The Town Community of Lea Ibarra - Munitibar - Aulesti - Gizaburuaga - Amoroto - Mendexa

Farmers working

Tourism - Routes - Hainbat Ibilbide Leatik Hurbil

San Migel´s chapel in Arretxinaga.

San Migel´s chapel in Arretxinaga.

It was restored by Jose Lizardi in 1734.

This temple is unique in the Basque Country, and amazes all visitors.

There is a probaleku in front on the entrance.

Ispaster.

Ispaster zehar Ibilaldia

The town centre stands on a hill. The first human vestiges date from the mesolithic. They were found at a cave in which a group of fishermen and harvesters dwelled.

Buildings of historical and cultural interest:

San Migel´s Parish, XVth century.
San Martin´s and Santiago´s chapels , XVth century.
Zubieta palace. This palace built by Martin Zaldua has a patio in the middle. It has two spires, and a beautiful park surrounding it.
The Arana baroque palace.The front of the building is made of ashlar, and has two big towers. The main entrance is an arch similar to those found in XVIIIth century farms. It actually comes from a gothic farm from the year 1500.
Axpe Aurrekoa farm. It dates from the VXIth century.
Aixeder mill. It was built by Pedro Bernardo Villarreal de Berriz, when a long draught stopped the watermills. It was only used until 1745. The tools inside have disappeared, but the stone tower is still standing.
Ogella beach.

Gernika.

Gernika Route

Gernika-Lumo is and it has been a forced visit for all the people who want to know the Basque country. This municipality belongs to the district of Busturialdea and it settles in the valley of the river Oka. Its has an extension of 8,6 km▓ and it has about 15.500 inhabitants.

Among the elements of artistic, historical and cultural interest:

The parish of Santa Maria: This Gothic church is located in the highest part in the village.
Palace of Happiness: It was entirety rebuilt in the middle of the XVIII century. The style is Baroque.
Old city council of Lumo: Built in 1832. It picks up all type of documents related with the activities developed in the Dominion of Bizkaia and among them, the Old Jurisdiction, as main document.
Convent of Santa Clara.
Old Hospital: Attached to the Convent of Santa Clara for a semicircular.
The Tree, Meeting house, and the church of Santa Maria of Antigua, Built in the XIX century by D. Antonio of Etxebarria in neoclassicist style.

"Large Figures in to Shelter" of Henri Moore.
Monument to the Peace: "Gure Aitaren Etxea" of the sculptor Eduardo Txillida. It was inaugurated April of 1988, by responsibility of the Basque Government, to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika.
"Astelehena Jai" monument.
Udaletxea palace Headquarters of the Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai.
Fairs and marksts Aretoa
European County´s park.

Lea-Artibai, the coastal route.

Lea-Artibai, the coastal route

This route allows us to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the coast. We will see marshes, river beds and small mountain passes, and also the rich local fauna and flora. The first stage can be dangerous and trekkers must be well prepared and accompanied by a guide.

First Stage.
We will start our journey in Ogella beach in Ipazter. To get there we must go through the town of Ispaster, and turn left on the road to Ea till we arrive at the car park. There is a resting area there.
In Ogella beach we will witness a geomorphological structure called Flysh: the broken earth crust shows us the neverending erosion caused by the waves.

From the coast we will head westwards, and we will see the first rocks broken by the sea. It is an are of great natural significance. Continuing westwards, we will reach the promontory of Santa Katalina. If we go towards the lighthouse, we will see an inlet to the right of the path, and a cave next to the sea (it is said to have been the home of mollusc-picking communities in Prehistoric times).

From here we will go to the Talako San Juan viewpoint in Lekeitio, where we will see old gunboats and the ruins of the strongholds and barriers of Lekeitio. From this viewpoint Garraitz island, the estuary of the river Lea, Wild and Karraspio beaches and many more areas can be seen.

