The Museum of the Sea is located in the Fishermen’s Guild building at the heart of the fishing port in Santurtzi.
Its mission is to show visitors the links between Santurtzi and the sea in all areas – work, culture, leisure and social life – without forgetting that much of the town’s maritime heritage lies with its people.
A number of audiovisual presentations show the town’s close ties to the sea from 1600 to the present day.
Visitors can learn about the struggles of local river pilots to deal with the dreaded sand bar that hindered the passage of vessels into and out of the Bilbao river estuary, and about how the problem was eventually solved.
The interpretation centre tells the exciting tale of the corsairs and pirates who sailed these seas, including the exploits of an infamous Santurtzi-based smuggler of the 16th century and the story of how the boat races which are now such a tradition in the area began.
It also looks at the life of the sardine sellers who have become one of the town’s most iconic symbols: a group of self-reliant fishwives who kept watch for the arrival of the fishing fleet and sold their sardines up and down the banks of the river and as far afield as Plentzia and Balmaseda.
For families it offers maritime-themed workshops and activities, plus a fun tour in which children are asked to follow clues and pass tests to obtain a final surprise.
It is accessible for persons with physical, hearing, sight, intellectual and organic diversity.
The Museum of the Sea Interpretation Centre has undergone a meticulous external assessment to confirm that it has suitable protocols in place to be classed as a safe area.
It holds the SCTE Safe Destination distinction, awarded by the Secretariat of State for Tourism and Basquetour (the Basque Tourist Agency).
The museum tour can be taken in Basque, Spanish, English or French.
The Museum of the Sea is a living venue where you can engage in many different activities and have fun as you learn.
Click below to sign up for the activity of your choice!