Kingdom of
Land of Diversity
Kingdom of
Land of Diversity
Navarre tourist information:
(+34) 848 420 420
PUBLISHED BY: Pamplona City Council
TEXTS BY: Cristina Ochoa, Ana Ulargi
and EGN Comunicación
TRANSLATED BY: Trading Traducciones
PHOTOS: Photo archive of the Tourism
Promotion and Image Service of the
Government of Navarre, Pamplona City
Council, Diario de Navarra, EGN
Berta Buzunáriz | Formas de Proyectar
DESIGNED BY: EGN Comunicación
PRINTED BY: ONA Industria Gráfica
WALK 1. Pamplona, city of monuments
WALK 2. Pamplona, fortified city: city walls and Citadel
WALK 3. The Way of St James reveals Pamplona
WALK 4. Green Pamplona
WALK 5. Food and shopping
ROUTE 1. Sierra de Aralar and the Valley of Ultzama
ROUTE 2. Between gorges
ROUTE 3. Atlantic Pyrenees
ROUTE 4. Eastern Pyrenee
ROUTE 5. The Ribera region
ROUTE 6. The Estella region
ROUTE 7. Valleys of Roncal and Salazar
ROUTE 8. Eastern Middle Zone
ROUTE 9. Middle Zone
Walks to get to know
the city of
PAMPLONA is the capital of the
province of Navarre, the district that
bears its name and used to be the
capital of the old Kingdom of Navarre. It
is located in what is practically the
geographical centre of the province, the
historical city taking up position on a
terrace with a marked slope, at the
bottom of which flows the River Arga.
The name of the city comes from the
Roman General Pompey the Great, who
set up camp at the spot when winter
arrived in 75-74 B.C. This military camp
became a permanent post, giving rise
to a stipendiary military city belonging
to the Conventus Iuridicus of
Caesaraugusta. The Romans found a
local population which had lived in the
area since the First Iron Age, VII or VI
century B.C., none of whose buildings
remain, but some of whose personal
belongings have been unearthed.
Strabo described the inhabitants of the
area in his Geographica: “All the
mountaineers lead a simple life, are
water-drinkers, sleep on the ground,
walks in pamplona
and let their hair stream down in thick
masses after the manner of women,
though before going into battle they
bind their hair about the forehead. They
eat goat's meat mostly, and to Ares they
sacrifice a he-goat and also the
prisoners and horses (...). They eat
sitting down on benches built around
the walls, sitting according to age and
rank; the food is passed round; amid
their cups the men dance.” The remains
of the Roman Pompaelo are on show at
the Museum of Navarre.
walks in pamplona
Places of interest
Plaza del Castillo
19 Basilica of San Fermín de Aldapa
Palace of Navarre
20 Palace of the Marqués de Rozalejo
Portal de Francia or Zumalacárregui
Church of San Nicolás
Bastion of El Abrevador
Parapet Walk
21 Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real
Bastion of El Redín
Palace of the Condes de Guenduláin
22 Archbishop’s Palace
Palace of the Navarro Tafalla
23 Language School
10 Media Luna de San Roque
City Hall
24 Church of San Agustín
11 Bastion of La Taconera
Church of San Saturnino or San Cernin
25 Palace of the Goyeneche
12 Portal de San Nicolás
Palace of El Condestable
26 Monument to the Bullrun
Cámara de Comptos
10 Palace of Redín y Cruzat
13 Basilica of the Recolet Augustines
14 Portal Nuevo
15 Museum of Navarre
16 Church of Santo Domingo
17 Seminary of San Juan
and Municipal Archive
18 Royal Palace/General Archive
Bridge of La Magdalena
Mill of Caparroso
Bridge of San Pedro
Bastion of El Labrit
Bridge of La Rochapea
Ronda Barbazana
Bridge of Santa Engracia
11 Palace of Ezpeleta
10 12 Church of San Lorenzo
13 Citadel
(Interpretation Centre of Pamplona’s
Fort of San Bartolomé
amplona city of monuments
plaza del castillo
castle that Ferdinand the Catholic had built, itself demolished with the building of Pamplona’s modern Citadel. A
long time passed before this area was built up as a residential area because the locals lived in the core of the
city. But in the XIV century, it was already used as a recreational and leisure area.
Architectural styles, nobility, religion, administrative
areas, meeting places... One of the best ways to
understand the idiosyncrasy of a city is to visit its most
representative buildings, mix in with the people, watch
them going about their business, enjoy the city’s more
spectacular areas, the magnificence of its coats of arms
and the building styles from different periods. This route
includes the city’s most emblematic churches, including
the Cathedral, those palaces of the nobility in the best
state of repair, with their heraldic coats of arms, the
most important museums and administrative buildings,
and a few of the keys to life in the city.
The Plaza is still a meeting place today and its numerous
bars and cafes entice you to while your time away inside. The bandstand, which has had pride of place in the
square since 1943, has become one of the symbols of
the city, and pipe players and town bands often liven up
evenings there.
The walk begins in this square, which takes its name
from the castle that Luis el Hutín built at one end of it in
the XIV century. This building was later replaced by the
At one end of Plaza del Castillo stands the Palace of Navarre, the seat of the Provincial Government. The façade
walks in pamplona
pamplona, city of monuments
Plaza del Castillo takes its name
from the castle that Luis el Hutín
built there in the XIV century
The statue to the Fueros is a
symbol of the rights of the
Navarrese people and was erected
thanks to public contributions
overlooking Paseo Sarasate is the work of the architect
José de Nausea and the sculpture work is by Fructuoso
Orduña. The niches on the main floor represent King Sancho the Great and King Sancho the Strong. A man from
La Ribera and another from the Mountainous region, both
holding the coat of arms of Navarre, decorate the pediment. The Palace’s pleasant garden is home to one of
Pamplona's three redwood trees, brought from America.
ples of what is known as eclectic architecture. The building adopted its current function in 2002 following restoration work by Mariano González, Juan M. Otxotorena
and José V. Valdenebro, maintaining the original façade.
Carrying on with the walk, we reach Pamplona’s auditorium, Baluarte, a stunning L-shaped building designed by
the Navarrese architect Patxi Mangado and constructed
at the point where the Bastion of San Antón once stood.
Continuing along the route, we find ourselves in the previously mentioned Paseo Sarasate, a name it received
in the XIX century when, taking advantage of the approval of the First Ensanche district, it came to form part of
the urban area with the construction of a number of buildings. This district was built in 1888, still within Pamplona’s walled enclosure. A walk along Calle Padre Moret
and adjacent streets reveals the architecture from the
end of the XIX century built at the time.
plaza consistorial
A set of statues of Navarrese monarchs from the Royal
Palace of Madrid line Paseo Sarasate. The statue to the
Fueros (Navarre’s charter), the work of the architect Manuel Martínez Ubago and paid for by public contributions,
was erected in 1903. At the other end stands the current
Parliament of Navarre, a building designed by Julián
de Arteaga which used to house the Provincial Court of
Navarre. This is one of the most representative exam-
the town Hall
Pamplona Town Hall was one of the buildings
constructed following the passing of the
Privilege of Union by King Carlos III in 1423.
The document outlining the Privilege defined
the exact location at which the Town Hall
should be built, in what used to be a moat at
the point at which the three burghs forming
the city met: Navarrería, San Cernin and San
Nicolás. Until then, relations between the
inhabitants of these areas had been tense,
leading to confrontation on a number of
occasions. Consequently, the three
populations were separated by defensive walls
and their churches were used as fortresses.
The current Town Hall was built between 1753
and 1759 to replace the old one, which was
almost in ruins. Work began following the
design created by Juan Miguel de Goyeneta, but
it was decided that the façade should be
changed for the one presented by José Zay y
Lorda in 1755. The sculptor José Jiménez took
on all the sculpture work. The clock also dates
pamplona, city of monuments
from the XVIII century, although its workings
were replaced in 1991. The entire interior
disappeared with the alterations of 1952.
The door of the Town Hall is guarded by two
statues representing Prudence and Justice,
while the figure of Fame, announcing the
glories of the city with a bugle, crowns the
building. Flanking Fame, two statues of
Hercules stand as a symbol of civic virtues.
The coat of arms of Pamplona also appears on
the façade in numerous places.
walks in pamplona
Walks to get to know
the city of Pamplona
museum of navarre
pointed archway leads to a barrelvaulted passage before ending in a
quiet patio.
The dark grey granite from Zimbabwe
on the outside stands in stark contrast
to the warm colours of the beech wood which prevails in the interior.
This street was an important social
hub in the city in the XVIII century, something which is reflected in its buildings. The Baroque palaces still
standing and the countless coats of
arms decorating many of the buildings bear witness to the fact.
Among the more interesting buildings, the Palace of the Condes
de Guenduláin, built by the Eslava
de Enériz family, is now a luxury hotel. The façade of the house, one of
the widest in the city, has three storeys, and the processions and
events taking place in this important street in the Historical Centre,
both past and present, are clearly
visible from its balconies.
Another must is the Palace of the
Navarro Tafalla, which the member
of the Order of Santiago and trader
with South America, Captain Juan Francisco Adán y Pérez had built in 1752.
At the end of Calle Mayor, in the Plaza Recoletas, there is a convent of
the same name which was founded
by the Secretary of Felipe III Juan
de Ciriza, who arranged it so that
the Crown, the owner of the land,
granted it to the Order of Recolet
Augustines. The building, which follows the example of XVIII-century
convent architecture, was designed
by Juan Gómez de Mora and completed in 1634.
Calle Mayor is the most emblematic
street in the historical city, the old road of pilgrims on their way to Santiago which joins the Parish of San
Saturnino (also known as San Cernin,
the name of the fortress church of the
ancient burgh) with that of San Lorenzo. When the three burghs were
united, it became the main thoroughfare in the city and was home to a long
list of tradesmen. Several Baroque
houses and coats of arms from the
XVIII century, indicative of the social vitality of the area, can still be seen,
such as the Palace of Redín y
Cruzat and the Palace of Ezpeleta.
Alongside the Church of San Saturnino is the Palace of El Condestable, built for the IV Conde de Lerín in
the middle of the XVI century. It has
recently been refurbished and is now
one of the city’s civic centres, meaning that it often hosts exhibitions
and events of different kinds.
At this point, we should veer off into
Calle Campana to see the Cámara
de Comptos, an example of Late
Gothic domestic architecture. The
walks in pamplona
The austere exterior conceals the
great Baroque reredos inside the
convent. The main reredos and two
other side reredos form a delightful
set commissioned from Francisco
Gurrea y García in 1700.
Carrying on through Plaza de la O,
we reach the Parapet Walk, which
includes the Portal Nuevo, one of
the old gateways into the city. From
there, the path to the Museum of
Navarre, housed in what used to be
the Hospital of Nuestra Señora de
la Misericordia, makes for a pleasant stroll.
Of the original construction, both the
doorway, built in 1556 by Juan de Villareal, and the old chapel, built in
1547 by the stonemason Juan de
Anchieta, still remain. The façade of
the chapel is not original, but an
XVIII-century Baroque work from the
Church of la Soledad in Puente la
Reina which was moved to the site in
1934. The chapel contains an interesting exhibition of religious art.
pamplona, city of monuments
PamPlona, city of monuments
The basement of the museum displays exhibits on prehistory and protohistory. The first floor is given over
to Roman art, including a superb collection of mosaics. Mediaeval art takes up the first and second floors,
and two of the highlights of the work
on show are the Romanesque capitals from the old cathedral, outstanding for their quality, and the Hispanic Muslim coffer from the Monastery of Leyre. Exhibits from the Renaissance are on the second floor
and, in addition to the set of mural
paintings from the Palace of Oriz,
there is also a magnificent wooden
carving of Saint Jerome by Juan de
Anchieta. The third floor is devoted
to the XVII, XVIII and XIX centuries.
Goya’s portrait of the Marqués de
San Adrián deserves special mention. The collection culminates with
works from the XX century.
preference for ashlar masonry, and
that of the Ribera region, where
brick predominates and galleries are
opened to crown the building.
We now walk along Calle Santo Domingo, Calle Mercado and Calle Aldapa to reach the Cathedral via Calle
Navarrería. We continue along Calle
Dormitalería, which takes its name
from the fact that the cathedral’s dormitalero (the man responsible for
locking the door at night) used to live
there, to Plaza Santa María la Real,
home to the Archbishop’s Palace.
This building combines typical architecture from the Middle Zone, with a
Walking up the slope of Labrit, we
reach the pedestrian precinct of
Avenida Carlos III, a social artery that
unites those out for a stroll, shoppers,
traders and establishments of
different kinds. If we walk along the
avenue from Plaza del Castillo, then,
on the right, we pass Avenida
Roncesvalles, where a spectacular
monument to the Bullrun by the
Biscayan sculptor Rafael Huerta
Celaya, a must for all visitors, stands.
cathedral of santa maria la Real
Visitors should not miss the Cathedral, one of
the city’s principal treasures. The present
Gothic building replaced the old Romanesque
one, which was seriously damaged in the War
of La Navarrería (1276). The new cloister was
built first, taking the whole of the XIV century
before it was completed.
It was built in the Gothic style and was
strongly influenced by French trends. The
sculpture work on the doors leading to different areas, such as the Door of El Amparo and
the Precious door, both of which address the
Dormition of the Virgin, is quite outstanding.
Before entering the Cathedral, you should take
a look at the Barbazana chapel, where Bishop
Arnaldo de Barbazán (1318-1355) is buried.
The chapel has a magnificent star vault and
houses the Virgin of El Consuelo, a refectory
(now a small museum on the Cathedral), a kitchen and a granary, where an excellent collec-
tion of work in ivory and gold is on show,
including the reliquary of the Holy Sepulchre
with Limoges enamelwork, a gift from Saint
Louis, King of France, the XIII-century covers
of the Cathedral’s Book of the Gospel, and the
reliquary of the Cross.
