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The first steps of the GR 38, from Oyón to Laguardia

From the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria to the wild Cantabrian Sea, muleteers used to leave in the past, carrying wine, wheat and vinegar in their carts from Oyón, in the Rioja Alavesa, to the ports of Bermeo, Lekeitio and Ondarroa, where, once their goods were unloaded, they returned loaded with the precious fish. This GR 38 is known as the Route of the Wine and of the Fish because it follows the paths that these hard-working muleteers once took.

GR 38 Route of the Wine and of the Fish Section 1 Oyón-Laguardia

The GR 38 Route of the Wine and of the Fish Section 1 Oyón-Laguardia starts from the wine town of Oion in Alava, whose historical importance is reflected in the Palace of the Counts of Bureta or in the Palace of the Marquis of the Port. From there, this emblematic GR begins, taking us into the colourful landscape of the vineyard under the watchful eye of the steep mountains that make up the Cantabrian and Toloño mountain ranges. A route that is accompanied in part by other important paths such as the GR 99 also known as the Path Natural of the Ebro. A GR from which we will say goodbye on our way through Assa, one of the towns we will visit in this stage between Oyón and Laguardia.

GR 38 Route of the Wine and of the Fish Section 1 Oyón-Laguardia

The imposing river Ebro greets us at this point and we quickly leave it as we undertake a new up and down journey that will take us to the town of El Campillar, a magnificent place to recover our strength for the final stretch of this stage of the GR 38. This route will take us to a paradise for birds, the Lagunar Complex of Laguardia, an unbeatable habitat that is used by many birds as an obligatory stop in their migrations. The Ignatian Way, signposted as GR 120, has been with us for some kilometres and will guide us until we reach the medieval town of Laguardia, but not before allowing us to enjoy the magnificent landscape that precedes it, before stopping and following, in this town, our journey along the GR 38 Route of the Wine and of the Fish.​

GR 38 Route of the Wine and of the Fish Section 1 Oyón-Laguardia

The Legend

Legend has it that many years ago, when the muleteers still travelled these roads from north to south and from south to north carrying their precious loads, one of these hard-working travellers, either motivated by his desire to finish the journey, or by the desire to deliver his load and start a new one, or by his youth, disregarding the advice of his fellow muleteers, who were older and more experienced than he, decided to continue with his route even at the risk of facing the great storm that his companions predicted. The latter, safe in their shelter, saw their predictions fall short in comparison with the impressive storm that occurred. The day after they arrived at their destination they found to their dismay that nothing was known of their young companion, and nothing was known anymore, beyond some stories of muleteers who tell that on stormy days they have been able to see the blurred silhouette of a muleteer, his wagon and his mules struggling with the storm.

How to get to Oyón

Several roads lead to Oyón, such as the A-2126, which links it to Logroño on one side and to Yécora and Lapoblación on the other. You can also get there by following the A-3226, which joins it to the N-232a between Logroño and Laguardia and to the neighbouring town of Moreda de Álava. In turn, Oion also has a daily intercity bus service that connects it with the different towns in its surroundings as well as with Vitoria and Logroño. Once there, we will have different areas where we can park our vehicle and go to the starting point of the GR 38.

Pet area, hiking with my dog

Except for the abrasive asphalt, this first stage of the GR 38 should not create many complications for our partner, but we will have to be extremely careful at crossroads and road sections.

It is essential to bring water and food for him as it will be a few hours with hardly any shade and no areas where he can drink or we can buy some food for our dog.

Except for other pets that are doing the route and the dogs that surely we have to find in the towns where it passes, it is not usual to find more animals.


Description of the GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish section 1 Oyón - Laguardia

From Oion - Oyón to Assa 6.7 Km

The church of Santa María de la Asunción, in Oyón (0h 00min) marks the starting point of this GR 38.

We start the GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish, section 1 Oyón Laguardia

We continue for a few meters, direction Logroño, the road that crosses Oion from the nearby Sierra Cantabria.

The GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish runs through the streets of Oyón

At this point we reach the junction with the road that connects the town with the national road that leads to Vitoria and which we must continue.

The GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish continues on the right

This relatively short stretch of road takes us without further ado to the outskirts of Oion where we encounter a new detour that we must follow.

We follow the GR 38 marks on the left

This new street that we are crossing crosses a residential area, soon we will arrive at a new junction where the asphalted track begins that will guide us from now on.

The Wine and Fish Route bids farewell to Oion

This conditioned path definitely takes us out of Oyon leaving it behind us. There will be many crossroads with other paths that we will encounter at every step and that we will have to leave behind us without deviating from our course.

The GR 38 follows a perfect asphalt track

We will see ourselves navigating through an authentic sea of vineyards under the attentive gaze of the mountains that await us in the next sections of this GR 38.

An undemanding section of the Route of the Wine and of the Fish

The profile of this section of the Route of the Wine and of the Fish is not so demanding as to wear us out too much, although it does force us to a continuous up and down. The typical marks of the GR leave no room for doubt in the different junctions we encounter.

