See the seafaring history of Santurtzi for yourself. Fishermen at work in the sea breeze and a heart ready for new adventures…
This trail takes you into the very seafaring essence of Santurtzi.
Getting to Santurtzi is easy. The town is linked to Bilbao and its metropolitan area via the Metro and a commuter rail line.
But why not do something different and take an El Bote boat in the heart of Bilbao and sail down the river to see the evidence of our industrial past.
Get off the boat in Portugalete and take the promenade from beside the Puente Bizkaia transporter bridge, a Human Heritage Site known locally as the “Puente Colgante” or “hanging bridge”.
Just five minutes away you will find the AGURTZA, one of the few surviving traditional wooden fishing boats, now fitted out as a museum.
Take a guided tour of this on-board museum to learn how white tuna are caught, see how Basque fishermen traditionally lived and learn about the important role played by women in the fishing industry.
And share it.
Gaze out over the bay from a dream house. Try to find time for a short detour off the promenade to see the Belle Epoque-period PALACIO DE ORIOL.
The view over the El Abra Bay from the house is incomparable, and the building itself is a fine example of the elegant summer homes built by the incipient upper middle classes in the early 20th century.
Now return to the promenade, which follows the path home traditionally taken by the town’s fishwives after selling their sardines in Bilbao and the nearby towns.
If you feel like a rest, why not stop at the tables outside one of the bars near the church of San Jorge?
You are now in the area where Santurtzi originated.
Records indicate that there was a Romanesque church and monastery dedicated to St George here in 1075.
It is from the Latin form of its name (“Sancti Georgis”) that the name Santurtzi derives.
17 different forms of the town’s name are recorded, including San Jurdic (1249), Santurce (1333), San Yurdie, etc.
The old FISHING PORT OF SANTURTZI also stood in this area.
See the spot where the fishwives sharpened their knives and angered the parish priest.
The Town Hall stands opposite the church, and the nearby Santurtzi Park, built on land reclaimed from the sea, features trees of many types not common here.
The baroque style Casa Torre (“Tower House”) mansion has an exhibition hall which is open to visitors from Monday to Saturday.
Just a few steps from the town centre is the sea.
In the picturesque fishing port you are quite likely to see vessels unloading catches of fresh fish which is then sold at auction in the old Casa de Ventas fish market.
This building was restored in 2012. Along with the fish market it also houses the HOGAR DEL PESCADOR restaurant, the town’s tourist information office and the Interpretation Centre for its seafaring past.
The SANTURTZI MUSEUM OF THE SEA stands behind the harbour wall, in the heart of the port.
It gives you an original view of the history of Santurtzi and its seafarers and helps you understand how the coastline has changed over the centuries.
Rowing and traditional boat races share centre stage with exhibits dedicated to the local fishwives.
Why not let Carmen the fishwife be your guide?
Don’t miss our DRAMATISED GUIDED TOURS. Carmen the fishwife, in costume and accompanied by other local characters, provides entertaining explanations of our history and traditions.
The tour ends with a recreation of a traditional fish auction in the former auction hall.
Visit the dock and soak up the atmosphere. Every day is different. You may find the fishermen mending their nets. In the afternoons you can also see the rowing club training on the river estuary.
The manually operated crane on the dock is a fine testimony to our industrial heritage.
The coloured mosaics around its base were placed there in remembrance of the children who were evacuated by ship from the port during the Spanish Civil War.
Overlooking the fishing port and gazing out to sea stands the statue of Our Lady of Carmel, who is the joint patron saint of Santurtzi with St George.
Let the MAP’S VOICE SANTURTZI app be your guide. See the location on the map and a brief description of the main sights and the trails associated with them.
Scan the QR code or click on the button below for more details of the trails around Santurtzi.