Mendikosolo Park,a green lung on the outskirts of Bilbao
Mendikosolo Park is a pleasant semi-urban park located on the outskirts of Bilbao, in the municipality of Arrigorriaga. This charming place is a nice corner for those who want to disconnect from the city and spend a nice day out in nature and have a picnic in the spring and summer with family or friends.
Some people do not realise this but there are times when the outskirts of cities hide pleasant corners where you can press the pause button on life and breathe for a few hours without having to go far away. There are small green areas where nature recovers its prominence by giving us the flora and fauna that are increasingly scarce in urban environments.
If you are in Bilbao, save a few hours to visit Mendikosolo Park. You will be surprised!
- Natural and historical context of the park
- Routes around Mendikosolo Park
- How to get there and useful information
- Eating in the area
- Where to stay in Bilbao
Natural and historical context of the park
Mendikosolo Park has around 45 hectares of lush forest, with a beautiful lake inside. It is the perfect place for strolling around and enjoying a meal or snack.
Despite its proximity to Bilbao, the park has botanical species such as maple, ash and oak trees, as well as aquatic fauna such as swans and geese.
Mendikosolo is also a good place to take children. In addition to the swings and play areas, the park’s surroundings are perfect for cycling while learning a bit more about nature. You can also go for a boat trip on the lake.
Nevertheless, the origins of Mendikosolo have little to do with nature. Some people know it as ‘Dynamite Park’ since during the 20th century it was the site of an old dynamite factory belonging to the company Explosivos Río Tinto.
The explosives were carried from Mendikosolo to the Arrigorriaga railway station by mule-drawn wagons. Little is left of all that now: only a chimney, some small tunnels and the remains of the old factory buildings.
Routes around Mendikosolo Park
A five-kilometre circular route through Mendikosolo Park will take you all over the park and up to the highest part, where you will find the hermitage of Saint Peter of Abrisketa.
This small temple is one of the oldest churches in the province of Biscay (12th century), being one of the few Romanesque churches that has been preserved in its entirety.
From the hermitage, all you have to do is go downhill to continue the circular route and return to the area around the lake. Mendikosolo Park route is clearly a good way to round off the day and break away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
How to get there and useful information
To get to Mendikosolo Park from Bilbao, you can do so by private vehicle, train or bus. If you go by car, Mendikosolo is about eight kilometres from the centre of Bilbao, which is a 15-minute drive.
If you go by public transport, the train is the most convenient option. From Abando station, take the Cercanías line C3 to the Arrigorriaga stop. From there it is only a 15-20 minute walk to the park entrance. In total, the journey takes about 35 minutes from Abando.
If you go to Mendikosolo by public bus, you can take the A3641 bus from Abando (on Bailén Street) or from the Arriaga Theatre in the Old Quarter, or from Olano Street, and get off in front of the Arrigorriaga train station.
Mendikosolo is located at the foot of the AP-68 motorway so, if you are travelling from Vitoria or other towns south of Bilbao, access to the park is very easy.
Eating in the area
If you are looking for a place to eat in Mendikosolo Park, at the very entrance to the park you will find Asador Mendikosolo, a magnificent restaurant specialising in roasted meat cooked at low temperature and which has a pleasant outdoor terrace that is perfect for spring or summer.
Another option in Mendikosolo is to have a picnic or barbecue in the park’s picnic area.
If you are looking for more options, in the centre of Arrigorriaga you will find several interesting restaurants and taverns such as Poli Berria, La Teilatu and Untzigain.
Where to stay in Bilbao
Bilbao is a city that will surprise you with the great reform it underwent during the 1990s and today it is presented to the world as a modern, green and pleasant city to stay in. Some of the best hotels in Bilbao belong to the Barceló Hotels network.
One of the most iconic hotels is the Barceló Bilbao Nervión, a very modern four-star establishment located next to the town hall and the river Nervión, in the heart of the city. It is one of the best accommodation options in the city.
A little further east, in the heart of the Begoña district, you will find the Occidental Bilbao, another comfortable and modern four-star hotel with an outdoor pool and spa.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to Mendikosolo Park?
To get to Mendikosolo Park from the centre of Bilbao, you must pass through the town of Arrigorriaga, from where the road leading into the park starts. You can go by car, train or bus.
What can I do in Mendikosolo Park?
In Mendikosolo Park, you can have picnics or barbecues, go hiking or cycling to the hermitage of Saint Peter of Abrisketa, take a boat trip on the lake or enjoy its restaurant with a terrace. It is an ideal place to take children.