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Ice-store of Yécora

Ice-store of Yécora

Yécora, hidden at the rear of the parish church of San Juan Bautista located in the village centre, is an old “ice store”, a building where snow was stored in winter with the aim of making ice for use during the spring or even summer.

The ice store is built of ashlar stone forming a circular floor plan that is accessed via a passageway. The roof is domed with a central oculus that served to load and unload the snow, although it is currently shut off. A mound of earth hides and protects the whole structure.

The first references about the sale of snow in Yécora are from 1665. A document of that period certifies that the nearby town of Viana (Navarre) acquired snow in Yécora “from the ice store that exists next to the said place”.

The “ice stores” had been used since ancient times. Its owners filled the pits with snow, took care of it and cut it up to sell it to buyers in the form of ice. The sale of snow would start the “Palm Sunday” and last until harvest time.

During mild winters when snow was scarce, the villagers of Yécora would climb the Sierra de Cantabria mountains to gather it from the peaks. Its value, as one would imagine, varied a lot from one year to the next, depending on how much snow had fallen.

For example, 1761 was a year when it snowed a lot, and up to 24 tons of snow were collected from the mountains. At the time each “arroba” (11.5 kg) was sold for about 24 maravedíes, which is roughly equivalent to about 0.6 cents per kilo.

Its good state of conservation and its characteristics, vast and almost 10 metres high, have made the Yécora ice-store an important tourist attraction for the municipality and Rioja Alavesa. For many years it was almost impossible to access the interior due to the roof of the access tunnel having collapsed, however, its current owners have informed experts of its symbolic importance to the people of the village.

Location

Yécora is 66 kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz via the A-2124, BU-750, CL-127 and the A-2126. Logroño is only 17 kilometres away via the N-111 and the A-2126.

YÉCORA TOWN HALL

  C/La Iglesia 4
    Yécora (Álava) 

 

   +34945 601 255

 

  ayecora.secretaria@ayto.alava.net

Music among Vineyards

Music among Vineyards

The Music among Vineyards Festival occupies a prominent place among the major cultural summer events in Álava.

Powered by the Rioja Álavesa Wine Route and the Cuadrilla de Laguardia-Rioja Alavesa, it includes daily concerts featuring top names from the world of jazz, blues and rock, public dancing events and colonies for children and young musicians.

Location

LThe concerts, performances and activities of this event are held in villages in Rioja Alavesa. Consult programme.

 

LAGUARDIA TOURIST OFFICE

 Calle Mayor, nº 52
   Casa Garcetas-Laguardia

 

   +34945 600 845

 

  turismo@laguardia-alava.com

   FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY

    From 10:00 to 14:00

    de 16:00 a 19:00from 16:00 to 19:00

 

   SATURDAYS

   From 10:00 to 14:00

    and from 17:00 to 19:00

 

   SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS

    From 10:45 to 14:00

CUADRILLA DE LAGUARDIA-RIOJA ALAVESA

 Carretera Vitoria, nº 2
Laguardia

 

   +34 945 600 252

 

  info@cuadrillariojaalavesa.com

   FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY

From 09:00 to 14:00

RIOJA ALAVESA ROUTE OF THE WINE

  Calle Mayor, nº 68, Laguardia

 

  +34 945 600 710

 

  info@rutadelvinoderiojaalavesa.com

Txakoli

Txakoli

Txakoli de Álava/Arabako Txakolina is a Designation of Origin that certifies the origin and quality of txakoli wine produced in the Ayala valley. The municipalities of Amurrio, Artziniega, Ayala, Llodio and Okendo, and the Biscayan town of Orduña belong to this designation.

Álava is especially known nationally and internationally for the quality of its red wines produced in a traditional way in Rioja Alavesa, but it also has a centuries-old tradition, far less known beyond our borders, of producing Txakoli, generally a very dry white wine made from grapes with a high acidity.

Written evidence from the 9th century confirms that txakoli was already being produced in the Ayala valley, particularly in Amurrio, Llodio and Ayala.

The Txakoli de Álava Designation of Origin relatively recent and in the process of expansion. This was introduced in 2001 after a group of growers from the Ayala valley got together at the end of the nineties to re-establish the production of a traditional wine linked to Basque hamlets and that was in full decline.

Today, Txakoli de Alava can boast almost 100 hectares of vineyard, 8 wineries and an annual production of about 600,000 bottles of quality white wine.

Interesting side point: Etymologists believe that the term “txakoli” comes from the Basque “etxakoa” and “etxeko egina” - that made at home -, and this evolved into “etxakon” to become “txakon” and then finally “txacolin” or “chacolin”.

Txakoli

The Txakoli Route

The Txakoli Route is a route made up of Txakoli wineries, tourist accommodation, restaurants, tourist offices, etc., that have decided to work together to provide a full, top quality wine tourism offer.

An offer that allows the visitor to enjoy the secrets of the txakoli wineries and specialized tastings, and also provide the opportunity to discover the historic centre of Artziniega or the Quejana Complex of Historical Monuments.