Second Stage.
We will start the journey at the marshes of the Lea river. We will visit the beaches to both sides of the marshes, and also the old shipyard. This is where the merchant ships and sailboats that made Lekeitio famous were built. The dike of Maria Errota Mill is also there. We must also visit the baroque palace of Zubieta. It is surrounded by a very special ecosystem: rushes, tamarisks, holm oaks, exotic trees, 34 flower species, aquatic birds, vertebrates...

Going back to the coast, we will cross Karraspio beach and go to the Artzabal promontory, which has amazing views. Continuing ahead, on kilometer 56,6, there are two ways of going back: through a road with very little traffic or through the rocks and the seashore at low tide.
We will find cliffs and little inlets in which to swim, dive or fish on both routes. The estuaries of small rivers create microclimates which have a very rich flora and fauna: tree strawberries, laurels, different fern species, tropical species...

The first river bed, Endai, is on kilometer 57,5. Next to it there is a beautiful little inlet where people can swim. Between the second and the third river beds (Ikutza and Ur-Salto), between kilometers 59 and 60, we will find a viewpoint facing the sea called ITXASGAIN. There is a hotel in it.

Third Stage:
Itxasgain-Santa Klara. At the beginning of this stage, between kilometers 62 and 64, we will find a great net of rivers: Portu, Errekazabal, Burgaina and Arretxa river.

This area has an extremely beautiful flora, and on kilometer 65,5 we will find another viewpoint in the place called Pe˝a Frail. After crossing a small inlet, we will have two options: to go down to the rocks and to have a swim or to continue the journey and have a swim when we reach Santa Klara.

In Santa Klara we have another two options:

- To go down to the rocks of the Altaria promontory.
- To go to Santa Klara hill. The views there are beautiful (the sea, the estuary and bay of the river Artibai, Arrigorri and Saturraran beaches, the port of Ondarroa, the gothic church of Santa Maria and the river...).

Lekeitio.

Leketion Route

It is in the estuary of the river Lea, in the natural inlet protected by Garraitz island. It was founded in 1325. The town centre is divided into two separate areas.

One of the areas has two borders and four steep parallel streets (Apalloa, Azpiri, Intxaurrondo and Bergara). It is the oldest part of the town. The other is an extension of the old quarter, and was built next to the roads to Gipuzkoa, Markina and Gernika.

The ruins of the old city walls of Lekeitio are still visible. There are no Medieval houses left, excepting the Uriarte Tower.

Elements of artistic and cultural interest:

The gothic church of Santa Maria: This beautiful temple is representative of the gothic art of the Basque country. The main structure dates from the XVth century; a choir was added in the XVIIth century, and a tower bell in the XVIIIth century. There is also a Flemish gothic altarpiece dating from 1510.
The school of the Society of Jesus.
Uriarte palace. It is built around a Medieval tower. In 1677 Lucia Longa turned it into a classicist baroque palace. It is the main representative of the architecture of the region. Pedro Bernardo Villarreal de Berriz, the aristocrat who restored and modernized the water reservoirs in the XVIIIth century, used to live there.
Santo Domingo´s covent (built in the Renaissance).
The Turpin tower. It is a XVIth century urban palace. It was built in Renaissance style, but it also has gothic characteristics. It is made of ashlar.
Uribarria, Oxangoiti and Torrezabal palaces.
Garraitz island and San Nikolas´ chapel.
The fishing port and the balconies of the houses in the area.

The local feasts, celebrated on San Antolin´s day in September, are spectacular.

From Lekeitio to Santutxu chapel (Markina-Xemein).

From Lekeitio to Santutxu chapel (Markina-Xemein)

1.- Lekeitio - urtziaga.
We will start the journey by taking the road next to Iturriotz school in Lekeitio. This steep road will take us to Kurtziaga. Half-way we will find Ormaegi farm (built in the XVIIIth century). When we reach Kurtziaga we will take the asphalted road to Zatika.

2.-Kurtziaga - Abitara.
After a very steep slope, we will leave the asphalted road and take a path leading to Txantatorre farm. There is a fountain there. Then we will go down the slope till we arrive at the Lekeitio-Munitibar road.

