Álava is committed to electric vehicle charging infrastructures close to natural, historical, cultural and gastronomic resources. And it is doing so in response to a growing demand and to promote sustainable tourism. Are you in?
Alava is green. Five natural parks, protected wetlands, inland beaches with blue flag status, unique landscapes such as the Nervión waterfall and the Salt Valley and more than 1,200 kilometres of marked trails and cycle paths are just some of the signs that respect for biodiversity and the environment is in the DNA of the people of Alava.
Alava is now going one step further and becoming the first destination with a tourist proposal based on electric vehicle charging infrastructures close to natural, historical, cultural and gastronomic resources. And it does so with a twofold objective: to respond to a growing demand and to promote mobility and sustainable tourism. Are you in?
This innovative project is embodied in the 'Guide of routes in electric vehicles' available in online format in the download section of the alavaturismo.eus website and in paper format in the tourist offices of the province. Its content has been translated into English in order to reach as many travellers as possible.
The guide covers all the counties of Alava with the network of chargers as a link and combines practical information to recharge vehicle batteries and ideas to recharge travellers' energy through medieval villages, castles and towers, surprising landscapes, outdoor activities, food and wine experiences and a long etcetera.
Our route can begin in the region of Montaña Alavesa, in a small walled village, Antoñana, where the first stone was laid several years ago for the network of charging points that would make Alava a benchmark for sustainable mobility. This charging point also serves as a starting point for discovering the whole area.
Izki Natural Park
First of all, discover Antoñana, a fortified village founded in 1182 on the site of an old fort. Palatial buildings with coats of arms, tower houses, popular stone and wood architecture and passageways welcome the visitor. It is worth visiting the Basque-Navarre Railway Interpretation Centre, a railway line that has now been converted into a greenway.
Barely twenty minutes from Antoñana is Bernedo, one of those villages with five streets in which time seems suspended, an urban metaphor for peace. In addition to its peace and quiet, it is the gateway to the Izki Nature Park, a paradise for hikers, birdwatchers and mountain bikers.
From the Antoñana recharge point, it is advisable to visit Peñacerrada to take a photo next to its wall and medieval pointed arch gate.
We take a leap to enter the region of the Llanada Alavesa with the loading point in the town of Araia as our base camp. Araia is home to the interpretation centre of the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park and is the starting point for climbing some of the most emblematic Basque peaks among beech forests, dolmens and legends of Basque mythology.
It is essential to visit the mythical San Adrián tunnel, an opening that connects Gipuzkoa and Alava through a rocky mountain in spectacular surroundings; some of the cheese dairies where Idiazabal cheese is made; and to stroll among the walls and arcaded houses of the town of Salvatierra, capital of the region.
Alava is nature, but also wine and wineries... in Rioja Alavesa. We can start tasting its gastronomy at Bodegas Eguren Ugarte while our vehicle recovers its strength in its car park. After a rest, it's time to explore the narrow streets of Laguardia.
The Bodegas Marqués de Riscal,
designed by Frank Gehry, are
already a landmark in Elciego
Elciego and Frank Gehry
This medieval village is perforated by family cellars or caves that make its streets completely pedestrianised, and its hamlet is made up of Renaissance and Baroque buildings with beautiful coats of arms on their façades. At the ends of the town are its two churches: San Juan Bautista and Santa María de los Reyes.
The sensory explosion that the region exudes takes shape at each stop. There are multiple options, multiple scenarios: from vineyards to architecture. The latter leads to Elciego, one of the villages whose history dates back to the 11th century and whose main tourist attraction is framed by the Marqués de Riscal Winery building, designed by Frank Gehry.
From the south to the north... to the region of Ayala for the car and traveller to recharge their batteries at the Hotel Arcos de Quejana. With our batteries recharged, we can explore a first-class cultural offer: the painted forest of La Robleda de los Sueños, the Quejana Monumental Complex and the Ethnographic and Santxotena Museums in Artziniega...
Añana and Gorbeialdea
Our visit to Ayala requires a visit to its txakoli wineries and cheese dairies and, of course, to be amazed by the spectacle of the highest waterfall in Spain, the Nervión waterfall. A secret: go to the Maroño reservoir for a stroll and enjoy one of the best views of Alava with the sheet of water and the Sierra Salvada on the horizon.
Our 'electric' route ends with two regions bordering the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz: Añana and Gorbeialdea.
After strolling through the Medieval Almond and the Green Belt of the capital of Alava, a good plan is to head for the region of Añana to swap the green for the white of the Salt Valley. From there, there are two more tempting options: the Valderejo Nature Reserve and its Purón river gorge, and the Varona Tower and its interesting guided tour.
Añana offers charging points for our vehicle in Lopidana and Espejo.
Gorbeialdea is the final stage with the support of the Murgia charging station. Here nature is the protagonist with the extensive beech and oak forests and hiking routes in the Gorbeia Natural Park, the Goiuri waterfall and the surroundings of the Oro Sanctuary. A challenge: to climb Mount Gorbea (1,481 metres) and have your photograph taken next to the emblematic cross that crowns it.
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