If you enter the Cathedral through the Door of
El Amparo, then you will find yourself in a large
building which was mainly constructed in the
XV century and possesses great unity in terms
pamplona, city of monuments
of form and style. Pamplona Cathedral was the
mausoleum of the Kings and Queens of
Navarre following the restoration of the
monarchy in 1134. Although all the tombs but
one were lost in 1390 when the roof caved in,
the tomb known as “the little princess” is still
incrusted in the south wall next to the Door of
El Amparo.
The tomb of the King most involved in the
building of the new Gothic building, King
Carlos III the Noble of Navarre, can also be
seen. It is worthwhile entering the building to
see this magnificent tomb opposite the presbytery alone. It was made by Johan Lome de
Tournai, who probably arrived from Paris between 1413 and 1429. To work the sculptures,
he used alabaster from Sástago to great effect,
shaping to perfection the features of Carlos III,
the beauty of his wife, Leonor, and the richness of their apparel.
walks in pamplona
rincón del caballo blanco
along the walls, as it houses the Interpretation Centre of
Pamplona’s Fortifications.
Pamplona’s defence system is one of the best conserved
examples of military architecture on the peninsula. Most of
it can be covered on foot and it is, without doubt, one of
the best ways to see the city. Due to their strategic locations, the bastions offer beautiful views of the districts on
the outskirts and the mountains that surround the city.
Walks along the walls are peaceful strolls, an ideal way to
switch off and just enjoy the surroundings and good company. The grandeur of the structures speak of other times,
of battles key to history, of Pamplona as a border town.
The now-demolished front of la Tejería, the beginning of
which still stands alongside the fronton Jito-Alai, used to
flank this bastion. Only part of the platform that surrounded it at the base still remains, the widening of the road
to La Chantrea in the 1960s leading to the disappearance of one of its faces.
The Citadel and the park around it, the Vuelta del Castillo,
form one of Pamplona’s most charming areas, a beautiful
walled park in the heart of the city. You can make the
most of a visit to this delightful part of the city to take a
look at one of the exhibitions of modern art normally on
display in some of its buildings, such as the Mixed Room
or the Magazine, or to enjoy the magnificent open-air
sculpture exhibition.
In contrast to the narrow, intricate streets of Pamplona’s
historical centre, the city suddenly opens out into this huge balcony over the walls, which stretches from the Rincón del Caballo Blanco to the Fort of San Bartolomé.
The vegetation and views around the city accompany
walkers as they follow the path along the tops of the
walls that protect the holiest part of the city: the Archbis-
Built in the XVIII century, this fort was designed as the
main outpost beyond the walled enclosure. Of the three
outer forts proposed by the Marqués de Verboom, the
Spanish military engineer of Flemish origin who founded
the Royal Corps of Engineers, in his 1726 project, only
this one is still complete. Its current appearance is the
fruit of the additions made by Antonio Hurtado in 1796.
It was the last defensive structure finished in Pamplona.
The Gardens of Tejería and La Media Luna now sit on top
of it. This is, without doubt, the best place to start a walk
walks in pamplona
ronda obisPo barbazana
pamplona, fortified city
The walled city of Pamplona
existed in the Middle Ages, the
castle of Luis el Hutín (1308)
completing the defence system
The districts of La Rochapea, La
Chantrea and San Jorge can be seen
from the Bastion of El Redín, Mount
San Cristóbal providing the backdrop
hop’s Palace and the cloister, the Barbazana chapel and
the Head of the Cathedral of Santa María la Real. On this
stretch, the curtain wall does not have cannon emplacements and a couple of sentry boxes from the mid-XVIII
century still stand.
Built in around 1540, this bastion is, together with the
Bastion of Labrit, the oldest bastion in the city and is the
highest point of the walled enclosure, making it the city’s
most attractive viewpoint over the River Arga. Without
doubt one of the most charming places in the city. Adjoining Plaza de San José and the cathedral, it is a beautiful
place for a walk . The views are considered the best in the
city: the districts of La Rochapea, La Chantrea and San
Jorge can all be admired, Mount San Cristóbal with its
abandoned fort on top providing a fine backdrop.
Portal de francia
location between the two low bastions, the low Bastion
of El Pilar and the Bastion of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, which were under construction at the same time.
This building dates from the XVIII century, when it proved
necessary to improve the defences on the French front
in line with the new military techniques developed by the
engineer Vauban. It was built to support the defences of
the Bastions of El Redín and El Abrevador, leading to its
This is the best conserved of the six gateways to the old
walled city. It was built in 1553 by the Viceroy, the Duque
de Alburquerque, and its drawbridge and chains, recently
reconstructed, remain intact.
la Taconera
The Park of La Taconera, designed in 1830,
is the oldest and one of the most beautiful
in the city. It is a mixture of trees, bushes,
flowers, monuments and even animals, the
moat and walls housing a small zoo. Of its
bastions, the Bastion of Gonzaga stands out
for its peculiar, complex structure, the fruit
of successive alterations between the XVII
and the XVIII century. It was radically
remodelled in 1925. The moat was blocked
and the walls partially demolished,
thickening them on the exterior.
Another fine construction is the Ravelin of
San Roque, built between 1675 and 1700
during the reign of Carlos II and intended
as an outlying defence for the Citadel. One
of its faces bears the coat of arms of
Viceroy Pignatelli, Marqués de San Vicente,
named in 1699. It is now where the park’s
deer spend the night, climbing to the top to
rest and separate themselves from the
other animals.
But, without doubt, one of the best
conserved constructions is the Bastion of
La Taconera, recent restoration work having
returned the walls comprising it to their
former glory.
pamplona, fortified city
walks in pamplona
Walks to get to know
the city of Pamplona
It bears a Renaissance shield fashioned with a two-headed eagle and the imperial arms. A plaque commemorates the flight of Zumalacárregui from Pamplona in 1833
to take charge of the Carlist troops.
yard gallery was added later, XV century, and was altered in the XVI century, when the typical Castilian corbels
were included. The doorway belongs to the days of King
Carlos I of Spain and was rebuilt in 1598 for the visit of
Felipe II. Behind the Palace were the vegetable and ornamental gardens that sloped down to the Park of Santo
The climb up to this bastion from the lower reaches of
the city gives an idea of the extraordinary safety that the
walled city afforded. The size and solidity of the flank on
the front of La Magdalena, with the low Bastions of Nuestra Señora del Pilar and Guadalupe, is simply outstanding. The old city of La Navarrería is entered via the Portal de Francia from here.
This walk, the old route of the soldiers keeping a watch
on the horizon and surrounding area to protect the city,
runs behind the entire ancient burgh of San Cernin, from
the Park of La Taconera to Rincón del Caballo Blanco. It
is, without doubt, one of the finest viewpoints in the city.
The absence of traffic, the green surroundings and the
monuments that dot the path make for a pleasant walk
between the city walls and the River Arga.
This low bastion was added to the Bastion of El Abrevador in the middle of the XVIII century to enhance its defensive possibilities and adapt the wall to new times. Although this reinforcement was added in line with the new
techniques of the well-known engineer Vauban, the two
bastions (from the XVI and the XVIII century, respectively)
make a truly harmonic pair despite the two centuries that
separate them. They represent progress in the techniques of military engineering.
We find ourselves before one of the most spectacular gateways to the city. The origin of this opening in the walls
dates back to 1675, the year in which the then-Viceroy,
the Conde de Fuensalida, built a gateway at this location.
Following the absolutist bombardment of 1823, the bridge was probably rebuilt, although it was demolished in
1906 to widen the entrance from the Guipúzcoa road. It
was replaced by a functional iron footbridge. Víctor Eúsa
built the Portal Nuevo as we know it today in the middle
of the XX century.
The Palace of the Kings and Queens of Navarre is located on the Bastion of Parma. The Palace, now the Archive of Navarre following remodelling work directed by Rafael Moneo, was a cause for dispute between the monarch and the bishop practically throughout the Middle
Ages. The Palace was built during the reign of King Sancho VI the Wise (1150-1194), and the semi-basement in
the north wing dates from the same period. The court-
This architectural complex is the main reference point in
the city. It is considered the finest example of Spanish renaissance military architecture still standing and one of
moats of the citadel
walks in pamplona
pamplona, fortified city
the foremost defensive complexes in Europe. The parks
it houses and Vuelta del Castillo, the strip of land surrounding it, are regarded as Pamplona’s lungs.
Its military and defensive functions have now given way
to others of a more recreational, cultural and sporting
nature for the residents of Pamplona to enjoy.
Building began during the reign of Felipe II, in 1571, according to the plans of the military engineer Giacomo Palearo, ‘the little Friar’. The new Citadel was adapted to advances in warcraft which called for defence against cannons with longer ranges than those used until then and
which rendered the old castle of Ferdinand the Catholic
mixed Pavilion
the fortress, which now opens onto Avenida del Ejército.
The coats of arms of Felipe IV, Conde de Oropesa, and
Luis de Guzmán y Ponce de León which originally decorated the front of the now-demolished Portal de Tejería
can also be seen. These were recovered following the
demolition of the gateway in 1918 and placed here in
1926. The Citadel was completed in 1646 and was visited by Felipe IV the same year. Further additions were
made, providing the area enclosed by the fortification
with new facilities, such as the Magazine, the Arms Room (the old arsenal), the Oven and the old food store,
now called the Mixed Pavilion, built at the end of the XVII
century and remodelled by the engineer Ignacio de Sala
in 1720. De Sala was also responsible for the bomb-proof vaults that protect the entrances to the Citadel.
So, Palearo, Duca di Sabbioneta e Trajetto, with the help
of the Viceroy of Navarre Vespasiano Gonzaga, Marchese di Sabbioneta and Duca di Trajetto, designed a defensive building similar to the modern Citadel of Antwerp: a
regular pentagon with five bastions at its angles: San Felipe el Real, Santa María, Santiago, San Antón and La Victoria. The latter two were demolished in 1888 to accommodate the city’s First Ensanche district although parts
of the Bastion of San Antón can still be seen in the Auditorium of Pamplona.
Under the viceroyship of the Conde de Oropesa, half moons, given the names of Santa Teresa, Santa Ana, Santa
Isabel, Santa Clara and Santa Lucía, were added. The
commemorative inscription of Viceroy Gonzaga, dating
from 1571, can still be seen over the main gateway to
The modern building proved its effectiveness and was
never taken by force. Only once did it fall. This occurred
in the winter of 1808, when, by virtue of the Treaty of
Fontainebleau, French troops set up camp outside the
city because the Viceroy, the Marqués de Vallesantoro,
refused to accommodate them inside the military enclosure. On the 16th of February, following heavy snowfall,
the French started to throw snowballs at the Navarrese
soldiers guarding the Citadel, who, carried away with the
game, lost sight of their duties and were suddenly surrounded and disarmed by the foreign troops. The Spanish War of Independence began soon afterwards.
royal Palace/general archive
The military authorities handed the Citadel over to
Pamplona City Council in 1966 and it is now used for
exhibitions and its gardens are home to a set of sculptures that have transformed the area into a delightful
open-air museum.
pamplona, fortified city
walks in pamplona
the way of st james
amplona reveals PamPlona
cloister of PamPlona cathedral
Pamplona is the first city on the popular French route
of the Way of St James, which has been declared a
World Heritage Site. The goal of travellers, the city of
Santiago de Compostela, is a few hundred kilometres
away and they still have to cross small villages, bleak
plateaus, cities and rugged paths before they arrive at
their destination, the tomb of Saint James. This route
through the city takes walkers on the route normally followed by pilgrims on their way through Pamplona, from
the Bridge of La Magdalena, where they cross the River
Arga, to the churches and mediaeval streets of the historical city. A route to put yourselves in the shoes of pilgrims for a day and walk the stretch of the Way that
runs through Pamplona.
The Way of St James crosses the oldest part of the
city, its historical centre. It provides a good opportunity
to lose yourself in the midst of the Mediaeval city with
historical centre of PamPlona
walks in pamplona
the way of st james reveals pamplona
The Way of St James crosses the
oldest part of the city and it provides
a good opportunity to lose yourself
in the midst of the Mediaeval city
The Portal de Francia is the oldest
gateway to the city (1553) and
bears a shield with a two-headed
eagle and the imperial arms
Bridge of la magdalena
This Gothic bridge is the main gateway to the city for pilgrims.
Built in the XII century, its has three large, slightly pointed
arches, triangular cutwaters and semicircular relieving arches on
the supports. There is a cross with an image of Saint James at
one end. Crossing the Arga, pilgrims find themselves at the foot
of the city walls.
its cobbled streets and make the most of the shops,
bars and restaurants that line the way.
restaurant. Excellent views over the River Arga and the
moats can be enjoyed from here.
After crossing the Bridge of La Magdalena, pilgrims have to pass through the Portal de Francia or de Zumalacárregui (1553) and walk up Calle del Carmen, called
Rúa de los Peregrinos (Pilgrims’ Road) in the XIV and XV
centuries, to Navarrería. This is the oldest gateway to
the city. It bears a shield fashioned with a two-headed
eagle and the imperial arms.
Behind the Neo-Classical façade designed by Ventura
Rodríguez, this Gothic building dating from the XIV and
XV centuries conceals art treasures such as the mausoleum of King Carlos III of Navarre and Queen Leonor
of Castile, and the delicate Gothic cloister, considered
one of the best in Europe. Pamplona Cathedral has a
polygonal apse with ambulatory, characteristic of pilgrimage churches.
One of the most charming places in the city can be
found at the highest point of the Bastion of El Redín.
This used to be the site of a palace, from whose days
the cross, “La Cruz del Mentidero” (1500), remains. It
later became a hospice for pilgrims and is now a bar-
The Way of St James passes through the Plaza in front of
the Town Hall, one of the most important places during
the famous San Fermin fiesta. The rocket that announces
the way of st james reveals pamplona
walks in pamplona
walks to get to know
the city of Pamplona
chaPel of san fermín in the church of san lorenzo
the beginning of the festivities is launched from the central balcony every 6th of July. The first town hall was built
here with the union of the city’s three burghs (1423).
