Section 1 - Navarre

Endarlatsa - Santesteban / Donteztebe - 28Km

From Gipuzkoa the Eurovelo 1 route enters Navarra via the Bidasoa Greenway. This first stage consists of 28 kilometres. From Endarlatsa via Bera to Santesteban/Doneztebe, this disused railway line section crosses magnificent landscapes of green meadows dotted with country houses, picturesque tunnels, traditional villages, and even the odd forgotten bunker. The profile of this easy and pleasant route is practically flat.

The arrival at Bera, encased between the river and the steep slopes of the Pyrenees, is spectacular. The most noteworthy aspect of this town is its well-kept old quarter, where the writer Caro Baroja lived. Next to the Greenway you can find another of the Five Towns, Lesaka.  In the future it will be connected through a bike lane with its old quarter. Its town centre reflects the passage of history and its houses retain their traditional architecture. Gothic doors and windows adorn the façades which look onto the cobbled streets of the town, among which those of the Torre Palacio Zabaleta and the Church of San Martín de Tours stand out.

The route continues to Sunbilla; before it arrives there it crosses 3 tunnels surrounded by dense woodland. This pretty village is also known for its culinary specialities: cream cakes (Kote Corta) and bread baked below ground in the manner of the old American shepherds.

The route runs alongside the River Bidasoa through a leafy grove as far as Doneztebe-Santesteban, which is the end of this stage. This town has had strong links with commerce ever since its medieval origins. Nevertheless, its most emblematic buildings date from the 17th century. From here you can recharge your batteries by taking a dip at the Elgorriaga Spa (2 kilometres away) or taking a walk among the exotic and varied vegetation of the Bertiz Nature Reserve (4.5 kilometres away).

Points of Interest

Heritage: 5
  • The Malerreka Valley, flanked by several hills such as that of Mendaur, shelters this elegant town, which was frequented by merchants in the Middle Ages and continues to live from trade. Its houses gather around the Church of San Pedro which was reformed in the baroque style and has a magnificent interior.

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  • It is easy to allow ourselves to be surprised by Lesaka in the Pyrenees of Navarra. It is also known as Little Venice for its 20 canals full of history, its stately homes, and its two medieval towers together with its plazas and streets with that old flavour. Each step we take reminds us of past times, of how its people used to live, and of their ancestral customs. If we take a pleasant walk we come to a magical place, the Megalithic Station of Agiña where its prehistory and a modern monument fuse in a landscape out of a fairy tale.

    (photo: J. Campos)

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  • If you are a 21st-century traveller and seek a combination of and balance between rest, culture, gastronomy, and nature, Irun is your town. 20 minutes from San Sebastián and Biarritz and an hour from Bilbao and Pamplona, you will be surprised by its unusual history, its spectacular landscapes, and its wide range of cultural activities, all in one.

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  • Bera lies in a valley formed by the River Bidasoa and the Zía Brook and is linked to France through the border crossings of Ibardin and Lizuniaga. It is an elegant town which has grown up around two main axes: one dominated by the Church of San Esteban, which was originally an inhabited Gothic tower, and another around the picturesque quarter of Alzate with its impeccably kept harmonious houses. Some were inhabited by distinguished families such as the Casa Itzea of the Baroja family. Precisely Julio Caro Baroja made his characteristic mark on the Town Hall.

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  • Every autumn when the wind blows from the north or the east the sky of Etxalar witnesses the passage of thousands of doves. More than 600 years ago a shepherd started the custom of throwing stones at them. On seeing them come down a bishop encouraged him to lay nets to catch them. This was the origin of this unusual form of hunting, unique in the Iberian Peninsula, which has continued to be practised ever since. Throughout its history it has had distinguished spectators such as Emperor Napoleon III and Kings Alfonso XII and XIII. Nowadays it has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.

    (Photo: Patxi Uriz)

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Nature: 3
  • A spiritual sanctuary within a natural sanctuary, such is San Juan Xar. This space was declared a Nature Reserve in 1987 as it contains the only autochthonous woodland in the Iberian Peninsula. In the heart of this outstanding landscape in the centre of the western Pyrenees we come to a cavern and a chapel with a fountain with three jets of water, which is believed locally to have miraculous healing powers in the case of skin trouble.

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  • This green space of great beauty in the western Pyrenees of Navarra is on the banks of the River Bidasoa. It is one of the few places in Spain which provides a habitat for seven species of the woodpeckers to be found in the Iberian Peninsula. This is a sign of the excellent conservation of this nature reserve as these birds only live in mature woodland where large well-preserved trees are to be found. Several paths of varying length and steepness will allow you to enjoy the different shades of this Atlantic woodland.

    (photo Iñaki Tejerina)

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  • Throughout the route we will encounter magnificent landscapes of green meadows dotted with country houses, picturesque tunnels, typical villages, and even the odd forgotten bunker. Whether we travel on foot or by bicycle it is always an easy and...

Gastronomy and wine: 2
  • Apples give the best of their juice and are converted into this sparkling and scintillating drink. T-bone beef steaks reach your plate crispy or medium but always full of taste straight from the grill. This perfect combination is served at the welcoming tables of the cider bars of Navarra.

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  • Navarre has 15 quality certifications that guarantee the best raw material. Moreover, if they are cooked with a recipe book full of nuances and influences from Basque, Riojan, Aragonese and French cuisine that have enriched it for centuries, the menu of the best restaurant can be written. The tasting will be like its territory, full of contrasting notes.

    (photo: Patxi Uriz)

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Section 1

Endarlatsa - Santesteban / Donteztebe - 28Km: 28

  • Elevation
  • Heritage
  • Nature