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Did you know that... the Irati Forest

 

It is in the Navarro Pyrenees, at the head of the valleys of Aezkoa and Salazar and surrounded by mountains such as the Orzanzurieta, Orhi and the Sierra de Abodi. The Irati Forest is an extensive territory made up mostly of beech woods but where firs and pastures can also be seen. Since the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries its forest has been exploited by the inhabitants of the valleys, but in a rational and controlled way, respecting at all times the great ecological value that represents the area.

The Irati Forest

A little more history

 

The technique used was that of successive thinnings, and always maintained a number of trees to ensure the natural repopulation of the forest. Wood was used in construction, and its quality was such that in the 18th century it was used to build the masts of ships. From the forest they also obtained leaves and acorns for cattle as well as charcoal that was used in the home of the houses. The entire jungle is a Special Bird Protection Zone, ZEPA, in addition to protected areas such as Natural Reserve and Integral Reserve. The way of working and exploiting the forests has changed a lot in the course of the centuries and in Irati it could not be any other way but always maintaining the good ways of doing things.

 

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To discover What to see in the Irati Forest?

 

The Irati Forest also offers its playful and contact with nature. Walks and hiking trails along its signposted paths on foot or by bicycle, even in winter with snowshoes or skis, will lead the visitor to find paradisiacal corners in which among the intensely beautiful and changing polychromy of its flora you can hear the sound of its abundant fauna in spring, summer and especially in autumn with the bellowing of the roe deer, a time of zeal for them, with which they try to attract females, contrasting with the soundproof music of winter. If you want to contemplate the environment from above, the ascents to the mountains that surround the Irati Forest allow it, although the most emblematic and almost obligatory, being the first two thousand in the Pyrenees, is the ascent to the Orhi peak that offers spectacular panoramic views of the Irati Forest and the entire Pyrenees.

Irati River in the Irati Forest

Traditions

 

It is a tradition that in the communal forests the neighbors of the zone to which they belong receive a lot of trees or wood. The neighbors of the Salazar and Aezkoa Valleys receive, from their forests, the corresponding lots of firewood, and they can collect mushrooms and mushrooms, blackberries, blueberries and wild apples for the elaboration of liquors.

 

Curiosities

 

After the Black Forest in Germany, the Irati Forest is the largest and best preserved beech and fir forest in Europe.

Irati Forest Site

Useful information for visiting the Irati Forest

 

The Irati Forest Interpretation Centre is located in the town of Ochagavía. Nature Interpretation Centre, calle Labaria, 21. It is open all year round. Telephone of information is the 948 890 641. In Virgen de las Nieves, that is arrived by Ochagavía, there is another point of information, but it is only opened the weekends in average season and every day in high season. Another information point for the Irati Forest is in Arrazola, through Orbaitzeta, one kilometre from the district of Larraún and it is also open on weekends in the middle season and every day in the high season. Casas de Irati is the visitor information and welcome centre and the telephone number is 948 050 700.

 

The Legend

 

It is not a legend, but a curious anecdote, and that is that the first truck that entered the Irati Forest to make the first forest track, was disassembled and hung along 18 km of cable. The deer with which the forest was repopulated in the 1960s were introduced in the same way. 

 

 

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Get to Ochagavía

 

There are quite a few towns from which we can access, in one way or another, the Irati Forest given its size, one of them is the town of Ochagavía. We arrive at this locality following the NA-140 that reaches Ochagavía from the N-135 that joins Pamplona with Roncesvalles, finding the detour shortly before arriving at Roncesvalles, just in the section that goes from Espinal to Burguete. This same road NA-140 but on the other side connects Ochagavía with Isaba and France. You can also get there via the NA-178, which links the A-21 motorway between Pamplona and Jaca with the NA-140 in Ezcároz, a neighbouring town of Ochagavía, at Lumbier.​

 

Once there

 

As you come to the town from Ezcároz, just before crossing the bridge over the river that separates us from the village of Ochagavía, you will find the crossroads where the road that will take you to the Irati Forest begins. Continue along this road, leaving the village on your right, going up the course of the river Zatoia. This road will take us without loss after a few kilometres to the Irati Houses, where the visitor information and welcome centre and the place to leave our vehicle are waiting for us.

 

 

 

 

Get to Orbaizeta

 

Orbaizeta, which is in the valley of Aezkoa, has its access from the town of Aribe in full NA-140 road that the N-135 between Pamplona and Roncesvalles with Ezcaróz near Ochagavía.

 

Once there

 

We must cross the town following the road we arrived on, for a few kilometres later we leave on our left the detour towards the Orbaizeta Ammunition Factory and continue on the road on the right that leads us to the different areas where we can leave our vehicle and from where the multiple routes that begin in this area start.

 

 

 


SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described as well as 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
Natalia Cruz
Created the 22-07-2016
(5)

Yo lo visite en otoño y es una pasada de sitio, si podéis no os lo perdáis.

List of Routes
  • Closeness
  • First name
  • Difficulty
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Assessment
FLORA AND FAUNA PATHS
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:30 h.8.4 km.

Zabaleta Forest Trail
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
PATHS CULTURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:45 h.10 km.

Errekaidorra's interpretative path
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Low

0:10 h.1 km.

Cave of Arpea
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little slope and without difficulties.
MOUNTAIN
1
Difficulty-Medium

1:45 h.4.8 km.

Mount Ori from the Col of Larrau
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.4 km.

Footbridge of Holzarte
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
WAY OF SAINT JAMES
1
Difficulty-Moderate

5:35 h.21.7 km.

Stage 02 Orreaga-Roncesvalles-Zubiri
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category. Level 1. More demanding stages, either because they are longer, with a greater unevenness or present a specific difficulty.
IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.4 km.

Gorges of Kakueta
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
MOUNTAIN WAY OF SAINT JAMES
2
Difficulty-High

8:05 h.24.8 km.

Stage 01 Saint Jean Pied de Port-Roncesvalles
Difficulty-HighRed Difficulty Category, level 3. Mountain stages in low-lying terrain, where there are no major difficulties. They need sufficient experience and training for this type of terrain. These are fairly "easy" itineraries with gentle mountain slopes.
WAY OF SAINT JAMES
1
Difficulty-Remarkable

7:05 h.23.5 km.

Stage 01b Variant of Valcarlos
Difficulty-RemarkableRed difficulty category, level 2. Stages with large slopes or important distances, which require good physical preparation.
PATHS
0
Difficulty-Medium

1:25 h.4.8 km.

Way of Zemeto
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
MOUNTAIN SNOW
0
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.5.5 km.

Snowshoe Circuit The Ferial
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
MOUNTAIN
1
Difficulty-Medium

1:40 h.4 km.

Ascent of the Peak Arlas
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
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Royal Eugi Ammunition Factory
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