Day trips from Vitoria: Ullíbarri Gamboa Reservoir and Landa and Garaio Beaches
A few kilometres from Vitoria lies the Ullíbarri-Gamboa Reservoir, an irresistible destination for enjoying the green spaces surrounding the city.
As well as being one of the most important sources of water supply in the Basque region, the Ullíbarri Gamboa reservoir is one of the attractions most visited by Vitoria residents and tourists. Before its construction, the locals held innumerable discussions concerning their misgivings about a project that seemed to be appropriating their history and heritage. However, its real value soon became apparent: for more than 60 years, the Ullíbarri-Gamboa reservoir has provided electricity and clean water for the population of Vitoria and Bilbao.
Today, it’s a paradise a few kilometres from the Green Capital with endless options for leisure and relaxation. Will you join us?
Landa and Garaio Beaches
If you thought you weren’t going to be able to enjoy the beach in Vitoria, you were wrong! The reservoir’s three beaches are recognised each year with the Blue Flag, awarded for the number of services available to bathers and, of course, for the quality of the water and its surroundings. Of course, the bottom of the reservoir has been replaced by gravel, so we recommend getting some good booties or jellies to protect your feet.
The beaches of Garaio and Landa have been a real stimulus and an added attraction to tourism in Vitoria, as they are the perfect complement to city life. An ideal place for enjoying a picnic on the banks of the reservoir or a barbecue in the recreation areas, practising trendy water sports such as kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding, or simply admiring gorgeous sunsets from the reservoir’s viewpoints.
Water sports at the Real Club Náutico de Vitoria
If you’re into sports and you’re lucky enough to find yourself here on a day when the wind’s in the right direction, we suggest you go to the Real Club Náutico Aldayeta de Vitoria, located in the Ullibarri reservoir. Surrounded by oak and pine groves typical of this wetland environment, the views offered by Aldayeta are a clear example of the privileged space shared by the residents of Vitoria. The club provides a thousand and one ways to enjoy the reservoir through water sports such as sailing, windsurfing and many others. And if you’re visiting with the younger members of the family, Aldayeta offers various summer courses for both children and adults to get you started in the worlds of sailing, canoeing and paddleboarding.
Mendixur Ornithological Park
Moving away from the shore to one of the quietest areas south of the Ullibarri-Gamboa reservoir, you’ll find the Mendixur Ornithological Park, declared a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and part of the Natura 2000 Network. This reserve is home to many aquatic birds, thus becoming one of the most relevant wetlands and the main area for observing the fauna and diversity of this region.
If you’re travelling with family or friends, don’t hesitate to take advantage of their facilities. Its two main observatories and the different viewpoints on the Errekabarri path will be your best allies when it comes to observing and interacting with birds. An unforgettable experience!
Routes on foot or by bike
If you enjoyed the walk along the Errekabarri path and want to continue exploring the surroundings of the reservoir, you mustn’t miss the circular green route that surrounds this enclave.
This route offers different options, thanks to its figure-of-eight shape. It’s divided by the Azúa walkway, which gives you three options for enjoying the environment according to individual needs and physical condition. If you’re travelling as a family, we recommend taking the 13-kilometre southern route from Garaio to the Azúa footbridge, an easy trail that allows you to visit the Mendixur Ornithological Park or take a break on the banks of the reservoir.
Another option is the northern route starting from Landa to Garaio Park. These 32 kilometres require more effort, with the occasional small climb, but they’re worth it when you catch your breath at the Otxanda viewpoint.
And, finally, and for the bravest, you can explore the 45 kilometres of paths surrounding the reservoir. A 45-kilometre walk that allows you to enjoy this complete natural experience.
Of course, although many choose to take these tours on foot, most visitors arrive to explore these beauty spots on two wheels. The absence of slopes and the condition of the roads make this area one of the most popular for cycling. There’s a bicycle rental with everything you need at the entrance of the reservoir.
After an intense day of sport and routes through the most significant reservoir in the Basque region, it’s time to rest and recharge your batteries for the rest of your visit to Vitoria. An ideal place to stay is at the aparthotel in Vitoria Líbere. This novel concept adapts to the way you travel and your requirements, offering you a customisable stay. Located in the heart of Vitoria, a few metres from the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, these fully adapted design spaces present technology as the great ally that transforms the traditional idea of accommodation into a home from home. Design, innovation and customisation in perfect apartments for your trip with family, friends, or accompanied by your pet. We’re waiting to welcome you!