A disparate nature where the colossal mountains of the Pyrenees or the lush forests contrast with the fertile lands of the riverside or with the arid and capricious, in its forms, desert. Ancestral traditions and beliefs, together with the important history it treasures are just some of the possibilities awaiting those who visit Navarre.
The Foral Community of Navarre extends from the productive banks of the river Ebro to the high Pyrenean peaks, which are a natural border with France, giving this land a great variety of landscapes that adds to the diversity and importance of its historical and cultural heritage. Villages that still preserve with care their marked character and the aesthetic characteristic that identifies them in addition to their traditions; robust castles and old monasteries that transport us to past times, megalithic sites that merge with the beautiful landscapes that surround them and that are furrowed by ancestral routes, without forgetting the singularity and fame of their festivities and their gastronomy.
Arguments and possibilities that make it even more difficult to limit them to a team that represents them. In Tourism in Navarre 8 plans to get to know this ancient Kingdom will almost certainly find more than enough reasons to continue discovering this exciting territory.
In addition to giving its name to the old kingdom of Pamplona, the capital is an almost obligatory stop for those who visit Navarre while on holiday. Its world-famous festivals or the Way of Saint James that runs through its streets attract thousands of tourists and pilgrims every year. For all of them, the city has great attractions both for its historical and cultural heritage. Visiting the impressive Citadel, walking the traditional streets through which the running of the bulls of Los San Fermines run or enjoying the gastronomy of which it boasts, are some of them.
Myths and legends have accompanied Navarre in certain periods of its history. Beliefs and superstitions increased by the solitude of the mountains and the aura of mystery that accompanies some places and which resulted in an authentic witch-hunt that devastated villages and valleys. Corners that still preserve all the mystery that accompanied them through those times, making them more attractive than they already are. Villages that maintain ancient and deep-rooted traditions and that were mute witnesses of witchcraft cases.
The lush forests and abundant rivers of the Navarrese Pyrenees have been and are of vital importance to the people and peoples of the area, creating flourishing industries that took advantage of their seemingly unlimited resources. The proximity of the border, among other factors, led to the creation of ammunition factories, true urban centres of the time that came to constitute authentic monumental complexes, whose remains struggle today not to succumb to unstoppable nature, forming incredible landscapes with it.
The need to settle and control the territory and the conquests of the kingdom before the Muslim hordes, the tireless passage of pilgrims on their way to the tomb of the Apostle and the devoted fervour of the time contributed to the large number of monasteries and sanctuaries in Navarre. Their state and the great historical and cultural value of many of them make them architectural jewels of incalculable value, to which in some cases is added the marvellous natural environment that surrounds them and makes them unique.
Navarre's considerable natural heritage has one of its greatest exponents in one of the largest and best-preserved beech and fir forests in Europe. The Irati Forest is a natural paradise for nature lovers, hikers and mountain lovers. But it has also been and is one of the economic motors of the Pyrenees region over which it spreads, as its precious wood generated a whole industry around it and which had to be managed to get the wood out of the mountains.
Natural passage towards Europe, there were several armies that in one way or another have crossed these lands, or at least have tried. Controlling such an important territory forced to endow it with castles and fortresses that, together with the noble families entrusted to them, ensured its security and control as well as that of the people who inhabited it. Many of them were destroyed and we can only imagine with their remains as they were in their time, many others were better off and today are important tourist destinations.
Ravines, small plateaus and solitary heads are the surprising formations that erosion has created in this semi-desert spot that breaks with the green landscapes of northern Navarre. Natural Park, has beautiful corners more typical of other worlds such as the Corner of the Bú or the Falls of the Black where the tireless work of nature has molded curious forms and the fauna of the place has found its home. As in his day did the human being who throughout history has also been part of this place.
The Way of St. James has been and is another of the main threads of the history of this land. The Baztan Way that arrives in Pamplona from Irún or the French Way in any of its two slopes have seen the passage of not a few pilgrims. Many enclaves have arisen around the Way or towards which it has directed its steps. The fantastic Romanesque work of Saint Mary of Eunate, located shortly before the union at Puente La Reina of the two sides of the French Way, is one of them and its resemblance to the Temple of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem surprises those who visit it.
Great places all of them just a sample of what we can find in Navarre, a land forged through the years where nature and history come together to wrap us in its cozy mantle.