Navarra en invierno

Navarra en invierno

Folklore, gastronomía y chimenea para desafiar al fresco del norte

Winter in Navarre, that great unknown. A winter that brings fairytale scenery amid woodlands and magical peaks in the heart of the Pyrenees. A winter that brings warmth to your heart with its traditions, cider house menus and roast chestnut sellers in the street.

Winter in Navarre is different, because it really makes you want to go out and face the cold in order to enjoy everything that culture and nature have to offer in a land like ours.

And that's just what we'd like you to do when you visit Navarre in winter: enjoy the warmth of a good, cosy fire, of course, but also let yourself be tempted by all the pleasures to be found in the first months of the year.

Why visit Navarre in winter?

  • Mouth-watering cuisine with seasonal produce

    Mouth-watering cuisine with seasonal produce

  • Awesome scenery and snow in the Pyrenees of Navarre.

    Awesome scenery and snow in the Pyrenees of Navarre.

  • Events and activities to cater for all tastes

    Events and activities to cater for all tastes

Cultural destinations that are something special in winter

We love Navarre as a whole and we're that it's going to be the same for you, if you haven't yet been here. All the same, we do have to say that there are some places which we are particularly fond of in winter.

We're talking, for example, of taking a short break to visit Pamplona, Tudela or Estella-Lizarra. It might also be a good time to visit the impressive castles of Olite and Javier, or to explore the narrow streets of medieval villages such as Ujué or Gallipienzo, or to enjoy the charm of the Collegiate church at Orreaga/Roncesvalles and other milestones on the Way of St James.

  • Short break to Pamplona

    Short break to Pamplona

    Discover its old quarter, its tapas, its calendar with a whole variety of events, and the irresistible aroma of its roast chestnut stalls.

  • Tudela and Estella-Lizarra

    Tudela and Estella-Lizarra

    Colourful and with a vibrant street atmosphere, you'll be surprised by the abundance of monuments, museums and tapas bars.

  • Olite and its castle

    Olite and its castle

    Stroll through its medieval streets and go up the towers of the Royal Palace, to take the winter blues away.

  • The Collegiate church of Orreaga/Roncesvalles

    The Collegiate church of Orreaga/Roncesvalles

    There's something engaging about this church and, if you get to see its cloisters in the snow, you'll remember it all your life.

  • The Way of St James and its monuments

    The Way of St James and its monuments

    Sangüesa, Eunate, Puente la Reina, Los Arcos, Torres del Río and Viana... The Camino is full of art.

Skiing

Skiing

Mention should be made of the winter sport par excellence: skiing.

Navarre has two ski resorts which are noted for specialising in cross-country skiing. This type of skiing allows you to exercise while calmly enjoying all the beauty of the Navarre Pyrenees covered in snow.

  • Skiing

    Salazar Valley

    Irati-Abodi Mountain Activities Centre

    Located in the Salazar Valley, in the heart of the Irati Forest at an altitude of 1,300 metres, so that the most amazing display of nature is guaranteed.

    It offers three easy trails totalling a distance of 22 kilometres for practising cross-country skiing and another 16 km trail for those with more experience.

    It also offers a trail information service, the hire of snow equipment, cafeteria-bar-restaurant and a car park.

    More information on the Irati-Abodi Mountain Activities Centre
  • Skiing

    Belagua Valley

    Larra-Belagua Nordic skiing centre

    Located in the most eastern part of the Navarre Pyrenees, this ski resort is divided into two sectors:

    •                El Ferial: this is where the main building is located, with a first-aid room, ski school, material hire, bar, restaurant, shop, lockers, spa zone. It has 16 km of cross-country skiing trails and snowshoeing routes.

    •                La Contienda: where you'll find a small building with a cafeteria, first-aid room, 5 km of cross-country skiing trails.

    More information on the Larra-Belagua Nordic skiing centre

The best plans for winter in Navarre

What's on in those months with the fewest daylight hours?

Well, from time to time the snow covers some of the valleys in Navarre, so if you're lucky enough to be staying nearby, then a good plan is to get out and enjoy it. Typical fun activities include making a snowman, sledding down a hill, or simply having a snowball fight. This is also the best time for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing enthusiasts.

Cultural tourism is another very attractive option in winter: stroll around the historical old quarter of Pamplona or Tudela and visit their cathedrals, visit a medieval town or discover the Way of St James through its monuments.

As you can see, the options are many and varied, so check out the details here:

Other nature plans, for going out well wrapped up

But it won't all depend on whether or not it's snowing...

You can also enjoy nature by taking a walk through our woodlands which, although not stripped of their leaves, have a really attractive aura of mystery.

The Rail Trails are another good option, being walks with little tree covering, they are ideal for soaking up the winter sunshine. And well wrapped-up in a scarf, the limestone gorges, caves and Bardenas desert can be visited all year round.

I'd like to discover nature in Navarre in winter
Other nature plans, for going out well wrapped up
Feel the warmth of the fireplace at a country guesthouse

Feel the warmth of the fireplace at a country guesthouse

In the evening, after a day packed full of visits and activities, you get back to your guest house and light the fire.

Its warmth gradually spreads from room to room and you snuggle up by the fireplace with a glass of wine, closing your eyes and letting yourself be carried away.

The cosiness of these country guesthouses is wonderful!

I want to do rural tourism

Delicious winter cuisine!

