It is the third largest, but also perhaps the most unknown in the País Vasco, is located in the Cuadrilla de la Montaña Alavesa, southeast of Álava. The territory of the Izki Natural Park belongs to three municipalities, Arraia-Maeztu, Bernedo and Campezo, although the only population centre within the limits of the park is Corres-Korres where the Izki Natural Park Interpretation Centre is also located. In its origins, Izki, around 100 million years ago was a sea, as witnessed by the fossil remains found in the park's limestone rocks, bivalves, corals, algae and other marine life, although fossilised remains of large vertebrates, such as dinosaur eggs, have also been found. Subsequently, geological folding led to the lifting of the seabed, and erosion and the passage of time did the rest and gave rise to the valley crossed by the river that gives it its name, Izki.
The maximum altitude of the Izki Natural Park is marked by Mount Kapildui, with 1177 m. Although small but steep and rocky mountains are the habitat of the golden eagle, peregrine falcon, the alimoche or the vulture. Declared a Natural Park in 1998, it is remarkable that most of the park's surface is forest. Izki Natural Park is home to the largest European reserve of the oak species "Quercus pyrenaica" and the largest concentration of birches in Alava, coexisting with poplars, yews, holm oaks, beeches and chestnut trees. In some areas the water springs have formed wetlands in which live an interesting fauna, amphibians and birds that enjoy the beautiful natural garden that develops in them, such as the white water lily. Artificial caves, rupestrian hermitages, tumuli, archaeological remains... are the cultural and historical heritage that testify to the existence of ancestral settlements in the area.
The Izki Natural Park, surrounded by a very peculiar rural culture, is an ideal place for hiking, walks and excursions on foot, bicycle or on horseback. Landscapes, sickles and rocks, ornithology... you can enjoy any of the 15 hiking routes that cross its territory. The caves eremitic, Gobas, of Marquínez, the medieval locality of Corres-Korres, the lagoon of Olandina, the oak grove of Izki, the ravine of Corres-Korres, the limestone rocks, for the most intrepid mountaineers or climbers, of Soila, La Muela, Kapildui.... are spectacular places that the Izki Natural Park offers as precious destinations to discover, while walking the trails you hear the musicality of the characteristic tenant of its forests, the medium peak, a rare woodpecker.
Izki's forests have lived a great beekeeping tradition, where you can still see curious beehives formed by hollowed out trunks stacked horizontally.
The Izki Natural Park is an area without light pollution which allows you to enjoy the firmament in all its splendour. Next to the Parketxe there is an astronomical observatory, prepared for this purpose.
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There's a very popular saying in the place that says "When the white bird arrives, it doesn't snow anymore." Some alimoche couples usually spend the summer in Izki.
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The main access road is the A-132, a road that links Vitoria-Gasteiz and Lizarra-Estella, in Maeztu we find the road that leads to Corres-Korres. Another possibility is found in the road that joins Santa Cruz de Campezo and Bernedo, passing through Bujanda, it is in this road of communication from where we can detour to the town of Corres. A regular bus service that makes the route Vitoria-Gasteiz - Lizarra-Estella stops at some points near the Izki Natural Park.
In Corres-Korres, in the recreational area, there is a car park with spaces for cars and buses, also in Apellaniz, villa located at the foot of the mountains of Izki, you can park the vehicle in a parking next to the church.
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Izki es un sitio precioso, con un montón de rutas de senderismo y unos pueblos dignos de visitar. Totalmente recomendable.
3:15 h.11.2 km.
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