San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a unique landmark, a shining light on the Biscay coastline.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is the shining light of Biscay; a landmark on our coastline that has a special place in the hearts of local people, receiving more than 3,000 visitors daily from all over the world, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the local area.

Biscay is proud to share the beauty of Gaztelugatxe and our coastline, yet this also involves an obligation to care for it, protect it and ensure that its equilibrium is not upset and its charm remains intact, so that we can continue to enjoy it now and in the future.

State of the project at San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

March sees the launch of the ticketing service for restricting access and protecting the environment, while Bizkaibus will increase the number of bus services from Bermeo and Bakio on the long weekend of San José (19 March), Easter, and over the May Bank Holiday.

Another project involves linking Bermeo, Matxitxako and Gaztelugatxe along a scenic clifftop path, with work starting in autumn 2020.

The thinking behind San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

This scheme consists of sundry projects designed to improve visitors’ experience, include the whole of the coastline in Biscay and, above all, care for and protect its ecosystem.

With this in mind, the following measures have already been introduced or are at the planning stage:

  • A scenic clifftop path running along the coastline between Bermeo, Matxitxako and Gaztelugatxe.
  • A ticketing service and visitors’ turnstile for controlling numbers.
  • Measures for improving mobility and safety in the area: reinforcing the Bizkaibus service from Bermeo and Bakio; a new roundabout for making it easier for buses and coaches to manoeuvre at Matxitxako; and increased safety on the road leading to Gaztelugatxe.

The purpose of the scheme

  • The clifftop path between Bermeo and Gaztelugatxe is a different tourist option that will enable visitors to enjoy nature and the beauty of Biscay’s coastline in a more sustainable and respectful manner.
  • The ticketing service will restrict the number of visitors to the chapel to 3,024 on the busiest days.
  • Increasing the Bizkaibus service is designed to facilitate access to Gaztelugatxe and reduce the use of private cars.
  • The safety of the road leading to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe has been improved with new signage, and the areas where no parking is permitted for safety reasons have been clearly marked.

Timeline for the project at San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

With an investment so far of 6.7 million euros, March 2020 witnessed the launch of the ticketing service. In addition, 2020 will see the increased frequency of the public transport service provided by Bizkaibus and the start of work on the clifftop path.