Based in Spain since 2006

Zenarruza Monastery to Guernica

Markina to Zenarruza Monastery

Day 9

Accommodations: Guernica (B, L, D)

Walking: 18 km / 11 mi

After breakfast, it is time to return to Zenarruza Monastery, where we begin our descent along the Camino de Santiago to Guernica. Today’s walk will be hilly and scenic, with plenty of places to stop along the way. We pass through Munitibar, a small town tucked in a lush valley at the foothills of Mount Oiz. As we continue walking, we begin an ascent to the Chapel of Santiago at the top of a hill nearby, where we can stop for some breathtaking pictures and a stamp for our Pilgrim Passports.  

Views near Guernica
Views near Zarrabenta

After taking in the spectacular panoramic views of the lush mountains and valleys surrounding us, we head downhill, passing through another small town, Zarrabenta, along stone-lined streets and narrow, winding roads. 

Fresco Tours Gourmet Picnic near Guernica
Fresco Tours Gourmet Picnic near Guernica

After leaving Zarrabenta, we stop for a freshly-prepared Fresco Tours picnic and begin our last ascent of the day to Marmiz. After enjoying the views from the ridge, it is time to descend into our final destination for this evening, Guernica, a name made famous around the world by Pablo Picasso’s dramatic anti-war painting of the city.  

The Pablo Picasso Guernca monument in Guernica.
The Pablo Picasso Guernca monument in Guernica.

On April 26, 1937, Guernica was heavily bombed during the Spanish Civil War by Nazi warplanes at the request of General Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces. Picasso’s greyscale painting Guernica depicts the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. 

Today, however, Guernica stands as a symbol of peace and resilience. The town has rebuilt and preserved its heritage, while also commemorating the tragic events that took place during the bombing. As we walk through the town we may explore several significant sites related to the town’s history, including, the Gernika Tree, the Gernika Peace Museum, and the Casa de Juntas assembly hall. 

Camino Norte Basque Country
Camino del Norte in the Basque Country

After an exploration of the town, it is time to enjoy our time with our fellow pilgrims as we sit down for dinner, and then return to our accommodations in Guernica to rest after a long day. 

Elevation Profile for the Zenarruza Monastery to Gernika-Lumo stage on the Camino de Santiago del Norte
Elevation Profile for the Zenarruza Monastery to Gernika-Lumo stage on the Camino de Santiago del Norte

Guernica to Sopelana Beach & Portugalete