Deba

Located at the mouth of the river Deba, in the westernmost part of Gipuzkoa, the town of Deba belongs to the region of Debabarrena. Its extension is of 51.9 km² and has 5.480 inhabitants. Traditionally, Deba's tourist offer is based on the beauty of the landscape, its rich heritage, centuries-old culture and exquisite gastronomy. Today, it is reinforced with modern facilities, and entertainment and leisure offers that meet all of our visitors' needs.

 

Location

History

Heritage

The beach and the flysch on the coast

The countryside and the karst

Walking around

Walks and active tourism

Festivities and celebrations

 

Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark

Location

The town of Deba is on the westernmost tip of the Guipuzcoan coast, very close to the nearby town of Mutriku, on the border with the historic territory of Biscay, and few kilometres from Zumaia. These three towns make up the Basque Coast Geopark. The town centre is right on the sea, and the municipal district includes a series of charming country villages, as Itziar, Lastur and Elorriaga. The natural setting is a perfect combination of blue sea and green mountains.

  • Historic territory: Gipuzkoa
  • Region: Debabarrena
  • Extension: 51,9 km²
  • Population: 5.480

 

History

Thousands of years before Deba was founded, the town's relationship with sea and water already formed an indelible part of its history.

The shell deposits and bone harpoons found in many caves in the Deba municipal district and some of the fish figures in the Palaeolithic shrine at Ekain are testimonies of that relationship. Curiously, thousands of years later, Roman chronicles also cite the coast and the Deba, a river that would later lend its name to the town.

The town's origins date back to 1343. History tells us that King Sancho IV granted the citizens of "Monte-Real", in Itziar, a Charter as a township in 1294. Subsequently, they moved closer to the coast so they could fish and founded a new settlement that tehy called Monreal de Deba.

In the 15th century, Deba lived a period of splendour due to shipping, particularly with the export of wool from Castile and Aragón to various European countries.

In the 19th century, the port declined and a new activity began: tourism. Deba's relationship with the sea changed when the town became one of the pioneers of tourism in Europe.

Currently, Deba still faces the sea with a taste of salt in the air. The town offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy a unique coast and a modern spa, thus combining fun with therapy.

The beach and the coast

Deba has two beautiful beaches close to the centre of town. One is Santiago beach and the other is Lapari beach. They are both ISO 14.001 certified. Above them, the long Cárdenas and Pablo Sorozábal promenades act as a viewpoint, with spectacular scenic views of the coastline and the Cantabrian Sea.

For centuries the Ría, as the long, narrow tidal inlet is known, was the economic backbone of the town. Now it has become the centre of leisure and fun. There is a charming little marina on one bank where riverside and seacoast fishermen meet daily to comment on their captures. On the opposite bank lies the protected area of Casacampo, a delightful wetland to which cormorants, herons and several species of mud-living birds return every year.

Deba also boasts many walks, gardens, and parks that occupy almost two thirds of the town. One of the largest walks is tree-lined Calbetón Avenue, which covers two hectares with trees and garden areas. Children and elderly people enjoy going there to play or relax.

The Flysch of Deba

Due to its biological wealth and geological formations, Deba is thought to have one of the most interesting coastlines in the world. It is declared as protected biotope and it is one of the most amazing places of the Basque Coast Geopark.

There are some spectacular Flysch formations, particulary in the areas of Mendata and Sakoneta. These formations are caused by sea erosion on alternating hard and soft layers of rock, causing the rocks to stick out in the water for hundreds of metres like a huge ribcage. It is a striking sight at low tide.

All along the coast there are many beaches, some of which are sandy and others with pebbles. It is a paradise for nature-lovers seeking isolation in peace and quiet.

On the cliffs above the sea there are small neighbourhoods such as Elorriaga and Itxaspe and the mountain Santa Catalina, one of the most breathaking viewpoints of the entire Cantabrian coast. The base of the mountain is cut by the main road that winds along the cliffs, inviting you to stop at La hilandera and La Salve viewpoints to enjoy a unique view of the coast.

Walking around

In the most important points of the town, you will find informative panels that will help you to discover Deba.

 

 

 

Itziar Lastur

If you want to see the location of the panels click here

The countryside and the karst

Itziar

The neighbourhood of Itziar is barely 6 km from Deba town centre. It is an important Marian centre with a shrine of the same name. The temple is presided by the 12th Romanesque statue of the Virgin of Itziar, one of the most beautiful religious statues in the Basque Country and much venerated by the seamen.

Itziar is a good starting point for excursions on foot in the environs. From here you can go to the Endoia, Mardari, Arbiskoa and Lastur neighbourhoods, or climb to the top of Mounts Andutz, Otarre, Agiro, Sesiarte and Erlo, from which you will enjoy stunning views over the Basque countryside.

Almost all of the inland area of Deba's municipal district is in the Izarraitz massif, an area that has been proposed as a "Site of Community Importance" (SCI). This area is in the Lastur Valley, a paradise that is worth visiting to discover it slowly, on foot. At the end of the valley you will come to the tiny village of San Nicolás de Lastur, which has a shrine, some mills (former ironworks), a fronton and only four houses. Lastur Valley was documented as early as 1335, when King Alfonso XI authorised trees to be cut in the nearby mountains at the request of the ironworkers in the valley.