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Snow Sports

Do you fancy putting on some skis, tread virgin snow and slide along enjoying picture-postcard landscapes? The Pyrenees in Navarre await you.

Navarre is a focal point for cross-country skiing, one of the gentlest forms of winter sports, which enables the enthusiast to enjoy the sport safely and at the same time to take pleasure in the scenery.

The highest points in the region are situated in the western Pyrenees, in the northeast, where the climate is favourable for snow all through the winter months. Places of great natural wealth, untouched by human hand, are covered with snow and create an exceptionally beautiful setting. There are two main cross-country skiing areas, both of similar characteristics:

  • The cross-country skiing circuit of the Larra-Belagua ski centre (Roncalia) It has close to 32 km of cross-country skiing trails. It has three areas of different difficulty and a complete reception centre where you can rent material, reserve private classes, bar-cafetería, sauna etc:
  1. El Ferial - Zampori: Road NA-1370, 23 kilometres from Isaba
    At an average altitude of 1600 metres above sea level, it has 20 skiable kilometres divided into 5 easy level circuits, linked to Eskilzarra through Bortuzko.
  2. La Contienda: Road NA-1370, 26 kilometres from Isaba.
    It consists of 5 kilometres in 3 easy circuits at the foot of Mount Arlás at 1700 metres above sea level, where the snow persists during long periods of time.
  3. The Mata de Haya: motorway NA-1370 A 10 km from Isaba.  6.6 km long, 3 km of which are flat and pass through a spectacular beech forest and if you want to make it a bit more difficult, there is another 3.6 km through the "dronda" alongside mount Txamantxoia.
  • Abodi-Irati ski centre (Salazar valley)
    It is located in the famous Irati Forest, at an average altitude of 1400 metres. It has 20 km of ski trails and snowshoe trails, all easy level, situated around a single starting point. The station is accessed from Ochagavía via the Larrau road, NA-211, at a distance of 13.5 for kilometres, near the old Pikatua customs house.

When the snow is heavy, Navarre can offer other options for cross-country skiing, albeit in areas that are not well equipped, such as the Aralar and Urbasa-Andía mountain ranges , where the beauty of the scenery accompanies the skier.

Although snowshoes have long been used in areas with frequent snowfalls, they now represent an original opportunity for those who would never dare to put on skis, to plough through the white carpet that covers the landscape.

Snowshoes are platforms with a central frame on which the foot is supported for walking; its wide surface prevents the body from sinking into the snow. There are different types, which adapt to the conditions of each terrain; the latest models incorporate crampons that provide a strong grip on steep slopes as well as on ice.

Navarre offers unbeatable terrain for expeditions with snowshoes, which enable you to enjoy the impressive winter landscapes and the most secluded places. The wildest areas of the western Pyrenees and the gentler contours of Aralar and Urbasa combine harmoniously to offer the visitor pretty and varied itineraries, which can be accessed thanks to a simple and safe means of travel, suitable for all.

Useful information

Links

Companies that carry out Cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and sledging:
Access the list of companies

Organisations and companies

Navarre Federation of Winter Sports
C/Paulino Caballero,13, C.P. 31002 Pamplona
Tfno. y fax 948 22 45 24
fndi@telefonica.net, www.fndi.es

Roncal Ski School:
www.roncaleski.com