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History, culture and architecture on the old “Ruta de los contrabandistas”, Day hike near Bilbao

Ruta de los Contrabandistas
Ruta de los Contrabandistas

Join UIMLA-certified Mountain Leader Antoni on this great day hike, walking the Ruta de los Contrabandistas, from Bilbao to Llodio, discovering rich history, architecture and natural beauty.

1 Day





* Hike along a beautiful trail used by smugglers on ancient times

* Cover a distance of 20 kilometers between Bilbao and Llodio

* Discover a rich historical and architectural heritage along the way


We propose you to join us on a day hike facing the challenge of completing the “Ruta de los Contrabandistas” (“Smugglers Route”). This 20- kilometer long trail separates Llodio and Bilbao, in the Basque Country,  and will take us six hours of march. The route was once used by bandits and black marketeers, since the XVl century,for the illegal transport of goods.

This route combines the appeal of a beautiful landscape of mountains and valleys, and the historical interest of the remains of the fortifications and trenches that were built during the Spanish Civil War to defend Bilbao.The military infrastructure was built between 1936 and 1937, although curiously it did not host any combat.

Along the itinerary, informative panels situated in diverse points allow us to know more about the history of the place and to visit trenches and machine guns nests. This is a beautiful area, with a great richness in history, nature and architectural heritage.

Typical construcions of caleros, ericeras and neveros are present along the route along with posters that explain what for and how they were used. We will also pass through Santa María del Yermo and the hermitage of Santa Lucía, where we will make a stop to recover forces and continue the hike.

This is a hiking tour open to everyone. You don’t need previous hiking experience to join us, just a normal physical condition and being used to walk.

So what are you waiting for? Just send us a request if you want to enjoy a great day hike near Bilbao! Let me guide you through a historical trail, discovering beautiful green landscapes. 

If you are looking for more adventures in Spain, make sure to check out  all the hiking and canyoning trips I offer here.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

Price details

The price includes guiding fee and accident and RC insurance. The price does not include transportation (we will use the train).


More info


  • Appropriate clothing for mountain activity according to the weather

  • Trekking shoes / Boots

-Water and some food/snack for the hike

-You need to be in normal physical condition.

-Minors must complete the authorization and deliver it before carrying out the activity, otherwise you will not be able to join the tour.

Meeting point

Miribilla train station. Santiago de Compostela Kalea, 12, 48003 Bilbao, Bizkaia

About the guide

Guide profile image


Mountain Guide

I am a Mountain Leader Sports Technician and Canyoning Guide, certified by AEGM and UIMLA. Being a guide has allowed me to turn my hobbies into my profession. I love conveying my passion for adventure sports and nature to each one of my clients and look forward to welcoming you on my tours.





What people are saying about Explore-Share



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Thank you explore-share for a wonderful via feratta experience. We have been wanting to learn for a long time but don't have the facilities in Scotland. The guide Mitja was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, answering all my many questions and providing advice. On the day head to take another group but he quickly arranged another guide Borut, who was brilliant. We had a fantastic morning learning via ferrata at Hvadnik in the gorge. It gave us the confidence to later hire our own equipment and go out in Mojstrana. Altogether a five star + experience. Thank you.


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