Malerreka, Valley of Santesteban and Basaburua form the Malerreka area, characterized by the many creeks and oak forests you can find. The Valley of Santesteban is historically known as San Esteban Valley or Lerin Valley and is formed by the following towns: Doneztebe, Elgorriaga, Ituren, Zubieta, Urrotz, Oitz, Donamaria and Sunbilla. Basaburua on the other hand is formed by Ezkurra, Eratsun, Saldias and Behintza-Labaien.
Elgorriaga is the smallest town in the area. The population rounds about 200 people and is situated by the Mendaur Mountain and Ezkurra River. We talk about a silent and very calm town, ideal for rest! Feel free to take a unique experience by foot called the “Ruta del Hongo” or Mushroom Path organized by the Mushroom Brotherhood of Elgorriaga. You also can take the “Camino de Agua”, meaning Water Path.
You cannot leave without visiting the dams of Leurtza in the town of Urrotz, built in 1920 to create hydraulic energy. It is a beautiful landscape with parking and picnic area. In the town of Donamaria, visitors have guided tours to the Jauregia Tower, a XIV century building restored in year 2000.
The four story Tower House is built of wood and stone. The XVIII century mill of Zubieta, in the town of Zubieta and recently restored, is active to this day. You can find two mills dedicated to corn and a third one dedicated to wheat. Finally, the view-point of Behintza-Labaien is also worth a visit, with an outstanding view of the town of Ituren and Behintza-Labaien.
To the north of these ideal landscapes, you find the Baztan-Bidasoa River which travels throughout the Baztan Valley, Bertiz Valley, Malerreka and Five Valleys.
Baztan Valley: 15 towns form this beautiful Valley. The viewpoint in Ziga, Jorge Oteiza Ethnographic Museum and Arizkunenea Palace in Elizondo, Santxotena Museum in Bozate (Arizkun), the Mill and the Monument in Amaiur and the famous Xorroxin waterfall in Erratzu are the most visited places.
Bertiz Valley: The towns of Legasa, Narbarte and Oieregi form this Valley. The Señorío de Bertiz Natural Park in Oieregi is a must see during your visit. 2.040 hectares form this almost entire forest area, where you can find beautiful treasures such as its palace and gardens with exotic species. Back in the XIV century the owner of the Bertiz Park Pedro Miguel Bertiz was named Merino de las Montañas by King Carlos III “The Noble”.
The Natural Park is an extraordinary place where you can visit and enjoy its natural environment. It is also ideal for walking or hiking, for rest and photography. You can find a botanical garden with about 125 different species of trees and plants from around the world. The rest is an outstanding area, typical Atlantic forest. The Palace of Aizkolegi (830meters over sea level) is the highest point of the Natural Park where you can see an excellent horizontal sight with nice weather.
Five Valleys: In the town of Etxalar they hunt pigeons using nets just like centuries ago, the numerous small bridges in the town of Lesaka, Pio Baroja´s Itzea House in the town of Bera and the San Juan Xahar Sanctuary (proclaimed as a Natural Reserve) in the town of Igantzi are the most visited places.
As for local traditions, in the towns of Ituren and Zubieta take place one the oldest carnivals in Navarre. The “Joaldunak”, famous characters formed by local people, keep bad spirits away and bless the lands.