If you are walking the Camino del Norte in the hills west of Markina-Xemein, please give yourself some time to visit the Colegiata de Zenarruza or Monasterio de Zenarruza. I wasn’t expecting the monasterio and was quite surprised when I visited late into a very long day. I was absolutely dead tired after walking over 32 kilometers from Deba, of which the last two hours were not planned. I arrived to the quiet grounds and felt a sense of peace and started to regain my strength. It also helped that I wasn’t carrying my backpack, as I left it in the near-by albergue where I would be staying the night.
I left my last post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Markina-Xemein to Bolibar, in the town of Bolibar. Let’s continue climbing with about 150 meters of elevation gain to Zenarruza. I couldn’t figure out what Ziortzara Doan Bidarria refers to. If you know, I’d appreciate a comment below. We’ll go right here…
and start climbing to…
an old cross overlooking the hillside. I love scenes like this!
Similar to the previous day’s walk from Deba, the Camino between Markina Xemein and Gernika Lumo involves a lot of climbing with many ups and downs. It should not be taken lightly!
A good idea of the terrain you’re walking through.
This was a pleasant surprise! I enjoyed the sections of causeway on the Camino Francés, and although this one was probably not old, I still was amazed to walk along it.
After a good climb with little energy remaining, I arrived to the albergue in Zenarruza.
This albergue not only had a bed available, I had an entire dorm room for myself. When I last checked, there is also a hostel at the nearby monastery. This particular alberge was closed for a period but had reopened prior to the time of this writing. As always, carry the most current albergue guide. If you like quiet, sometimes you’ll find it in smaller places such as this one.
After checking in and dropping off my backpack, I went on the short walk to the Monasterio de Zenarruza which is just ahead.
Another causeway on the way…
This was late on a cloudy day and not all my photos turned out. I don’t have photos of the entire building but you can check out the Monasterio de Zenarruza website for more information.
The monastery has origins to the 10th century but flourished during the middle ages with the growing popularity of the Camino del Norte.
Information in Spanish. I’ll let you read it…
I believe this is the older church which would date to the 14th century. This look is representative of the simple style of architecture found in the mountains.
The peaceful cloister with no one else around.
Panels of art depicting scenes from the bible.
A courtyard between buildings.
The office and what looks like the gift shop, obviously closed for the day.
I hope you get a chance to visit the Monasterio de Zenarruza one day. After my visit, I returned to the albergue in Zenarruza for the night. I was exhausted and concerned for my health. Although I was drinking, I felt dehydrated and wasn’t eating enough to sustain myself. I was also one of the few guests on the entire floor. It felt a little spooky and I took a while to fall asleep. On my next post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Zenarruza to Berriondo, we leave Zenarruza and continue walking through the hills toward Gernika. Please join me 🙂
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