Santurce-Antiguo, Spain

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Santurce-Antiguo, Spain

Region: Santurce-Antiguo is located in Santurce

Geographic Coordinates: 43.330300, -3.031400
Climate: Data not available.
Population: 46085
Language: Spanish

Santurce-Antiguo is a captivating town located in the province of Biscay, In the Basque Country region of northern Spain. Nestled along the picturesque Cantabrian Sea, This charming coastal town offers a blend of rich history, Stunning natural beauty, And vibrant cultural experiences. One of the highlights of Santurce-Antiguo is its historic center. Stepping into this area feels like stepping back in time, With its narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful traditional houses adorned with flower-filled balconies. The heart of the old town is Plaza Mayor, A bustling square surrounded by quaint cafes and restaurants where locals gather to socialize.

The town’s maritime heritage is evident in its many fishing ports and shipyards. The Portu Zaharra dockyard stands as a testament to Santurce’s long-standing connection to the sea. Visitors can stroll along the waterfront promenade known as Paseo de la Memoria to admire beautiful views of both traditional fishing boats and modern vessels. For those seeking outdoor adventures, Santurce-Antiguo boasts several stunning beaches that cater to all tastes.

Playa de la Arena is a popular sandy beach perfect for sunbathing and swimming, While Playa de las Arenas offers more rugged charm with its rocky coastline ideal for exploring or enjoying scenic walks along the shore. Art enthusiasts will find plenty to appreciate in Santurce-Antiguo as well. The town hosts an annual mural festival called Pintxo Pote where local artists transform blank walls into colorful works of art. These vibrant murals can be found throughout the streetscape, Adding an artistic flair to every corner. Food lovers will also be delighted by what this Spanish gem has to offer.

Traditional Basque cuisine takes center stage here, With pintxos (bite-sized snacks) being a local specialty not-to-be-missed. Visitors can indulge in a culinary adventure by hopping from one pintxo bar to another, Sampling an array of mouthwatering treats accompanied by local wines or cider. In addition to its cultural and natural attractions, Santurce-Antiguo hosts various festivals throughout the year. One of the most notable events is the San Juan Festival in late June, Where locals celebrate with bonfires on the beach and fireworks lighting up the night sky. Santurce-Antiguo is easily accessible from Bilbao, Just a short drive away.

Its proximity to larger cities allows visitors to combine their exploration of this charming town with visits to other nearby attractions such as the iconic Guggenheim Museum or Bilbao’s vibrant city center. Overall, Santurce-Antiguo offers a perfect blend of history, Culture, Natural beauty, And gastronomy that will leave visitors captivated by its unique charm and warm hospitality. Whether you are seeking relaxation on sandy beaches or immersing yourself in Basque traditions, This hidden gem promises an unforgettable experience for all who venture there.

Important Landmarks

  1. Santurce Port: The port of Santurce is one of the main attractions, with its picturesque views and lively atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along the promenade or dine at one of the many seafood restaurants.
  2. La Marinera Statue: Located near the port, this iconic statue represents a traditional Basque dance called La Marinera. It has become a symbol of Santurce and is often photographed by tourists.
  3. Virgen del Carmen Church: This beautiful church dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a significant religious landmark in Santurce. It features stunning architecture and intricate details that attract both locals and visitors.
  4. Plaza del Solar: This charming square is located in the heart of Antiguo, offering a peaceful spot for relaxation or socializing with friends. It often hosts cultural events and markets throughout the year.
  5. Santa Clara Island: Just off the coast from Santurce lies Santa Clara Island, accessible by boat or kayak. The island offers pristine beaches, hiking trails, picnic areas, and panoramic views over Santurce’s coastline.
  6. Museo de la Industria Naval de Euskadi (Naval Museum): Located in Antiguo’s former shipyard buildings, this museum showcases the industrial heritage of Santurce through exhibits on shipbuilding history, naval artifacts, and interactive displays.
  7. Puerto Viejo (Old Port): Puerto Viejo is an old fishing neighborhood that has retained its traditional charm with narrow streets lined with colorful houses adorned with flower-filled balconies.
  8. Playa de la Arena: Known for its golden sand beach stretching along the coast between Sopelana and Pobeña neighborhoods in Santurtzi municipality adjacent to Antiguo district.
  9. San Juan Bautista Church: Situated in the heart of Santurce-Antiguo, this historic church dates back to the 16th century and is known for its beautiful facade and religious artworks.
  10. Parque de Santurce: This urban park offers a green oasis in the city, with walking paths, playgrounds, and recreational areas. It’s an ideal spot for picnics or enjoying outdoor activities.

