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Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera)
Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera)

Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera)

Formed from the estuary at the mouth of Spain’s Oka River, the Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera (or Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve is an important habitat for migratory and resident birds. Urdaibai also boasts some of the most popular beaches on the Basque Coast and several ancient archeological sites—such as Cave Santimamiñe, with its ancient paintings—to explore.

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Open daily
BI-635, Guernica

The basics

Visit the Urdaibai Bird Center to learn about the significance of the Urdaibai estuary and view herons, ducks, wader birds, and more in the wild from the center’s observatories. Beachgoers won’t want to miss the picturesque sandbars along Laida Beach and the scenic cliffs of Peñón de Ogoño from the Laga Beach. The hermitage of San Miguel de Ereñozar, the Caves of Santimamiñe, and the Painted Forest of Oma are also popular area attractions.

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Things to know before you go

  • Urdaibai is a dream destination for birdwatchers and nature lovers.
  • An admission fee is required to visit the Urdaibai Bird Center; children under 5 are free.
  • Shallow waters at Laid Beach make it a great destination for families with small children.
  • Laga Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Basque Country.
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How to get there

The Urdaibai Estuary is located on the Bay of Biscay between Bilbao and San Sebastian and comprises a wide range of ecosystems in over 85 square miles (220 square kilometers). The Urdaibai Bird Center is located in Gautegiz Arteaga on the east bank of the Oka River. The area is most easily explored by car, but is accessible via public bus from Bilbao and San Sebastian.

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When to get there

You can catch birds in the Urdaibai Reserve year-round, but spring and autumn are the best time for migratory birds. The Urdaibai Bird Center is open daily iin July and August with limited hours the rest of the year. July and August are the busiest times at the beach, so visit June or September and you’ll find fewer crowds and still enjoy pleasant weather.

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The Painted Forest of Oma

Just a 10-minute drive from the Urdaibai Bird Center, the Painted Forest of Oma in one of the area’s top family-friendly attractions. A work of art by Basque sculptor and painter, Agustin Ibarrola, the Oma Forest features hundreds of pine trees painted with colors and lines that form figures and animals when viewed from afar. The forest paintings change shape depending on the path you take and whichever way you look.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera)?
A:
Attractions near Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Basque Country?
A:
As well as visiting the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai Reserva de la Biosfera), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: