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Enjoy the Mix of Culture and Nature in Bilbao
In Spain’s Basque Country is Bilbao, the capital city of Vizcaya. It is located at the banks of the tidal river, Nervión. The city’s climate is quite mild compared to the other parts of the peninsula, but not falling below the freezing temperatures of winter or rising above 35-degrees C in summer. Bilbao is surrounded by green mountains and hills, as well as dry plains in the south. However, this city also receives more rain which makes for lush greenery in the scattered natural resources. Though the beach is quite inviting, it is best not to take a risk especially when temperatures are low or if it’s raining.
Navigating Bilbao and Discovering the Treasures of the City
Bilbao’s city streets are quite difficult to drive in because of the hilly one-way streets and the presence of road construction. Most visitors just take the tram from San Mamés station instead of driving their way through, which usually takes several minutes to few hours. If you drive a motor home with a map or GPS, it may take a little shorter than normal, but it can be a challenging feat especially for first-time visitors in this city.
The city boasts of historic and cultural structures that many tourists love to see and take pictures of.
Perhaps the most popular is the Guggenheim Museum because of its overall appearance. The museum was the work of Frank Gehry and it was the most celebrated building in the 1990’s. The museum is covered in titanium squares which resemble the scales of fish and they look spectacular during the day when the sun is up. It is situated along the docks of Bilbao and houses permanent and temporary collections of various artists.
Other museums include the Basque Museum which houses archaeological treasures of the prehistoric times, as well as ethnography and historic artefacts of Euskadi. For remarkable art collections dating from the 12th century to present-day, the Museo de Bellas Artes is the best place to visit. There are paintings, drawings, sculptures, decorative objects, and engraving among many others.
The La Ria Maritime Museum is seated on a defunct shipyard and right next to the current Euskalduna Performing Arts Center. It holds both outdoor and indoor exhibitions all year-round. The Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro used to be a convent founded by Dominican nuns in the 15th century; while the Museo Taurino highlights bullfighting in Euskadi. For full-scale reproductions of the most popular artworks in the world, visit the Museo de Reproducciones Artisticas in Conde Mirasol.
While driving the streets of Bilbao, make sure to visit the stunning churches as well. The Gothic churches of the Cathedral of St. James, the Iglesia de San Antón and Iglesia de San Vicente Martir, as well as the Basilica de Begoña as just few of the many cathedrals you will see in the city.
Other places to visit in Bilbao include the Alhondiga which houses a library, several restaurants and bars, as well as a cinema and roof swimming pool with glass floor. The flower puppy in front of the Guggenheim Museum is said to be among the most popular symbols of modern Bilbao.
Notable structures to see are the Estación de Santander, Estación Abando, and the Puente de San Antón. Go to Mercado de la Ribera, one of the largest covered markets in Europe where fish and meat are sold every day, except Sundays. You will find many more tourist attractions in Bilbao as you tread the city streets before going to a campsite.
RV Campsites in and around Bilbao
Many tourists take advantage of campervans for hire while visiting any part of Spain. There are numerous campsites that provide facilities for families such as showers, water and electricity hook-ups, waste water disposal systems, and amenities that offer convenience to campers.
Try campsites such as Autocaravaning Kobetamendi just outside the city, Camping Leagi which is nearby a beach, and Camping & Bungalows Portuondo which has direct access to the beach and nature reserve/park.
There are also free campervan parking areas at the top of a hillside overlooking the city centre. They say it is just right outside an Aire which overlooks Bilbao. Just ask around if this is where you want to camp for the night, and you won’t be disappointed because of its location.