Mount Ori (2,017 metres) rises majestically in north-west Navarre near the border with France.
It is an accessible mountain of great beauty thanks to its exceptional views over the tapestry of colours of the Selva de Irati
and the nearby peaks of Anie, the Mesa de los Tres Reyes or Acherito. On clear days you can see as far as the Midi d´Ossau, the Moncayo and even the city of Pau (France) and the Bay of Biscay.
According to Basque mythology, the mountain is home to Mari, goddess of the genies of Nature, and Basajaun, a genie who chose the forests to show his goodness and, on occasions, his harmful side.
Ten kilometres north of Ochagavía
, just before starting the ascent to the Laza pass, a road to the left will take you up to the Larrau pass. From the car park it takes around an hour to reach the summit of the Ori on foot. The path is easy to follow. It rises gradually through a meadow that follows the south-east ridge of the mountain. It gets a bit steeper in the final stretch up to the summit, which is flat and long.
The Navarre side of the mountain is grassy, in contrast with the steep precipice that drops down on the French side. It is common to see vultures (including Egyptian vultures) flying overhead.
If you prefer a longer excursion
, continue on to the rocky Zazpigaina. To get there, head for the brecha (gap) of Alupiña (1 hour 10 minutes). The climb up to the summit is quite short. To return to Larrau, take the path that crosses the mountainside. It passes some water troughs and follows a series of river beds. Another ascent is to Orittipia (2 hours 10 minutes), which is quite easy on one side. After a brief descent, you reach the car park at Larrau again (2 hours 25 minutes).The Salazar, Roncal and Aezkoa valleys
Take the opportunity to visit the Salazar valley; stroll through the charming villages and towns of Esparza, Ezcároz and Ochagavía, go up to the Romanesque chapel of Our Lady of Muskilda and explore the Selva of Irati forest, one of the greatest natural treasures of Navarre
. If you like Nordic skiing, the slopes of Abodi-Salazar start at the old customs post of Pikatua, a few kilometres before you arrive at the Larrau pass.
You can also get to know the nearby valleys of Roncal and Aezkoa, where the people still maintain the way of life and traditions of their ancestors
. On the French side are the beautiful gorges of Kakueta and Holtzarte, which are easy to access.