The Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz - Green walks

Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz

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Zabalgana - A recovered natural space

Little is left of the old gravel pit that used to be here until the 1990s. After the remodelling and ecological and landscape improvements carried out, Zabalgana Park is currently a space of high natural value, right beside the Zabalgana Neighbourhood.

The walk through this park is very varied, as in just 4 kilometres we can cross extensive meadows, small forests, lagoons, small hills and a gall-oak forest, home to a variety of fauna and flora. Several resting areas and a network of paths provide full enjoyment of this location which, surrounded by houses, factories and crop fields, is a true natural island.

Zabalgana forest

Technical data sheet

Length: 3.7 km | Approximate time: 55 minutes | Type of path: paved path |

Suitable for pushchairs | How to get there: L5c, Lermandabidea/Lanzadera and Las Arenas/Mercedes stops; L6, Derechos Humanos/ Mariturri stop

Click on the map to see a bigger PDF version.

Mapa

Route
  • The starting point is the main entrance to the park on Bulevar de Mariturri Street.
  • The path advances along an excavated channel that collects the water from the Zarauna Stream after it passes through the neighbourhood of Zabalgana, and in parallel to the forest of Zabalgana, that extends to the left.
  • We leave behind a turn to the left that heads towards the forest and connects with the Route around the Green Belt. To the right, crop fields and the urban and industrial area.
  • We continue along the path that rises gently until it reaches a crossroads. We take the path to the right that borders along expansive meadows with dispersed trees, ideal for resting, playing... and a corner with tables and drinking water.
  • We continue along the path, avoiding the turns to the right that exit the park. We go over a wooden walkway that runs over the Zabalgana Lagoons, which extend beyond both sides of the path.
  • We reach the other entrance to the park, from where another path to the left starts, leading to a vantage point over the meadows and lagoons of Zabalgana.
  • We return to our path which, a few metres ahead, converges with the Route around the Green Belt, which from the River Zadorra heads towards Armentia and runs lengthwise through the Zabalgana Forest, from north to south.
  • We enter the forest and for a while we follow the green points that signpost the Belt. Further ahead we turn to the right over a walkway in the direction of Zuazo de Vitoria/Zuhatzu, its church now visible.
  • The views open up and the path now runs between meadows to the left, and crop fields to the right, with the Mountains of Vitoria in the background. Before exiting the park, to the left we can see the Lecea Pond.
  • We exit the park through the surfaced car park and at the crossroads, we can take the path to the right to visit Zuazo de Vitoria/Zuhatzu and the oak forest of Sarbikotxea or we can turn left to return to the starting point.
  • Before reaching Bulevar de Mariturri Street, a path to the right leads us to a viewpoint, with two orientation tables that offer excellent panoramic views of the mountains that surround the Alava Plains.
Points of interest
  1. Zabalgana Forest
    A natural gall-oak forest and a typical example of "island-forest", a characteristic formation of the Alava Plains, the result of breaking up forests for agricultural use. In addition to its relict value, it has enormous ecological value as it is a magnificent refuge for wild flora and fauna within a very simplified rural area. The dominant forest species is the gall-oak, a species of oak which in a large part of the park presents a juvenile appearance, although there are also specimens in which we can appreciate the magnificent size of the tree when it is allowed to reach adulthood. Along with the gall-oak there are maple trees, hawthorns, junipers, blackthorns, privets and other shrubs. Weasels, hares, rabbits and foxes are some of the mammals that comprise the fauna of this forest, which is also home to a large variety of bird species such as coal tits, robins, magpies, blackbirds or long-eared owls.
  2. The lagoons of Zabalgana and Lecea
    The lagoons of Zabalgana 2a were created after the restoration of the former gravel pit. The Lecea Lagoon 2b , in turn, is a former agricultural pond, now unused. Despite their different origins and their reduced size, both ponds are the habitat for an exciting aquatic world. Among the birds, the coot, the common moorhen and the mallard are some of the most usual. On the water and among the reeds and bulrush that grow on the shores, there are frogs, pondskaters, common reed buntings, dragonflies and damselflies.
  3. Zuazo de Vitoria/Zuhatzu
    The church portico, with semi-circular arches, is an interesting example of Alava's neoclassical art.
  4. Oak forest of Sarbikotxea
    Very close to Zuazo de Vitoria/Zuhatzu is this oak forest which, like that of Zabalgana, is also an "island forest" and an example of the autochthonous vegetation that covered the area centuries ago and which has survived until today. This oak forest, along with other island oak forests in the Alava Plains, has been declared a Site of Community Importance (SCI) within the European Network of Protected Natural Spaces (Natura 2000 Network).
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