This beautiful trail links the capital of the Durangaldea region with one of its foremost natural treasures: the Urkiola Nature Reserve. We suggest you start at the top of the Urkiola mountain pass, which you can get to by catching a bus from Durango. After having a look round the sanctuary and enjoying the amazing scenery and surrounding mountains, you will head down along the traditional road from the San Martín chapel to Mañaria, following the red and white GR38 marks (Wine and Fish Trail). Before arriving in Izurtza, the trail leads away from the road and heads right through the Lexartza and Etxano neighbourhoods. The route takes you into Durango through Tabira, the town’s medieval quarter. Before leaving the old part of town, why not stop and visit the Museum of Art and History?
Elements of botanical interest
Pollarded beech groves
The easiest way to learn more about pollarded beech trees is to visit the pollarded beech groves around the Urkiola Sanctuary. Pollarding is a specific method of pruning trees that results in the characteristic candelabra shape of these beeches.
One-hundred-year-old chestnut trees around San Martin Chapel
There are several one-hundred-year-old chestnut trees in the area around San Martin Chapel. In addition to their beauty and age, some of these trees are fascinating also for other reasons. For example, one has a large birch tree growing inside it, and another has been broken in half by a large conifer.
Wonderful holm oaks in Extano
This small farming neighbourhood contains a number of old holm oaks.
Amazing trees in Pinondo Square
This square, which once formed part of a private garden belonging to a local resident who made his fortune in the Americas, is today a public park. Some of the ‘green giants’ it contains include a Lebanon cedar, an Atlas cedar and a huge sequoia.
Uresandi dam and waterfall
Not too far off the suggested route, near Izurtza, you will find a pretty dam and waterfall shaded by a thick gallery forest running along the banks of the River Mañaria.