Although the Basque Country is an industrialized and populated region, it is still possible to find natural spaces and ecosystems that retain their natural state. In addition, the Basques are great lovers of the mountains and hiking is highly practiced both winter and summer.
There are many natural spaces and below we will highlight those that in our opinion may be of more interest to the visitor.
For further information contact with Tourist Offices
It is Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO from 1984.
These 12 km of sandy areas, formed by the Gernika estuary at its mouth, is the most important wetland in the Basque Country and has great international interest because it is a resting and wintering place for many migratory birds such as: the grey heron, the cormorant, tern, ducks, spoonbills, etc.
The archaeological sites are also relevant, highlighting the Santimamiñe cave with interesting cave paintings.
At the half-way between Alava and Bizkaia, the Gorbeia was declared a natural park in 1994 and is the largest in the Basque Country. The park takes its name from the highest summit Gorbeia at 1,482 meters above sea level.
There are 3 different areas:
South slope; there are primitive beech forests, large mammals like deer, roe deer, wild boar and birds like the booted eagle, sparrow hawk and great spotted beak inhabit this area. In the crystalline waters of the Bayas, Zubialde and Arratia rivers lives the otter, in danger of extinction.
North slope; the main attraction are the picturesque rural areas with its great landscape and cultural values as: old mills, ironworks, and tower houses.
High areas; on the top we find steep limestone rocks with interesting places such as the Supelegor cave and the Atxular Eye. Can be seen Birds of prey.
Urkiola's charm lies in its rocky peaks, its splendid forests and the legends of lamiak (witches) that these places have inspired. It is a paradise of diversity and in its forests we can find specimens such as: the dormouse, the marten and the fox.
Aiko Harria has a great geologic interest because it is the only one granite massif in the Basque Country.
A very interesting fauna can be found as: Atlantic salmon, Muskrat, European mink, vulture, Egyptian vulture, European harrier, pigeon and wild cat.
It also has 16 recreational areas with shelter, tables, fountains, grills, and other services.
There are wonderful beech forests such as the Akaitz-Sastarri and Lizarrusti, oak groves such as the Itaundieta and the mixed oak-forest forests on the north face of the Txindoki. This area is eminently pastoral, dedicate to the Latxa sheep, and with a large concentration of dolmens.
The mountain range has services, recreational areas, and also a hostel.