Route through Zeberio (PR-BI-11)
Zubialde - Mandoia - Argiñao - Ermitabarri - Zubialde
We start from Plaza Zubialde, in front of the town hall, and after crossing the road we ascend to the neighborhoods of Barbatxao and Ereñotza. Once crossed the neighborhood of Barbatxao a small detour invites us to visit the chapel of Santomaszarra, according to Iturrizar old parish of Zeberio.
The asphalted road takes us to the neighborhood of Ereñotza, where we access the old elizbide, a path used by neighbors to go to the hermitage of Andra Maria. This is on the small promontory of Zeberiogane, from where we can enjoy splendid views of the valley and the Gorbeia Natural Park.
We take the road back to the nearby Ametzola neighborhood. The asphalted road comes to an end, giving way to a track that leads to the mountains that protect the valley (Mandoia, Upo, Artanda ...). They are the same roads that were used by muleteers, merchants and neighbors as they passed through these valleys.
After a gentle climb of about 15 minutes we arrive at Irumugarrieta. We continue ascending the slope of Mount Mandoia, where we are going. In this stretch of the route we can enjoy a splendid panoramic view of the Zeberio valley.
A steep slope indicates that we are reaching the top of Mandoia (637m). This hundred-year-old summit delights us with a beautiful panorama of the main peaks of our territory, the park of Urkiola and Gorbeia, and the valleys of Arratia and Ibaizabal.
A narrow path takes us back to the track that descends to the neighborhood of Etxazo, where we can visit the hermitage of San Esteban. From Etxazo we go to Orbetzu, passing through the neighborhood of Gorositu. As soon as we reach Orbetzu, next to the first hamlet, a path leaves on our right towards the hermitage of San Antonio, in the district of Barañao. In one of its walls we find a curious window, older than the hermitage itself.
From Barañao descend to the bank of the Ibarrondo, where we will go upstream to the neighborhood of the same name. After crossing this small nucleus we continue ascending, until the track, once bordered the basin, begin to descend again. A sign near the abandoned village of Apalagabekoa invites us to visit the hermitage of San Adrián de Argiñao. Located on a hill, this hermitage shows another curious window on one of its walls. According to some historians, these monolithic pieces could date from the 11th century.
We resume the path that will take us to the quiet neighborhood of Argiñao. By tracks and old roads we will descend again to the shore of the Ibarrondo river. Following the route of the Camino Real we will arrive at the Ermitabarri neighborhood, passing through Isasi. A thin layer of earth covers the old cobblestone of the old road, which is uncovered in some sections.
The church of Santo Tomás de Olabarrieta stands out in this neighborhood. Under their portico they met and blessed the flocks that, arrived to the summer, were going to be transferred to the pastures of Gorbea. From Ermitabarri part of one of the variants of this path, which runs part of this way of transhumance (PR-BI 11.1).
A narrow path will take us back to Zubibarri, crossing oak groves, pine forests, mixed forests and the occasional stream. The river Zeberio tells us remembers that the tour has ended.