Valderejo, the little natural treasure of Alava
Valderejo, declared a Natural Park in 1992, is home to a great diversity of ecosystems and landscapes. It is the smallest of the parks in Alava and has special protection due to its ecological value and beauty. This valley, located in the westernmost part of Alava, is practically unpopulated, which favours the existence of a rich and varied flora and fauna.
The park comprises three natural areas: the summits, which offer the walker impressive views; the wooded slopes; and the meadows and crops at the bottom of the valley. The crags of Valderejo are home to the largest colony of griffon vultures in the Basque Country.
The nine signposted trails allow you to walk through most of the park and, among them, the route that crosses the gorge of the river Purón stands out. This natural area is also home to archaeological sites of great historical value, such as megalithic monuments and cave hermitages.
We access the Park through the Valdegovía valley, from the Burgos town of San Millán de San Zadornil. The road leads to the village of Lalastra, in the heart of Valderejo, the starting point for the routes and itineraries.
Lalastra, heart of the Park
The Park House or Parketxea, a beautiful building with a wooden structure and a large window, is located on the outskirts of the village of Lalastra and provides hikers with all the information they need about itineraries, activities and services. The nearby Rural Interpretation Centre shows the history of the valley and the customs and traditions of its people.
The hiking enthusiast can opt for different itineraries and ascents to the mountains that enclose the valley. There are nine routes in total, of varying lengths and levels of difficulty: most of them are short, although some of them link up with others, allowing more experienced mountaineers to go on long walks.
Lahoz, Villamardones and Ribera
In addition to Lalastra, there are three other rural villages in Valderejo: Lahoz, Villamardones and Ribera. The last two were abandoned several decades ago and it is interesting to visit the ruins of these two villages.
Humans have inhabited this valley since time immemorial and proof of this is its cultural and architectural heritage, which includes megalithic monuments (the burial mound of San Lorenzo, the monolith of Mount Lerón) and churches and hermitages from different periods. From Roman times there are remains of a road and, in Ribera, a church still stands with Romanesque remains and curious medieval paintings.
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