Monte Oiz - Iurreta (Basque Country)
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The climb from Iurreta is the easiest of the three sides to Monte Oiz; however, it is still a tough climb. There are steep gradients - like on the ascents from Munitibar and Gernika, but here there are also gentle sections between them, enabling the kind of recovery which is impossible in the last 5km from the other two sides.
Roads & TrafficThe road surface is in very good condition for the first 6km. After this it becomes a narrow concrete track. Generally it is fine for riding on a road bike, although it is slighlty bumpy in places.
It can be quite busy with traffic in the first kilometre as you leave Iurreta, but once you pass over the motorway it becomes significantly quieter and traffic is almost non-existant after the first 6km.
Monte Oiz is one of the most important and celebrated mountains in Basque culture. It is one of the five Deiadar-Mendiak - visible summits from which messages were sent, summoning members of the local government to meetings. The messages were sent by fire or by a traditional Basque horn. More recently, in 1985, Monte Oiz was the scene of a plane crash, after a flight from Madrid to Bilbao hit the radar tower at the top of the climb in thick cloud.
From a cycling point of view, Monte Oiz is a hard but enjoyable climb to ride. From Iurreta it begins with some steep pitches, before passing through some pleasant villages. After Santa Kataline the climb takes on a different face, rising steadily through forest before bursting above the trees to the wind turbines. At the small chapel, you turn a sharp right and head for the radar at the very top of the mountain. From he, if you are lucky enough to have arrived on a clear day, there are stunning views of the entire Basque coastline.
Monte Oiz is open throughout the year depending on the weather; it can close in winter for short periods following heavy snowfall.
Other sidesMonte Oiz can also be climbed from Munitibar and Gernika.
Puerto de Urkiola