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Parque Natural de Valderejo: Rural environment

Limestone rocks and open valleys, over which soar the rare Griffon vultures of the Basque Country, shape the landscape of the Parque Natural de Valderejo, which has survived almost intact through the centuries. Valderejo, situated in one of the westernmost valleys of Alava, is bathed by the limpid waters of the river Purón which crosses the park from north to south, forming spectacular waterfalls and pools. The attractive combination of nature and rural life is another of the special features of this Alava park.

But before we enter the valley we must pass through Nanclares de Oca, Salinas de Añana and Villanueva de Valdegovia. From Vitoria we take the N-I highway towards Madrid, turning off onto the A-2622 towards Nanclares de Oca, the first stop on our route. The parish church and the unusual fountain in the square are the main attractions of this little town.

Going on towards Subijana, the Ribera del Ebro and Valdegovia, we pass through Salinas de Añana, a listed village, where during the summer we can visit the remarkable salt workings, known as long ago as Roman times. Following our route we come to the valley of Valdegovia, where we enter the Parque Natural de Valderejo. From the village of Lalastra there are different itineraries running through the park.

Valderejo occupies a semicircular valley surrounded by imposing limestone outcrops, among them the rocky peaks of Vallegrull, Recuenco, Santa Ana and Alto de Arrayuelas. The towering height of the rocks and the sheer cliffs competes with the beauty of the sloping woods of beech, pine and holm oaks, and the meadows and fields of the valley floor.

The park is home to wild boar, golden eagles, squirrels and roe deer, although the king of the wildlife is the Griffon vulture, which has become the symbol of this protected area. The largest colony of vultures in the whole of the Basque Country is to be found in Vallegrull. Made up of four villages, two of them now abandoned, the area of the park has always been used for agriculture and cattle.

The information centre, the Casa del Parque, is in Lalastra, and here you can find out about itineraries, activities, services etc. The telephone number is 947 566091. The Casa del Parque is open to the public every day except Mondays.

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