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Valdorba and Romanesque architecture

Historical areas

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San Pedro Ad Vincula. Olóriz
Cripta Iglesia San Martín. Orisoain
Ermita de Catalain. Garinoain
Hórreo de Iracheta
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San Pedro Ad Vincula. Olóriz
In the Central Zone of Navarre, not far from Pamplona, stands la Valdorba, a pleasant valley studded with small Romanesque jewels such as the crypt at Orísoain, the chapels of San Pedro ad Víncula and Cristo de Cataláin or the hórreo (granary) at Iracheta.

In Valdorba you will find one of the highest densities of birds of prey in Europe, boar, mushroom routes and other delights for the palate such as truffles. If you like panoramic views, go up to the Guerinda windpark and visit the traditional windmill next to the giant wind turbines. These were erected in the late 1990s as part of the construction of the biggest windpark in Europe.

Valdorba is made up of around twenty villages and farmhouses in the municipalities of Barásoain, Garínoain, Leoz, Olóriz, Orísoain, Pueyo and Unzué.

Microclimates and transition zones between the foothills of the Pyrenees and the drier areas of the Central Zone make this valley an area of great scenic interest. Here there is scrubland, oak and beech groves, wild flowers, mushrooms, cereal fields and a peaceful atmosphere, a silence that takes you back to eras in which the rural world played the most important role in people's lives. You can see calandra larks or vultures, perhaps the odd boar, fox or badger, or birds of prey such as the golden eagle, kites and Montagu's harrier.

The passage of time has also been felt in Valdorba: itinerant mediaeval orders brought a branch of the Way of St. James through this area. The jewel in the crown of Valdorba is the chapel of Cristo de Cataláin, well-known for its porch and built in the mid-12th century.

In Orísoain stands the parish church of San Martín, which has a Romanesque crypt under the altar. In the nearby village of Iracheta you can see a perfectly conserved Romanesque granary, built of stones with ashlars and stone staircase to gain access to the interior. The villages of Barásoain, Olóriz and Pueyo have excellent examples of civil buildings.

Valdorba is an area to be enjoyed by car, along narrow roads that link the villages. Many crossroads have stone crosses, for example at Orísoain, Sansomain or Benegorri. If you go up to the Guerinda windpark in the municipality of Leoz there is a spectacular viewpoint over central and southern Navarre.

Its 199 wind turbines are accompanied by the construction of a singular flour mill powered by the wind of just over six metres' diameter. It was built on the ruins (discovered in 1996) and is not fully operational again.

Every year in December the Truffle Fair of Navarre, is held. Top chefs and gastronomy experts from all over Spain take part.

The municipality of Leoz is home to the 'Coto Valdorba', an area of 6,500 hectares of which about half are used for hunting. It has large nature zones and is considered the biggest controlled hunting area n Spain.



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Location

Guided visit

Price of the visit: 3 €

Service provider: Servicios Administrativos de Valdorba 948 720 500 y 626 153 809,   www.valdorba.org, esther@navarramedia.org

 

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