The headwaters of the Iruela and Tobía valleys house this GR 93 section 2 San Millán de la Cogolla-Anguiano.
A varied landscape marked by the magnificent rocks that serve as habitat for different birds such as the rupícolas and surrounded by lush forests of beeches, holm oaks and rebollos that give way to pastures for livestock. 21.2 km of route that will take us from the Renaissance Monastery of Yuso, known as "El Escorial de La Rioja" to say goodbye to the valley of the river Cardenas to enter the Sierra de Pradilla, ascending the gentle hillsides to the corrals of Ortuño, at the head of the river Iruela, to cross the foothills of the mountain in search of the corrals of Ocijo, which give way to the valley of the river Tobía.
From here, after contemplating the privileged views that the place offers, we will begin a quick descent that will take us to Tobía and its parish church of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles. Observed by the rocks, which in addition to countless birds also houses the hermitage of San Quiles, we will arrive at Matute where in the square awaits us the church of San Román of the sixteenth century. The route, with some gentle slope, now goes in search of the ruins of the Convent of La Granja that gives way to the valley of Najerilla, not before saving a last hill that is put in our route.
Accompanied by the famous Peña Reló, which serves the inhabitants of Anguiano to know what time it is, we arrive at the steep ravine where the Mother of God Bridge serves to save this gorge formed by the mighty Najerilla and reach Anguiano and its three neighborhoods. From Anguiano we also have the possibility of following the section of the GR trail that links this GR 93 with the GR 190 in the Monastery of Valvanera.
San Millán de la Cogolla can be reached via the LR-331 from Bobadilla or following the LR-205 from the nearby town of Berceo, where the different access roads converge from the A-12 Camino dual carriageway and the N-120 between Logroño and Burgos, well signposted as " Route of the Monasteries". We can arrive by the LR-206 from Azofra or Santo Domingo de la Calzada and from Nájera by the LR-113, which joins it with Salas de los Infantes, taking the detour of the LR-205 that will take us to Berceo and then to San Millán de la Cogolla, which also has an interurban bus service every day. Once there the enclosure of the monastery is located on the other side of the accesses to the town of San Millán de la Cogolla, so we must cross from side to side by its main street or by the road that surrounds it and that we find, as we come from Berceo, a little before reaching the town. This road will lead us directly to the entrance to the Monastery of Yuso, where we will find the information centre and next to it a car park where we can leave our vehicle.
We begin this route in the parking lot of the Monastery of Yuso (0h 00min) from where we leave by the Main Street bordering the walls of the enclosure. Right here, where the monastery walls turn right to descend towards the river, we ignore the GR signs, as they take us straight down the main street to the town hall square and then turn right and descend back in search of the monastery walls, where the route continues.
Go down the street that continues next to the monastery wall and join again with the official GR line, you reach the point where on your right is the path that comes from Ezcaray and leaving it behind continue along the cement track that on the left follows parallel to the river.
We arrive at the road that goes towards Estollo, following it and as soon as we cross the river Cárdenas to our right, we see a road that next to a wall goes up again the course of the river as if it wanted to take us back to San Millán.
Leaving the riverbed on the right, go along the wide path with grass in the centre and good firm, leaving a detour to the left and continuing on the right. After a short time, we leave the path we are taking and enter another on the left, with many more grasses in the centre that blur it almost completely.
Now the path seems to be part of a grain field, disappearing almost completely, at the end of the grain field we leave it turning right to enter a path delimited by the shrubs on its sides.
The path becomes a trail that climbs up through the holm oak forest. When its thickness leaves us, we see how the village from which we have departed becomes smaller with each step, and when we gain height we can see it in all its extension.
In a valley we must ignore a path that goes out to our left, we continue by the same one that we carry. We leave the forest to a plateau, where to the right we see some rocks. For the moment we leave the path and approach them, having from there some wonderful views that should not be missed, the valley of San Millán, the Sierra of La Demanda.
We return to our way that already in this point widens and becomes a track returning to enter the forest, arriving to wrap us a little darkness, we leave the forest and we begin to descend, already without trees, if we look to the right we can observe the town of Lugar del Río.
It is at this point where we clearly see that we are changing valley. We walk along a meadow from where we see that there are several trails that come out to our right and that seem to climb to the highlands. But the track we take is completely defined so it is easy to follow.
We ascend by the track in which not taking long we see some buildings that are the Corrals of Ortuño (1h 35min).
At this point we arrive at a crossroads, here we have to take the one on the left in a descending direction. If you want to visit the refuge or if you need to make use of it we should take the one on the right which takes us to its door, the refuge has a chimney and a couple of tables with benches.