It's difficult to talk about winter cuisine in Navarre without mentioning its seasonal vegetables. In these months, cardoon, artichokes, borage, Swiss chard and endives are all the main ingredients on the menus of the restaurants in Navarre.

This is followed with the Navarre Pintxo Week, which has become a local tradition for saying goodbye to winter.

Throughout Navarre, menus feature a winter touch by offering, in addition to the seasonal vegetables, char-grilled meat, game and soups, which can be accompanied by torrijas (Spanish-style French toast), red wines and the famous patxaran (sloe berry anise liqueur). You can sample these delicacies at any restaurant throughout Navarre.

If you'd like to discover even more about the delicious world of Navarre cuisine, then don't miss:

Navarre delicacies for foodies
Delicious winter cuisine!

Cider season

And the cider season brings joy and happiness to the Kingdom of Navarre. And that's really true: from January to May, the cider houses in Navarre are a great plan for families and groups of friends. Shall we tell you why?

Because, at the cider house, you stand around the kupelas (the regional name for the barrels) and help yourself to cider. Then you can sample delicacies such as char-grilled T-bone steak, salt cod omelette or cider-cooked chorizo sausages. It goes without saying that the food is accompanied by the star drink - cider - which, in some cases, is home-made.

We're off to a cider house
Cider season

More culinary and wine tourism plans

You're a real foodie, and you know it... and you also like wine tasting and discovering how the best oils and cheeses are made... As far as cuisine is concerned, you'll soon see that we put a lot of love and care into everything we do.

Navarre in winter: don't miss out on the plans on offer!

Believe us! Winter in Navarre is packed with a whole host of events and entertainment.

The Santas Pascuas Festival marks the start of winter, with this film festival in Pamplona, the capital city of Navarre. The streets are then filled with garlands, stalls, markets and queues to go to the theatre.

And take note that New Year's Eve in Pamplona is a big celebration. It's a fun and really special event, with everyone in fancy dress! From one o'clock in the morning onwards, the old quarter of Pamplona is full of colour and gaiety.

On the evening of the 24th December, the Olentzero (charcoal-maker - a traditional figure who comes down from the mountains to announce the birth of Christ) parades through the streets of many places in Navarre, while the procession of their Majesties the three Wise Men of the East takes place through the streets on the evening of the 5th January. These are days of enjoyment and happiness for the whole family.

But stay with us, because there are more traditions to come. True folklore comes into the limelight with the arrival of the joaldunak, marking the start of festivities which include witches, charcoal makers, and well-known characters such as Miel Otxin and the momotxorroak. Yes, we're talking about the Carnival, one of the most ancient celebrations in Navarre, and deeply rooted in the localities of Ituren, Zubieta, Lantz and Altsasu/Alsasua.

Well, we're not going to get into more detail. We've highlighted some of the plans, but remember that there's a much, much more on offer.

Plans in the snow

Plans in the snow

Although the Pyrenees are only of a modest height, we're lucky enough to have snow almost every year in our highest valleys, offering picture-postcard scenery.

The crunching of the virgin snow is one of the most special sounds of winter. That unique moment when you get out of your car and the mountains, like sugar-coated giants, welcome you with their radiant scenery.

Rarely does a year go by in which there's not a good snowfall in the sierras of Aralar, Urbasa and Andía and in the town of Orreaga/Roncesvalles and the Pyrenean valleys of Aezkoa, Salazar and Roncal.

And as the thing about the weather is that it's so unpredictable, if you're staying in accommodation located in places such as the Baztan Valley or Ultzama Valley, you need to be on the alert because, at times, the snowfall limit drops and you may wake up to a blanket of snow.

It's a good idea to check with the staff at the Tourist Information Offices to get updates on the weather conditions.

  • Plans in the snow

    Family fun in the snow: walks, sledding, snowmen and snowball fights.

    Imagine your children's faces lighting up when you tell them that you're all going to spend a day in the snow.

    A snowball fight or making a snowman are inexpensive and fun ways of enjoying some family time. And sledding down a tempting slope is a plan that drives kids mad. And, best of all, they come home exhausted and the whole family gets a peaceful night's sleep.

    What's more, depending on the thickness of the snow in the area, you can all go out for a really pleasant walk along any of the local paths.

    To shake off the winter chill and warm your cold hands, don't forget to stop off at the village tavern and order a piping hot caldico (broth), for a really pleasurable experience.

    So get out your gloves, boots, a carrot for the snowman's nose and do it!
     

  • Plans in the snow

    Snowshoeing

    • For added excitement to a family day out in the snow!

      If you feel like snowshoeing, then take the opportunity to hire some snowshoes and get out and explore! These walks are really pleasant and you don't need any skiing skills.

      There are many different trails to choose from, through some breathtaking landscapes. There's also the option to go with a specialist company, allowing you to safely enjoy the splendour of nature in winter.

     

                We've been saying so right from the start. If you get bored in winter, it's because you want to. You can't put the blame on a lack of winter plans such as activities, cultural events and festivities. If you need more details about places and dates, then check out our calendar of events.

¿Qué guarda Navarra en las otras estaciones?

  • Primavera

    Primavera

    El invierno da paso a una estación llena de color, rutas, gastronomía y mucha, mucha naturaleza.

  • Verano

    Verano

    La imponente madre tierra y las actividades al aire libre se vuelven protagonistas en los meses más cálidos del año.

  • Otoño

    Otoño

    Algunos destinos naturales navarros adquieren un cariz especial en esta agradable estación del año.