The Plazaola Greenway, Navarre-Basque Country

A very green and cultural greenway between Pamplona basin (Navarre) and the Leitzaran Valley (Gipuzkoa).

Greenway and mountains (2012-05-06)Original Source: Nasuvinsa, Navarra de Suelo y Vivienda S.A.

The Plazaola Greenway, with a length of 68 km between Sarasa and Andoain, follows the former railway line that linked Pamplona with San Sebastian. A greenway featuring extensive landscapes, charming villages, cultural heritage and a genuine natural sanctuary surrounded by beech and oak groves.

Plazaola Greenway

6.48 min to explore the Plazaola Greenway and discover its impressive nature, infinite possibilities of active tourism, handcrafted products, welcoming rural houses, unique traditions and sports, and hospitable inhabitants. Trailgazers Project.

The Plazaola Greenway in Google Maps Street View

Live the experience of virtual reality by means of Google Maps Street View and the opportunity it provides to “fly” along this route. More than 82,000 spherical photographs and many points of interest make up this grand virtual 360o tour of the Plazaola Greenway. Don’t miss it!

Los Buitres viewpoint in 360º

An exceptional natural viewpoint from which to admire the flight of the Griffon vulture that inhabits the Dos Hermanas crags, a natural landscape that arose due to erosion by the Larraun River. A stroll close to the greenway dominating the Sakana corridor, Pamplona basin, and the Imotz and Larraun valleys.

A greenway for cycling tourism (2007-09-23)Spanish Railways Foundation

Cyclists with panniers are frequently seen along the greenway. The route’s gentle terrain and pleasant natural surroundings make it attractive for cycling tourism. This route, which links up with Europe’s EuroVelo1 itinerary at Latasa (Navarra), is an important touring resource for cyclists.

Ixkier Waterfall in 360º

An ethnographic and nature trip where you can enjoy, in 360o, a spectacular waterfall and, beside it, a park featuring the “Ixkier” millstones, recovered from the ruins of an old 16th-century mill. The sounds of the river and the forest are a real pleasure for the senses.

Villages and the Pyrenees (2020-01-07)Original Source: Nasuvinsa, Navarra de Suelo y Vivienda S.A.

The small localities at the bottom of valleys make up a scene of unmistakable beauty. Views of the mountains are a constant feature along an easy and accessible route that runs through rugged mountainous terrain. A pleasure to be discovered.

Houses in the villages of Navarre on the greenway (2015-08-05)Spanish Railways Foundation

The town centres of Latasa, Mugiro, Lekunberri and Leitza on the same greenway, and other nearby ones, are characterised by their traditional architecture featuring large masonry houses, semi-circular doors, and lintelled windows adorned with flowers. Highly recommendable views.

Traditions around the Plazaola Greenway (2003-05-25)Original Source: Plazaola Tourist Consortium

Male and female “dantzaris” dancing to the sound of the bagpipes and “txistu,” rural sports displays, “pelotaris,” “bertsolaris,” ancestral rites like Carnival or the mythical Olentzero/Orantzaro, are living expressions of the greenway’s villages. A territory that invites you to enjoy its traditions.

The great Atlantic forests (2020-04-24)Original Source: Nasuvinsa, Navarra de Suelo y Vivienda S.A.

Large tree specimens, tall beeches and dense oak groves form thick Atlantic forests. The colours, which are a gift for the senses in autumn, can be enjoyed by walking along the greenway, following the route of the old railway.

Leitza, seen from the greenway (2020-07-16)Original Source: Goverment of Navarre

Surrounded by green mountains, Leitza’s neighbourhoods and hamlets spread out among green meadows. A beautiful scene that can be enjoyed from the greenway. San Miguel Church and its tower stand out, along with stone houses featuring wooden balconies and eaves. Leitza was a location used in the “Spanish Affair” film.

A greenway accessible to people with disabilities (2013-07-19)Original Source: Nasuvinsa, Navarra de Suelo y Vivienda S.A.

Hand bikes are ideal for this greenway’s route. Railway lines, with their gentle slopes and extensive bends, are perfect for creating accessible itineraries for everyone, including those with impaired mobility.

Coal mines of Leitza (2012-05-06)Original Source: Nasuvinsa, Navarra de Suelo y Vivienda S.A.

These valleys are reviving ancestral traditions, such as making charcoal from mounds of wood in the Leitza forests and Aralar mountains. This technique used to be a way of life, with the charcoal being sold afterwards to local artisans.

Plazaola mines in 360º

Enjoy, in 360º, the place that gave rise to the Plazaola railway. The Leitzaran Valley is rich in mineral deposits, mainly iron. Before the railway, it was used in local forges. The one in Bizkotx favoured the construction of the railway in order to transport the mineral.

Everyone to the Plazaola Greenway (2016)Original Source: Andoain Town Council

Family groups frequently travel along the greenway beside the Leitzaran River –a protected biotope– as well as other sections of the greenway. A comfortable, easy and safe infrastructure for everyone.

Bridge of the witches (2016)Original Source: Andoain Town Council

Unanibia Bridge over the Leitzaran River, in the Otieta area and very close to the greenway, is known as the “bridge of witches.” Made of stone and 31 metres long, it features 3 spans supported by rounded pillars. It is frequently covered with vegetation due to the area’s high rainfall.

Strolling the greenway in winter time (2005-12-29)Original Source: Andoain Town Council

Walking along the greenway in winter, after a heavy snowfall in the Leitzaran Valley, enables you to enjoy this route in an unhurried, peaceful manner. Atzizar Tunnel and the rest of the route’s numerous tunnels are welcome refuges in the cold days of winter.

View of Andoain (2016)Original Source: Andoain Town Council

Located at one of the ends of the greenway is Andoain, a Gipuzkoa municipality in the Basque Country. The views from the 441-metre-high Monte Buruntza welcome us into the valley. Ongi Etorri!

Canopy of the Plazaola Train (2016) by Eduardo ArreseygorOriginal Source: Andoain Town Council

People in the area have fond memories of the Plazaola train or “txiki” train. In Andoain, a decorative iron shelter made by the local artist Eduardo Arreseygor (2007) marks the location of the old terminus station. Depending on how the sun shines, the projected shadow makes the train move.

Parish Church of San Martín de Tours (2005-01-18)Spanish Railways Foundation

The façade tower is the most decorative element of Andoain’s baroque San Martín de Tous Church, which was built in the second half of the 18th c. It has a Latin-cross ground plan with a three-section nave, transept crowned by a dome, and a polygonal apse. Enjoy a visit!

Plazaola Greenway Map (2020)Original Source: Plazaola Tourist Consortium

Complete map of the Plazaola Greenway. In both Basque and Spanish, it shows the itinerary between Andoain and Sarasa. It features the route’s most outstanding resources, elevation profile, practical information, other routes and data of interest.

Credits: Story

This exhibition was made possible thanks to the TrailGazers project. It is funded by the Navarre Government’s Directorate General for Tourism, Commerce and Consumption, Nasuvinsa, Basquetour, Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and Plazaola Tourist Consortium. It forms part of the “Plazaola Digital” project, organised by the Spanish Railway Foundation (FFE). 

All pictures and videos have been provided by Nasuvinsa, Navarre Government, Andoain Town Council and FFE. The 360o recordings form part of the “Plazaola Digital” project. 

We would also like to thank Xabier Cabezón for his inspiring website web (CC-BY-NC-SA). 

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Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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