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NaturaUrkiolako Natur Parkea

The mountains of Durangaldea

Montañas de Durangaldea

The mountains of Durangaldea or the Sierra de Anboto are one of the area’s most characteristic features, and together with the other peaks in the area create an alpine feel to the landscape. Running east to west through the southern part of region, they are a truly spectacular sight to behold. Durangaldea’s mountains are part of the Urkiola Natural Park, and these huge, abrupt limestone formations seem to spring up out of the valleys.

Durangaldeko mendiak

The central part of the Sierra de Anboto is made up of the Anboto-Alluitz range and the nearby peaks of Astxiki and Untzillaitz. The Sierra de Aramotz is dominated by the shadow of Mugarra towards the west, and to the east, Ipizte, Orisol and Udalatx. While these mountains are not particularly high, the altitude differences of up to 1,000 m can make for a challenging hike. The entire area also has a rich cultural heritage.

You might not have scaled these peaks before, but if you’ve spent any time in the area you may well have heard of Anboto, Oiz, Udalatx and Mugarra. Each mountain has its own identity.

Anboto (1.331 m)

Durangaldeko mendiak_Anboto

Anboto, along with Gorbea, is among the most beloved mountains in Biscay. Steeped in magic and mythology, it’s a hugely important peak in Basque culture and a must-see for those who love the mountains. There are a number of ways to get to the top. Anboto is one of the dwelling places of the Basque goddess Mari and is visible from many different places across the region.

Udalaitz / Udalatx (1.117 m)

Durangaldeko Mendiak_Udalaitz

This abrupt peak in the Durangaldea mountains has a particularly characteristic shape and is located between the provinces of Biscay and Gipuzkoa. The eponymous Udala district of Arrasate is nestled against its southern slope. Its serrated silhouette is unmistakeable no matter the direction you see the mountain from.

Alluitz (1.040 m)

Durangaldeko mendiak_Alluitz

This is another spectacular peak in the Sierra de Anboto and one of the most captivating mountains in Durangaldea. Both faces have sheer slopes with large limestone buttresses marking the route to the top. Alluitz is another dwelling place of the goddess Mari and has stunning views.

Oiz (1.029 m.)

Durangaldeko mendiak

Also knows as the “Biscay viewpoint”, because it affords uninterrupted views towards the coast and to the first peaks of the western Pyrenees. It is one of the most mythical mountains in Biscay and it forms a long crest along with Zengotitagane. The water that runs off the mountain feeds various river basins in the Cantabrian watershed.

Mugarra (965 m)


One of the most stunning and impressive-looking peaks in Durangaldea, this limestone mass is visible from a great distance. Part of its eastern crest was destroyed by quarry works in Mañaria. Mugarra’s sheer southern face has a some climbing routes.

Untzillatx (941 m)

Durangaldeko mendiak_Untzillaitz

This impressive mountain, like those around it, is made up of very compact coralline limestone. Together with Astxiki it forms one part of the Atxarte gorge between the Mendiola and Mañaria valleys. Some of the rock-climbing routes on its walls are considered classics.

Other mountains in Durangaldea

The mountains we’ve mentioned already are the most famous peaks in the region but by no means the only ones. There’s a long list of mountains of various forms and altitudes, each offering its own challenges and with its own unique scenery and views. Here are just a few of them:

Durangaldeko mendia

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