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3-5 day routes BY CAR

in 3 days

We propose a simple itinerary to discover key places along the two branches of the French Route of the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela through Navarre, and also some attractive activities that combine Nature and gastronomy.

  • Day 1. From Orreaga/Roncesvalles to Pamplona (48 km)
    • Visit to the monumental ensemble of Orreaga/Roncesvalles
    • Walk along a section of the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela: from Orreaga/Roncesvalles to Auritz/Burguete (2 km)
    • Visit villages built along roads in the Pyrenees: Auritz/Burguete and Aurizberri/Espinal
    • Viewpoint at the Erro pass
    • Walk through the old quarter of Pamplona and along its city walls
    • Visit to the Cathedral of Santa María in Pamplona
    • Pinchos (tapas) route
    • Evening show (Teatro Gayarre or Baluarte)
  • Day 2. From Pamplona to Viana (78 km)
    • Walk around Puente la Reina, where different pilgrims' routes come together
    • Guided visit to Estella
    • Monastery of Iratxe and its wine fountain
    • Visit to the church at Los Arcos or the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Torres del Río
    • A stroll through the monumental quarter of Viana
  • Day 3. From Sangüesa to Puente la Reina (65 km)
    • Church of Santa María de Eunate
    • Walk through the gorge at Lumbier
    • Guided visit to the monumental quarter of Sangüesa
    • Castle of Javier
    • Gregorian chants at the Monastery of Leyre

    Day 1. From Orreaga/Roncesvalles to Pamplona (48 km)

    • Visit to the monumental quarter of Orreaga/Roncesvalles: ta small and enigmatic enclave that contains a wide range of architectural features. The 45-minute guided visit includes Charlemagne's silo (the oldest building on the site in which pilgrims were buried), the Gothic church of St James and the Religious Art museum, with pieces of exceptional value such as ?Charlemagne's chess set?. The visitor can explore the collegiate church, a magnificent example of French Gothic (access free of charge), the  cloister and the Chapterhouse, where the tomb of King Sancho VII 'el Fuerte' lies.
    • Walk along a stretch of the Pilgrim's Way: from Orreaga/Roncesvalles to Auritz/Burguete (2 km): this section is characterised by a refreshing, gentle landscape through woods that will make you feel like a pilgrim for a day. Estimated time for the return trip: 90 minutes.
    • Getting to know two villages built along roads in the Pyrenees : Auritz/Burguete and Aurizberri-Espinal: Ernest Hemingway described this area as ?the damned wildest landscape in the Pyrenees?; he regularly went fishing here. Aurizberri-Espinal and Auritz-Burguete are two typical villages built along roads that stand out for the beauty of their strongly-built houses in the Pyrenean style.
    • Viewpoint at the Erro pass: fantastic scenery and an impressive view. When you go up to the Erro pass you can see "The Steps of Roland?, a big stone that ? according to legend ? marked the size of the epic character's foot.
    • Walk through the old quarter of Pamplona and the city walls: let yourself be seduced by the old quarter of the mediaeval city, surrounded by walls, whose narrow streets, squares and noble houses are watched over by towers and befries. The three boroughs that gave rise to the city are Navarrería, San Cernin and San Nicolás, together with their respective fortress-churches (the Cathedral and the churches of San Saturnino and San Nicolás). Visit them at leisure and admire their outlines, a highly recommended exercise that can be extendedd by walking around part of the 16th century city walls, five kilometres along one of the most interesting and best-kept military complexes in Spain. Indeed, the city walls were awarded the status of National Monument.
    • Visit to the Cathedral of Santa María: this excellent example of 14th and 15th century Gothic stands on high ground in the eatern part of the old quarter of Pamplona, on the site of the Roman Pompaelo. The sobriety of its neo-classical façade contrasts with the Gothic interior, whose 28-metre-high central nave contains the beautifully carved tomb of King Carlos III of Navarre and his wife Leonor of Castile. The real jewel of the building is the cloister, considered one of the most beautiful examples of gothic architecture; it is really worth a visit. Guided visits to the rooms and halls of the cathedral museum can be booked; the visits last approximately one hour.
    • Pinchos (tapas) route: even the most demanding palates will enjoy the culinary miniatures that the bars of Pamplona provide every day. The old quarter is the area where most of these bars are located (especially in Estafeta and San Nicolás streets), although other parts of the city also offer a good selection. To make things easier for visitors, the Website of the catering trade has information on easy-to-read interactive maps with links to the websites of the bars, showing their opening hours and specialities.
    • A show in the classical Teatro Gayarre or in the modern 'Baluarte' Congress Centre and Auditorium in Pamplona:See their varied cultural programmes and get your tickets in advance, from 6? in the Teatro Gayarre and 22? in Baluarte.