The Ayala valley is wine and history but it is also nature and gastronomy.

It features breathtaking scenery, such as that provided by the Mirador del Nervión viewpoint or the Delika Canyon, with the highest waterfall in Spain as a backdrop; meadows and hills dotted with hermitages and hamlets; and parcels of land where makers of traditional cheeses show us their work and the delicious result.

 

 

txakoli

Further information

Web page

945 181 726

Laguardia Complex of Historical Monuments

Laguardia

Laguardia Complex of Historical Monuments

There is a place where every corner tells a story and has a reason. Throughout the centuries it played an important role in the course of events. This place lies in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, the home of wine. It is called LAGUARDIA.

Laguardia is located in the south of the historical territory of Álava and commands a privileged position within Rioja Alavesa. Its location in the centre of this region is due to the warlike nature of its founder and the defensive purpose to which the kings of Navarre tasked this town, initially naming it “La Guarda de Navarra” (the guard of Navarre).

Tradition has it that at the beginning of 10th century X the Navarrese king Sancho Abarca built a castle on the site to guard and defend the south of the Kingdom of Navarre. In 1164 Sancho VI, the Wise, granted Laguardia a Royal Charter and elevated the community to the rank of town, attracting merchants, artisans and labourers who settled on the hill under the protection of the military castle.

Laguardia

In the 13th century Sancho VII, the Strong, fortified the town with a great wall which, despite the damage suffered during the wars of Independence and the Carlist wars in the nineteenth century, has been perfectly restored.

Throughout the Middle Ages and as a result of conflicts between the kingdoms of Castile and Navarre, Laguardia repeatedly changed owner until it finally fell into the hands of Castile in 1461. In 1486 Laguardia and its hamlets were incorporated into the province of Álava and its Brotherhoods.

Laguardia still retains its medieval layout, consisting of three long, narrow main streets, which are linked together by squares and alleys, and the whole building complex is enclosed by the “old” wall that still retains several towers and the five town gates. The houses of the town, of different eras and styles, have been added to this medieval layout.

The churches of San Juan and Santa María de los Reyes, built in medieval times, are its most important monuments, especially the latter due to its impressive polychrome Gothic portal.

laguardia

The 16th, 17th and 18th centuries are represented by a considerable number of buildings whose façades feature beautiful coats of arms and carved eaves.

Among the oldest and most notable civil buildings is the 14th century Primicia, located in calle Páganos, in which tithes and offerings were collected. If we continue walking through its streets we enter Plaza de San Juan where the birthplace and family mansion of the fabulist Samaniego stands, constructed in ashlar stone with a beautiful neoclassical façade. The old Town Hall in the Plaza Mayor is also worth seeing, among many others.

Cellars and family caves have been dug out under the whole town and in which, until quite recently, one of its most precious treasures was produced and stored: Wine. The existence of these “caves” constitutes another of the unique characteristics of Laguardia, the subsoil of the Town is totally bored out, and it is precisely for this reason that Laguardia is strictly a pedestrian area. No vehicles are allowed inside the town (there are three public car parks).

In Laguardia many civic religious traditions are still respected, so Easter is very interesting time, and the festivities of San Juan and San Pedro in June, have a magic all of their own.

Laguardia, in addition to being the capital of Rioja Alavesa, is the most popular tourist site in the whole region as it is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in Spain thanks to its various tourist attractions.

Chiming Clock in the Main Square: LThe automata, representing the dancers of the Laguardia dance troupe, can be seen at 12:00, 14:00, 17:00 and 20:00.

Barbacana Celtiberian Pond : Information and reservations at the Tourist Office  

+34 945 600 845

Archaeological site of la Hoya: Information and booking: 

+34 945 621 122 / +34 945 181 918

Dolmens of San Martín, El Sotillo, El Alto de la Huesera, The Witch’s Hut (Elvillar).

Laguardia Lake Complex Protected Biotope .

Villa Lucía Wine Thematic Centre: Information and booking: 

+34 945 600 032

Wineries open for visits: The Tourist Office can provide a list of these. 

+34 945 600 845

Footpaths : GR-38 Route of Wine and Fish and GR-120 Ignatian Way.

Laguardia provides a full list of services: car parks, hotels, restaurants, wine bars, pintxos bars, tourist train, spa, rural houses, medical centre, tobacconist, pharmacy, butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, clothing stores, etc.

Laguardia

Location

 

Laguardia is 48 kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz, taking the A-2124a through the Puerto de Vitoria mountain pass and the BU- to reach the N-232a which takes us to our destination. This is an interesting scenic route but it is also possible to go via the A-1, N-124 and the N-232a.

Laguardia is less than 20 kilometres from Logroño via the N-232a.

