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Aragonese branch. Stage 3: From Monreal to Puente la Reina (30,4 km.)

Aragonese branch. Stage 3: From Monreal to Puente la Reina (30,4 km.)

As it wanders through the streets of Monreal, the route skirts the hill on which the old castle used to stand and leaves the village along a track (protected by large poplars) that goes down in search of the river Elorz. When the path reaches the riverbank it becomes very pretty, shaded by plants and trees, until you reach a bridge that allows you to cross from one side to the other. Once again on the track, the path goes up through fields, searching for the boundary between the mountainside and farmland. Higher up on the mountain, the steep ravine of the Diablozulo opens out. The walk along a small pathway that passes underneath a forgotten quarry leads to Yárnoz.

Pass through Yárnoz via the church and follow the tarmac path to the cemetery. From here on, and as far as Tiebas, the route follows the foot of the Alaiz mountain range, near the border with fields of crops. Nearby, water from the Pyrenees comes down via the Canal de Navarra (a 110-mile-long canal that carries water from the Itoiz reservoir to the centre and south of Navarre). The Pamplona basin and the city’s urban landscape dominate the scenery here.

The route, mostly on a path with small asides onto different tracks, opens out onto pasture grounds and regenerated forests, passing through the small villages of Otano and Ezperún, with the latter at the bottom of an abandoned quarry. The route heads into the well-kept village of Guerendiáin. As it leaves Guerendiáin, the path runs below an abandoned quarry and you head into a holm oak wood. Then, go round a spur along a pleasant path, with fertile lands full of cereal crops constantly in view.

The path links up with a track that runs downwards until it meets the road to Tiebas, just opposite the ruins of a castle; if you look up from the village you will see the quarries of Alaiz. The route crosses the village and, as it leaves Alaiz, takes the road that leads to the football ground. Then, crossing a dirt track between fields and small holm and kermes oak woods, walk towards the motorway, which the path follows for quite a way. At one of its junctions, it heads down towards the motorway and crosses it via two underground passageways. Once again, you find yourself in the countryside and a track crosses a pine grove, skirting the enclosure of what was once a military barracks.

On arriving at Muruarte, the path passes under a railway line. On leaving the village on the southbound road, there is a tarmac track that leads directly to Olcoz along a flat road. The route goes round the village and heads downwards on a dirt track. You will soon be walking between a range of hills that line the valley, heading gradually down and providing some magnificent views of the scattered villages of Añorbe, Úcar, Tirapu, etc. At the bottom of the valley you will find the twists and turns of one Little river, which will accompany you to Puente la Reina, the route joins up with the Pilgrim’s Way from Orreaga/Roncesvalles.

After a short path, the route heads down onto a farm track at the bottom of the valley, where it crosses the Robo and heads along the river’s left bank until it crosses the road to Añorbe. It carries on along a path that stays close to the river and the first houses you see mean that you are arriving at Enériz. Pass through the village and continue along the valley on a track that is easy to walk along. At the sight of the beautiful and original Romanesque church of Santa María de Eunate, the track veers towards a path that leads directly to the church. From here, it carries on in the same direction and, further ahead, crosses the Robo River and the road and goes away from the bottom of the valley towards Obanos, passing the cemetery. The path wanders through the outer streets of Obanos and returns once more to the road, until you reach a track that takes you to the end of this stage: the town of Puente la Reina.

etpa 6

What is there to do and see at the end of the stage?

  • Tour and wine tasting at Bodegas de Sarría.
  • Visit the Church of Santa María de Eunate.
  • Guided tour of Puente la Reina. Churches open to visitors: El Crucifijo, Santiago and San Pedro (in the summer).
  • Take a dip in the swimming pools (open 15 June to 15 September).
  • Thursdays and Fridays drink and tapa for €2 in several of the town’s bars
  • Blessing of the pilgrim: Church of El Crucifijo (11 July to 31 August): worship, feet washing and blessing of the pilgrim at 6.45 pm.
  • Mass at the Church of Santiago, 10.00 am and at 7.30 pm Monday to Saturday. Sundays and public holidays 12.00 noon and 7.30 pm.

You may also be interested in...

  • For more information: Tourism Office of Puente la Reina.
  • To stamp your credential: in pilgrims’ hostels / Tourism Office.

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