Breathing is one of the vital needs of any creature, but there is another type of symbolic, intimate and essential breathing that is not regulated by the lungs and the cycles of oxygen and carbon. This process of recharging emotional aquifers is linked to the experiential and nothing better than an overflowing nature to get extra air.
There is no more universal therapy than taking a nature bath and that of Álava offers surpluses capable of satisfying any consumer of natural experiences.
The predominance of green repairs any break in the spirit, pacifies our breathing. Álava is a donor of greens, of spaces of natural comfort in which chlorophyll acts as master of ceremonies. Five its natural parks like five deep breaths.
The Gorbeia Natural Park is located between the historical territories of Bizkaia and Álava, around the 1,481-meter-high Mount Gorbeia. Completing it involves a prize in the form of an 18-meter cross: the Cruz del Gorbeia, where it is convenient to be ecstatic with the panoramic view and breathe freely, in alliance with the eagles, recalling the need for a journey to which they soften beech and oak trees flanking the path.
In addition, it is advisable not to resist listening to the echo of the numerous mythological legends that resonate deaf in the environment or in the history of the Cruz del Gorbeia itself that will evoke the memory of its two ancestors demolished by two other gales.
There are more than 20,000 hectares that this natural park makes available to the grateful lungs of natives and foreigners satisfied by the conquest.
The smallest in area of Alava natural parks, but with the same diversity of ecosystems.
Characters like the Purón River have been in charge of eroding mountains and interrelating meadows and crops.
Nine are the trails enabled for the walker’s recreation. The park’s Interpretation Center, located in Lalastra, offers a complementary perspective to the visitor.
Another attraction of the Valderejo Natural Park is embodied by the presence in its rocky outcrops of the largest griffon vulture colony in the Basque Country.
In this park, forests, rivers and diverse fauna invite you to breathe, in addition to nature, cultural heritage. For this reason, the Izki Natural Park is a magical enclave in which beech, holm oak, gall oak, oak groves, as well as ponds, water lilies, hawks, cows … and rock, especially rock, in the form of limestone massifs like those of Soila and the Muela.
Izki provides the option of delving into caves, hermitages and lime. Another of the park’s stimuli is framed in the medieval town of Korres, an urban harmony that returns the visitor to a prescribed time.
Also noteworthy are the marked trails that can be walked, with ascents to the Belabia and Muela mountains, as well as the route that runs along the cliff from Bujanda to Korres.
The Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park, located between the provinces of Álava and Gipuzkoa, is a reference point for Basque mountaineering.
The Alava town of Araia serves as a starting point to ascend the Aratz (1,443 meters).
The environment gives off a magic from the Urgonian limestones that illustrate the route with ravines, torcas and lapiaces, some of them with their own names such as La Leze or the San Adrián tunnel that connects the two provinces as a breathable umbilical cord.
Made up of an abrupt relief that stands out in Amboto with its 1,331 meters, the Urkiola Natural Park is a nirvana of hikers and mountaineers shared between the provinces of Álava and Bizkaia.
The embrace of the limestone highlights an exuberant biodiversity in which natural forests, thickets, pastures, and forest plantations that host more than a hundred cataloged fauna species alternate.
GREEN ITINERARIES NETWORK
THE NETWORK OF GREEN ITINERARIES OF ÁLAVA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROTECTING THE NATURAL HERITAGE, LANDSCAPE AND BIODIVERSITY. A SUSTAINABLE PROPOSAL TO EMBRACE THE ENVIRONMENT AND OFFER THE VISITOR THE OPPORTUNITY OF A DIRECT CONTACT WITH NATURE.
Reclaimed and enabled paths for hiking and cycling, natural parks, protected biotopes, Ramsar wetlands, Outstanding and Unique Landscapes and the Network of Ecological Corridors make up this environmental framework that allows a respite or several, depending on the moment.
