The Basque coast hides places as special as the area between Mutriku and Zumaia. This route is known as the Flysch Route and, together with the Karst Route that runs through the interior, they form the Basque Coast Geopark.
A flysch is a rock formation of sedimentary origin that is made up of a series of hard layers interspersed with soft layers, forming a landscape as spectacular as the one we can see here.
It is best to travel this route by car, visiting its villages and stopping at the viewpoints that we find along the road that follows the coast.
What to visit on the Flysch Route by car
1. Mutriku, the most beautiful fishing village
We did the route from Mutriku but we recommend doing it the other way around because you will go on the side of the road that faces the sea and it will be easier to make stops at the viewpoints.
We arrive at Mutriku directly from San Sebastián via the A-8. This small fishing town founded in the 13th century and once a whaling paradise is where the Flysch Route begins.
In Mutriku we can visit its beautiful center, of medieval origin with narrow cobbled streets in which houses of different colors and some palaces are distributed. The visit can begin in its small but beautiful port from where we enter its streets.
In this way we are admiring different medieval palaces or the Berriatúa Tower, while we get lost in its alleys to end up in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where the Church of the Assumption is located, surprising for its neoclassical style since it is something that is not you wait in this place. There is also the Tourist Office.
2. On the way to Deba
The best views of the Port of Mutriku are from the road that leaves the town towards the coast. There you can take the best photo and then continue along a narrow and winding road where you can already admire the cliffs.
Leaving the Cantabrian Sea aside, we arrive at the city of Deba, whose main monument is the Church of Santa María, the jewel of the town.
It is a 16th century Gothic church from which we can admire its cloister, its impressive portal and the side chapels. Undoubtedly, we must not stop paying attention to its cover, with scenes from the life of the Virgin, which make this church an essential place.
Deba does not have much more interest, except for walking along its beach and the estuary, so you can continue on your way to Zumaia. If you can stop at a viewpoint to admire the flysch, if the tide is low better, do not miss the opportunity.
3. Zumaia and its beautiful church
The Flysch Route ends in Zumaia, one of the most beautiful seaside towns on the Basque coast. It is located at the mouth of the River Urola, with which it forms an enviable ensemble.
Its artistic heritage is very interesting, standing out above all the Church of San Pedro, visible from many kilometers away.
It is the main point of interest in a medieval-style Old Quarter where we can find numerous palaces and houses, built during the 19th century at the time of the town’s greatest economic boom.
The Church of San Pedro is Gothic in style and dates from the 14th century. Its exterior is very austere and stands out for its tall tower, while its interior stands out for the altarpiece by Juan de Antxieta, dedicated to Saint Peter.
Another essential point of interest to visit in Zumaia is the Hermitage of San Telmo, not so much because of the hermitage itself, but because of the views from it of the cliff that is located on Itzurun Beach.
Also, if you have seen Eight Basque Surnames, this hermitage, dedicated to the patron saint of sailors, you will remember it for being where the protagonists of the film were going to get married.
We recommend continuing the route to the east, on the way to Getaria, and stopping at a viewpoint from which you have a view of Zumaia with the Church of San Pedro dominating the horizon.
You can find more information on the official page of the Geopark of the Basque Coast.