Time  4 hours 7 minutes

Coordinates 1100

Uploaded September 3, 2019

Recorded July 2019

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-
154 f
-29 f
0
1.8
3.5
7.01 mi

Viewed 62 times, downloaded 0 times

near Gernika-Lumo, País Vasco (España)

Nice hike in Gernika and the Urdaibai nature reserve, amidst salt marshes and along a tidal river. The hike ends at San Kristobal station where you can take a train back to Gernika. See https://www.euskotren.eus, the timetable for the E4 line Atxurri Bilbao – Bermeo. Trains go every half an hour. You can find plenty to eat and drink in Gernika and a few bars in San Kristobal. The hike starts at a free parking lot not far from the station, where you could also start if you arrive by public transport.
You walk from the parking lot towards the center of Gernika. You pass the Park Eriako Lorategiak and then a square amidst Escualas Publicas. On the square is a memorial for the Gernika bataillon. You climb the stairs and then arrive to the Gernika assembly hall. In the garden surrounding the assembly hall you can find a monument with the tree stump of the old Gernika tree. Below this tree, Basque lords came together and made decisions for a long time. A new tree has recently been planted behind the assembly hall. You leave the garden (not always open) and then cross the Parque de los Pueblos de Europa near the Iglesia Santa Maria and walk to the mural with a reproduction of Guernica, the famous painting of Picasso, describing the horrors of war. Gernika was bombed by the German Condor Legion on the request of Franco to Hitler in the Spanish Civil War. From here you walk towards the river Oka via the Foru Plaza. This tidal river flow through Gernika towards the Riá Mundaka, the estuary forming the heart of the Urdaibai nature reserve. You follow the road which later turns into a gravel path along the river past the football stadium and a wooden pedestrian bridge after 2.2 km. After about 4.6 km walking along the river, the straight river flows into an estuary with large meanders surrounded by salt marshes. A narrow path takes you to the railway. Parallel to the railway you walk close to the river to the old factory building and chimney close to Murueta. You keep to the right on a small path through the salt marshes. We discovered that the old path suddenly terminates at a fallen bridge. Instead you follow a newer path through the marsh past some dead trees back to the railway. You cross the unguarded railway, and follow a path inland through a small forest. You then follow smaller roads towards the main Gernika-Bermeo road, which you follow on a cycling/pedestrian path to San Kristobal for 800 m. In San Kristobal you walk to the station. Here you take a circular walk to a bird observation shelter on the edge of the salt marshes through grassland. I did this circular walk on a later day than the rest of the walk. The circular walk brings you back to the station. Hiking times Gernika center 0h25, along Riá Oka to Riá Mundaka 1h00, Along Riá Mundaka to railway crossing 0h25, Railway crossing to San Kristobal Station 0h30, Circular Walk at station to salt marsh 0h25.
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Along the railway

You walk a short stretch direcly on the railway and then parallel to the railway close to the river and salt marshes, with oysters and crabs.
panorama

Bird observation shelter

From this shelter you can observe birds on the salt marshes. When I was there, not much birds were there, also caused by a person working in the salt marshes. The views are great though.
Bridge

Bridge on Río Oka

Footbridge across the river Oka giving you a better view.
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Chimney

Here is an old chimney at an old factory visible from afar.
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Circular walk to observation hut at Ría de Mundaka

Circular walk through grassland to the observation hut at the Riá de Mundaka
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Collapsed bridge on old path through salt marsh

This is the location of a bridge on an old path through the salt marsh still indicated on maps. You need to follow the new path at the waypoint 'New path through salt marsh'.
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Cycling path along major road

Cycling path along the Gernika-Bermeo road
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Escuelas Publicas and homage to Gernika batallion

Square amidst building of the public school. There is a monument dedicated to the Gernika bataillon
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Foru Plaza

Square
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Gernika Tree

The new Gernika tree behind the assembly hall
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Mundaka Estuary

Estuary of the Mundaka river surrounded by salt marshes. Here the neat gravel road ends and a narrower path begins
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New path through salt marsh

There is bifurcation here. The old path to the right ends at a collapsed bridge. You have to go straight on via the dead trees.
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Old Tree of Gernika

Monument with the stump of the old tree of Gernika in the gardens of the Assembly Hall. The basque lords convened below a tree in Gernika for centuries.
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Park Eriako lorategiak

Park in the center surrounded by various restaurants
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Path along Río Oka

Path along the Río Oka, paved with asphalt and later gravel.
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Path through a small forest

Path through a small forest
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Picasso painting mural

Mural of the famous Guernica painting by Picasso (the original oil on canvas is in Madrid)
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Railway crossing

Unguarded railway crossing
Train stop

San Kristobal station

Train station with minimal facilities. You can buy a ticket in a machine. Do not forget to validate it before boarding the train. See https://www.euskotren.eus/en/tren/horarios, the E4 line for a timetable. Trains every half an hour

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