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The Arbaiun Gorge

Gorges

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The Arbayún Gorge
Río Salazar
Mirador de Iso
Vegetación de Arbaiun
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The Arbayún Gorge
The Arbaiun Gorge, at the bottom of the Pyrenean valley of Salazar, between Lumbier and Romanzado, is the longest and most stunning of all the gorges in Navarre. The river Salazar has cut the rock away over the centuries, giving rise to an unparalleled spectacle. Imposing vertical walls run for almost 6 kilometres.

A diverse and peculiar vegetation grows inside the gorge providing a variety of seasonal colours of great beauty. On its rocky outcrops there is a huge colony of griffon vultures, which you can see flying if you lean out over Arbayún from the viewpoint at Iso. This immense natural wealth has led to the Arbaiun Gorge being declared a Nature Reserve and also a Special Protection Area for Birds.

Get to know this and other gorges in Navarre at the Gorge Interpretation Centre at Lumbier.

The Arbaiun gorge has been cut by the river Salazar as it passes through the Leire mountain range. Its vertical walls have been carved by erosion over millions of years, as the river etched its course at the bottom of the gorge. It is considered the queen of the gorges in the region both for its length (almost six kilometres) and its stunning vertical rock faces which reach a height of 300 metres in places, which it combines with rock shelves, embankments and stony areas.

The Pyrenean river Salazar describes three curves from North to South and then meanders off towards the west and south-west. In its first section, the walls reach down to the river bed, while once inside the gorge they rest on a sloping bank. Vegetation grows unbridled in the depths, occasionally emerging from the rock itself. On the sunny sides, kermes oaks, gall oaks and juniper grow, and in the shady areas there are beech, oak, pine and ash trees. In autumn, the gorge is decked in a thousand colours with every tone ranging from green to ochre including explosive reds and oranges.

If you look up towards the rocky outcrops you will almost certainly spot the nests of vultures or other birds of prey. The colony of griffon vultures has grown so much in the last few years that it is common to see them flying over the area.

At the Gorge Nature Interpretation Centre in Lumbier you will find details on this and other hiking paths as well as information on the flora, fauna and culture of the area. Take advantage of this opportunity to visit the nearby Lumbier Gorge, which can be visited along a straightforward path that crosses and runs along the tracks of the long-gone Irati train, the first electric train in Spain.

  • Recommended route for getting to know the area around the Arbaiun gorge.

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    Did you know that...?

    La palabra "foz" es herencia del romance navarro, idioma extinguido al entrar la Edad Moderna.

    Location

    Opening hours

    Todo el año: acceso gratuito al mirador.

    Guided visit

    Price of the visit: gratuito.

    Service provider: Centro de Interpretación de las Foces 948 880 874

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

    Practical information