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Did you know that... the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía

 

Protected natural area located to the northwest of the Comunidad Foral de Navarra, between the regions, Barranca, also called Corredor de la Barranca or Corredor del Araquil, to the north, and Tierra Estella to the south, was declared a Natural Park in 1997. The Urbasa and Andía Natural Park covers four areas, the Urbasa mountain range, the Andía mountain range, Mount Limitaciones de las Améscoas and the Urederra River Spring Nature Reserve.

Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía

A bit of history

 

From the remains and vestiges found, dolmens, menhirs, tumuli... it is known that in the area there were population settlements since prehistory, Lower and Middle Palaeolithic, and that its inhabitants, who at first could have been hunters, learned to domesticate animals and became shepherds. This activity has survived in the territory through the ages since these mountains, once royal, enjoyed a unique legal system by which all Navarrese had the right to bring to graze their cattle, make huts and sheepfolds for their shepherds and herds as well as to use firewood and wood to cover their basic needs. Traditional rights that today and as long as they are carried out in accordance with the existing regulations continue to be enjoyed by Navarrese people. At present the territories of this natural park are shared by the great affluence of people who approach them with the intention of enjoying a beautiful and exuberant nature, by the animals that have made the place their habitat, and by the contained and rational cattle exploitations, with their cattle grazing in freedom.

Trail adapted in the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía

What to see in the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía?

 

In the declaration of the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía by Foral Law 3/1997, of 27 February, published in the Official Gazette of Navarre, number 31, of 12 March 1997, it is literally stated that "The mountain ranges of Urbasa and Andía are configured as a natural space endowed with a wide range of geological, biological, ecological, aesthetic, landscape, archaeological and socio-cultural values". These lands, which millions of years ago were covered by marine waters, today show all the environmental, landscape and socio-cultural wealth that it has treasured throughout its history.

Palace of the Marquises of Andía and Dukes of Rivas

The Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía shows us the spectacular contrast of its four zones. The dense forests of Mount Limitaciones, the aridity of the Andía mountain range, or the vertical amphitheatre through which water flows from the underground aquifers of the Urbasa plateau giving rise to incredible places such as the nativity of the river Urederra, receive a multitude of hikers, speleologists, mountaineers and visitors who come to enjoy incredible natural viewpoints such as the Balcony of Ubaba better known as Balcony of Pilate from which dominates the rocky circus of the Nacedero del Urederra and the beautiful valley of Améscoa. Discovering caves, chasms, dolines, ground, pastures, making mythical ascents, entering magical forests of beeches and oaks that share land and water with gall oaks and holm oaks and where foxes, wild boars, badgers, hares, vultures, harriers, Egyptian vultures and real swifts have made their habitat coexisting with sheep, cattle and horses that graze at will providing a typical and colourful photo of the place, are attractive place not to be disdained.

Altiplanicie in the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía

To discover

 

Like any park that prides itself, it is furrowed by paths that take the nature lover to visit the different enclaves, each one with its history and particular beauty, the Path of the Shepherds, the Path of the Fountains, the Path of the Mountaineers, the Enchanted Beechwood... In the Natural Park of Urbasa "Agua del Bosque Salvaje" or "Monte de Agua" and Andía "el Monte Grande" or simply "la Grande" we can also admire singular trees declared natural monuments, such as the oak known as "de la verruga" because its trunk has a bulge of more than one metre in diameter, the beech of the Virgin of Urbasa, located near the fountain of the Mosquitoes, which has in its trunk a niche with the image of the Virgin, "The Sentinel", a gall oak that once had a hole that is said to have served as a sentry box in the Carlist Wars; the yew of Otsaportillo; or the spectacular holm oak of Eraúl. All this has led to the designation of the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía as a Site of Community Importance (SCI) and subsequently the Foral Decree was approved designating it as a Special Conservation Zone (ZEC) to form part of the Natura 2000 Network of Navarre.

Urbasa Mountain Range

Traditions

 

There are numerous pilgrimages that the different villages of the Urbasa and Andía mountain ranges make to the hermitages located in the Urbasa and Andía Natural Park. The day of the Trinity and the 18th of July are celebrated in the hermitage of Santa Marina. On the third Sunday of June the pilgrimage is to the hermitage of San Adrián. Another chapel-refuge that has its pilgrimage is that of San Donato, on the second Sunday in August. The hermitage known as Las Santas, because it is dedicated to saints Nunilo and Alodia, which dominates the Raso de Urbasa and belongs to Eulate, celebrates a pilgrimage on 23 June. Once a year, the Santiago de Lokiz hermitage welcomes the people of the villages to which it belongs and shares it.

 

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Curiosities

 

In the undulating plateau of the Urbasa mountain range you can still see, in total abandonment, the Palace of the Marquises of Andía and Dukes of Rivas which was built at the end of the 17th century by the second Marquis of Andía, Fernando Ramírez de Baquedano. This marquis had civil and criminal jurisdiction in the mountains of Urbasa and Andía and therefore the Court of the Royal Council ordered him to build this house which in turn had to have a prison and chapel. The Marquises never lived in the Palace of Urbasa. In it lived the chaplain of the chaplaincy-abadía and the guardians or caseros of the Baquedano.  With time, the palace became a refuge for shepherds and cattle ranchers as well as for travellers who passed through here. Its main façade still bears the coat of arms of the Baquedano family.