Once the visit is over, we return to the point where we left off and head towards a pine grove, while to our left we can see the whole valley and the background of Sierra Cantabria. The path goes along this pine forest in ascending direction being wide and of good firm, with grass in the ground.
We arrive at a crossroads where we must go to the right and continue ascending, a few meters our route makes an almost round turn to the left to take another track, leaving the one we carry.
Shortly after, we come to a crossroads where we must go straight on, going up gently, leaving both to the right and to the left the paths we have crossed. We leave the big track just in a curve turning to the left. The path narrows and gradually turns into a trail that penetrates the forest, fading at each step but maintaining the same height.
We follow the GR marks and when we see that on our right the thickness of the leafy forest seems to clear, we must turn right and leave the trail that descends into the forest, go towards what looks like a hill.
We leave to a clear area where a wide path leads to a wider one that gradually turns around the valley, we reach a crossroads where we see the rest of a building on our left, we direct our steps towards it arriving at the Corrals of Ocijo (2h 55min).
We go down the walls of the corrals and just past the last one, just in front of its corner, the itinerary turns radically to the right and begins to descend a slope to look for a trail that penetrates the forest almost parallel to the track that brought us here.
This entrance to the trail looks very bad and you have to be very careful, it is also narrow and is full of weeds, runs along the hillside, through the interior of a forest.
At about 500 meters, you cross a door that saves the wire fence that borders the forest. We leave it and enter a clear area where we can see a wide track, probably the one we have abandoned before, which we must cross without leaving the diagonal trajectory we have, entering a meadow that we cross in a southeasterly direction following our initial trajectory, crossing several streams.
We hook up again our footpath that runs halfway up the slope and after skirting some rocks, starts a new descent zigzagging that allow us to save a steep slope, soon after we can see the rocks of Tobía with the village at its feet.
We must descend two rocky areas, reaching the first, we have to turn and continue with the descent, leaving several trails to our encounter that we must avoid. Soon we see a wire fence on our left that accompanies us a part of the path along with some rocks, which with curious shapes escort us.
Our steps lead us to a promontory marked out with a construction in the shape of a seat from which Tobía can be seen in all its extension and it is there where we must go, turning to our left.
We descend towards the locality leaving aside several trails that serve to shorten the descent, and we arrive at Tobía (3h 25min) by its upper part contemplating a beautiful image of its church.
We descend to its main street, arriving until a fountain, where under a porch there are some benches and a mailbox hung in a wall, in this point we must turn to the left and follow a wide street that in its right part is limited by a wooden railing that separates this street of the adjacent orchards.
Continue along it until you come to the penultimate streetlamp in the village, this is where you must turn left. The end of the railing or the beginning of the road can also be used as a reference. At the end of Regajal street, which we have just taken, we find a signpost with 9.7 km to Anguiano and a warning text of "temporarily floodable passage", informing of an alternative route along the road in case these circumstances occur.
At the exit of the village, next to the last house, take the track on the right and start an ascent along a path originally made of cement, which then becomes a dirt track with another wooden fence on the right. A little further on, we leave another track on our left that comes out to meet us. Without leaving our way at any time we reach a recreational area with benches and saplings, where we can take a break.
At the end of the recreational area we see two paths, one that goes straight with grass and little defined and another that comes out to the left, we take the one that goes in front following the fence, which in this circumstance makes us indicator arrow.
There comes a time when the road disappears into a estate and the only valid reference is to go as close to the right as possible, in search of the GR marks. At the end of this estate we go out to a much better defined path, made of stone, where we must turn right and start the descent to the river, which will have to wade, with elements of fortune since there is no bridge.
Once you have passed this obstacle, go up until you come to the road where you turn left. A few metres further on we cross it and access Matute (3h 55min).
We enter in the locality and our steps must be directed towards the church, by the back of the church we see its arcades, if we follow them, as soon as we pass them we see a fountain, where we can replenish our water reserves. In front of it comes a street, on the right a wall, on the left corner, a house with a shield on its facade, that's where we must continue our route.
We are leaving the village through an area of orchards, a black fence on the left side indicates that we are doing well. We go out to the road where we are already going upwards. To the left we see a signpost that informs us that Anguiano is 8.3 km away.
This road takes us to the cemetery whose door we leave on the right and where the asphalt ends up becoming a dirt track. Here there is a crossroads where we must continue straight ahead, not leaving this track that passes between cereal fields and intersects with the paths that enter them.
