Guernica is a small town located in the Basque Country, located around a half-hour drive from the city of Bilbao. It’s well known because it was the scene of one of the worst bombings in Spanish history, which occurred on April 26, 1937. The event was immortalised in one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings – Guernica – which became world famous. While most of the sights here have to do with the events of that fateful day, there are also Basque cultural museums, churches, nature reserves and markets to discover.
Take a look at the sacred Guernica Tree
One of the most important sites in Guernica is actually a tree. The Guernica Tree represents Basque identity and freedom, and became a symbol of the independence movement here. During medieval times, Basque communities and its leaders used to meet here to discuss and create laws. The Lord of Biscay established a set of laws called the fueros, which granted the Basques autonomous rule. The fueros were given to the Basques all the way up until the 19th century, although, today the Basque Country still has some autonomous rule. A tree has stood on this spot since the 14th century; however, the current one was only planted in 2015.
Admire the Biscayan Assembly building
The Biscayan Assembly building sits right next to the Guernica Tree and is where the Basque government meets. The neoclassical building was designed by the architect Antonio de Etxebarria and was built between 1826 and 1833.
See Picasso’s Guernica
Picasso’s original Guernica painting can be found in the Reina Sofia art museum in Madrid, but there is a tiled replica of it found in the town. Picasso created the painting just four months after the bombing of the town in 1937, and created it as a reaction and political message against the Nazis who attacked the town.
Learn how to play the fastest sport in the world
Jai alai, a form of Basque pelota, is said to be the fastest sport in the world, with balls being hit at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour. It is like a combination of handball and squash, and is played with glove-like baskets called cestas. The game is played on a court called a fronton, and Guernica is home to the second-largest fronton in the world. The residents here are big fans of the sport.
Discover the nearby Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve
Take a day trip to the nearby Urdaibai – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, located in the Mundaka estuary. It’s a great place for bird spotting and is home to species such as fish eagles, spoonbills and Eurasian bittern.
This year (2017) marks the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Guernica – read here to find out more about the history and the events to commemorate this occasion.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.