Lighthouses of Bermeo

Lighthouses of Bermeo

Matxitxako Lighthouse


Matxitxako lighthouse is located on the headland of the same name.

At the northernmost tip of the coast of Euskal Herria, it forms an important terrestrial prow of mount Sollube. This lighthouse is the largest of all the lighthouses on the coast of this region. There are two lighthouses in Matxitxako, one sends out a light over the sea and the other watches over the ships and sends them electrical signals to guide them. It is the last inhabited lighthouse in Biscay and the only “lighthouse keeper” school was organised in it between 1854 and 1863 (at that time, lighthouse keepers were known as “towermen”). Matxitxako is at the northernmost tip of Euskal Herria. Nearby, at a depth of120 m, an old merchant ship was recently discovered by some divers from Biscay, which had been sunk half a century ago. The ship, with a beam of 12 m, which was split into two, and whose name and circumstances are unknown, lies on the bottom of this wild sea, in the company of a German patrol boat sunk during the Second World War and the ship Navarra, a Basque ship that was sunk during the Civil War by the Francoist ship of war Canarias. From its projecting balcony one can see some of the most important features of the Biscay coastline, in particular, the amazing outline of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe to the west. On the next floor up is the modern lighthouse, built in 1909. A few metres further down is the tower of the old lighthouse which was inaugurated on August 21 1852 , which is today occupied at the edge of the cliff by aerials and locating radar. Some paths amidst the gorse enable you to go right to the edge of the cliff.

Legend has it that in 1915, during a migratory period, some 10,000 birds crashed into its lamp, attracted by the beam in a storm.

This lighthouse which is inhabited and not open to the public, can be entered along road BI-3151 from Bermeo to Bakio. 3.5 km from the coastal town there is a fork to the right and 2.5 km along this road is the entrance to the lighthouse. Its lamp has a range of 30 miles.

The area around the lighthouse is a fine example of the heather and gorse landscape found along the coast. We recommend strolling around the lighthouse and examining its nooks and crannies, and then watching the sun set.

Matxitxako Lighthouse:
Carretera Bermeo – Bakio
48370 Bermeo (Bizkaia)
Tel: 94-688.10.98 / 639.82.47.58

Udalarrantz - Red de municipios pesqueros del País Vasco