Children’s Route 12: From Gorliz to Urizarmendi, round trip

Children’s Route 12

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

View map of the route on Wikiloc


Duration: 2 hours49 min
Distance: 13,42 km
Cumulative elevation gain acumulado:  436 m
Difficulty: Easy 

Today is a very grey day and it threatens to rain. Even when I leave home it drizzles a drizzle, so I am forced to bring an umbrella and raincoat, which fortunately I have not had to use. I’m still waiting for my grandson Pello to come back from vacation with his parents and want to do with me one of the two or three routes I need to finish this Guide. Going with one of them puts me in front of the reality of what it really means to hike with children.

This is a route that has a discrete length (almost 13 and a half km) but climbs a relatively significant difference in altitude of 436 m, mostly in the last part of the route which is the ascent to the Urizarmendi proper.

As always I leave from the surroundings of Iberres, I go up Iberreta plaza to the roundabout of the boat and I go for Tribiñu kalea until I turn right for Ageo, leaving immediately the city center.

I pass by a couple of chalets along a cemented track that little by little you can see that continues to the left, but the road to Saratxaga continues straight ahead, where you have to go. It is a beautiful path under the oaks and with a fence to the right. We have passed this road many times and it is the natural exit of the village to access the upper part of Saratxaga.

TraducirI arrive at a villa and just in front of the old Saratxaga brewery turn left on a wide road that climbs gently between the walls and fences of the estates next door. The road in a few hundred meters continues straight ahead to get under the oaks and becoming a very visible and very trodden path. We’re in the middle of the forest and it seems like we’re sometimes going into a tunnel. Little by little the road forks. We have to continue to the right, because if we take the left we would go back to the village through the upper part of Orbeta bidea. We’ll come back this way.

We follow the path in a gentle ascent almost always under the branches of the oaks that cover the path with their leathery leaves. After a while I reach the junction with the Orabille-Andraka road and turn left. I go along the road past the fence of the gardens and the restaurant-house Larrakoetxea. Soon I came to a crossroads. It is the crossing of Berreaga and I have to go to the right, towards Urizar, the city center of Lemoiz. If I go straight, I’ll go to Orabille. The road is very quiet, passing right in front of a beautiful farmhouse and the ugly building of the old chicken farm, which seems to no longer work. I continue for a while on the gently descending road between meadows to reach the first houses of Urizar, and between the walls of a couple of hamlets I reach the general road Armintza-Andraka, which I cross to continue straight ahead..

I am in the neighborhood of Urizar de Lemoniz and I am now going for a stretch of the GR 280 towards Armintza. The crossing is signposted. I pass by the trunk of what was a colossal oak that is still alive, and then I pass by an old and typical farmhouse where I take a photo to make a watercolor. Immediately, going down a little, we find the beautiful surroundings of the old laundry of Urizar, under some superb oaks. I pass by the laundry room and after walking a few hundred meters I reach a junction. To the left you go towards Armintza along the GR 280 and to the right towards the Urizarmendi, the goal of today’s route.

In fact, I go by the deviation of the right that continues under big native trees to reach in a while another crossing after crossing a small bridge (in the photo). Here I have to continue to the left, because on the right I would immediately reach the main road of Andraka at the stop of the Bizkaibús. The road passes next to a calero and in front of an entrance to some hamlets. I follow a stretch through it to a beautiful meadow on the right where at that time a lone horse was grazing.

A little further on the road splits. On the right you would go to a hamlet, but I have to go up on the left. From now on and up to the summit of Urizarmendi almost everything is climbed. This is the hardest part of today’s tour, and if we go with the chivalry we have to teach them that we are on the mountain and that there are slopes in the mountain. We have to accept it, so we have to take the ascent calmly, little by little, as the Italian says: “chi cammina piano va lontano”.

The road is now made of concrete and the first sections are relatively steep, sweaty. We climb next to a second-generation eucalyptus in which stands out to the right and half ascent a specimen of eucalyptus of great height and size. We continue up the cemented track with pinocchio of the pines lining the sides, to get into a mixed forest of pine and eucalyptus, to which a little further up a long firewall under the high voltage line cuts in two. We continue even higher when we see a wide dirt road to the left. We take it and in a few hundred meters walking under the pine forest we reach a clearing where soon the road leads to another. This road if we follow it to the right would lead us to Andraka

But I go to the left, and a few meters I find another crossing signposted with GR signs. In this case it is the GR 123 or Gran Recorrido de la Vuelta a Bizkaia that comes from Bakio and goes down to Armintza, where the two GRs coincide: the 280 that goes towards Lemoiz and the 123 that goes towards Ermuamendi.

I have little left to reach the summit of the Urizarmendi. Without turning off at the crossroads I follow the road from the front and after climbing a hill and passing by an electric tower I reach the charming Urizarmendi mailbox, located to my left, summit of the municipality of Lemoiz and centenary mountain (294 m altitude).

A mountaineer who is alone at the summit asks me the best way to go down to Urizar without going back down the same ascent path and also tells me to take a picture of her. I show you the way and fulfilled the requirement of the photo asks me if I know other routes in the area. I do not miss the opportunity to tell you to visit the website of Gorliz Tourism: www. visitgorliz. eus, to see the 19 routes published and carried out by the same author of this Guide, that is, myself. Thanking me for the information, he kindly says goodbye and I take the opportunity to eat something and drink something else.

I don’t think it’s worth describing the route back as it is exactly the same as the outward one, but when I got to Gorliz I entered the village by Orbeta bidea and not by Ageo. All you have to do is take the detour to the right at the fork almost at the end of the path under the oaks that goes down from Larrakoetxea to Saratxaga. Once taken the detour and after passing a stretch of path with a lot of uncomfortable vegetation on both sides, you reach the upper part of Orbeta bidea, passing by the side of the hamlet of Alegría. It only remains to go down to Tribiñu kalea to get through Itsasbide, passing by the church of Gorliz, to Iberre Zeharbidea, from where I left

Not very long route, of more than 13 km but with some relatively hard but not very long stretches that the kids can choke. A lot of courage and go for it.

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