The Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz - Green walks
Olarizu - A walk through the foothill meadows
Olarizu is very well known and appreciated by the citizens of Vitoria-Gasteiz, as for many years it has been a place for meeting and celebrating popular "romerías" (pilgrimage).
Today, in addition to the meadows, the hill and the many paths that run through it and connect the city with the nearby villages and the Mountains of Vitoria, new spaces and facilities, such as the ecological Vegetable Gardens, the Botanical Garden and the Olarizu Farmhouse, increase the attraction of this location.
Technical data sheet
Length: 4 km | Approximate time: 1 hour and | Type of path: urban path, local road and paved path | How to get there: L2, Zumaquera, 29 and Zumaquera, 61 stops; L3 and L9, Zumaquera 76 and Zumaquera 94 stops
Click on the map to see a bigger PDF version.
- The route starts in the neighbourhood of Adurtza, on Iturritxu Street, close to km 22 of the Route around the Green Belt, which from Armentia runs towards Olarizu and Salburua.
- Following the Green Belt, we turn right through Campo de los Palacios Street and head towards the south, among industrial buildings and education and sports facilities. In this section there is a separate cycling lane.
- To the left we see the lake of Olarizu, which is part of the Olarizu Botanical Garden, a very recommendable space to visit, which occupies a large part of the park.
- We return to the path and at the next fork, we turn left, towards the Farmhouse. This section runs along a small tree-lined road on which vehicles circulate. We can also continue along the path and go to the Olarizu Vegetable Gardens and from there go up to Olarizu Hill.
- The tree-lined road ends at the car park of the Farmhouse, from where we can leave the path and go up to the top of Olarizu Hill, or continue along other routes, such as the GR 25 or the Peña Betoño Track.
- We continue along our path and leaving the Route around the Green Belt to the left, we enter the Arboretum of the Botanical Garden. We descend, heading towards the fields until we reach Avenida de Olarizu, along which we continue. Before reaching Iturritxu Street, we turn left through a green tree-lined area until the starting point.
Points of interest
- Olarizu Botanical Garden
The main collection of live plants of the Olarizu Botanical Garden is the Arboretum of European Forests, a 30 ha space prepared to be home to 523 species of trees, shrubs, bushes and climbing plants that are typical of the large types of vegetation of the European continent and its main forests, such as cork forests, Spanish juniper forests, oak forests, fir tree forests, etc. Other spaces are the Olarizu Lake, with collections of plants linked to the aquatic habitats of Europe, the meadows of orchids and geophyte plants and the Olarizu vantage point, with typical vegetation of the hills of Alava and of the limestone rocky areas.
- The Olarizu Vegetable Gardens
These were set up in 1998 on agricultural land and meadows littered with waste. Today it is a space open to the public, in which a variety of activities are carried out related to ecological horticulture, gardening and fruit farming. It has a vegetable garden area, a fruit tree area, a forest nursery, greenhouses, an arboretum of the municipality's forests, a pond and a bioclimatic building.
- Olarizu Hill
A hill with an altitude of 709 metres. At the top there is a large 10 metre-high reinforced concrete cross. It provides a magnificent panoramic view of the plains. Close to the summit is the Kastromendi Fort, with archaeological remains of a settlement that was occupied during the Iron Age and up until the early Roman period.
- Olarizu Farmhouse
Its origins date back to 1727. Its original function was to provide shelter for the communal livestock that grazed on the Olarizu Pasture and supplied the local butchers. Later abandoned, the Farmhouse was used as a warehouse until 1987, year in which it was rehabilitated. In 1995 it became the office of the Centre for Environmental Studies of Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council and one of the main educational and informative facilities of the Green Belt. It has a library, an exhibition room, a conference room and several classrooms and it is equipped with solar panels and a biomass boiler. It also houses the installations of the Olarizu Botanical Garden's germplasm bank.
- Peña Betoño Track
An old track that linked Rioja Alavesa with Vitoria-Gasteiz, passing through the Mountains of Vitoria, through the Peña Betoño Pass. It was an important commercial route for the exchange of livestock, wine and other agricultural products. It is currently prepared as a green route for walking, although we can still find paved sections, down which loaded carts travelled for centuries.
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