Bértiz Nature Park is not located along the Route to Santiago, but it is worth deviating from the itinerary to visit it. Bértiz is located in the northwest of the Autonomous Community of Navarre, between the Baztán Valley and the Irrigation of the Bidasoa. To the south this river borders the park. In some areas of the Baztán valley the altitude is less than 200m above sea level.
The Pyrenees finish in the Baztán valley. The sides of the Aizkolegi mountain, part of the Pyrenees, are covered with the thick forest of the Nature Park of Bértiz. The streams and brooks, numerous in the park, flow to the Cantabrian Sea. One of the important regions is the Bidasoa basin, a bed teeming with salmons, that gives name to the area along which it flows. The basin is some 60 km long and its course is regularly copious due to the Atlantic climate and the abundant rainfalls.
A Mild Climate
The proximity to the sea softens the intense temperatures in winter and summertime. Its moderating effect avoids the sudden descent of cold temperatures in wintertime, common in other parts of the Navarrese mountains, as well as the sudden ascents in summertime. Likewise, the Cantabrian winds blow towards the interior the atlantic storms, materialised in rain.
Due to the abundant rainfalls, the species that form the Cantabrian forest predominate in this scenery, especially beeches in the highest areas and oaks in the narrow and deep areas. Willows cover the banks of the streams and brooks of the Park, along with ash trees, alders and hazel trees.
The close forest is inhabited by different species of mammals, including foxes, the biggest predator in the area, wildcats, wild boars, otters, dormouses; and birds such as sparrow hawks, goshawks, carabus; and reptiles such as salamanders.