Things to Do in Llodio – Laudio

From the Glorious Industrial Past to the Gastronomy

Located a few kilometers away from Bilbao, the second city of Álava includes the mansions and palaces of  great entrepreneurs, as well as an excellent museum of gastronomy. The industrial appearance of the city as a whole should not deter your visit. Here we will tell you what to see in Llodio, as well as some interesting information about this locality.

Planning your Trip to Llodio

Your Llodio getaway should include a car tour through the beautiful Ayala Valley. When you get there, remember that modern factories and buildings hide some of the interesting monuments and the Basque Museum of Gastronomy. The whole visit of the city center and the banks of the river can last half a day. In the same valley, it is possible to spend a few hours in the historical complex of Quejana – Kexaa.  While heading south, you can continue your trip in the old customary town of  Orduña, an enclave of Bizkaia within Alava surrounded by large rocky walls. Trekking enthusiasts can choose to explore the nearby Gorbea Natural Park. There are numerous establishments of the Ayala valley where you can eat well, but there are good places to stay. Look early and you can book both through our pages on where to sleep and what to eat in Llodio.

Do you want to learn more about this site?

The date that Llodio-Laudio was founded is not known entirely. There is a preserved Roman bridge that shows the existence of a roadway that would connect the plains of Alava with Vizcaya. Later, throughout the history of Llodio, the village would be passed down from one hand to another. The first written reference to this village is in is 1093, when it appears as a village attached to Vizcaya. In the year 1135, it became part of the domains of the Mendoza family, who sold it to Leonor de Guzmán, who in turn leased it to Fernando Perez de Ayala. In 1491, he joined voluntarily and definitively to the Brotherhood of Álava.

llodio foto antigua
Llodio en 1985

In the second half of the twentieth century, it was transformed into the second city of Álava. Due to its proximity to Bilbao, it was one of the most industrialized areas of the Basque country. This industrial development of the city was especially unusual during the main years of the twentieth century, as the old farm economy was transforming as well.  In 1994, the Basque Museum of Gastronomy was created in order to promote the diffusion of this culture and to generate a new economy based on tourism, especially gastronomy.

Llodio-Laudio offers visitors many leisure opportunities with its combination of an urban and rural environment of the Ayala Valley and its mountainous surroundings.

The urban nucleus of Llodio, defined by the Nervión River, is centered around the Herriko Plaza, closed off by all its sides except for one. At one end stands the Church of San Pedro de Lamuza, from the middle of the 17th century. The slender baroque tower is highlighted. Forming part of the square and perfectly integrated in its structure is the City Hall, although on this side there are no arcades that characterize it.

The Basque Museum of Gastronomy is located in the Casona Zubiko Etxea. This institution explains in an effective and entertaining way, questions about the trajectory of the main dishes, the utensils and appliances used for cooking, the community demonstrations of cooking, and meetings among the gastronomic societies, such as the Pintxos phenomenon, among others.

Within the city limits, visitors can relax in the Lamuza Park, which previously were the gardens of the Marqués de Urquijo estate. They are a pleasant natural extension where the Aldaia stream runs through, that houses a great variety of vegetal species. The ensemble is completed with the old Palace of the Urquijo (now House of Culture) and other architectural elements and landscaping, such as the Casino, a pond and a ashlar stone construction.

Beyond the park, on the left bank of the Lamuza River, lies, in the district of Ugarte, a Gothic medieval tower house erected in the 15th century. It has the exceptionality of being the only one left standing of the ten that should have been in the locality in the Middle Ages. The structure of the tower, with a ground floor and three additional stories, is attached to a second building known as the “Palace”.

casa cultura llodio
Casa de Cultura

A little farther away, in the district of Santa Lucía, the Gothic Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Wilderness (15th century) stands out, a single-nave building  in which a beautiful plateresque style altarpiece and a Romanesque size of the Virgin stand out, dating back to the 13th century.

Among the local houses, the Palacio Katuxa (second half of the 18th century), a large noble residence erected in Ashlar Stone on top of where a tower house was destroyed by a fire, is particularly striking. The palace, built by Pedro Antonio de Ugarte, has an ashlar facade of harmonious composition, with the ground floor preceded by a large portico. Another notable example is the Anuntzibai Palace, commissioned by the Marquis of Falces in the 18th century. Beside it is the bridge with the same name, which connected the house-tower, the foundry, and the mill with the Hermitage of San Miguel, located on the left bank of the Nervión and also part of the ensemble. The bridge is guarded by two stone lions at one end, and at the other end is a cover topped with a beautiful tympana ordeal.

The Roman past is another one of the things that must be seen in Llodio, such as the remains of the Bridge of Vitórica on the Nervión River, where only an arc is preserved. The structure underwent transformations in the Middle Ages and was practically eliminated as a result of the terrible floods that occurred in 1983.

The Essentials

dónde dormir en Llodio
Museo Vasco de la Gastronomía
dónde dormir en Llodio
Estacion de ferrocarril

Important Information


43° 9′ 4″ N, 2° 57′ 22″ W


52 km from Vitoria-Gasteiz, 22 km from Bilbao, 385 km from Madrid


Avenue of Zumalacárregui


132 m


18,510 (2013)

San Roque (16th of August), San Prudencio (28th of April), Santa Lucía (Second day of the Pentecost of Easter)


Other nearby destinations

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