Valleys of the Deba and Urola: Under the shelter of the mountain
The Deba and Urola rivers form narrow valleys squeezed under the shelter of high evergreen summits. The tour of this land in Gipuzkoa's interior surprises for the variety of its lanscapes, the beauty of its monuments and the diversity of its towns.
Taking national road 634 or the A-8, leaving Donostia behind, we arrive at Deba and then Elgoibar, which preserves some interesting buildings like St. Bartholomew's church, with its baroque tower, and Alzola Tower House.
We continue on and arrive at Bergara, without forgetting Malzaga and Soraluce, small towns with old churches. Bergara is the "Stately Town" and has a Medieval Historical Town; the Town Hall; the old Royal Seminary; the parish church of St. Peter's, famous for its Christ of Agony, masterpiece of Juan de Mesa; and Santa Marina's church, with its impressive rococo altarpiece with sculptures by Luis Salvador Carmona.
The route takes us to the junction with the road
to San Prudencio on the GI-632 and we arrive at Oñati,
called "The Basque Toledo" by the painter Ignacio Zuloaga.
This town stands out for the impressive plateresque facade, in
a Renaissance style, of its University. There is also the parish
church of San Miguel, the Monastery of Vidaurreta, and in the
surrounding area, we find the modern, monumental Shrine of the
Virgin of Aranzazu.
We resume our tour in the direction of Udana mountain pass, in the valley of Urola. This area is famous for its medieval ironworks. Before arriving at Legazpi we can contemplate the old Museum-Ironworks and the Hermitage of Mirandola.
We continue on our itinerary and arrive at Zumarraga. The main monument of this town is the Church of the Assumption, built in a Basque gothic style, and Jauregui Tower House and the Shrine of Our Lady of Antigua.
Near Zumarraga is the town of Urretxu. The exhuberant vegetation on its slopes makes it an ideal place for natural tourism. Urretxu and Azkoitia mountain tops crown matchless possibilities of paths, routes and adventure sports which can be combined with visits of the most emblematic buildings, like Idiazkez House; Balda Tower; Insausti House, in a baroque style and the cradle of the distinguished Xavier Munibe; and the Floreaga Palace.
At the end of our tour, we arrive at Azpeitia, which offers numerous attractions for our eyes' delight, like the Railway Museum, the Environment House, the Church of San Sebastian de Soreasu, and the home of the musician of the Spanish Catholic monarchs, Juan de Antxieta.
Heading for the coast we come across Zestoa spa and the Lili Palace, which make way for Zumaia, which concentrates one of the most dynamic fishing fleets in the Cantabrian sea. The taste of fresh fish, the roasts and the cold taste of txakoli make our touring day a real delight.
Basque country Maps