Another old funicular railway and a very picturesque one can be found in a town on the left bank of the Nervion, between Bilbao and the sea.
It starts in the town of Trapagaran which can be reached both by Bizkaibus and RENFE (commuter train). If you use the latter, get off at the station from Barakaldo, and there is a connecting Bizkaibus service to the funicular station (La Escontrilla).
It is over 1100 metres long. The other end is over 400 metres (1200 feet). You arrive at a small village of Larreineta and can take either the small bus waiting there to the larger village of La Arboleda or walk it (it is uphill but doable).
La Arboleda was a mining centre (iron mines), which are now a natural park. You can walk around the paths marked and there are short and long walks. There are two old mining lakes.
The village itself is famous for being the birthplace of the Socialist Party, due to strikes and revolts resulting from the miserable conditions which miners had to endure (as in other places). The famous Dolores Ibarruri endured them here and was one of the founding activists of the movement (she of the "No Pasarán = They shall not pass" fame). The local Casa de Pueblo (socialist party bar) has posters and info from the era.
The village square is very much like in her times though of course in far better condition.
Your journey shall not be in vain because this village is now famous for its local food, especially for its restaurants serving the robust La Alubiada (red beans with meats and sausages), served with green chillies in vinegar. If you have done one of the longer walks, you can eat have it with a clear conscience.
The monument located at the mouth of the Nervion River depicts Evaristo Churruca, the engineer who directed the works of the exterior Port of Bilbao and canalization of the Nervion River, which allowed for the development of Bilbao as a centre for industry and trade.
His family hailed from the fishing town of Mutriku, in Guipuscoa, and was a relative of the admiral Cosme Damian Churruca, one of the heroes of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Leioa is a suburb of Bilbao on the way to the coast (between Bilbao and Las Arenas). It is a town in its own right rather than being a barrio of Bilbao.
That said, apart from its fiestas in June (c.20-25 June) it has not much for the visitor.
If you are there, the Cafeteria Haritzpe, on Plaza Jose Ramon Aketxe, offers decent food.
This old and magnificent structure is located in Getxo, a residential area, near the Bilbao Port. It was constructed in 1890 by the Basque architect Alberto Palacio. It connects both sides of the Nervion Ria.
Just 40 minutes north of Bilbao is Bakio, a wonderful little beach near Bermeo, just in case it gets too hot here.
To get here by car, go out towards the airport and then follow towards Bermeo, turning left after "Larrauri". You will see the signs...
There is a BizkaiBus bus from the Moyua Square, but it stops in every little town and takes about 1 hour.
Not far from Bilbao you can visit this small place, unfortunately famous for the tragedy when it was bombing in the 1930's. It doesn't take much to visit it but is an obligatory visit. See Travelogue for more information.
Close to Bilbao and Bakio you find this interesting place. It's a small island linked to terra firma. You access to it from the main road going down a narrow road. On top of the island there is the hermitage. It's tradition that when reaching the top you ring the bell pulling down the rope so bad spirits go away.
Quite close to Bilbao you can find this nice place by the sea, Bakio. Walk along the seafront and see the beautiful cliffs. In this beach are held important surf championships. There are also some belvederes and churches to visit.
Visit the Basque Coast from Deva to San Sebastian by car, amazing views.
Conducir por la Costa Vasca, desde Deva hasta San Sebastían, unas vistas magnificas.
The Saint Juan of Gaztelugatxe Church in Bakio, Bermeo port and the Urdaibai marine life reserve.
La Iglesia de San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, el puerto pesquero de Bermeo y la reserva de de vida marina del Urdaibai.
The Old Port in Algorta and Punta Galea Seaside.
El Puerto Viejo en Algorta hasta Punta Galea...
Small fishing towns like Elantxobe or Ondarroa and Mundaka if you like surfing. Very close is also Gernica.
Interesantes pueblos de pescadores como Bermeo, Elantxobe o Ondarroa. Y para los que les guste el surf, y su ambiente, Mundaka. Y cerca está Guernica.
Frankly speaking, i do not know where this place is as it was my friend Miguel who took me there! i only know it is somewhere near Bilbao... it's a spectacular sight of nature at work. Look at the arch on the right of the photo! it was amazing climbing up the flights of stairs to the little church, and looking out to the sea from there. loved the feeling of wind blowing against my face....
The first weekend of October in Zierbana ( past Santurtzi where the UK ferry comes in) there is a seafood fiesta in this little fishing village.
Seafood is cheap and tasty, to be washed down with the local Txakoli.
You will need a car to get there as there appears to be little public transport.
the puente colgante is a must see spanish version of a eiffeltower kind of construction. built in 1893, it connects the two banks in a unique way. a kind of flying bridge. take the metro to areeta and walk towards the river.
Pu nte colgante, Santurce Ca tillo Buitron
If you have a couple of days, take some time to visit the coast and maybe even go to the beach. Nice towns to visit are Plencia, Algorta (especially the old fishermen village called 'Puerto Viejo'), etc. Nice beaches are: Azkorri (bus Bilbao-Azkorri), La Salvaje (subway stop 'Larrabasterra' plus 15-minute walk), Gorliz (subway stop 'Plencia' plus 30-minute walk).
If you wanna visit a typical basque harbour, Bermeo is the place. Magnificient restaurants too!! It's located in the north coast, some 50 minutes from Bilbao.