    Day 2. From Pamplona to Viana (78 km)

    • Walk through Puente la Reina, where different routes of the Pilgrim's Waty come together: a mediaeval town where the two main routes of the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela join. The non-stop passage of pilgrims, shells and walking sticks are part of the urban landscape of this town, a magnificent example of a town built along a road. Its layout is similar to many other towns along the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela that grew up around a main street and developed parallel streets. Its most famous monument is the Romanesque bridge over the river Arga, one of the most beautiful and noble examples of this type of architecture along the route.
    • Guided visit to Estella: organised by Navark (948 55 00 70 or visitasguiadasdeestella@gmail.com). The visit lasts 90 minutes and shows you the palaces, noble houses, churches, convents, bridges and beautiful buildings of the town. Get to know the old streets of the Franks and the Jews, taste culinary delights and see for yourself that the description made by Aymeric Picaud (12th century) is still valid: "Estella is to town of good bread, excellent wine, a lot of meat and fish, and all kinds of happiness".
    • Monastery of Iratxe and wine fountain: stop off and visit the Romanesque church (12th century), its Plateresque cloister, its Herrerian-style tower and other parts built between the 16th and 19th centuries to get to know the history of this monumental site, one of the most important in Navarre. After the cultural visit, you can slake your thirst in a fountain with two very original spouts: one with water and the other with wine!
    • Church of Santa María de los Arcos or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Torres del Río: the first, elegant and proud with its Baroque door and Plateresque tower. The second is a rare example of 12th century mediaeval art and is related to the order of the Knights Templar. It has an octagonal layout and a Moorish vault.
    • Viana, a stroll through its monumental quarter: standing high on a hill, the town looks out over the horizon. The echoes of its turbulent past as a defensive bastion against Castile can still be heard in its streets. Its walls open out, leading onto several noble houses, palaces and churches that reveal the splendour of the town in the 16th and 18th centuries. The church of Santa María has an impressive Renaissance façade, and the tomb of Cesare Borgia lies at its feet.

    Day 3. From Sangüesa to Puente la Reina

    • Church of Santa María de Eunate: one of the most beautiful and intriguing churches on the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela. Declared a National Monument, its solitary position and original atrium around the octagonal building are quite enigmatic. The unclear mystery surrounding its origins and its unsettling interior have created a lot of interest around this church, which has served as a pilgrims' hospital, a cemetery, a guiding beacon for travellers, a place of Christian worship and and a teluric religious sanctuary for people seeking esoteric forces.
    • Walk through the gorge at Lumbier: an easy stroll of 2.6 kilometres (45-60 minutes), passing through the tunnels that saw the first electric train in Spain, allowing the visitor to get to know the gorge in detail. Griffon vultures fly over the cliffs; there are steep rock faces where birds nest; a river with clear and cold water that cuts narrow and capricious openings in the rock; the remains of a bridge which, according to legend, was built with the help of the devil; basically, a harsh natural area with a tourism quality "Q" label.
    • Guided visit to the monumental quarter of Sangüesa: two companies offer 90-minute guided visits to discover the town's heritage: Sie7 (includes the interior of the church of Santa María la Real) and Gesartur. Let yourself be guided along the mediaeval streets and discover the hidden secrets of each building: churches, convents, palaces? the jewel of the town is undoubtedly the church of Santa María la Real (12th - 14th centuries), declared a National Monument. Its front is considered one of the prime examples of Spanish Romanesque architecture.
    • Castle of Javier: an invincible fortress and the birthplace of St Francis Xavier, patron saint of Navarre, missionaries and tourism in Spain. A drawbridge leads you into a world of towers, dungeons, machicolations, embrasures and arrow holes where St Francis Xavier was born (in 1506) and lived. If you would like to stretch your legs and you have time, there is a 1.5-kilometre path (the walk takes 30 minutos) that leaves from the esplanade of the castle and goes up through a landscape of fruit trees as far as the ruins of a 15th century ogival mill on the banks of the river Aragón.
    • Gregorian chants in the Monastery of Leyre: a magnificent example of mediaeval architecture located on the slopes of the Leire mountain range with a superb view of the Yesa reservoir. A National Monument that conserves an interesting triangle in the Romanesque style: an 11th century crypt with low columns and great capitals; a tunnel that evokes the legend of Abbott San Virila and the Puerta Speciosa, a beautiful 12th century door full of mediaeval symbols and elements related to the Pilgrim's Way. You can also enjoy 20 minutes per day of Gregorian chants, the musical prayers of the Benedictine monks.

