Pagoeta Park spans a total of 1,336 hectares of land between the interior valleys and the coast of Guipúzcoa, near the towns of Aia, Zarautz, and Orio. It is found right nearby the Northern Way to Santiago and is an excellent place for recreation.
With an irregular outline, it encompasses an expanse of hills and forest located on the land of two farms belonging to the government of Guipúzcoa: Laugain and Altzola. Its highest point is found on the 678 meters of Pagoeta Hill and is a very attractive natural space in which the extensive beech trees are a main attraction. Pagoeta has an important and unique value because it currently utilizes traditional models linked to the small village. Ranching, agriculture, and other activities such as honey production coexist in Pagoeta along with other more educational actions to maintain and extend these classic models of production. The reconstructed iron foundry Agorregi is a good example of the predominant cultural model in the park.
Vegetation of Pagoeta: The beech is the predominant tree in Pagoeta, but there are also plenty of other species such as oak, yew, and ash. Furthermore, in the village of Iturraran there is a botanical garden that is home to almost 4,000 species of vegetation from different corners of the world. Among its fauna you can find examples of species more typical of northern Spain: roe deer, wild boars, hares, and vultures. You can also find several autochthonous species such as the Pottok horse and the Betizu cow.
The activities that you can do in Pagoeta are diverse, ranging from hiking to cheese and cider sampling. The steps of the first men are also evident in the form of dolmens like that of Olarteta, sites in the caves of Erratian and Amalda, and burial mounds like those of Arreta and Murugil.
How to get there: The easiest way to access the park is by the N-634 highway, on the stretch that runs between Zarautz and Orio. Approximately halfway between both towns, there’s a detour to the GI-2631 highway, which goes to Aia and the entrance of Pagoeta.