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WorldNorth AtlanticSpainNW SpainBilbao
43°20.21′N, 3°1.67′W Chart icon.png
Casca Viejo (old town) of Bilbao

Bilbao, the capital of the Basque region of NW Spain, is Spain’s fifth largest city, with a population of 360,000 in the municipality and over 950,000 in the greater Bilbao area. Founded in 1300 on the banks of the Nervion river, the settlement became the most important port in northern Spain during the heyday of the Spanish empire from the 15th to the 19th centuries. During the twentieth century, the city witnessed a dramatic influx from poorer regions of Spain to fuel its rapidly growing heavy industries. Today, Bilbao is an important international ferry port and a tourism destination in its own right, with major attractions such as the Casca Viejo (old town) and the world-famous Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art. The city’s excellent transport links (which include an airport and good rail links) and its huge harbour with its three marinas make Bilbao a useful destination for yachts heading down across Biscay from the French coast as well as a handy stopping off point for yachts cruising the north coast of Spain.


British Admiralty
1147 - Approaches to Bilbao
1173 - Bilbao
C42 - La Rochelle to Santander


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Sources for Weather forecasts: See Spain.


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No problems in the approach, but keep a careful watch for ferries entering or leaving from the ferry terminal at Santurtzi. The marinas are nearly four miles from the entrance, Getxo Marina being the first to port, the new and as yet uncompleted Puerto Deportivo di Santurtzi about 500 metres further on to starboard (just past the ferry terminal) and the Marina Club Maritimo del Abra a further mile on to port just as the harbour narrows and becomes the canalised river.


Bilbao is a port of entry/exit to Spain.

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If intending to berth at Getxo Marina, call on channel 09 or telephone: +34 94 4912367. To contact the marina in advance, you can also e-mail: For the Marina Club Maritimo del Abra, call on channel 09 or telephone: :+ (34) 94 4637600. E-mail. It is unknown at present when the municipal marina of Puerto Deportivo di Santurtzi will be operational (details needed).

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Getxo Marina

Getxo Marina/wiki/Bilbao#Getxo_Marina
Berth icon Getxo Marina [[Bilbao#Getxo Marina|Getxo Marina]] 43°20.48′N, 3°1.42′W
It has a total of 824 berths for yachts up 18 metres in depths up to 5.0 metres. Yachts berth where directed on long pontoons. Water and electricity at all berths. Fuel pontoon. Chandlery. Laundry. Travel lift (45T). Crane (5T). Large area of hard standing. Around the marina are several restaurants and bars, shops and a multiplex cinema. The staff here have a reputation for being rather officious. Contact on VHF channel 9. Telephone: +34 944 912367. Email. Website.

Real Club Marítimo del Abra-Real Sporting Club

Real Club Marítimo del Abra-Real Sporting Club/wiki/Bilbao#Real_Club_Mar.C3.ADtimo_del_Abra-Real_Sporting_Club
Berth icon Real Club Marítimo del Abra-Real Sporting Club [[Bilbao#Real Club Marítimo del Abra-Real Sporting Club|Real Club Marítimo del Abra-Real Sporting Club]] 43°19.755'N, 003°01.003'W
It is situated in the suburb of Las Arenas) and has a total of around 300 berths for yachts up 18 metres in depths up to 3.0 metres. Water and electricity at all berths. The marina has a smart club house with pool, toilets, showers, restaurant and bar. Laundry. Fuel station. Wifi. Boatyard. Crane (2T) and travel lift (35T). Small area of hard standing. The club has a reputation for being very welcoming to visiting yachtsmen. Contact on VHF channel 9. Telephone: +34 944 912367. Email.

Puerto Deportivo de Santurtzi

Puerto Deportivo de Santurtzi/wiki/Bilbao#Puerto_Deportivo_de_Santurtzi
Berth icon Puerto Deportivo de Santurtzi [[Bilbao#Puerto Deportivo de Santurtzi|Puerto Deportivo de Santurtzi]] 43°19.78′N, 3°1.66′W
It is a relatively new marina on the west side of the harbour just beyond the ferry berth. The marina has a total of around 700 berths for smaller yachts up to 12.0 metres, but there is at present no further information available (please add telephone, email and website details as they become available).


The best anchorage is at the SE corner of the inner harbour, between the two marinas. Anchor in 3.0 - 4.0 metres. Bottom is sand and mud and reasonable holding. Gusts can be experienced in strong winds, so ensure your anchor is well dug - many yachts have reported dragging here!

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

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All mechanical, electrical and electronic repairs can be undertaken in the large boatyard of Getxo Marina. The yard has 3900 square metres of hard standing.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Water, electricity and fuel at both marinas.

Things to do Ashore


The marinas of Getxo and Club Maritimo del Abra are about 10 minutes from the nearest metro station. From there, it is a 15-20 minute journey into the centre of Bilbao. Although there is not a lot of historic value in the centre in architectural terms, the Casca Viejo (old town) is worth strolling through, with its narrow streets and arcaded Plaza Nueva. An absolute must is the world-renowned Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art, whose dramatic titanium-clad curves have made it one of the most photographed buildings in Spain. Also worth a visit is the unusual Puente Colgante, an iron bridge with a moving platform that crosses the River Nervion, which is now an important heritage site.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Numerous supermarkets and other provisions in the suburb of Las Arenas.


Wide range of choices around the marinas and in the clubhouse of the Club Maritimo del Abra.


In the marinas.


At both marinas.

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Several rental outlets in the city.

Garbage Disposal

Bins in the marinas.


List transportation (local and/or international.)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Spain.


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Names: Athene of Lymington

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