Gaztelugatxe Hermitage

Bermeo, Spain

Gaztelugatxe is an islet on the coast of Biscay. On top of the island stands a hermitage, dedicated to John the Baptist, that dates from the 10th century, although discoveries indicate that the date might be the 9th century.

In the year 1053 it was donated, by don Íñigo López, Lord of Biscay, to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña near Jaca in Huesca. Medieval burials from the 9th and 12th centuries have been found on the esplanade and in the hermitage.

In 1593 it was attacked and sacked by Francis Drake. Among other incidents, it has caught fire several times. On November 10, 1978, it was destroyed in one such fire. Two years later, on June 24, 1980, it was re-inaugurated. The hermitage belongs to the parish of San Pelayo in Bakio.

The hermitage also houses votive offerings from sailors who survived shipwrecks.

The hermitage is accessed by a narrow path, crossing the solid stone bridge. According to legend, after the slightly strenuous climb to the top of the crag one should ring the bell three times and make a wish.

HBO filmed scenes for season 7 of its fantasy series Game of Thrones at the islet. Gaztelugatxe stood in for Dragonstone, with a digitally created castle on top of the islet.



Your name


Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Adam Chapman (2 months ago)
Amazing! Hard work, but worth it. Note that the walk back up to the carpark is much harder than the steps to the main attraction!
ES- Electricsteam- GGL (3 months ago)
Avery beautiful View , it is worth walking the half mile to the point of View to make really great Pictures
Thanos Papazoglou (3 months ago)
Great view, but the bridge is still under construction!
Fred H. (8 months ago)
It was closed due to some landslide but I could not see any landslide, I could not see much in fact, just a far away view. I was not able to access and I was very disappointed, after a 1h44 road trip to get there. The site seems amazing...when you can access it...
Mercedes MalaxEtxebarria (8 months ago)
Everytime I come here it is under construction 6 years and i still haven't been across the bridge. Just find a photo online and photoshop yourself in there, saves the 1km walk to the bottom to find you can't get the rest of the way and have to climb the 1km back up the hill
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Medieval Walls of Avila

The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.

The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.