It is located in the upper part of the wide Ibaizabal valley known by the name of Madura, surrounded by steep and beautiful mountains presided over by the Udalaitz limestone massif and crossed and irrigated by the waters of the river Zumalegui. In an undulating terrain populated by meadows, mills, quarries and water fountains with curative properties, it has scattered around, generally in hills with trees, a good number of neighborhoods or brotherhoods. Elorrio has been a town since it was founded in 1356 by Count Tello, Lord of Vizcaya, separating it from the church of San Agustín de Etxebarria. In order to defend the territory from the neighbouring villages, high walls were built around it.
The 14th and 15th centuries were especially warlike for the Basque Country, which became the scene of the fights between the Oñacinos and the Gamboinos. One of the most outstanding was the Battle of Elorrio in 1468, in which the Gamboinos were victorious, because they used an armament unknown until then in the area, artillery. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were of glory and splendour for Elorrio, who saw how numerous ancestral homes and palaces were built in the town. The town, in the 19th century, knew how to take advantage of its healing waters and spas, joining the fashion that was fostered by an enriched society and a nobility that came here to spend their summer days.
Elorrio lends itself to being walked slowly, walking its streets and admiring every corner, every palace house, every stone cross, every hermitage... The villa has 69 coats of arms that adorn the facades of its ancestral homes. A tourist route through its cruises, stone crosses, some of them unique in Vizcaya, such as the decadent Gothic of 1552 with precious sculpted figures, that of Gurutziaga or Kurutziaga, which indicated the urban limit of the old southern suburbs, will also take the visitor to know Santa Ana, Ganondo, Iguria, Txanberi, Santa Elena, San Juan, Kurutzondo and Kurutzebarri, almost all built in the sixteenth century. In the square where the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción is located, built in the second half of the 15th century and in which its beautiful 17th century bell tower stands out, this basilica church houses, in an Indochinese style chapel, the remains of the first saint of Vizcaya and today its patron saint, Valentín de Berriochoa, who was born in Elorrio in 1827 and whose head was cut off in Tonkin, Vietnam, in 1861, is also located the Town Hall.
Another tourist route, marked on the floor with numbered tiles, leads visitors to discover palaces such as Urkizu Aldatsekua, Alcerreca, Gamarra or Lequerica Ossa, the palace of Arespakotxaga Azkarraga, a baroque building built in 1666, the Zearsolo palace "Casa Jara" whose original nucleus is from the 17th century although the façade facing the square dates from 1934, the Olazabal palace also called Modet, a building from the late 19th century, the Arriola palace, the birthplace of Saint Valentine de Berrio-Otxoa, which is a building from the 17th century.... Of the six gates that the wall had, two remain: the Portal de Don Tello, originally the gateway to the Campo, and the other is the one to the River. The door of the Rosary was demolished and in its place was constructed the present commemorative monument of three arches. Also worth a visit is the church of San Agustín de Etxebarria, in Basque Gothic style, although the current one dates from the 15th century and is built on top of an earlier one from the 11th century. From Elorrio depart tourist and hiking routes that bring you to emblematic and magical places, with spectacular views, approach the Necropolis of Argiñeta, the swing of Mendraka, Mount Besaide or the fountain of love are some of the options.
Elorrio celebrates its big festivities, Ferixa Nausikuak, on the first Sunday in September. In October, on the first Sunday, it celebrates the Errebombillos fiesta in memory of the battle of Lepanto. On the 4th of July the festival is in honour of San Valentín de Berriochoa, who is the patron saint of Vizcaya. In addition, each neighbourhood celebrates its fiesta in honour of its patron saint.
In Elorrio, during festivities, the Trawl Trials or Ox Trials are still held, a competitive tradition in which local men hooked their strongest animals with a large stone to see which had more strength and transported it farther in less time.
In the municipality of Elorrio and some four kilometres south of the town is Mount Besaide, which is the point where the three provinces of the País Vasco meet. In the place an allegorical monument marks the union of three historical Basque territories that join there, Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa as well as a monument to the disappeared mountaineer.
Above the fountain in the square next to the basilica, which is a few hundred years old, there is a legend that everyone, man or animal, who drank from its waters went mad. Hence the name, Iturrizoro or Fountain Loca.
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Elorrio is reached by following the N-636 road that joins it with Durango and Mondragón. The BI-2632 also connects Elorrio with Elgueta and Vergara, and the BI-3321 with Bérriz.
Elorrio has a daily bus service that communicates with Durango and Bilbao at different times..
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