Located in Parque Natural de Gorbeia, the Itxina massif is full of features to ignite your imagination. With over 500 caves, jagged limestone cliffs and labyrinths, beech forests, and stone huts - it's hard not to create stories of some mysterious world high in the mountains of Basque Country. In fact, one of the caves inside this limestone world is said to be one of the regular homes of the Basque goddess, Mari. To make spark your curiosity even more in terms of the history of the area, remains of a Neanderthal were found in yet another cave.
Following Lonely Planet's Hiking in Spain guide book, we hiked the Atxular's Eye route into and through the Itxina. At about 10km, it's a great but not too challenging day hike into a magical place. However, route finding once you get into the Itxina can be a bit of a challenge if you're unprepared - at the very least bring a compass, a map or guide book, and a sense of adventure.