Primary Industries

  1. Manufacturing: Bilbao has a strong manufacturing sector, with industries such as steel production, shipbuilding, machinery manufacturing, and automotive components.
  2. Port and logistics: The Port of Bilbao is one of Spain’s largest ports and serves as an important hub for international trade and logistics. It handles various types of cargo including containers, bulk goods, vehicles, and more.
  3. Services: As a metropolitan area with a significant population base, there are numerous service-oriented businesses in sectors like finance, insurance, real estate agencies, legal services healthcare facilities (hospitals), education institutions (universities), etc.
  4. Tourism: The region attracts tourists due to its cultural heritage sites like Guggenheim Museum Bilbao or Casco Viejo (Old Town) in Bilbao itself. This leads to various businesses related to hospitality such as hotels restaurants/cafes/bars catering to visitors.
  5. Retail: Shopping centers can be found both within Santurce-Antiguo itself or nearby areas around Bilbao where people go for their shopping needs.
  6. Transportation: Being well-connected by road networks and public transportation systems including metro lines ensures that transportation-related services thrive here—taxi services or car rental companies being examples.
  7. Technology & Innovation: There are several technology parks around the region promoting research & development activities across various sectors like information technology (IT), renewable energy technologies etc., which lead to opportunities for related companies/start-ups focusing on innovation-driven solutions.

It’s important to note that while these industries and businesses are not exclusive to Santurce-Antiguo, they contribute to the overall economic activity of the region, which indirectly benefits the neighborhood as well.

Noteable History

  1. The Port of Bilbao: The neighborhood is situated on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and has historically been linked to maritime activities. The Port of Bilbao, one of Europe’s most important ports for trade and commerce, is nearby.
  2. Fishing Industry: Fishing has been a crucial economic activity in this region for centuries. Many families from Santurce-Antiguo were involved in fishing and contributed to the growth and development of the industry.
  3. Shipbuilding: In addition to fishing, shipbuilding was another significant industry in this area during the 19th and 20th centuries. Several shipyards operated here, constructing vessels that played a crucial role in both local and international maritime trade.
  4. Puerto Deportivo de Santurtzi: This marina is located near Santurce-Antiguo and serves as a recreational hub for boating enthusiasts.
  5. Notable People:
    • Ramón Rubial Cavia (1906-1999): A prominent Spanish politician who was born in Antiguo-Santurce.
    • José Antonio Aguirre (1904-1960): A Basque nationalist leader who served as President of the Basque Government-in-exile during Franco’s regime also hailed from this area.

While these are not directly linked to specific events within Santurce-Antiguo itself, they represent broader historical contexts associated with its location and neighboring areas within Biscay province.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Castillo de Santa Catalina: This castle, located on a hilltop, offers stunning panoramic views of Santurce-Antiguo and the surrounding area. It also houses a small museum showcasing the history and heritage of the region.
  2. Museo Marítimo Ría de Bilbao: Situated in Santurce’s old port area, this maritime museum provides insights into the rich naval history of the region through interactive exhibits and displays.
  3. Palacio de Oriol: A beautiful palace built in 1902 by an industrialist, this architectural gem is now home to various cultural events and exhibitions. The surrounding gardens offer a tranquil retreat.
  4. Iglesia San Jorge: This historic church is one of the main religious landmarks in Santurce-Antiguo. Its neo-Gothic style architecture and ornate interior make it worth a visit.
  5. Parque Gernika-Lumo: Located nearby in Gernika-Lumo, this park commemorates the tragic bombing that took place during the Spanish Civil War. It features sculptures, monuments, and a replica of Picasso’s famous painting Guernica.
  6. Museo de la Minería del País Vasco (Basque Country Mining Museum): A short drive from Santurce-Antiguo, this museum showcases the mining heritage of Basque Country through exhibits on machinery, tools, and personal stories from miners.
  7. Plaza del Solarium: A vibrant square located near Santurtzi’s promenade with numerous restaurants offering delicious local cuisine along with stunning views over Abra Bay.
  8. Playa de la Arena: If you’re looking for some relaxation or outdoor activities like swimming or sunbathing, head to Playa de la Arena—a beautiful sandy beach situated just south of Santurce-Antiguo.
  9. La Escalereta Market: Visit this traditional market to experience local flavors, fresh produce, and a wide variety of products. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture.
  10. Santurtzi Fishing Port: Take a stroll along the fishing port to witness the bustling activity of fishermen bringing in their catch and enjoy some delicious seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants.

