The legends of Urkiola
The place invites mythological beliefs, stories, and legends, in fact, in Urkiola they are so abundant that it is one of the reasons for its classification as Nature Reserve.
It is considered to be one of the most unique ecosystems to be found in the Basque CountryIts area extends between the territory of Álava (15% of the territory) and Biscay (85% of the territory).It extends across the towns of Abadiño, Amorebieta-Etxano, Atxondo, Dima, Durango, Izurtza, Mañaria and Aramaio. Located in the hills of Duranguesado, there are crest-shaped formations, limestone, with scarce vegetation in contrast with the thick forests down below. Its vertebrate is marked by the Mountain Range of Anboto and Aramotz that extend in the northeast-southeast direction.The highest point in the park is the hilltop of Anaboto, 1,330 metres high. The human settlements date from Prehistory and today the area has a long farming tradition with forestry.This region is renowned for its legends and mythology beliefs (thereafter religious beliefs) that have influenced the creation of this Nature Reserve along, with the historic evolution of the area and the importance of its landscape.
Urkiola Nature Reserve
Amorebieta-Etxano, Bizkaia (Basque Country)
What you need to know
In the park you can visit the Sanctuary of the Santos Antonios, above Urkiola; The Chapel of Santo Cristo de Atxarte (birthplace of the legends about the Lamia).the Cave of Balzola and Jentil Zubi; and Durango Art and History Museum, located in the town centre.
Fauna includes wild boars, hares, and the common vulture that you can watch from the observatories installed for this purpose. Flora includes beech, oak, ash, holm oak trees along with scrub and the Atlantic flat, wild lands.
Information for visits
You can get there from the port of Urkiola along the B-road (I-623), Durango to Vitoria-Gasteiz. You can get more information in the ToKi-Alai Visitor Centre and Nature Learning Centre, a country house with lots of educational material.