About 25 minutes after starting to walk on the track we have to turn right for a wider one. Approximately 1.5 km further on you will pass ruins on the right side of the road, in the distance you can already see the village of Anguiano and closer to us the Peña Reló, if you look to your left you can also see the road.
We are already in descent and if we pay attention, after having walked about 300 meters, to our left we begin to see the ruins of the Convent of La Granja (4h 50min).
This is where we must direct our steps, but before we have to leave the track that brought us here, turning left, by a smaller path with grass in the center.
We now enter a shady area and little by little the ruins are approaching, we arrive at a crossroads where if we go by the left we would enter towards the monastery, in whose area there are now some beehives, we continue by it of the right that takes us, bordering the right part of the monastery, until a closed door that gives access to the ruins and that forces us to go in ascending sense for a path that takes height in zigzag.
Shortly after, the convent wall accompanies us for a long time until we reach a point where, leaving it behind, we begin the descent along a well marked trail. If we look, in the background we can see the Najerilla River and the canal dam.
We pass now under the watchful eye of the rupicolous birds that inhabit the Peña del Reló, that with their elegant flight welcome us, indicating to us at the same time, which is their territory. Now we begin to ascend towards a hill. There is a crossroads in which we have to decide, by the trail on the right we ascend to a pass from where we contemplate wonderful views of Anguiano and the Najerilla valley.
We begin the descent with the vision of the village in front, the surface is a little slippery by the loose stones of the road. A little later the descent softens and you reach a wooden fence, here is a separation where we must go to the right.
We follow a wooden railing that is on our left to reach an old water tank, where we also see a trough, then, and seeing our goal closer, we continue the descent accompanied at all times by the wooden railing and some benches on our right.
We go towards the bridge of Mother of God after passing through a wooden gate, we only have to follow the road to the left to access the village. Taking the street that to our right ascends one finally enters Anguiano (5h 45min), this street leads towards the square of the town hall.
Our starting and finishing point will mark the final distance of this route.
To whic:we have to add the minutes that will take us the short detours that suppose us to approac:the refuge Peña el Collao, or the ruins of the monastery near Anguiano.
The itinerary offers us beautiful panoramic views, as well as being able to enjoy the life hidden in the rocks of its final part. In rainy periods, some sections of the route can be very muddy and the shady areas contribute to the duration of the mud even days after the rains. It is in winter when the snows threaten above all the first part of the stage that passes over 1000m of altitude.
Recommended boot type footwear, especially for the first half due to the lus:vegetation, in addition to the photo camera and sun protection. Clothes and hiking shoes according to the period of the year and the weather conditions canteen wit:water, equipped backpack, walking sticks and food. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.
Demanding for its distance, it is in the first part of the journey where we have to assume the greatest unevenness, then soften without leaving the uncomfortable up and down. The most demanding ramps are found between the corrals of Ocijo and Tobía whenever the direction of our marc:is from Anguiano to San Millán.
Severity of the environment
The route combines trails wit:large stretches of dirt tracks, being in the descent to Tobía where the slope can cause us some slip. The biggest complication is the leafy vegetation that invades the route in some areas. The most exposed part is located near Anguiano, on the edge of Peña Reló, but the vegetation and the slope protect us from the unevenness of the area, also the final part is marked by a wooden railing. We will be forced to wade a river shortly after Tobía, it is advisable to ask in the locality for its condition, since the flow and force wit:whic:it goes down can make it more difficult and even dangerous to cross it, having then the option of continuing along the road to Matute.
Marked at all times, in some areas the marks are hidden in the vegetation and forces us to be careful not to skip them and follow the paths that are not part of the GR. The route is generally well defined, partly along agricultural tracks, it is in the initial ascent where the vegetation has taken full possession of it and it becomes more difficult to follow it.
|1-Monastery of Yuso
|30T 511033 4686008
|2-Corrals of Ortuño
|30T 510862 4683868
|3-Corrals of Ocijo
|30T 512883 4683147
|30T 515272 4682907
|30T 516911 4682915
|6-Convent of La Granja
|30T 518815 4681249
|30T 519281 4678591
Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84
This sketc:of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.
This schematic wit:the pat:is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 241-1 y 240-2 1:25.000".
Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems wit: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.
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¿Did you know that...
The rocks at the end of the route are home to an important community of rupicolous birds with species as varied as vultures, golden eagles, falcons and eagle owls, making the place a point of enormous value for naturalists.
Don't miss out...
The Dance of the Stilts of Anguiano that takes place during the Magdalena festivities on July 22 and where eight dancers on top of some wooden beech stilts, throw themselves down a steep cobblestone slope (the slope of the dancers) spinning at great speed.
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 22-05-2015. 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.
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