Prames guide to the Spanish GR11 – la senda pirenaica – updated

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Granary in Hiriberri. The staddlestones which support it are designed to stop rats from climbing in.

Granary in Hiriberri. The staddlestones which support it are designed to stop rats from climbing in.

A new edition of the Prames guide to the GR11 has been published. Phew!

I’ve just come back from walking the GR11 from Hondarribia to Candanchú. My guidebook was hopelessly inaccurate. Like me, everybody had the same problem: our guidebooks – English, Spanish, French, whatever – showed one route and the waymarks showed another.

New GR11 route in Navarre

In fact the route between Auritz/Burguete and Otsagabia/Ochagavía was changed in January 2010. It no longer goes by Roncesvalles, the Fábrica de Orbiatzeta and the Casas de Irati. The new path takes a short cut, with a stopover at Hiriberri/Villaneuva de Aezkoa. Two day’s walking instead of three.

Hiriberri

The chapel of Nuestra Señora de Muskilda, just before arrving at Otsababia

The chapel of Nuestra Señora de Muskilda, just before arrving at Otsababia

More significantly there is accommodation in Hiriberri (a hotel/restaurant next to the church and various casas rurales – I recommend Maritxu). There are no public phones and no shops, but the bar near the entrance to the village will do you an evening meal and a sandwich for the next day. (It only opens at 20h00 and is remarkably anonymous, but does good food and is more friendly than the hotel/restaurant near the church.)

New waymarks

The other good news is that the waymarks have now been redone. The old guidebooks still talk about how rare they are. Here again they are way out of date. In the Spanish Basque Country and in Navarre you could almost follow the GR11 without a map: the waymarks and signposts are that good!

Postscript

I have just discovered an on-line guide to the GR11 in Navarre, published by la Federación Navarra de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada.

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2 Responses to “Prames guide to the Spanish GR11 – la senda pirenaica – updated”

  1. Paul says:

    I backpacked the GR11 in 2007 and at the ripe age of 51 am planning to do it again next year as it was a memorable experience.

  2. steve says:

    One thing that has changed is the route after Burguete, which no longer goes up into the Selva de Iraty but down to Hirriberri. No refuge but a very nice casa rural.
    Do you have any advice for walkers thinking of the GR11?

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