We continue with the second part of the top 10 of Urdaibai. If you have not seen the first part click here.
6. OMA FOREST or IBARROLA FOREST
The forest of Agustín Ibarrola is another most visited places of Urdaibai. And it is not surprising because if art and nature separated can be incredible, imagine if they come together.
It’s like entering another world. Every time I go, I think that at any moment an Indian tribe with drums will come out and sing to greet me. The environment lends itself to you to let your imagination fly. It is one of those unique places in the world that you have to visit once in a lifetime.
To get there you have to leave the car in the car park of the Lexika Restaurant, where we recommend to make a stop to enjoy the pintxos or their cuisine. It is also very close to the Caves of Santimamiñe.
You can visit them but do not make much illusions because you will not enter the caves. At the moment, you can see a recreation in video and they will tell you the wonderful history of their creation and their paintings but they can not be seen.
And you wonder why they can not be seen? Well you can not see because sometimes people are so idiot and we do not care what we have. Yes, yes, you have read IDIOT well. When they could be visited, people broke the stalactites, worn the paintings … so the solution was to close them. It is a pity! My advice is to read the opinions of people who have visited them and then decide if you want to go or not. If you decided not to go in, you can relax around, the environment is ideal for picnics or rest after the trip to the Forest of Oma.
7. BIRD CENTER
I have to admit I had never gone until last week and that I live very very close. I give you my impressions: it is a WONDERFUL. Do not believe that because I live in Urdaibai I am an expert of birds, not at all. But the guides make it very enjoyable and interesting, you can notice they are passionate about the subject and they transmite you immediately their enthusiasm.
The Center is located in the heart of Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and is a live museum, you can observe the birds from the viewpoint of the tower through the telescopes or camouflaged in the marsh in one of the two observatories they have. Two visits are not the same and if you come at different times of the year could be so different. We were told that the ideal is to go in autumn during migration time.
A museum that surprised me positively and I plan to return with my nephew because it is ideal to go with children.
8. LAIDA & LAGA BEACHES
If you ask me which of the two I prefer I will not answer, it is like choosing between your father and mother, you can not. You must visit both because they are very different from each other and are very close, 5 minutes by car or even walking, the distance is about 4km.
Laida is the beach where I spent my childhood and Laga is the beach where I spent my adolescence. I currently enjoy both, depending on the weather or the time of year. I explain the differences of the two best beaches in the world;)
Laida is a peninsula of fine sand, enormous when the tide is low and quite smaller when it rises. I have come to see how the water came to the access stairs when there are live tides completely disappearing the beach.
It has amazing views as it is an open beach with nothing around you can see to infinity and beyond. This makes it a more windy beach, for hot days it is very well but when it is cool it is better to take shelter in Laga.
Water sports (canoeing, windsurfing, paddle surfing) can be practiced thanks to the two active tourism companies. And if you are hungry, it has 4 bars-restaurants with some pintxos to remove the hiccups, especially the Atxarre bar.
Laga has coarser sand and a cove that surprises by its beauty thanks to the impressive wall of the cape of Ogoño. The golden sand, the blue of the sea and the intense green of the mountain merges to offer an spectacular view. It is more sheltered so it has less wind.
It is a frequented by surfers and is the most practiced sport on the beach. It has a bar with viewpoint right in the center of the beach it opens all year. On summer two more txiringuitos are added. Indispensable to visit at least the one located on the right handside of the beach with the sea in front.
You have more detailed information of these beaches in the post 11 beaches of Urdaibai. They are number 7 and 9.
A mini village, with a mini name and a mini beach that you will fall in love with, is just lovely.
Although its official name is Ea, in Urdaibai we call it Ie, it is like the version in Basque. However small it is, it does not lack anything, it even has old bridges that connect the town divided by the river. And you have plenty of bars to taste some pintxos. Ea is the perfect village to spend the summer and forget about everything, even the children, who can play on the swings on the beach until it becomes night.
I do not think there’s anyone in Urdaibai who does not feel affecttion for Elantxobe. It is a coastal town that starts in the port and climbs up in the hill with all the slopes and stairs that suppose. When the bus arrives it is quite a spectacle because as the bus can not turn, what turns is the ground. If you do not believe it you can see the photo on the Wikipedia that calls it “turntable for large vehicles”.
Here’s what to do in Elantxobe:
- Bathe in the natural pool of the port
- Wait anxiously until the tide rises and jump from the highest point of the harbor.
- Eat some rabas (calamari) at the bar Santi
- Go up to the terrace of the bar Itsabegi and try the octopus or any other pintxo that enter you through the eyes.
If you want more places to see or you are one of those who flee tourists, we show you the 5 best kept secrets of Urdabai. Those places that we only know the native ones.