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

Tom (4 months ago)
Incredible island, a must visit. If the queue is too long for the island you can carry on walking a couple of minutes on the mainland to get to this great lookout spot
M Osiris (5 months ago)
Nice view point and overall very beautifull but BE WARNED, you need to buy tickets before you come here and there are ALOT of stair to climb making the experiance a bit hard and less fun.
E H (13 months ago)
Friday night 11:30 checking out this place where I wanted to visit originally the next day but found out I need to make reservation first. Then found out there were no slots on its website for next two weeks and I was almost giving up and at 12:00 all of sudden two slots popping up for Sunday…and 10 mins later all slots were taken again…how lucky I am…So many people got rejected at the access coz they dont have tickets but inside of the island there were very few people and felt like I was VIP in this site. Look after your hat coz there are left hats everywhere down the stairs.
Sandeep Kumar (14 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 (14 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
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