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in 5 days

We propose a simple itinerary to discover key places along the two branches of the French Route of the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela through Navarre, and also some attractive activities that combine Nature and gastronomy.

  • Day 1. From Luzaide/Valcarlos to Pamplona (64 km)
    1. Visit the Pyrenean village of Luzaide/Valcarlos
    2. Visit the monumental ensemble of Orreaga/Roncesvalles
    3. Walk a stretch of the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela: from Orreaga/Roncesvalles to Auritz/Burguete (2 km)
    4. Walk through Pyrenean villages built along roads: Auritz/Burguete and Aurizberri/Espinal
    5. Viewpoint at the Erro pass
    6. Zubiri, the mediaeval bridge of 'rabies'
    7. Stop off at the chapel of Trinidad de Arre and visit the Batán in Villava
  • Day 2. Pamplona
    1. Guided visit to the Old Quarter
    2. City walls and Zumalacárregui gate
    3. “Rincón del Caballo Blanco”
    4. Visit the Cathedral of Santa María
    5. Museum of Navarre, ao journey through the history and art of the kingdom
    6. Plaza del Castillo, a good place to have a rest
    7. The route of the Bull Run
    8. Pinchos (tapas) route
    9. Evening show (Teatro Gayarre, Baluarte)
  • Day 3. From Pamplona to Estella-Lizarra (44 km)
    1. Church at Gazólaz
    2. Stroll through Puente la Reina, where pilgrims' routes join
    3. Wine tasting in a winery on the Pilgrim's Way wine route
    4. Guided visit around Estella
    5. Palace of the Kings
    6. Church of San Miguel
    7. Pilgrim's Way Interpretation Centre in the Romanesque church of Santa María Jus del Castillo
    8. Relax in the Plaza de los Fueros in Estella-Lizarra
    9. Night visit to the viewpoint of the Basilica del Puy
  • Day 4. From Estella to Viana (43 km)
    1. Monastery of Iratxe and its wine fountain
    2. Fly over the vineyards of Quaderna Vía, Igúzquiza
    3. Church of Santa María in Los Arcos
    4. Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Torres del Río
    5. Viana, a walk through its monumental quarter
  • Día 5. From Sangüesa to Puente la Reina (65 km)
    1. Church of Santa María de Eunate
    2. Walk through the gorge at Lumbier
    3. Guided visit to the monumental quarter of Sangüesa
    4. Castle of Javier
    5. Gregorian chants at the Monastery of Leyre

Day 1. From Luzaide/Valcarlos to Pamplona (64 km)

