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Bizkaia boasts a full and extensive network of outdoor leisure areas equipped with different facilities for the enjoyment of the surroundings and natural landscape: parks, footpaths, children’s play areas, picnic areas, barbeques… There is a wide range of spaces specifically equipped for the relaxation and leisure of visitors.
The different administrations wanted to create a system throughout the region to balance the infrastructures with quality environmental services, to increase the level of wellbeing and life quality for residents and visitors. The result is that there are over 300 recreational areas run by town halls, supra-municipal bodies and the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. The total surface area amounts to 600 hectares, the equivalent of 600 football pitches.
These recreational areas are classified into Coastal, Mountain, Rural and Urban Recreational Areas, depending on the nature of the municipality where they are located. Click on this link to find detailed information on each of the areas, their location, map of the area, exact location, description of facilities and details of the area, as well as walks and routes to discover the surrounding area and places of interest nearby.
It would be impossible to mention all of the recreational areas here, as there are so many. However, we will name some of the most important ones.
URBAN RECREATIONAL AREAS
Akarlanda Metropolitan Park: It is an urban recreational area located in the municipality of Erandio, which has the honour of being the most visited. It has a sun area surrounded by mimosas, ideal as a sunbathing alternative without having to go to the beach and other shaded areas as there is an abundance of woodland throughout the park. It also has public toilets, a bar, car-park, children’s play area, fountain, 85 tables and 52 barbeques.
Other vast areas that are popular thanks to their proximity to Bilbao are the recreational areas of Enekuri-Artxanda and Elorritxueta-El Vivero, or Monte Kobeta Park.
Artxanda is the green lung of Bilbao. Its sports centre, restaurants, viewpoints, swings, fields and picnic areas make it the ideal destination for thousands of residents of Vizcaya who spend their leisure time there. Towards the east, across the Avril and Ganguren mountains, you come to El Vivero, located between the municipalities of Lezama and Galdakao, where sunny fields are interspersed with forested areas filled with American oak, pine or cypress trees, both offering tables and barbeques. Its recreational facilities: bowling alley, skating rink, pelota courts, five-a-side football pitches and basketball court, along with the rest of its facilities, toilets, showers and bar round off the leisure facilities to enjoy a pleasant day in nature.
The recreational areas of Argalario and Tellaetxe, both equipped with tables, barbeques and fountains are located in the municipality of Barakaldo. Argalario also offers an e spectacular viewpoint over both sides of the river, whilst Tellaetxe has a bio-healthy play area and is located close to Gorostiza sports centre, the Historic and Environmental Interpretation Centre of Barakaldo and various bars and restaurants.
COASTAL RECREATIONAL AREAS
Pinar de Gorliz lies in the municipality of Gorliz, close to the beach and Urezarantza, combining the best of the countryside with the beauty of the sea breeze.
The Biotope of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in the municipality of Bermeo offers spectacular views over the islet of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe and the Akatx Rock.
Santurtzi also has a small coastal area on the summit of Mount Serantes, alongside the ruins of an old fort and from where you can also contemplate some spectacular views of the port, the Abra estuary and the coast of the Bay of Bizkaia.
RURAL RECREATIONAL AREAS
One of the main areas in this category is Meaztegi Berdea – La Arboleda Metropolitan Park, located in the municipality of Valle de Trápaga, in the Zuloko ravine, alongside the pool formed by the flooding of the former Pozo Las Cármenes mine, on land that has been drastically altered by the former mining activity, conferring them extremely characteristic and peculiar forms and relief.
Continuing through the mining area, we can find a vast recreational area in Sopuerta, lying on land that was formerly used for mining activity, Las Balsas de La Baluga Park, which has excellent facilities, with a children’s play area and a small building with toilets and a bar.
In Carranza Valley, we can find the El Suceso recreational area, which lies on a vast area of open ground on the gently sloping hillside between the bullring and the monument to the Virgin of Buen Suceso.
In Alonsotegi, close to the Pagasarri shelter, we can find the area of Neveras del Pagasarri y Fuente del Tarín, which has wonderful panoramic views, from where you can set out on various routes, such as climbing the Pagasarri, Ganekogorta or Ganeta mountains.
To the east of Bizkaia, the municipality of Durango is home to Landaederra and Neberondo, whereby the latter is inside Urkiola Natural Park, very close to La Nevera, a curious dome-shaped construction which was used to store the snow that fell during the winter and was then used to supply the surrounding towns with ice.
MOUNTAIN RECREATIONAL AREAS
Nearby, in the municipality of Abadiño, you can visit Aldazitala and the Sanctuary of Urkiola. The area of Aldazitala occupies a vast area of land within the limits of Urkiola Natural Park, with a large infrastructure and a variety of trees, under which there are a number of tables and barbeques. Toki Alai, the Reception, Information and Interpretation Centre for Urkiola Natural Park is nearby, where you can pick up a leaflet to follow an interesting walking route.
On the western edge of Urkiola, at the foot of the impressive limestone cliff of Udalatx, in the municipality of Elorrio, lies Kanpazar, which is much smaller but just as charming.
Altzasorta, one of the few areas located within the boundaries of Gorbeia Natural Park, offering a beautiful view over the Untzueta to Garaigorta range, lies in Orozko, between the Galiturrita and Ursaltu streams
Finally, further inland, the municipality of Orduña has three fantastic recreational areas: Fuente de la Teta, Fuente de La Choza and La Muera. Fuente de la Teta is located at the foot of Mount Solaiera, in a field divided into two by a small stream that rises from the spring that gives its name to the area. Fuente de La Choza is a much larger area, located at the foot of the Sierra Garobel. The area of La Muera has fewer tables and barbeques but has more facilities. It is located in the mouth of Arrastaria Valley, in a sunny area close to the municipal swimming pools.