The Irati Forest is the second largest and best preserved beech and fir forest in Europe, an immense green mantle of some 17,000 hectares that is still in an almost unspoiled state.
Standing among the western Pyrenees of Navarre, the Irati Forest is accessed from the picturesque villages of Ochagavía and Orbaitzeta and is a natural treasure in which you can find the protected areas of Mendilatz and Tristuibartea and the Lizardoia Integral Reserve.
Sit down in the heart of the forest and enjoy communing with nature; let yourself be enveloped in a silence broken only by the wild rushing of water between beeches and firs. Admire the crystalline currents of the river Irati that turn turquoise in the Irabia reservoir and listen out for the elusive sounds of the fauna and stroll across the soft blanket of grass that covers the Irati Forest. The scent of the woods will impregnate itself in your skin.
There are two access points to the Irati forest: from the west from Orbaizeta and from the east from Ochagavía, where you can also find an Interpretation Centre, a good starting point to find out more about this enclave and its surroundings.
Innumerable spots, lost in the dense forest or the bright pastures on the high ground, act as a shelter and habitat to rare populations of wild animals. birds such as goldcrests, chaffinches, robins, black woodpeckers,white-backed woodpeckers, fish such as trout and others like foxes, wild boar, roe deer and stags. The latter are the protagonists of autumn in the Irati forest because they are on heat, and their howls, when they try to conquer the females, can be heard all over the forest.
Information from the oficial website of the Navarre Tourist Board. Photograph: © Erreka-Incoming Navarra
More: Church of St. Mary of Eunate, Puente la Reina, Estella-Lizarra, Monastery of Leire, Monastery of Iranzu, Castle of Javier, Sangüesa, Royal Palace of Olite, Monastery of La Oliva, Ujué, Roncal, Isaba, Ochagavía, Belagua Valley, The cave of Zugarramurdi, Elizondo, Señorío de Bértiz Natural Park, Collegiate of Roncesvalles, The Arbayún Gorge, Tudela, Bardenas Reales Natural Park