 

Gallery >>

 

Further Information

LAGUARDIA TOURIST OFFICE

Calle Mayor, 52
   01300 Laguardia

 

 +34 945 600 845

 

  turismo@laguardia-alava.com

   FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY

From 10:00 to 14:00

from 16:00 to 19:00

 

   SATURDAYS

From 10:00 to 14:00

from 17:00 to 19:00

 

   SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS

From 10:45 to 14:00

Santxotena Museum-Workshop

Santxotena Museum-Workshop

The artist Xabier Santxotena, who studied under Jorge de Oteiza, was born into a family traditionally linked to wood crafts and is the creator of many exceptional pieces. His work can be viewed in this museum-workshop in the town of Artziniega.

 

The visitor can enjoy the collection in direct contact with the sculptor in a unique and exclusive experience that immerses the visitor in the world of art as if they were a sculptor. An original, unique museum format that leaves no one indifferent.

The facilities are adapted for the visually impaired with information in Braille and the lack architectural barriers allows those with reduced mobility to visit.

 

Location

Artziniega is 55 kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the north of Álava, and 28 kilometres from Bilbao. From Vitoria-Gasteiz take the N-622 and the A-624, while from Bilbao it can be reached via the BI-636 and BI-2604, or the AP-68. Public transport and train can be used.

 

TALLER-MUSEO SANTXOTENA

   Barrio Barrataguren 
     Artziniega

 

 +34 945 396 664

 +34 605 717 857

 

  tlafragua@santxotena.org

 

   SATURDAYS

     From 11:00 to 13:30
     16:00 to 19:00.

 

   SUNDAYS

      From 11:00 to 14:00.

 

PRE-BOOK FOR VISITS OUTSIDE OF THESE HOURS.

ARTZINIEGA TOURIST OFFICE

   Arteko Aldapa, 12
     Artziniega

 

 +34 945 396 210

 

   TUESDAY TO SATURDAY

         From 11:00 to 14:00
        16:30 to 19:30.

 

   SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS

From 11:00 to 14:00.

 

CLOSED MONDAY (ALSO 25TH DECEMBER, 1ST AND 6TH JANUARY)

Zalduondo Ethnographic Museum

Zalduondo Ethnographic Museum

The Palace of Lazarraga-Amézaga in the village of Zalduondo is popular for two reasons.

The first is obvious, given that this is a 16th century Renaissance palace with an interesting Plateresque style doorway, flanked by two pairs of Ionic columns on pedestals with a coat of arms beneath a pediment.

This imposing shield, in turn, is accompanied by two full length anthropomorphic sculptures.

Palace of Lazarraga-Amézaga

The second reason is a little less obvious.... Until you cross the threshold and go inside. This building houses the Zalduondo Museum featuring various objects and historical elements related to a population and an environment which, from the Low Middle Ages onward, benefited from being on the Basque St. James’s Way.

Its assorted content illustrates diverse perspectives of regional history, geography, ethnography, folklore and art, the latter including the Palace’s old wall paintings, along with other more contemporary examples of painting and sculpture. Consequently, its historic, cultural and artistic offerings span various centuries.

The visitor can see maps, plans and illustrations of the Jacobean route; examples of religious art with tombstones and funerary steles from different periods; domestic, working and pastoral scenes depicting the old ways of the local inhabitants; puppets and characters from its renowned carnival; and an excellent display of ceramics and handicrafts.

Zalduondo Ethnographic Museum

Location

It is very easy to find, being located next to the A-1 (exit 385 Araia/San Román). After leaving the A-1 take the A-3020 and the A-3012 to get to Zalduondo.

 

Palace of Lazarraga-Amézaga and Zalduondo Museum

Open to the public on Sunday from 12:00 to 14:00

 

 +34 945 304 393

LLANADA ALAVESA TOURIST OFFICE

 2turismo@arabakoulautada.eus 

 

 +34 945 302 931

Preview
Pipaón Ethnographic Museum

Pipaón Ethnographic Museum

The ‘Usatxi’ Ethnographic Museum of Pipaón, located in the square of this village in the mountains of Álava, exhibits objects, utensils and settings that provide an insight into how the inhabitants of this village lived in the early 20th century.

The exhibition includes farm implements and tools of different trades.

The home, cooking over an open hearth with the man of the house sitting at the table; the rooms, with period furniture; the utensils to make bread; the pantry with the food made from the slaughtered pigs; the machinery used to make sausages and other cold meats; the wineskin; and characters dressed in the typical costumes of the town are ingredients of this interesting display.

Pipaón Ethnographic Museum

Also exhibited are the costumes for the typical dances, the dishes for anointing of the sick, ecclesiastical books and ornaments, as well as the Ark of Mercy from 1555. The school blackboard, map, encyclopaedia, measurements and world globe ... Everything in the museum has been donated by the inhabitants of the village.

Pipaón Ethnographic Museum

The ethnographic day that is held on the last Saturday in August is also proof of the commitment that the inhabitants of Pipaón and the Usatxi Cultural Association have with their roots and traditions.

