Gorbeia Natural Park


The interpretation centre of the Gorbeia Natural Park (Parketxea) is one more way to discover this striking zone of Biscay. It was inaugurated on January 2001. It is located in the old village of Areatza (1338) municipality characterised by its high historic interest wonderful medieval old part. It is situated in the centre of the town next to the city hall.


The Parketxea of Gorbeia is structured in three floors that exhibit its contents in order to the different altitudes.
  • In the ground floor we find ourselves with the soil the control of the valley (from 0 to 500 meters).

  • In the first floor we can enter in the Gorbeia´s forest (500 to 1000 meters)

  • In the second floor we reach the summit (1000 to 1481 meters).


The thread among the distinct floors is represented by means of a glass panel located in the hole of the stairs. It gives direct access to each floor simulating the climbing to the Gorbeia summit. That is why it has often been defined as this expression as a "virtual climbing" to the top of the mountain.


  • Ground floor: The valley. In this floor is about the valley all the protected areas of the Autonomous Region of the Basque Country.

  • First floor: The forest. In the Gorbeia Natural Park the largest area (14.018 Hectares) is covered by forest (70%). This forest is divided in two king of forest, 45% is deciduous (autoctonous) forest 25% is conifers (aloctonous) forest. On the other hand the heath land covered 19% 10% is glass land.
  • The old tree are very important if we want to have in our forest the woodpecker, also around the old dead trees there is a lot of live. There are among of animals those needs this trees to live to feed on such as insect who eat old wood, insectivorous. The yew (Taxus baccata) is one of the tree species that is in endangered in the Natural Park all of them are protected. This tree was used to make wood tools also as poison because all the tree is poisonous. Saldropo until 1990 was a turf land but it was overtaken now a day this area is recovered as a wetland. This area has a special protection.

  • Second Floor: the summit. In this floor we can find everything about the high area of the Natural Park. Itxina karstic zone that was declared protected biotop in 1995, it is based on the coral reefs that existed in the hot shallow seas that featured this landscape 110 million years ago. Itxina is full of caves, holes, cracks… a wonderful place for bats. In Itxina we can find 16 different species of bats 12 of them are in endangered. In the highest part of Gorbeia there is several mountain grassland, which are very important for the shepherding. This grassland is a vast pasture where a large number of sheep, cows mares graze.


Information and group reservations: (+34) 946 739 279
e-mail: parques.naturales.protegidos@bizkaia


Open from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. and from 16:00 to 18:00 hrs.