Atlantic Navarre Is characterised by its ever-green landscapes and extensive megalithic remains. It is no surprise, therefore, that a route has been created in Goizueta
to protect its valuable thousand-year-old heritage
. The route takes the visitor past around 90 megalithic monuments, most of them still in good condition.
There are other megalithic remains in the area, although they have not been included in the route because they are in poor condition or are difficult to reach. This great amount of prehistoric monuments highlights the high population density in the area thousands of years ago.
In the Pyrenees of Navarre, on the hills above the village of Goizueta, the people who lived there more than two thousand years ago left a lasting mark. They choose peaceful places to bury their dead and erected several tombs in the area to honour them. The shining white quartz of these old tombs is really striking, made even more brilliant against the pleasant greenery of the mountains.
The route of the cromlechs is signposted. There is a map in Goizueta and all the monuments are identified with stone monoliths. The route contains up to ninety examples from the Bronze and Iron Ages. Most of the remains are cromlechs, circular spaces defined by stones that held the ashes of a cremated body inside, either in vessels or surrounded by small slabs.
It is quite common to find iron ore around the cromlechs because it was the main material used at the time for the manufacture of weapons, tools and arms. The quality of the iron ore from the mining area of Peñas de Aia gained great prestige in Europe between the 12th and 18th centuries. It now offers its steep profiles to mountaineers.
The route offers two alternatives through two of the areas of greatest natural value around Goizueta: Alkasoaldea (8.7 kilometres) with 55 funeral monuments, and Aitasemegi (7.7 kilometres), which has 33. Along the way there are interesting places such as the pass of Urgarata, where a nine-metre-diameter cromlech stands. Another one is the dolmen of Añonea, built in the Bronze Age 5,000 years ago.