  • Visit to the Pyrenean village of Luzaide/Valcarlos, in Charlemagne's valley: bandits and shepherds, warriors and pilgrims, frontiers and lakes have forged the identity of this place. Its name refers to the Frankish king, Charlemagne. In 778 he was in the area playing chess when his best soldier Roland sounded his trumpet to warn of imminent danger. Fate would have it that Roland and his men were killed at Roncesvalles (Roncesvaux), giving rise to the legend told in the Chanson de Roland. Explore the locality to find references to the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela.
  • Visit to the monumental quarter of Orreaga/Roncesvalles: ta small and enigmatic enclave that contains a wide range of architectural features. The 45-minute guided visit includes Charlemagne's silo (the oldest building on the site in which pilgrims were buried), the Gothic church of St James and the Religious Art museum, with pieces of exceptional value such as “Charlemagne's chess set”. The visitor can explore the collegiate church, a magnificent example of French Gothic (access free of charge), the cloister and the Chapterhouse, where the tomb of King Sancho VII 'el Fuerte' lies.
  • Walk along a stretch of the Pilgrim's Way: from Orreaga/Roncesvalles to Auritz/Burguete (2 km): this section is characterised by a refreshing, gentle landscape through woods that will make you feel like a pilgrim for a day. Estimated time for the return trip: 90 minutes.
  • Getting to know two villages built along roads in the Pyrenees : Auritz/Burguete and Aurizberri-Espinal: Ernest Hemingway described this area as “the damned wildest landscape in the Pyrenees”; he regularly went fishing here. Aurizberri-Espinal and Auritz-Burguete are two typical villages built along roads that stand out for the beauty of their strongly-built houses in the Pyrenean style.
  • Viewpoint at the Erro pass: fantastic scenery and an impressive view. When you go up to the Erro pass you can see "The Steps of Roland”, a big stone that – according to legend – marked the size of the epic character's foot.
  • Zubiri, the mediaeval bridge of 'rabies': a magical spot linked to the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela and to a legend that claimed that rabies could be cured. At the time when this disease was rife it was common to petition Saint Quiteria, whose remains are buried in the central pillar of this bridge. According to the legend, if animals or people affected by rabies approached the bridge they were cured of the disease.
  • Stop off at the chapel of Trinidad de Arre and visit the Batán of Villava: a chapel reproduced by painters and photographers that conserves Romanesque remains and was a pilgrims’ hospital. Its profile, next to a weir on the river Ultzama, makes it one of the most delightful places in the Pamplona basin. Close to the Trinidad de Arre is the Batán de Villava, an emblematic building that has been a flour mill, a textile mill and now a museum and information centre for the Arga River Park.

Day 2. Pamplona in detail

  • Guided visit to the Old Quarter of Pamplona: get to know the city on foot, discovering its past and present with expert guides. Walk through the old boroughs of Pamplona, dominated by their fortress churches, and let the guides unravel the city’s secrets for you. There are several options for guided visits, as different companies organise different routes, prices and durations: Dinamic; Erreka; Global (Hemingway routes); Heritage Guide; Novotur; Colectivo Iñigo Arista.
  • City walls and Zumalacárregui gate: 16th-century. A 5-kilometre route around one of the most interesting and best conserved military complexes in Spain, now a National Monument. The Portal de Francia (also known as Zumalacárregui gate) dates from the 16th centiry and is one of the six entry gates to the walled city. Nowadays it is the only one that maintains its original location and appearance. In the 17th century a second gate was added, which still conserves its drawbridge and chains.
  • “Rincón del Caballo Blanco”: a delightful place at the north-eastern corner of the city walls that will take you back to the mediaeval era. Do not miss the great view from the walls. If you continue on to the charming San José square (it owes its name to the side door of the Cathedral that opens out onto the square) you will see the oldest house in the city.
  • Visit to the Cathedral of Santa María: this excellent example of 14th and 15th century Gothic stands on high ground in the eatern part of the old quarter of Pamplona, on the site of the Roman Pompaelo. The sobriety of its neo-classical façade contrasts with the Gothic interior, whose 28-metre-high central nave contains the beautifully carved tomb of King Carlos III of Navarre and his wife Leonor of Castile. The real jewel of the building is the cloister, considered one of the most beautiful examples of gothic architecture; it is really worth a visit. Guided visits to the rooms and halls of the cathedral museum can be booked; the visits last approximately one hour.
  • Museum of Navarre, a journey through the history and art of the ancient kingdom: an ancient charity hospital that has been converted into a museum. It contains a good part of the history and art of Navarre from the prehistoric era to the present day. Among its most notable treasures are the 1st century mosaic of the Triumph of Bacchus, Roman capitals from the old cathedral of Pamplona, a Mozarabic chest from Leire, and a portrait of the Marquis of San Adrián by Goya. Entry is free of charge on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings.
  • La Plaza del Castillo, a good place to relax: the heart of the city. It is an imperfect square off which a number of narrow streets of the Old Part start. It is surrounded by a good number of 18th-century houses with balconies, towers, attics and large windows. Make sure you enjoy a drink on on of the square’s café terraces.
  • The route of the Bull Run: the main event in the festivity of San Fermín. An 825-metre run that starts in the Cuesta de Santo Domingo, crosses City Hall square, continues along calle Mercaderes, turns into calle Estafeta, passes the Telefónica building and ends up in the bullring. The route is visited by many tourists who imagine the sensations felt by spectators and runners with the bulls in pursuit.
  • Pinchos (tapas) route: even the most demanding palates will enjoy the culinary miniatures that the bars of Pamplona provide every day. The old quarter is the area where most of these bars are located (especially in Estafeta and San Nicolás streets), although other parts of the city also offer a good selection. To make things easier for visitors, the Website of the catering trade has information on easy-to-read interactive maps with links to the websites of the bars, showing their opening hours and specialities.
  • A show in the classical Teatro Gayarre or in the modern 'Baluarte' Congress Centre and Auditorium in Pamplona: See their varied cultural programmes and get your tickets in advance, from 6€ in the Teatro Gayarre and 22€ in Baluarte.

