El queso

The Alavese Plains is home to handmade foods closely connected to crop and livestock farming. One such food is cheese, which shines on its own merit.

This territory produces one of the best cheeses in the world, Idiazábal. There are a number of cheese dairies making this exceptionally high-quality cheese that requires at least two months of curing. Some dairies are open to the public and give tours to show how it is made. Visitors also receive a brief introduction to cheese tasting and, naturally, try some Idiazábal cheese to learn to appreciate its nuanced flavour.

Did you know that three cheeses won the 37th Idiazábal Sheep’s Milk Cheese Contest and all of them were from the Alavese Plains? Cheese diary La Leze – La Leze, in Ilarduia, won first prize, followed by Azkarra, in Galarreta, with second prize, and in third place was Patxi López Uralde ‘Larreako gazta’, from Larrea.

In 2019, the smoked cheese made by Azkarra also won the World Cheese Award for best smoked cheese.


The Cheese Information Centre is in the SAT Olano cheese dairy in Egino. Visitors have the chance to discover a space where modern meets traditional, creating a perfect pairing.

The museum displays utensils and old images depicting the lives of the shepherds and the tools they used. There is also a video projection explaining how cheese is made. The centre will help you learn more about the profession and the environment from a closer, more personal standpoint.

Egino cheese is Denomination of Origin Idiazábal and the Artzai Gazta shepherds association distinction of handmaking its cheese.

  • Euskadi Gastronomika
  • Included in the Euskadi Code of Ethics Register
  • Family Tourism Club of Euskadi

More information:

Cheese Information Centre

San Esteban, 6 – Egino

Tel.: 0034 608 739 970

See location >



Azkarra (Galarreta) – 0034 945 042 129

  • Euskadi Gastronomika

Guided tours show the barn and the cheesemaking process and include a tasting. Duration: 2 hours. Capacity: 16-18 people. Price: free. Shop.

** Currently limited to 8 people.


La Leze (Ilarduia) – 0034 945 304 158

  • Euskadi Gastronomika

Guided tours including a tour of the barn and a tasting. Shop.

** Tours not currently offered due to capacity restrictions.


SAT Olano (Egino) – 0034 945 304 244

  • Euskadi Gastronomika
  • Included in the Euskadi Code of Ethics Register
  • Family Tourism Club of Euskadi

Guided tours with tasting. Reservation required. Maximum: 10 people. Duration: 1h. Shop.  Price: €3 guided tour (€6 with cheese tasting)

Mushrooms and Other Delicacies

Álava is the land of mushrooms and the most notable type in the region are ‘perretxikos’, flavourful mushrooms known in other places as San Jorge mushrooms.


At Asparrena-Apota Mycological Park, within Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park, you can learn about and hunt for a variety of mushrooms. Remember that wild mushroom, flower and berry foraging is regulated by law! You should also know the mushroom foraging guidelines.

Asparrena-Apota Mycological Park

Within Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park, to the north of the centre of Araia, lies this Mycological Park on more than 1,000 hectares of land.

Asparrena-Apota Mycological Park is inside Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park. Here, you’ll be able to find wide variety of local flora including berries and mushrooms.

Its forests offer a wide range of mushrooms, foraging of which is limited to foster responsible and sustainable use of resources. For a number of years, licenses have been required to pick mushrooms, berries, plants and flowers.

The Visitors’ Centre organises frequent free guided mushroom tours where you’ll learn everything you need to know about mushroom types and how to consume them. Mushroom hunting is free throughout the tour.

Some mushrooms you can find include chanterelles, cinereus, yellow foot, ashen chanterelles – known as black trumpets – yellow trumpets, saltsaperretxiko hori, golden chanterelles, saltsaperretxico horilun and Marasmius oreades, known as fairy ring mushrooms

Mushroom Foraging in Álava

Wild mushroom, flower and berry foraging is regulated by Provincial Decree 89/2008, of the Provincial Council dated 14 October, regulating the stewardship of the use of wild mushrooms, plants, flowers and berries in Álava.

Mushroom foraging guidelines

  Mushroom foraging in the Alavese part of Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park is free up to 2 kg per person per day, except in Asparrena-Apota Mycological Park.

  The Provincial Council of Álava has the right to limit picking days to protect the resource

  Do not move the soil and dig out mushrooms.

  Do not use any implements other than a knife or switchblade.

  Carry picked mushrooms only in baskets that allow air to flow and spores to fall. No plastic bags, backpacks or similar bags can be used to pick mushrooms.

  Do not pick mushrooms before they are fully grown.

  Leave any broken mushrooms or mushrooms past their prime where they are.

