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NaturaXarmadun Txokoak

Garai, nature and peace

Durangoko auzoak

Increasingly more people are drawn to this small municipality in the Durangaldea region. And it’s no wonder, since Garai really has it all: spectacular landscapes, beauty, peace… it’s a wonderful opportunity to escape the city noise or work stress and recharge your batteries.

Garai sits on the lower slopes of the mountain Oiz and is surrounded by forests. It’s a beautiful scene, and as you stroll through Garai’s narrow streets you’ll feel protected and enjoy a real sense of peace and tranquillity.

Garai covers an area of 7.2 square km and is spread across various small dispersed neighbourhoods, though most of its 334 inhabitants live in the San Miguel area. Throughout history, this area has primarily relied on agriculture and livestock farming.

Garai is 306 metres above sea level, which makes for some spectacular scenery. A variety of recreation areas enable you to enjoy views of almost the entire Durangaldea region.


Garai is also a perfect place for history and architecture lovers, with sights such as the Ermita de San Juan and necropolis. A settlement was built here in the 2nd century CE and the hermitage became the social and religious centre for the village. Next to the hermitage is a necropolis that supposedly dates back to 9th century.

Castro de Tromoitio: this old fort is on the route to the Ermita de Santa Catalina, after a climb of around 700 metres. The defensive walls are still visible today, and the panoramic views from the fort are beautiful.

Ermita de Santa Catalina: you’ll find this hermitage at the crossroads between the trail to the Tromoitio fort and the road down to the centre of Garai. It was built by the Dunaiturri country house and later reconstructed in 1773. There is a sarcophagus and a cross in front of the building.

san juan momoitio garai

Garai Goitia palace (Garatikua): built by Lope de Garai in 1574. A family inscription about the founding of the hamlet sits above the central arch on the facade.

One of the biggest attractions in Garai is its hundred-year-old holm oak tree called La Encina de Etxeita (the Etxeita Holm Oak). It is a specially designated tree in the Basque Country, with a diameter of more than 19 metres and a crown with a 60-metre circumference. There are tales of a flock of 360 sheep taking refuge under its shade.

If you visit Garai on Día de Santiago (a celebration of St James on 25 July), you can enjoy the famous “Dantzari dantza” and “Agintariena” dances.

Garai really is a place where anyone can spend a beautiful and enjoyable day out, and there’s no better way to really get to know the area than by taking a guided tour. That way, you won’t miss a thing.

After soaking up the beauty and enjoying something great to eat, you’ll return home smiling, with renewed energy and ready to tackle what life has to throw at you.

Garaia paisaiak

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