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CONDA S.A.

E-mail: alsa@alsa.es

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Green route of Lecumberri

What to see?

Green Route of PlazaolaThe Plazaola Green Route has reclaimed several kilometres of the railway line used by the first train to connect Pamplona with San Sebastian, which ran between 1914 and 1953. The local Tourist Information Office is to be found in the renovated station of Lekunberri, a town situated 34 kilometres north of Pamplona. Do not forget to visit the little carriage that, from the platform, will transport you to the golden age of the Plazaola, through beautifully written texts in the Spanish and Basque languages. The sections of the route most frequented by tourists start from the station: the 2 kilometre walk that leads to Mugiro and the 5 kilometre route that stops just short of Uitzi. These 7 kilometres of the Green Way can be travelled on foot, by bicycle or on horseback, with gentle slopes and a landscape as green as it is varied. The track comes to an end at the entrance to the 2.6 kilometre Uitzi tunnel, pending its restoration. On the other side, 12 kilometres on the outskirts of Leitza have been reclaimed, with 14 short tunnels that extend as far as the province of Guipúzcoa, where the route continues to Andoáin.
The Plazaola Green Route gives visitors the opportunity to get to know the beautiful countryside of the Larraun and Leitzaran valleys. Inaugurated in 2000, it connects the town of Mugiro in Navarre with Andoain in Guipúzcoa, following the now disappeared Plazaola railway line. The total distance covered by this railway was 84 kilometres (56 km in Navarre and the rest in Guipúzcoa) and had two stations in Pamplona and several others along the length of its route.

The present course of the Green Route runs for 43 kilometres through woods and meadows, 21 kilometres in Navarre and 22 in Guipúzcoa.

Although the Green Route starts close to the dam at Mugiro, it is accessible from Lekunberri. The railway station for this town was refurbished in 1998 and serves as home to the Plazaola Tourist Association and the local Tourist Office. There is a craft shop on the ground floor and on the first floor there is a projection room in which you can see an exhibition on rural sports.

The 2 kilometres that separate the station from the Mugiro dam form a short track that runs next to the Larraun river. At the northern end it gradually ascends between trees, under low bridges, and is interrupted by two short tunnels. It is recommended to carry a torch, even though the longest tunnel (Bartolo) is lit. If one is travelling by bike, for the short distance for which the Green Route joins the motorway, the cyclist can emulate the passengers in the last century who travelled at 10 kilometres per hour. Now, but soot-free, you can let yourself be caressed by the gentle breeze whilst glimpsing the peaks of the mountains known as the Malloas.

This stretch finishes in front of Uitzi station. A few metres further on is the entrance to the Uitzi tunnel, which, at 2,700 metres, was for many years the longest in Spain. Given that it has still not been possible to undertake its restoration, it is not recommended to use it. There is an alternative 4-kilometer-long road that descends sharply to end at the other entrance to the tunnel.

From Leitza you can take a 5-kilometre walk in the direction of Uitzi or one of 7 kilometres that takes you to Guipúzcoa. If you keep the church of Leitza on your left, the Iturrizarrea spring leads you to the southern part of the Green Route. In front of us lies a gentle slope, lovely scenery and short, well-lit tunnels. If you have chosen to walk in the direction of San Sebastian, you start from the old station at Leitza and, after 5 kilometres of the Navarre section, the Green Way continues for another 21 kilometres to Andoáin, gradually descending all the time.

Besides being able to enjoy nature, the Green Route allows the visitor to become acquainted with places like Lekunberri, the centre for local services, with its handsome large houses and the Gothic church of San Juan Bautista. Of particular interest are visits to the sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar, the caves of Astitz, the acanthus bushes of Larraun and Ertzilla, in Iribas, or the ironworks of Betelu. In Leitza, home of rural sports, the huge town hall and the church with its porticos stand out particularly. Leitzalarrea is very close by, an exceptional forest with 37 distinct species of trees.

Cities around the way

  • Leitza
  • Lecumberri
  • Venta de Migiro

From where?

  • San Sebastián
  • Tolosa
  • Pamplona
  • Tudela
  • Zaragoza

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