The Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz - Green walks
River Errekaleor and Las Neveras Hill - Between the Green Belt and the Alava Plains
Along its route, this path runs close to the River Errekaleor, coincides near Arkaia with St. James's Way and runs along Las Neveras Hill, a small elevation that clearly marks the border between the city and the countryside, in the east of the Alava Plains.
The River Errekaleor and Las Neveras Hill are fundamental as spaces for the ecological connection between two of the most valuable natural spaces of the municipality: the Mountains of Vitoria and the Wetlands of Salburua.
Technical data sheet
Length: 4 km | Approximate time: 1 hour | Type of path: paved path, sidepath and urban path | How to get there: L7, Antonio Amat Maiz, 5 stop; L7, Venta de la Estrella/Errekaleor stop
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- The path starts at Puente Alto, close to km 24 of the Route around the Green Belt, between Olarizu and Salburua.
- Following the milestones of the Route around the Green Belt, we cross the A-2130 road and take a narrow path beside the River Errekaleor that meanders leaving to the left an old station of the Basque-Navarrese railway and an unused silo. It soon forks; follow the path on the right, which goes around the Industrial estate of Oreitiasolo; to the right you will see the River Errekaleor and Las Neveras Hill, blocking the view.
- The path crosses Errekaleor Street and continues for a few metres through a green area until it reaches Venta de la Estrella Street. Before reaching this street, it turns right separating from the Route around the Green Belt and runs closer to the river until it converges with the Guillermo Elio Molinuevo Roundabout. At this point it crosses River Errekaleor.
- We follow the roundabout and leaving Amat Maiz Street to the right, the itinerary continues along an urban path that runs through an extensive green area, parallel to River Errekaleor on the right bank.
- After passing by a children's play area, we turn right at the fork, towards las Neveras Hill. The walk ascends a path with wooden bannisters, continuing with a section of stairs and their corresponding ramp, until it reaches the top of the hill, from where there are magnificent views over the rural area that extends towards the south of the city.
- We can go towards Arkaia, along a path that coincides with St. James's Way and visit some of its attractions.
- We follow our path, which runs lengthwise across Las Neveras Hill towards the south until we reach the starting point.
Points of interest
- River Errekaleor
The Errekaleor Stream is the main ecological connector between the Mountains of Vitoria and the Salburua Wetlands, two of the most environmentally valuable areas of the municipality, both declared Sites of Community Importance (SCI), within the European Natura 2000 Network of Protected Natural Spaces. In addition, it is the habitat of two endangered species: the European mink and the sand martin. Affected by the urban planning works in the east of the city, the banks of the river are currently being restored.
- St. James's Way in Alava
St. James's Way enters Alava from Gipuzkoa through the San Adrián Tunnel, descending through Salvatierra/Agurain it reaches Vitoria-Gasteiz and then continues southward passing through La Puebla de Arganzón, exiting Alava through Buradon Gatzaga/Salinillas de Buradón or through Rivabellosa. Alava's section of St. James's Way has been at its peak several times through its history. These have been related to the safety of this route regarding the Muslim threat or the battles between monarchs, commercial reasons, or its use as a bridleway (for horses).
Throughout the centuries, there have been two important paths that have passed through this town, which continued towards Santiago de Compostela through the province and, much earlier, the Roman road from Bordeaux to Astorga. Testimony of its Roman past are the remains of Roman baths that can be visited and are related to the disappeared "Suestatio", one of the mansions built along the main roads of the Roman Empire which were used by travellers as guesthouses.
- Las Neveras Hill
A natural vantage point that offers broad panoramic views of the city and of the rural-natural environment that extends towards the south of the municipality. It also has an important cultural significance as the point of entrance to Vitoria-Gasteiz along historical roads and paths such as St. James's way. On this hilltop snow was stored in wells and sold in the city in summer in the form of ice. This was common practice in times when industrial cooling was not known or was not widespread.
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