Culture all around in Sangüesa and at the Monastery of Leyre and Castle of Javier

Another area that lovers of cultural tourism just adore. And no wonder; just look what treasures await you here.

As a an appetiser, let’s start with the Monastery of Leyre. One of the most important architectural ensembles in Navarre. Set in a natural landscape with a large reservoir as a backdrop, the site is worthy of an oil painting. Its 11th-century crypt, the Gothic vault and the famous Porta Speciosa — beautiful door — are the monastery's architectural highlights. And one thing we recommend is that you stop, but really stop, to listen to the Gregorian chants sung by the Benedictine monks who live there.

And it’s on to the Castle of Javier, 8 kilometres away. A mediaeval building beloved by the people of Navarre because it was once the home of their patron saint, San Francisco Javier. See the saint’s bedroom, the chapel of San Miguel and the museum with its wonderful diorama exhibition to keep the whole family entertained. And you can’t but love the Torre del Homenaje and the drawbridge. Who doesn’t enjoy being instantly transported back in time?

 

  • Culture all around in Sangüesa and at the Monastery of Leyre and Castle of Javier

    And what can we say about Sangüesa?

    Well, it’s a small historical town in the east of Navarre on the minor branch of the French route of the Way of St James, and it one thing that makes going there an absolute must: the Church of Santa María la Real and its imposing doorway, a Romanesque masterpiece and national monument since the 19th century. Worth a visit in its own right, you can make the most of your time and discover the fascinating history of the town and see other interesting buildings such as the Church of Santiago and the town’s two palaces: the Baroque Palace of Vallesantoro with its spectacular wooden eaves and the mediaeval Palace of the Prince of Viana. 

    Oh, and if it’s summer and you plan on having lunch around here, try some potxas, fresh white beans which are a real delicacy.

     

  • Culture all around in Sangüesa and at the Monastery of Leyre and Castle of Javier

    The icing on your trip to the Middle Ages.

    Here are two small but great places. Aibar and Gallipienzo. And what have they got? Well, nothing less than the charm of authentic villages, narrow, cobbled streets, Romanesque churches and magnificent views of the surrounding area. Ideal places to unwind in one of the delightful rural hotels or local houses for rent.

And if you want to make the most of your free time and enjoy a wide range of activities, be sure to check out our things-to-do section.