The local people act out the life and customs from the beginning of the last century, dressing in costumes of the time and carrying out traditional work such as harvesting, threshing, laundering clothes, the pit where charcoal was made, making bread and preserving meats, manufacturing shoes from hemp, beating the wool in the mattress, etc.

Pipaón Ethnographic Museum

Location

 

Pipaón belongs to the municipality of Lagrán in the Montaña Alavesa region. It is 36 kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz via the A-2124, passing through the Puerto de Vitoria mountain pass and Peñacerrada before arriving at our destination.

 

Further information

The museum has no opening hours to the public so visits must be arranged in advance by calling +34 608 395 516.

 

Admission is free.

Rioja Alavesa Wine Harvest Festival

Wine Harvest Festival

The Wine Harvest Festival is celebrated days before the beginning of the grape harvest in Rioja Alavesa. This hugely popular road show event began back in 1994 in the town of Laguardia and since then it has travelled throughout the whole region to promote its municipalities, its way of life and wine as an economic engine and cultural asset.

The festival came about from an eagerness that the residents of Rioja Alavesa had in order to dedicate a few days in praise of its most socially and economically emblematic product: wine. Today it is firmly established with a structure and development that differ from celebrations held in other wine producing regions, with a strong, appealing flavour of Álava.

Vendimia

In addition, its road show format allows the whole region actively participate in the festival, revitalizing the content year after year.

The Wine Harvest Festival begins with the awards ceremony for the wine competition with Rioja Denomination of Qualified Origin “Harvest Awards”, followed by the traditional opening speech which, over the years, has been delivered by relevant personalities from sport, culture, media and society and who become ambassadors of Rioja Alavesa.

LThe treading of the grape and the tasting of the first must leads to a tour of the host locality, tasting wine classified by village and winery.

The wine, as tradition now dictates, is tasted in a fine wine glass printed with the Rioja Alavesa logo, which in turn becomes a unique memento of the day. Various activities, children’s games, examples of local folklore, culinary demonstrations, music, etc., are combined with the wine tasting turning the event into a festive day of entertainment and harmony.

Vendimia

Beforehand, a day is dedicated to Twinning Rioja Alavesa wine with other products of guaranteed quality, as well as the Rioja Denomination of Qualified Origin Wine Contest, in which the best wines of the three sub-regions of Rioja take part, and a Photo Competition.

The mass attendance of the event does not pose any problems as there is an organisation of volunteers always willing to help, making this day as easy-going and as pleasant as possible.

 

Multimedia gallery >>

 

Vendimia

LAGUARDIA TOURIST OFFICE

 Calle Mayor, 52 -Casa Garcetas
    Laguardia, Álava

 

 

   +34 945 600 845

 

 

  turismo@laguardia-alava.com 

Horario

   FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY

From 10:00 to 14:00
from 16:00 to 19:00 

 

   SATURDAYS 

From 10:00 to 14:00
from 17:00 to 19:00  

 

   SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS 

From 10:45 to 14:00 

CUADRILLA DE LAGUARDIA-RIOJA ALAVESA

  Carretera Vitoria-Gasteiz, 2.
     Laguardia, Álava

 

 

   +34 945 600 252

 

 

   info@cuadrillariojaalavesa.com 

 

 

Horario

   FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY

From 09:00 to 14:00

RIOJA ALAVESA ROUTE OF THE WINE

  Calle Mayor, 68
     Laguardia

 

   +34 945 600 710

 

   info@rutadelvinoderiojaalavesa.com

 

Iron Man

Iron Man

Iron Man

In 1986 Vitoria-Gasteiz became the first city, together with Santander and San Sebastian, to organize a triathlon in Spain. Over time this competition has established itself as one of the best in Europe due to its spectacular circuits, in fact it attracts more than 2,200 participants.

It offers medium and long distance variations, and can boast a World Championship, a European Championship, two Spanish Championships and two Spanish Cups. It provides the best ingredients: good organisation, fantastic circuits and a supportive city and crowd.

Ironman Vitoria Gasteiz

Its two competition modes, HALF and FULL, hold their first stage, swimming, in the waters of Lake Ullibarri-Gamboa, within the Provincial Park of Landa. An outstanding setting of high ecological value and very close to the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz. This is also the area where the first ​​transition point is located.

The second stage of the competition, cycling, runs through the beautiful landscapes of the Plains of Álava, along the banks of the Ullibarri-Gamboa reservoir and parallel to the Sierra de Elguea mountains, taking in stretches of St. James’s Way as far as the second transition point.

The third and final stage, running, takes place on an urban route through the parks and pedestrian areas of Vitoria-Gasteiz until reaching the finishing line in Plaza de España

iroman

Links

 

Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz


Location

 

Ullibarri-Gamboa Reservoir, the Plains of Álava and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

TRIATHLON IRONMAN VITORIA-GASTEIZ

 

IRONMAN

 

 

info@triathlonvitoria.com

The Old Market

The Old Market

The Old Market of Artziniega

The Old Market places the village of Artziniega and its Complex of Historical Monuments into a time machine to recreate a medieval market where the customs and trades of centuries ago appear on its streets for the public to enjoy.

