OverviewThis is the simplest route up to the summit of Ortzanzurieta, going along the old road from the Col of Ibañeta. Do not expect anything but a nice uphill walk, ideal for family sorties, and (depending on the weather, of course) wonderful views all around. It will be a short day, but there's always the chance to keep going to reach some of the summits around (Astobizkar, Txangoa, Urkulu...) or visiting the nearby Colegiata de Roncesvalles (first stage of the Camino de Santiago in Spain)
Getting ThereThe closest big town on the spanish side of the border is Pamplona. According to the information provided by the web page of the Burguete Council, there’s a bus service to Pamplona. Nevertheless, I am still trying to find out which is the company providing the service. Will let you know as soon as possible.
Leave Pamplona towards Huarte and afterwards follow road N135 north. About 19 km after leaving Pamplona, you will cross the village of Zubiri. Turn right after Zubiri and follow the signs to Burguete for an additional 28 km. Once you reach Burguete, keep going along the main street and drive for another three km to the Abbey of Roncesvalles, main trailhead for Orzanzurieta. Do not leave the road, drive on to the nearby (scarcely 2 km) Col of Ibañeta
If you are coming in from France (from Bordeaux or from the spanish border of Irún), you must follow highway A63 up to exit 5. Leave the highway at this spot and keep driving following road D918 along the river Nive towards Cambo Les Bains, St.Martin d’Arrossa and St.Jean Pied-de-Port. After that, follow the signs to "Valcarlos" or "Espagne" and keep driving
up to the mountain pass for about 17 km after crossing the old border bridge between Arnéguy and Valcarlos.
In any one of both cases, there's ample parking space by the col (by the small church of S.Salvador de Ibañeta, looking towards France)
Closest main railway stations:
On the spanish side Pamplona (50 km away from Roncesvalles, 66 from Fábrica de Orbaitzeta).
On the french side St. Jean Pied-de-Port.
Closest main airports: Pamplona (50 km away from Roncesvalles, 66 from Fábrica de Orbaitzeta)
and Biarritz (about 52 km away from St.Jean Pied-de-Port)
Route DescriptionIt's simple enough: start walking uphill by the road that leaves the col of Ibañeta eastwards. Just follow it and you will get to the summit without any trouble. Some spots, though, will offer a cross-country shortcut in order to avoid some of the curves of the road. Key points of the hike will be:
- Collado de Bentartea (43.0258594ºN, 1.2951925ºW), where the route from Roncesvalles joins the old road.
- Collado de Lepoeder (43.002653028ºN, 1.288208ºW), where the pilgrims to Santiago traditionally got their first sight of Spain and planted their wooden crosses in the earth.
- Mendimotz (a small secondary summit west of Ortzanzurieta, 1491 meters high and placed 43.02631917ºN, 1.2845394º W).
You will also have a chance to leave the road for a short northwards climb to the ample green summit of Astobizkar (43.035463611º N,1.77946472º W) starting from a point where the road makes a wide turn between the Cols of Bentartea and Lepoeder.