Navarre and its cities deserve a full stop. Trying to monopolize all the places we have to stay at would be impossible in one trip, unless you happen to be lucky enough to spread that trip over several months. So, if you, like mere mortals, only have a few days off, we are going to select some of the most beautiful ones, the ones that always enchant travelers so that you can make the most of your time traveling in one of the most colorful Spain.
You will see how when you start touring the Forale community of Navarra and go from the deserts of the Bardenas Reales to the dense forests of the Bastan Valley visiting beautiful places like Ouhue, Estella, Elizondo, Ochagavia, Olite, Roncesvalles, Yesa, Lesaka. , Sugarramurdi or Puente la Reina, you will make sure that next time you will not need so much time to come back here, because with its nature, its traditional architecture, its culture, its gastronomy and its people, Navarre is always a good plan .
In the Middle Ages, Wuhue/Uxue was the main bulwark of the defense of the Kingdom of Navarre and still retains a certain look of that time, vigilant from the top of the watchtower. The fortified church, Romanesque and Gothic, is visible from afar and is surrounded by steep and narrow streets populated by traditional limestone houses. Because of its location, you should spend some time enjoying the views it offers between the Pyrenees and the Ribera del Ebro.
Estella Lisarra is a city, but its historic center retains the charm of a medieval town. It was founded by King Sancho Ramirez in 1090 and became the main stop on the Camino de Santiago. Its heritage is extensive and includes churches, monasteries, fortifications, palaces and bridges that cross the river Ega. We have already spoken about it on other occasions about Ruta del Sumaque, a bush that has come from the East to stay.
Elizondo is the most important city in Baztan, which is why it is usually a landmark when we visit one of the most beautiful valleys of Navarre. It was born with Urrutia Street, which follows the course of the Bidasoa River and has preserved its famous facades and noble coats of arms. One of his most typical images we find when we crossed the Txokoto bridge and dam, and he gained immense fame with the successful Baztan trilogy by Dolores Redondo.
Ochagavia/Otsagabia enjoys a privileged position in the heart of the Salazar Valley, close to the Pyrenees and next to the dense forests of the Irati Forest. The Andunya River is its main axis, and the stone bridge that crosses it creates one of its most recognizable images. Steep-roofed houses, walkable pedestrian streets, emblematic farmhouses and ancient palaces such as Urrutia and Iriarte are some of the hallmarks of what is considered one of Navarre’s most beautiful villages.
The small town of Olite/Arryberry soon takes on a face: its castle, the Royal Palace that makes it so easily recognizable. It was the court of the Navarrese kings, and today interesting excursions are held here. Outside, the historic center allows us to see imposing mansions with imposing coats of arms on their facades, Gothic arcades, Roman walls and beautiful churches such as Santa Maria la Real, which is a fine example of Navarrese Gothic.
Orreaga/Roncevalles marks a defining moment on the Camino de Santiago. For some, because their journey begins from there, and for others, because when they enter Spain, they feel closer to their goal. Only 20 people live here and the leading role, in addition to the natural enclave in which it is located, surrounded by forests and pastures, is played by the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria de Orreaga/Roncesvalles, whose origins date back to the early 12th century.
One should go to Yesu even in order to see the monastery of San Salvador de Leire, which is considered one of the most attractive monumental complexes of Navarre. An idyllic place for those seeking relaxation and meditation, which has played a fundamental role in the history of the Kingdom of Navarre and whose origins date back to the 9th century. It retains very early Romanesque elements in very good condition and offers its own hostel.
Lesaka is also known as “Little Venice”, as the water marks the layout of its streets and preserves twenty old stone bridges: eight over the Onin River, eight more over Bjurrana and four more over Erdicoerrota. Its historic center is marked by large stately farmhouses as well as medieval stone towers such as Kasherna or Zabaleta. It had a powerful past with forges, mills, cider factories and carpentry shops, and its splendor of that time still lives on its streets.
Zugarramurdi, in addition to showing us the beautiful houses of traditional Navarre architecture, tells us a lot more. Especially stories that come from caves, witches and covens. Here, at the beginning of the 17th century, the Holy Inquisition held the most famous witch hunt in the history of Spain. And to get to know her, we can visit both the Museum of Witches, where the victims condemned by the Inquisition are commemorated, and the caves of Zugarramurdi, a huge karst complex where, according to legend, meetings and sabbaths were held.
Puente la Reina/Gares is only 22 km from Pamplona and, as the name suggests, its Romanesque bridge over the Arga river is its main attraction. It is a city marked by the passage of the Camino de Santiago, so pilgrims often cross its streets. Therefore, its main attractions often include the late 12th-century Romanesque El Crucifijo, whose Christ appears on a curious Y-shaped cross, and the Church of Santiago. or a Trinitarian monastery.
Baztan Valley: harmony, nature and traditions to feel at home
Zugarramurdi: stories of caves, witches and covens
Navarra cinema: ten film locations itinerary
This is the Señorio de Bertis, the natural park with the longest history in Navarre.
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