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Euskal Mendiak. Gorbeia, visit to the Basque Mountains

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He Mount gorbeia it is one of the highest peaks of Basque Country and also one of the most visited, mainly due to its sloping skirts and easy accessibility. Located between the provinces of Álava and Vizcaya, it is seen from numerous points thanks to the enormous cross which crowns its summit at 1482 meters of altitude. Gorbeia gives name to Natural Park of the same name created in 1994 in order to preserve the natural environment and the rich fauna that hosts it, such as deer, wildcats, azores, turons, hawks, ...


Luis de Abendaño Shelter

He Mount gorbeia It has a series of anecdotes that are worth telling previously. One of them has the tradition of climbing to the top the first and the last day of each year, with the celebration of the new year. It is curious to see hundreds of people celebrating with wine and champagne next to the huge cross that crowns the mountain.

The cross has its own history and is not the first that is placed on top, but the third. The first one was erected at the beginning of the 20th century, on the occasion of the celebration of the new century coming following the order executed by then Pope Leon XIII. This cross fell apart a month later, so they had to raise a new cross. Gorbeia is known for its strong winds and they did not give clemency to the new cross, which collapsed again in 1906. A year later the third and last cross was erected. Simpler than the previous ones and with less wind resistance.

Euskal Mendiak. Gorbeia, visit to the Basque Mountains

The route starts from a small parking from Pagomakurre that connects with the town of Areatza, about 900m altitude. From here we can see the sign indicating the route to the Gorbeia through the shelter. As you will see there is no loss, since during most of the journey you will see the rounded top of the Gorbeia. Moreover, part of the path goes through a track enabled for 4 × 4.


On the way to Gorbeia

We will pass numerous houses and farms until we reach a large esplanade, at the foot of the mountain Gorosteta. This esplanade serves as grass for the many horses and cows that live in it, a green paradise. The photograph below is taken in the reverse order of the route, in the direction of the mountain Lekanda.


Meadow near the Kagarleku

Leaving the esplanade behind, called Arraba field, we will go to the left side of the mountain, through a narrow path that is sometimes complicated during winter. After this step, we return to a much wider track.

We pass the Luis de Abendaño Shelter and the real climb begins. The wide road disappears completely and a series of zig zags parallel to a small stream rise towards the Gorbeia.


Going down to the shelter

And finally we reached the top, with a wind of scandal waiting for us. The day also does not accompany and begins to rain slowly, which makes us decide to return to the parking lot as soon as possible. Everything is to give us time to see some Vitoria, You can find here hotels in the capital of Alava.


Gorbeia Cross

To conclude our visit, we decided to spend the night in the city of Vitoria, one of the cities most committed to the environment of Europe. It houses a very beautiful old town, so much so that the mass writer Ken Follet He was encouraged to visit. During his visit he was amazed at the Santa Maria Cathedral, which he used to write the second part of The pillars of the earth.

Leaving aside its architectural wonders, Vitoria and its skewers deserve a special mention, awarded on many occasions thanks to the rich Basque cuisine.


Vitoria

Practical data

When to go?

Mount Gorbeia is located snowy during the winter season, despite its low elevation. However, not having steep slopes is not complicated, but the prevailing wind in the area helps the formation of ice sheets. The rest of the season is not a problem.

How to get?

Since Areatza there is a signposted detour to the natural park. It is a very narrow and winding road, with narrow stretches where a wide vehicle barely enters. During the journey we will cross various picnic areas with areas enabled for rest.

What to wear

It is a very windy area, so a windbreak would be very useful. It is also an area with a lot of rainfall ...

Where to sleep?

The ideal site is the refuge at the foot of the mountain, the Luis de Abendaño Shelter.

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