Navarre and its capital, Pamplona, are known worldwide for their San Fermín Festival, which immortalised the American Nobel Prize winner, Ernest Hemingway, and his novel “The Sun Also Rises”, also published as “Fiesta”.
Its famous bull runs and bullfights are the highlight of this universal festival, which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world year in, year out, painting the city red and white in the explosion of togetherness, joy and great atmosphere.
The traces of Roman Empire, the cultural exchanges and having once been a kingdom, have left Navarre with an intriguing artistic legacy.
The castle of Javier, the monastery of Leyre and the Royal Palace of Olite, one of Europe’s most luxurious medieval castles, far surpass the expectations of any historical stonework enthusiast.
On the French border there are the Zugarramurdi caves, known as the village of witches, where fantasy and reality are one and the same, taking you on an exciting journey through history and legend.
Nearby, the beautiful town of Roncesvalles is often chosen by pilgrims as the starting point for Spain’s Camino de Santiago.
Pilgrimage gives you the opportunity to see Puente la Raina and the monumental Estrella, both villages well worth visiting even if you’re not doing the Camino.
Navarre’s range in climate and terrain has brought about a striking and eye capturing nature. From the beautiful Irati Forest in the north, one of the most extensive and best-preserved beech forests in Europe, to the wild Bardenas Reales desert and its beautiful wildlife in the south.
In Tudela, its deeply-rooted ecological culture and fertile soils, nurtured by the Ebro River, has led to its name the “World Capital of Vegetables” by the prestigious chef Ferrán Adriá.
Due to his diet of such organic ingredients, it is no surprise that Navarre born, Miguel Induráin, has gone on to be 5 times Tour de France champion, and be considered one of the best cyclists in history.