Urdaibai : El Bosque Pintado of the Oma Forest

Kortezubi
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Visiting the Spanish Basque Country ? Don't miss the incredible Bosque Pintado de Oma. This magical and unique place is to be discovered urgently, especially if you visit the Urdaibai Biosphere. Enjoy a 6 km walk in the heart of nature, as a family, as a couple or with friends, to take a breath of fresh air and observe this astonishing place where art and plants intermingle.

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The Bosque Pintado

Incredible, unreal, extraordinary, magnificent, astonishing… there is no lack of qualifiers to express how you feel about this open-air museum. The principle in itself is already surprising: using the trees of the Oma forest as a medium of artistic expression, it is not common! And playing with the colors, the perspectives, the points of view is just as breathtaking. It's Land Art!


Bosque de Oma

Shimmering colors

Patterns and colors

Eyes, mouths, kinds of rainbows, profiles of people and mountains: here are the main elements painted… on pines! The shimmering and vivid colors animate and punctuate the course. With each new step: a discovery. We then find ourselves looking around to try to understand what we see, because a complete pattern is often made up of several trees. Bend over, bend down, do a quarter turn to one side or the other to bring the different pieces of the puzzle together.


Bosque de Oma

As the saying goes: See and be seen

Bosque de Oma   Bosque de Oma

A unique place and intoxicating colors

The perspective and the playful path

Fortunately, there is a key so that you don't end up being a contortionist! Indeed, depending on where you are located, you will not immediately understand where the artist wanted to come from, because you do not always see the whole drawing or pattern. The position of the visitor is very important. This is why you will notice on the ground indications on the direction to observe. Position yourself and discover with amazement a drawing or a real fresco. There are also numbers on it! Follow them and enjoy this fun and enchanting trail!


Bosque de Oma

The yellow marking on the ground indicates in which direction to observe

Bosque de Oma Profiles are emerging...

Bosque de Oma The biker race

Bosque de Oma A mountain ridge appears

Agustin Ibarrola, the artist

By creating this space where art and nature intertwine, in 1984, Agustin Ibarrola, painter and sculptor, allows everyone to have access to his art. The forest of Oma is moreover his most famous work.

The site being free entry, each walker can come to contemplate and appreciate the staging planned by the painter. For information, know that he had to paint no less than 500 pine trees to achieve this XXL painting, exposed in nature.


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The Bosque de Oma trail

Enjoying the masterpieces exhibited in the heart of nature, it has to be earned! Also, you will have to walk a bit to get there. The walk is a 6 km loop, including the painted forest. No big difficulty on the course. Everything is well signposted, but shade is scarce on certain sections. Do not hesitate to bring water and headwear to hydrate you and protect you from the heat. Once at the grove, you will be more sheltered and cool.


Bosque de Oma

The intoxicating smell of eucalyptus trees

Bosque de Oma   Bosque de Oma Bosque de Oma

A nice walk in a green setting

The Santimamine cave, the bonus!

If you still have some energy after the dazzling visit of the painted forest and your 6 km hike, take the direction of the Santimamine Grotto (start at the same parking lot, near the toilets).


Bosque de Oma

Information panel on Santimamine


The cave has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. At its heart are cave paintings mainly representing animals (bison, horses, a deer, etc.). Although it is closed to visitors, the route leading to its entrance will give you key information to understand the importance of this site from the Paleolithic era.


Discover the history of this place thanks to the explanatory panels

Bosque de Oma

The entrance to the cave

Practical information before the ride

The starting point of the circuit is at the parking lot of the Lezika restaurant, in Kortezubi. You can park your vehicle there for free and there are even shaded picnic tables to (re) recharge your batteries. Public toilets and a children's play area are also available. Everything has been designed so that, as a walker, you experience no difficulty and can make the most of the exceptional spectacle that awaits you and the green environment that surrounds you.


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We hope this colorful outing has dazzled you! Continue your discovery of the Basque Country by visiting other equally breathtaking sites!

Did you like our article? Find others on the Guide du Pays Basque blog. We are also on social networks, come and consult the Facebook page of the Guide du Pays Basque, as well as our Instagram account @guidedupaysbasque


Article and photos prepared by Charline Prod'homme, La Plume Digitale


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