Bilbao Day Trip Idea: Puerto Viejo, Algorta

Bilbao can easily be seen in a weekend, and if you’re really ambitious, squeezed into 24 hours. Lots of tourists drop in before heading out to San Sebastián, but a quick trip to the Bizkaia province leaves out so many beautiful places. Puerto Viejo in Algorta – up the river from Bilbao on the coast – is one of those places that gets overlooked, leaving it for only for those who’ve done their research. Luckily, I’m here to make things easier for you and point you in the direction of a perfect Bilbao day trip.

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I have a soft spot for Puerto Viejo because it reminds me of the pueblos blancos that I loved so much in Andalucía, but with a very Basque feel. Traditionally, this is a fisherman’s neighborhood, and throughout the years, the buildings and labyrinthine streets have hardly changed, making it a charming way to spend a few hours wandering in and out of its handful of pintxo bars and seafood restaurants. 

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One of the most popular things to do in Puerto Viejo is to go to this bar ↑ Portu Zaharra, and enjoy pintxos and drinks on the steps overlooking the bay.On a sunny day, it’s full of families, couples, and cuadrillas.  However, you can’t go wrong with any of the bars in the area, especially for seafood-inspired pintxos. 

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There are lots of pretty corners to stumble upon in Puerto Viejo, the type Instagram dreams are made of!

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If you happen to be in town from August 12-15 (dates change yearly but will always be mid-August) don’t miss Puerto Viejo’s yearly festival. After all, it’s where kalimotxo was invented, so the party is bound to be good!

How To Get There

From Bilbao, take the Metro on line 1 heading to Larrabasterra or Plentzia and get off at the Algorta station. The ride will take less than 30 minutes. From there, the walk to Puerto Viejo is 10 minutes. Use the map below to help you:

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Basic Basque Phrases for Travelers to Basque Country

bilbao-rio-nervion In 2009, when I was preparing to move to Spain as an au pair, all I knew about the country were a few random facts stored away in my memory from a report I did in college, and maybe some bits and pieces from a high school Spanish class, like, they use vosotros there. I knew that they spoke more languages than just Spanish in certain parts of the country, but I didn’t know where exactly, or what the languages even were. 

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