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The Durangaldea region of the Basque Country is jam packed with impressive places. Its mountain landscape and historical sites make for a charming visit. Every village or small neighbourhood has a secret corner just waiting to be discovered. Below, we share our list of favourites that you shouldn’t miss. You’re going to love them!

1. Argiñeta necropolis
2. Landaederra
3. Sarria district
4. Axpe district
5. Etxaburu tower house

1. Argiñeta necropolis

Municipality: Elorrio

The necropolis at Argiñeta is one of the most significant funerary monuments in the Basque Country. The stelae inside the Ermita de San Adrián and the tombs outside will transport you back to the period between 7th and 9th centuries. Visit at sunset, when the lights and shadows through the trees in this stunning setting create a truly magical atmosphere.


  • The site contains twenty tombs and five stelae, all of which are made from sandstone from the quarries of the mountain Oiz.
  • The tombs have two parts: a box comprising a single piece carved in human shape; and a lid with a triangular cross section.
  • Some of the tombs bear inscriptions that constitute written evidence of hubs of Christian worship in Biscay.
  • A total of thirteen funerary pieces rest inside the hermitage, while replicas of five of the most interesting pieces sit outside.
  • This outdoor site can be visited any time.

More information: Visit Elorrio

2. Landaederra

Municipality: Durango

Just a short climb from Durango takes you to Orozketa and into another world. Get away from the urban sights and sounds and close to the imposing mass of Mugarra. In Landaederra, enjoy climbing the nearby peaks and use it as a springboard to visit other spectacular places. Let the serene landscape invigorate you for the journey ahead, or stay and enjoy what’s around you.

What to see:

  • The mountain Mugarra
  • Mugarra and Legarmendi quarries
  • Orozketa district
  • Santiago hermitage
  • Mugarrikolanda countryside

More information: Leisure areas, Biscay Local Council

3. Sarria

Municipality: Berriz

The waters of the River Arria and the history of this place have together turned this district of Berriz into an open-air museum. You’ll come across bridges, mills and ironworks from another time, and if you listen carefully they’ll reveal what the inhabitants of old got up to there. Cross the stone bridge to discover the mule trail between the mills and imagine the sound of the water and the millstones.

What to see:

  • San Asensio hermitage
  • Arria tower house
  • Beaskoetxea ironworks

More information: Astola magazine (pg. 44-59)

4. Axpe district

Municipality: Atxondo

Axpe in the Atxondo valley is synonymous with charm, and in this small district the silence around you is palpable. It’s a birthplace of mythology in a bucolic landscape watched over by the mountains Anboto, Larrano, Alluitz and Aitz-Txiki. The wonderful stone dwellings, country houses and beautiful surroundings will transport you into a fairytale.

What to see:

  • San Juan Bautista hermitage
  • San Martín church and coat of arms
  • Arrazola green way

More information: Atxondo Town Hall

Casa Torre de Etxaburu

Municipality: Izurtza

This tower house is built on a huge rock next to the River Mañaria. There are views over the entire region, including the old road that climbed from Durango to Urkiola. Casa Torre de Etxaburu is nestled among hundred-year-old country houses on the valley floor. It was allegedly built over the den of a wild boar that terrorised the surrounding area. The magnificent tower, the legends it holds and the pretty scenery make for a truly charming spot.

What to see:

  • San Nicolas church
  • Bekotorre tower house
  • Azpazar mill
  • Zabala stately home
  • Arane ironworks

More information: Biscay Historical Heritage

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