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Path of the smugglers of Bidasoa

 Nature Path of the smugglers of Bidasoa

The smuggler's route of Bidasoa (KB according to Basque initials) is a circular route. It is a tourist product designed and managed by Kontrabandistak S.I. and it brings different sport, natural and cultural components together.

  • Sport: One way circular route, with the same start and finish point, which its distances and slopes require a good physical training:

- ON FOOT: 176 km (7 stages) and 9.535mt of accumulated incline.
- BY BIKE: 224-211 km (4 ó 7 stages) and 6.400 / 5.360mt of incline.

  • Natural: The route passes by protected and very interesting natural areas such as the wetland of Txingudi, Natural Park of Aiako Harria, the mountains of Artikutza, Leurtza's natural area, SCI of Belate, the mire of Larrun or the tops of Bianditz, Mendaur, Saioa, Auza, Alkurruntz and Larrun.
  • Cultural: Throughout the route it is possible find remains of human presence from the Prehistoric times (megalithic), Romanization (mining), Middle-Ages (hamlets and palaces), to nowadays. It is also possible to feel the current cultural vitality in the local activities we could find along the way.
  • Operating period: From 15th March to 15th December. According to climatic conditions the organization could change this period.

What guidelines have been used to design the route?
In addition to explained in advance, the design of the route joins three essential guidelines:

  • The smuggler: The route passes by mountain ways that they were very important in this activity, especially in the middle of XX Century, not only because of the borderline between France and Spain, but also because there were control points in the interior, in direction to the cities.
  • Markers: Almost all the route to do on foot and the half of the route to do by bike are marked. This provides safety to excursionists. On the places without marks there are specific sign posts.
  • A network of accommodations: The route is organized in stages (7 on foot and 4 or 7 by bike). At the final points of each stage there are located the accommodations, that could be tourist hostels, farmhouses or tourist apartments.

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