Pamplona hosts the festival of all festivals. When the chupinazo or rocket goes off on July 6th the city explodes to life. Thousands of people from across the world converge on this city which is coloured white and red for the occasion. Over the course of a few days the streets are filled with an outpouring of fraternity, joy and merrymaking accompanied by the rhythm of the charangas bands and fiestas. The running of the bulls is the only part of the day when the festival is reined in and tension flows through the air minutes before the bulls begin their journey through the streets behind the runners. The festival continues with the caldico (broth), chocolate with churros, the procession, the giants and big-headed carnival figures, sipping an aperitif, the running of the bulls and the fireworks which segue into the night-time commotion.
There are also a number of celebrations throughout the year held all across the Navarre region. The festivals of the north fill the streets with their dances and exhibitions of rural sport, whilst in the south it is the young cows which become the star of the show amongst the red and white-stained festivities.
Founded by the Romans and crossed by the Camino de Santiago, Pamplona is known throughout the world as being the home of the San Fermín festival. But look beyond the festival and the capital of Navarre is now a modern and welcoming city with a lot to offer: walking between ancient walls and cobbled streets; relaxing in parks and terraces; sampling the delicious pinchos and the lively Old Quarter; visiting historic monuments; shopping; first-rate shows; and watching traditional sports such as pelota.
Its central geographical location also makes it the perfect base from which to explore the main tourist sites in the region.
From the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees to the arid semi-desert of the Bardenas Reales, we encourage you to discover the rich nature of a region which has respected and conserved its natural environment. The variable climate of the Navarre region - surprising for a community as small as ours - has gifted us evergreen valleys such as the Roncal and Baztan, the beautiful, colourful and impressive Irati, Orgi and Quinto Real forests, and dizzying ravines sculpted by the passage of water, such as the Lumbier and Arbayún gorges.
You can also enjoy the peaceful reservoirs at Leurtza, the Irabia or Eugi reservoirs surrounded by forest, the active reservoir at Alloz and others, or the Pitillas and las Cañas lakes, themselves a refuge for bird life. Caves steeped in legend also await you, such as those at Zugarramurdi, as well as the caverns at Mendukilo and Urdazubi/Urdax which hide beautiful formations within. Navarre is home to many protected areas, amongst which are three natural parks: the Bertiz Natural Park, the Urbasa-Andia Natural Park and the Bardenas Reales Natural Park.
If you love nature, you’re going to love this place.
The visitor to Navarre can experience the taste of times gone by. This is a land which has preserved a traditional culinary repertoire stocked by the produce yielded by the diverse Navarran landscape, and which turns food into a social event. But the region’s cuisine has also evolved and been rejuvenated, and is the benchmark for the gourmet who doesn’t want to miss out on creations from our best chefs.
What does our larder have to offer? Excellent vegetables from la Ribera such as cardoon, artichoke, fresh white beans, asparagus and piquillo peppers, as well as foie gras, mushrooms and flavoursome meats which have an unbeatable accompaniment - the red, rosé and white wines with DO Navarre and Rioja. And let’s not forget the desserts - cheese, curd, rolled wafer sticks and leche frita (a fried mixture of flour, milk and sugar), rounded off with the typical local digestif called pacharán.
Then there’s the pinchos... The Old Quarter of Pamplona is a particularly good place for sampling this exquisite miniature cuisine which is an old custom to be enjoyed just before sitting down to a proper meal. Most bars have a diverse selection of expertly prepared dishes, and along with traditional tapas offer sophisticated pinchos based on local produce. Pincho Week is a great time to visit Navarre. This festival is held in various venues across the region during March and April and is a chance to sample the most innovative examples of these imaginative and innovative hand-made creations.
Navarre is a land rich in history and legends, ancestral traditions and folk celebrations which are held with gusto. In Navarre, we are loyal to what we were and to what we are now.
Our carnivals are culturally diverse. The great Javierada pilgrimage is held in March, and the arrival of spring brings hordes of religious pilgrims. The Semana Santa (Holy Week) is celebrated with particular fervour in Corella, Tudela and Pamplona. The Day of the River Raft is held at the beginning of May. When summer has arrived, and whilst rockets are being fired in Pamplona to mark the opening of the famous festival of San Fermín, the peoples of the Pyrenees recall witches’ covens and medieval treaties, perform ancestral dances and take part in rural sports. In the uplands and la Ribera (the Shore), filled with the sounds of the traditional jota dance, fighting bulls are set loose and a multitude of lively local holidays are celebrated.
Autumn brings transhumant flocks of sheep from Roncal to the Bardenas, and the atmosphere in Etxalar fills with expectation when the pigeon hunting season commences. And in winter, the Three Wise Men and the affable Olentzero come loaded with gifts for the local children. It’s a great way to see out the year.
Navarre is the gateway to the Camino de Santiago on the peninsula. Two great routes cross this land: one starting in the Pyrenees passing through the legendary Roncesvalles, and another starting in Aragón and crossing Sangüesa. The pilgrim has 200 kilometres along which to enjoy a prolific artistic legacy as well as the natural, cultural and culinary diversity to be found along this stretch of the Camino Francés, the trail developed in the 11th century by the Navarran king Sancho III the Great as the official route.
The Camino can be traversed by car, on foot, on a bike or on horseback. You will become immersed on this journey like no other and be nourished by the cultural exchange that takes place along a route which nowadays continues to be a meeting point for walkers motivated by religion, culture or sport. Whatever the reason for making the pilgrimage, it is an unforgettable personal experience.
The birth and heyday of the Camino was during the Middle Ages but it is now more alive than ever.
According to various surveys on national booking portals, the assessment and the satisfaction rate of our visitors in terms of accommodation is very high. We're delighted at this and the recognition of the efforts made by our establishments to improve the hospitality and professionalism offered.
In Navarre you’ll find a range of quality options including rural houses with their beautiful architecture intact, large hotels providing special services, charming small hotels, well-equipped camp sites situated in beautiful natural surroundings, and simple and practical hostels offering a multitude of possible activities.
We’ll keep on working, because we want to improve in service quality, sustainability, accessibility and innovation, and we rely on your reviews and suggestions
They say that the Navarran people are loyal to their friends, supportive, genuine, a little stubborn, welcoming, and kind. And the people who visit us say the same, whether here for business or pleasure. Both those who came and went and those who stayed and remain here today.
Our personalities differ from north to south, just like the climate, the landscapes and the gastronomy. Thus the overcast valleys of the north have shaped the noble and loveable character of the rural people who enjoy seclusion, conversation and the legends told over the camp fire. By contrast, heading south the mountains give way to wide plains warmed by a sun which brings life to the streets and encourages the extroverted and open nature of the people who live there.
Let’s see what you think...
We are passionate about our roots and our history in Navarre, but we also live with our eyes towards a sustainable future. We are pioneers of renewable energy, medicine and education, and of all the autonomous communities in Spain we are the second largest investor in innovation, according to the Observatory of Business Competitiveness of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.
We welcome the peaceful traveller. Those who take their time over the good moments, contemplation and conversation. Those who breathe deeply and live fully, who seek and find, who savour, and who love life.
Admire the waterfalls in spring, lose yourself in an autumn forest and listen to the animal calls, become enchanted by a Romanesque entrance hall, walk the Camino de Santiago, enjoy a good meal (whether haute cuisine or a simple menu of the day), have a good time with your friends or family in a rural house, escape to Pamplona for a romantic weekend...Navarre offers a thousand ways to live peacefully.