The tragedies of war have created in Gernika something of an anomalous urban layout; a great many buildings were destroyed, nearly three-quarters of them, and new buildings were shoehorned into their place. It remains pedestrian friendly and is large enough to take up your afternoon.
On your way into town, stop into the Iglesia de Santa María, a Basque Gothic church, and on the way out you’ll pass the Casa de Juntas which can be toured; otherwise just take a pause near the Tree of Gernika, which for centuries served as the meeting places for the Lords of Viscaya.
Between these two are a few museums to explore, but the most important one is the Museo de La Paz (Peace Museum), an exhibition both frightening and enlightening. If you want more Basque culture, visit the Museo de Euskal Herría.
Beyond Gernika the camino is without any services for 15km, pack accordingly.
Andra Mari y San Roque from the 9th to 18th of August.
Monday remains the Market day, as it has for centuries.
The names of Gernika and Picasso are inseparable, bound together since the talented artist was commissioned by the Second Spanish Republic to commemorate the horrific events that took place here on an April market day in 1936; it was propaganda at its most artistic level. The massive painting, now on permanent display in the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, became one of the most important works of the 20th century but did little to affect the outcome of the civil war.
Keep going straight after crossing the bridge into Gernika, following the road to where it ends at a large mural recreating Picasso’s famous painting depicting the city under bombardment. Turn left there, uphill and against traffic, passing the Iglesia de Santa María de la Antigua. A few buildings later you will turn right to pass between the park and the Convento de Santa Clara. When this road ends at a larger one, turn left. Further on keep left at the fork in the road, heading downhill to a roundabout.
At this point, you are surrounded by residential buildings on all sides. Go straight through the roundabout to the next one, and turn right when you get to it. Keep straight along this road, and straight again through the park when the road ends in a bend. Past the ermita in the park it is a left turn and a right immediately after, past the last of Gernika’s urban expansion and into the countryside. From here you begin to wind your way steeply up to the Alto de Morga.