MARKINA – GERNIKA (24,8 Km)
After leaving the coast of Gipuzkoa, the Way of St. James enters rural Bizkaia, where the Lea and Artibai rivers, which give the region its name, are this stage’s protagonists.
Km. 0 Markina – Xemein. The Way of St. James leaves Markina towards Gernika-Lumo along the bike path next to the sports centre, and then takes the path to the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Erdotza. We continue between the river and industrial warehouse to the tower house of Kareaga, cross the medieval bridge, and shortly after a fence, the old road parallel to the river will take us to Iruzubieta.
Km. 3 Iruzubieta. We head towards Bolívar ascending to the Altzaga neighborhood of country houses, cross the pine forest to the right and descend to the fields of Alegría. We go down to the road and follow the local road to the square. After passing by the Simon Bolivar Museum, we cross the road and continue straight ahead. We will follow the Via Crucis and the medieval road that ascends to the Cistercian monastery of Zenarruza: The ancient collegiate church of Ziortza, witness for centuries of the passage of pilgrims to Santiago.
Km 6 Collegiate Church of Ziortza. We continue along a paved road following the signposts for the Gorontzugaral peak, from where we will continue to the left along a local road towards the Urionaneighborhood, after which we will descend down a path to the old village of Gerrikaitz.
Km. 10 Munitibar / Gerrikaitz. We then follow the sidewalk to Munitibar and its church of San Vicente Mártir, to turn left towards Gernika.
After crossing the Lea River, the local road will take us up Aldaka to the hermitage of San Pedro and turn-off to the Torre de Montalbán. Continuing our route we will find a section of the old road that joined Zarra with the churchyard of Arratzu.
Km. 17 Elexalde / Arratzu. Precisely in Arratzu, next to its church of Santo Tomás, we can enjoy the views of the valley while we gather our strength, under its century-old holm oak. We continue the viacrucis to the old Olarra ironworks, after passing the river we go to the right to take the path to the Marmizneighborhood. A new track that runs to the right on the eastern slope of Mount Burgogana will take us to Ajangiz. From there we go down to our final stage: The village of Gernika and its historic Gernika Tree.
Estimated walking time: 6h 50m
Tourist Office of Gernika: 946 255 892
Association of Friends of the Way of St. James: 687 529 606
Health centre: Gernika walk-in clinic (open 24h) 946 03 58 00 c / San Juan
Points of Tourist Interest
Collegiate Church of Ziortza or Collegiate Church of Zenarruza: declared a Historic-Artistic Monument
The road between Zarra and Elexalde, which crosses an oak grove in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and allows us to discover part of the old path and a beautiful medieval bridge.