Exploring the best hiking trails in Álava

Alava Province is located in the Basque Country in northern Spain. Many thick types of timber, green valleys, and majestic mountain ranges all contribute to the area's reputation for stunning beauty. Lava is a great spot for hikers to enjoy the outdoors because the province's natural beauty may be best appreciated on foot. Exploring the best hiking trails in Alava.

Visitors may enjoy the fresh air and tranquil surroundings while learning about hidden treasures in Alava, such as gorgeous towns, historic monasteries, and breathtaking waterfalls via hiking. The province has a significant network of hiking routes, from leisurely strolls to strenuous hikes. As a result, Alava offers hiking opportunities for all levels of experience.

Exploring the best hiking trails in Álava
Exploring the best hiking trails in Álava

In addition to taking in the scenery and the fresh air, hiking in Alava enables tourists to find hidden treasures, including charming towns, historic monasteries, and magnificent waterfalls. The region has a vast network of hiking paths, from short strolls to strenuous climbs. Because of this, Alava has hiking opportunities for all levels of experience.

Hiking Trail 1: Gorbea Natural Park

The Gorbea Natural Park is a popular hiking location in western Alava. The park spans over 14,000 acres and is home to several species of flora and animals, including the Cantabrian brown bear and the Iberian wolf.

Gorbea Natural Park has various hiking trails, but the most popular is the one ascending to the summit of Gorbea. The trail's ascent of around 800 meters ranks it as an intermediate trek. It may take you four hours to complete the round-trip distance of 7.5 kilometres.

As you climb, you'll be able to see the beautiful surroundings. On a clear day, the top offers views of the Pyrenees, the Bay of Biscay, and the Cantabrian Mountains. You might also see wild goats or rare bird species while walking.

As you approach the park's main entrance, you will find ample parking space and the trail's beginning. Being well prepared to guarantee a secure and comfortable experience is crucial. This calls for bringing enough food and drink, dressing for the weather, and donning sturdy shoes.

Exploring the best hiking trails in Alava.

The Gorbea Natural Park is available for year-round visits, and entrance is free.

Gorbea Natural Park
Gorbea Natural Park

Hiking Trail 2: Gorramendi

Another must-visit place for hikers is Gorramendi mountain, situated in the eastern region of Alava. With an elevation increase of around 900 meters and a distance of 10 kilometres, this path is more complex than the preceding one. The entire round journey will take about 6 hours.

This path winds through various natural settings, from dense woods to rocky outcrops to verdant meadows. Climbing to the peak on a clear day will reward you with views of the Bay of Biscay and the Pyrenees. Views of the surrounding mountains and the Basque area are another draw to Gorramendi Peak.

Dolmens, old graves, and other prehistoric relics dot the landscape along this road, adding to its already substantial historical value. The path also features a few scenic picnic spots. However, a hiker on this trail should be aware that it might be challenging and prepare themselves accordingly. Before starting off, ensure the weather is nice, you have enough food and drink, and you're wearing the right shoes.

Exploring the best hiking trails in Álava.

The trailhead is located in the Gorramendi parking lot. Unfortunately, there is just a small parking lot, so arriving early or off-hours is recommended.


Hiking Trail 3: Aizkorri-Aratz

Another fantastic alternative for hikers searching for a more challenging trek through lava is the Aizkorri-Aratz path. This path, a part of the Basque Mountains Range, is regarded as one of the most well-known in the area. The 15 km track may be completed in around 8 hours round trip.

The Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park is located near the picturesque town of Aratz, where the walk begins. The trekkers pass through various environments, such as lush woods, alpine meadows, and steep hills. Hikers may take in beautiful views of the mountains and valleys in the area, including the Aizkorri peak, the highest point in the Basque Country, as they proceed.

Apart from its abundant fauna, which includes vultures and eagles, this route is renowned for its lush greenery, which consists of a wide variety of wildflowers and mushrooms. The path is also historically rich, going by many prehistoric shelters and Iron Age fortresses that illustrate how the locals utilised the mountain over time.

Only seasoned hikers should be ready for difficulties along this path. A reasonable level of physical fitness is recommended, as is appropriate footwear, sufficient food and water, and a degree of prior planning. It is advised that you check the weather forecast before beginning the walk.

The trailhead is located at the parking lot in Aratz, and it's accessible by car or by bus, which regularly runs from Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Hiking Trail 3: Aizkorri-Aratz
Hiking Trail 3: Aizkorri-Aratz

Hiking Trail 4: Salto del Nervión

If you want to see the best of what the countryside of lava offers, a climb up the Salto del Nervión is necessary. The hike's namesake waterfall may be seen along this trail, which is located in the western section of the province. The whole round-trip time for this path is around 2.5 hours, despite its relatively short distance (5 kilometres).

Hikers may take advantage of breathtaking vistas of the region as they set out from the Salto del Nervión parking lot. After that, trekkers may enjoy the stunning environment surrounding the waterfall. This trail travels through an oak and beech tree forest. Therefore hikers may also spot birds and wild boars there. The track is clearly defined and easy to follow, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

The waterfall

As you advance towards the waterfall, a great exhibition of water streaming down a jagged cliff facade will unfold before your very eyes. The auditory sensation of plummeting water will keep you company throughout your journey. The waterfall, towering at a height of approximately 30 meters, presents a spectacular sight, particularly in spring and summer when the water volume surges to its peak.

This stroll may become muddy when it rains, so bring sturdy shoes and some food to enjoy outside. Before leaving, make sure to check the weather forecast.

The Salto del Nervión has a parking area where the trailhead is situated, and the waterfall is free to see and accessible all year.

Salto del Nervión
Salto del Nervión

The most excellent way to see the vast natural beauty of the province of lava is through hiking. The region has an extensive network of paths that range in difficulty from pleasant strolls to strenuous excursions.

This article highlighted four top hiking trails in ÁlavaGorbea Natural Park, Gorramendi, Aizkorri-Aratz, and Salto del Nervión. Each course offers hikers the chance to discover hidden gems, enjoy breathtaking views, and experience the diversity of Álava's landscapes and wildlife.

Gorbea Natural Park is perfect for a moderate hike and enjoying the natural surroundings and scenic views. Gorramendi is challenging but offers a diverse range of landscapes and historical sites; aizkorri-aratz is one of the most popular in the region; it's long and hard, provides a diversity of landscapes, rich wildlife, and ancient sites, and Salto del Nervión is an easy hike but offers a beautiful waterfall and natural surroundings.

It's essential to be prepared when planning a trekking adventure through lava by packing the right equipment, having adequate food and water, and checking the weather forecast before setting out. Always keep safety in mind, and trekking in groups is encouraged.

Lava provides a variety of possibilities for hikers of all ability levels searching for an outdoor adventure in a stunning natural setting. We hope this essay has motivated you to hike the lava paths and enjoy its breathtaking scenery.

Recent Posts