Walking in Foral de Navarra

 
Walking in Spain Navarra
 

Like many of the northern regions of Iberian Peninsula Foral de Nava (Foral de Navarre) has an extremely varied terrain. With mountainous countryside in the north, whilst in the south the plains formed by the valley of Ebro. This area offers those seeking more challenging walking a plethora of possibilities.

The main mountains are the Pyrenees on the border with France and provide some of the most stunning views from its snow capped peaks. From these peaks mountains streams form rivers traversing the region creating lush foothills n the central area of Foral de Nava. These foothills become the back drop of the more arid Ebro valley with its flatlands. Its location near to the Pryenees makes it a haven of excitement for the keen walker and climber, but the rambler and walker looking for something more relaxing will find the valleys more to their liking.

This changing landscape creates some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain which has long been enjoyed by the Pilgrims following the 'French Way  - The Way to Santiago' which crosses the region on its way to the Rioja province. There are two routes you can follow into the region. Firstly, from the Pyrenean Aragonese leading to Sanguesa, or Secondly, using the Orreaga- Roncesvalles taking you through Pamplona.  You can also choose to explore the less well known; Route of the Ebro or the Baztanes Way.  

The pilgrims' enjoyed the canyons and pine forests of the north, which then turned into ancient villages with their terraced vineyards, finally settling into the fertile plains with its special garnacha vines before leaving the region for Rioja. This fertile valley is served by three rivers, the Arga, Aragon and Ebro, from which it gets its name. Foral de Nava has a wealth of fine churches, monasteries and hospitals along the Jacobea route, which all built up to serve the constant stream of pilgrims.

The climate is similar to that of the Basque Country, which it borders in the north, with warm summers and colder winters, often sub-zero temperatures, with a frequent rainfall at other times of the year.  In the south of Foral de Navarra its weather is similar to the province of Rioja, warmer drier summers, sometimes humid with cool autumn and winters.

 

Airports
This northern region does not have its own airport, but you can fly into the Basque airport of  Bilbao. It will take you about 2hours or so to drive the 157km to Pamplona.

  • Bilbao (approx 2hr drive)

Ferry Port
There is also the possibility of catching a ferry to Bilbao from Portsmouth.

  • Bilbao

There are several natural parks in the region which preserve the magnificent scenery and landscape of the area. To the north is the Senorio de Bertiz on the banks of the river Bidasoa and has one of the few areas of continuous forests.

 
Walking in Navarra Spain
Walking in the Pyrenees Spain
 

Walking Around Pamplona
The regions capital city Pamplona is in the centre of on a meseta, surrounded by the stunning mountain ranges to the west of Sierra de Urbas and Sierra de Andia. The parks and gardens of the city are well know as being some of the greenest of Europe and is its wonderful cathedral. Its famous running of the bulls festival, called San Fermin, takes place in early July is a truly amazing spectacle to see.

Walking Near Olite & Atajona
The city and the surrounding area has seen extensive restoration over the last fifty years and now some of the regions attractions have been returned to the original glory. The Castle and cathedral at Olite, a town situated about halfway between Pamplona and Tudela, as well as the ramparts at the small village of Artajona (11km north west of Tafalla) are such.

Many of the monasteries, churches and convents along the pilgrimage routes have been restored and provide a marvellous insight into the life and history of such places. Those at La Oliva (south of Olite), Iranzu (north of Estella), Tulebras (close to the Aragon border), Leyre (near Sanguesa) and Irache (south of Estella) are well worth a visit during your stay in Foral de Navarra.

 
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