  Only three samples can be taken for scientific, identification, collecting or other purposes.

  Mushrooms may only be damaged for the purposes of taxonomic identification.

  No foraging between sunset and sunrise.

Restrictions and penalties

  Foraging of protected species or those classified as threatened is prohibited by law.

  Violations of this law may result in a fine between 30 and 250 euros, in addition to seizure of the unduly collected mushroom and payment of damages.

More information:

Aizkorri-Aratz Visitors’ Centre

Intuxi Kalea, 48. Araia

Tel: 0034 945 38 69 64 / 0034 688 62 99 32


The cuisine of the Alavese Plains speaks of the past and present, the history of the people of the region and their way of life. Tasting ingredients and dishes from the plains means experiencing the land with all five senses.

If you come to this small corner of Álava, you’ll discover authentic, sustainable, delicious local produce. You can try it in our restaurants, on a guided tour or after buying it straight from the producers.

In November, you can also experience the Alavese Plains Culinary Festival, an essential event where the star ingredients in our cooking (cheese, bread, mushrooms, game and potatoes) are front and centre.


One of the most commonly planted and eaten crops in Álava is the potato. The French government brought large shipments of potatoes to Álava during the Peninsular War to supply its troops, and the tuber has been a feature of the province’s fields and cuisine ever since. The potato may be a simple food, but it can be at the fore of complex, mouth-watering dishes.


Although Álava is known for Alavese pinto beans, the star of our cuisine, the Alavese Plains also produce Pedrosillano chickpeas, red beans, and lentils.



Restaurante El Gordo

Tel.: 0034 945 30 00 42

C/ Mayor, 69 – Agurain

  • Euskadi Gastronomika

Restaurante La Olla

Tel.: 0034 945 31 25 30

C/ Fueros, 1 – Agurain

Restaurante Dana Ona

Tel.: 0034 945 30 05 02

Sagarmin kalea, 1 – Agurain

Restaurante Zerua

Tels.: 0034 945 31 27 16 – 0034 665 724 758

Fueros Kalea, 2 – Agurain

  • Euskadi Gastronomika

Restaurante Goxo Gastrobar

Tel.: 0034 688 60 97 15

Cuesta de la fortaleza, 3 – Alegría-Dulantzi

Restaurante La Fortaleza

Tel.: 0034 945 40 04 86

C/ Cuesta de las Cabras, 2 – Alegria-Dulantzi

Restaurante Sidreria Araia

Tel.: 0034 945 30 47 63

Santsaerreka Kalea, 26 – Araia

  • Euskadi Gastronomika o

Caserío Marutegi

Tel.: 0034 945 31 45 58

Caserío Marutegi – Araia

  • Euskadi Gastronomika

Restaurante Umandi

Tel.: 0034 945 31 46 15

Andoni Urrestarazu Kalea, 4 – Araia

Taberna Aldaia

Tel.: 0034 945 31 70 64

Ermitaurre Kalea – Larrea

Uriko Taberna

0034 945 31 71 18

Uriko Kalea, 2 – Marieta-Larrintzar

Restaurante Casa Rural Adela Etxea

Tel.: 0034 945 31 71 77

Eleizako bidea, 8 – Ozaeta

Aletegi (Parador de Argómaniz)

Tel.: 0034 945 29 32 00

Ctra. N-1, km 363 – Argómaniz

  • Euskadi Gastronomika
  • Included in the Euskadi Code of Ethics Register

Señorio de Alaiza

Tel.: 0034 945 31 26 28

Alaiza, s/n bajo – Alaiza

Restaurante Laua

Tel.: 0034 945 30 17 05

Langarika, 4 – Langarika

Restaurante Montearatz

Tel.: 0034 945 31 47 32

Polígono Industrial San Roman

Okiturri Kalea, s/n – San Román de San Millán

Restaurante El Ventorro

Tel.: 0034 945 30 43 72

C/ La Media Legua, 1 – San Millán/Donemiliaga

  • Included in the Euskadi Code of Ethics Register

Culinary Festival

During the month of November, the best foods of the Alavese Plains are on display at the Culinary Festival. 2023 marks the 14th edition.

Different restaurants in the region create menus with five seasonal products: mushrooms, game, Idiazábal cheese, bread and potatoes. Reservations required.

At the same time, different activities related to local gastronomy are proposed both for adults and kids.

> 2023 Edition 

See the 2022 edition >

See the 2021 edition >

See the 2020 edition >

See the 2019 edition >

DATE: November

Alavese Plains Tourism Office

Calle Mayor, 8. Agurain/Salvatierra. 01200

Tel.: 0034 945 30 29 31

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