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BEST NATURE RUNS IN BILBAO

Bilbao is a fantastic place to run. Located in Basque Country, Spain, it offers stunning scenery, historic architecture, vibrant art centers, and delicious local cuisine. Running is the best way to explore this amazing city, with plenty of routes showcasing its beautiful landscapes.

Our running tours guide you through the most scenic paths, ensuring you experience the best of this magical town. This article outlines some of the top routes to enjoy.

Bilbao in a Running “Pintxo” – 8K

Want a taste of Bilbao’s must-see places while immersing in Basque culture? This 8K tour offers just that. Enjoy a good pintxo (Basque tapas) and gain insight into the city’s history, architecture, and blend of tradition and modernity.

We start at Plaza Federico Moyua, with its beautiful gardens and fountain. This spot is surrounded by iconic buildings like Palacio Chavarri and Hotel Carlton. We then run through Gran Via, Bilbao’s main commercial street, towards Plaza Circular. Here, we greet Bilbao’s founder, Don Diego Lopez de Haro.

Heading to the Old Town, we pass Estacion de la Concordia and Teatro Arriaga, with their Belle Epoque style. We run along Muelle de Marzana, an alternative modern area, filled with pubs and art galleries. Enjoy views of Mercado de la Ribera, Europe’s biggest covered traditional market. We then cross Puente de San Anton, Bilbao’s pure origin.

In the bustling Old Town, known as 7 Calles, we experience over 700 years of history. We pass landmarks like Catedral de Santiago, Fuente del Perro, Palacio Yohn, Plaza Nueva, and Paseo del Arenal. We also explore fascinating curiosities.

Running along the river, we visit Bilbao’s Town Hall, with its majestic style. We continue to Bilbao’s new iconic constructions: Puente Calatrava, Torres Isozaki, and the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry. We also see Palacio de Congresos y de la Musica Euskalduna.

At the revered Grua Carola, a reminder of Bilbao’s naval industry, we turn to Parque de Casilda Iturrizar. This is Bilbao’s main green buffer. We view Torre Iberdrola, the tallest building in Basque Country, and the Museo de Bellas Artes.

Finally, we visit Bilbao’s beloved puppy sculpture by Jeff Koons in front of the Guggenheim Museum. After passing Casa Montero with its Gaudi-style architecture, we return to Plaza Federico Moyua. This completes our Bilbao in a running pintxo tour.

Bilbao Through Ages Tour – 13K

Did you know Bilbao is over 700 years old? Discover its medieval origins, vibrant present, and glimpse into its techie future on this 13K tour.

We start at the entrance of the Old Town, running along the river from Teatro Arriaga to Puente de San Anton and Mercado de la Ribera. Entering the 7 Calles, the medieval Old Town, we see colorful houses and bustling pintxo bars. We pass Catedral de Santiago, Palacio Yohn, and Plaza Nueva, each a piece of Bilbao’s centennial history.

Following the river, we head to Paseo Campo Volantín, Bilbao’s first expansion. This run showcases Bilbao’s evolution from an industrial city to a cultural hub. Highlights include Zubizuri, Isozaki Atea, the Guggenheim Museum, and Palacio Euskalduna, along with Palacio Olabarri, Universidad de Deusto, and Edificio El Tigre.

We cross Puente Frank Gehry into Bilbao’s future: Zorrotzaurre. This island, redesigned by Pritzker-winning architect Zaha Hadid, is set to be Bilbao’s future Manhattan. We run along the island, where ancient industrial buildings are being transformed into modern business and tech hubs.

Crossing Puente Euskalduna, we return to Bilbao’s present, running through Parque de Casilda Iturrizar with its green gardens and pergola. Passing Torre Iberdrola and Jeff Koons’ Puppy sculpture, we head to Plaza Moyua and Gran Via, the vibrant center of Bilbao life today. From there, we return to the Old Town, greeting Bilbao’s founder Diego Lopez de Haro, and pass historical landmarks like Palacio Foral, John Adams sculpture, and Sociedad Bilbaina to finish our historical route.

