A complete plan for any weekend of the year (if not raining, better) would be to approach the town of Kortezubi, to discover 3 interesting places in the heart of Urdaibai.

It is an ideal plan to make with children as it combines a simple route to the Enchanted Forest of OMA, a visit to the caves of Santimamiñe and a tour to know the animals of a wildlife refuge.

The first stop would be in the neighborhood of Basondo and approach the Enchanted Forest of OMA. You can leave the car in the parking lot of Lezika Resturtant that as you can check it’s in an ideal environment to come and have a picnic also.


OMA’s Enchanted Forest

We leave the parking lot to get to the famous forest. The tour begins by climbing a slope to the right of the restaurant. After a little walk of about 30-40 minutes you will reach Oma’s forest. It is a curious space where art and nature combine perfectly. It is the work of the artist Agustín Ibarrola.



At first it seems all a little chaotic because you see shapes and colors without sense BUT everything has its logic and its reason for being. To see all the drawings as it should be and as a whole, there are yellow arrows that tell you where to place exactly.

It is a unique and special place that we return every time we want to make a simple route.

To not repeat the road, we recommend you follow the circular route and back to the way of the other side, enjoying the beautiful scenery offered by the Oma Valley.

You can see more information about OMA’s forest and the Tour on this website:





To not repeat the road, we recommend you follow the circular route and back to the way of the other side, enjoying the beautiful scenery offered by the Oma Valley.

The landscape is completely green, dotted with typical Basque farmhouses and surrounded by orchards and even vineyards, with which an excellent txakoli is produced.

As you can see the flora is also spectacular.


Caves of Santimamiñe

Once back in the parking lot, we go to the caves of Santimamiñe which are located 150 meters from the restaurant.


In 2009, was declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and it’s part of the historical heritage of Bizkaia.

The cave paintings date back to the Magdalenian (13,000 years ago).

The interior galleries contain various capricious karstic formations but feeling a lot we have to inform you that currently you cannot access the cave and you have to be content to see a video reproduction telling the story since its creation.

You have all the info here: www.santimamiñ





Where to eat in Kortzezubi (Urdaibai):

And to make a KitKat between these interesting visits you can make a break in any of these 2 known sites of Kortezubi, or even in both:


Lezika Bar-Restaurant

Rations can be taken as well as choose from the various menus offered or eat a la carte. Comment that the restaurant is in an ideal setting.


Marko Pollo’s Brewery

For more modest or tight budget pockets, we can approach to Marko Pollo.

The menu is reduced but normal in a brewery: salad, paella, chorizo ration, chicken with potatoes and green peppers from Gernika (in season).

It is usually quite crowded and more when the good weather arrives.

One of the positive points of the place is that after eating you can “drop” the children on the swings

Important: It is also possible to take away the food and there is no need to queue because to make the order, you can enter by the center, that is to say, the corridor between the bar and the dining room.

And to finish the day and do the digestion ….

Basondo: Animal Shelter

Xabier Maiztegi Foundation (Animal Recovery Center)

First of all, we have to clarify that Basondo IS NOT A ZOO, is a refuge for threatened wildlife. The animals that live here come mainly for 3 causes:

  • They have been wounded and after healing they remain because they could not survive for themselves.
  • They are old and not to sacrifice, they bring them to Basondo
  • They are exotic species that the owners can no longer take care of.

Along a circular and asphalted itinerary for the most part, you can enjoy and learn about animals and their nature. It is a journey of no more than kilometer and a half, and accessible, where you can see nothing more and nothing less than: deer, bears, foxes, lynx, wolves, deer … and BISONS!

The bisons abounded in Europe in prehistory, but they were disappearing, until at the beginning of the twentieth century only a few specimens remained. Currently, in the meadows of Basondo, we can see some specimens of the largest wild animals of Europe, within the European program of conservation of the species.

The visit you can make it on your own but if you have in mind to go in group, it is a better option to arrange a visit and a guide will accompany you through the tour. This makes the visit much more interesting because Iñigo tells you the story of each animal, how it got to the shelter, anecdotes and details that do not appear in the panels.

Besides, if you are more than 20 people in the group, the Guide is free, if not, you have to pay €35 in addition to the entrance (adults €8, children €5)

The visit to the center is completed with a series of exhibitions. In the reception building, an exhibition and an audiovisual, explain life in the marshes of Urdaibai, migratory birds and there are exhibitors with information on footprints and traces of animals.

It also has a shop and bar.

Basondo seems the perfect place for children to develop sensitivity for the animal world, to understand the responsibility of having an animal at home, which cannot be treated as simple toys, or harm for fun. And in turn to understand the importance of species conservation.

A visit to Basondo will not leave indifferent to the little ones of the house, and to the old ones neither.

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