Oñati & Arantazu Sanctuary Tourism, Basque Country


Oñati & Arantzazu Tourism Guide

Oñati and the surrounding landscapes are typical of the Basque interior, which is indeed beautiful. If you are interested in visiting far flung sanctuaries in the middle of nature or just want to go hiking, then this is the perfect place.

Oñati is a nice little town situated half way between San Sebastián and Vitoria. If you have a car and are driving from one those cities, we recommend avoiding the toll roads. That way, you will save some money and discover many more beautiful landscapes.

The most important building of Oñati is the University of Sancti Spiritus. Built in 1540, it is one of the oldest campuses of Spain and one of the best examples of Basque renaissance architecture.

In the main square called Plaza de los Fueros, you will discover more renaissance buildings. The San Miguel Church has a mixture of gothic, baroque and neoclassical style, as well as the Bidaurreta Monastery with a gothic facade from the 16th century.

Onati, Basque Country
Old Town of Oñati
University of Sancti Spiritus, Oñati, Spain
University of Sancti Spiritus
Arantzazu Sanctuary

Arantzazu Sanctuary

Arantzazu Sanctuary Tourism
Views of the Arantzazu Sanctuary

Situated 9 km away from the center of Oñati is the Arantzazu Sanctuary. The sanctuary was built over 500 years ago in honor of the Virgin Mary that supposedly appeared there to a local shepherd in the 14th century.

A new impressive basilica was built in the 1950s on the edge of the cliff and is one of the best example of Basque avant-garde architecture: entrance gates by Eduardo Chillida, sculptures of apostles by Jorge Oteiza, altarpiece by Lucio Muñoz.

If you are into hiking, the Arantzazu Sanctuary is the perfect starting point. Located within the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park, there are lots of trails of different levels that will allow you to discover spectacular landscapes of unique beauty. For example, you can hike to the top of the Aizkorri peak in about 3 hours.

Ask in the tourism office for a publication called “Senderos de Oñati” with more information about existing trails.

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Hotels in Oñati

Hotels in Oñati

Get In & Around

Get In & Around

Once you are in Oñati, everything is reachable by foot.

On Sundays and holidays, there is a bus service between Oñati and the Sanctuary of Arantzazu. The first bus leaves Oñati at 7:30 am and the last one at 5:30 pm.

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Arriving to Oñati

PLANE – The closest airports are in Bilbao (75 km away) and San Sebastian / Hondarribia (95 km away). There isn’t direct transport from either of them.

CAR – Oñati is located 7 km away from the toll road AP-1. Using a combination of the roads AP-1 and AP-8 it is possible to reach San Sebastian in about 1 h (75 km) and Bilbao in about 50 min (75 km). Also, by taking the AP-1 it is possible to get to Vitoria in about 30 min (45 km).

The roads A-1 (also called N-1) and AP-1 basically travel in the same direction, connecting San Sebastian with Vitoria and Burgos. The A-1 continues south to Madrid. The road A-1 is free, while the AP-1 is a toll road. To give you a better idea for the cost of the toll road, the AP-1 between Vitoria and San Sebastian costs around 12 €.

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BUS – The company PESA offers buses from Oñati to Bilbao, stopping in Arrasate/Mondragón and Durango. Lurraldebus offers several bus lines connecting Oñati with other towns of the surroundings.

TRAIN – There isn't a train station in Oñati. The closest one is located in Zumárraga, about 18 km away.

Other Places of Interest in the Surroundings

In the Surroundings

Map of Oñati

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