Friday, November 8, 2013


Getxo (pronounced 'Get-cho') is a town, or possibly suburb, near Bilbao in the Basque Country. It has about 80,000 inhabitants, but feels much smaller. It's mostly residential, has a lovely long sandy beach, and is pretty seriously Basque. Wiki describes its evolution from a small fishing village at the mouth of the Bilbao Estuary, to a favoured summer spot for wealthy Bilbaons.

Getxo's office of Mayor has been continuously in the hands of the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) since democracy was restored (after Franco) in 1978. There's an academy where you can learn to speak Basque - if that's on your wish list - and the street signs (like almost all those in Vizcaya, or Biscay) are in Basque first, then Spanish.

Getxo is about 15 minutes drive from downtown Bilbao, but still has an atmosphere of a summer beach enclave. Its beach beckons, there are beachside eateries, the winds come in from the Bay of Biscay (Vizcaya), and surfers take to the high seas. Colourful fishing and rowing boats are pulled up on the breakwater.

Here's a few photos from the Getxo beachfront, just to whet your appetite.

Bisitatzeko egun bat.

Bilbao in the distance.
Public art. Don't ask me.
The beachfront on a stormy evening.
A surfer in from the sea.
The Basque Country.
Getxo dusk.

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