Distance: 185 km
Date prepared: 2002-04-28
Date updated: 2013-12-01
Warm up yout engine on the A-15 and then prepare yourself to enjoy the beautiful mountain countryside, the windy mountain road of Lizarrusti, the stunning Nature Reserve of Aralar and the Urbasa mountain range.
185 km. (15 sections)
Motorways and highways: 17.59 km
Local / Secondary: 167.41 km
Pamplona - Aizoain (13.45 km)
Set off from the Noain petrol Station and take the A-15 towards San Sebastian. The route starts on that motorway, so you can warm up the engine and tyres.
Soon after the start you will go past Arazuri. From the motorway, you can see the palace that is located in that town.
End of the first leg.
Aizoain - A-15 (12.51 km)
Leave the A-15 on the outskirts of Aizoain and turn left to join the NA-240A. As you are turning left, you will be able to see the San Cristobal Mountain, with its disused military fort on the summit. Go through two roundabouts and follow that road, with more straights than bends, until you reach km 26.
A-15 - N-240 A (4.14 km)
Leave the N-240A to re-join the A-15. This is a short toll-less trip on a three lane road that has a mild rise and fall going past the industrial town of Irurtzun on the right. Just before that town those lanes divide into four, two heading for San Sebastian, and two for Vitoria.
N-240 A - Arbizu (17.51 km)
Take the lanes to the right towards Vitoria and stay on the monotonous motorway until you reach km 47, where you’ll take Exit 38 towards Arbizu.
Arbizu - NA-120 (2.69 km)
Go though the town on the main road until you reach a Stop sign with a sports centre opposite. Turn left and 185m ahead turn right. Follow this narrow road 700m and you will reach Lizarragabengoa, with the Arakil river running through it, and cross an elevated bridge over a rail track. Then pay attention, as 700m away you’ll reach a junction where you may seem to have preference, but must in fact stop.
NA-120 - GI-120 (5.08 km)
After that Stop, continue on the NA-120, and here is where the bends start.
Go up a short way to the Lizarrusti pass, at the summit of which the Natural Park of Aralar is situated, a very attractive place where you can stop and stretch your legs. Here Guipuzcoa starts, with the consequent change of road name.
GI-120 - Lazkao (16.42 km)
Start going down Lizarrusti on the GI-120 and continue until you reach Lazkao.
Lizarrusti is a very bendy mountain road, where you will meet a couple of dips on the road, and where you have to be especially careful with ice in winter as the high vegetation makes it very shady.
Lazkao - N-I (5.2 km)
At Km 71 aprox you’ll reach Lazkao, which you go straight through, and after a straight stretch of 1,2 km you will turn left on the GI-3560 towards Olaberria, situated at the top of another mountain pass.
The descent towards the N-1, as well as short, is quite steep but there are hardly any bends. You will go over the N-1 on a bridge only to turn right on the far side of it. Go straight for about 150m and turn right again, joining the N-I
N-I - Idiazábal (1.74 km)
Join the N-1 and, after barely 1.5km, leave it on the exit for Idiazabal, Segura and Zegama, all of which you will go though.
Idiazábal - N-I (19.41 km)
Take the GI-2637 through Idiazabal, go past Segura and through Zegama. This road has good tarmac and some beautiful “caserios” (big basque houses) to look at as you drive past.
Start the climb up the Otxaurte mountain pass, full of bends and great views of the skirts of the Aizkorri mountain, one of the highest mountains in Guipuzcoa.
At the end of this leg you enter Navarra again, and soon reach the old N-1 road, which you will take towards Alsasua.
N-I - Alsasua (7.55 km)
Though it isn’t the shortest leg, it might be the fastest.
After having travelled on the previous leg at low speeds due to all the curves, many quite tight, you can step on it until you reach Alsasua. You’ll find quite a few straight stretches on a wide road with little traffic on it.
Alsasua - NA-718 (2.3 km)
On reaching Alsasua, continue as if towards Pamplona, but very soon turn off on the road that leads to the Sierra de Urbasa.
This 2km run is on a narrow road with good grip where the first few curves will appear. You will leave it and join the NA-718, which comes from Olazagutia / Olazti.
NA-718 - NA-132A (32.5 km)
Now is when the best legs come.
Go up the Urbasa mountain road on great tarmac, uncountable bends and gorgeous scenery. 2/3KM past the top you will reach a campsite with a pub where you can take a break. The scenery is worth looking at during the whole leg, but watch out for stray sheep!
Continue on the NA-718 and start the descent towards Estella, snaking your way through more stunning scenery, following the Urrederra river on your right.
NA-132A - Estella (1.5 km)
The Urrederra river, which has been our constant companion so far, turns into the Ega river until you reach Estella on a road very similar to the previous one.
Estella - Pamplona (43 km)
In Estella you take the NA-111. You are now on the 145th km of the route, and you will now follow this road all the way to Pamplona.
These 43km are on a two-way road with good straights at certain points.
Approximately 20km before Pamplona you’ll go through Puente la Reina, an historic town with a fantastic Romanic bridge, after which town you will reach the Alto del Perdon, crowned with one of the first windfarms built in Navarra, and from where you can make out Pamplona.
There are some open bends on the descent, and once you have left behind some towns such as Astrain and Cizur Menor, you will have reached your destination.