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The islet of Gaztelugatxe, crowned by its hermitage, is certainly an icon of Basque Country tourism. However, most people aren't aware that it's in an enclave that's unique because of its special geology. It's one of very few islands on this part of the Cantabrian coast.

Gaztelugatxe is made up of hard reef limestone from the lower Cretaceous that have withstood the ravages of the sea well and are better conserved than the nearby lutite and sandstone in the flysch surrounding the islet.

In this extraordinary landscape you can see remarkable geomorphological features caused by erosion, like the enormous stone arches and a small wave-cut platform. Watching the force with which the waves batter the coast when there is an ocean swell is quite a spectacle.

Don't forget to reserve tickets for your visit!

Did you know this stretch of coast between Bakio and Matxitxako has been declared a protected biotope? Its ecological value is undeniable because of the numerous protected species that inhabit this small area.