The Orgi forest lies 20 kilometres to the north of Pamplona between Gerendiain and Lizaso
. One of its peculiarities is the presence of a type of oak that can live in the waterlogged soils at the bottom of the valley, the Quercus robur, or English oak, many of which are a hundred and even two hundred years old.
The forest is demarcated into three zones: the welcome area is known as Arigartzeta, the rambling zone is Tomaszelaieta and the conservation area is Muñagorri
, which cannot be accessed by the general public as it is in the process of natural regeneration.
The 'Welcome Zone' at Arigartzeta
is where you enter the oak woods. It has a car park, picnic areas and toilets.
The rambling zone of Tomaszelaieta covers 37.5 hectares and reveals the major differences of this peculiar enclave. The three main walking routes are clearly signposted, and are:
- El laberinto, a simple 300-metre-long path that takes you into the forest along a sinuous track which ends up at the "fallen tree", a giant oak felled many years ago by the wind and now covered by other vegetation.
- El camino, 1,400 metres long, connects with the third path, la Senda. In both you will find some areas specially equipped with wooden benches, handrails and even a small hut for bird-watching, so it is worth bringing binoculars.
- The 700-metre-long La Senda, where a salt pond reminds as a vestige of the sea that covered this area between 180 and 200 million years ago.
On your walk you will discover American and red oaks coexisting alongside smaller trees such as holly, maple and elm, and a rich undergrowth of natural grassland, ivy, heather and juniper. If you walk in silence, you may be able to hear the birds singing, or perceive the rapid movements of small amphibians, or even make out the occasional bat.
Outside the wood, you can follow other longer paths that will enable you to discover the charms of the Ultzama valley
. Among others, the sendero de Orgi
, an 8.4-kilometre-long path, or that of Amati (10.5 kilometres) that runs through the villages of Lizaso, Larraintzar, Iraitzotz, Zenotz, Eltso and Gerendiain, with their beautiful traditional houses. At the head of the valley there are other simple paths such as the Barranco de Aratxuri (2 km), la Vuelta de Belate (6.2 km) which runs over the border between the Ultzama and the Baztán valleys, or the 1-kilometre-long Turbera (peat bog) path, which show the singular nature of this peculiar ecosystem, very characteristic of the area.
Sports on offer in the valley include the excellent golf course of the Club de Golf Ulzama
or its Pitch & Putt
course. Next to the Orgi forest there are attractive activities such as a visit to the house-museum dedicated to honey in Eltso/Gerendiain or tasting traditional products such as the renowned cuajada (curd).
Recommended route for getting to know the area around the Orgi forest.