It is held annually on a Sunday in the second half of September to coincide with the festivities in honour of the Virgen de la Encina.

mercado medieval

This event recalls the important role that Artziniega played as the go-between for overseas and inland trade.

Those who visit the Old Market are surprised to see the local people transformed into minstrels, clergymen, craftsmen, inquisitors, pilgrims, maidens, beggars and buffoons to liven up streets packed for that day with stalls offering artisan products. This year’s event will also feature the Pipers of Laguardia and a display of traditional grape pressing.

mercado

Location

 

Artziniega is 55 kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the north of Álava, and 28 kilometres from Bilbao. From Vitoria-Gasteiz take the N-622 and the A-624, while from Bilbao it can be reached via the BI-636 and BI-2604, or the AP-68. Public transport can be used.

 

Multimedia gallery 

ARTZINIEGA TOURIST OFFICE

Arteko Aldapa, 12
Artziniega

 

 

 +34 945 396 210

   TUESDAY TO SATURDAY

From 11:00 to 14:00

from 16:30 to 19:30

 

   DOMINGOS Y FESTIVOS

From 11:00 to 14:00

 

CLOSED MONDAY (ALSO 25TH DECEMBER, 1ST AND 6TH JANUARY).

Wine Thematic Centre

Wine Thematic Centre

The Villa Lucía Wine Thematic Centre, located in Laguardia, offers the visitor a museum space that combines tradition and the latest audiovisual technology to journey through the history and rituals of wine and its production in an enjoyable practical and effective way..

This journey employs innovative projections in 4D, virtual tastings of aromas, smells and colours; information panels; nostalgic corners to represent the associated trades; models, utensils, holograms, and interactive aids for the more curious visitors.

centro tematico del vino

There are also gardens to enjoy a stroll through the old recreational estate of the family of the fable writer Samaniego: 10,000 square meters that houses a botanical garden with shrubs and species brought from all over the world, charming natural spaces with commemorative sculptures, relaxing waterfalls, a display of the most outstanding varietals and machinery dating back to time immemorial.

Since 2011 it has offered the 4D “In the land of dreams” experience, a spectacular 3D short-film with sensory effects designed to help discover the region, as well as a programme of various enotourism activities. “Wine tasting introduction courses” are given every Saturday of the year .

It also has numerous function rooms and restaurant that can be booked for banquets, weddings and all types of celebration.

This is the only wine museum in Rioja Alavesa.

centro tematico del vino

Location

 

 

Gallery

 

Further Information

VILLA-LUCÍA WINE THEMATIC CENTRE

Carretera de Logroño s/n
Laguardia

 

CONTACT TELEPHONE

+34 945 600 032

 

VISITING HOURS

 

FROM TUESDAY TO SATURDAY

From 10:00 to 14:00
from 16:30 to 20:00

 

SUNDAY MORNINGS

From 10:00 to 14:00

 

SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND MONDAY

Closed, except pre-booked group visits.

Guided tours can be provided in various languages

The Camino Real de las Postas

The Camino Real de las Postas

The Camino Real de las Postas

The Camino Real de las Postas is a short hiking trail that combines history, nature and tourist attractions. The route was used during the 15th to 17th centuries by the mail service for post to France and it represents an interesting alternative to reach Vitoria-Gasteiz from the San Adrián tunnel.

The path initially coincides with St. James’s Way and GR-25, however, it soon leaves them behind as it travels deep into the heart of the Plains of Álava.

postas

The Camino Real de las Postas PR-A 13 begins in Zalduondo, in the Mandobide car park, and provides whoever travels it with the opportunity to enjoy the natural wealth of an environment marked by the Aldaia mountains and the ends of the Ullíbarri Gamboa reservoir, as well as to discover the hermitage of San Martin de Ania or the small hamlets of Galarreta or Luzuriaga.

postas

Further information

Full information about the Camino Real de las Postas and the rest of the trails included in the Green Route Network of Álava is available at the following links:

PR-A-13. The Camino Real de las Postas

Network of Green Routes

postas

Birding

Bird Watching

More than half of the birds recorded in Spain fly across our skies at some time of the year and turn the mountains and valleys of Álava into prime vantage points for birdwatching. Species such as the griffon vulture or the Egyptian vulture also represent one of the best populations in the whole continent of Europe.

Álava has six observation areas with first-rate tourist services such as interpretation centres, signposted routes and personalized attention for avid birdwatchers: Valderejo, Salburua, Ullibarri-Gamboa Reservoir, Izki, Sierras Meridionales mountain range and the Laguardia Marshes (Lagunas). Each of these areas has its own characteristics and features.

birdging

The Izki Natural Park  hides extensive woods, mountains, ravines and discreet wet areas where it is possible to see the griffon vulture or the golden eagle, however, the star of the place is the middle spotted woodpecker, a challenge for both those who enjoy birdwatching and those in charge of protecting it and ensuring the tranquillity of its breeding areas.

