This is another stage marked by the unevenness that characterizes the mountainous environments. Today, we will alternate the landscape and the typical vegetation of the Atlantic mountain in Markina, with lush riverside paths that will give us strong shades of green, until the stage ends in Gernika, a town bombed on April 26, 1937 during the Spanish Civil War.
Today we leave Markina heading for the historic town of Gernika. Unfortunately, Gernika is placed on the map by many Spaniards due to the bombings that took place in this town during the Spanish Civil War, a fact reflected by Picasso in his most famous painting: “El Gernika“.
We leave Markina crossing the river Artibai, to continue along a wooded path next to it, until we cross it again at Iruzubieta. Once again we continue along a wooded stretch and after crossing the river Artibai once more, we head towards the town of Bolibar.
The next highlight of the stage is the monastery of Zenarruza.
After visiting the monastery, we continue our ascent crossing the northern slope of the Oiz mountain, between paths and forest tracks. Once we have reached the Gauntzegarai pass, we will follow the local road to the left, going down to Munitibar.
In Munitibar we are almost halfway through the stage. We leave Munitibar, alternating roads with wooded stretches until we reach the village of Olabe. From Olabe we have only 3 kilometres to the next village of reference: Marmiz. Rural landscapes will dominate the stretch up to the vicinity of Gernika.
To get to Gernika there are two options: the first one goes through Mendieta, it is the fastest option and its route goes downhill; the second option is recently signposted, the path is more beautiful but it is also a bit harder and longer.
This stage follows the tone of the previous one, without offering us the slightest glimpse of the sea in the almost twenty-five kilometres that separate Markina from Gernika. Continue to exercise caution in case of rain, as the slopes are again frequent.