The flysch route: Cliffs with 50 million years of history

Spain is full of stunning natural settings. Nevertheless, there are some places that are especially fascinating. One of these is the Flysch Route on the coast of the Basque Country, northern Spain. Come and accompany us on a journey along the coast of Guipúzcoa and admire one of the most spectacular areas of cliffs you have ever seen, which also conceal 50 million years of history. Come and discover this whim of nature.

Only occasionally do we have the privilege of seeing real natural treasures. So, if you travel to the province of Guipúzcoa (in the Basque Country), we would recommend you take a boat trip to the coastal towns of Mutriku, Deba and Zumaia. There you can do what is known as the “Flysch Route”: several kilometres of rugged cliffs that lead down into the sea, formed through the erosive action of water and movements of land over the course of 50 million years. These rocks have always been of interest to geologists on account of their fossil remains. Now it is your turn to discover them.

When you are facing these cliffs, you have before you the richest marine ecosystem anywhere on the Basque coast, and rocks that contain the mark of vital events in the earth’s history such as the disappearance of the dinosaurs or the last major global warming event. A real journey back through time.

The area is also ideal for sports such as surfing, scuba diving and underwater fishing. If you are interested in any of these then you will find perfect conditions here. You can also rent bicycles, kayaks and boats to organise an unforgettable outing on land or at sea. For those who prefer something more relaxing, then in Zumaia there are bird watching boat trips on the Urola River accompanied by a specialist guide.

After enjoying all these activities, you can always opt for a swim at one of the local beaches, like Santiago, Ondarbeltz or Aitzgorri. You will love their crystal clear waters and stunning landscapes. Furthermore, there are also spots like Sieteplayas: a series of small, quiet, hidden coves in Mutriku.


Caminito del Rey: Formerly the World’s most dangerous footpath

Until recently, this almost 8-kilometre path near Malaga (Andalusia) was considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world. Today the entire route has been carefully restored, earning it the Europa Nostra Award for heritage conservation, and although it’s now much safer, one thing hasn’t changed – the unique experience of strolling along walkways hanging over 100 metres up on a sheer cliff face. Take one of the best selfies ever. You’ll never forget the views!

If you decide to take this path, there are probably some things you would like to know. It’s located in the south of Spain, and you can get there from the municipalities of Ardales or Álora. The path goes through the beautiful natural area of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, which is 700 metres deep. The Guadalhorce River flows through this area. The panoramic view of this natural canyon sculpted by the river will captivate you.

The route is 8 kilometres, of which 4.8 are access paths and 2.9 are walkways. There is also a tunnel running parallel to the walkways of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, which is an alternative to the aerial path on days when the wind and rain could cause mudslides. The tunnel is 300 metres long, of which 285 are inside and 15 are outside in the Hoyo Valley.
There are many plant and animal species living in this area (mountain birds such as the Egyptian vulture, griffon vulture and golden eagle; Spanish ibex, foxes, dormice, etc.). If you’re in luck, you might be able to spot some of them.