Those interested in discovering the middle spotted woodpecker can obtain information about the various ornithological routes in the Izki Park House, in Korres.

The Ullibarri-Gamboa reservoir, very near Vitoria-Gasteiz, is another area of great interest where it is possible to observe the life of species such as the coot, loon, grebe, or the purple heron. The main birdwatching area is the  PMendixur Ornithology Park, with two paths that lead to many other equipped observatories.

 

Further Information

 

All information on birdwatching, signposted routes, information centres and times of services can be found at  www.birdingeuskadi.net

 

Location

 

The six birdwatching areas (Valderejo, Salburua, Ullibarri-Gamboa Reservoir, Izki, Sierras Meridionales and Lagunas de Laguardia) are located in different regions of Álava and are easily accessible via the local road network. Please refer to the following map for the location of these areas

 

Links

 

Birdwatching in Euskadi

 

 

birding

Further Information

ATARIA, SALBURUA WETLANDS INTERPRETATION CENTRE

Paseo de la Biosfera 4, Vitoria-Gasteiz

CONTACT TELEPHONE

034945 254 759

LAGUARDIA TOURIST OFFICE

Calle Mayor 52 (Casa Garcetas), Laguardia

CONTACT TELEPHONE

034945 600 845

IZKI PARK HOUSE

Korres

CONTACT TELEPHONE

034945 410 502

 

VALDEREJO PARK HOUSE

Lalastra

CONTACT TELEPHONE

034945 353 146

ULLIBARRI-GAMBOA INFORMATION CENTRE

Parque Provincial de Garaio

CONTACT TELEPHONE

034695 782 498

 

MENDIXUR ORNITHOLOGY PARK

Mendixur-Garaio

CONTACT TELEPHONE

034695 782 498

GR 38 Route of Wine and Fish

GR 38 Route of Wine and Fish

Not by chance does the long distance footpath the long distance footpath GR-38 bear the name “Route of Wine and Fish”, its roads have been travelled by muleteers for centuries, taking fine Rioja Alavesa wine to the north and bringing fish in brine from the ports of Bizkaia. In Arbulo, this road is still known as “Camino de la Boyería” and “Camino de los Arrieros” (way of the teamsters).

From sea and marsh to the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria, passing through the rocky lands of Urkiola, the diversity of landscapes that appear along this route will not fail to impress the visitor.

GR 38 ruta del pescado y el vino

Covering a distance of 166 km, the route starts in Oyón and heads towards Laguardia amid a vastness of vineyards. Having crossed the rocky faces of the Sierra de Cantabria, the route dips towards Lagrán and Albaina, crossing the gorge of Okina and entering the Plains of Álava via Estíbaliz. It continues in search of the Ullibarri Gamboa reservoir, then proceeds along the old Vasco-Navarro rail route. After crossing Legutiano, the reservoirs of Urrunaga and Albaina it finally bids farewell to Álava, welcoming Bizkaia at Otxandio.

With several relatively demanding stages, the route can be adapted to suit the fitness levels of each hiker by hiking intermediate stages among those mentioned here. By doing this walks that are long and demanding as well as easy and relaxing can be made and which will undoubtedly allow the visitor to soak in the essence of this historic road.

GR 38 ruta del pescado y el vino

The first steps along this great footpath will show us the extensive vineyards that characterize the Rioja Alavesa. Starting off from Oyón, we head to the town of Laguardia, passing through Assa and enjoying cultural and natural elements of special interest such as the Roman bridge of Mantible or the Laguardia Lake Complex along the way.

Leaving Rioja Alavesaand its extensive vineyards behind, we face the mountain barrier of the Sierra Cantabria-Toloño and discover part of the landscape that goes to form the Cuadrilla de Campezo-Montaña Alavesa. We stop at Lagrán to visit the Traviesa Interpretation Centre for the GR-38, a space where technology and audiovisual simulations provide an insight into the reasons behind this route.

GR 38 ruta del pescado y el vino

Then onward deep among the leafy beeches that separate Lagrán from the lands of Treviño. The border is marked by the Mojón del Avellano (the Hazelnut Boundary Stone), which indicates the entrance to the County of Treviño, providing a beautiful view of its farmland. Before the end of the stage, in Albaina, we come across one of the most interesting places in the valley: the hermit caves of Laño.

Between Albaina and Estíbaliz, the GR-38 crosses two very interesting natural enclaves, the gorge of the Ajuda river and the High Mountains of Vitoria The Sanctuary of Estíbaliz, jewel of Romanesque Álava, provides a good reason to make a stop. The temple sits on a hill above the village of Argandoña and next to it is a Benedictine monastery.

GR 38 ruta del pescado y el vino

Carrying on we come up against the toughest part of the GR-38: the 28 kilometres that separate the monastery of Estíbaliz and the village of Legutio crossing the Plains of Álava along paths that make it possible to enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the contrast with its reservoirs.

