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Nowadays, the best-known access point of the ‘French Route’ into Navarre is the one that crosses the Pyrenees at Luzaide/Valcarlos and Orreaga/Roncesvalles. The journey will take you from the mountain landscape of the north to the plains of central Navarre through beech woods, cereal fields and vineyards. It is an itinerary on which there are several villages built along roads, mediaeval bridges, great monuments, landscapes that change colour with each season, wineries and high-quality gastronomy.

 


NOTICE

"Route of Napoleon", is prohibited for safety reasons from 1 November to 31 March (+info) 



 

Luzaide/Valcarlos : border town whose identity has been forged by its geographical location and by the Santiago Way. Surrounded by forests and streams, it is a beautiful town that is well worth a visit.



Roncesvalles

Collegiate Church of Orreaga/Roncesvalles: an enigmatic monumental ensemble in the French Gothic style set in beautiful scenery that recalls the legendary battle of Roncesvalles (Roncesvaux), immortalised in the mediaeval poem ‘La Chanson de Roland’.


Burguete

Auritz/Burguete and Aurizberri/Espinal: two typical villages built along roads, surrounded by the damned most savage landscape in the Pyrenees, in the words of Ernest Hemingway. They stand out for the beauty of their strong Pyrenean-style houses.

    Very close to the route, do not miss the leafy forest of la Selva de Irati and Orbaitzeta (17 km from the Pilgrim’s Way from Auritz/Burguete)

Pamplona

Pamplona: an elegant, sober city with the three boroughs of its ancient mediaeval city surrounded by walls. Its narrow streets and squares are watched over by towers and belfries such as those of the churches of San Cernin, San Nicolás or the la Catedral. Apart from the long list of monuments, there are several green spaces such as the romantic Taconera park or the invincible fortress of the Citadel. Do not forget to follow the route of the famous Bull Run or taste the succulent pinchos (tapas) in the city's bars.


Puente la Reina

12th century Romanesque bridge at Puente la Reina: one of the most beautiful and elegant Romanesque monuments along the Pilgrim's Way.





Estella

Estella ,a Romanesque town par excellence with palaces such as that of the Monarchs - the only civil Romanesque building in Navarre -, noble houses, mediaeval churches such as San Pedro de la Rúa, San Miguel, which contains a number of styles, or the Holy Sepulchre, whose façade is one of the best examples of 14th century Gothic architecture. Convents, bridges, squares and beautiful buildings evoke the town's history and invite you to stroll through it at leisure.

Irache

Monastery of Iratxe in Ayegui: a set of Mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque buildings on the lower slopes of Montejurra, surrounded by vineyards. Next to the winery, an essential stop is its fountain with two spouts – water comes from one, and wine from the other.


Los Arcos

Church of Santa María de los Arcos: a monumental building with rich decoration, constructed and reformed between the 12th and 18th centuries in which a number of styles converge (late Romanesque, Protogothic, Renaissance, Baroque).

Torres del Río

Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Torres del Río: this octagonal church is a rare example of mediaeval art that rises vertically. It has an impressive cross-ribbed vault that evokes Spanish-Muslim art.

Viana

Church of Santa María at Viana: one of the most monumental façades of Spanish Renaissance architecture, and a model for other churches. It contains the tomb of Cesare Borgia, "The Prince" of Machiavelli.