (periwinkles?¿, small black sea snails, much appreciated over here) or fresh shrimp. Climbing the renovated stairs where young people like to sit, you will find a statue of a fisherwoman and a kind of shrine devoted to the Virgen del Carmen, as well as a small cozy square where you may want to sit down and enjoy some peanuts (with shell) and a drink and another pintxo. On top, after another image of the Virgin, there are three or four excellent fish restaurants (catch of the day, mainly), expensive but worth the experience.

A bit further uphill, to your left, the mirador of Usategi, for outstanding views of the bay. On the way back , there´s an elevator to your left that takes you to downtown Algorta, the metro is easily accesible from there.

(down, view of the Old Port from the beach of Ereaga)