Formerly, a brotherhood attended and gave shelter to pilgrims here. This church is large, open-plan and austere,
typical of architecture designed for preaching. Inside,
there is a beautiful Renaissance reredos dedicated to St
James, also present in the niche on the façade, dressed
as a pilgrim complete with staff, hat and cloak with scallops. The façade repeats the scallop motif, the symbol
of the Way, in its niches and on the door.
The Museum of Navarre stands at the end of Cuesta de
Santo Domingo. It houses the most important collection of Navarrese archaeology and works of art, including the coffer of Leyre (beginning of the XI century)
and Goya’s portrait of the Marqués de San Adrián. The
calle mayor
walks in pamplona
the way of st james reveals pamplona
the way of st james reveals PamPlona
building used to be the General Hospital, the XVI-century Plateresque façade and chapel of which remain.
Church of san
saturnino or san Cernin
This is a church-fortress that used to form part of the
city walls. Built in the XII century, it still retains features
of its defensive function: thick walls, grilles and a
watchtower. Remodelled in the XIX century, it has a refined Gothic interior. The choir is home to the most important Baroque organ in the city.
Opened in the XVIII century, only one tower of the original Mediaeval church remains. The church houses the
famous Chapel of San Fermín with the reliquary-bust of
the Saint, patron of the city and the first Bishop of Pamplona. Alongside this church is the Plaza de las Recoletas, also known as the Plaza de los Ajos (“of Garlic”),
with a Neo-Classical fountain by Luis Paret and the Convent of the Recolets Augustines, founded in 1634.
church of san nicolás
The church-fortress devoted to Saint Saturnin of Toulouse
(who brought Christianity to Pamplona) is in the heart of
the burgh that bears his name, the area chosen by the
city’s first French settlers, a lively, enterprising
bourgeoisie. The inside is an elegant mixture of Gothic
forms. One of its chapels is devoted to the Virgen del
Camino (Virgin of the Way), Lady and Queen of Pamplona.
the way of st james reveals pamplona
walks in pamplona
green PamPlona:
amplona Parks and gardens
Park of la taconera
It is hard to understand the urban landscape of the capital of Navarre without its parks and gardens, which
breath air into the city thanks to their abundant vegetation and offer sanctuary to those in search of peace
and quiet. The most striking of these are the Citadel
and Vuelta del Castillo, considered the lungs of the city,
and the Arga Riverside Park, a route which follows the
banks of the river past allotments, farms, bridges, urban landscapes and others of a more rural nature. More than 20% of the city’s surface area is green and pedestrianised, making it a wonderful city for walks.
A walk through green Pamplona could start in the Citadel and then out into the Vuelta de Castillo to the Park
of Antoniutti, a foretaste of La Taconera. The Parapet
Walk that takes us to Rincón del Caballo Blanco can be
reached from these gardens. From there, you can leave the Historical Centre behind and head towards the
Park of La Media Luna. There are three other attractive areas that visitors should not miss, but which stand
somewhat apart from the city centre. These are the
Park of Yamaguchi, in the Ermitagaña district, the
walks in pamplona
Park of yamaguchi
green pamplona: parks and gardens
Vuelta del Castillo, with its green
fields and footpaths, is the largest
park in the city
La Taconera is the oldest park in
the city (1830) and there is a small
zoo in its moats
vuelta del castillo
ted on the glacis of the Citadel: the open land surrounding the building which gently sloped up towards the moats and on which building was forbidden. The park also exhibits some of the best exponents of contemporary sculpture: Alberto Eslava,
Faustino Aizkorbe, Alfredo Sada.
campus of the Public University of Navarre and the
campus of the University of Navarre. There is also a
stretch of the Arga Riverside Park in Pamplona, beginning in the market gardens of La Magdalena and leaving the capital in the district of San Jorge.
The Pamplona Citadel is one of the most important defensive examples of Renaissance military architecture to be
found in Europe. Felipe II ordered it to be built in 1571 to
defend the city against the constant raids of the French.
It now encloses a peaceful park with small trees and
lawns decorated with avant-garde sculptures: Jorge
Oteiza, Néstor Basterretxea, Vicente Larrea, Alberto
Eslava, Ricardo Ugarte, Imanol Aguirre, Pablo Juarros,
etc. Its military buildings host exhibitions and contemporary art shows.
This park is entered by the Portal de la Taconera. It is
full of trees and also has a roller-skating track and skateboard park, often packed with youngsters trying
their skills. There is also contemporary sculpture in the
form of José Ramón Anda’s Polyphemus. The Park of
Larraina, the continuation of the Park of Antonuitti, is
located right on the city walls and offers some extraordinary views over the River Arga.
A romantic, French-style park, set out on one of the bastions of the city walls. This is the oldest park in the city
(1830) and there is a zoo in its moats with deer, goats,
ducks, swans, rabbits and peacocks in semi-liberty. It has
The largest park in the city. This English-style park
consists of large, green fields with trees and pedestrian footpaths, ideal for walking or sport. It is loca-
green pamplona: parks and gardens
walks in pamplona
Walks to get to know
the city of Pamplona
pretty cafe. It has 43 different tree
species, including several redwood
trees. There are several commemorative monuments along the
path, such as the one dedicated to
the Navarrese violinist Pablo Sarasate or the one of Sancho the Great, King of Pamplona. The park
continues beneath the city walls to
become the Park of La Tejería,
which reaches the mediaeval bridge of La Magdalena.
Park of la media luna
a varied, exotic range of trees, with a
few extremely old examples. The Café Vienés, with a long menu of coffees and teas, is located beside a
spectacular Pagoda tree. The path is
scattered with sculptures: the famous Mari Blanca (XVIII), the monument to the tenor Gayarre, the Portal
de San Nicolás (1666) or the Gothic
arcade of Teobaldo II.
A park based on a romantic, halfmoon design with fountains, fishpond, roller-skating track and a
The good relationship between the
twin towns of Pamplona and Yamaguchi gave rise to this oriental
park, the design of which relied on
the help of Japanese landscape
gardeners. The park is a large, green area with Japanese ornamentation: a large geyser, a pond with
bridge and waterfall, and several
Japanese bushes and trees. It is a
tribute to the four seasons. The
camPus of the university of navarre
walks in pamplona
green pamplona: parks and gardens
green PamPlona: Parks and gardens
park houses the Pamplona Planetarium, which puts on different programmes and exhibitions throughout the year.
camPus of the Public university of navarre
The gardens on the campus of the
Public University of Navarre exhibit
more than one hundred species from
the five continents: Africa (palm tree,
Libyan fir, Atlas cedar, etc.), America
(redwood, acacia, magnolias, etc.),
Australasia (eucalyptus), Asia (Japanese pagoda tree, Turkish filbert,
etc.) and Europe (oak, yew, beech,
etc.). Autochthonous species from
Navarre are also represented.
The university gardens have become
one of the most important green areas in the city. They cover more than
40,000 square metres and have more than 43,000 trees and bushes,
which include examples of redwood,
maple, lime, Lombardy poplar, Judas
tree, fir, cedar, willow and gingko biloba among their number.
arga riverside Park
This is a 12-kilometre walk through
nature that runs parallel to the River Arga
as it makes its way through Pamplona.
Walkers pass a succession of parks,
gardens, footbridges and bridges over the
river, jetties, picnic areas, fishing spots,
green pamplona: parks and gardens
play areas and old restored mills.
The environmental recuperation of the
banks also means you can enjoy the
river’s wildlife: turtles, fish, ducks and
other birds.
walks in pamplona
food and
amplona shoPPing
Pamplona offers visitors many ways in which to enjoy their stay in its pleasant, welcoming environment. Its local neighbourhoods are brimming with
life, small family businesses living alongside new
establishments, supermarkets and traditional markets, all offering locals and visitors a generous
menu of food, culture and leisure. The Historical
Centre and the two Ensanche districts, both traditional meeting places for locals due to the great
number of shops, have the most to offer.
mix in with the typical customs of the residents.
Walking through these streets, you pass a wide
range of cultural opportunities and services: more
than 500 shops, nearly 300 bars and restaurants,
and hundreds of services to meet all your leisure
and shopping needs. Traditional shops –where you
can buy the typical red neckerchiefs, figures of
characters from the Troupe of Giants and Bigheads, handmade wineskins, original T-shirts or
homemade pastries to sweeten the walk– sit in
amongst a wide range of other shops: shops specialising in local brands, franchises, international
brands and a good number of boutiques selling expensive labels. The area is also home to several of
the city’s finest jewellers.
Their streets and avenues, mostly pedestrianised,
large plazas, designed to make life easy for those
on foot, and atmosphere, a mixture of peacefulness and the bustle of city life, make the centre of
Pamplona an ideal place to stroll, shop, eat and
An extremely popular tradition among locals is that
of stopping off on the way to enjoy the bombardment of flavours of the city’s tapas. You should take a walk down Calle Estafeta, Calle San Nicolás or
Navarrería, whose bars offer a great variety of this
miniature form of haute cuisine. It is usually best at
either midday or at the weekend. With a bit of luck,
you may stumble across one of the numerous
events organised to praise this tradition: the Week
of Casseroles and Navarra Wine, Tapas Week, the
Gastronomic Days that focus on mushrooms (very
common in local woods), Game Days, etc. And at
night, these streets are populated by young people
drawing the day out into the early hours.
calle san nicolás
taPas, miniature haute cuisine
walks in pamplona
food and shopping
It is a good idea to walk down
Calle Estafeta, Calle San Nicolás
or Navarrería at midday
or at the weekend
The Market of Santo
Domingo, the oldest market
in the city, is at the end
of Calle Mañueta
the taste of lettuce hearts from the market gardens of
La Magdalena –an agricultural area on the banks of
the River Arga in the centre of Pamplona–, dressed
with olive oil and finely chopped garlic, linger on the
taste buds. “Pocha” beans with pig’s tail and red
beans, served with local chilli peppers, are also typical
Such is the quality of Navarrese gastronomy that taking something home with you is hard to resist. You
should not miss the chance to enter one of the city’s
traditional shops and buy a good ewe’s cheese, of
which there are two types with official Denominations
of Origin, Idiazabal and Roncal, a typical relleno, a fat
yellow sausage made from lamb fat, egg and rice, the
famous local chorizo or chistorra, or a nice bottle of
pacharán. For those with a sweet tooth, nothing better
than mantecadas, cookies or coffee-flavoured sweets.
Meat is an important part of Navarrese cuisine, in
which the local T-bone steak is the king and game is
the queen. And as for fish, ajoarriero is famous for its
original taste, but if you would prefer something
lighter, then try salmon from the River Bidasoa or trout
a la navarra (fried with ham). For dessert, nothing
better than the slightly burnt taste of junket or await
your coffee enjoying a goshua or a pie.
If you would like to take your choice from the best of
Navarre’s vegetable gardens, then the Market of Santo Domingo, the oldest market in the city (1876), is at
the end of Calle Mañueta. Its more-than-50 stalls sell
the freshest produce of the season and there is also a
supermarket and bar-restaurant. The Market of El Ensanche, also close at hand and with excellent products
on sale, is another traditional marketplace in the city.
navarra denomination
of origin Wines
But if you would prefer to enjoy Navarrese cuisine first
hand, then the Historical Centre and the Ensanche districts are home to some of the city’s finest restaurants. Most base their menus on traditional food,
though fusion cuisine and avant-garde techniques have
also found their way into the kitchens of a number of
restaurants. Vegetables –tender, fresh and always
seasonal– are the stars of the show and it is always a
true pleasure to give in to the temptation of a good
vegetable stew, cardoon, beans or borage, or to let
market of santo domingo
To wash it all down, there is a wide range of Navarra
Denomination of Origin Wines: from the famous rosés
to white Chardonnays, crianza reds or sweet muscatels.
These wines adapt to every occasion and preference,
helping turn a special visit into an unforgettable moment.
food and shopping
walks in pamplona
routes from
his guide proposes a series of routes which
all star out from Pamplona and which offer
you a simple and easy way of getting to
know our Community.
From the comfort of you hotel, and in just a few
hours, you can travel to some beautiful spots that
will enable you to discover the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Navarre.
We hope that you will enjoy these routes that have
been thought up with the idea of making your stay
here more enjoyable.
routes from pamplona
r 1
•san miguel de aralar •source of the river larraun •oak wood at orgi
Sierra de aralar
and the valley of ultzama
The beauty of this area is
spectacular. You will yet
again be struck by the greenness of the Humid area of
Navarre and the charm of
the small farming villages.
In the Aralar Sierra the wild
splendour of the mountain
peaks, complete with more
than 60 dolmens, blends
with the leafiness of the
woods. In the Ulzama valley
the scenery is softer and the
meadows and valleys create a sensation of peace that
is difficult to equal.
The Sierra de Aralar is a spectacle
in itself. With the clearness of a
bright day or with the sinister magic
of the customary mists, it is always
San Miguel altaRpiece
There are 208 square kilometres of
limestone crests and gentle valleys
extending as far as Guipuzcoa. Two
thirds of the Sierra pertain to Navarre and the rest belongs to the neighbouring province. From the
Sanctuary of Aralar you can get a
view of much of the area.
On your return to Lekunberri,
take the N-750 turning and leave
your vehicle at Iribas. The source
of the river Larraun is half an
hour away at Aitzarreta, an incredible spring at the foot of a cliff.
However, if it has rained, don’t
make this journey, the path
becomes extremely muddy.
On the way back to Pamplona, at
Urritza take the road to Lizaso.
It’s a narrow road lined with
woods, meadows and pasture
lands showing the idyllic scenery
of Basaburua Mayor. Without even
realising it, after passing Erbiti,
you will find yourself in the
Ultzama valley.
