PEÑAS DE AIA / AIAKO HARRIAK / TROIS COURONNES
The Peñas de Aia are the unique granitic mountain of all Euskadi ( Basque Country ). Softer rocks were eroded, letting the granite peaks protrude, only 10km away from the Atlantic Ocean and the outskirts of Donosti/San Sebastian. This original shape gives interest to the Peñas, so different from most of the other basque mountains. Despite its very low altitude, climbers will find good spots to practise.
As it’s located near the border line between France and Spain, the massif has got three names: Trois Couronnes in French ( meaning 3 crowns, as it is seen from the north ), Peñas de Aia in Spanish, and Aiako Harriak in Euskarraz. Never forget that people who live in the surroundings are Basque/Vascos/Euskaldunak, and speak Euskarraz more than Spanish.
The massif lays on the border line between 2 Basque Provinces: Guipuzcoa ( Irun, Oyartzun ) and Navarra-Nafarroa ( Lesaka, Bera ).
From the city of Irun ( border between France and Spain, crossed by the Highway joining Bayonne and Donosti/San Sebastian ): near the Bidassoa River, at the “Matadero” ( slaughterhouse ), go to the south to the Barrio Meaka . Follow the signs “ Ermitage de San Marcial “ – Aia . Drive for 9 km in the forest, until an old military fort ( Castillo del Ingles ). A few hundred yards further is the parking area, at the Col d’Elurretxe ( Elurretxe Pass, 490m ~ 1,600ft ).
No permit, no fee.
When To Climb
All year round.
No huts, camping is restricted.
French weather forecast: ( 00 33 ) 08 92 68 02 64
Map : SGE : 25-5 (65) Vera