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.



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

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sandeep Kumar (7 months ago)
Its a stunning island with breathtaking view from the top surrounded with sea and. The cliff through which we walk to the hill top, looks amazing. The sunset is worth to watch and the sea looks incredible!!
Yana Popovych (7 months ago)
This is just a breathtaking place, and I highly recommend to visit it. You need to book tickets online in advance and wear a comfortable (ideal hiking) shoes. There 200+ steps and this is not the only challenge, but views are 100% worth the efforts Stairs to the church are under construction now though you could still visit the top
Janis Stößel (7 months ago)
The view to this place is A++, worth a visit! Might not be possible to get a ticket if not booked in advance but even from the outside very remarkable!
Katarzyna Niedźwiedź (7 months ago)
Unforgettable. Wear sturdy shoes, take water and remember to book your entry online - limited access per 500 per day - national park.
Eric Rising (8 months ago)
Loved this place! You should reserve tickets online beforehand. You can do it via a cell phone when you get there but there may not be spots available and you might have to wait quite a while. Neat that part of Game of Thrones was filmed here too (Dragonstone)! It was very hot when we went so the hike back up was a good challenge. Many people stopped several times on the way up to rest but it isn't too bad. There is untreated water at the bottom to cool off with but not sure it's necessarily safe to drink. Would highly recommend stopping here, it's very beautiful!
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