Although it's true to say that winter marks the close of the year, it also opens the door to a new year full of opportunities. These include something as simple as LIVING... And the cold, which invites us to meditate and to look inside ourselves, could be a good time to reconnect with ourselves and to refocus our direction, don't you think? And truly beautiful things such as nature, art or the delicious cuisine that we are so lucky to enjoy in our everyday lives here in Navarra, could be great travel companions.
The invitation is there,
so now all you need to do is to pack your case
and enjoy the well-being and
experiences that we've got lined up for you...
Winter is a time to snuggle up by the fireplace, which is almost a fairytale, as most of us don't have one at home. However, here in Navarra, many of our country guest houses do have fireplaces. And, depending on the valley in which you're staying, if you look out of your window, as well as some beautiful scenery, you may get the chance to appreciate a white blanket of snow. This will allow you to get out and play, to relive childhood memories, with snowball fights and sliding in the snow.
Pero Winter in Navarra brings a host of things to do, either at home or out in the street. Go to Pamplona to enjoy a show at the theatre, or get immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of the city's streets and terraces. The hot roasted chestnut sellers set up their stalls, and the streets are full of coloured hats and scarves. And the ancient city walls and medieval churches become more imposing than ever.
In the Pyrenees, go and visit the Irati-Abodi Mountain Centre and hire some snowshoes or do some cross country skiing between peaceful mountains, or face up to the cold and enjoy the energy you get from cycling and walking through the woodlands. And what better end to your morning than a well-deserved and comforting bowl of hot broth, a tapa of Chistorra fresh paprika sausage or sit down to a delicious char-grilled steak and salt-cod omelette in the local village cider house?
Going down towards central and southern Navarra (La Ribera) take the opportunity to discover a host of examples of Romanesque and Gothic art and architecture. Visit beautiful castles such as the one at Olite, the walled enclosure of Artajona or the historical old quarters of towns and cities located on the Way of St James, full of art and history, such as the town of Estella-Lizarra.
Wander through the maze of cobbled streets, admire the centuries-old houses with their large wooden doors, while you watch the smoke rising from the chimneys... If you like the plan, then visit some of the medieval villages such as Ujué or Gallipienzo and, as a finishing touch, sample the delicious Migas de Pastor, pan-fried breadcrumbs with suet and cured ham. And, to end this tour of some of the monuments in Navarra, a must-visit is Tudela, the capital of La Ribera in southern Navarra. This city, which boasts a beautiful cathedral and welcoming old quarters, is also famous for its tender cardoon and delicious artichoke hearts.
And winter is also the season of age-old traditions. With the arrival of Christmas comes the traditional good-natured Olentzero (according to Basque legend, a charcoal maker who comes down from the mountains on the 24th, bringing presents), and the much-expected Reyes Magos (three Kings). While the New Year's street celebrations in Pamplona are unrivalled.
Next on the agenda are the Carnival festivities and our most adored characters come quietly out of their alcoves and don eye-catching costumes, filling their stomach with straw or staining themselves with blood, to frighten us with their pitchforks. It's the turn of the colourful Miel Otxin, the rhythmic ioaldunak or the terrible momotxorroak. Enthusiasm, fiestas, fear... a jumble of emotions that give way to such sweet celebrations as those of San Blas or to traditional pilgrimages such as the Javieradas where we all move as one to the castle in which St Francisco Javier, our patron saint, was born.
Afraid of the cold? Reluctant to go out in winter? Shake yourself awake!!! Leave your sofa for a weekend, get a change of scene and enjoy everything that we've told you about Navarra because you're going to feel more alive than ever.miedo al frío?
Come and visit us !