What to see around Vitoria?
The whole province of Alava is rich in history, and in the surroundings of Vitoria there are incredible places.
The whole province of Alava is rich in history, and in the surroundings of Vitoria there are incredible places. If you want to know what to see around Vitoria, less than 30 minutes away by car you have some places that will leave you with your mouth open. This is a sample of TOP 10 must-see places around Vitoria.
Añana Salt Valley
200 million years ago there was a sea here that evaporated and gave rise to a valley that produces one of the best salt flakes in Europe. To visit its hundreds of stone terraces built in Roman times to produce salt is to be transported to another world.
We recommend you book one of their guided tours. At the end of the tour you can relax in the salt spa or enjoy with your children the various educational activities offered for children. There is a store where you can buy the emblematic salt extracted here, which is considered one of the best in the world.
The Vitoria reservoirs: Garaio and the Ullibarri-Gamboa Reservoir
Ullibarri-Gamboa is the largest reservoir in the Basque Country, supplying water not only to Vitoria but also to Bilbao. It also has several recreational areas with public services and restaurants. In summer, it is an area of recreation and bathing very appreciated by the people of Alava.
It is a very nice and quiet freshwater beach, ideal for spending the day with the children or cycling around to enjoy the spectacular views. There are public bathrooms, tables and an outdoor shower.
On the other side of the dam, in the Garaio area, you will also find some points of interest, such as beaches and parks with public services. The entire perimeter of the reservoir can be surrounded by following the Ullíbarri-Gamboa green route.
La Leze Cave
This imposing cave-gully is located 30 minutes by car between the towns of Ilarduia and Eguino. It is a large cave with an 80-metre high mouth that crosses the Altzania mountain range from north to south, and is the only cave of its kind in Europe.
If you like climbing and abseiling, you can descend the canyon inside the cave. And if extreme is not your thing, it’s still a great place to spend the day with the kids. Don’t forget to buy the tasty Idiazabal cheese sold in the area. Nearby you can visit SorginEtxe, El Dolmen de las brujas.
Pozas de Sarria in the Gorbea Nature Reserve
A 25-minute drive north of Vitoria is the Gorbea Natural Park, one of the green lungs of the Basque Country and an idyllic place for mountain tourism in Alava. On arrival you will find an information centre and recreational and leisure areas for adults and children. There are several hiking routes in this natural environment.
The Pozas de Sarria are carved into the rocks of the river Baias, with very cold water, ideal for a dip in summer. They are very close to the Park House and the car park, so you don’t have to walk far. If you visit the city in summer and want to take a dip, this is a good place to cool off.
Izki Nature Reserve
About 35 km south of Vitoria you will find the Izki Nature Reserve and its picturesque village of Korres. At the Interpretation Centre you can find out about the different hiking and cycling routes available in the surrounding area.
We recommend the route to the summit of Mount Soila and the Peña del Castillo viewpoint, taking the Agin path from Korres. From here you can enjoy privileged views of the landscape of Alava and the nearby villages.
Laguardia and La Rioja Alavesa
La Rioja Alavesa is a region in the south of the province, less than an hour from the capital.It is known for its winemaking tradition, its enormous natural beauty and its charming villages. It is home to some of Spain’s best wine cellars, such as the Marqués de Riscal Winery in Elciego, designed by the innovative architect Frank Gehry.
Laguardia is one of the must-see towns in Álava, being one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. It was founded in the 10th century and still retains its medieval charm, offering a real journey back in time. The Church of Santa María de los Reyes, the Celtiberian Pond of La Barbacana and especially the Villa Lucía Wine Theme Centre are not to be missed. It is also worth a visit to the prehistoric dolmens in the area around the village. Nearby you will also find the Ysios Winery (designed by Calatrava) renowned for its impressive architecture and the quality of its wine.
This is the highest waterfall in the Iberian Peninsula, with a height of more than 270 metres. It is worth a visit during the rainy season or thaw, otherwise you may find it dry, at least in appearance. This is because most of the time the water flows discreetly beneath the surface. There are several hiking trails in the surrounding area.
Santa Catalina Garden
The Santa Catalina Botanical Garden is located just 12 km from Vitoria Gasteiz and, with an area of more than 32,500 m2, is a must on the outskirts of Vitoria. It is located in the Sierra de Badaia, in the town of Trespuentes, and surrounds the ruins of an ancient 13th century monastery that gives its name to the park. This combination of nature and ancient architecture is a spectacle to behold, making it one of the most beautiful gardens in the region.
This territory belongs to the province of Burgos, but is located in the interior of Álava. Taking the A-2124 road south of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the first stop you should make is the Hermitage of the Immaculate Conception, in San Vicentejo, which is considered to be the Romanesque jewel of Treviño.
Continuing south, the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Uzquiano is a 13th-century monument whose exterior was made from parts of the church of the uninhabited village of Ochate. To the west, in the centre of the county, you will come across the medieval town of Treviño, its capital. Its architectural heritage includes the hermitage of San Juan and the church of San Pedro de Treviño.
In the county of Treviño there are countless charming villages to discover. If, instead of the previous route, you take the E-5/A-1 motorway northwest of Vitoria, you will enter Treviño County from the west, which gives you the opportunity to visit Puebla de Arganzón and its Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. From there you can take the CL-127 road that leads to the village of Treviño. But it doesn’t really matter which route you take, as you will find hermitages, ancient ruins and medieval farmhouses everywhere.