The GR 38 changes direction abruptly

After a while we reached the point and end of our paved track. On our left, another path quickly emerges that we must follow and forces us to make a sharp turn to the right, in order to recover our lost orientation.

Watch out for the GR 38 marks

After a few metres, we will again reach another junction where we must once again follow the path to the left. This dirt track, in quite good condition, will guide us in this area of the stretch between Oyón and Laguardia of the GR 38.

The GR 38 continues without further detours

As up to now we keep running into more crossroads, well signposted, which we will leave behind without turning back.

We see our destiny still far away

In the distance we can already sense our still distant destiny today. The stony track becomes again a paved road where we will start to lose height in search of the nearby Ebro Valley.

La Ruta del vino y del pescado afronta un peligroso tramo de carretera

This fast descent takes us to the encounter with the national road that joins Logroño and Laguardia, through which, being extremely careful, we will continue to reach Assa (1h 40min).​

From Assa to El Campillar 1.8 km

The GR 38 crosses Assa and turns right

We continue along the national road that crosses Assa until we find the crossroads with the road that leads to the town of Lanciego, a road that we will continue along, saying goodbye to the GR 99 Natural Path of the Ebro that accompanied us until here.

The Wine and Fish Route finally leaves the road

A few meters of steep ascent brings us closer to the beginning of the cemented path we have to follow, saying goodbye to the road that brought us here.

We face up to the sections in worse condition

This initially steep cement road reaches its end, leaving us at the beginning of this section of the route of the wine and of the fish in worse condition.

The GR 38 returns to the tracks and paths in good condition

A battered road that, not far away, brings us back to the conditioned asphalt tracks we were used to.

The Campillar can already be seen in front of us

We then began to lose the height gained while following this new paved road. A path that, after crossing the small Assa river, leaves us at the mercy of the road that leads to El Villar.

The GR 38 continues on the other side of the road

Luckily, a few meters to our right we will see in front of us the pass that allows us to avoid the road.

This battered stretch of the Wine and Fish Route comes to an end

This short and battered stretch of old path ascends until it meets a dirt track that comes from the nearby town we are heading for.

We cross El Campillar

El Campillar (2h 10min) awaits us almost half way through today's route, allowing us to make a stop to recover the energy lost that will allow us to face the long stretch that awaits us.

From El Campillar to Laguardia 8.5 Km

With hardly any detour we say goodbye to El Campillar facing a new ramp that will take us out of the town.

The GR 38 follows the path on the left

Luckily we will not have to go up this ramp in its entirety as we will quickly make a detour in search of the national road that leads to Laguardia.

The wine and fish route crosses the national

National road that we will cross with the due precaution that it requires, to continue the march to the other side. From now on, we will travel, almost until the end, through a conditioned asphalted path that will be in charge of leading us in this final section.

The GR 38 remains without for now without any further detours

Of course, we will meet again with many junctions that we will leave behind us. This part of the first stretch of the GR 38 is the most demanding of all the stretches we have travelled.

The Ignatian Way GR 120 joins us

Almost at the end of the hard ascent, our Route of the Wine and of the Fish joins its route to the Ignatian Way, which is signposted as GR 120.

The Wine and Fish Route follows the paved road at all times

Little by little we are approaching our final destination with our eyes set on the steep mountains that await us on the next stage of this GR 38.

The GR 38 reaches its old detour

After a while we arrive at one of the crossroads that can generate more doubts, because in many official brochures as well as in many hiking websites even today they still describe the old route that this GR 38 followed and that forced us to turn right to go through the lakes that precede Laguardia on that slope. If we choose this option, we will not have the typical marks of all the GR routes and we will have to follow the signs of the Green Route of the Lagoon Complex of Laguardia, which follows this old route.

We follow the new route of the GR 38

At present, after the creation or rather after the enlargement of the GR 120, both long-distance trails have been unified as they pass through Laguardia. We continue then obeying the red and white marks of the GR and without taking any detour we let ourselves be guided by the paved track that brought us here.

We follow the asphalt track at all the crossroads without deviating from the GR 38

A track that allows us to enjoy some of the lakes that make up this complex offering us, in addition, the possibility of approaching some of its observatories.

The GR 38 crosses the road once again

A good stretch further on, our track ends when it meets the well-known national road, which we must cross in order to continue on the other side.

We continue towards Laguardia

We're going through a residential area that's coming to an end very quickly.

The GR 38 follows the path on the right

Almost immediately, we will have to abandon the paved track we were walking on to continue in search for another lagoon in the resort.

The old and new routes of the GR 38 are joined

This dirt road, when it reaches the height of the lagoon that we are going to border in part, joins the old course of the GR 38 that arrives by our right.

We bordered the lagoon

Already together, we will have a pleasant walk along the limits of this beautiful lagoon.

The GR 38 bids farewell to the Lagoon Complex of Laguardia

A walk that reaches its end after passing the second of the fences that we will meet and that prevent the passage of vehicles.

