San Juan Xar Natural Reserve

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San Juan Xar is a spiritual sanctuary within a natural reserve declared in 1987, which contains the only local wood of birch trees or carps (Carpinus betulus) in the peninsula. Other trees in the San Juan Xar Natural Reserve are the centenary chestnut trees, the maples, the oaks and the ash trees.

 

The tradition of the San Juan Xar sanctuary involves everyone drinking from the pipes first, and then rubbing the affected body area with a wet handkerchief. These are left around the fountain, and later the priest picks them up and burns them. This tradition comes from even before the image of Saint John the Baptist was in this cave.

 

How to get there? The access point is located at the km number 4’4 on the road from Igantzi to Arantza. There is a path that runs along the river bed and that will take you on a walk to 3 fountains. After them, you will find stairs on the right, which will lead you to the hermitage-grotto.

 

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