The Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz - Green walks
Salburua, Arcaute/Arkauti pond - A wetland to be discovered
The path around the pond of Arcaute/Arkauti, in addition to showing us the exceptional ornithological wealth of Salburua Park, offers us a close look of a herd of deer, just 3 km away from the city centre. Not to mention that many singular species inhabit Salburua, such as hen harriers, spoonbills..., with special mention of the European mink and the agile frog, species in serious danger of extinction and emblems of this wetland.
In order to protect this valuable and fragile space (declared Site of Community Importance within the European Natura 2000 Network of Protected Natural Spaces), it is essential to avoid disturbing the fauna that lives there and of course, to not release exotic species that could proliferate and displace the area's native species.
Technical data sheet
Length: 4 km | Approximate time: 1 hour | Type of path: paved path | Suitable for pushchairs | How to get there: L3, Portal de Zurbano/Biosfera stop
Click on the map to see a bigger PDF version.
- The itinerary runs around the Arcaute/Arkauti Pond. The starting point is the Ataria Interpretation Centre.
- Opposite Ataria, take the path that indicates the Route around the Green Belt in the direction of the River Zadorra. When we reach the Caja Vital Kutxa building, we leave the Belt and turn right. During periods of strong rain this path may be blocked.
- At the next fork, we take the path on the right that heads south, parallel to the River Santo Tomás. A bit further ahead, a turn to the left offers access to the "Las Zumas" bird hide.
- We retake our path. To the left we see the Arcaute/Arkauti Oakwood and a large field where deer graze.
- We leave behind the turn to the right which, over a small wooden bridge, connects with the path of the Betoño Pond.
- After passing by another turn to the right, which heads towards Elorriaga, we reach an area with tables and a fountain where we can rest.
- A little further ahead, at the park's former information point, we turn left; following that direction we reach the "Los Fresnos" hide.
- We return to the path. The view opens up towards the west and the north and towards the extensive wetlands that are located between the lagoon and the path, where the deer graze freely.
- We continue around the Arcaute/Arkauti Pond and approach the River Errekabarri, with which we share a section of the path.
- Coming to the end of the walk, we pass through the Larregana Lagoon over several wooden walkways and return to the starting point.
Points of interest
- Arcaute/Arkauti Pond
After the recovery of the old wetlands, the Arcaute/Arkauti Pond is the largest of those that form the lagoon complex of Salburua, formed by, in addition to the Arcaute/Arkauti Pond, by the Betoño Pond and those of Duranzarra and Larregana. When the water level is at its highest they all add up to 66 ha of a sheet of water, practically a third of the park's entire area.
- The "Las Zumas" and "Los Fresnos" bird hides
Two strategically located hides allow the public to observe the aquatic birds, the true protagonists of this location. Salburua is a magnificent place for observing aquatic birds, whose populations vary significantly depending on the time of year, due to their migratory nature. It is not difficult to see rare species in our geographical area, some even endangered.
- Arcaute/Arkauti Forest
Of all the oak forests that existed in the area only the island forest in the north of Arcaute/Arkauti remains, popularly known as "el Montecito" ("the Little Mountain"). Despite its small size, this forest is home to a good representation of the characteristic flora of oak forests, with very rare species. The presence of old trees favours the existence of refuges for mammals, such as genets, etc.
In the areas around the lagoons that get flooded, where the water level continuously fluctuates, are the wet meadows with marshmallow and reed fields, vegetation that is becoming scarcer in our environment. In order to control their growth and to prevent the vegetation from invading the lagoons, a herd of deer has been introduced, which has become one of the location's attractions. To prevent them from escaping, the Arcaute lagoon is surrounded by a fence which, in addition, protects them from predators.
- The Larregana Lagoon
Of the lagoon system of Salburua, the Larregana Lagoon, the one furthest north, along with that of Arcaute/Arkauti, was the first to be drained. Its drainage was carried out by means of the "Canal de la Balsa" which was built in 1857, diverting the flow of the River Alegría. The construction of a dyke on the Canal de la Balsa in 1998 meant the start of the recovery of these two lagoons.
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