The Best of Basque

What to See and Do in Orio: A Complete Guide for the Traveler

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The small town of Orio, located in the Basque Country, is a true treasure waiting to be discovered. At first glance, it might seem like just a small coastal enclave, but Orio holds secrets, traditions, and charms that will make any visitor fall in love with its corners. From its rich history to its vibrant cultural and gastronomic life, there’s a lot to explore. In this article, we’ll take you through the most emblematic places and give you a complete guide on what to see and do in Orio.

History of Orio

Orio has witnessed many historical events over the centuries. Originally a fishing port, this town has seen Vikings, Romans, and many other peoples pass through, leaving their mark. Orio’s strategic location, by the sea and near the Oria River, made it a key point for trade and navigation.


Orio is located in the province of Gipuzkoa, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country, in the north of Spain. Bathed by the waters of the Cantabrian Sea, this town lies between Zarautz and San Sebastián, making it a strategic point for those wishing to explore the Basque coast.

What to See and Do

Antilla Beach

One of Orio’s jewels is undoubtedly Antilla Beach. This beach, with its fine golden sands and crystal-clear waters, is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun. During the summer, it’s a meeting point for locals and tourists looking to cool off and enjoy water activities.

Playa de la Antilla
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Church of San Nicolás de Bari

This imposing church is a testament to Orio’s rich religious history. Built in the 15th century, the Church of San Nicolás de Bari stands out for its Gothic architecture and its impressive stained glass windows. It’s a place of peace and reflection and a reminder of the central role faith has played in the Orio community.

Orio Iglesia de San Nicol%C3%A1s de Bari 19
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Hermitage of San Martín

Located in a picturesque corner of Orio, the Hermitage of San Martín is a pilgrimage site for many. Although small in size, this hermitage is significant in meaning and has been a place of worship and reflection for centuries.

Orio Marina

For those interested in sailing and water sports, Orio Marina is a must-visit. Here, you can see luxury yachts, traditional boats, and partake in activities like rowing and sailing.

Mount Kukuarri

For hiking and nature lovers, Mount Kukuarri offers spectacular routes and panoramic views of the Cantabrian Sea and the surroundings of Orio. It’s the perfect place to disconnect and get in touch with nature.

Oria River

The Oria River has not only been a source of life for Orio but also a central axis in its history and development. Walking along its banks, enjoying its flora and fauna, and exploring the old mills surrounding it is an unforgettable experience.

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Historic Center of Orio

The historic center of Orio is a journey back in time. With its cobbled streets, traditional houses, and lively squares, it’s the perfect place to get lost and discover the essence of Orio.

Pagoeta Natural Park

This park is an oasis of biodiversity. With its vast forests, hiking routes, and rich fauna, Pagoeta Natural Park is the ideal spot for nature lovers.

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Flysch Route

The Flysch Route takes you through imposing cliffs and unique rock formations in the world. It’s a geological and visual experience you can’t miss.

Fun Facts

Orio is not only known for its emblematic places but also for its curiosities. For example, did you know that Orio has a shipbuilding tradition dating back centuries? Or that it’s home to one of the oldest regattas in Spain?

Local Festivals

Orio’s local festivals are an explosion of color, music, and tradition. From the patron saint festivals in honor of San Nicolás de Bari to the regattas and music festivals, there’s something for everyone.


Orio’s gastronomy is a real treat for the palate. With its fresh fish, seafood, and traditional dishes like “marmitako”, Orio is a paradise for food lovers.

In conclusion, Orio is a destination you can’t miss. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, it’s a place that will steal your heart. We look forward to seeing you in Orio!

Author Profile

Irene was born and raised in Bilbao. She has a deep rooted passion for her country and culture. She has a Bachelors degree in education and has traveled to over 85 countries throughout the world.
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