This route runs through locations of great beauty. Basque religiousness is shown in three buildings of great architectural singularity: Loyola shrine, La Antigua Hermitage and Arantzazu shrine.
Leaving Donostia-San Sebastian via the A-8 road towards Bilbao, we shall take the exit to Zestoa, from where we shall head to Azpeitia along the GI-631. Once here, travel for a further two kilometres along the GI-3174 road, heading towards Azkoitia. At the foot of Izarraitz massif is our first destination: Loyola shrine. This magnificent monumental site is notable for its basilica, in Baroque style with a circular layout, crowned by an impressive 65 metre high dome. We recommend visiting the Tower House of the Loyolas, where San Ignacio of Loyola was born. In the wing of the shrine closest to the river we find the Religious Museum and the Slide Show.
Also worth visiting is the homestead Museum of Errekarte, the birthplace of the beatified Jesuit Francisco Gárate, which conserves belongings from his family. With the visit complete, we shall head to the neighbouring Azkoitia by once again taking the GI-631, heading towards Zumarraga. Just before arriving, there is a turn-off to the left, which will take us along the GI-3801 to the Hermitage of La Antigua. Initial data about this Romanesque jewel date back to the 13th century. The building was constructed on an observation point with views of the Aralar and Aizkorri mountain ranges. Particularly notable is its Romanesque doorway and the marvellous combination of wood and stone in the interior, where a Gothic sculpture of the Virgin can be seen.
From Zumarraga, take the GI-2630 heading towards Oñati, from where we shall go up the GI-3591 to Arantzazu Shrine. This is perhaps the best example of contemporary art, and the main reference point for religious worship in the Basque Country. Not in vain, the festivities of Santa María de Arantzazu, the patron of Gipuzkoa, are held every 9th September, with numerous pilgrimages taking place throughout the year to this revered enclave. With a privileged view of the Aizkorri mountain range, the temple brings together works of artists such as Chillida, Oteiza and Basterretxea.