Route published by Pedro Pablo Uriarte ”19 circular walking routes around Gorliz”
DETAILS OF THE ROUTE:
Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes
Distance: 11.16 km
Cumulative elevation gain: 297 m
This route, which takes just over two hours and covers a distance of 11 km, combines wooded sections along tracks and paths with some stretches of road with very little traffic, passing through areas of Gorliz that are little travelled and almost unknown to many people, which is why we consider it to be an interesting route that is very suitable for walking with children.
Leaving Plaza Ibarreta, we go out onto Iberre Zeharbidea and carry straight on along Krutzeta until we reach Itsasbide near the Batzoki bar and restaurant. Carry on up to the roundabout on the Armintza road, passing by the church. At the roundabout towards Armintza we turn right onto Tribiñu Kalea and immediately left onto Barberusolo, which leads uphill onto Orbeta Bidea. Carry on along this street, which is a little tough due to the steep slopes at the start. There are large houses on both sides of the road. This start is the same as we have done on two other routes, but on the way back to Gorliz. This time you are doing it on the outward journey.
The road reaches the highest point, passing the enclosure of a small hut belonging to the Consorcio de Aguas (water company), an electricity tower with a transformer and an antenna a little further on, on the left. You will come to a pleasantly flat stretch, under the shade of some large holm oaks, passing the Alegría farmhouse on your left, and then reach a house under construction, where work seems to have come to a standstill.
Keep going and the path immediately turns into a small path that is difficult to walk along, as the profuse vegetation makes it difficult to get through. Despite everything, it is possible to get through it, and when you have done so you will reach the path that comes from Saratxaga and goes to the Andraka-Orabille road, which we have already mentioned on several previous routes. However, this time, instead of going uphill, the last part of the route goes downhill, turning right at the junction to the Saratxaga bar and restaurant (17 min.).
Just past the bar/restaurant on your left, there is a small road that curves around a wide bend for the first few hundred metres and passes a number of pretty chalets. You will soon come to a recently built house, which still seems to be uninhabited, where the path suddenly turns to your right and becomes a cemented, tree-lined road.
Follow this beautiful path, passing the grounds of a well-kept farm on your right. After a few hundred metres it turns sharply to the left and climbs steeply uphill, passing immediately in front of a chalet with neat rows of vines next to the road. The concrete road soon turns into a track with only two cemented strips for the vehicle tracks. From the junction, the road continues to climb steeply upwards.
After you have walked past the last chalet or farmhouse, you will immediately come to a eucalyptus grove (34 min.), and a junction. The path on the left disappears after a few hundred metres. It was probably one of the many tracks opened up by the loggers when they felled some of the eucalyptus trees in the area. The path on the right soon leads to the main Gorliz-Mungia road, just where Botolo Bidea, the road that leads to Koala nurseries and the upper part of Mandañu Bidea, starts on the other side. Ignore both of them.
At the junction, carry on straight ahead, climbing up through the eucalyptus grove. There is a large white arrow carved into a eucalyptus tree on the right indicating the direction to follow. It is surely an ephemeral sign, as it will disappear when the time comes for the eucalyptus tree that supports it. The path, which is well trodden by mountain bikers, hikers and horses with riders, is easy to follow. Keep climbing andabout 5 minutes later you will reach the Orabille-Andraka road, near the top of the hill by the main entrance to the Goikomendi Equestrian Club (39 min.).
From here, you will follow a stretch of the GR 280 Trail to the Plentzia estuary and a little more. When you reach the road, turn right, walk past the aforementioned riding club and then gently descend to the Andraka neighbourhood (51 min.). Cross the main Mungia-Gorliz road and just on the other side, next to a restaurant just after the chapel, you will see a small road leading downwards, which is where you need to go.
Right away you will see a public fountain at the back of the chapel where you can refresh yourself. Continue along the gentle descent, going past some well-kept farmhouses. Not long after, at a bend to the left, you will see some wide open fields with cattle sheds and pastures that are well guarded by some large mastiffs that are sure to bark at you.
A little further on, the road turns sharply to the right and, straight ahead, under some trees, there is a grassy path where the GR 280 Trail continues, which is where you need to go.
Without deviating from the main path at any time, you will gradually descend through some large trees, including huge poplars on your left with the unmistakable red and white GR Trail markings. The terrain becomes clayey and a little muddy in places. This is a very damp area, and the sometimes stony, water-worn path becomes somewhat difficult to walk on, with brambles, ferns and other undergrowth on either side of you.
You will come to the Plentzia estuary (1 hour 8 min.) next to a signpost indicating the direction of Butrón Castle, which you have followed on two other routes, but not now. You need to turn right to follow the GR Trail along a very clear, well-trodden, very visible and quite comfortable path, which runs alongside the estuary for quite a while. The last part of this section climbs for a short, not too difficult stretch to reach the junction of Mandaño Bidea with Botola Bidea at the top of the Gandia neighbourhood, very close to the entrance to the Koala Nurseries (1 hour 27 min.).
Turn right and, after passing the main entrance to the aforementioned nurseries, you will see a track or path on your left with car tracks next to a house with vegetable gardens and trees. The road, or rather Botola Bidea, continues on your right until it later joins the road to Mungia, but you do not go along it, as you want to stroll through the pretty neighbourhood of Zabale.
As we said, you should go left. This part of the route is also quite clear and straightforward, at least at the start. The path starts near some houses and farmhouses with vegetable gardens on your right and also between pastures. You are sure to spot the big-horned goats with their billy goats in a pasture on the right. The route gradually turns into a path and soon joins a wider path under a couple of trees. Here you have to turn left and then immediately right.
After passing the old Zabale farmhouse (see photograph) and a couple of downhill twists and turns, you will come to a straight road that leads to a roundabout on the main road, which you cross (1 hour 40 min.)
On the opposite side of the roundabout, take Calle Axpe until you almost immediately reach another roundabout and from there go straight down this street until you reach Calle Areatza, the main street that connects Plentzia and Gorliz along the coast (1 hour 50 min.)
Take Areatza to the right until you get to the old small sanatorium, now PIE (Plentziako Itsas Estazioa – Plentzia Marine Station).
Keep going along the Gorliz beach promenade until you reach the promenade called Hondartza Ibiltokia, which for us has always been “the promenade” along which we always went up and down to the beach.
Climb up to the centre of Gorliz passing a children’s playground and the age-old Ondargane restaurant. If you happen to pass close by at lunchtime, you will immediately work up an appetite thanks to the pleasant smells of stews emanating from the restaurant’s kitchen, famous for its homemade food and excellent portions. Soon after you will find yourself in Calle Itsasbide, Gorliz’s main thoroughfare, and then you will come to Plaza Ibarreta (Plaza Iberrebarri), where you will once again have come full circle on this beautiful route (2 hours 5 min.).