The charm of Bermeo is easy to miss if you don't park and walk through the old part of town to the port. Once home to the largest fishing fleet in Spain—some 60 long-distance tuna freezer ships of more than 150 tons, and nearly 100 smaller craft that specialize in hake, sea bream, gilthead, and other local species—Bermeo was long famous as a whaling port. In the 16th century, local whalers reportedly were obliged to donate the tongue of every whale to raise money for the church. Bermeo has one of only two wooden-boat shipyards on the northern coast, and the boats in its harbor make a colorful picture. Drive to the top of the windswept hill, where a cemetery overlooks the crashing waves below.
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