Day 3. From Pamplona to Estella-Lizarra (44 km)

  • Church at Gazólaz: one of the best examples of a church with arches in Navarre is the Romanesque ‘Our Lady of the Purification’ from the 13th century. The outstanding feature is the highly decorated capitals in the atrium, and deciphering its rich ornamentation is even a challenge to experts.
  • Walk through Puente la Reina, where different routes of the Pilgrim's Waty come together: a mediaeval town where the two main routes of the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela join. The non-stop passage of pilgrims, shells and walking sticks are part of the urban landscape of this town, a magnificent example of a town built along a road. Its layout is similar to many other towns along the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela that grew up around a main street and developed parallel streets. Its most famous monument is the Romanesque bridge over the river Arga, one of the most beautiful and noble examples of this type of architecture along the route.
  • Guided visit to Estella-Lizarra: organised by Navark (948 55 00 70 or visitasguiadasdeestella@gmail.com). The visit lasts 90 minutes and shows you the palaces, noble houses, churches, convents, bridges and beautiful buildings of the town. Get to know the old streets of the Franks and the Jews, taste culinary delights and see for yourself that the description made by Aymeric Picaud (12th century) is still valid: "Estella is to town of good bread, excellent wine, a lot of meat and fish, and all kinds of happiness".
  • Palace of the Monarchs of Navarre: A 12th century National Monument and the only civil Romanesque building in Navarre. Its magnificent façade has capitals that tell stories from history, one of them about the battle between Roland and the giant Ferragut (Roland was the Paladin [champion] of Charlemange and Ferragut was a Moorish giant. The capital shows the moment in which the Christian hero beat the Muslim by attacking him in his only weak spot: his navel). The building also houses the Gustavo-Maeztu museum.
  • Church of San Miguel: a simple but beautiful church, on which building work started in the 12th century. This work took a long time, and a number of different styles can be made out. We would highlight the northern façade, one of the most representative examples of late Romanesque architecture, and the Gothic altarpiece of Santa Elena inside the church.
  • Pilgrim's Way Intepretation Centre in the Romanesque church of Jus del Castillo: a 12th century building constructed over an old synagogue. An architectural jewel declared a Historic-Artistic Monument, now an Interpretation Centre for Romanesque architecture and the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela. Open from Easter to October.
  • Relax in the Plaza de los Fueros: the town’s main square, previously used as a bullring and now a meeting place for townspeople and visitors. It joins the two parts of Estella: the monumental mediaeval quarter and the new commercial area. It is a large open space with arches that becomes a marketplace every Thursday. Several café terraces and benches encourage the visitor to sit down and rest.
  • Evening visit to the viewpoint at the Basilica del Puy: overlooking Estella, this star-shaped basilica provides a great view over the town. As ti gets dark, when the lights of Estella come on, the view is really quite spectacular.