3.- Abitara, Bolunburu, Amoroto.
We will cross the bridge in the river Lea, and following the road to the left of the river Babolina, we will go up a slope and see Aldaso farm. Then we will continue our way towards Amoroto. .

4.- Amoroto - Odiaga Neighbourhood.
We will take the road next to Amoroto´s cemetery, the asphalted road going to Odiaga. There we will turn left.

5.- Odiaga - Goierri School.
We will reach a junction 500 meters away. We will take the asphalted road on the right, and after going through Pagazulo, will turn left and take the road to Gontzolai. We will go towards Goierri.

6.- Goierri School - Santutxu.
We will walk across the school and go to Urrudegi farm. From there we will arrive at Santutxu chapel without any problems. There we will meet the Ondarroa-Santutxu route.

The route of Maria Errota and Lumetza (Mendexa-Lekeitio).

The route of Maria Errota and Lumetza (Mendexa-Lekeitio)

We will start the journey on the bridge between Lekeitio and Mendexa. Taking the path to Maria Errota, we will reach the reservoir of Maria Errota. Following the reservoir´s wall we will reach an eucalyptus forest. From there we will go to Telleria farm; leaving the farm behind, we will cross a brook, and take a path which runs through a holm oak forest. It is a very steep and narrow path, and it is full of stones. From it we will be able to see the buildings near the marshes (the shipyards, Zubieta palace, Madalena chapel and some farms). We will then head for the seashore, where we will see where people catch baby eels.

Following the narrow path, we will reach the shipyard where the boats used in the "geese feast" are stored. From here we will go to Lea Behekoa farm, and crossing the bridge next to it we will take the road to Lekeitio. After walking about a hundred meters, we will take the road to the right and go to the seashore again.

On the other side of the river, we will see the path taken previously. Following it we will reach Madalena chapel, and there we will see the sidewalk leading to Lekeitio.

In Lekeitio we will take the old road next to Dendari street and head towards Lumetza hill. Half-way we will find a dike; it is an excellent place from which to see the centre of Lekeitio.

There we can choose between two paths:

- The easier and brighter one, going to the hilltop.
- The path leading to the cave of Lumetza. Going all the way around the hill, we will reach the top and then go back to the town.

Markina-Xemein.

Markina-Xemein Route

It was founded in 1355. The present town is the result of the unity between the parishes of Xemein and Ziortza and Markina and Bolibar. There are no vestiges of the old walls and houses, but many of the present buildings show a gothic distribution, such as Antxia and Ansolegi and the Solarte and Andonegi baroque palaces.

The church that the city walls once protected was demolished around the middle of the XIXth century. The town, though, has a great historical heritage which includes:

- A neoclassical.
- The town centre.
- Baroque palaces .
- The townhall.

Nabarniz.

Nabarniz Route

This small town is on a side of Iluntzar hill. It is made up of the neighbourhoods of Lerika, Merika, Eleizalde, Uribarri, Zabaleta, Intxaurraga and Ikazurieta.

In 1964 it became part of Gernika, but then in 1987 it separated from it. At present it is a very dynamic area. Like the Lea Valley, the municipality almost became a residence for the elderly in the 70s, as young people left in search of jobs. Nowadays the local population remains stable.

It is a very mountainous town, and has very valuable ecosystems (a big part of it is inside the Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai).

Ondarroa.

Ondarroa Route

It was founded in 1327, on the last meander of the river Artibai. The whole structure of the town is suited to the uneven and harsh relief of the area. The four oldest streets meet around the gothic church of Santa Maria.

There are no remains of the city walls or houses of that period, because they were burned down by the French in 1794. Only Likona tower and Etxeandia remain standing.

There are no aristocratic palaces in Ondarroa. The bridge called Zubizarra, though, is very famed.

The parish church is the most significant element: it is the only one of its kind in the Basque Country.

Likona tower: it stands in a slope, in front of the Medieval town centre. There is a level difference between the front and the back facade. The tower was built with stone in 1500, but it has been restored many times. The mother of St. Ignatius of Loiola was born in it.

