The High Oria’s Valley

You leave Donostia / San Sebastian by Miraconcha´s stroll crossing the tunnel of El Antiguo and you take the road N-1. By following the Oria´s river, you will reach the village of Tolosa. Tolosa was the capital of Gipuzkoa between 1844 and 1854 and its historical centre is one of the largest in the province with an abundance of distinguished public buildings, such as the Baroque Palace of Idiaquez (17th century), the Town Hall, Aranburu Palace (17th century), the Basque Gothic Parish Church of Santa María (16th century) and the Santa Clara Convent. Major attractions include the Shrove Tuesday Carnival and a Choir Competition celebrated every year. Tolosa is one of the few towns with a Bullring in Gipuzkoa.

If you continue the road by the N-1, you will cross the village of Alegia and Ikaztegieta before you reach the village of Ordizia. Here, you can admire between other buildings, the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (built in XVI century), Barrenechea Palace, Ibarbia House and the City Hall. In this town every Wednesday a regional products market is setting up.

The next interesting place to sightsee is Beasain which keeps interesting monuments as well as Asuncion (XVI century) with a rustic atrium, and the Basilica and Sanctuary of San Martin de Loinaz. Fortunately the majority of these buildings and infrastructures have been preserved at Igartza and visitors are taken on a journey through time in which they learn about the evolution of Gipuzkoa society.

You keep on the road in the way of Etxegarate´s Mountain Pass, and you reach Idiazabal. In Idiazabal, places of special interest include the Church of San Miguel Arcángel with a Romanesque-Gothic portico and Gurutzeta Chapel, which is situated at the highest point of the town and is the oldest building. Pasturing has traditionally been one of the town´s main activities, hence the elaboration of a type of cheese known as “Idiazabal Cheese” with its own “designation of origin”, which is one of the most representative products of the Basque country and has worldwide recognition. For all these reasons, a monument has been raised in honour of shepherds.

After crossing the pass, you take the right way to Beunda where you can go on foot by the old Jacobean’s Way to the footstep of San Adrian’s Tunnel which a long time ago communicated with Salvatierra and with the plain of Alava.

Going down to Segura and after crossing by Idiaquez, you will arrive to Zegama. Interesting buildings include a number of chapels and country houses and the Church of San Martin de Tours (15th-16th centuries) which preserves a beautiful mausoleum of the Carlist General Tomás Zumalakarregi (He was a hero of the Carlist Wars) in Carra´s marble and the oldest cross in Gipuzkoa.

The next stop will be Segura, one of the monumental places of Saint James´ Way (Santiago Path). Segura is a 13th century medieval town whose historical centre has been declared a Monumental Heritage Site. Its former medieval charm is preserved throughout the town which is home to some distinguished palaces: Guevara (15th century), Ardixarra (16th century) and Lardizabal (18th century) which is now the Town Hall. Other interesting buildings include Our Lady of the Assumption Church dating from the 16th century in a Basque Gothic style.

Following the road you will find the next village called Zerain which is a community that has always maintained close links with agriculture and the exploitation of natural resources such as iron, wood and coal etc. and Zerain Cultural Park Is one of its projects. Based on the recovery and exploitation of this extensive heritage and the promotion of high-quality farming products, the town´s inhabitants work for the benefit of the natural and human landscape. Guided tours are organised of the Ethnographical Museum (which includes an animated slide show), a prison dating from 1711, the Aizpea mining complex, the Larraondo hydraulic sawmill, etc.

You will return to Segura in order that you turn aside in the direction to Mutiloa, and from here, crossing the Mountain Pass of Liernia, you will arrive to Ormaiztegi, Zumalakarregi´s place of birth. The most important places to sightsee are the Zumalakarregi´s Museum, the bridge built by Eiffel, and San Andres Church with a Romanesque portal and an interesting baptismal pile.

From Ormaiztegi, you will go out to Beasain by taking the road N-1 and returning to Donostia / San Sebastian.