Accum. height uphill: 336 m. Accum. height downhill: 76 m.
Loyola: Km 0. Azkoitia: Km 2.9. Aizpurutxo: Km 9.1. Zumarraga: Km 17.5.
We begin our Ignatian Way, with great courage and a spirit of generosity, hoping to make the most of our Ignatian pilgrimage. We take our leave of the House and Shrine of Saint Ignatius and take the asphalt road that begins near the parking lot of the sanctuary and runs parallel to the river, towards Azkoitia. We walk along the edge of the gardens of the Shrine on our left. Straight ahead, we go into Azkoitia toward Alameda del Ferrocarril in the direction of the river.
We don’t cross the river Urola, but we walk parallel to it with the river on our right. We continue straight on and the street meets joins a cycle lane that leads back towards the river. We follow on with the river on our right until we reach some factories and a gas station. We see a bridge in front of us: we will pass underneath it and go straight on. Once we pass bridge, an asphalt road begins on our left. We take it and in that way we pass IBARMIA factory on our right.
We continue going straight ahead along the same path. The asphalt road bends to our right at right angles, but we go straight ahead to a secondary road that passes under a bridge. The road brings us across both the river and highway GI-631 by a bridge. We continue straight ahead and, after 800 meters, we cross the road once more. We cross it three times in all and, to reach the fourth bridge, we must turn after walking a few yards to our right to go to find the tarred road, making a detour around a house, and this leads to a fourth and then to a fifth bridge. We go into a field beside another house and we go straight ahead to reach the path that starts after the house and runs parallel to the road and the river, which continue on our right.
Continuing straight ahead on the same asphalt road, parallel to the highway, we reach a new bridge that crosses the highway twice. A few yards beyond that we come to a new bridge over highway GI-631. We continue on the same path, crossing the road yet again. We pass the little village of Aizpurutxo on our right. We continue straight ahead along and our path meets another path coming up from the highway. We continue straight on, looking for roads that are parallel to the main highway GI-631 and a little higher than it and the river. We reach the first tunnel that helps us to get to the other side of the mountain. More bridges and another tunnel lie ahead. We continue straight on past a quarry on our right.
The road bifurcates and we take the right branch parallel to the highway and to the river Urola. A new tunnel and we approach the houses on our left. Another tunnel and our path finally leads us to highway GI-631, which we take to our left, (walking path) to bring us close to the village of Urretxu. Keeping close to the road, we pass a sewage treatment plant and following the path parallel to the road, we enter Urretxu and Zumarraga, after crossing the river. These two villages are separated only by the river Urola. The pilgrim will find accommodation in either of these villages.