Trip planner

 

Distance 3.5 km. Setting off from San Cristobal train station, we access the interior of the San Cristobal landfill. This landfill was created by the company Astilleros de Murueta, S.A. in the mid 1970s, as a result of the dredging work of the central channel of the Urdaibai River undertaken by this same company.

At the beginning of this route, we will see one of the best Alder Groves of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Leaving the Alder Groves behind, we can see on our left a large reedbed appearing in the semi-wetland interior where there are fewer tides. Among the reeds there are species such as the Canary tamarind and an exotic invasive species from North America known as Baccharis halimifolia.

Following the path which takes us to the bird hide, we cross the sands of San Cristobal where three species of plants dominate: hare’s tail grass, white melilot (white sweet clover) and royal camomile (artemisia granatensis). Fauna common to desert and steppe areas can be found in these sands. In particular, there are such insects as: the scarred melolontha (Polyphylla fullo), wandering wasps, the antlion and the beewolf (Philanthus triangulum), among others.

On the edges of the marshes we can see the vegetation common to this ecosystem, such as sea purslane, small cordgrass and salicornia. During the period from August to April many species of aquatic birds can be seen visiting this wetland during the migration to winter hibernation. To observe these birds we have to use the hide so as not to disturb them.

Leaving the landfill, we go to the square of the San Cristobal, district from where we take the road that goes from the right of the Zelaiondo Residence in the direction of Gorritikale and Madariaga Tower. From the road, on our right, we have excellent views of the marshes and the internal estuary of Urdaibai. When we reach Belaustegi House, we will see an excellent view of the Atlantic countryside, as well as extensive Cantabrian Holm Oak woods on the right bank of the river. From this same altitude, Madariaga Tower can be seen on our left, crowning the summit of a strategic hill.

Following the path, we come to the “vineyards” of Etxebarri, the remains of what were the vine-arbored paths of Busturia. Crossing the vine arbors by a part of the ancient royal way used by the monarchs on their way to take the Basque oaths, we take the main road for a few meters before crossing it at Etxezarre, where we will be able to see the Aingerubide Oak Grove. Leaving Axpe Cave on our left, we pass the Church of Santa Maríi of Axpe and enjoy its plateresque doorway before continuing to Kurtzio Hermitage, from where we will take the road to Sukarrieta, passing through the interior of Axpe district. When we reach Kurtzigane, we will join again the royal oath-taking way but on the best preserved part of the path.

Following the path, we arrive at the town of Sukarrieta where, after crossing the road and the public park, we arrive at the bridge to the island of Txatxarramendi, from where we can see the former oyster beds of Itsasbegi, recently recovered. We pass onto the island, converted into a botanical park, representative of the Holm Oak woods of Urdaibai, and we end up at the viewpoint of the island with one of the best views of the estuary of the Urdaibai River.

Itinerary map