Gorbeia Natural Park

Gorbeia Natural Park

The Gorbeia Natural Park is located around Gorbeia massif which lies between the provinces of Vizcaya and Álava. It covers 20,016 ha and is the largest Natural Park in the Basque Country. This mountainous area is home to forests of beech, oak and yew, along with pasture land.

There is an interpretation centre (Parketxea) located in the village of Areatza. This is a popular area for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders. There are signposted paths as well as the long and short distance footpaths (GR and PR) designed by the Mountain Federations.

The enormous cross located on the top of the Gorbeia mount has been adopted as a symbol for the park and should be walked to enjoy the views.

Due to its karst origins, the Gorbeia Natural Park is rich with chasms and caves. Mairulegorreta Cave, with over 12 km of galleries and rammed full with stalactites, is one of the most renowned caves, together with the "Itxina Karst".

Goiuria Cascade is an impressive waterfall of over 100 metres high carved out of the rock by Oyardo River.

Deer were introduced in the mid 1900’s and are now found in large numbers. Peregrine falcon, goshawk, short-toed eagle and Egyptian Vulture are all found here. Mammals include marten, polecat and wild cat.

Only on the steep mountainsides of the Gorbeia Natural Park are there banks covered with trees and other vegetation, dense woods of beech, Pyrenean oak, chestnuts - as well as plantations of conifers. The rest is pasture land which is used to feed laxa sheep and cattle.