In the beautiful district of Lizaso,
you will find the oak woods of
Orgi, a recreational area prepared
for you to enjoy peaceful walks.
Man has been present in Aralar since
prehistoric times. The 44 dolmens
and the menhir found here are evidence of this, forming the greatest
concentration of Dolmens in Nava rre. Many researchers have studied
these megalithic examples, the furrows marked in them and the
remains found in these collective
Rain is frequent in this area however,
you will be struck by the fact that the
Sierra of Aralar has scarcely any
streams or small rivers. This is
because it is essentially a limestone
structure with hundreds of deep
chasms and grottoes, and with
springs discharging the water
absorbed by the land. Inside the
routes from pamplona
mountains enormous quantities of
infiltrated water circulate.
The river Larraun, like the river
Guadiana, conquers the surface
when it wishes and also, at its whim,
disappears from the view of those
searching for it. The Larraun has several “sources”. The first is at the
spring at Aitzarreta, at an incredible
cliff and with a strong flow, depending on the season. Then all the water
is trapped in a sink which means that
the following section is completely
dry on the surface, unless there has
been so much rain that all the water
cannot be absorbed. Even if it reappears here, any trace is eliminated in
the chasm of Legezalde. It then
appears as a second “source” at
Iribas, with an even stronger flow.
You can practice a considerable
number of sports at Aralar: from skiing, canoeing and pot-holing, to walking, mountaineering or cross-country
bicycling. The choice is yours.
sierra de aralar and the valley of ultzama
even when it iS MiSty, which iS quite coMMon
at aRalaR, pRoviding it’S not too thick, the
panoRaMa doeS not looSe itS chaRM
SieRRa de aRalaR
High up on the Sierra, at 1,235 metres, the Santuary of San Miguel de
Aralar can presume to have an infinite number of virtues however
there is no doubt that the scenery
is foremost. The 1,494 metres of
the Beriáin hill, the spur of San Donato, the Corredor of Araquil 700
metres below, the desfile of Oskia,
the Sierra of Urbasa, the rocky
bank of Putretoki and in the distance the ever-present Pyrenees,
can all take your breath away. Even
when it is misty, which is quite common at Aralar, providing it’s not too
thick, the panorama does not
loose its charm. What’s more,
everything is wrapped in a magic
halo of enchanted stories and legends.
In the past a great effort had to be
made to reach San Miguel since
there were no roads and it could
take over two hours to get their on
foot. The sanctuary was the prize
for the weary pilgrims or romeros
after completing their pilgrimage.
There was even a chaplain who was
constantly opposed to the construction of any roads since he be-
lieved that by road the arduous pilgrimage would become senseless.
The Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar was erected in 1074. There
are three naves, three apses and a
portal. Inside there is a 12C chapel
which, so the story goes, is built at
the place where the knight from
Navarre, Teodosio de Goñi, saw a
dragon. According to the legend,
the archangel saved him from the
dragon and freed the knight from
the chains tying him down as a punishment for having killed his parents in an attack of jealousy.
To reach your destination from Pamplona, you should head towards San
Sebastián on the PA-30 or, if not, by
crossing the Avenida de Guipúzcoa
where the traffic is slower. After
going round Berriozar, take the AP15 to Irurtzun and then the turn-off
onto the A-15 towards San Sebastián.
You will see the charming spot of Dos
Hermanas (Two Sisters), two mountains separated by the road and the
River Larraun. At kilometre 34 on the A-15, take the
Lekunberri-S. Miguel de Aralar exit.
With the view of the striking ridges of
the Malloas, turn off towards the left
to reach the Sanctuary of San Miguel
on the winding NA-7510. Drive carefully along this narrow road taking in
the magnificent beech forest it pas-
Santuary of
San Miguel Uharte-Arakil
ses through. You will soon arrive at
the majestic Sanctuary of San Miguel
de Aralar, a simple construction
which serenely overlooks a marvellous view.
sierra de aralar and the valley of ultzama
routes from pamplona
r 1
sierra de aralar and the valley of ultzama
The Ulzama valley appears to
come out of a painter’s imagination. In his paintings he reflects an
undulating, sweet and gentle,
green scenery. There are no high
aggressive peaks but, gentle
mountains instead. On this beautiful canvas, the wide green meadows are interspersed with woods
of beeches, oaks, pines and chestnuts. The land is separated by natural, living bushes with plots of different sizes and colours.
In this valley, surrounded by mountains, with meadows and woods,
small streams and cattle, you can
breath in a gentle humid climate,
typical of pasture land and fern
covered ground.
The villages are small and beautiful. The houses are usually large,
built of stone, with ridged roofs
and half pointed doors adorning
facades with large balconies. We
would highlight the villages of Auza
and Eltzaburu, some beautiful localities in the Ulzama valley.
The villages of the Humid zone of
Navarre are related to cattle farming and forestry, although the last
few years have seen an important
development of the milk product
industry. They also offer an extraordinary cuisine.
For some nice views of the valley,
you can visit Eltso or go to the
viewpoint at Guelbenzu, from
where you can see the Ultzama
Valley and Basaburua, right up to
the Malloas and the Aralar Sierra.
At Auza, going towards Eltzaburu, hardly one hundred metres
along, you will find a track leading to the Stud of Ultzama. 120
hectares of ponies and mares
bred for thoroughbred racing. It
is a real spectacle.
Close to Lizaso, you will see the
We should point out that the Orgi
oak wood develops a very interesting
program for those with some type of
visual handicap. Activities are
organised giving priority to senses
other than sight: a different way of
feeling nature and which helps
many to fully enjoy all the oakwood
has to offer. The fact is that all too
often many people haven’t the
resources necessary to get the best
out of their surroundings and, in
general, we all miss out on some
indescribable sensations, as we don’t
know how to use our capabilities to
the full. Today you can put
yourselves to the test.
signs taking you to the fascinating Recreational Nature Area of
Orgi. Orgi can offer you tracks
and paths, bringing you close to
Nature and the freshness of the
oaks and over 50 other species
of trees.
the ultzaMa valley
routes from pamplona
sierra de aralar and the valley of ultzama
route 1
entRy of oakwood de oRgi
Rana teMpoRaRia
Very close to Lizaso and scarcely 30
kilometres away from Pamplona lies
the Natural Area of Orgi.
The oakwood has been specially prepared for visitors and offers many
tracks and paths for some pleasant
walks. There are 80 hectares of common land on the hill with pedunculate oaks and over fifty species of
trees, plants and bushes. Also, over
40 types of birds live there, ranging
from thrushes and the woodpeckers
to sparrow hawks.
oakwood at oRgi
Walking along the paths, which
are over 2 kilometres long, at
every step you can feel the
calmness of the oak wood. At
Orgi every care has been taken
to give Nature a free reign.
You will be in the midst of a livoakwood at oRgi
Along these walks there is a
small plant labyrinth designed
with the young ones in mind.
Moreover, there is a final and
beautiful part of Orgi with limited access. It is at the other
side of the road leading to
Guelbenzu and is a forestry
regeneration area.
At the entrance there is an
information board located next
to the picnic area and car-park.
sierra de aralar and the valley of ultzama
ing area which grows according to its own laws. There are
merely some paths and very
rustic bridges to facilitate
access, but you will get the
opportunity to experience
offered by the plant life and
the free roaming animals.
routes from pamplona
r 2
•the lumbier and arbaiun gorges
between gorgeS
luMbieR goRge
Leave Pamplona on the Zaragoza-Madrid road and
turn off onto the A-21 Jaca-Huesca motorway.
After the Loiti mountain pass, turn left onto the
NA-150 and, three kilometres further on you will
come to the turning to the Lumbier Gorge.
To visit Arbaiun, take the NA-178 Lumbier road
and when you reach Domeño, go towards Usún.
Leading from the bridge of Usún there is a very
narrow path, 3 km long, cut into the rock and
which was the water channel to Lumbier.
routes from pamplona
To P
between gorges
Lumbier Gorge
To Jaca
Route: 90 kM
40 hectaReS of natuRe ReSeRve
In the Lumbier and Arbaiun Gorges, you can
feel the force of Nature. You will be struck by
the power of the water and the erosion which,
over millions of years, has managed to carve
these ravines in the mountain. They are
inaccessible spots with vertical walls, deep
rivers, rocky places furrowed with cracks and
caves, the refuge of many animals and birds.
The griffin vulture, bearded vulture, hawks and
kites predominate. It is not surprising that the
Arbaiun Gorge has been declared a Special
Area for the Protection of Birds.
The defile is just over a kilometre
long, there are 40 hectares of Nature
Reserve and the water has carved
130 metres down into the hard limestone rocks. The passageway is narrow at the entrance and exit, whilst it
is wider in the middle section. Apart
from the brave rafters, transporting
wood downstream, the place was
inaccessible. Until the fifties, the
“Irati” train passed through the gorge
through two tunnels carved into the
mountains. Now the old train route
serves as a path through the gorge.
You will find a 16C ruined bridge
which, according to legend, was built
by the devil.
Arbaiun is a Nature Reserve, with
1,164 hectares. The river Salazar
has cut a 6 kilometre long, 385
metre deep and 550 metre wide
canyon. It has a curious structure: the top part is exceedingly
SalazaR RiveR
vertical with sheer walls of hard
limestone rock whilst the lower
part is softer, of a sandier limestone which is less resistant and
permeable, making it easier to
wear away.
There is a great variety of vegetation, predominantly oaks and holly
oaks, beeches, kermes oaks, gall
oaks and boxwood.
gRiffin vultuRe
between gorges
routes from pamplona
r 3
•señorío de bertiz •elizondo •caves of urdax and zugarramurdi
Leave Pamplona along the Avenida Baja
Navarra, with Burlada on your right take
the N-121-A road towards France.
At the following roundabout and the
next crossroads, take the same
direction again. You will pass close
by Lantz, on the slopes of the Saioa
hills, which is famous for its carnivals.
On your right you will pass by the
Venta de la Ulzama (inn), on your
return journey you should try its homemade cuajada or junket.
Along the road you will come to the
entrance to the Señorío de Bertiz, a
magnicent spectacle of beautifully
cared-for gardens and wild woods.
The scenery of the mountain pass, with
many gullies and hills, is awesome, but
the road is wide and you can stop at
several points to admire the beauty of
the view.
If you continue along the N-121-B, you
will soon reach Elizondo, a beautiful
town with wooden beamed houses
sporting coats of arms, located on
either side of the river and separated
by various charming bridges. Some
houses seem to come out of the river
Baztan itself.
Now proceed up the mountain pass of
Otsondo, and, on reaching the summit,
you will have a spectacular view. Start
the gentle 7 km descent until you reach
Urdazubi/Urdax and its popular quarters of Dantxarinea. Here turn left
along a narrow road until you reach the
caves of Zugarramurdi, where stories of
witches and Sabbaths still exist.
Returning to the main road, you can
take the turning to Urdax and the
Caves of Ikaburu, a paradise of stalactites and stalagmites. It is a wonderful
In the Baztan valley, the magic that is typical of the North
of Navarre crowns some fascinating scenery, villages full
of simplicity and with an extraordinary gastronomy. The
richness of its always green extensive pasturelands are
reflected in the cattle of this idyllic spot. The oaks and
beeches predominate in the leafy woods.
The Señorío de Bertiz occupies
2,000 hectares that can be enjoyed
right down to the last centimetre: its
spectacular botanical garden, the
palace buildings and the wild woods
Pedro Ciga y Mayo was the last owner.
He acquired it in 1889 for 650,000 pesetas of that time in gold. This wealthy
lawyer had a passion for nature and he
managed to create a botanical garden
surrounding this magnificent
place make it a beautiful place of
vital importance to Navarre.
with more than 120 species from all
the different continents. On his death
in 1949, Pedro Ciga donated Bertiz to
the Navarre Government with just one
condition: they must preserve the estate without altering its characteristics.
Today it is a Nature Reserve, but
in times of old it was the territory granted to the nobles of the
valley in compensation for
maintaining the neutrality of
Navarre in the face of France
and Castile.
Its carefully looked after gardens and
arbours enable us to pass through
many different countries, botanically
speaking. There are more than 120
To Pamplona
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atlantic pyrenees
the MountainS gRadually dRop in height aS they appRoach the bay of biScay.
species, all carefully signed, for the
visitor to see, all located in a dreamlike area crossed with bridges, fountains, pergolas, paths and ponds. So me of these bushes and trees were
brought by Pedro Ciga during his innumerable voyages. We would highlight an exotic Ginkgo with fanshaped leaves, a palm tree from Java
and a surprising jungle of bamboos.
If this weren’t enough, the Señorío has
also a Nature Interpretation Centre located in the country house of Tenientetxea. A modernist style chapel completes the ensemble of the Señorío.
And there is still the hills. On foot,
by bicycle or on horseback, you can
take the path leading from the garden and become immersed in vegetation that overcomes you with its
wild beauty. It is an impenetrable
wood of beeches, oaks and chestnuts, crossed by an 11 kilometre
path which terminates in the palace
of Aizkolegi, a real whim that Pedro
Ciga gave his wife and which offers
an impressive view. This wood is
home to many different animal
species, some in extinction. We
would draw your attention to the 50
species of birds located at Bertiz.
Enjoy yourself!
The beautiful town of Elizondo is the
capital of the Baztan Valley, and a
commercial and administrative centre.
The whole valley is just one municipality and the communal property can
be used by any of the inhabitants.
Elizondo, a place chosen to hold fairs
and markets, is a lively place with
constant activity.
The northern country houses of
Elizondo stand on the banks of the
river Baztan or Biadasoa. The houses
are usually large, with double pitch
roofs and large eaves to protect the
beautiful wooden balconies. The
doors, made up of an arch and entry,
draw the passer bye’s attention.