From Ondarroa to Santutxu chapel (Markina-Xemein).

From Ondarroa to Santutxu chapel (Markina-Xemein)

It covers about ten kilometers.

1.- Ondarroa - Azterrika.
We will start the journey in the residential home for the elderly and take the road to Azterrika. We will reach the hilltop in 15 minutes, and then we will take the asphalted road leading to San Lorentzo´s chapel in Azterrika. In the way we will see Arretxa, Ikatza and other farms. In Azterrika we will leave the road to Lekeitio.

2.- Azterrika - Milloi.
Going up the asphalted road we will go to the Azkartzegi neighbourhood. Here we will turn left and go to Kalamendi hill. Then we will head towards Milloi.

3.-Milloi - Ateun - Ituino.
Taking the path on the right we will go to the Eizmendi neighbourhood, through the Ateun group of farms.

4.- Ituino - Santutxu.
Following the road we will arrive at the Santutxu junction, and we will turn right to go to Santutxu´s chapel.

The cave of Santimamiñe.

The cave of Santimamiñe

It is on a side of Ereñozar hill, 150 meters above the sea level, in the lands of the town of Nabarriz. San Mames´s chapel is also there. The cave was discovered by a group of children who were playing in the area.

It is a place of great historical and cultural value, as the prehistoric site with its paintings and engravings show. According to studies, the paintings go back to the Magdalenian period, and thus they are over 13.000 years old.

They were made using black ink.

From Santutxu chapel to the Bedartzandi mountain.

From Santutxu chapel to the Bedartzandi mountain

1. Santutxu´s Chapel - Txepatxabixe.
Following a path in the south we will get to the Lauzirika neighbourhood, and there, taking an asphalted road on the right, we will find another junction. We will turn left, taking the road going upwards. Walking across Atsola farm will arrive at a place called Txepetxabixe. A bit further down the road we will have a rest in the wood.

2. Txepatxabixe - Bedartzandi.
Going up a path we will go inside the wood, and from there we will go to Axpelarre. At Axpelarre we will take the road to Bedartzandi.

The Simon Bolivar Museum.

The Simon Bolivar Museum

It is located in Errementarikua farm, in Bolibar and belongs to Simon Bolivar´s successors.

After some remodelations, it was opened on July the 24th 1983, on the second centenary of Simon Bolivar´s birth.

The museum shows the history of the Bolivars and etnographic work.

The Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai.

The Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai

Urdaibai offers the most attractive and unique landscapes in the Basque Country. It covers an area of 230 kilometers, and includes the lands of 22 towns.

It is one of the most renowned places of the Bay of Biscay, and it is full of cliffs, beaches, woods, rivers, marshes, swamps of great natural value and beautiful views.

Unesco had declared Biosphere Reserve in 1984 and the Basque Parlament Protecting Area.

The Collegiate Church of Ziortza (Bolibar).

The Collegiate Church of Ziortza (Bolibar)

It is on a side of Oiz mountain, two kilometers away from Bolibar and seven kilometers away from Gerrikaitz.

The church had no archbishop and was governed by an abbot, but the offices carried out inside it equalled it to cathedrals.

When it was built, they made a steep road connecting it to Bolibar. The road was hidden under a bramble thicket until it was discovered in 1982.

The Collegiate church is believed to have been founded in the Xth century. According to a legend, it was built on the Assumption´s day of the year 968. On that day, when people were at a mass in Santa Luzia´s chapel in Garai, an eagle grabbed a skull from the cemetery, flew over a dense thicket and released it there. This is, apparently, where the Collegiate church was built. The legend is reflected in the coat-of-arms of the church.

Gonzalo de Mena, the archbishop of Kalahorra, restored the church and reopened it in 1380.

In 1851 the church became a parish.

In October the 15th 1954, it was damaged by a fire. The old hospital, the priest´s new house and the houses next to the cloister were completely distroyed.

It has suffered many restorations in the last few years.

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