The Bardenas Reales Natural Park is a pseudo-steppe landscape sculpted over millions of years due to erosion. Just 70 kilometres away from the peaks of the Pyrenees
, and very close to the main town in La Ribera, Tudela
, there are three distinct zones in the natural park which are, from north to south: El Plano
, croplands characterised by very gentle slopes; the Bardena Blanca
, the most photographed zone and visited where the main rock formations can be found in Castildetierra
. Also in this area, defined by its eroded crags, dry gullies and steppe-like appearance - in its lower part is a Firing Range which explains the military aircraft flights; and the Bardena Negra
, where the land darkens, giving way to the only Aleppo pinewoods in the area, accompanied by thicket
Once in the Park, exceptional viewpoints
show the differences between its different zones. From the Alto de Aguilares
you get the best panoramic view of the Bardena Blanca. The Balcón de Pilatos
('Pontius Pilate's Balcony') is an exceptional observatory of birds of prey. These high points show the wealth of this territory, which contain three Nature Reserves
are: the Vedado de Eguaras
, an oasis to the north of the area where the ruins of the Castle of Peñaflor still stand; the Rincón del Bu
(Bardena Blanca), occupying 460 hectares, in whose niches the eagle owl breeds; and the Nature Reserve of Caídas de la Negra
(Bardena Negra), which covers 1,926 hectares and has altitude drops of 270 metres.
The Bardenas Reales
Natural Park also has The Bardenas offer more than 700 kilometres of paths, tracks and gullies that can be followed by hiking and cycling enthusiasts
. Nevertheless, it is advisable to use specialist guides in your first incursion into the natural enclave. Apart from avoiding the risk of getting lost in the desert, they will help you to interpret the landscape, whose flora and fauna more appropriate to an African desert than the north of the Iberian Peninsula. In the remote past it was even inhabited by crocodiles and turtles. Eagles, vultures, owls, great bustards, foxes, mountain cats, genets, amphibians and reptiles range between scrubland, sisal thickets, salt marshes and reed beds.
If you decide to go on your own, remember to observe the rules, do not leave the signposted paths, do not disturb the animals and do not collect minerals or plants. For special permits you will need to contact the Junta de Bardenas Reales
Due to the extreme temperatures and the special conditions of the land, we recommend that you avoid going when it is raining. The best time to visit Bardenas in between September and June. Indeed, on 18 September, don't miss the opportunity to go to the "Sanmiguelada"
, the day when thousands of sheep from the Pyrenean valleys make their way to this vast extension along El Paso to graze during the winter. To do this, follow the Cañada Real (royal livestock trail) of the Roncaleses which links up the pastures of the Roncal Valley with the Bardenas.
Recommended route to get to know the area around Bardenas Reales.