Day 4. From Estella-Lizarra to Viana (43 km)

  • Monastery of Iratxe and wine fountain: stop off and visit the Romanesque church (12th century), its Plateresque cloister, its Herrerian-style tower and other parts built between the 16th and 19th centuries to get to know the history of this monumental site, one of the most important in Navarre. After the cultural visit, you can slake your thirst in a fountain with two very original spouts: one with water and the other with wine!
  • Flying over the Quaderna Vía vineyards at Igúzquiza: get to know the processes involved in making high-quality organic wind at first hand, and fly over the vineyards and the surrounding area in a balloon. Visit with free wine tasting included.
  • Church at Los Arcos: monumental building richly decorated, built and reformed between the 12th and 18th centutires. It combines late Romanesque and Protogothic architecture up to Renaissance and Baroque. The interior has jewels such as a 17th century main altarpiece, presided over by a Gothic image of the Virgin Mary, one of the most spectacular organs in Navarre and a beautiful 16th-century cloister, among other features.
  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Torres del Río: a rare example of 12th century mediaeval art. In contrast to the horizontal, heavy Romanesque, this church is all about verticality. Inside, its impressive vault of crossed ribs recalls Spanish-Muslim art.
  • Viana, a stroll through its monumental quarter: standing high on a hill, the town looks out over the horizon. The echoes of its turbulent past as a defensive bastion against Castile can still be heard in its streets. Its walls open out, leading onto several noble houses, palaces and churches that reveal the splendour of the town in the 16th and 18th centuries. The church of Santa María has an impressive Renaissance façade, and the tomb of Cesare Borgia lies at its feet.

Día 5. From Sangüesa to Puente la Reina (65 km)

  • Church of Santa María de Eunate: one of the most beautiful and intriguing churches on the Pilgrim's Way to Compostela. Declared a National Monument, its solitary position and original atrium around the octagonal building are quite enigmatic. The unclear mystery surrounding its origins and its unsettling interior have created a lot of interest around this church, which has served as a pilgrims' hospital, a cemetery, a guiding beacon for travellers, a place of Christian worship and and a teluric religious sanctuary for people seeking esoteric forces.
  • Walk through the gorge at Lumbier: an easy stroll of 2.6 kilometres (45-60 minutes), passing through the tunnels that saw the first electric train in Spain, allowing the visitor to get to know the gorge in detail. Griffon vultures fly over the cliffs; there are steep rock faces where birds nest; a river with clear and cold water that cuts narrow and capricious openings in the rock; the remains of a bridge which, according to legend, was built with the help of the devil; basically, a harsh natural area with a tourism quality "Q" label.
  • Guided visit to the monumental quarter of Sangüesa: two companies offer 90-minute guided visits to discover the town's heritage: Sie7 (includes the interior of the church of Santa María la Real) and Gesartur. . Let yourself be guided along the mediaeval streets and discover the hidden secrets of each building: churches, convents, palaces… the jewel of the town is undoubtedly the church of Santa María la Real (12th - 14th centuries), declared a National Monument. Its front is considered one of the prime examples of Spanish Romanesque architecture.
  • Castle of Javier: an invincible fortress and the birthplace of St Francis Xavier, patron saint of Navarre, missionaries and tourism in Spain. A drawbridge leads you into a world of towers, dungeons, machicolations, embrasures and arrow holes where St Francis Xavier was born (in 1506) and lived. If you would like to stretch your legs and you have time, there is a 1.5-kilometre path (the walk takes 30 minutos) that leaves from the esplanade of the castle and goes up through a landscape of fruit trees as far as the ruins of a 15th century ogival mill on the banks of the river Aragón.
  • Gregorian chants in the Monastery of Leyre: a magnificent example of mediaeval architecture located on the slopes of the Leire mountain range with a superb view of the Yesa reservoir. A National Monument that conserves an interesting triangle in the Romanesque style: an 11th century crypt with low columns and great capitals; a tunnel that evokes the legend of Abbott San Virila and the Puerta Speciosa, a beautiful 12th century door full of mediaeval symbols and elements related to the Pilgrim's Way. You can also enjoy 20 minutes per day of Gregorian chants, the musical prayers of the Benedictine monks.

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