To finish the stage in the lands of Álava land and to reach the gates of Bizkaia at Otxandio, we can visit the isolated lake of Albina and the pollarded woods of Mirugain. The waters from the numerous streams, centuries-old beech woods and the remote marshes of Albina will be the stars on this short stage which, with just 10 km left, unites the town of Legutio with Otxandio.

GR 38 ruta del pescado y el vino

 

The Traviesa Interpretation Centre

Next to the interpretation centre is the La Traviesa restaurant from which access to the centre gained.

 

   +34 945 063 33

Gallery  >>

 

GR 38 ruta del pescado y el vino

LAGUARDIA MUNICIPAL TOURIST OFFICE

  Calle Mayor, 52
    01300 Laguardia

 

   +34 945 600 845

 

  turismo@laguardia-alava.com

CUADRILLA DE CAMPEZO-MONTAÑA ALAVESA

  Carretera de Vitoria-Estella, nº 7
     Santa Cruz de Campezo

 

   +34 945 405 424

 

  info@montanaalavesa.com

LAGRÁN TOWN HALL

  Herrería, nº 1
    Lagrán

 

   +34 945 378 059

 

  alagran.delia@ayto.araba.eus

Mountain Bike Centres

Mountain Bike Centres

Álava provides an ideal setting for mountain biking with spectacular trails between centuries-old woods, vineyards, ravines and gorges.

Fans of this sport can choose between have a wide range of routes adapted to beginners as well as to the more experienced who are looking for steep slopes and heart-stopping descents.

centros BTT de Alava

Most of these routes are located at the two mountain centres within the historical territory and these are next to the Izki and Valderejo natural parks, offering services such as bike and GPS rental, bicycle cleaning, showers and changing rooms. Their location in protected areas ensures cycling through beautiful landscapes that are hard to forget.

Ehe reception point for the Izki Montaña Alavesa Mountain Bike Centre is at the Urturi golf course and provides mountain bike enthusiasts with 15 sign-posted routes of varying difficulty, length and slope that amount to more than 500 kilometres. One of its distinctive features it that it takes advantage of stretches of the old Basque-Navarre Railway route as well as the GR-38 “Route of wine and fish”.

The reception point, information and services for the  Valderejo Añana Mountain Bike Centre  is at the Angosto Camp-site. Its has 7 sign-posted routes covering 122 kilometres that allow you to discover clearly distinct landscapes such as the Western Valleys and the Plains of Álava, as well as unique terrain made up of different hollows and dips independent of each other.

All of these routes are free to access throughout the year.

centros BTT de Alava

Further Information

TFull information regarding the characteristics of the routes at the two centres, as well as the services offered and the opening hours can be found at www.btteuskadi.net

Location

Both centres are easily accessed from Vitoria-Gasteiz and neighbouring provinces. The Izki Montaña Alavesa Mountain Bike Centre is only 40 kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz via the A-2124 or the A-132, while the Valderejo Añana Mountain Bike Centre is located at a similar distance via the A-1.

Galería Centros BTT

 

centros BTT de Alava

BTT IZKI MONTAÑA ALAVESA

Barrio de Arriba s/n, Urturi

 

CONTACT TELEPHONE

+34 945 378 262

 

FROM APRIL TO OCTOBER

From 08:30 to 19:00

FROM NOVEMBER TO MARCH

From 08:30 to 17:00

 

CONTACT EMAIL

izki@btteuskadi.net

BTT VALDEREJO AÑANA

Ctra. Villanañe-Angosto, 2
Camping de Angosto (Villanañe)

 

CONTACT TELEPHONE

+34 945 353 271

 

FROM 15TH FEBRUARY TO 15TH DECEMBER

From 09:00 to 21:00

 

CONTACT EMAIL

valderejo@btteuskadi.net

The Camino Real de la Sopeña

The Camino Real de la Sopeña

The Camino Real de la Sopeña is a long-distance walking trail (GR-284) that, being relatively even, brings us closer to the history of a route used by merchants and traders who travelled between the valley of Mena in Burgos and the city of Orduña.

The journey begins in Orduña and climbs quickly towards the Sierra Sálvada mountains along the Camino del Txarlazo and then continuing to Lendoñogoiti and Añes. From here it heads towards the medieval town of Artziniega, crossing the valley of the San Miguel river and the villages of Sojo and Sojoguti.

Camino Real de la Sopeña

From Amurrio it branches off towards Izoria to continue its route to the Quejana complex of historical monuments. From here find the route that takes you to Menoio in order to reach the hamlet of Oletar along the popular Camino de Angulo.

The alternative route GR 284.1 takes us to the heights of the Sierra Sálvada mountain range. From Oletar the route heads toward the historic Portillo de Aro, passing through a karst landscape with unparalleled views. After crossing several summits on the mountain range, our road connects up with the Goldetxo route, which goes down from Txarlazo to Orduña and which, after becoming a better road for pack animals and carts, robbed the Camino de la Sopeña of its merchants and traders.

