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The gorge of Lumbier

Gorges

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The gorge of Lumbier
Túnel Foz de Lumbier
Río Irati
Foz de Lumbier
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The gorge of Lumbier
Colonies of griffon vultures flying over the cliffs, sheer rock faces where birds nest, a river with clean and fresh water that cuts through the narrow and changeable rocks, the remains of a bridge that (according to legend) was built with the help of the Devil, two tunnels through which the first electric train in Spain (the Irati) used to run. The result is a wildlife and harsh landscape that you'll enjoy if you visit the foz de Lumbier, a narrow gorge cut by the river Irati that has been declared a Nature Reserve.

Its spectacular rock faces, isolated for centuries, have led to the conservation of singular vegetation covering the steep rock outcrops that are the nesting grounds for large birds of prey. An unequalled spectacle of reddish walls, from whose cracks trees and bushes hang and serve as nests for the birds.

What makes this gorge so singular is that its 1,300 metres can be walked along a signposted path that runs along the river at the foot of the cliffs, which announce the first foothills of the Pyrenees in the east of Navarre. Listen to the ripple of the water and the shouts of choughs while you admire the beauty of this natural enclave.

Furthermore, know the ecosystem of the area a little better in the Gorge Nature Interpretation Centre, Lumbier.

From the nearby town of Lumbier you reach a car park located just a few metres from the entry to the gorge. The Foz de Lumbier is carved out of the limestone rock by the river Irati at the western end of the Leyre range of mountains, at the foot of the Navarrese Pyrenees. It is one of the most spectacular gorges in Navarre, a landscape created over millions of years by the waters of the river Irati, which have left their mark on this sanctuary of nature day by day. The gorge was declared a Nature Reserve in 1987.

Lumbier is a narrow and small gorge, just 1,300 metres long, but of spectacular beauty. Its vertical walls reach a maximum height of 150 metres and large birds of prey live in the cracks and ledges, with species such as griffon vultures and lammergeirs (bearded vultures). It is also a refuge for foxes, boar, badgers and owls, and is strewn with gall and kermes oaks and bushes such as thyme, lavender and gorse that hang from the cracks of the limestone cliffs. The vegetation that is transformed into woods of poplars, willows and ash trees at the entry and exit of the gorge.

You can walk through Lumbier along an easy track the Greenway of the Lumbier gorge that runs along the bottom of the cliffs for 2.6 kilometres. The route was created for the old Irati train (the first electric train in Spain) that linked Pamplona with Sangüesa between 1911 and 1955.

The signposted path runs along the river and crosses the rock through two tunnels (167 and 206 metres long) that do not have artificial light. Towards the end of the path the route goes around the rock and reaches the remains of the Puente del Diablo (Devil's Bridge), which was built in the 16th century with a raised arch 15 metres above the river. It was destroyed by the French in 1812 during the War of Independence, and owes its name to a legend that says that its builder asked the devil for help to finish it.

There is a second route a local path (5.5 kilometres long) that starts from the same point. Signposted with green and white marks and wooden posts, the route goes around the gorge and returns to the car park through it. With a length of just over 6 kilometres and a difference in height of 175 metres and offers excellent views of the surrounding area.

One of the attractive features of this nature reserve is birdwatching. Enjoy the elegant flight of the griffon vultures from viewpoint of the NA-178 road a short distance from the junction with the road to Jaca. From here you can see a feeding place of the vultures and the spectacle of the enormous birds suspended in the air before they swoop down on their prey.

  • Recommended route to get to know the area around the Lumbier gorge.
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    Did you know that...?

    is one of the 35 resources selected in the Route of Landscape of Navarre. Water and viewpoints.

    Location

    Opening hours

    Todo el año:

    • Acceso libre a la foz.
    • Aparcamiento vigilado por servicio de guardas *, desde Semana Santa hasta el día 15 de diciembre, de 9:30 a 20:00. (*) Mirar tasas de aparcamiento.

    PRICES

    Remarks:

    • Acceso gratuito a la foz.
    • Tasa de aparcamiento cuando existe servicio de guardas: motos 1€, coches 2,5€ y autobuses 5€.

    Guided visit

    Service provider: Centro de Interpretación de las Foces 948 88 0874

    Observations

    Empresas que realizan diferentes actividades en la zona: visitas guiadas, senderismo, fotografía de naturaleza, recorridos en balsa...

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

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