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Places: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Spain

The coastline near Bermeo, between Cape Matxitxako and Bakio, is well-known for its spectacular eroded landscape full of caves and natural rock arches and is classified as a Protected Biotype, both for the quality of the water and the historical interest of the area, which was first documented in the 11th century.

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At the heart of this coastline stands the magical promontory of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, which forms a peninsula out into the Bay of Biscay and is joined to the mainland by a bridge built on the rocks. Crowned by a small chapel eighty metres above sea level dedicated to St John, you can reach it by climbing 231 steps up a rocky slope. The rock simulates a castle in the sea, called Gaztelu-aitz (castle rock) or Gaztelu-gache (harsh or difficult castle) in ancient times. The small island of Akatx can be seen out to sea.

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