Urederra River

Useful information for visiting the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía

 

The timetable of the Urbasa Information Centre is:

  • From Easter to the end of June it will be open on weekends and public holidays from 11 am to 6 pm.
  • July and August will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • From September to 1st November it is open on weekends and from November to Easter it will be closed.

In the regulations established within the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía for its use and management, the areas of the Sierras of Urbasa and Andía are differentiated from those of the Monte Limitaciones and the Nacedero del Urederra Natural Reserve which have Specific Regulations:

  • In the mountain ranges of Urbasa and Andía the circulation of motor vehicles is limited to the roads that cross it and to the track of Otsaportillo, except for authorised vehicles.
  • The parking of cars is restricted to duly signposted parking spaces and to the lay-bys of the aforementioned roads and tracks, provided that they do not hinder or endanger normal traffic.
  • Mountain biking and horseback riding will only be practiced on roads and tracks for livestock use, unless expressly authorized by the park administration.
  • The dumping of any type of garbage or residue outside the places conditioned for this purpose is prohibited.
  • The burning of vegetation and the lighting of fires outside established or signposted areas, as well as the cutting of wood, firewood and branches without the authorization of the Department of the Environment, Regional Planning and Housing are not permitted.
  • Noises that disturb livestock and wildlife or disturb people's peace and quiet are not permitted.
  • It is not permitted to wash or scrub in fountains, rafts and troughs, as well as to soil fountains, chasms or transit areas.
  • Only pets whose owners can show updated health documentation will be allowed to stay. These animals must be controlled by their owners at all times.
  • For organized sports will follow the provisions of Article 17 of the Plan for the Management of Natural Resources
  • Free camping is forbidden in the whole territory of the mountain ranges of Urbasa and Andía. The park administration may exceptionally authorize camping that is part of an activity consistent with the values of these mountains and provided that you do not spend more than one night in the same place.
  • Speleological activities will be subject to authorisation from the Department of the Environment, Town and Country Planning and Housing.

 

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The Legend

 

In this land of caves and chasms it is said that one day some speleologists in their eagerness to discover the intricacies of one of these chasms met with a dog that scared showed them the fangs, because months ago that in one of their raids had fallen into it and without seeing any human being had survived feeding on the animals that died when they fell into it. When after the animal had taken confidence with the speleologists accompanying them in their adventure, they brought it to the surface, and the dog after showing gratitude by playing between their legs and licking their hands, began to run in the direction of the house of their beloved masters.

 

 

OTHER PLANS AND EXCURSIONS IN NAVARRA

 


Ico_senderosIco rutas flora y faunaIco rutas senderismo con niños en familia

 

 

SOME ROUTES BY NATURAL PARK OF URBASA ANDIA AND SURROUNDINGS

 


Ico rutas patrimonio culturalIco rutas turismoIco rutas patrimonio natural

 

 

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Get to the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía

 

The access to the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía can be done either by the NA-120 road that joins Estella - Lizarra with Echarri Aranatz, or by the NA-718 from Estella - Lizarra or from Olazti - Olazagutía.

 

Once there

 

In different areas of the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía, we will find duly signposted parking places, as it is forbidden to park vehicles outside these areas.

 

 

 

 


SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described, as well as for the misuse of its guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to

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Listado de experiencias
Ana Sanz
Created the 24-09-2019
(5)

Urbasa tiene un montón de sitios para visitar, y alguna de las rutas de senderismo más chulas de Navarra, lo recomiendo.

List of Routes
  • Closeness
  • First name
  • Difficulty
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Assessment
PATHS IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:45 h.7 km.

Enchanted forest of Urbasa
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
FLORA AND FAUNA IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.7.4 km.

The Source of the Urederra
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
PATHS IN FAMILY
1
Difficulty-Low

1:35 h.4 km.

Path of the Source of the River Zirauntza
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little unevenness and without difficulties.
FLORA AND FAUNA PATHS
0
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.6.4 km.

Route of the Centenary Oaks
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding even great distances or slopes.
PATHS IN FAMILY
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:10 h.7 km.

Reservoir of Lareo from Lizarrusti
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding even great distances or slopes.
MOUNTAIN PATHS CULTURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

3:00 h.7.8 km.

Mount Aratz by the San Adrián Tunnel
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and unevenness, not even over great distances or unevenness.
TOURISM
0
Difficulty-Adapted

1:25 h.3.1 km.

Monumental Estella
Difficulty-AdaptedGreen difficulty category, level 1. Itineraries conditioned and prepared for the use and enjoyment of persons with reduced mobility.
MOUNTAIN CULTURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Moderate

3:00 h.7.6 km.

Joar and the Plana from the Sanctuary of Codés
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding routes, either because they are longer, more steep or have a specific difficulty.
WAY OF SAINT JAMES
1
Difficulty-Remarkable

8:20 h.35.1 km.

Stage 05 Cirauqui-Zirauki-Los Arcos
Difficulty-RemarkableRed difficulty category. Level 2. Stages with great slopes or important distances, which require good physical preparation.
PATHS
0
Difficulty-Remarkable

9:20 h.34.8 km.

GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish Section 4 Estíbaliz-Otxandio
Difficulty-RemarkableRed difficulty category, level 2. Routes with great slopes or important distances, which require good physical preparation.
FLORA AND FAUNA IN FAMILY
0
Difficulty-Low

0:35 h.2 km.

Monumental Robles of Jauntsarats
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little slope and without difficulties.
TOURISM
1
Difficulty-Low

72:00 h.521 km.

Route through the charming villages of Navarra
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and unevenness, not overcoming either great distances or unevenness.
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