Sports Teams

  1. Club Deportivo Santurtzi: Founded in 1917, Club Deportivo Santurtzi is a football (soccer) club that represents the municipality of Santurtzi, including the neighborhood of Santurce-Antiguo. The team has played in regional leagues throughout its history.
  2. Club de Remo Kaiku: Kaiku is a rowing club based in Santurtzi and has a rich history dating back to 1923. They compete at both national and international levels and have achieved success in various rowing competitions.
  3. Club Baloncesto San Jorge: This basketball club was founded in 1996 and represents several neighborhoods within the municipality of Santurtzi, including Santurce-Antiguo. The team competes at regional levels.
  4. Sociedad Deportiva Tiro con Arco Sotera: This archery club was established to promote and practice archery as a sport within the community of Santurce-Antiguo.

It’s important to note that these are just some examples, and there may be other smaller or amateur sports clubs representing different disciplines within this neighborhood as well.

Cultural Events

  1. San Juan Festival: Celebrated on June 24th, this festival marks the beginning of summer with bonfires, music, dancing, and fireworks along the Santurce waterfront.
  2. La Semana Grande de Santurce: Held in late August or early September, this week-long festival features a variety of cultural activities such as concerts, parades, traditional Basque sports (pelota), and street performances.
  3. Fiestas de la Virgen del Carmen: Taking place around July 16th to honor the patron saint of fishermen and sailors (Virgen del Carmen), this festival includes maritime processions where a statue of the Virgin is carried through town on boats followed by fireworks.
  4. Tamborrada Infantil de Santurtzi: Organized on January 20th for children during San Sebastian Day celebrations (a traditional Basque holiday), young participants dressed as drummers march through town playing drums and creating a lively atmosphere.
  5. Fiesta de la Sardina: This gastronomic event celebrates sardines in early May when locals gather to enjoy grilled sardines accompanied by music performances and dance shows.
  6. Feria Medieval de Portugalete: Although not directly in Santurce-Antiguo but nearby Portugalete hosts an annual medieval fair where streets are transformed into a medieval village with artisans showcasing their crafts while visitors can enjoy live entertainment including jousting tournaments and theatrical performances.

These are just some examples of cultural events and festivals that take place in or near Santurce-Antiguo throughout the year; there may be additional local celebrations specific to certain neighborhoods or areas within the municipality as well.


  1. Bacalao a la Vizcaína: This is a traditional Basque dish consisting of codfish cooked with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic.
  2. Marmitako: Another Basque specialty, marmitako is a hearty tuna stew made with potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
  3. Txangurro: This dish features spider crab stuffed with breadcrumbs and cooked with various ingredients such as onions and peppers.
  4. Asador Etxebarri: Located nearby in Axpe (around 30 minutes by car), Asador Etxebarri is one of the most famous restaurants in the region known for its grilled meats and seafood.
  5. Restaurante Kaia-Kaipe: Situated in Getaria (approximately 45 minutes away), this restaurant offers excellent seafood dishes like grilled turbot or hake kokotxas (cheeks).
  6. El Puerto de Santurtzi: A local favorite situated near the port area of Santurtzi itself, this restaurant specializes in fresh fish and seafood dishes like paella or grilled sardines.
  7. Bar Toloño: Located within Santurce-Antiguo itself on Mamariga Street, Bar Toloño serves traditional Spanish pintxos (small tapas) alongside an extensive wine list.
  8. Restaurante Guria Jatetxea: This family-run restaurant offers a mix of traditional Basque cuisine along with modern twists on classic dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Remember that due to possible changes or closures caused by COVID-19 restrictions, it is always a good idea to check the availability and opening hours of these establishments before visiting.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Parque de Santurtzi: This park is located near the coast and offers beautiful views of the sea. It has walking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds for children, and sports facilities.
  2. Plaza de la Iglesia: This square is located in the center of Santurce-Antiguo and is a popular gathering spot for locals. It features a church, cafes, restaurants, and often hosts cultural events.
  3. Playa de la Arena: This beach is located in nearby Muskiz but is easily accessible from Santurce-Antiguo. It offers golden sand, calm waters for swimming, beach volleyball courts, and a promenade with bars and restaurants.
  4. Puerto Deportivo El Abra-Getxo: Located just across the river from Santurce-Antiguo in Getxo, this marina offers various water activities such as sailing lessons or boat rentals. There are also waterfront restaurants where visitors can enjoy seafood dishes while enjoying the view.
  5. Parque de Las Llamas: Although it’s not directly in Santurce-Antiguo but nearby in Bilbao (around 10 km away), this park is worth mentioning due to its size (over 30 hectares) and recreational facilities like walking trails, bike paths, skateboarding areas, playgrounds for kids as well as beautiful gardens.

These are just a few examples of parks and recreational activities available in or near Santurce-Antiguo; there may be more options depending on personal preferences or seasonal events happening at any given time.


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