You will be struck by the many country houses and palaces in Elizondo,
SeñoRío de beRtiz
particularly in the main street or Calle
Mayor. At one time the inhabitants of
these lands had to emigrate to
America. Others made themselves a
life as noblemen at the Court of
Madrid and obtained titles. Some of
these noblemen and emigrants
returned bringing their fortunes with
Amongst these noble houses, we
would highlight the Baroque Palace of
Arizkunenea. It was built in 1730 by
Miguel of Arizkun, an important server of the Court of Felipe V. During
the first Carlist war its illustrious
guests were no other than the pretender to the throne in Spain, Carlos
de Borbón, Zumalacárregui and General Espoz y Mina.
The Town Hall is of a framed construction, 18C Baroque style. In its
interior it still preserves the old flag of
the Valley, which according to the saying, waved in the battle of Navas de
Tolosa in 1212.
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atlantic pyrenees
Other famous constructions are the
house of Istekonea, the palaces of
Cabo de Armería Arozarena and the
one of Arretxea, the house of
Francesenea, the Palace of Datue,
the House of the Viceroy and the
Church of Santiago.
For those with a sweet tooth, you
cannot go wrong. The Malcorra
confectionery shop prepares delicious hazelnut chocolate. But that is
just the start. In Elizondo, the rich
land offers products of an extraordinary quality: the beef, lamb and
pork are magnificent, the salmon
trout is exquisite and you will take
your hat of to the deserts such as
junket, or cottage cheese. A typical
dish is the Txuri-tabeltz, a stew
prepared with lamb sweetbreads
and which is very good.
caveS of zugaRRaMuRdi
Although the caves of Zugaramurdi are more famous due to
their connection with witchcraft, those of Urdazubi/Urdax
are even more spectacular and beautiful.
Located almost on the border with France, Urdazubi/Urdax
is a pretty cattle village, and is on the Way of St James. This
was how it originated. Since 1221 the town was under the
powerful control of the monastery of San Salvador of Urdax,
a former pilgrim hospital until 1789. Of this monastery,
burned and looted in the War of Convention and abandoned
in 1839, we can see its impressive church. Other parts, such
as the cloisters were later made into houses. The rest of the
quarters are 16 and 17C.
On the road to Zugarramurdi, next to the country house of
Matxingonea, you will find the caves of Ikaburu. Here, they
say, the lamias lived, a being which was half woman and
half fish. There are 350 metres of grotto, with various
smaller cavities all with the sensation produced when you
observe how the stalactites and stalagmites, grey in colour
due to the limestone and polished by the magnesium,
develop and die.
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Incredible rooms fork off, retaining the sound of a little
river, the Urtxuma. This cave has been fitted out for tourism
with good lighting and stairs.
Moreover, Urdazubi/Urdax has two prehistoric sites, the cave
of Alkerdi and that of Berroberria.
You can also see the country house of Axular, which gave its
name to Pedro de Aguerre, a great classic Basque writer. A
legend relates that the devil gave him classes in black magic
in exchange for his soul. But Pedro Axular changed his mind
when the moment came to “pay” and fled. Satan pursued
him, but could only catch his shadow. For this reason,
Axular was known as the “man who lost his shadow”. There
are many other legendary tales of sorcerers or itxikos, fruit
of the villagers’ imagination, that fly over the scenery
surrounding Urdazubi/Urdax.
Moreover, at Urdazubi/Urdax, you can enjoy an excellent
cuisine: tasty mushrooms, green beans, leeks, chicory as
well as succulent beef, lamb and, once you get to the sweet
course, home-made junket and cottage cheese made from
goat’s milk.
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route 3
dolMen at goRRaMendi
gave themselves up in a ceremony to
worship the devil, who presented himself in the form of a ram or human being. After a ritual, where they ate the
dead, there were wild orgies.
Zurragamurdi began as a farm for the
Monastery of San Salvador de Urdax. It
is located in an area of Navarre with
deep-rooted pre-Christian customs, a
breeding ground for witch-craft, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Historically, we should go back to the
Auto-da-fé of 1610 in which 31 inhabitants of the Baztan valley, Urdazubi/Urdax and Zugarramurdi were accused of
witchcraft and taken to Logroño. The
Holy Inquisition charged them with participating in black masses and orgies,
being in possession of the devil, committing acts of vampirism and black
magic, giving curses and provoking
storms. Some confessed and were
saved. Thirteen died in the cruel prisons of that time and six were burned
alive and a further five died at the stake
before thirty thousand spectators.
The grottoes where these witches’ Sabbaths were supposedly held are locat-
Amongst so much magic and legends,
probably many malicious neighbours
took advantage of this to blame people from the village for any misfortunes. After being tortured, they
would plead guilty. Probably these
meetings would be no more than the
desire to break the monotony of life
and enjoy the forbidden, with nothing
to do with devilish acts.
ed 400 metres from Zugaramurdi next
to the Berroskoberro or Akelarre meadow. They are accessed by a cavity
excavated by the channel of Hell or Infernuko erreka. The water goes 120
metres along the tunnel which reaches heights of 12 metres, interrupted
by two galleries of an even greater
height. One is called Sorgin-leze, the
witches’ cave.
So the story goes, those who wanted
to meet Lucifer, went either on broomsticks or converted into animals. They
On the 18th August, during the village festivals in honour of the patron saint, there is a sumptuous
feast in the so called Cueva Grande
or big cave. Over a fire, roast mutton or ziriko-jatea is cooked on
skewers. This is accompanied by a
piperrada or cooked peppers and
tomatoes, and soup. It is a traditional act that gathers together
many of the inhabitants of the area
as well as those from the neighbouring country.
quinto Real
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•orreaga/roncesvalles •arms factory at orbaizeta •irati forest
This gives you a chance to go along part of the Way of St James,
although in the opposite direction. The Way of St James in Spain starts
from this fascinating set of monuments.
ibañeta: Roldán´S MonuMent
In Orreaga/Roncesvalles, at the
start of the Way of St James, you
can feel the history and the legends
that abound in this mythical place.
It was a vital European enclave during the Middle Ages. Thousands of
Pilgrims came from all corners. The
Song of Roland, the oldest epic poem in France (11C) went near and
far relating the history of the legendary hero who lost his life in that
spot during the battle in which
Charlemagne was defeated by the
Basques of Navarre in 778.
years later to Orreaga/Roncesvalles. The collegiate church soon
began to receive the favours of noblemen, pilgrims and European monarchs, and those of Sancho VII the
Strong in particular.
The Collegiate Church has also a
beautiful 14C image of Our Lady
of Roncesvalles, completely plated in silver except for the face
and hands. The expression of her
wide eyes contemplating the
Child, is surprising.
In 1127 a hospital was built on the
summit of Ibañeta, but the snow and
the cold caused it to be moved five
the Collegiate Church
The Royal Collegiate Church, 13C
French rural Gothic Style, with five
magnificent stained glass windows, is
composed of three naves, with no
transept, some 17C cloisters and a
beautiful chapter house, also the
chapel of San Agustín or Preciosa,
where the remains of King Sancho VII
the Strong and his queen are to be
found. This mausoleum is the actual
size of the king. It’s no joke. A study
of his femur has proved what the
chronicles of the time had stated: he
was 2.25 metres tall.
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In the oldest building, the Chapel of
Sancti Spirtus or Silo of Charlemagne
(12C), the pilgrims who died in this
place are buried and, according to
the saying, the twelve peers of
France who died in the battle of
Orreaga/Roncesvalles. According to
the legend, it was constructed on the
stone on which Roldán sunk his
sword, Durandal, after the defeat.
The museum preserves items of
enamel, silver work, sculpture and
painting and, in particular, the
painting of the Sacred Family of Luis
de Morales, a Flemish triptych and
the Gospel of Roncesvalles, and
Charlemagne’s chessboard.
The Collegiate Church is completed
with the Chapel of St James (Santiago)
and the Pilgrims’ Cross which has
been on the road leaving Orreaga/Roncesvalles since the 16C.
eastern pyrenees
it iS a Route iMMeRSed in the beauty of the
leafy gReen SceneRy and the hoSpitality of
the lovely villageS along the way.
There is no doubt that this is a special enclave. The Arms Factory at
Orbaizeta has not been operating
for over a century now and nature
has conquered much of the building. Bushes and leafy vegetation
merge into the iron and stone
structure, the building’s arches,
with scenery that is more in accord
with a nature reserve than one of
industrial activity. There is something unreal about this place, the
strange beauty and silence of
some of its corners make them
It was named the Royal Arms
Factory. It is located in an area rich
in deposits of copper, mercury,
iron, silver, zinc and lead. There
was formerly a medieval ironworks
here. We must go back to 1784
when king Charles III of Spain
bought this ironworks. By that time
the mineral resources had been
exhausted, and the material was
brought from the mines of Vizcaya.
This factory constructed artillery
bombs and iron ingots. Due to its
production and the closeness to
the border, it was subject to
numerous attacks, plundering and
fires until it finally ceased to operate in 1873. It was then abandoned for many years until some
restoration work brought to light
part of what it once was.
To Luzaide/Valcarlos
eastern pyrenees
Mezquíriz (922 m). You will
cross through
Auritz/Burguete, a town on
Irati Forest
the Way of St James that mainOrreaga/
tains a pilgrim street-path and
impressive country houses with
Arms Factory
their coats of arms. You will then
reach Orreaga/Roncesvalles, a
vital European enclave for several
centuries and an incredible place
with a tremendous historic significance for Navarre.
Once more, go back along the route
and take the NA-140 road. You will
pass through Garralda and reach Aribe.
At this point, take the turning to Orbaizeta
and continue along it until you reach the
beautiful Arms Factory located there, set
amidst the impressive scenery of the Irati
Villanueva de Aezkoa, in a 925 metre high valley
Forest. It is surprising to visit an arms factory. where you will find its famous granaries, and the
When you see it, you will understand why it is church of San Salvador.
a magical place.
A final word of warning: take care with the roads
Return to Aribe and take the turning to
in winter, snow and ice are frequent.
To P
Leave Pamplona through Burlada and, at
the crossroads at Villava (the birthplace of
Miguel Indurain, the cycling champion),
take the N-135 road to France. Go through
Huarte and continue towards France and
Zubiri, a welcoming place with a medieval
Gothic bridge offering a beautiful view.
Take the N-138 road and, 7 kilometres
along it, you will come to Eugui. It is a very
small village made up of scattered but
large country houses located next to the
Eugui reservoir. This began to collect water
for the Pamplona area in 1971. Bathing is
not permitted as the water is for human
consumption. This artificial lake assiduously reflects the village of Eugui and the
Quinto Real hills, 5,900 incredible hectares
of beeches, maples, holly, boxwood, wild
boars, foxes, deer... At the beginning of
autumn, you can hear the bellowing of the
male deer.
Return to the N-135 to pass the simple
mountain pass of Erro (801 m) and
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r 4
eastern pyrenees
aRMS factoRy at oRbaizeta
You cannot often visit an example
of industrial and commercial architecture of that period and the
Factory at Orbaizeta can tell us a
lot about what life was like during
its period of activity. You can
observe the workers’ houses
around the square and part of the
arms manufacturing process: the
workshops, the deposits, the
foundry ovens.. the heart of the
Moreover, there is the canal built
to harness the power of the
Legarza river, a conduit which still
preserves its solid walls and the
remains of some surprising vaults.
From this factory there are excursions to visit the dolmens and
Roman remains of Urkulo and the
nearby mountains, Ortzanzurieta
and Mendilaz.
The Irati Forest has always been linked to the world of legends. It is
not surprising. In this beautiful spot, where the silence shares its
space with indecipherable sounds, it is easy to imagine you can see
the mythical Basajaun, a tall being with long hair, leaning on a stick. If
you should find him on your path, you should neither run away nor
anger him. If you do as he tells you, he will be your harmless guide.
The Irati Forest is the greatest forest in Navarre and has the second
largest concentration of beeches in Europe. It is located in a depression furrowed by the river Irati and its tributaries, with a wooded area
of 12,400 hectares. Of these, 6,250 are on the Irati hill and 1,800 on
the Cuestión hill. It is mainly made up of beeches and firs, autochthonous species. In autumn it is fascinating to observe the unlikely
colours created by Nature itself.
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eastern pyrenees
route 4
For a long time the Irati Forest
was not touched. However, in the
13C it was the subject of bitter
disputes between France and
Spain. The wars meant that its
wood was desired to build the
fleets of ships and its fir trees provided the best masts. In 1856, the
Treaty of Limits conceded the territory to Spain and also during that
century the government was
granted the right to cut trees gratuitously for the Armada. During
the 20C it was exploited even
But, even after all this, there is still
a small parcel of virgin woods in
the Hill Monte La Cuestión. 20
hectares of unchanged wood
called the Reserve of Lizardoya
or the Parque. The firs reach
heights of 40 meters and the
trunks are over a meter in diameter. Leafy tree tops occasionally
block out the sky. A real delight.
To the north, the Irabia reservoir
is of extraordinary beauty. You
can go on foot or by bike around
the 9 kilometres of this reservoir.
Also in Irati there are magnificent
oak woods, such as those of Tristuibartea and Aritztoki.
Without going off the forest track,
you can feel the life in the forest:
flinches, robins, wild boars, foxes. If you are silent, you may even
discover roes and deers.
aRtificial lake of iRabia
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r 5
•the bardenas •tudela •peñalén •monastery of the oliva
the ribera region
A desert right in the middle of the northern peninsular, a small part
of the Sahara changed by erosion, which brings to mind scenes of
wild west gunmen fighting bandits. The Bardenas, a historic
territory and cattle track, is sure to make an impact on you. It is
greatly affected by erosion with changing hills, hillocks and gullies,
accentuated still more by the north winds in winter winter, the
torrential rains and the hot summers.
