Protected Biotope

Leitzaran Protected Biotope

We are not used in Gipuzkoa or Bizkaia to seeing fairly large rivers with a kilometres-long stretch of flowing clean water. Due to this fact, among other remarkable values, the River Leitzaran is worthy of being declared Protected Biotope. The River Leitzaran makes its way into Gipuzkoa from Navarre's area of Leitza, and flowing through rapids, dams and meanders, under the shade of alder groves in a narrow and uninhabited valley, until flowing into the River Oria in the town of Andoain.


Plazaola Greenway

This was a traditional railway link between Gipuzkoa and Navarre. In fact, the Pamplona/Iruña-San Sebastián train ran along its banks between 1914 and 1953. The topography is so complex that almost twenty tunnels had to be opened for its construction. Now this entire area, which is still home to the remains of some stations (Ameraun and Plazaola), is a popular hiking route known as Plazaola Greenway to get in touch with nature, used by riders and hikers that walk across the tunnels where lighting has been recently introduced. There are various recreational and picnic areas by the river and on the hillsides. Leizaran also has a remarkable cultural heritage, including cromlechs, dolmens and smithies. Besides, there is a significant difference in height from the surrounding mountains (Mandoegi, 1,043 m) down into the valley and numerous streams run down the hillsides. The basin of the River Leizaran on its way through the biotope is a common trout fishing area. There are four fishing preserves, one for catch and release fishing and another for intensive fishing.



The former Plazaola railway stretch between Andoain and Otita Rural Park (5 km) is accessible to disabled people. The opening of Leitzaran Valley's Water Interpretation Centre and Fishing School is expected to be soon in the Otita Rural Park. Camping is allowed in the Bertxin area in the park entrance.

Information of interest

Protected Biotope

Leizaran 31 Phone: 943 590 409 Tolosaldea Tour Phone: 943 697 413 E-mail:


  • Recreational area
  • Caves
  • Forest ranger
  • Children facilities
  • Parking
  • Fishing
  • Camping-banning
  • River for swimming
  • Sports-gymnastic routes