The narrowest and most secluded town

Ea is one of the most original and charming villages of the Cantabrian Sea; its two districts are tightened around the narrow mouth of the river of the same name. It has a tiny harbor and beach, only accessible at low tide.

Plan your getaway to Ea

Let’s begin our getaway to Ea! We stroll down the parking lot through any of the two streets that flank the river in parallel. The town ia actually named after that river. Walk until you reach the tiny port and its little beach -only visible at low tide. Take your way back from the other street (and that’s how you’ve practically seen the whole village). If the weather is good, we advise you to take a dip in such a unique place, being able to see the few motor boats entering and leaving the port, taking advantage of the tides (during low tide the boats are stranded in the sand ).Ea is a charming and unusual place, with a few permanent residents and numerous descendants who live in other towns of Bizkaia and spend the weekends in Ea; there is only one guesthouse and some nearby campsites.

This getaway to Ea can be complemented by visiting the town of Elantxobe and also the beaches of Laga and Laida in the Urdaibai nature reserve. 

Towards the east, we have the opportunity to see the beautiful district of Bedarona, the town of Ispaster and the small village of Lekeitio. On our page sleep and eat in Ea we recommend some of its few places to enjoy your visit.

Do you want to visit this place?

The area in which Ea is located was inhabited since at least the 1st century, as at that time a stone stele found in the surroundings is attributed. However, until 19th century it would not obtain its own municipal entity.

At the river mouth, fishermen settled in the anteiglesias (early form of local government in the Basque country) of Bedarona, Ereño and Natxitua.

During the Middle Ages the territory, very sparsely populated, was part of the parishes of Lekeitio (the areas of Ereño and Bedarona, both east of the river, and Ibarrangelua and the area of ​​Natxitua, west of Ea).

As in all of Vizcaya, the population in Lekeitio was also divided in two rival groups, the so-called oñacinos and gamboinos, names derived from the families of “elder relatives” who led the Bandos Wars, habitual confrontations between armed nobles during the 16th and 15th  century.

The settlers of Bedarona depended on the family who owned the tower-house of Zubieta, in Lekeitio, which were attached to the Oñacino side, while the population of Natxitua depended on lineages aligned with the Gamboino side. The river Ea was thus the border between the two.

ea foto antigua
Ea a principios del siglo XX

The houses on each side of the river had their own local government (which depended on their respective anteiglesia) and in the 16th century two villages were built, clearly separated by the river.

In the 17th century, the jurisdiction of the eastern part of the river was transferred from Ereño to Bedarona.

In 1870, the future co-founder and president of the Bank of Vizcaya, José Antonio Gáldiz Mendiola, patron and doctor of the painter Darío de Regoyos, was born in Ea. In 1909, during his stay at Gáldiz’s house, Regoyos painted numerous paintings of the town.

Finally, in 1884 the anteiglesias of Bedarona and Natxitua were united, forming a joint municipality. In order to centralize the administration, the latter was included in the population center of Ea. Since then, Bedarona and Natxitua are districts of the old suburb of Ea and became the head of the municipality.

Ea is a small and cozy town located in the region of Busturialdea, yet there is much to see: an enchanted fishing village that is ideal for a peaceful stroll. The atmosphere of its urban area, divided into two nuclei for centuries, is extended around the river of the same name, which meanders between narrow streets and white houses with colored windows and full of flowers that overlook the riverbed. There are several bridges that save the estuary, although among them the so-called Puente Medieval stands out, as the oldest and of the greatest patrimonial value also shown by its presence in the municipal shield.

One of the main buildings of the town is the Parish Renaissance-style Church of Santa María de Jesús, although it was completely renovated in the Baroque period. Its lateral chapel, erected in honor of the Christ of Zacatecas in 1725, is of great admiration.

Next to the small and secluded port we see the beach, also small but of great beauty, which takes advantage of the river mouth and the opening towards the Cantabrian Sea. From the port a road leads to the top of a watchtower on which the Hermitage Talako Ama or Atalaya is located. Its interior houses three images of great value dedicated to Santa Maria, San Román and to the Christ at the Column. Formerly, the hermitage was the place to receive the many votive offerings that local sailors offered before going fishing. From its surroundings you can enjoy wonderful views over the area.

dormir ea belletxe
Belletxe

The Town Hall of Ea has an interesting façade on which the high arches of gray limestone stand out on its framed ground floor.

One of the most representative elements of the population is the Belletxe, on the Paseo de la Tala, a wooden construction supported by thick stone pillars that serves to protect the fishing gear.

This is one of Ea’s icons, so much that its representation is part of the town’s shield next to the medieval bridge. In the neighboring area of Natxitua, on the other side of the river, we find the Parochial Church of Our Lady of Consolation, whose Renaissance construction was completely reformed in neoclassical style in 1833 keeping only the sanctuary.

Ea is also a town of hamlets. In its different neighborhoods we can find a large number of these as the Caserío Gáldiz Etxebarria, in the neighborhood of Natxitua, a good example of local typical construction in which its harmonious stone façade with lintel vanes stands out. Another village to consider is the one of Anduizar, with lintel access in its main façade.

At short distance from the town, near where the river Ea flows into the sea, is the Paleontological Deposit of Asurtoki, from where, in 1969, numerous animal bone remains were extracted, mainly from horses.

Practical Information

Coordinates

43° 22′ 52″ N, 2° 35′ 1″ W

Distances

Bilbao 47 km, San Sebastián-Donostia 79 km, Madrid 434 km

Parking

You can easily park in the village or by the beach

Altitude

10 m

Population

864 (2013)

San Juan (July 24th ), San Ignacio de Loyola (July 31st ), Andra Mari (August 15th)

Fiestas del Veraneante (late August)

Nearby destinations

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