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Urdaibai a sustainable destination

The only Biosphere Reserve in the Basque Country

Located in the region of Busturialdea, Urdaibai was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1984. The centrepiece of this exceptionally beautiful natural area is the river Oka, and its main feature is its spectacular estuary surrounded by small peaks and a landscape teeming with life thanks to its natural resources and the people who live here.

The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve covers an area of approximately 57,000 acres and is made up of 22 municipalities that are home to some 45,000 people. Inhabited for more than 15,000 years, this territory is full of history and boasts an impressive cultural, historical and natural heritage. Are you ready to explore it?

European Charter for Sustainable Tourism

The only tourist destination in the Basque Country to have adhered to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST).

An initiative of the EUROPARC Federation, the aim of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Natural Areas (ECST), as its name suggests, is to promote sustainable tourism in protected natural areas throughout Europe.

Although adherence to the scheme is voluntary, it does imply a commitment, on the part of the different bodies that wish to participate, to apply sustainable tourism principles. It is also a prestigious international accreditation that recognises the important work that is being carried out in the development of responsible and quality tourism.


When you visit us, please make sure that your stay in Urdaibai always has a positive impact on the environment, society and the economy in general. By doing so, you will know that your tourism is truly sustainable.

Companies and organisations in the surrounding area and visitors alike are all involved in this task to together generate high-quality and, above all, enriching experiences for all concerned.

If you would like to find out more about the principles of and methodologies behind this initiative, all you have to do is visit their website:

Responsible tourism in Urdaibai

  1.  Know your rights.
  2. Promote local development.
  3. Support proper treatment of workers.
  4. Respect diversity.
  5. Enjoy Basque culture.
  6. Contribute to the preservation of our heritage.
  7. Contribute to the conservation of the environment.
  8. Choose sustainable products and services.
  9. Use sustainable transport.
  10. Be a responsible tourist.

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