The Bardenas, crossed by dusty tracks
should be accessed with a good map
or you should be accompanied by
someone who knows the area well.
The Bardenas can be differentiated into four very evocative zones. Overall,
there are 415 square
To Pamplona
of the Oliva
El Yugo
kilometres of spectacular scenery between the rivers Aragon and Ebro. In
the centre, the White Bardenas is so
called due to the amount of salt and
gypsum to be found there. In the South
you will find the Black Bardenas, similar to the Monegros of Aragon, made
up of red clay and limestone. In the
North there is the Meseta of El Plano
and the reservoir of El Ferial, which
holds many different species of water
birds. In the East you will come to the
Green Bardenas, a steppe area which
has recently been recovered as irrigated land. If you would like a good view-
Leave Pamplona along the road to
Noain, taking the N-121 in the
direction of Zaragoza-Soria. We
would recommend doing the first 69
kms along the AP-15 motorway and
then leaving the motorway close to
Valtierra, exit 13 for Alfaro,
Castejón, Valtierra. Take the AP-15
/NA-113 link and then the NA-134
for 6,5 km. Then turn left and 500
meters along the road you will come
to Arguedas, the usual starting
point for entering the area of the
Bardenas, and here you can visit the
Hermitage of the Virgen del Yugo.
The next destination is Tudela, the
capital of the Ribera or Ebro valley,
located 14 km from Arguedas on
the NA-134. There you will be able
to enjoy a rich and varied cuisine
with top quality fresh vegetables
from the nearby market gardens.
From Tudela, if you want to visit
Peñalén, follow the N-232 for 10
routes from pamplona
the ribera region
km and then the AP-15/NA-113
link road for 3 km. Close to Alfaro,
take the direction to PamplonaIruñea along the AP-15 motorway
for 20 kms. Leave at exit 29:
Marcilla, La Azucarera (Toll: 2.1
euros) and continue along the NA128 until you come to the sign
indicating the turning to Funes.
To visit the Monastery of La Oliva,
go back onto the NA-128 for 7
kms, then onto the N-121 and two
kilometers along, close to
Traibuenas, take the NA-124 for
8.5 km. Turn right at Santacara and
then 1.5 km along, turn left: NA5500 for 7 km.
To return to Pamplona, go back
along the same roads and then
close to Traibuena join the N-121.
After 26 km, follow the AP15/N121 link and, close to Tafalla, take
the AP-15 and carry on along the
motorway until exit 83B, Pamplona.
if navaRRe iS a land of contRaStS, the
baRdenaS aRe the MoSt faR Reaching contRaSt
of all.
white baRdena
point, you can chose between the
Virgen del Yugo, the Alto de
Aguilares, the Paso and the Sanctuary at Sancho Abarca.
This area was primarily used for
pastureland for the herds coming
from Roncal, Salazar or nearby
towns which, year after year, started out on an obligatory seasonal
migration to new pastures in this
magical place. There is evidence
of this in the form of tracks, small
pens and small pools. But the Bardenas was not just used for animals. At some time in the past it
did have several castles, although
today only a few ruins remain such
as those of the Castle of Peñaflor.
caveS at aRguedaS
A word of advice: avoid the Bardenas in summer. Temperature rise
to over 37ºC. Neither is it advisable to go there during rainy periods, since the mud can cause serious problems.
monastery of the oliva
The Oliva Monastery, an important example of Cistercian architecture, is a
monument founded in the 12C.
It obtained the favour of the Papacy, the nobility and the Navarre monarchy and
by the middle of the 12C it managed to become one of the most influential
monasteries in Navarre thanks to its lands and extensive library. Later on, the
political problems came and the disentailment of 1835 immersed the
monastery in ruin and abandonment. It was not inhabited by monks again until
1927, who began its reconstruction.
The majestic façade opens its doors to a magical place. The church of Santa
María, partly Romanesque and partly Gothic, was funded by Sancho VI the Wise
and his son Sancho VII the Strong. It was constructed of ashlar stone between
the 12 and 13C and is composed of three naves. The Cistercian austerity can
be appreciated in the simple decoration of the temple, which is limited to plant,
animal and fantastic motives and some keystones on the vaults. It has a chapter house forming part of the primitive12C cloisters, a nice expression of early
Gothic work.
From the church, you can gain access to some beautiful Gothic 14C cloisters
where time appears to stand still. Its galleries are covered by cross vaults, with
curved ribs joined by decorated keystones. The abbot’s palace is adjoined to
the church. This was built in the 16C and reformed in the 18C.
Opposite the church apse and in an area currently used as a market garden for
the monastery, the Chapel of Jesus Christ is to be found, the oldest part of the
You should try the home-made products at the monastery (exquisite vegetables, red, vhites and rosé
wines and a mild cheese
made from cow’s milk) and,
if you have the chance, you
can stay at the guest quarters to participate in the
monk’s life style, at least for
a few days.
An excellent time to go to
the Oliva is just after Easter
when there is a Three Day
devotion. The solemn ceremony joins with the feeling
of the Gregorian chant.
the ribera region
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r 5
the ribera region
Peñalen is impressive. The ground
suddenly disappears. The rock is
sharply cut away creating the Ravine
of the King (Barranco del Rey).
Peñalén makes an even greater impact on you after discovering that, in
1076, king Sancho IV was pushed
over this ravine by his own brothers,
Ermesenda and Ramón. A history of
hatred, resentment and ambition and
the desire for certain death. If you
don’t believe this, check the height at
which the king was pushed off.
Peñalén is located in the municipality of
Funes. It has not always been just a
ravine. Back in 1084 there was a village
called Peñalén and then later, in the 14C,
it was renamed Villanueva, although it finally disappeared. It appears that during
one of the floods of the River Arga, the
village was washed away and it was
therefore decided to build further away
from the river. Later on, around 1400, it
disappeared completely.
Peñalén dauntlessly witnesses the
union of two rivers, the Arga and the
Aragon, which merge together under
the attentive gaze of Funes and Milagro. The waters of the river Arga mix
with those of the river Aragon and a
few kilometers downstream, very
close to Milagro, they finally join the
great Ebro river.
From this promontory made up of
gypsum and clay, you can take in a
magnificent panorama: the confluence of the two rivers surrounded
by grain fields and vineyards with a
market garden area. The rivers
erode the gypsum and clays and
blocks of these materials fall away
as vertical slabs to form vertical
cliffs like Peñalén. Nearby, there
are still more uneven areas of land,
but to a lesser extent.
You will be able to take in the scent of
thyme, rosemary and the nearby thickets, in this arid and slightly hostile
area. Its dry and hot climate is easily
perceived. Herds of sheep are often
found around Peñalén.
Peñalén has a 13 km circular route
that is signed and can be made on
foot or bike, and is frequented by the
local people. However, in summer the
sun is very strong. We would recommend going at another time.
plaza de loS fueRoS (SquaRe)
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the ribera region
route 5
The capital of the Ribera, or Ebro Valley,
is renowned for its market garden. Its
history reveals how different cultures have coexisted here over the centuries.
Amrus Ibn Yusuf made Tudela an important city centre. The Muslims remained
in Tudela from the 9C to the 12C. After
the reconquest in 1119, king Alfonso the
Battler favoured the coexistence of the
three monotheistic cultures living in Tudela. For four centuries they achieved
this. The Jews were skilled in jewellery,
furs, medicine and mercantile loans
whilst the Moslems were experienced in
agriculture, carpentry and masonry.
They lived in peace, and proof of this is
that Tudela produced great men in the
arts, mathematics and medicine. However, this all ended when the Jews were
expelled in 1498 followed by the Moslems in 1516.
The mixture of cultures can be seen in
the old part of the City. Life is centred
around the square named Plaza de los
Fueros. Four façades full of balconies
and ceramics with coats of arms and
cloiSteR of the cathedRal de tudela
bull scenes evoke these past times
(from 1700 to 1842) when the square
was used for bull fights. In the centre
stands the kiosk: the curious House of
the Clock.
Close to the temple, you can visit some
historic civil buildings such as the Palace
of Deán, with its Plateresque façade, the
Palace of the Marqués de Huarte, 18C
Baroque style with an impressive stairway and vaults. Also, the House of the
Counts of Heredia-Spinola and the House
of the Almirante (Admiral), which is a Plateresque style aristocratic country hou-
se. In the direction of the bridge over
the river Ebro, in the street Calle Portal,
you will find the Palace of the Marqués
de San Adrián, with its elaborate eaves
and Renaissance style courtyard, and
the beautiful church of the Magdalena,
the oldest monument in Tudela.
The Sagrado Corazón (sacred heart)
observes Tudela. On the banks of the
Ebro, excellent vegetables are grown:
artichokes, peppers, gem lettuces,
asparagus, cardoon, peas, beans,
borage... without forgetting the wines. Enjoy it!
aSpaRaguS of la RibeRa
the Cathedral
of tudela
From here you can go to the Cathedral
of Tudela, erected in 1180 on the remains of the former principal mosque,
these remains are still preserved today.
It is an example of the transitional Romanesque-Gothic style, with pretty Romanesque cloisters and a Romanesque
Last Judgement Doorway (Portada del
Juicio). A peculiarity of the Cathedral is
the great number of chapels. Its high
tower is the city emblem.
the ribera region
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r 6
•puente la reina •monastery of iranzu •source of the urederra river
•estella •obanos •ermitage of eunate
the eStella region
Eunate is a beautiful hermitage, offering the simplicity and charm of its
octagonal floor plan and a precious
arched gallery or exterior cloisters.
The surroundings are flat and calm,
covered with grain fields and vineyards. Eunate is part of a legend.
The fact is there is confusion over its
origin. Although it appears that it
was constructed by noblemen of
Valdizarbe after a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem, it is said that it pertained
to the Templars or that it was a
church-lighthouse, with a constantly
shining light to guide pilgrims at
Located right on the Way to St
James, Eunate has been a place to
welcome and give shelter to pilgrims
The area of Estella is the symbol of historic localities, exquisite
wines and the harmony of the Urbasa and Andía Sierras, with one
peculiarity: both Sierras are common property that is, any one from
Navarre can use them free of charge and, on request, will receive
his/her lot of firewood.
and even many, exhausted, were
buried there.
This temple is a 13C Romanesque
whim. Its portal, apse and chapters
show defiant and mysterious faces
and monstrous wild animals. In its
peculiar octagonal structure you can
discover the symbols of the principal
stone masons of the time. Moreover,
you should not miss the details of
the marvellous arched gallery and its
varied capitals.
Eunate means one hundred doors in
the Basque language (eun-ate) and
well born in Latin (eu-nato). Whatever
its meaning, if you go through the
doors of the hermitage you will find
routes from pamplona
that it is very nice inside with quadrangular ribbed vaults evoking Arabian architecture.
There is a pilgrimage to Eunate to
ask for prosperity, water and the
eradication of plagues. Apart from
that, many other people visit for esoteric reasons, since Eunate has
been attributed with this power.
Obanos is located very close to Eunate. It is a beautiful locality, the
headquarters in the 12C of the Order of the Infanzones, noblemen who
fought possible abuses committed
by the kings. Every summer, the inhabitants of Obanos perform the
play of the Mystery of Obanos. An
the estella region
Route: 139 kM
RoManeSque and natuRe
ciRco del uRedeRRa
act recounting the tragedy of San
Guillén and Santa Felicia, a young
duke from Aquitaine who could not
bear to think of his noble sister dedicating her life to caring for the poor,
and so killed her. Repentant, the
duke retired to the nearby hermitage
of Arnotegui. It is a very careful performance set in the historic square
of Obanos.
eRMitage of eunate
Source of
Urederra River
of Iranzu
To Pamplona
Leave Pamplona on the Logroño motorway, the A-12, through the mountain
pass of El Perdón with its windmills. Go
round Puente la Reina and leave at the
Estella Centro exit; cross the town,
heading towards Vitoria and San
Sebastián to the crossroads with the NA120 to San Sebastián via Etxarri-Aranatz.
On reaching Abárzuza, take a road which
reaches the Monastery of Iranzu in 4 km.
The monastery lies in the middle of a
beautiful gorge carved by the river,
although it is Benedictine in origin, in
the 12C it became important with the
Cistercians. Today you can admire its
church with three naves and ribbed
vaults, the gothic cloisters, the chapter
house and kitchen.
On the return journey, just after passing
Abárzuza, take a small unsigned road on
the right which will leave you in 10 kilometres on the road to Olazagutía. Be
careful to take the turning to Baquedano,
where at the top of the village you
should take a track which after half a
kilometre will leave you in an open field.
There you can go on foot along an
incredible track, lasting 45 minutes, to
the source of the river Urederra: cascades and spectacular pot holes, rocky
slopes and woods with a mixture of
trees (beeches, ashes, limes, maples,
hazlenuts and holly oaks) surround the
water that the limestone karst of Urbasa
absorbed and now frees. The water is
striking not just for its beauty (Urederra
means precious water in the Basque language) but also because it is ice cold!
You should then head to Estella, a beautiful historic city which is well worth a
visit. The same is true for Puente la
After leaving Puente, take the turning to
Obanos and the charming hermitage of
Santa María de Eunate, with an octagonal
floor plan and an evocative framed
We recommend that you return to the
Puente la Reina road or via Muruzábal
and Uterga until you get back onto the
A-12 to Pamplona.
Puente la
Ermitage Eunate
To Logroño
the estella region
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r 6
the estella region
Estella is overflowing with history. Every
nook, building or church of this historic
town is full of art.
Estella was constructed in 1090 by King
Sancho Ramírez on the Basque village of
Lizarra, in order to give assistance to
the pilgrims. Thus the former Lizarra
marked the start of an important development on the very road to St James.
The Franks arrived and, amongst the inhabitants, a great number or Jews settled, making Estella an important Jewish
centre. Its key geographical position, at
a point where the Mountains joined the
San pedRo de la Rúa
bRigde of the pRiSon
Ribera, or Ebro valley, made it an important trading centre.
