Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve

Many times we commit the error of thinking that everyone has heard about our dear Urdaibai but it is not so. A couple of weeks ago, a friend from Madrid asked me “What is Urdaibai?” And I thought, if a person of Madrid doesn´t know Urdaibai how would know it an english or German people.

So come on, we will try to explain what Urdaibai is.

¿What is Urdaibai?

The complete name is Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and was declared by Unesco in 1984 for its natural wealth. There is no other natural space with such a landscape and ecological diversity throughout the Basque Country. Here is his curriculum:

  • Special Protection Zone for Birds (ZEPA)
  • Part of Natura 200 Network
  • Included in Ramsar Conventional Wetlands of International Importance

But the truth is that the titles are not the most important thing to us, even if it did not have any, we would still think that it is the best place in the world to live and that is why we are #urdaibailovers.

If you come, we are sure that you will also become a #urdaibailover because the sea and mountains are joined along 220km2 to offer you the best show you can see: cliffs, beaches, forests, rivers, marshes and birds, many birds.

Much more than nature.

In Urdaibai, not everything is nature. In this exceptional setting, history, culture, traditions and gastronomy also play an important role.

The villages and small rural villages of Urdaibai will not cease to amaze you, there is much to see and do; Get to know the bombing of Gernika first, visit the fishing village of Bermeo and see the “arrantzales” (fishermen) in full action, arrive at Mundaka and see the whole village dressed the same celebrating Antorras, visit fairs and markets and chat with the “baserritarras” (farmers), pronounce your first words in Basque, take a kalimotxo and of course, enjoy flavors that come directly from the land and the sea, those who now call 0km or Slow food.

Busturialdea vs Urdaibai

On the one hand we have the region of Busturialdea that responds more to the administrative limits and on the other hand, there is Urdaibai, which depends on the natural limits. Most of the municipalities of the Busturialdea region belong entirely to the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, but there are some exceptions.

BUSTURIALDEA (20): Bermeo, Mundaka, Sukarrieta, Busturia, Murua, Forua, Gernika, Errigoiti, Muxika, Morga, Mendata, Ajangiz, Arratzu, Nabarniz, Kortezubi, Ereño, Gautegiz-Arteaga, Ea, Ibarrangelu, Elantxobe.

RESERVE OF THE BIOSAFRICA OF URDAIBAI (22): Bermeo, Mundaka, Sukarrieta, Busturia, Murua, Forua, Gernika, Errigoiti, Muxika, Mendata, Ajangiz, Arratzu, Nabarniz, Kortezubi, Ereño, Gautegiz Arteaga,  Ibarrangelu, Elantxobe, Morga , Arrieta, Amorieta-Etxano and Munitibar-Arbazegi-Gerrikaitz. In the case of these last four municipalities, it must be said that it belongs to the Reserve less than one third of its size.

Where is Urdaibai?

Urdaibai is next to Bilbao (20 min), in the north of the Iberian peninsula and sheltered by the Gulf of Bizkaia.