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Natural Park Gorbea

The Gorbea Natural Park is spread in the northern part of Spain between the provinces of Biscay and Alava in an area of ​​200 km². It is fed by short, but deep-water rivers: Arrativa, Zeberio, Arnuri, Altuba. This area is an autonomous community called the Basque Country. Gorbea Forest is called mysterious and mystical because of thick fog that envelops moss-covered centuries-old oaks, caves and ruins of ancient structures. Here, directors working in the fantasy genre find inspiration: if you gaze into the mist for a long time, it begins to seem as though elves, hobbits and other fairy-tale characters hid in the woods between the trees.

Natural Park Gorbea
According to historians, the forest Gorbea exists more than 100 million years. The soil in this area consists of limestone and is easily washed away by groundwater, forming numerous grottoes and caves. In one of these caves discovered the remains of a Neanderthal. The discovery only confirmed the theory of scientists that the forest is about hundreds of millions of years. He was inhabited by the distant ancestors of man, who were engaged in collecting and hunting in its territory.

Since 1994, the park has been officially recognized as a natural reserve area and is under the protection of the law. The locality takes the name from the mountain Gorbea, towering at 1482 m above sea level in the very center of the reserve.

Natural Park Gorbea
Flora and fauna
70% of the area is covered with oak, beech and pine forests. The trees are very old, densely covered with moss due to the abundance of precipitation and high humidity. Among them you can find cypress, English oak, beech, alder, willow, ash and poplar. Since Gorbea Park acquired the status of a reserve, it is inhabited by lynx, deer, badger, marten, otter, mink, peregrine falcons, falcons, hawks, vultures and many other species of wildlife.

Natural Park Gorbea
Autumn in the forest of Gorbea
Gujuli’s Falls
Entertainment programs Gorbea
1. Night safari.
Two-hour guided tour of the reserve at night. Uncover the unknown secrets of the mystical forest, watching the life of its inhabitants. Excursions are held in May-October on Fridays and Saturdays. Price: from 20 euros per person.

2. Mountaineering school.
A visit to the Mairulegorreta caves, the ascent to the Golden Rocks, which offer stunning views of Alava, the descent along the channel of the underground river to the Jentilzubi canyon and much more for those who prefer active rest. Price: from 30 to 50 euros per person.

3. Golf in the mountains.
Visitors to the reserve can practice this sport on the southern, sun-drenched hills of Gorbea, enjoying beautiful views of the mountains and lakes. At the end of the day you will be offered to taste delicious cuisine from the gourmet menu. Price: from 30 to 42 euros.

Flock of sheep
4. A shepherd for a day.
Discover the traditional craft of the Basques, becoming a shepherd for a day. You will be guided through a cheese factory, having taught you the basics of cheese production and giving you the opportunity to taste the local varieties. Also, the “shepherd for a day” is trusted by a flock of sheep, which he must follow along a special route. Price: from 6 to 18 euros.

5. Gorbeia beer tasting.
Brewed according to old Basque recipes, ale has a unique taste and aroma, perfectly refreshing hot day in the mountains. Tasting is held year-round on Saturdays. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes. Price: from 6 euros per person.
Mairulegorreta Cave
Pines in the Natural Park Gorbea
Winter in the natural park Gorbea
How to get to the reserve. Mount Gorbea
The reserve is located 30 km from Bilbao and at the same distance from Vitoria. Sightseeing buses depart from these cities, moving along the N-240 highway to the park. On the territory of the reserve zone, 14 routes were laid to the peak of Mount Gorbea: 7 from the side of Biscay and 7 from the province of Alava. In total, the entire journey is approximately 20 km round trip, taking about 6 hours. Climbing to the top is quite simple, so climbing equipment is not used. On a clear day there are a lot of people living near the reserve, including the elderly. Gore jokingly called the Basque Olympus. Gorbea is not the highest elevation in the area, but it is of tremendous importance, being a symbol of Basque nationalism. During pre-election races, Spanish political forces more than once set the flag of Spain on top, causing a storm of indignation among the locals.

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