Last Updated on April 16, 2022 by Helen E. White
With this objective in mind, this new travel section in Spain was born, in which we are going to show you everything, everything and Everything. And we start with Navarra! A great unknown with many more things to offer than you may think at first. So in this guide, we are going to tell you in detail what to see in Navarra.
Navarra is a regional community located in the north of Spain. With an extension of more than 10,000 square kilometers, it offers the visitor an infinity of places to enjoy its view, a special mystique and excellent gastronomy.
With good communication routes linking it with the rest of Spain and neighboring France, this Kingdom of Spain is much more than just a place to visit. It is that essence obtained from its magical forests, its spectacular valleys and its prolific plains that gives this land that particular character that also binds its cordial inhabitants.
Obviously, like everything else, to choose everything you have to see in Navarra you must take into account what you can see in each area, what your tastes are and how much time you have to make your trip. Below you will find all the places that are essential for us on a trip to Navarra:
This guide is going to work as an index of all the content that we are going to publish to complete it but to whet your appetite, we leave you with a summary of the most important places you can visit in Navarra.
The journey through Navarra can start from the capital, Pamplona, knowing its most renowned streets, such as the well-known Estafeta, through which its famous ‘encierros’ run in San Fermines.
We cannot forget either its superb military constructions: the walls of the Taconera and the Citadel. The town hall and its adjoining Plaza del Castillo will also be part of this complete visit to the capital of the Kingdom.
You can see Pamplona in one day without any problem, except for the San Fermín Festival (held at the beginning of July), which alone would take at least two days.
2. The Northern Mountains
After the capital, we have to talk about the Pyrenean mountains in the north of Navarra, an essential for any traveler who is visiting Navarra:
- Roncesvalles. Accessing through the town of Sangüesa we will visit its Collegiate Church of Santa María, built at the beginning of the 13th century as a mausoleum for Sancho VII el Fuerte. Roncesvalles is also a very important enclave for pilgrims heading to Santiago.
- Irati Forest. It is the second-largest and best-preserved beech-fir forest in Europe, after the Black Forest in Germany. An immense green patch of some 17,000 hectares is located in the eastern Pyrenees of Navarre, at the head of the Pyrenean valleys of Aezkoa and Salazar.
- Roncal Valley and the town with the same name, a beautiful town, which is also the homeland of the famous Navarrese tenor Julian Gayarre.
- Zugarramurdi, Vera de Bidasoa and Elizondo. In the western Pyrenees, very close to the border with France, is the famous village of witches, where fantasy and reality come together to allow us to take an exciting journey through time.
- Isaba and the Belagua Valley.
- Baztan Valley.
In Middle Navarra it is essential to visit some of its towns famous for the architectural gems they house :
- Olite. A place where the majestic Olite Castle stands, which is also a National Parador. Between the stone walls that hide medieval corners, you will be surprised by stained glass windows, arcades and other elements typical of medieval times. The palace constitutes the most important example of civil Gothic in Navarre, and one of the most notable in Europe.
- Queen’s Bridge. This medieval town located 24 kilometers from the Navarran capital, which also serves as a crossroads, is one of the key points of the Camino de Santiago in Navarra. It will be rare for you to visit Puente la Reina and not come across a pilgrim, a shell or any other tool related to the Camino because they are already part of the town’s landscape. Strolling through its cobbled streets will help you immerse yourself in all the architectural gems that Puente la Reina has to offer, such as the churches of El Crucifico, Santiago and San Pedro, and other beautiful buildings where you can appreciate the Jacobean influence. The famous Romanesque bridge over the river Arga de Puente la ReinaIt will be what will surprise you the most in this area since it is one of the most beautiful Romanesque examples in the area and on the Camino de Santiago and it is one of the fundamental monuments to see in Navarra, which also gives its name to this town.
- Tafalla. With more than 10,000 inhabitants, Tafalla is the capital of Middle Navarra. Located at the foot of the Santa Lucía hill, from where its old town extends to the banks of the Cidacos River, it maintains that medieval touch in its upper area and offers a more modern air in the central area, dedicated to commerce and services.
- Stella. Its most hidden streets and corners have witnessed an infinity of different cultures that have left their mark to make Estella what it is today. Estella is a town full of nuances that houses an exquisite heritage. Closely watched by the river Ega, it is also an important enclave for the section of the Camino de Santiago that crosses the foral community and in it, you can discover medieval castles, churches, squares and an infinity of memorable corners.
- Leyre Monastery, Javier Castle and Foz de Lumbier.
What to say about La Ribera de Navarra? La Ribera, as a geographical region characterized by flat topography, is considered to be linked to the Ebro river basin and an agrarian landscape characteristic of the Mediterranean basin. La Ribera has a great tradition and specialization in horticulture. Its grapes, olives, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce hearts, tomatoes, and piquillo peppers are some of its culinary excellence. But what is worth visiting in Ribera Navarra?
- A visit to the Las Bardenas region is essential, a Natural Park of wild beauty declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Its semi-desert landscape of 42,500 hectares impacts and surprises with each new visit. An unusual spectacle in the southeast of Navarra, close to Tudela and that, despite its bare and inhospitable appearance, hides great natural values. In addition, it recently became famous for hosting the filming of the well-known Game of Thrones series.
- Tudela, the capital of the Ribera, and Cintruénigo with its wineries, are two of the interesting towns to see in the Ribera.
- In Fitero, located on the banks of the Alhama River and the border with its neighbor La Rioja, medieval traces coexist with the daily life of its inhabitants. The Monastery of Santa María la Real stands out for its medieval beauty, the first Cistercian monastery on the Iberian Peninsula that makes Fitero a special and essential place for art lovers. Nor can you miss the 16th-century Humilladero, which is located almost on the outskirts of the town.
- Fitero is also famous for its spa, where the poet Adolfo Bécquer stayed at various times in his life.
We hope you liked our guide on what to see in Navarra. If you have more questions about your trip, in addition to what to see in Navarra, don’t hesitate to visit our Facebook group about Spain in which a lot of travelers from all over the world share their experiences and help those who are organizing their trip…