In the middle of the ocean, isolated from the rest of the villages and resisting the storms of the raging sea, a solitary island stands converted into a peninsula with a footbridge of 241 steps as the only access point. On the top of these stairs is erected a solitary hermitage guarded by a magic bell.
This particular island, with its hermitage on the top, is located on the coast of Biscay. Every year thousands of visitors come to see what wonderful places exist in the real world.
This chapel is dedicated to Saint John Baptiste and it is believed that the original one was built during the ninth century on the isthmus where it is located today. It is a protected biotope. This construction has gone through numerous fires and battles in its vicinity. That is why the hermitage you see today is a very later reconstruction. It has had the functions of a convent between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. Later, it was a defensive element when the king of Castile Alfonso XI wanted to take away the power of the lordship of Bizkaia. Sometime later San Juan de Gaztelugatxe was assaulted and looted by English corsairs.
During all this time the hermitage deteriorated until it had to be demolished by the danger of collapse. Then it was rebuilt again although it is not very well known which year.
Currently it is well known at state level for being the fortress Dragonstone in the series Game of Thrones.
How to get there
– By car: the road BI-3151 to Bakio and then to Bermeo.
– By bus: first take the A3537 bus at Gorliz and get off at Mungia to take the A3517 bus
– By car from Bilbao: N-637 to Derio, BI-631 to Mungia, then take the BI-2101 to Bakio and Bermeo.
Distance: 30 km / 49 minutes by car
*Information provided by the tourism office of Bermeo