Aralar Natural Park
You will find Aralar Nature Park (Parque Natural Aralar) in one of the most mountainous areas of the Basque Country. This park is famous for its beautiful landscapes. It is located in the southeast of the province of Guipúzcoa, the neighbouring province of Navarre.
Sheep in Aralar Natural Park
The centre of the massif is dominated by vast meadows that are used for grazing Latxa sheep.
Nearly fifty shepherds farm in this area and live in huts scattered around the mountainside. Here they attend their herd for much of the year. Generally from the end of May to November.
This tradition of breeding sheep goes back several thousand years. The large numbers of megalithic monuments are an elegant proof of this: dolmens, burial mounds, cromlechs and menhirs.
Inside the park, there are natural areas of exceptional interest.
- The beech forests of Akaitz, famous for a large number of yew trees
- The Pardarri lapiaz and the hills and valleys of the northern face of Txindoki, with very unique species of flora and fauna
- The tops of the “Ataun Domo”
- The Arritzaga valley and the glacial circus of Pardelutz are of exceptional geological interest
- Extensive green forests
Griffin vultures, Egyptian vultures, golden eagles and even bearded vultures fly over this area. European mink and Pyrenean desmans can be found in the streams and rivers that descend from the mountain tops. The Aralar Natural Park is well equipped for recreational and recreational purposes. The characteristic villages and farms of this area, which are representative of the Guipúzcoa countryside, are one of the main attractions for the general visitor to Aralar.
Mountains in Aralar Natural Park
Some of the essential characteristics of mountain climbers are the famous peaks such as Txindoki, the mountain meadows, the presence of megalithic monuments, and so on. Several large and small routes of the Mountain Federation (GR and PR) are marked as mountaineering routes, and there are routes for walkers between recreational areas. The Parketxea complex, consisting of the information centre and a hostel, is built on the Lizarrusti mountain pass.
The listing of major tops, in short, less than 30 peaks, however numerous hills as well as little summits have the name in Aralar according to normally with the place of dolmens, hillocks, tracks, … it is very important for the alignment of the paths however not for its climb.
The greatest optimal is Irumugarrieta or Intzeko Dorrea in the main of the fantastic North ridge, a stunning wall from SE to NW call Las Malloas, with greater than 800 meters over the valley and it is just one of the best-known pictures of Aralar specifically when the snow covers its wall surfaces providing an improper completely towering aspect of some mountains of elevations as moderate as those of Aralar.
The most lovely hill is Txindoki, however, one more choice to know Aralar are the mountain peaks Balerdi, Gamboa, Aldaon, Artxueta and Ttutturre. The distance of the tops enables the layout of courses throughout some peaks on the same day, however constantly recognises our forces as well without disdaining the distances given that although the slope is low, the approach is long.
Cities in Aralar Natural Park
The cities of Abaltzisketa and Ataun offer the two gates to the park. Parque Natural Aralar is located in one of the essential mountain regions of the Basque Country. The considerable size, the height of the mountains and the varied and traditional use of the country make it one of the most popular parks in the region.
With the symbolic mountain Txindoki (Larrunarri) that stands high in the background and the places Goierri and Tolosaldea below, the landscape is quite breathtaking.
Tourists can choose from a wide range of activities in Parque Natural Aralar (Aralar Natural Park):
- visit a traditional Basque farm
- taste some Idiazabal cheese
- learn to donate cider to a family-run cider house
- go mountain biking
- horseback riding
- visit megalithic monuments (there are some 30 dolmens), burial mounds, monoliths, cave and country sites and two cromlechs).
- The Barandiarán museum and the interpretation centre in Ataun offer visitors extensive information about every aspect of the park.
Both the GR and the shorter walking routes have excellent road markings. There are also walking paths that lead to the recreational areas with playgrounds.
Visitors will find another information centre, hostel and restaurant on the Lizarrusti mountain pass.