Three incredible routes in the Zuia valley - arabaturismo
The municipality of Zuia hosts a large part of the Gorbeia mountains and some of its highest peaks: Gorbeia, Nafarkorta, Burbona and Berretin. It borders the Bizkaia towns of Orozko and Zeanuri. In addition, the Zuia valley is home to extraordinary oak forests and magnificent views that you can enjoy, not only by climbing Mount Gorbeia, but also from any of the routes for trekking, bicycles and cars in this spectacular region.
The first trekking route connects the towns of Zuia and Urkabustaiz. It's a relatively easy route that starts in Larrazkueta, notable for the San Vicente church. The route continues through the Urkabustaiz oak groves, declared an Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in 2015. It passes through the village of Gilerna and reaches the river Baias, which has also been declared a SAC. To cross it, you'll have to use the Zubiegi bridge, built in 1896 and considered historical and architectural patrimony of Zuia. Finally, the route reaches Bitoriano, where it comes to an end.
Bitoriano - Sanctuary of Oro Route
Our second suggestion is a circular route. The path starts at Bitoriano, and after a few metres it comes to the ‘La Mina’ pit, the first point of interest on this walk. This was the site of the ‘loader’ and the entrance to the lignite mine. It has been restored and is now a natural space for wild flora and fauna. Further on it leads to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Oro, a place of worship in the Murgia mountains. This point is ideal to stop for a moment and take in the view of the valley from above, before returning to the starting point at Bitoriano.
This last route through Zuia starts in Murgia and the main point of interest is a visit to the Jugatxi chapel. Like the previous route, it's circular, starting and ending in the village. Half-way through the route, hidden between century-old oak and ash trees, there is a rural chapel. Every Sunday from 8 September, the residents of the small town of Murgia hold a procession to Jugatxi chapel where, in addition to the traditional communion, they hold dances, communal meals and a bowling competition.
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