Children’s Route 10 : From Gorliz to Armintza along Txoznako Estrata and back along the GR 280

Children’s Route10

Route published by Pedro Pablo Uriarte “15 circular routes from Gorliz for families with children”

View map of the route on Wikiloc


Duration: 2 hours 48 min
Distance: 12,5 km
Cumulative elevation gain:  394 m
Difficult: Easy  

It’s too bad, I have to go this route again without any of my grandchildren. We are in the last days of August and Nahia and Telmo have had to leave already. And Pello’s still with his parents on vacation. It is a route of medium length, of twelve and a half kilometers, and of a discrete accumulated difference in altitude, of almost 400 m, but perfectly achievable at a family level with our kids since hard ascents are not made at any time.
I leave from Itsasbide kalea at the height of Iberre and right in front, through Talai bidea and Aldapa Barrena low to Ondargane bidea, by which I go to the sports centre and skirt it to climb up its side road to the mythical Kilimanjaro brewery. I climb up to the road to Urezarantza and the front crossing, to climb a few meters for Artebiondo kalea and at the first crossing on the left for Txoznako Estrata.

From now on I climb this small road past the meadows where the famous sukalki contest (potato stew with meat) is held at the Urezarantza festival, held just a few days ago. At the height of a beautiful one-storey villa with a perfectly cut hedge, the road leaves the asphalt to become concrete and enters a stretch under the shade of oaks.

After a while, and just when Txoznako Estrata dies in Fanobidea, you can see on the right an extraordinary view of Gorliz with its homonymous bay. It is worth taking a picture of the picture postcard.

I continue to the left for Fanobidea but only a few hundred meters, because a little after passing a house, a dirt road leaves to the right that is very clear. I’m going that way. It is a path that we have already used both on the way there and back on other occasions and is widely used by people who climb to Ermuamendi here. The road goes right into the thickness of the Cantabrian oak and runs alongside a wire fence. In a while I leave to the left the very little visible entrance to the little path that, under the oaks and after a few bends, reaches the very summit of Ermua. Along this path I went down with my grandchildren Nahia and Pello on Route 1 of this same Guide.

Today I continue until I reach a junction called Sanjuangiri in a few minutes, according to the map of the municipality of Gorliz. It is a signalized and very frequented crossing. To the left, as I climb, we would go towards Ermua and also towards Etzandarri, and straight ahead towards Armintza, which is where today’s route goes. At the junction they have recently placed some yellow signs of the GR 123 of the Vuelta a Bizkaia, although the usual wooden signs are only a few meters away.

As I say, and without stopping to take a picture, I continue facing Armintza. The path is beyond doubt. They are 2. 7 km of descent to the sailor neighborhood of Lemoiz. At first I walk inside a thin pine forest, and little by little the road clears up to enter a eucalyptus grove that we will not leave until the last part of this stretch. When I’m leaving the eucalyptus forest I come to a wide gray track where the dirt road I’m on dies. I’m still on the front. After a while I pass a large metal door and after circling the long wall Hotel Arresi I reach the large entrance roundabout in Armintza, which I cross, going a little diagonally to the right

Under the trees and next to a couple of beautiful palm trees there is a beautiful and coquettish little bridge over the Andrakos stream, I cross it and almost immediately turn right to take a stretch of the GR 280 from Uribe Kosta that we will travel from here to Urízar and Berreaga, where we leave it to detour towards the center of Gorliz. Today we walk through two sections of the two Great Routes: 123 and 280, which cross this area of Bizkaia.

Shortly after the turn, behind the bridge and after passing between some orchards, I reach a road, on which I continue straight ahead. This little road, very quiet, passes in less than a kilometre between some beautiful hamlets and ends on the main road Armintza-Lemoiz after crossing a bridge over the Andrakos stream. But just when the little road reaches the main road the GR turns left on a road parallel to it. This stretch of the route is very beautiful and runs almost all of it under the shade of the trees of a native forest.

After the first stretch parallel to the road, the road crosses a couple of wooden bridges that add personality to the route. There are a couple of hamlets on the banks of the stream, which in spite of the persistent drought comes cantarín. I admire a few specimens of superb large oaks by the side of the road. After passing the last part of the hardwood forest the road comes to a small gate on a fence and after it merges into a road that will take me to the Urízar neighborhood in Lemoiz. There’s a beautiful ruined hamlet on the left.

The road is very quiet and continues straight between some hamlets and meadows where some horses and a couple of goats graze gently. In a field located at the front of a well-kept farmhouse a few chickens peck the ground. The walk is very nice and quiet and I come across several walkers with their dogs. And finally I come to a crossroads where I turn right. On the left I would go towards the Urizarmendi. After passing the remodeled wash house of Urizar under large oaks and climbing a hill between a couple of hamlets, I reach the main road Armintza-Andraka in the center of Lemoiz, which I cross in front, to take another road that rises between two hamlets.

Little by little, the path between the walls of the farms opens up running through pastures. The road then climbs up a bit to pass by an old chicken farm that has ceased its activity and a huge hamlet. A few hundred meters further I reach the crossing of Berreaga. To the right you go to Orabille, but I want to go left, passing immediately in front of the entrance of the farmhouse and restaurant Larrakoetxea. I continue for a few hundred meters next to the fence of his estate, which, by the way, has a great variety of trees and, shortly after finishing the fence, to the right, starts a little path that we have already used several times on previous routes and that goes down to the town center of Gorliz. This stretch is a very beautiful road that is worth walking.

I get into it and it seems like nature swallows you up. Sometimes it seems that we are going through a tunnel, as the branches of the oaks on the sides make us roof. In a gentle descent I came to a fork. On the left it would arrive immediately to Saratxaga and by Ageo to Gorliz center. On the right, which is the one I choose, I reach Orbeta bidea and Barberusolo, to access the upper part of the village next to the roundabout of Armintza.

The road now becomes a path that is very visible, but that runs between some bushes and the profuse vegetation on the sides that hinder the walk. Fortunately, they are only about a hundred meters, to reach a wide road next to a villa that has been standing for several years under construction. Further on we pass under some huge oaks and leave to the right the hamlet of Alegría. I am already in Orbeta bidea, which descends towards the village and continues with the street Barberusolo to end in Tribiñu kalea, very close to the roundabout of Armintza. I reached it and went down towards the church to reach Itasbide, the main street of the village, as far as I left, at the height of Iberre.

A little long route, twelve and a half kilometers but without hard ascents, which can be traveled with the chivalry with the family any morning.

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