In the 19C, Estella, the bastion of the
Carlist doctrine, was named capital of the
Carlist State and even had ministers and
its own penal code.
As you must inevitably select which works
of art to see, you could start with the
square of San Martín. Here the Palace of
the Kings of Navarre, constructed in the
12C and the sole example of lay Romanesque construction in Navarre, is today the Gustavo de Maeztu Museum.
The 18C Regional Courts are located
next to the flight of steps. If you go up
them, you will see the Church of San Pedro de la Rúa, a Cistercian 12C building
with a beautiful portal and Romanesque
In the street Calle de la Rúa there is a
plateresque palace of Fray Diego de Estella (today a Community Centre), the
Palace of the Governor and the simple
routes from pamplona
Bridge of the Prison or San Agustín.
The Gothic church of the Santo Sepulcro
(Holy Sepulchre), the gothic convent of
Santo Domingo and the Romanesque
church of Santa María Jus del Castillo, also await you.
And there are still other marvellous places
such as the church of San Martín, the
plaza de los Fueros square and the
square of Santiago, where an important
craft market is held every Thursday: ceramics, material, ironwork, hides, wood...
A mention should be made of the church
of San Juan, the Convent of Recoletas,
the 20C Basilica of the Virgen del Puy, the
convent of Santa Clara and the church of
Our Lady of Rocamador.
With regard to the cuisine, you can enjoy
roast suckling pig and three denominations of origin: Idiazábal cheese, red peppers from Lodosa and wines registered in
the Navarra Denomination of Origin. Many
of these Bodegas are open to visitors.
the estella region
route 6
puente la Reina
“And from here all the roads to Santiago (St James) become one”. This is
the sign on the Pilgrim’s Monument
welcoming you. And this is quite true:
At Puente la Reina the route crossing
the Pyrenees via Somport joins with
the one coming from Valcarlos.
Puente la Reina owes its name to a
magnificent Romanesque stone
bridge, built before the town. The story goes that it was commissioned by
a queen; others claim that the original
word was not Regina, but Runa, the
old name for the river Arga.
This beautiful bridge was constructed
in the first half of the 11C to enable
pilgrims to cross the river. Today, it
boasts six semi-circular arches of different widths, and one more underground. Some small arches carved into the stone enable the water to pass
through when the river is high. The
bridge is adorned by the lovely legend
of el Txori, a little bird that washed the
face of the Virgin with water from the
river, carried in its beak.
Puente la Reina, a vital crossroads
soon became financially and culturally
rich. Evidence of this is the late Romanesque church of the Crucifijo (crucifix) constructed by the templars in
the middle of the 12C, housing the
12C Virgin with Child and a beautiful yshaped gothic crucifix, brought from
The street Calle Mayor is both street
and art: popular architecture with emblazoned houses, palaces, craft
The church of Santiago el Mayor, built
at the end of the 12C and reconstruct-
ed during the 15C, shows its Roman
portal and the gothic carvings of San
Bartolomé and Santiago Beltza, so
called due to the fact that it was
black in colour before being restored.
After passing through the charming
Plaza Mayor, close to the bridge
there is the church of San Pedro and
the convent of Comendadoras de
Sancti Spiritus.
With regard to cuisine, you will be offered white or red beans, roast pork
or lamb and, in the hunting season,
quail, hare or partridge and excellent
wines from Valdizarbe.
SouRce of the uRedeRRa RiveR
the estella region
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r 7
These are valleys of steep
escarpments wrapped in
mist and snow, 2000 metre
high summits, all accompanied by an intoxicating greenness, tangled woods and
the clear water of its rivers.
In the Roncal and Salazar
valleys, man lives in harmony with Nature. The
Pyrenean villages are in the
form of stone country houses, hip or ridged roofs, timber framework and beams,
paved streets...
•roncal •isaba •ochagavía
valleyS of
ronCal and Salazar
Roncal is located high in the mountains.
Its houses, decorated with their coats
of arms, cling to the narrow, paved
streets, crowned by the hermitage of
Nuestra Señora del Castillo (Our Lady of
the Castle). From there you have a wonderful view of Roncal on the river Esca.
In this Pyrenean village, the curved tile
hip roofs crown the houses and a few
17C and 18C noblemen’s houses, without forgetting the 16C Church of Saint
Esteban. It could be used as the background for a medieval play. Each of its
corners has some special charm to it.
You can capture the life of the people,
closely related to the pasturelands and
woods and the friendliness and simplicity of the inhabitants.
Apart from the obligatory walk
through the streets and the Castle
quarters, in the Roncal you should also fin dout about the history of the
great universal tenor, Julián Gayarre.
In his youth, Gayarre (1844 to 1890)
was a shepherd. He managed to
study music in Pamplona, Madrid and
Italy and he conquered the best
opera stages in the world. He is remembered in many documents of the
time, praising his magnificent voice,
and even composers such as Wagner or Gounod exalted his singing. It is
a real pity that there are no recordings of his voice that can be heard today. However, we can admire the Gayarre mausoleum, created by Benlliure and located in the cemetery at
To Abodi and
Irati Forest
Leave Pamplona by the road to Zaragoza and,
at km 6.8 take the A-21 motorway in the direction of Huesca-Jaca. You can enjoy viewing
the hill of the Higa de Monreal, the Loiti mountain pass, the Lumbier Gorge and the reservoir
of Yesa. After crossing the border with Aragon,
take the NA-137 road leading off to Salvatierra
de Esca. It is a narrow, winding road which improves once you reach Roncal. You will pass
through Burgui, a delicious Pyrenean village,
characterised by its beautiful medieval bridge
which still preserves the original arches and, on
the almadías day (the day when the traditional
rafting to take wood downstream, is relived), it
witnesses the almadieros or rafters pass by, reliving what life used to be like just a few
decades ago. The church of San Pedro has the
old organ of the Monastery of Leyre.
Continue on the road to Roncal, a beautiful village that has the honour to be the birthplace of
the great tenor Julián Gayarre, and which is al-
so renowned for its magnificent cheese.
Isaba is located four kilometres ahead. It is a
municipality that is full of life. As it is close to
the cross country skiing tracks and to the
French alpine skiing resort, Isaba is always full
of people walking through its beautiful
streets. Moreover, very close by, each year the
ceremony of the Tribute of the Three Cows is
Take the NA-140 road, crossing the Laza
mountain pass and you will reach Ochagavía.
You can have a walk round the village and also discover the Nature Interpretation Centre.
For the return journey, you could take the
NA-178 road towards Navascués and continue
on to Lumbier, along a good road although it
does become very winding at the Iso
mountain pass. You will then come out
onto the A-21 motorway which will take To Pa
you back to Pamplona.
routes from pamplona
of Leyre
valleys of roncal and salazar
To Jaca
thiS paRt of navaRRe haS a lot to offeR and
iS well woRth a viSit.
600 metres from the village. Gayarre died of an affection of the larynx which, in the final years, prevented him from singing as the
great artist knew how to. In his Museum - House we can discover part
of his life through the tenor’s personal objects and souvenirs.
To change the subject it is natural
that the Roncal, which is so closely
linked to Nature, has a Nature Interpretation Centre. It is situated on
the outskirts of this village and
helps us to understand the magnificent scenery that surrounds us.
Do not forget to try the Roncal
cheese, made with the milk from
the goats grazing in the Pyrenees,
well cured and with a strong taste
obtained after a very delicate
process. It bears the seal of quality
of the Roncal Denomination of Origin. Along the way, many places sell
this tasty cheese.
Roncal´S cheeSe
fluence of the Belagua and Ustárroz rivers. It marks the
start of the Belagua road, crossing the impressive valley,
which originated during the ice age and where winter
sports are now practised, such as cross-country skiing
or, in the French resort of Arette, Alpine skiing. For this
reason, Isaba offers the visitor many tourist services. It is
Isaba is the northern most locality of the Roncal Valley.
Located below the Ezkaurre cliff, it developed at the con-
valleys of roncal and salazar
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r 7
valleys of roncal and salazar
tribute of the
three cows
a beautiful village with houses with
coats of arms and gothic arches and
old bridges. We would highlight the
16C Church of San Cipriano, which
has the air of a fortress and with curious red coloured tiles. It has a nice,
plateresque style reredos, a beautiful 1751 Baroque organ and a carving of the Virgin of Idoya with Child.
This Virgin also has a hermitage on
the outskirts of the village, a magnificent Renaissance monument.
In 1375, a sentence aimed to put an end to the eternal disputes
between the valleys, for the use of the water and pastures, with
the payment of this tax. Today this is an interesting ceremony.
On one side of the frontier the mayors of the Roncal valley
stand with their traditional clothing: hat, cape and ruff. On the
other side, stand the mayors of Baretous, dressed with the
typical French garments and the republican tricolour across their
chest. The mayor of Isaba asks the French three times if they
are going to pay the Tribute of the Three Cows “with good teeth
and hide” in exchange for the use of the water and the pastures
28 days a year. The French confirm that they will do so and the
mayor of Isaba promises peace from then onwards. There is
even a vet to check that the cattle are healthy.
From the nearby viewpoints you
can see a spectacular view, with
summits of over 2.000 metres,
such as the Anie, the Mesa de los
Tres Reyes, the Lakora, the
Lakartxela, or the spectacular
caustic massif of Larra.
You can get a nice view from the famous Venta de Juan Pito (inn). Very
close, next to the boundary stone
262 of the Piedra de San Martín
(Stone), on the 13th of July each
year the Tribute of the Three Cows
takes place.
Mountain lakaRtxela (Right) and
MeSa de loS tReS ReyeS at belagua
routes from pamplona
valleys of roncal and salazar
route 7
This is reputed to be one of the prettiest villages in Navarre. Located at
the bottom of the Muskilda hill, Ochagavía has developed at the meeting
point of the rivers Anduña and Zatogya, creating the Salazar river. The
Ochagavía country houses, built in
the Pyrenees style, are clustered
around the Anduña river and the four
stone bridges separating the two
parts of the municipality. Two further
bridges cross the river Zatoya, embracing the locality.
Its beautiful streets, with smooth
round paving, are very narrow due to
the cold climate of the Salazar valley
in winter. In Ochagavía the people appreciate and take good care of their
stone houses, respecting the wood
and the old flat tiles used to build the
roofs and the jutting eaves. Many
houses, some of which are Gothic,
Renaissance and Barrack style
palaces, even have their own name.
Wrapped in lovely scenery, it is the
most populous locality of the Salazar
Valley. It is the trading centre of the
Valley, with cattle markets and fairs
held in its squares. However, apart
from cattle and forestry activities,
tourism is also important with winter
sports and excursions in summer.
At the entrance to Ochagavía you will
find a nice Plateresque style cross. A
steep slope will lead you to the
church of San Juan Evangelista, with
a Renaissance reredos which is well
worth a visit. It is the work of Miguel
Espinal, a disciple of Anchieta.
Close to Ochagavía there are some in-
valleys of roncal and salazar
credible places which the inhabitants
thoroughly recommend. The Iratí Forest is just a step away. At a turning in
the road between Isaba and Ochagavía, the hermitage of the Virgin of
Muskilda is to be found. Plainly decorated, it is a clear example of the Romanesque type of construction. On
the 8th September each year, the
people from Salazar come there on a
pilgrimage. Eight local folk dancers
or Danzantes, vividly dressed with
bells, multicolour ribbons and conical
hats dance the local dances: four
paloteo or stick dances, one with
handkerchiefs, one traditional jota
and a street band with casternets.
They are accompanied by gaiteros ,
the people playing the gaita a type of
bagpipes, and by a character called
the “bobo” or fool who dances with a
two faced mask.
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r 8
•sangüesa •javier •yesa •monastery of leyre
middle zone
You are now going towards the zone in Navarre with the greatest number of areas with the European Nature Reserve qualification. In this
area, Nature mixes with the historic, monumental and architectural
stamp of Man, in the villages and, of course, in the Artificial Reservoir
of Yesa or the Sea of the Pyrenees.
Sangüesa la Vieylla or Old Sangüesa
was located on the top of a hill known
as Rocaforte. It developed to protect
Pamplona from the Muslim invaders
and, later, it was used as a fortress to
defend Navarre against the Kingdom
of Aragon. In the year 1121, Alfonso
the Battler moved the city to its current site, a communications point and
where four Roman roads join: those
coming from Zaragoza, Jaca, Pamplona and Dax. Moreover, Sangüesa is
located right on the Way of St James.
With such an important defensive role,
Sangüesa soon began to enjoy royal
privileges and this prosperity can be
felt today in the town’s great religious
and civil artistic heritage.
Perhaps the most precious building is
the Church of Santa María la Real, a
national monument, with particular
mention to the group of sculptures on
the beautiful portal with statue
columns and delicate iconography.
Even so, we cannot forget the Gothic
octagonal tower, the three 13C apses
at the front, the plateresque reredos
with the Gothic sculpture of the Virgen
of Rocamador and a Gothic processional monstrance.
If you continue along the main street
or Calle Mayor, you will come to the
15C Palace of the Dukes of Granada
and the 17C Palace of the Counts of
Guenduláin. In the street Calle Alfonso
el Batallador, you will find the Palace
of Vallesantoro with a beautiful 17C
Churrigueresque facade, and a historic building with deep carved wooden eaves which today houses the
Community Centre.
Continuing along this road, you will
reach the Gothic Church of San Salvador, noted for its portal, an image of
the Final Judgement.
You shouldn’t leave Sangüesa without
visiting the Town Hall with its Renaissance facade. This building is an extension of the fortified Palace of the
Santa MaRía chuRch
Leave Pamplona by the ZaragozaMadrid road, and at km 6.8 turn off
towards Huesca and Jaca for A-21.
