Tour one of the most beautiful places in Abárzuza, near the Irantzu Monastery.
A simple and short trip between the Irantzu Monastery and the area of Esquina de Elkez, climbing up the narrow Canyon eroded by the Irantzu River over millions of years. A wide path with an intermediate slope. Going up and down.
Complete description of the route
The departure point is the river trail of Irantzu, that starts at the Monastery of Irantzu and the beautiful stone cross. The path that we follow is called the “Camino de Irantzu”. We have parking for the picnic and recreation area nearby, with an information panel PR-NA 180 Dulantz that we will share over the next 2 kilometres, which has double signage of yellow/white and green/white. A few meters away we can find our SL signpost which has a more recent photo (photo 2). Just before the end of this tour that climbs to the highest peak of the Urbasa mountain range on a harder route, some 18 kilometres back and forth. We pass a cattle grid where we can see the double marks of both trails.
This “Camino de Irantzu” is a gravel road that stands amongst Canyon of Iranzu: “Peña del Águila”(Eagle crags) on our left and Peña de Irantzu (Crags of Irantzu) on our right. Later we will see other crags such as “Peñas de Peñarroya” to the left and “Sorozarra” to the right. The route is in direct sunlight, bearable, and gradually rising parallel to the Irantzu riverbed, including an occasional cemented area for cars (photo 3).
After passing over a concrete bridge into the Canyon itself begins the section the locals call “Los Zanpiaus”. At 0.8 metres, the forest transforms into a beech forest and the trail alternates between concrete and stone. It is not closed to traffic so you can see 4 wheel drives or mountain biker. Halfway, before we cross the stony bridge, there is a path called the “Senda de Itolatz” to the left that goes to Larraitza. It’s an easy and pleasant route. Just after crossing the bridge, to the right there is another more closed path with signs that leads to “Truskadia” (the name of part of the mountain) that climbs to the Azpala road that is the highest mountain in the vicinity.
After passing the “Peñas de Aguinaga” (the crags of Aguinaga) we find a small sign post that tells us about the geological characteristics of the area, and a second sign post, at this time knocked down by the land yielding to the stream. We can clearly see the traces of fluvial erosion on the rock of the slopes that we walk, which proves the levels the water reached thousands of years ago. We cross to the other side of the Irantzu River, we pass to our right some well-weathered rocks. Gradually we benefit from the shade of the oaks and we can begin to see the first beeches of Urbasa. At around 2 kilometres and therefore the end of the tour we see that the PR-NA 180 Dulantz separates to the right. And on the left we see how it joins the Aitzabala Stream and how the Irantzu River loses its name to the “regatta de Usaran” small stream of Usaran
At the moment, the Irantzu River is the coming together of various irrigation channels: at the bottom of this circle, straight, the irrigation channels that come down from Legarobi; a little left to the irrigation channel of Usaran; another to the right of Otaribela; the fountains of Donipetri along the road that climb the hill with the same name... We continue straight to a second crossroad next to a very large oak tree that is more than 100 years old, a signpost next to the tree that tells us the right direction to the end of the trail, located a few meters ahead in the area known as “Esquina de Elke” (Territorial Information System of Navarre (SITNA), known as Elkez by the locals), starting with the trail of Donepetri.
We return via the same route.