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Any given place can be appreciated and enjoyed in many different ways. In Durangaldea, our unique mountains can be explored through a variety of activities, whether dangling from a rope or exploring underground. Fancy a spot of climbing or caving?


The rock faces in our region are particularly suited to climbing and those that practise this sport know the place well. The most popular climbing zone is Atxarte, but over the last few years more areas have been set up nearby.

The Besaide climbing zone was set up in winter 2013-2014. It has 23 routes on a wall located just 20 minutes from the new Besaide monument. They vary from 13 to 30 metres longs and are rated 5a to 7b. The different difficulty classifications of the routes and the different rock types mean the area caters to new climbers and experts alike.

How to get there
The best way to the wall is by car or on foot from Elorrio. Take the forest track from Elorrio towards Besaide and after 5 km you’ll reach the Besaide monument. Access by car is permitted but please exercise common sense and respect pedestrians and cyclists.

You don’t need to go as far as the monument to reach the climbing wall. Take the track that starts around 4 or 5 metres from the Besaide fountain.

Anyone can use the climbing wall but it is advisable to be a member of a club and have a basic knowledge.

More information

Climbing routes from Besaide (Photograph: Untzillaitz Sur)

The Atxarte gorge separates the hills called Axtxiki and Alluitz in Abadiño, part of the Urkiola Natural Park. It’s the best-known spot among rock climbers, with more than 400 routes rated IV to 8b set within an amazing landscape. The highly compact gray limestone walls reach heights of up to 150 metres. Climbing is regulated within the natural park to protect the birds nesting in the crags. Take care not to disturb them.

How to get there
Take the B-632 to Atxarte, picking up a local road from Muntsaratz towards Mendiola. After a few km you’ll come to a quarry. If you travelled by car, park it there. The direction to take next depends on your chosen climbing route.

Aurrekoatxa (Photograph: Abadiño Town Hall)

Located near Ametzorbe (600 m), a hill made up of various sandstone blocks, which makes it suitable for climbing. There are two climbing areas on Ametzorbe: Ametzorbe Sur and Ametzorbe Norte (south and north, respectively).

The highest point of the northern block is around 13 to 15 metres and there are 18 routes rated 5 to 7a.

The rock in the southern block is more compact and suited to new climbers, with 29 routes rated 4c to 6a.

How to get there
Many people don’t know about Ametzorbe. but it’s highly suited to climbing and is easy to get to. The best option is to leave your car at the picnic area on the road from Oiz, climbing from either Garai or Goiuria. From there, pick up the trail through pine forest until you come to a hut and Ametzorbe itself.

(Photograph: Untzillaitz Sur)


Another great way to explore this area is by heading underground to explore the amazing caves of the Urkiola Natural Park.

Cueva Marco
This cave in Mañaria in one of the few that’s also suited to a spot of archaeology. The cave entrance is hidden by the undergrowth but once inside you’ll enter a hidden world of stalactites and stalagmites, columns, rimstone, flowstone and tubular stalactites. You’ll need to climb and squeeze through small holes to enter the rooms situated at different levels of the cave.

The cave can be visited year-round and is suitable for people age 10 and up. The visit lasts around 3 or 4 hours and an expert caver will lead the group.

After your visit to the Marco cave, check out the cave paintings in the nearby Askondo cave.

Visit the cave.

(Photograph: Inguru Abentura)

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