Five (mean duration 4 and a half hours)
This short excursion is perfect for a family outing to the Urkiola Nature Reserve. Starting from the Urkiola Sanctuary, it heads first towards Mount Urkiolagirre. This low mountain offers unbeatable views of the rocky peaks that form the heart of the Urkiola Nature Reserve. On the other side, the trail passes by Pol-Pol spring, with its ferruginous water, before returning along a simple track that leads back to Urkiola. Those who prefer a longer walk can follow the PR-BI85 trail towards Atxarte and visit the Urgozo and Amilla beech groves.
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. Although you will only find beech trees at the start of this trail, the Urkiola Nature Reserve has many pollarded beech groves. We will show you the location of some of the closest ones, which will give you the perfect excuse to continue exploring the all botanical wealth the area has to offer.
From February to April, when the daffodils come into bloom, the slopes of Mount Urkiolagirre and the top Asuntza col (an area known as Pagazelaiburu, at the foot of Mount Anboto) are an amazing sight to behold. Alternatively, the flowers can also be seen at the Aldazital recreational area, not far from the sanctuary. Please enjoy looking at these wonderful flowers, but remember, they are a protected species and should be respected at all times.
At Pol-Pol spring, if you look around carefully you will discover the rich botanical diversity this well-watered area has to offer. There are several marshes or small wetland areas. These swampy, amphibious environments are located half way between the water and the land, creating small areas with an extremely rich biodiversity, despite their small size.