Leaving behind the hill of the Higa de
Monreal, keep your eyes on the left
side of the route: the impressive wild
countryside of the Lumbier Limestone
Gorge and the surrounding valleys,
the ravine cut out by the Iratí River,
the wild green contrasting with the
grey limestone and, in the background, on a clear winter day, the
splendour of the Pyrenees of Aragon
with their snow-capped peaks.
Continue towards Liédena, and take
the NA-127 to the city of Sangüesa,
routes from pamplona
eastern middle zone
caStle of JavieR
Prince of Viana, where this prince lived
when Sangüesa was Court to the
Kings of Navarre. The Palace still has
two imposing battlement towers and
an inner moat.
You should also visit the Church of
Santiago, a mixture of Romanesque
and Gothic. A colossal stone statue
of St James the Apostle was found
under the floorboards of this church
in 1965.
A mention should also be made of the
Convent of San Francisco de Asís and
the Monastery of Nuestra Señora del
Carmen. This monastery, as well as
having a beautiful church and Gothic
cloisters, also has a peculiar museum: old tower clocks, from 1546 to
present day.
which has a wealth of historic buildings
and monuments. It gives its name to the
surrounding district.
At this point, you will be crossing the
boundaries that were for centuries the
cause for many battles between the
Kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon. SOS del
Rey Católico, a place that pertained to
Navarre for the last time in the 12C is
well worth a visit: narrow streets, a
medieval air, walls, castle, beautiful
Renaissance town hall and a lovely
Romanesque church of San Esteban. It is
not every day that you can walk through
the town where King Fernando the
Catholic was born.
Every year, during the month of March, thousands of people from Navarre make a pilgrimage or Javierada to the Castle of Javier, the birthplace of San Francisco Javier, patron saint of Navarre, some people have been making the pilgrimage for the last forty
years. People from all over Navarre go in pilgrimage to Sangüesa and, the following
morning, the massive number of pilgrims walk with crosses the 8 kms separating
Sangüesa from Javier, where the saint was born in 1506. He was a tireless missionary who went to lands as far away as Japan.
The Castle was constructed in the 10C based on a tower built on a rock, and which
was used to guard the border with Aragon. In 1223, Sancho VII the Strong recieved
this fortress from the Prince of Aragon as a guarantee for a loan of 9,000 sueldos
(currency of that time). The loan was not repaid and Navarre kept the castle.
The owners gradually built defensive areas around this tower until it was finally converted into a Castle. The Homage Tower is dedicated to San Miguel, and for this reason it is known as the tower of San Miguel or the Torraza.
The castle you will see was restored in the 19C, since Cardinal Cisneros forced the
castle to be almost completely destroyed after Navarre was annexed to Castile. Cisneros gave order to raze the outer walls to the ground, to cut the tops of the towers,
fill in the moats and render the loopholes useless. After this destruction, the castle
has been the object of continuous restoration work.
This building is made up of strong battlement towers. The basilica is built on to the
castle walls. This houses the baptismal font where San Francisco Javier was baptised.
There are guided tours of the castle, where the guides will inform you of the life of
the saint here. They will tell you about the sculpture of Christ with a smile, sculptured
in walnut wood and which presides over a chapel with wall paintings of the Death
dance, with yellow skeletons drawn against a black background. The guides will tell
you about the secrets these awesome walls hide.
Return along the NA-127, a somewhat
tortuous road, until you reach Sangüesa
and take the turning towards Javier. The
castle is located some 8 km away, it is the To Pam
birthplace of San Francisco Javier, the
of Leyre
patron saint of Navarre, and thousands of
people from Navarre go there every year
during the traditional pilgrimages or
Once you have visited the Castle of Javier,
go towards Yesa and take the road to the
Monastery of Leyre, set in the Sierra of
Leyre, amongst woods, land covered with
Kermes oaks and Gall oaks, and dominating the extensive Yesa Reservoir. You are
sure to appreciate it.
eastern middle zone
routes from pamplona
N-240 To Jaca
de Yesa
Sos del Rey
r 8
eastern middle zone
The Monastery of San Salvador de
Leyre is set amidst the splendour of
the wild scenery of the Sierra, with
great walls of ochre coloured stone
and impossible cliffs and woods. It
commands a view over the Yesa
Reservoir, impressive with its 74 metre high and 411 metres long dam
and blue waters.
The Monastery is impregnated with history, beauty and legends such as the
one about Saint Virila, an abbot of the
monastery who stood in ecstasy opposite a fountain to listen to a bird
singing. When he returned, he was astonished to discover that 300 years
had passed by.
There are records of the monastery
dating back to the year 848. During
the early centuries, it was the great religious and cultural centre of the king-
dom of Pamplona and is the place selected by the kings for their pantheon.
Even today, on the 3rd December, the
day of Navarre and of Saint Francisco
Javier are solemnly commemorated.
Leyre is one of the first Romanesque
constructions in the Spanish Peninsular. Inside, it is easy to imagine the life
of the clergy there. Benedictine and
Cistercian monks passed through it, after 75 years of disputes between each
other. The monastery was abandoned
in 1836 after the disentailment of Mendizábal and the monks were not to return, in this case Benedictine monks,
until 1954.
Leyre is composed of a crypt, apses,
three Romanesque naves and a narrow
square tower. The crypt is a treasure:
built in the 11C, it has a primitive and
archaic appearance, with enormous
extenSive yeSa
routes from pamplona
eastern middle zone
route 8
and unequal capitals standing on robust shafts, with a plain decoration.
Every corner of this place is marked by
sobriety. In the church itself, the great
Gothic nave has very little decoration.
If you look at the carving of Christ on
the Cross, you will see it is no other
than Saint Salvador of Leyre. Behind a
beautiful gothic screen, you will find a
Neogothic small chest, holding the remains of the earliest monarchs.
You can observe a beautiful retable relating the martyrdom suffered by
Saints Nunilo and Alodia at the hands
of the Muslims.
MonaSteRy of leyRe
Outside the building, you can appreciate the “porta speciosa” portal, the
Church’s main entrance. It is an exam-
ple of 12C Romanesque work and
there is beauty in every detail of its
rich decoration.
RoManeSque cRypte
eastern middle zone
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The Middle zone - is neither
the mountainous North nor
the Ribera, or Ebro Valley, in
the South. It is the result of
bringing these contrasts
together, of a quarrel between two opposing brothers
who finally make their peace.
The woods of the North
disappear and are replaced
by farmland and vineyards,
the mountains soften out and
are surrounded by plains and
the arid areas are interspersed with thickets and scattered woodland.
•mendigorria •artajona •olite •san martín de unx •olite
•guerinda windfarm •ujué
middle zone
Fortified Enclave
Route of the dolmens
If you want to become completely immersed in the Middle Ages, this is a
good opportunity to do so. The fortified enclave, or Cerco de Artajona,
was constructed in the 11C, and its
walls flanked by twelve perfectly
square towers can take you back in
time. They give a stately air to the
walls crowned by the fortress-church
of San Saturnino, with its imposing,
stout architecture, built in the 13C on
the ruins of a Romanesque temple. The
church façade reveals a beautifully
carved Gothic tympanum, showing images of San Saturnino together with
Queen Juana of Navarre and her
spouse, Felipe the Beautiful. The actual structure of the church denotes that
it was built in times of war. It preserves
a sentry walk over the vault of the
nave, which was used as a dungeon. In
its interior, the Gothic altarpiece is a
primitive Renaissance painting. There
are also two Baroque altarpieces and
various panel paintings. However, if
you would rather go back in time still
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middle zone
further, you now have the opportunity
to travel back almost to our origins,
along the Dolmen route. To reach the
Dolmens, you must go to the cemetery
and take the road behind the churchyard. From there you will come to the
dolmen of Portillo de Enériz and the
one of Mina de Farangortea, the remains of the Roman megalithic culture.
Both are separated by stone slabs and
are located in tumuli, 20 m in diameter
and 2.5 m high. You can also go as far
back as the first millennium before
Christ with the remains of the neolithic
huts of Farangortea and Dorre.
The Gothic church of San Pedro also
deserves a mention, with its Flemish
triptych of the Epiphany and the semicircular dome. On the outskirts of the
town there is the basilica of the Virgen
de Jerusalén. Inside you will find a 30
cm high Romanesque metal carving
made from enamelled copper which,
according to legend, was brought by a
person from Artajona from the Crusades in the Holy Land.
You can also take the opportunity to
enjoy a walk through the streets of Artajona and observe the houses with
their attics, coats of arms and arcades.
the woodS of the noRth diSappeaR and aRe
Replaced by faRMland and vineyaRdS
olite caStle
Visiting Olite is like returning to the past.
The Middle Ages are present in its
streets, palaces and corners. The Castle, unmoved, dominates the town,
watching over the inhabitants. Olite,
The Castle - Palace of Olite is one of the
most representative and most loved
monuments in Navarre. It was built on
Roman walls, and construction began
during the 13th and 14 centuries, although it was during the 15C, under the
orders of Carlos III of Navarre that the
bareness and simplicity of the church
of San Martín will attract your attention, with its two portals and crypt
(accessed by a spiral stairway). It is
well worth visiting the Gothic
Church-Fortress of Santa María del
Pópolo and the hermitage of San
Miguel. You can then take the more
than tortuous NA-5310 road to Ujué,
a town which is closer to legend than
to reality. Narrow, paved streets,
impossible corners, spectacular
views... If you suddenly want to be
brought back to the 21C, you should
visit the Wind Farm at Guerinda, one
of the largest in Europe. What would
Don Quijote have to say! The most
advanced wind turbines, reaching a
height equivalent to an eighteen floor
building, merge into a spectacular
view of the Pyrenees. Navarre is the
third European power with regard to
the production of this renewable
middle zone
la Reina
energy, after Germany and
Denmark, and this windfarm is
proof of it. To reach it, you
should return to the San Martín
de Unx road and go towards
Lerga and then turn off towards
routes from pamplona
To Tudela
To start this route, leave Pamplona by
the A-12 Estella-Logroño highway
and continue along it until you reach
Puente la Reina. There, take the NA6030 road to Tafalla and you will
come across Mendigorría and the
ruins of Andelos, the remains of a
Roman villa with its story to tell. If
you continue along this same route,
you will come to Artajona with its
massive fortified enclave known as
the Cerco de Artajona and the start of
the Dolmen Route.
Now, continue towards Tafalla, the
capital of the Middle zone, and take
the N-121 to the medieval town of
Olite, an obligatory visit. The local
NA-5300 road then takes you to San
Martín de Unx where you can observe
the house façades with their coats of
arms, the remains of the city walls
and other emblematic buildings. The
work really developed. They were the
years of splendour. Its decline began
when Navarre joined the Crown of
Castile, and there were no longer any
kings of Navarre to reside there. Two
fires and an act of plundering left it unrecognisable. It was made a national
monument in 1925, and has recently
been restored. The old palace is today
a state Parador and it still preserves
To Pa
once a Royal city, has also many famous vineyards and good quality wines.
r 9
middle zone
some towers such as the tower of San
Jorge, Las Cigüeñas (storks) and the
Prison Tower. The new castle, with its
fifteen completely different towers cannot help but attract your attention. The
most important towers are the Torre del
Homenaje, Atalaya, Tres Coronas and
Cuatro Vientos and the circular watchtower. There is no doubt that it was a
luxurious castle: with delicate plasterwork, tiles, polychromatic stained glass
windows, golden marquetry ceilings
and fountains. Amongst the curious outbuildings at the palace (lion cage, dovecote, baths (in those times!), we would
point out a peculiar type of refrigerator:
a stone egg-shaped construction used
to store ice.
At Olite, there is also the Gothic church
of Santa María, with some beautiful
cloisters, a lovely portal and the retable
above the high altar was painted by Pedro de Aponte. The Church of San Pedro is another work of art. It is a harmonious mixture of different styles: a Gothic tower with an impressive octagonal
spire and Romanesque portal and cloisters. Inside there is a beautiful retable
and the chapel of the Virgen of Campanal holds a precious Gothic sculpture.
We cannot forget to mention the convents of San Francisco and the Clarisas, both with Rococo retables, whilst,
in the Carlos III Square there is the
Clock Tower and some medieval underground galleries.
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route 9
at ujué
Ujué appears to be the result of an artist’s delirium, in a desire to create an imaginary, fairy-tale
village: its narrow streets, sliding down the
slopes of the hill, full of ramps and stairways, its
houses, each forgotten corner,.. will all take your
breath away. And, if you still haven’t had enough,
take a look in any direction from Ujué and you
won’t be disappointed. Down below, you will see
the piedmont of Tafalla and Olite, the Ribera, the
Moncayo and the Pyrenees, with peaks such as
the Anie or the Mesa de los Tres Reyes.
To visit Ujué, we would advise you to leave your
vehicle at the entrance to the village or in the
sanctuary square, since cars cannot go into the
town centre.
Ujué is the scene of one of the most emotive
Romería processions or pilgrimage in Navarre. It
is held on the Sunday following the 25th april,
day of San Marcos, and it is in honour of the Virgin Mary. Pilgrims wear tunics, bear crosses, and
some even go barefoot and with chains. They
meet by the Saludo Cross and from there, go to
the sanctuary to pray to the Virgin.
Ujué developed as a fortified town to defend Navarre
first against the Muslims and later against Aragon.
The Romanesque church of Santa María is located at
the highest point of the village. Its size and
simplicity are overwhelming. It was built on the
remains of a pre-Romanesque church in the 11 and
12C, but it was king Carlos II the Bad who undertook
the majority of its construction. He built
the Gothic nave, a beautiful sentry
corridor and small turrets. Its
interior houses the beautiful
image of Santa María with
Child, a wonderful example of
Romanesque sculpture in Navarre,
silver plated and dating from the
12C. Carlos II so loved this place
that, before his death, he requested
that his heart be laid to rest here.
And it is preserved in a chest in this
church still today.
middle zone
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on line booking centRe

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