Bilbao XL Tour – 21K

Are you a long-distance runner passionate about architecture? Do you love discovering amazing buildings and sensations? If so, this tour is for you!

We start at Teatro Arriaga and run up the river towards Bilbao’s first industrial building, the old bakery of El Ponton. Then, we return to the Old Town, exploring Mercado de la Ribera, Palacio Yohn, Catedral de Santiago, and Plaza Nueva.

After the medieval section, we follow the river to the Town Hall and Isozaki Atea, then pass the Guggenheim Museum and Palacio Euskalduna on one side, and Universidad de Deusto and Edificio El Tigre on the other. From there, we cross to the other side of the river, visiting the Corbusier-styled Casas Americanas and running along the new riverside walkway. Enjoy the sounds of seagulls and local traineras rowing by.

Returning to the left side of the river, we visit the Noruega area and climb up to San Mames Stadium, home of Athletic Club. We cross Parque de Casilda Iturrizar, with its beautiful gardens and fountains, and arrive at the eclectic Artklass building and Torre Iberdrola. We greet Puppy and then visit extraordinary buildings like Casa Montero, Azkuna Zentroa, Casa Guridi, and Palacio Diputación before finishing our tour.

Bilbao is a fantastic city for runners, offering a unique blend of historical charm and modern innovation. Its diverse routes showcase stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and beautiful natural scenery. Join our running tours to experience the best of Bilbao, combining fitness and sightseeing in one unforgettable adventure.

Europa Parkea

Distance: 2km

Difficulty: Easy

Europa Parkea is a municipal park located near Txurdinaga, Bilbao, and has an elevation gain of 67m. It’s one of the largest parks in Bilbao and is an ideal place for running. This loop trail has a perimeter of 2km, but you can extend to interior paths if you want a longer run.

The park has a greenhouse, gym, sports center, sculptures, building refurbished in Roman styles, paved paths thus offering runners mixed sceneries for an enjoyable run.

Greenbelt of Bilbao

Difficulty: easy to moderate

The greenbelt of Bilbao comprises parks and forests that surround the town. Since the ring spans over 70km, it’s divided into simpler yet scenic routes to give you the best running experience. The green ring offers both short and long runs.

One of these routes passes through Monte Avril and offers impressive panoramic views of the city. The route is well marked and has instructions that guide runners. If you’re coming from the west direction, you can access this route at Artxanda Rest Stop, and from the east, Santo Domingo Rest Stop.

More routes can be found in Arraiz, Artxanda, and Arnotegi.

Circuito Puerta de Bilbao – Mirador de Erillo – Isequilla – Laredo

Distance: 13.2 km

Difficulty: Moderate

This is a loop trail located near Laredo in Cantabria and has an elevation gain of 546m. The route is multipurpose and can be used for trail running, hiking, and even mountain biking. The route is adorned with wildflowers and also has a historic site.

It takes runners through amazing places such as Carlos V Cultural Theme Center, San Julián Beach, and Santa María de la Asunción Basilica.

Bilbao Estuary Promenades

Distance: 3.9km

Difficulty: Easy

This offers running paths for both sides of the estuary. It offers scenic views of the city such as impressive architectural buildings, skylines, and sumptuous neighborhoods. 

One such promenade starts at Los Castaños to Zubizuri modern bridge. The route has an elevation gain of 66 meters and is runnable for all fitness levels. This route also takes you past Catedral de Bilbao for more scenic views.

Miribilla to Pagasarri

Distance: 11.1km

Difficulty: Moderate

This wooded trail has an elevation gain of 716 meters, although there are different paths you can run at varying distances.

This particular route takes you right through the forest of pagasarri and is mostly covered with dirt tracks. Though it doesn’t have much scenery, the route is quiet and peaceful since it’s usually uncrowded allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty.

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