After Gaztelugatxe´s fame through Game of Thrones it has become a "must visit" along the northern coast of the Basque country. It is a short and easy hike - 241 foot steps up to Gazelugatxe de San Juan and then back down again. It will probaby take you from an hour up to two hours.
Visiting Gaztelugatxe is perfect if you pass by along the road between Bilbao and San Sebastian. You have some lovely views from the church on the islet and you can ring the bell and make a wish!
Gaztelugatxe was not very much visited before it was the scene for Dragonstone in Game of Thrones. Nowadays a lot of people go here and on a sunny day it can probably be crowded.
We were here on a cloudy day in June and it was far from crowded around 11 a.m.
How to get to Gaztelugatxe?
From Bilbao it is a little less than one hour drive northeast along BI-631 for 35 kilometres.
You arrive in a small village with a few restaurants and a parking lot. If it is full, turn right to a smaller parking lot. If the weather is sunny, it might be difficult to find a parking lot if you arrive after 10 a.m. On the other hand, it does not take long until someone leaves since walking the stairs to the church on the top and back does not take more than 1,5 hours. There is no parking fee.
After Gaztelugatxe´s fame through Game of Thrones you will not be here alone. You can book tickets (for free) in advance to be sure to enter here. If you have forgotten to book tickets, don´t give up! It is also possible to get a ticket by the entrance. Perhaps you have to wait for a while though.
The hike to Gazteluatxe
The islet is connected to the mainland by a stone bridge. The bridge then transitions into a narrow path of 241 steps all the way to the top. It is a very easy hike. The difficulty lies in that is an ascent and if it is sunny and warm it gets streneous.
The church at the top has a bell in the front of its facade. After completing the climb, you can ring the bell three times and make a wish.
There is a restaurant at the top, but it was closed during our visit in June so be sure to bring the food and water you need.
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