Information about stage 6: Stage from Gernika to Lezama
It take 4 to 6 hours if you walk it in one day
Km 0. Gernika (All services)
From the youth hostel you have to go to the center of Gernika along calle San Bartolomé. We pass through it the river and the tracks and 150 meters later we turn left onto 8 de Enero street. We take the second street on the right, Artekale street (in the middle), we pass next to the Tourist Office and access the Foru square, where the town hall is located. We access the solemn Gothic church of Santa María by stairs. After its doorway we continue to the left along Allende Salazar street and shortly to the right along Santa Klara to reach the Casa de Juntas, neoclassical in style and located where the hermitage of Santa María la Antigua and the famous Gernika oak tree were located., where the Lord of Bizkaia was sworn in and currently also the Lehendakari. The oldest tree was planted in the 14th century and has been replaced several times, the last time in 2005. We go around the complex and enter under an arch, passing the Allende Salazar school (here the Bizkaia Association provides a hostel some summers), and we turn left to continue straight ahead for a long way along Zearreta and Mestikabaso streets. In this area we have several sources to fill the canteen. Finally we turn right along the street and arrive at the hermitage of Santa Lucía, located in the Zallo neighborhood. It was part of the possessions of the Mezeta-Allende Salazar family together with the farmhouse, the mill and the forge.
km 2.2. Hermitage of Santa Lucia
We follow the paved track, passing the Mikene stream, and patiently begin the ascent to Mount Bilikario, well surrounded by vegetation and with abundant stones at the beginning. The forest track saves a drop of 260 meters. During the effort we only have to pay attention to a well-marked detour, through which we continue to the left after Gerekiz (Km 5.2). Further on we cross a gate and go down towards some farmhouses in the rural neighborhood of Pozueta, belonging to the municipality of Muxika. One of them usually has a fountain outside to relieve walkers.
km 5.6. Pozueta (Accommodation)
A stretch of asphalt leads us to pass next to a farm where a good number of donkeys graze and the Way passes to the jurisdiction of the municipality of Morga. Further down we avoid the BI-2121 through an underpass, just the place where we have the detour to the Meakaur hostel! , which marks 2.3 kilometers.
Meakaur Hostel Detour
After the pass we come out onto the road that goes to Eskerika. At the entrance is the hermitage of San Esteban de Gerekiz, right on one of the itineraries followed by the ancient lords of Bizkaia to swear and respect the privileges (Km 7.9). We continue along this road as far as the Landotz farmhouse, with a pediment, where we take a forest track that comes out to the right (cyclists are recommended to continue along the road). After a descent and a subsequent ascent we come out again to the road, which we take to the right under some eucalyptus trees, and we go around the Pepiena farmhouse. 250 meters from here is the Eskerika hostel, where we can take a detour to spend the night or if we need to regain strength.
km 10.3. Eskerika Hostel
Several tracks lead to the shoulder of the BI-2713, a road that we must follow inevitably (Km 13). We descend to the left, towards Goikoelexalde and Larrabetzu. The road supports a lot of traffic but at least the shoulder is copious. In the Astoreka neighborhood (Km 15), belonging to Larrabetzu, we leave the road ( Watch out for the detour! ) to the left to enter a narrow covered path that converges on a track. We pass by Luciaren Etxea, a small farm where chickens with organic eggs roam free. On the banks of the Zugasti stream we cover the last stretch to Goikoelexalde, where we are received by the church ofSan Emeterio and San Celedonio, with a robust tower and surrounded by a portico. This neighborhood of Larrabetzu is the first nucleus with a bar of the day (Km 17.1).
km 17.1. Goikoelexalde (Bar)
The beautiful cross, double-sided, puts us back on the BI-2713 road, which we continue to Larrabetzu. In the town there are detailed information panels where the Juradera Route is explained in detail. In 2017, from April 9 to October 15, the Association of Volunteer Hospitallers of the Camino de Santiago for Bizkaia manages the pilgrims’ hostel in Larrabetzu that occupies the upper part of the ambulatory.
km 18.5. Larrabetzu (Hostel. Bars. Shops. Pharmacy. ATM)
Be careful because the itinerary does not reach the church of Santa María, halfway between Baroque and Neoclassical, but turns to the right following the road that goes to Lezama. In summer and with sun it is another hard section due to the absence of shadows and the kilometers already accumulated. The Lezama hostel, which is only open in the summer months (see complete hostel information), is set up in the Uribarri Civic Center, on Garaiotza street, 133 (Km 21.8).
km 21.8. Lezama (All services)
Ascent to Bilikario
2.5 kilometers from the start, you have to overcome the ascent to Bilikario. It saves 260 meters of unevenness and the hardest sections are in the first kilometer. Putting a leisurely and constant rhythm from the beginning it goes up perfectly.
Few places with services
At the foot of the Camino there are only intermediate places where you can get supplies at the Pozueta hostel (Km 5.5), Eskerika hostel (Km 10.3) and in the final stretch in Goikoelexalde (Km 17.1) and Larrabetzu (Km 18,5). It is advisable to bring something to snack on during the first hours.
- The stage for those who are in good shape can be extended to Bilbao, it would be a total of 31 kilometers and not exactly flat.
- Both the Lezama and Larrabetzu hostels are generally only available in high season. The rest of the months you can book at the Hotel Rural Matsa, in a detour at the exit of Lezama in Calle Aretxalde, 153. Telephone: 944 55 60 86. Also in Derio, after Zamudio and deviated from the Camino 1.5 km, is the Mañarikua residence and hostel. Telephone 944 03 68 88 (see the hostel file in the next stage).
What to see, what to do
If you are familiar with Lezama and you are not a resident of those parts, you will surely be a follower of Atlhetic, since the Club’s training facilities are located in your municipality. In Lezama there are almost 2,500 people on the census and it is located in the Txorierri or Asúa valley. The capital is just a step away, on the other side of the Artxanda and Avril mountains.
Torre de Lezama
Once again, as an example of Lordship, Lezama was erected around the house with a tower, this time of Pedro Ruiz, lord of Lezama.
Church of Santa Maria
The solar house of Oxangoiti erected the parish church of Santa María in the 13th century. The exercise of its patronage was donated by the parishioners themselves to Juan Alonso de Mújica and his son Gómez González, owners of the Butrón solar house, at the end of the 15th century, with the condition approved by Pope John II, to grant priority to the pilongos in the presentation of beneficiaries before foreigners. It was governed by a faithful who occupies seat 41 in the General Meetings of Gernika.
Humilladero del Santo Cristo
Located in the Aretxalde neighborhood, opposite the Asua-Erletxes highway, it is one of the most beautiful examples of baroque humilladero. Totally open to the road (what used to be the Camino Real Bilbao – Gernika), its façade is defined by a large semicircular access arch protected by an iron fence. It is preceded by a portico covered with three sides and supported by three Tuscan columns on a stone plinth. The portico conserves the old encanchado of the floor in which two hearts are drawn. The oldest news about the existence of the humilladero del Santo Cristo corresponds to the middle of the 16th century.