Route 24: Ascent of Urizarmendi from Urizar, returning through Andraka and Saratxaga

Route 24

Route published by Pedro Pablo Uriarte “24 circular hiking routes from Gorliz”.

See route map on Wikiloc


Duration: 3 h 20 min
Distance: 15,26 km
Cumulative elevation gain:  484 m
Difficulty: Moderate

It is a medium distance route (slightly more than 15 km) and with a positive difference in altitude of 484 m, in which the novelty lies in the downhill route of the Urizarmendi and the return through Andraka, a neighborhood that we reach by the main road. Another novelty is that we access Berreaga by a little travelled path that is quite invaded by weeds and brambles that annoy us a lot, hence we strongly recommend that if you come here, people wear long trousers and long sleeves, to minimize punctures.

It’s 8:15 in the morning when we start from St. Peter’s Square next to the Jubis, where we start the clock in the “hiking” log and start recording the route on Wikiloc. We access Itsasbide and climb for a while along the main street of the village passing the church and reaching the roundabout of the Armintza road. There, from the front, we climb the stairs that give access to Zapakondi bidea, and along this street we continue upwards, overcoming the structure of a half-built villa. The street we are going on turns after the last house into a track that climbs between the holm oaks. After a stretch of uphill we see that the track is trifurca giving a curve to the left. We choose to go straight ahead, along a path that seems to be the least visible and that is the most to the right. From now on, the path, quite visible at the beginning, gets a little blurred, but at all times you can see where it goes.

The brambles on the sides have invaded the road and walking through here becomes quite annoying. Punctures in the arms and legs are frequent but they are not a torture, it is possible to pass and, indeed, we see that people have passed along this path. We come to a fence where a recent sign next door says he may have won loose and that we leave it closed. We think if they’ve bothered to put up the sign, it’s because people are passing through here. That’s how we do it, we close the door and we go on down the brittle path. Soon we reach a second door, but this time we have left the path a little earlier to avoid the bushes and go for some pastures located on the side of the road. We haven’t seen any animals, which we assume are cattle that usually graze in pastures and side fields. We cross this second door and soon we reach a stretch where the path widens and we pass next to the hedge of a hamlet. In about a hundred meters, passing by a greenhouse, we reach the Orabille-Andraka road. We are in the neighborhood of Berreaga, belonging to Lemoiz. A little to our left there is a fork, where we choose to go along the road that points towards Urizar.

After walking along the road for about a kilometre and a half and past an old chicken farm, the road descends gently to the town of Lemoiz, the district of Urizar. We cross the main road and continue straight ahead, going down a small road that passes in front of the old laundry of Urizar, of the 13th century. XIX, located on the right. About a hundred meters later we reach a fork and take the road on the right. If we were on the left we would go towards Armintza on the GR 280.

As we say, we chose the road on the right and under the lush trees we soon reached another crossroads after a little bridge. Here we turn left. The road is flat and at the beginning we see to our right an old concrete installation next to an old calero. We continue forward to a new fork where we choose to go on the left, the road that goes up. The road on the right leads to a hamlet that can be seen some distance away.

From now on we will not stop ascending to the summit of Urizarmendi. The ramps of the road are relatively steep and make us sweat. We see that the eucalyptus on the sides grow wildly, last year they barely rose from the ground. After passing a clearing on the road that is only a wide firewall that can be seen in all its amplitude and distance to our left and right with the electric line over our heads, the road continues under a pine forest. About a hundred meters we see a dirt road that starts to our left. We take this road and in a few hundred meters we reach a fork. It is the junction with the road that reaches Andraka from Armintza and passes through the summit of Urizarmendi. We take a left, and after a few meters we are in front of a sign of the GR 280. We continue along the road and after climbing a slope we reach an electric tower. We skirt it and, a little further up, we find on our left the summit of Urizarmendi (294 m), where I take the opportunity to make a stop on the road, replenish liquids and eat some fruit.

