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Route to Mount Gorbea photo

One of the best and well-known trekking routes in Biscay is the one up to Mount Gorbea.

At almost 1,500 metres above sea level, Gorbea is the highest mountain in Biscay; it stands on the border with Álava. With an elevation gain of 490 metres, the Gorbea route is one of the best-known in Biscay, with an 18-metre-high metal cross on top.

Useful information

  • Municipality: Areatza
  • Altitude: 1,482 metres above sea level
  • Interpretation Centre: Parketxe de Areatza (Biscay). Tel. 946 739 279

You can ascend to the peak of Gorbea from different points. The time it takes to reach it depends on the starting point and the route taken.

The most common starting points are the following, with their respective times:

  • Pagomakurre (1h 45min)
  • Sarria (2h 45min via Baias)
  • Zarate (1h 45m)
  • Murua (1h 45min)
  • Altube (4h)
  • Baranbio (4h 30min)
  • Ubide (2h 45min)

Ascent from Areatza

The ascent via Pagomakurre is the most popular as it is the easiest and also the shortest.

The excursion can start in the village of Villaro en Areatza. The route is signposted from there up to Pagomakurre, a place that can also be reached by car. The rest of the ascent is on foot, with a gentle climb around the lower slopes of Lekanda.

After 30 minutes’ walk you see Mount Gorbea. Continuing along a track that crosses open spaces at Arraba, you reach the mountain refuge of Elorria, the ideal place to stop, relax and eat the hamaiketako (elevenses) that will give you the energy to continue the ascent.

The hardest part starts here, up a steep slope that leads up to the Aldamiñospe pass (1,321 metres above sea level). Turning to the left and continuing to climb, you reach the Aldamin peak, where there are spectacular views and the Cross of Gorbea. One last effort and you reach the summit of Gorbea.

The cross

The enormous cross on top of Gorbea is really striking. Eighteen metres high and made of cast iron, it was made in 1901.

Before the end of that same year a great storm destroyed the cross, and a year later work began on the construction of a new one lower down the mountain. It was inaugurated in 1903 and was destroyed once more by a hurricane in 1906. A new cross was inaugurated in 1907, the one that is still there today high up on Mount Gorbea.

Establishments nearby

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Arri Toki Restaurante

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Accommodation nearby

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Hotel Iraragorri Etxea

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Ariz

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Gran Bilbao

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