Although the Basque Country has a wealth of monuments and lively cities, its real heart is in the countryside. Marvellous landscapes full of luscious forests and emerald green meadows with typical caserio´s or Basque farmhouses dotted all round.
In addition to its many other aspects, the Basque Country is still a place where the locals live surrounded by nature, and their wish to keep things this way is evidenced in the Basque Country´s many Natural Parks and protected biosphere areas.
Arrive in Vitoria. This afternoon visit any one of several parks surrounding Vitoria e.g. the Garaio Reservoir and Bird Sanctuary or perhaps enjoy walking or cycling along the old Vitoria to Navarra railway line, now a lovely public trail.
Later visit the town of Vitoria. See the Old Quarter and its Renaissance palaces including Villa Suso, Montehermoso and Escorriaza, the Cathedral of Santa María, the medieval wall, the Fournier Playing Card Museum and finishing with a panoramic view of the modern part of town. Accommodation in Vitoria.
Today visit the Izki Nature Reserve.
The Izki Valley is a vast area with rolling hills, bordered by predominantly limestone mountains, the highest being Mount Kapildui (1177 m). The river that runs through the valley is surrounded by remarkable forest scenery, mainly Pyrenean oak. Birds of prey in this area include the sparrowhawk, the booted eagle and the European short-toed eagle, as well as the spotted woodpecker.
Accommodation in Vitoria.
Today visit the Aitzgorri Natural Park travelling first to the village of Zalzuendo, where there is the beautiful Renaissance Palace of Los Lazarragas and then to Zamarraundi, from where you will walk along a wide country path surrounded by leafy beech trees until you reach a medieval road. This will take you to the Tunnel of San Adrián (actually on the old road to Santiago) situated in the mountains of Aitzgorri, a natural border between the provinces of Alava and Gipuzkoa. From here you could ascend the mountain of Aratz (1445 metres), without a doubt one of the lovliest mountains in Alava. Several special of birds are found in this area including the peregrine falcon, griffon vultures and booted eagles. Mammels found here include the wild cat and endangered pine marten.
Later today in this area you can visit the ethnographic Museum of Zalduendo, the prehistoric burial site of Eguilaz, the reservoir of Urrunaga and the Museum of Pottery in Ollerías.
Head west today to the Valderejo Natural Park passing through the village of Salinas de Añana, a village that has been exploiting salt left by the river since Roman times. The saltpans are very interesting to see.
A high, spacious valley enclosed by steep hillsides ending in rocky cliffs is the best way to describe the landscape found in Valderejo. The reserve is entered through the Valdegovís valley, from the village of San Millán de Zadornil in the province of Burgos. Arrive in this magnificent semi-circular valley rich in outcrops and then a walk from the village of Lalatra towards the Ribera along a beautiful gorge, formed by the Puron river.
Continue towards the Sierra Salvada, which forms a natural border between Alava, Burgos and Vizcaya where you see the spectacular 300 metre Nervion waterfall over the Délika canyon.
Return to Vitoria and overnight.
If you like the look of the above Suggested Tour we will gladly prepare a quote for you. The itinerary is not rigid and can be modified to suit your needs.
Below is a selection of the accommodation we would recommend for this tour. Click on the Hotel Code or symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property. If you have registered to use our Spain Travel & Holiday Planner, you need only click on to insert it into your itinerary.
|Nature in the Basque Country||Hotel Code||Classification||Information|
|5 nights in Vitoria||TBC42||Central Hotel|