The Route of the Wine and of the Fish sets course to the nearby Laguardia

A short stretch of path that leads to the dirt track that will take us to the town we are about to visit.

The GR 38 arrives in Laguardia

The first houses of Laguardia welcome us with a steep street that we will not be able to climb all the way up, as the GR 38 Route of the Wine and of the Fish turns radically to get into Laguardia (4h 35min).​

Section 1 Oyón Laguardia of the GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish reaches its end

This street on the outskirts of Laguardia is the point and end of the section between Oyón and Laguardia and will be the starting point of the next stage of the GR 38.


Technical data sheet of the route

ico-distancia-totalDistance. 17Km

In the final part it is relatively easy to get confused and follow the old route, otherwise the distance increases considerably.

ico-tiempo-totalTime. 4:35h

If we decide to follow the old route of the GR 38 we will have to add 2 km more approximately to the total, which will mean another 30 minutes more or less of journey.

ico-calendarioTime of year

It goes without saying that autumn is possibly the time to cover this stretch of the GR 38, although we should not neglect other times of the year such as spring or certain days in winter. The summer, on the other hand, can turn it into a calvary if the heat is too hot.

ico-materialRequired equipment

We must not forget that we are in the middle of nature so it is important to equip ourselves properly. It is true that the conditioning of much of the route allows us to use for example a lighter shoe, such as hiking shoes. It is important to take water with you, as we will not have many points to drink or restock along the route. With hardly any shaded areas, protection from the heat and sun is vital to avoid complications. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.

ico-dificultadDifficulty. Medium


Even if we choose to follow the old route of the GR 38 when it arrives at Laguardia, which is a little longer than the current one, we are facing a distance that for this kind of paths should not suppose great complications. As for the unevenness, it is true that we will have continuous slides all along the route, but it is only in the final part where we will find ramps of a certain size and distance.

Severity of the environment

Given the importance that the vineyards have in this land the paths that follow, in this area, the route of the wine and of the fish are generally quite well taken care of and even asphalted almost in its entirety. With the exception of a couple of short stretches that are a bit rough, it is the stretches on the road and the junctions with them that will cause us the most complications and danger.


Perfectly signposted in its entirety, it is the accumulation of the signs that accompany the different routes and trails with which we will coincide that can give us the most headaches. We must also take into account the variation that the GR 38 has suffered on its arrival in Laguardia, as it is not well reflected in many of the places that describe the route.

Important places to pass through
1-Oyón - Oion 0:00h 433m 0Km 30T 546185 4706149
2-Assa 1:40h 384m 6.7Km 30T 540418 4707600
3-El Campillar 2:10h 410m 8.5Km 30T 539265 4707409
4-Laguardia 4:35h 597m 17Km 30T 534241 4711431

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

Profile of the route

Profile GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish Section 1 Oyón-Laguardia

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 727m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 445m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 282m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 597m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 384m

Cartography, maps and tracks

Map of the GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish Section 1 Oyón-Laguardia

This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.

Topographic map of the GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish Section1 Oyón-Laguardia


This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 170-4 y 171-3, 25.000"

Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems with the reception of the GPS signal. In any case the tracks are always approximate. SENDITUR encourages you to use the new technologies within your reach, using them as support and consultation in your activity, not basing the realization and orientation of the same only and exclusively on them, since they may see their functioning altered by very diverse causes, not functioning correctly and their indications may not be precise.

Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption in Oyón
GR 38 Route of the Wine and of the Fish Stage 1 Oyón-Laguardia
Laguardia from the GR 38 Route of the Wine and of the Fish Stage 1 Oyón-Laguardia
Lagunar Complex of Laguardia
Park in Oion
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¿Did you know that...

The GR 38, also known as the Route of the Wine and of the Fish, has at present a distance of approximately 208 km distributed in 7 main stages between Oyón and Bermeo and 3 additional sections that correspond to the variants that from Maskagorta arrive to Lekeitio and Ondarroa respectively.

Don't miss out...

The ancient Roman bridge of Mantible, which although in a poor state of conservation, its history, which dates back to the second century, and the importance it held in the communications and disputes of the time, is well worth a look. To reach it we will have to deviate for a moment from the route shortly before reaching the town of Assa.


Go to What to see in Álava 8 magical places

Go to Hiking equipment What to bring?


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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.



Besides sharing with all of us your experience on the route we would be grateful if you could write to us to inform us of any erroneous or outdated information you may have found, or simply to let us know what you think at Thank you.

This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 15-08-2018. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.

All the times are approximate and take an orientative character, the stops have not been taken into account, no matter how small they are. All the information related to the route, texts, images, videos, maps, diagrams, tracks, towns, and places of tourist interest are published as a guide, and may not coincide with the current state of each place. Before undertaking any activity, assess your technical knowledge, your physical condition, find out about the weather and the variations that the route may undergo, equip yourself correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, and do not exceed your capabilities. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inappropriate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications as well as its electronic guides, nor for any variations in their descriptions for the aforementioned reasons, and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. We also encourage you to read books and specialised guides to complement the information described above.

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