- For other places with the same name, see Navarre (disambiguation).
Navarre (Spanish: Navarra, Basque: Nafarroa) is a region in Northern Spain. Navarre is one of the historic Basque districts, with its Basque features conspicuous in the north, while virtually absent on the southern fringes. Despite its relatively small size, Navarre features stark contrasts in geography, from the Pyrenees mountain range that dominates the territory to the plains of the Ebro river valley in the south. It is bordered by France, the Basque Country, Aragon, and La Rioja.
- 1 Comarca de Pamplona (Pamplona metropolitan area) — The most populous area of Navarre (half of the people of Navarra live here), with Pamplona, Barañáin and Burlada. It is an urban area and is right in the centre of the region.
- Mountains: Pirineos de Navarra (Pyrenees of Navarre) and Montaña (Mountain zone) — The north part of Navarra where there is a lot of mountains, like Mesa de los Tres Reyes (2.424 m) and "Pico de Ory" (2.104 m). This is the "Basque" and "green" Navarra where in many villages and small towns Basque is spoken and there is continental weather. It is bordered by France and Basque Country.
- Tierra Estella (Estella Land) — The historic part of Navarre with many medieval monuments and towns. The way to Santiago is here. The most important towns are Estella, Puente La Reina and Viana.
- 2 Zona Media (Centre Area) — A transition area between mountain zone and south zone, with important historic towns like Olite (which was the capital of the Kingdom of Navarre, with a wonderful Palace-Castle), Tafalla, Ujue, Andosilla and San Martín de Unx.
- 3 (South of Navarre) – The south part of Navarre, the only area that was occupied by the Muslims, who founded Tudela, the capital of this zone and the second city of Navarre. It is one of the most important areas of agriculture in Navarre and Spain. There is also a desert called the Bardenas Reales, a pale yellow landscape of canyons, mesas and plateaux.
Comarca de Pamplona
- 1 Pamplona — made famous by Ernest Hemmingway in The Sun Also Rises. It is a city with beautiful parks, historical buildings, medieval city walls and a river running through it. It is the first main city on the route of St. James (Camino de Santiago). It hosts the festival of San Fermin, with the running of the bulls (el encierro). The festival is celebrated every year for a week beginning on July 7.
- 6 Tudela — the second largest city in Navarre with a population not higher than 40,000 people. Tudela is 94 km (60 miles) from Pamplona, it's linked by a good highway and there are good connections by bus and train. It's used to be a big centre of vegetables production although industry has been developed in the city. It has a beautiful cathedral from the Romanic and Gothic period.
Navarre is in the transition between Green Spain and semi-arid interior areas, causing a vast difference of landscapes between various parts of the region. The transition also renders a highly variable climate, with cooler spells and heat waves mixing in summer. Winters are mild for the latitude. The famous Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier, known for his work in Asia, was a native of Navarre.
Spanish and Basque (Español and Euskera) are official languages in Navarra. Spanish is more widespread, and everybody can speak Spanish in this land, but Basque is also spoken as a native language by a wide part of the population, especially in the north of Navarra and Pamplona.
Pamplona (PNA IATA) has an airport that connects it with Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat by regular flights. There are also connections with some other cities like Lisbon. There are good, regular bus connections with its two closest international airports in Bilbao (BIO IATA, Spain) and Biarritz (BIQ IATA, France).
Pamplona has quite good railway system. It has several trains every day to Madrid (3 hr), Barcelona (4 hr), Zaragoza (2 hr) and so on.
- Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago)
- 1 Nacedero del Urederra, National Park of Urbasa-Andia. A beautiful hike, alongside some ethereal, unreal looking turquoise pools and through some truly breathtaking views within the National Park of Urbasa-Andia. It is a easy 5-km walk (3 hours round trip walk) which takes you from the small village of Baquedano to the source of the River Urederra; a waterfall easily reached by foot for families This is not the only hike to do in the park, which has a variety of walks of various lengths (up to 24 km) and difficulty among some spectacular countryside. Access to the park is regulated for conservation purposes but free to access and you should book on their website prior to going. There are 450 tickets available a day, of which 60% are bookable online, with the remaining allocated to those who turn up. You can get to the park either by renting a car and driving to the area where there is a small car park (€3 for parking) or by public transport where from San Sebastian, the trip to Urederra can be broken into two legs.
The first leg is to Alsasua, which is easily reached by train or bus from San Sebastian, each taking roughly 90 minutes.
Bus timetables for Alsa are available on their website. However, the Alsa bus stop in Alsasua is not marked (and worse its location on a map may be incorrectly marked as being on Calle San Juan) but it is outside a residential home for elderly people on Calle Idertzagain.
The second leg involves a 30-minute taxi ride (€40 one way) from Alsasua, (+34 608776154, Taxi Goikoetxea - Spanish-speaking only) to Baquedano. If you have not put together a picnic, the bakeries and cafes along San Juan make for a good choice as Baquedano has no shops. Remember to arrange in good time the taxi ride back to Alsasua for the bus/train back. Free.
The best-known event in Navarre is the San Fermín festival in July held in Pamplona.
Navarra has a very good reputation for its food and restaurants sharing it mostly with the Basque cook. These are some of the most typical products of Navarre:
- Sparragus eaten with mayonnaise.
- Alcachofas vegetable typical from Tudela.
- Piquillo peppers in the village of Lodosa, really tasty!
- Txistorra/Chistorra is a kind of red sausage (made with pork), delicious.
Patxaran is the most typical alcoholic drink of Navarra. It's distilled from blackthorns and it has an intense red colour. It has approximately 30% alcohol.
Wines are also very famous in this region producing wines with Rioja label, and also with their own certification label (D.O. Navarra).
- North: across the Pyrenees to Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in France
- East: to Aragon and Catalonia
- South: to central Spain and the capital Madrid
- West: to the Basque Country, Bilbao and San Sebastian