The Town of Portugalete

The Town was founded in 1322 by Doña María Díaz de Haro, Lady of Vizcaya, on a settlement that had already been earlier and was inhabited by seafaring folk living in the shelter of its natural harbour.

The Town Charter (Carta puebla) granted the local people a series of privileges in the trade and transportation of goods, mainly wool and iron, as well as in fishing. Its economic development was particularly important in the 14th and 15th centuries, but it began to wane after the 16th century, when Bilbao gained a monopoly on the river estuary traffic and Portugalete was used only for loading and unloading merchandise.

It was not until the 19th century that Portugalete regained its position. its situation in the coast, together with its spa and its beach turned it into a summer resort for the bourgeoisie of Bilbao and England. As well as for the Nobility and even Royalty.

The development of the town was further enhanded by the building of the Hanging Bridge (Puente Colgante) and the Iron Wharf (Muelle de Hierro) and the arrival of the railway. Today, Portugalete, continues being a neuralgic center and a commercial and recreational area for the left bank of the river.

Portugalete is also known as “Villa Jarrillera" The explanation is very simple: The culture of the vineyards was a very important activity. Of them was obtained the txakolí, a typical wine of the region. And these wines were served in small jugs of mud, popularly known as jars (Jarrillas) ... Let's start the tour …