Camino Real de la Sopeña

Stages

Orduña-Añes

The first stage invites you to follow in the path of mules and merchants as they travelled between Castile and Orduña. Leaving Orduña heading towards Lendoñogoiti to look for the road that, with a relatively even hillside, leads to the dolmens of Añes.

Añes-Artziniega

From Añes, leaving the steep rock faces of the Sierra Sálvada behind, the route leads toward the medieval village of Artziniega crossing the course of the San Miguel river and the valley of Sojo.

Amurrio-Oletar

Between Amurrio and Oletar it passes through several interesting rural settings such as Izoria and Menoio, and visits a place steeped in history: the Quejana Complex of Historical Monuments. This enclave represents one of the greatest archaeological and architectural jewels within the territory of Ayala.

Alternative route 284.1 Oletar-Camino del Txarlazo

This alternative route begins in the fields of Oletar, rising close to the heights of the Sierra Sálvada and, after passing the historic Portillo de Aro, reaches the shepherds’ huts of Kobata in a unique setting. Following the Grazing Trail we arrive at the old Camino del Txarlazo and then go down to Orduña.

Camino Real de la Sopeña

Further information

Full information about the Camino Real de la Sopeña and the rest of the trails included in the Green Route Network of Álava is available at the following links :

GR 284. The Camino Real de la Sopeña

Network of Green Routes

 

Camino Real de la Sopeña

Golfing in Álava

Golfing in Álava

Álava is a privileged spot for golf lovers. The Historic Territory has four golf courses of differing features and rounds that satisfy the highest quality standards. They all share excellent facilities and locations, surrounded by nature and outstanding landscapes in which to relax and enjoy this sport.

Practicar el golf en Álava

Izki Golf,, located next to the Izki Natural Park, is a fine example of this description. This publicly owned complex - created in 1991 by the Provincial Council of Alava - offers the golfer a course designed by champion Severiano Ballesteros, covering an area of 98 hectares, 18 holes and par 74.

This course is open to the public so it is not necessary to be a member to play on its wide oak and holly lined fairways. The layout of its holes makes playing this course an unforgettable experience that is worth repeating.

Practicar el golf en Álava

The other three golf courses, Larrabea, Zuia and Júndiz, are private. Larrabea is located in a unique area, near Legutio, on property sheltered from the north wind by mount Albertia and with beautiful views of the nearby Urrunaga and Ullibarri reservoirs. The 18-hole course passes through woods, rivers and meadows.

Zuia is set in the foothills of mount Gorbea and the Natural Park of the same name. It is a completely flat, 9-hole course with a total length of 5,606 m on a 17 hectare site surrounded by oaks, pines and beech trees, with natural lakes to provide that touch of difficulty required for playing golf.

Golf Júndiz, for its part, provides the golfer with a par 3 9 hole course with distances of between 90 and 150 meters, suitable for all levels. The round runs between lakes and natural rivers, friendly enough for the novice golfer and excellent for those with a low handicap.

Practicar el golf en Álava

Location

The four golf courses are easy to reach from Vitoria-Gasteiz and the surrounding provinces. Izki Golf is 40 kilometres from the capital of Álava, whereas the distances to the Larrabea, Zuia and Júndiz complexes are 17, 24 and 11 kilometres, respectively.

Galería de imágenes >>

Practicar el golf en Álava

Nordic Walking Centres

Nordic Walking Centres

Nordic Walking Centres

Álava is a paradise for fans of Nordic walking, in fact, more than half of the centres designed specifically for this sports activity in Euskadi are located within our historical territory.

These centres offer routes to enjoy this healthy outdoor activity whilst discovering the rural, cultural, historical and environmental heritage of the various villages.

 

nordic walking

There are a total of 14 Nordic walking centres covering practically all the regions of Alava and allowing those staying in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Rioja Alavesa, Llanada Alavesa, Montaña Alavesa, Gorbeialdea and Añana to practice this sport. Consequently, anyone who visits Álava has a Nordic Walking route or information point just a short distance from their accommodation.

There are 62 routes available, divided into four levels (very easy, easy, demanding and very demanding), totalling some 600 kilometres. The 14 Nordic Walking Centres in Álava are: Álava Technology Park, Labastida, Zigoitia, Barrundia, Alegría-Dulantzi, Elburgo, Iruraiz-Gauna, Salvatierra, San Millán, Asparrena, Gaubea, Arraia-Maeztu, Campezo and Bernedo.

These centres provide enthusiasts with the maps of the routes and information panels.

 

 

nordic walking

Further Information

Full details about the sign-posted routes (level of difficulty, length and slope), cartographic maps and public information points is available at www.nordicwalkinggunea.net

Gallery Nordic Walking

 

nordic walking

Preview

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Explora tus intereses en Álava

No hay dos viajeros iguales. Unos buscan naturaleza, otros festivales… Sea lo que sea lo que te interese, descubre tu plan perfecto.

 

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