The Painted Forest

This past week I took 2 days and went on a mini-vacation with some dear friends that I haven’t seen for much too long.  We stayed at a casa rural (rural bed & breakfast) and spent 2 glorious days discovering the Bizkaian coast and little pueblos along the way.

At the Casa Rural
At the Casa Rural
Bizkaian Coast
Bizkaian Coast

On our second day we headed over to the Bosque Pintado (The Painted Forest), a place I have wanted to visit for years.  The Painted Forest is located close to Gernika, a small town in Bizkaia, and was created by painter and sculptor Agustín Ibarrola.  On the trees Ibarrola painted different works of art representing humans, animals and geometric shapes that represented magical forestal inhabitants.  The Painted Forest was finished in the final years of the 1970s.

Starting point of the hike
Starting point of the hike

The Painted Forest is located about 2.5 km away from where you park so it’s recommended to visit on a day with nice weather as you’ll be walking for about 3 hours (in total).  There is a very clearly marked path that takes you directly to the location but it is quite the hike so good walking shoes are a good idea as is water and a hat.  There is no entrance fee and there is no guide.  However, there is an information booth next to the parking lot with a bilingual attendee who can give good information and maps on how to go and return.

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Once you arrive to the actual Painted Forest, you’ll begin to see all the works of art and if you ask for information before beginning you’ll have the name of each one.  There are also little yellow triangles that will help you to identify each one by pointing you in the right direction to look.  They look like this:

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You can spend as much time as you want checking out the different works of art and it’s actually a lot bigger than it appears.  Here’s some more photos:

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2012-12-28 13.31.112012-12-28 13.30.22After the trek, you’ll probably be hungry and thirsty so it’s prefect that there is a great bar and restaurant waiting for you right next to the parking lot!  These Basques have it all figured out!  The restaurant has a great menu del dia for about 12 euros/person serving up traditional Basque home cooking.  It’s a great way to spend the morning catching up with your nearest and dearest!

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