Bardenas Reales Natural Park

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Bardenas Reales Natural Park
Bardenas Reales Natural Park
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Bardenas Reales Natural Park
This is a Natural Park of wild beauty declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is a semi-desert landscape covering 42.500 hectares that is striking and surprises the visitor every time. An unusual spectacle in south-east Navarre, near Tudela which, despite its bare and inhospitable appearance, is home to great natural values.

In Bardenas Reales, the erosion of its clay, chalk and sandstone soils has sculpted capricious forms in the landscape to create almost lunar effects, full of gullies, plateaux and solitary hills. It has inspired painters and writers and has been the scene of TV adverts, music videos and films such as "Airbag", "Acción Mutante", "Orgullo y Pasión" ,"El mundo nunca es suficiente" or "Anacleto Agente Secreto".

The visitor will find several signposted routes that can be followed on foot, by bicycle, on horseback or in motor vehicles (please consult the limits and rules applied by the Junta de Bardenas Reales in this respect). Specialist guides will help you to discover unforgettable spots with echoes of legends such as the famous highwayman Sanchicorrota, who used to fool his pursuers by putting his horse's shoes on backwards. Why don't you escape to this unique area, which will not leave you indifferent?

The Bardenas Reales Natural Park is a pseudo-steppe landscape sculpted over millions of years due to erosion. Just 70 kilometres away from the peaks of the Pyrenees, and very close to the main town in La Ribera, Tudela, there are three distinct zones in the natural park which are, from north to south: El Plano, croplands characterised by very gentle slopes; the Bardena Blanca, the most photographed zone and visited where the main rock formations can be found in Castildetierra and Pisquerra. Also in this area, defined by its eroded crags, dry gullies and steppe-like appearance - in its lower part is a Firing Range which explains the military aircraft flights; and the Bardena Negra, where the land darkens, giving way to the only Aleppo pinewoods in the area, accompanied by thicket

Although there are different accesses to the park -some of which are only authorised for bicycles- there are two routes most commonly used by motor vehicles: from the north, taking the earth track that leaves the Carcastillo-Figarol road (el Paso) and joins the earth track that runs alongside the shooting range (at 22 km), and from the west by the tarmacked track that goes from the petrol station on the outskirts of Arguedas that joins the above track that goes round the military firing range.

Once in the Park, exceptional viewpoints show the differences between its different zones. From the Alto de Aguilares you get the best panoramic view of the Bardena Blanca. The Balcón de Pilatos ('Pontius Pilate's Balcony') is an exceptional observatory of birds of prey. These high points show the wealth of this territory, which contain three Nature Reserves are: the Vedado de Eguaras, an oasis to the north of the area where the ruins of the Castle of Peñaflor still stand; the Rincón del Bu (Bardena Blanca), occupying 460 hectares, in whose niches the eagle owl breeds; and the Nature Reserve of Caídas de la Negra (Bardena Negra), which covers 1,926 hectares and has altitude drops of 270 metres.

The Bardenas Reales Natural Park also has The Bardenas offer more than 700 kilometres of paths, tracks and gullies that can be followed by hiking and cycling enthusiasts. Nevertheless, it is advisable to use specialist guides in your first incursion into the natural enclave. Apart from avoiding the risk of getting lost in the desert, they will help you to interpret the landscape, whose flora and fauna more appropriate to an African desert than the north of the Iberian Peninsula. In the remote past it was even inhabited by crocodiles and turtles. Eagles, vultures, owls, great bustards, foxes, mountain cats, genets, amphibians and reptiles range between scrubland, sisal thickets, salt marshes and reed beds.

If you decide to go on your own, remember to observe the rules, do not leave the signposted paths, do not disturb the animals and do not collect minerals or plants. For special permits you will need to contact the Junta de Bardenas Reales.

Due to the extreme temperatures and the special conditions of the land, we recommend that you avoid going when it is raining. The best time to visit Bardenas in between September and June. Indeed, on 18 September, don't miss the opportunity to go to the "Sanmiguelada", the day when thousands of sheep from the Pyrenean valleys make their way to this vast extension along El Paso to graze during the winter. To do this, follow the Cañada Real (royal livestock trail) of the Roncaleses which links up the pastures of the Roncal Valley with the Bardenas.

  • Recommended route to get to know the area around Bardenas Reales.
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    Location

    Associated path: Barranco de las Cortinas

    Permits: los grupos deben solicitar permiso previo a través del correo electrónico turismo@bardenasreales.es

    Opening hours

    Todo el año: el Parque Natural abre de 8:00 hasta una hora antes del anochecer (en diciembre y enero anochece a las 17:30).
     
    Horarios del Centro de Información de Aguilares (948 830 308) turismo@bardenasreales.es:

    • De septiembre al 7 de abril: de 9:00 a 14:00 y de 15:00 a 17:00.
    • Del 8 de abril al 31 de agosto: de 9:00 a 14.00 y de 16:00 a 19:00.
    • Días 1 de noviembre, 3, 6 y 8 de diciembre, de 9:00 a 14:00 y de 15:00 a 17:00.

    PRICES

    Remarks: acceso libre.

    Observations

    Para preservar la integridad de este espacio natural, la ascensión a los cabezos o el acceso fuera de paseos o caminos agrícolas no está permitida.

    Opening hours, dates and guide prices. We recommend you confirm with the entity in question.