Valderejo Natural Park
A wide, high valley surrounded by steep slopes that end in rocky ledges. This might be the best way to describe the landscape of Valderejo.
Declared a Natural Park in 1992, it is the smallest of the Álava’s parks and home to a large quantity of ecosystems and landscapes.
This valley, located in the most western part of Álava, is practically uninhabited, which favours the presence of a rich and varied fauna and flora.
The Bóveda mountain range and the western stretch of the Árcena massif enclose and protect this valley, whereas on the valley floor, among the extensive meadows and crops, flows the river Purón, whose waters, with the passage of time, have eroded away the mountains of this outstanding natural area.
The park is made up of three natural areas: the summits, which gives the walker breathtaking views; wooded slopes; and the meadows and crops at the bottom of the valley. The crags of Valderejo act as home to the largest colony of griffon vultures in the Basque Country.
The nine signposted trails allow the visitor to walk most of the park and, most notable among these, the route that crosses the gorge of the river Purón. This natural space also houses archaeological sites of great historical value.
We access the park through the Valdegovía valley from the village of San Millán de Zadornil in the province of Burgos. The road lead us to the village of Lalastra in the heart of Valderejo, starting point for the trails and routes.
Lalastra, the heart of the Park
The Park House or Parketxea, a beautiful wooden building with large glass windows, is located on the outskirts of the village of Lalastra and offers the hiker full information about routes, activities and services. The nearby Rural Interpretation Centre shows the history of the valley, and the habits and customs of its people.
Lalastra also offers the visitor a recreational area with a children’s playground and picnic area, restaurants and rural tourist facilities in order to rest or relax after discovering the secrets of Valderejo along its trails.
The hiker can opt for different routes and climbs up the mountains that enclose the valley. There are nine routes it total of varied length and difficulty: most are quite short, however, some link up with others, providing the more experienced mountaineer with longer hikes.
Lahoz, Villamardones and Ribera
In addition to Lalastra, there are three other rural villages in Valderejo: Lahoz, Villamardones and Ribera The last two were abandoned several decades ago, so it is interesting to visit the ruins of these two villages.
People have lived in this valley since time immemorial, and proof of this is its cultural and architectural heritage, which harbours megalithic monuments (burial mound of San Lorenzo, monolith of Mount Lerón) as well as churches and hermitages from different eras. There are the remains of a road from Roman times, and in Ribera a Romanesque church with unusual medieval paintings.
- The mountain routes are not suitable for people with mobility problems..
- The park has outdoor car park, a picnic area and has information signs about the species found in the park and on the trails.
- The park can be accessed by car, bus, bicycle or on foot.
Entry to the park is free, however, the Park House has its own opening times and calendar.
The Valdegovía Tourist Office (Villanueva de Valdegovía) also provides information.
Located in the Municipality of Valdegovía, Cuadrilla de Añana, in the most western part of Álava, very close to Burgos, with easy access, approximately one hour from Vitoria (63 Kilometres) and 35 minutes from the Salt Valley.