The peak Aratz is the highest and most important summit of Altzania’s range, an small group of mountains between Aizkorri and Aralar. The south face is the most know because this ridge is visible from the roads between Vitoria-Pamplona or Vitoria-San Sebastian, always present just at South of Aizkorri.
-Otzaurte: across tunnel of San Adrian, the first part of route to tunnel is the same of Aizkorri and for this reason this it’s the better option to climb both peaks in the same day.
-Arantzazu: this route reachs the tunnel of San Adrian from N.W. and the peak Aizkorri is climbed generally in first time descending to tunnel before climbing Aratz.
-Araia: nice itinerary across big forest with two options: direct or across the ridge South with posibility of combination of both routes.
Getting There*Araia: it's the village at South of Aratz.
See bigger map
*Otzaurte: it's the port at East of Aratz.
For the Otzaurte trailhead approach might be a little trickier: the very same roads (N-240a and N-I) have to be taken up to a crossroads north (a short way) from Alsasua. It is signposted "Zegama". You have to take a short turn right, turn left on the very same N-I you were driving on (southwards this time) and take the next turn right (road GI-2637) towards Zegama. Five or six kilometers before you get to the Otzaurte mountain pass. That's the spot where the road begins descent towards the valleys of Euskadi (Basque Country). There's a restaurant there and a little church. There's a dirt road climbing uphill leftwards (south) . It used a concrete road. The signal indicate forbbiden pass, but a lot of people drive the cars 1 or 2 km more. Anyway, after the end of this dirt road (never mind wether you go up by car or walking) it will be a matter of some fifteen minutes to get to the Hut of San Adrián.
*Arantzazu: the sanctuary at West of Aratz.
From Pamplona, you will have to take highway A-15 to Irurzun, and afterwards turn west towards Vitoria via highway N-240a. At Alsasua (that's 50 km away from Pamplona) take road N-I towards San Sebastián/Donostia. Turn left towards Zumárraga at Beasain -after the Col of Etxegarate- following road GI-623. After Zumárraga follow the signs to Legazpi and Oñate/Oñati (road GI-3511). After this beautiful basque village your car will take you up to the Sanctuary of Aranzazu, in a final steep climb.
The peak is in the natural park of Aizkorri-Aratz with rules about camping, vehicles, wildlife... but all the routes are possibles from a nearby road.
It's an easy peak even for hikers but with recent snowfall in winter is a little steepy and you must be careful (normally you don't need crampons and ice-axe after a recent snowfall but you can use snowshoes a few of days in winter).
CampingYou have a lot of hotels in Vitoria or Pamplona, the two main cities with airport at 1 hour of Aratz.
External LinksParque Natural Aizkorri-Aratz
mendikat.net: text in Spanish.
ed.sua: map Aizkorri-Aratz.