Surrounded by mountains and proud of their historical and monumental heritage, the inland valleys have been able to preserve their way of life and Basque traditions.See more
Doubtless, Green Gipuzkoa does its name honour. The intense greenery of its pastures, sprinkled with farmhouses, the typical Basque agricultural unit, intermingles with thick forests, mountain ranges and caves. Two natural parks, Aizkorri, boasting the territory's highest peaks, and Aralar, with the unmistakeable silhouette of Mount Txindoki, surround it to the South and East.
There are numerous places to walk and enjoy nature. Mount Ernio, the Izarraitz massif and the protected biotope of Leitzaran are highly recommendable green points. This area offers the opportunity to delve into the Basque rural world. The Igartubeiti farmhouse (Ezkio-Itsaso), the small village of Zerain or various ethnographic museums help us to better understand the reality we see in many landscapes.
On occasion, rural Gipuzkoa lives side by side with the more industrial areas. This mixture was more balanced in the past when the iron-works dotted the high river basins. In Legazpi, a visit to the Mirandaola iron foundry and the Basque Iron Museum can turn out to be very interesting. We can also discover how salt was primitively mined in Leintz Gatzaga.
The great monuments of Green Gipuzkoa are linked together on the Route of the Three Shrines, a definite must-see. It begins at the Basilica of Loyola, a grand monumental complex devoted to Saint Ignatius of Loyola in his native town of Azpeitia. It then continues to the hermitage of La Antigua (Zumarraga) and culminates at the uniquely beautiful shrine of Arantzazu, on the way up Mount Aitzkorri. Visitors are often surprised at great historical and artistic heritage of the cities and towns of Green Gipuzkoa. An enjoyable tour through Tolosa, which was once Gipuzkpoa's capital, Segura, which preserves its original medieval urban plan, O˝ati, where the Sancti Spiritus University is located, or Bergara, with its Royal Seminary, allow us to see these places' rich past and present.
We can also see plenty of rural activity at the important fairs and marketplaces (especially Wednesdays in Ordizia and Saturdays in Tolosa) where we can buy, among other products, Idiazabal cheese.
Top of page.