Lekeitio is a town that looks at the sea, with an old town that tells us about its fishing and artisan past, that hides mansions, towers and convents between its narrow cobbled streets and that flows into a harbor full of animation, where we can still see The boats unload the fresh fish or the sewers by sewing.
Since centuries ago the local people have been linked to activities related to fishing and the sea. This relationship has been forging the character of lekeitiarras: cheerful, enterprising and hospitable.
Quiet and peaceful place in winter, lively and plenty of people in summer, Lekeitio offers us beaches, nature, gastronomy, good atmosphere and an interesting cultural agenda; with fairs, street theater, exhibitions and popular parties.
Fishing tradition and mountains that caress the waves of the Cantabrian Sea, live side-by-side in Ondarroa, offering a landscape of outstanding authentic natural beauty. This village have 4 kilometers square in size, that offers a coastal stronghold and an active and dynamic fishing port heavily steeped in Basque tradition.
Ondarroa is a place of strong contrasts. Here the sea and the mountain are face to face. The tradition and modernity coexist peacefully, and historical heritage merges with the most modern infrastructures. Ondarroa will surprise you with his liveliness and strength, his strong personality and his warm welcome. It keeps its most precious treasures waiting for visitors. Nowadays it is one of the most important and highest fishing harbours in the Bay of Biscay, and the activities in the harbour give us a glimpse of how old traditions have survived and have mixed with the modern craft of fishing.
The history of San Juan begins where today is Albaola, in Pasaia. It is here, where in 1563 the adventure and legend of one of the first transoceanic cargo ships that started from the Basque Country to the new land, Newfoundland, begins. This ship, is an example of Basque naval power, was shipwrecked off the coast of Canada (Red Bay) in 1565.
In 1978 Parcs Canada finds it and begins a 30-year investigation that has as its final result, the most detailed plans of a 16th century merchant ship. Plans on which today Albaola relies to build the replica. As a result of this research, San Juan became the symbol of UNESCO's underwater cultural heritage. In 2013, with the scientific support of the Government of Canada and as the star program of the project to present Donostia - San Sebastián as European cultural capital in 2016, the replica of the San Juan ship began to be built.
ALBAOLA THE SEA FACTORY OF THE BASQUES is located at the entrance of the Bay of Pasaia (Gipuzkoa), close to the ancient steam dredger Jazikibel and situated in a renovated shipyard.
In this magical and hidden place the ship writing carpenters repair and build boats with high historic and ethnographic value.
Albaola factory evokes many sea odysseys lived by the Basque people along the New World through the whale hunters and their vessels. More than a museum, this factory is an imaginative and open space where you can learn, thanks to a dynamic process, the sea history of the Basques watching the public construction of the replica of one of its most famous ships: XVIth century whale ship SAN JUAN.
Albaola has been characterized since its inception as an open and participatory association with a collaborative way of working. Combine professional work and volunteering.
The visit is planned as a circuit that runs through three spaces:
1. The museum where the historical universe is contextualized around historical shipbuilding and the hunting of the whale in North America by the Basques; 2. The riverside carpentry workshop, where the trees are worked and the San Juan whaling pieces are made to the public and by techniques of the time; 3.The large wooden shed where the San Juan whaler is assembled.