The Ayala Valley

The wide valley, opened by river Nervión in its journey towards the Cantabrian Sea, has become the identifying reference of this region.

The high rainfall in this area contributes to maintaining a permanently green environment, offering an extraordinary variety of panoramic views where the rural habitat, characterized by the typical Basque country houses, is combined with wide areas of pastureland, forests, brooks and streams, isolated mounts scattered around the valley, etc.

However, above all, at this sight we can experience the strong rural stamp of the region, whose expression is within the visitor's reach by means of a wide range of typical handmade products: cheeses, embutidos —cured meats, vegetables, txakoli —the typical wine from the area, etc.

Several roads and paths cut through the valley and allow people to hike to the different villages in the region. Moreover, there are also attractive paths that lead to many of the peaks distributed around the valley.

The Ayala Valley is full of lower mountains (600-700 m) that rise and offer beautiful panoramic views: Montenegro, Goikogane, Zaballa, Peñalba, Peregaña, Idubaltza, Pagonabarra, Eskoritas, Babio, Garate...

On the skirts of the Sálvada Mountain Range, towards the valley, there is an especially beautiful spot: the Maroño Reservoir. Migratory birds usually use this place as a rest stop when due to adverse weather conditions they cannot overcome the obstacle that the Mountain Range is. It is a small water dam with a "v" profile used for human consumption. Monterey and Scotch pines, mixed with oak trees and thorn bushes, are the elements of this magnificent landscape. The fishing season at this dam opens from March to September 30th.

Another unique area is the bottom of Delika Canyon, where many mountaineers and hikers enjoy the Nervión falls from below. An easy path leads to this place from Orduña.

On the other hand, this natural environment has several religious constructions (hermitages in most cases) spread throughout the valley's mountains. Some of them are especially appealing due to their natural environment: Flatlands of Santa Lucía and Santa María del Yermo (Laudio-Llodio), or the Sanctuary of Virgen de La Encina (Artziniega). Some of these places have recreational and rest areas. "La Encina" (Artziniega), "Fuente de la Choza", "Fuente de la Teta" and "La Muera" (Orduña) are some of them.

The riverbanks of Nervión are currently becoming recreational spaces; therefore, some of these places are being equipped with paths, benches, tables, swings, etc. in Orduña and Laudio-Llodio.