Plazaola Green Track
Plazaola Green Track uses an old and narrow railway, the Plazaola Railway, which used to link the Spanish towns of San Sebastián (Basque Country) and Pamplona (Navarra), both in the north of the country. However the green track doesn’t go from San Sebastián to Pamplona, only from Andoain, a town of 15,000, to Irurzun; the total length is 50 kilometres.
Plazaola Railway, also called Tren-Txiki by the locals, was built in 1904 to help the transportation of iron from the Mines of Bizkotx to Andoain. The railway was made longer ten years later but, in 1953, heavy flooding destroyed part of the infrastructure. It was never really repaired, and in 1957 the rails were dismantled.
The green track
Nowadays, 44 kilometres (between Andoain and Lekunberri) are open to walkers and cyclists. Cars and trucks can enter certain parts, but it doesn’t often happen, and it’s a truly lovely place to go for a walk, which is what locals often do. There are also numerous tunnels, some with almost no light, but most of them are still passable. The longest one is Uitzi, which is 2,630 metres long.
The two or three kilometres closest to the different towns are a bit more crowded, but once you get past them, it’s just you and the mountains. Yes, I may have forgotten to mention it, but everything around the railway is green and smells fresh. It’s a beautiful walk for anyone who likes trekking and, even if it’s more charming that spectacular, it is also proof that Spain has definitely many more things to offer than just sun, beaches and sangría.