After a few minutes I resume the march. They cut down the eucalyptus on my left and from there you can see a new and beautiful panorama, which unfortunately will not last long, because with the speed that the eucalyptus grow again the vision will disappear again. The road has no loss, because it is the one we have climbed every time we ascend Urizarmendi from Armintza. We go down for a while until we reach a point where the road divides. The one on my right goes into the woods and goes down, and it’s the one that follows the GR and goes down to Armintza. There’s a reddish-white sign that indicates it. But this time I choose to take the path of the left, which is a broad and clear path that flattens.

This road also has no loss, but as a reference we will say that shortly after we passed two telecommunications antennas. If the ferns on our right were a little less grown we could see on the right a beautiful panorama of Armintza. The road now runs on clear ground. At the height of the two antennas, the dirt road turns into a gravel road and gradually descends to become a concrete road after a couple of zigzags. Soon it comes to the end of the road that follows the GR 280 to Urizar and that comes from Armintza. There are two abandoned farmhouses, one on the right, which must have been a beautiful farmhouse and the other on the other side of the road, which is practically hidden by the lush vegetation.

I just have to follow the road to the left until after a while I reach the detour that I have previously taken to climb the Urizarmendi. I have closed the circle and now I continue on the same road I came before passing again in front of the old laundry room. I reach Urizar and now I turn left to pass the town hall and the church. From now on to Andraka I have to follow the main road BI-2153 Armintza-Andraka. Passing by the cemetery.

I must say that I don’t usually like to walk on very busy roads, but in this case I was determined to return to Gorliz by Andraka and I have no choice but to walk no more than a kilometer and a half on the said road, which although it has some traffic also has a beautiful edge to walk on it safely.

In a while I pass in front of the brewery-roasting Urizar, on the other side of the road, and soon I reach the Andraka junction, turning right to continue on the Andraka-Orabille road. This is a gently uphill stretch that passes at its highest point next to the entrance to the Goikomendi Horse Club. I go ahead and, the road, with a eucalyptus on the left and hardly any traffic, continues on a gentle descent. About a hundred meters away, in the middle of the eucalyptus, a very well-traveled road starts to the left between two small vertical poles and goes through the eucalyptus trees. Let’s go get him.

We go down for a while and come to a crossroads. We go straight ahead, on a road that goes straight down next to a hamlet. If we took the road on the left, in a few hundred meters we would reach the busy main road of Mungia, but we don’t want to go that way. As we say, at the crossroads we continue straight ahead and go down a curious road on which only cement has been laid for the wheels of the cars, leaving the central part free. In the lower part of the road this becomes a fully cemented track and turns left and right next to a beautiful villa that has some vines well lined up next to the road that continues downhill.

Immediately we reach a crossroads where we turn sharply to the right under some trees. We pass by the barbed wire of a couple of chalets with well-kept wooded grounds. We arrived shortly to a large empty house and recently built surrounded by several signs on which it says: “Private land. Passage is forbidden. ” The truth is, I don’t think of the zeal of these landowners to constantly remind us not to pass through their land. Logically, our intention is never to invade anything, although we are almost certain that there is a servitude of way around here.

Disregarding the signs and knowing that on the road we passed we did not invade anyone’s land, we continued through several beautiful chalets until we reached the Saratxaga brewery, closed years ago.

Just in front, next to another villa, the beautiful road starts to your left that under the oaks and without any loss leaves us at a few hundred meters at the top of the Calle Ageo, already entering the urban case of Gorliz.

All we have to do is go down Calle Ageo and turn for Tribiñu kalea to the roundabout of the boat and Iberreta Plaza. A little further on we reach the square of San Pedro, where we close the route in front of the bar de los Jubis, after having walked a little more than 15 km, saved a positive difference in altitude of 484 m and used a total time of 3 hours and 20 minutes, always walking with some tranquility.

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