Section 2 - Navarre

Santesteban / Donteztebe - Irurtzun - 53Km

In the Malerreka Valley, flanked by several hills such as that of Mendaur, lies the elegant town of Doneztebe/Santesteban, which was a centre for merchants in the Middle Ages and continues to live from commerce. The route leaves from Doneztebe/Santesteban for Irurtzun (52 km).

5 kilometres away stands the Torre de Donamaria or Casa de las Tablas; this 15th-century Gothic tower retains the essence of the medieval constructions of the wet valleys of the north.

On arriving in Urrotz the cyclist can make a detour to the mountain lakes known as the Reservoirs of Leurtza, an evocative green landscape with a great variety of flora and fauna.

Leaving the High Bidasoa behind we come to the Basaburua Valley, an extensive green mantle with country houses scattered between clearings and woodland. At the capital of this valley, Jauntsarats, there is a wood of centenary oaks which can be explored thanks to a marked path.

Picking up the EuroVelo 1 Route again we arrive in Irurtzun, a town with a strong industrial development due to its strategic location. It is here alongside the dam where one of the sections of the Plazaola Greenway ends.

Caution zones and blackspots. There are some blackspots along the route where special caution must be taken.

DONEZTEBE/SANTESTEBAN. When you leave the town centre along Mercaderes street, the route continues upwards along a paved road (old road to Donamaria and Gaztelu). Pay attention to some steep sections.

VENTAS DE DONAMARIA. At the intersection of the NA-204, at the Ventas de Donamaria – Donamariako Bentak, be careful when taking the direction to Oiz.

IRURTZUN. In the area of Dos Hermanas, near Irurtzun, the route crosses two consecutive tunnels; of 150 metres and 100 metres respectively, to continue under the A15 motorway which has shared traffic. (From March the tunnels will be lit up and will have traffic lights for cyclists and motor vehicles).


Points of Interest

Heritage: 2
  • Essentially Gothic, this elegant yet austere tower rises gently on an observation point from which it has conquered the passage of time since the 15th century. Despite the fact that it has recently been restored, it retains the essence of the ancient constructions of the humid valleys of the north.

    (photo: Oriol Conesa)

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  • The rhythmic ringing of the large cowbells which the members of the procession carry fastened to their backs and which they strike in unison with the regular movement of their hips is impressive. This age-old tradition is maintained in the north of Navarra and has been declared a Festival of Tourist Interest.

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Nature: 3
  • The valleys of Larraun and Leitzarán, which link the lands of Navarra and Gipuzkoa, are a true natural sanctuary. Their leafy hillsides of beeches and oaks were complemented by a small narrow-gauge railway which wound its way among them until the line was closed in the mid-20th century. Today its spectacular route is open to cyclists and walkers eager to discover unspoilt natural spaces.

    (photo: G. Arrugaeta)

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  • In the middle of the woodland of Atlantic Navarra these mountain lakes come as a pleasant surprise. The location of the reservoirs in a closed basin covered with beech woods gives the place a special magic. They have been declared a Natural Recreational Area and have been equipped with stoves, furniture, and information points which combined with the water, the rocky hillsides, the peace and quiet, and the magnificent landscape make this natural space an ideal destination for families.

    (photo: Alfonso Perkaz)

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  • To the north of Pamplona the valleys of Ultzama and Basaburua invite us to get to know a typical landscape of the Atlantic countryside. Between pasturelands and hedgerows a special wood features a species of oak capable of thriving in waterlogged...

Gastronomy and wine: 4
  • 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.

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  • It is to be found in practically all the butchers' shops of Navarra, the climate of which favours natural drying without the need for the use of smoke. It is a sausage with a short curing period of between 1 and 25 days that can be eaten fried or boiled; it is presented in gut as a thin sausage either straight or horseshoe shaped.

    (photo: Patxi Uriz)

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  • Junket has a soft creamy texture and is made from ewe's milk and natural rennet

    (photo: Patxi Uriz)

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  • Proof of the excellence of this product is its official recognition as a "European Culinary Heritage Product" and the gold medal it has been awarded by the International Academy of Gastronomy, which considers it one of Europe's best...

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Section 2

Santesteban / Donteztebe - Irurtzun - 53Km: 53

  • Elevation
  • Heritage
  • Nature