Tourism destinations


The birthplace of great Basque pelota players and standing on the Camino de Santiago (St. James' Way), many pilgrims pass through this municipality, which belongs to the comarca (county) of Lea-Artibai.

Since Zenarruza und La Puebla de Bolibar separated from the municipality in 2005, the town, founded about the middle of the 14th century, consists of two villages: Markina and Xemein. The village's centre still maintains its medieval layout and offers a vast heritage display. We can visit the church of El Carmen, whose façade shows a sculpture of the virgin and the coat of arms of the Carmelite Order.

The palaces Solartekua (present Town Hall), Andonegi and Ansotegi, Antxia tower and the former Town Hall are, among others, some of the interesting buildings in town. In the surroundings of Markina-Xemein we will find also some places to visit. For example the beautiful Patrokua palace, the church of Santa María de la Asunción de Xemein, declared Euskadi National Monument, or the chapel of San Miguel de Arretxinaga, hexagonal temple, whose altar is formed by three big rocks.

Cradle of great pelotaris

Markina-Xemein keeps a tight connection with Basque pelota sport; in fact its two walled court or frontón is known as "University of the Pelota", since it is the place where great Basket or Jai Alai pelotaris learnt to play.

The town holds festivities in honour of its patron saint, Carmen, in mid-July. The municipality also hosts numerous fairs and markets during the year, highlights among which include the farmers' fair in October, and Carnival is a good time to visit this town and discover its culture and customs.

Information of interest

Surface area
63.87 Km
No. of inhabitants