It is a fact well known that the Basque coast stands out for its natural beauty, its rugged cliffs and its fishing villages. Both the sea and the passage of time have gradually created a backdrop worthy of admiration and, among all its natural attractions, you simply cannot miss the Zumaia Flysch. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or not, this landscape will take your breath away.
Discovering Zumaia and its Flysch Route
Zumaia is a picturesque coastal town, renowned for its charm. The words Zumaia and Flysch go hand in hand, and it’s true that this geological formation is responsible for placing this town at the forefront of Basque tourism.
The landscape in question may look familiar. The appearance of Zumaia Flysch in Game of Thrones, when Daenerys first arrives in Dragonstone in the seventh season, has turned this place into a must-visit location for fans of the series.
Geological formations along the Flysch Route
You may be wondering what’s so special about the Flysch if it’s just a pile of rocks. First of all, you have to see it for yourself. Its beauty and vastness will astound you at first sight. What’s more, this geological formation is rare, catching the attention of all its visitors – no matter their age or interests. Both the land’s magnificence and, most importantly, its antiquity stand out.
The Zumaia Flysch is like an open book revealing the Earth’s past. This geological treasure consists of strata of sedimentary rocks that tell the story of the planet in its layers. From the Cretaceous up to the Paleocene period, its stratification leaves 60 million years of the Earth’s history perfectly visible to the naked eye. Exploring the Zumaia Flysch route is like travelling back in time to learn about geological history.
Must-see attractions along the route
The Basque Country is a mountaineer’s paradise, which is why hiking is the order of the day. The Zumaia Flysch area more than lives up to this expectation and is home to an endless array of trails to discover. Its vast selection includes routes that are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Around 14 kilometres of hikes crisscross this geological landscape, sure to delight those who embark on any of its routes.
If you’re more of a runner, the Zumaia Flysch Trail is held every year. This race attracts a large number of athletes, not just because of the event itself, but also due to the beauty of the landscape.
The Geopark, recognised as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2015, offers plenty of information about the attractions in the area. Aside from the Zumaia Flysch Route, other must-sees include Elorriaga and its cliffs, Saturraran beach, or the valleys of Olatz and Lastur.
If after your geology lesson you fancy something a little more urban, don’t miss out on a visit to Zumaia. Its old town will take you back to medieval times. The hermitage of San Telmo, famous for its appearance in Spanish Affair, offers gorgeous views of the bay and beach of Itzurun. Alternatively, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the port, which today is more of a recreational port than a fishing one. As you walk along, you’ll get discover more and more about the town’s maritime past.
Don’t forget to visit the nearby towns of Deba and Mutriku which are equally astounding.
The natural landscape of the Flysch Route
To get the most out of your visit to the Zumaia Flysch, it’s essential to understand the area’s geological history. The Algorri Interpretation Centre can provide you with information that will help you better understand what the area has to offer: the formation of the cliffs, the protected biotope of Deba, the marshlands or the dunes. This museum offers an enriching environmental learning experience, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of this place in a more profound way.
Get ready for an adventure in Zumaia
Before embarking on your adventure along the Zumaia Flysch Route, if you want everything to go according to plan, it’s important to get organised. Keep in mind the time of year. The Basque Country enjoys a mild yet rather humid climate. Choose the season that best suits your preferences when it comes to hiking. Plan your clothing and footwear according to the time of year you’ll be visiting.
When it comes to food, you’ll have no issues at all: Basque cuisine is famous for its quality. You’ll find a wide variety of pintxos bars and restaurants that cater to all tastes.
Regarding accommodation, the Basque Country is also known for its hospitality. You’ll find gorgeous and comfortable accommodation options that will make for a perfect stay.
As you can see, the Zumaia Flysch is a unique location where natural beauty combines with geological history. Explore this corner of the Basque Country, walk along its trails and take in the splendour of its rock formations. Without a doubt, your experience will be unforgettable.