Becoming a pilgrim, listening to the stories of the ancient oak trees, blending into the landscape along the green route of the Zadorra river are some of the natural options that are collected at https://rutasverdes.araba.eus/es/rutas-verdes to complete us the lungs, the mind and the attachment to the territory.
WATER AND PEACE
The multiple shades of blue, an unbeatable version of transparency and the peculiar sound of moving water, make up an environmental magnetism destined to offer that liquid peace that emanates from Alava water in all its manifestations.
SALTO DEL NERVIÓN
The source of the Nervión river -origin of the Bilbao estuary-, is the waterfall of the national territory that saves a greater unevenness with its more than 270 meters of free fall.
It is convenient to settle on the balcony suspended over the Delika canyon to witness a spectacle that interrupts the senses for its majesty.
And to maintain the excitement of the route, we will be able to perceive, if we narrow our eyes and sense of hearing, the howling of the ancestral wolves in the wolfs, buildings peculiar to the area.
The Inglares River seeks to make its way through the Sierra de Cantabria and when it has to save its slopes it becomes waterfalls that the mute of the dense domestic vegetation and envelops with tranquility.
Waterfall and inner peace, a paradox that materializes in the Berganzo Water Route, an itinerary that lasts in the memory of everyone who does it, because few alliances more intimate than those of a watercourse running through one of those forests delighted that they abound in Álava.
A river, the Jaundia; a limestone escarpment with more than 100 meters of elevation difference; an erosive geological process that has been wearing down the rock; a strategic viewpoint; even the legend of a shepherd and a lamia (mythological being of Basque folklore); The result ?: The Gujuli waterfall, a moving water pyrotechnics that requires a visit, discovery or reinforcement, better in autumn or spring, so that the flow shakes the sleeping senses with its roar.
LANDA AND GARAIO BEACHES
Still water, backwater, almost manned water for human use, becomes enjoyment when care has been taken not to attack the natural environment. This is the case on the inland beaches nestled in the Landa and Garaio swamps, an ecosystem in which respiration is slowed down by the surplus of calm, but which also offers the visitor recreational areas for water sports and picnic areas.
The care of the liquid scene is endorsed by the sustained concession of blue flags for the quality of the waters, the cleanliness, the information and the services of some reservoirs that manage to be lakes.
A biotope is understood as a uniform geographic space that shelters a homogeneous diversity of vegetation and fauna. The one in Laguardia is made up of four small endorheic wetlands (without communication with watercourses) that vary in level depending on rainfall. There is an enabled route that borders the largest wetland and that allows you to savor a different landscape inserted in an eminently wine country and observe a wide catalog of birds that stop in Laguardia as a rest on their migratory routes.
The purity of the air is not measured by the absence of pollutants, but by the capacity for emotional renewal that it causes in those who breathe it. Pure air is on its way to becoming a protected species, an exclusivity only available to the privileged. Álava can boast an atmosphere with many carats of purity.
SANTUARIO DE ORO
Its toponymy is not related to the precious metal; one must immerse oneself in the etymologies of the Basque language in order to relate it to prominence, elevation, neckline. High places above the surrounding have often sparked desires for occupation. There are archaeological remains in the area dating back to 750 B.C., but the first historical record of the sanctuary is from 1138.
Magnificent and dominated building, located 850 meters above sea level, it has undergone numerous transformations throughout its history, including a fire that almost reduced it to ruin in 1913.
Today it enjoys a restored splendor and a dual panoramic view that allows you to divide your gaze between the Llanada and the Zuia valley.
Urban parks aim to regenerate the city’s atmosphere. The one in Florida is a great green lung in the heart of Vitoria-Gasteiz, in addition to being an emblematic corner full of history.
Multidisciplinary in its use; evocative for retaining a classicism from another century; pedagogical for hosting a botanical garden inside; landscaped for containing countless plant species; and utilitarian for hosting the seat of the Basque Parliament, Florida Park is an oasis of purity in an urban setting. They are already two centuries exercising as a witness of the breaths of the people of Vitoria when they are looking for a friendly space in which to feel in the middle of nature without leaving the city.