To speak of the Gipuzkoan town of Orio is to refer to a town with a fishing tradition, which has turned this essence into its main hallmark, as well as its extensive history in the world of shipbuilding. However, we cannot overlook the fact that this town, which has about 5,000 inhabitants, is well known both inside and outside Spanish borders for another reason: What? It is part of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
Today we want you to discover this seaside town, nestled between the sea, the Oria river and the mountains. Once you know more about it, you will surely want to visit it at some point.
Things to see in Orio
It is really difficult to determine what places to enjoy and know when visiting this Basque town, because there are many that it has and those worth discovering. However, without a doubt, the most special and important are the following:
Nothing can leave Orio without admiring in situ its historic center, dating from the twelfth century, which is its heart and soul. It is the old part of the town and in it we will find steep and even labyrinthine streets, buildings of great importance and also houses that are perfect examples of traditional architecture. Houses that, among other things, attract attention for their unique balconies.
A particularity of this enclave, which also responds to the name of Goiko Kale, is that it is declared of Cultural Interest.
Hermitage of San Martín de Tours
Within the architectural and artistic heritage of the town, this religious construction dating from the thirteenth century stands out. There is a legend that it was the first church in Orio and today it is worth a visit to discover the remains of the building where the women who took care of it lived.
Church of San Nicolás de Bari
Among the set of buildings that must be known in this town we could not fail to include this temple. It is located in the aforementioned historic center, is marked baroque style and is striking for its majesty. In the same way, we recommend that when you visit it, do not hesitate to admire inside the Solomonic columns that you will find on the altar.
Of course, do not forget to pay attention to the image of St. Nicholas of Bari and the remains of the ancient church on which it was built. In particular, among them are several tombs.
It goes without saying that this square, which is the most important in Orio, is an obligatory stop. So much so that all kinds of events and activities are held here, such as the development of the market or the central acts of the festivities. It also houses significant buildings such as the town hall.
It is an ideal place to visit and also to take a break, as it has various bars and restaurants.
This town in Guipuzcoa is also very rich in nature. For this reason, we recommend that you do not hesitate to see this mountain, which is one of the most important it has. It is located about 330 meters above sea level and if we recommend you visit is not only to discover the flora and fauna of the place but so you can enjoy stunning views from it.
Moreover, on this visit you will come across one of the most identifiable and special sculptures that the village has. We are referring to the Virgin of Kukuarri, which is made of stone.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, Orio is a town that has always been linked to the sea. And a good example of this is the marina, which has almost 300 moorings for boats and dates back to 2007.
Of course, don’t forget to visit its fishing port, where you will see the fishing essence of this land, which is reflected in its traditional boats.
Interpretation Center of the Camino de Santiago
We have also indicated above that this town is part of the route of the Camino de Santiago along the coast. For this reason, do not miss the opportunity to learn more about the relationship between this pilgrimage and the town by visiting this center, which is located on Main Street or Kale Nagusia. Of course, before organizing your trip to it, check that it will be open when you go.
What to do in Orio
As you have seen, when you visit Orio is to know and see some of its most distinctive buildings and spaces. But keep in mind that this is not the only activity you can do. In particular, you can do many others, especially these:
Enjoy the viewpoint
You will have impressive views of the area from Mount Kukuarri, but no less impressive are the ones you will enjoy from this viewpoint located next to the beach of La Antilla. There you will be left speechless with the landscapes that you will have before your eyes. Landscapes that were also enjoyed long ago by fishermen who watched whales.
Spending a day on the beaches
Of course, it goes without saying that you should not miss the opportunity to enjoy a day of sea and sun on the beaches it has: La Antilla, which is the most important and is equipped with all kinds of services, and Oribarzar.
The Antilla is the main one, although it is true that it is the most open to the sea and the one that usually has more waves when there are rougher tides. The Oribarzar is already at the beginning of the estuary and is more protected.
Discover and savor its gastronomy
In your agenda of things to do in Orio you can not forget to find a place to discover its rich gastronomic culture, in which the grilled sea bream takes special relevance. Of course, as in all the Basque Country you can also taste the txakoli and a long list of pintxos.
Take a hiking route
The last activity we recommend you to do is to take one of the many hiking trails in Orio and the area, as they will give you the opportunity to fall in love with the environmental richness of the place. Among them we recommend those that run through the beautiful Pagoeta Park.
What are you waiting for to get to know this Basque corner full of magic, art and heritage? Now that you know the things to see in Orio, it is well worth a visit.