Bardenas Reales Natural Park

Get into nature!

Fairytale landscapes including beech forests, limestone gorges and caves

Navarre is a land of transition, in which four different climates coexist. As a result, Navarre is noted for the diversity of its landscapes and the stunning contrasts of its geography. The mountain peaks and green valleys of the Pyrenees are followed by rolling hills, vineyards and crops to finally give way to the Bardenas desert. This diversity is a gift from nature, a privilege that we are proud of and thankful for.

Here you'll explore trails that will take you to mountain peaks, forests, woodlands, caves, vineyards and deserts. And even the Way of St James itself will leave its mark on you in these lands.

The perfect place to find your inner peace amid a patchwork of landscapes that changes at each point of the compass. And, what's more, the colours change with every season, to offer you a different picture, yet always powerful and peaceful.

The almost 180 km that cross Navarre from north to south are set to offer you a fairytale scene, one that allows you to practice your favourite activities in the heart of nature.

Must-visits in Navarre for nature lovers

If you're just planning on spending a short stay in Navarre, then you really must visit some of these beautiful spots. Although they're all as different as day and night, they each have a charm that you'll possibly never forget.

Click on them to discover everything that you can see and do at these top nature spots

It's a difficult choice, isn't it?

That's normal, nature has been doing its own thing here for years, and it's been extremely generous in our land.

 

If you're still not sure where to start, then carry on reading because we're going to give you some snapshots of all these places and a few more ideas so that you can really get into nature here in Navarre.

 

Fairytale woodlands

It's time to take shelter under oak and beech trees, and appreciate the sounds of the woodlands in Navarre, where the fauna and flora go hand in hand to create a fresh ambience full of different shades of green in spring and summer, turning russet in autumn.

Forest
  • Irati Forest

    One of the most iconic natural areas in Navarre and the Pyrenees. And we're not just saying it, it's really true! Irati is one of the largest and best-preserved beech and fir forests in Europe.

    It's a place to take your breath away and comfort your soul at any time of year. Its more than 17,000 hectares of almost virgin nature offer a host of sport and leisure options, including rambling among meadows, beech trees or alongside the Irabia reservoir, trail riding on your MTB or painting a picture with the autumn colours.

    All about the Irati Forest
  • Señorío de Bertiz Natural Park

    This was the first place to be declared a Natural Park in Navarre. Over the centuries, the Atlantic has had a marked influence on this area, to create this wood full of beeches, cypress oaks and oaks.

    Take a stroll through the park and botanical gardens, which are a showcase for biodiversity, with species from all over the world. Admire its ponds and pools and visit the palace.

    What's more, its Interpretation Centre will give you an insight into this beautiful place.

    All about Bertiz
  • Impressive oak groves

    Majestic trees, some are hundreds while others are thousands of years old. Their strange shapes create mysterious atmospheres and their incredible size is simply jaw-dropping. The following are well worth a visit:

        - Orgi wood in the Ultzama Valley.

        -  Monumental oak trees in Jauntsarats in Basaburua

        - Thousand-year old oaks in Etxarri Aranatz. This trail can be extended to include the dolmen trail.

        - Oak grove of Altsasu/Alsasua

  • Enchanted beechwoods

    We're aware that the beech woods of the Irati Forest are the most sought-after, but make no mistake, all beech woods convey an aura of peace and tranquillity. To mention but a few:

        - The Mountaineers Itinerary and the enchanted beech woods of Urbasa

        - Iturburua in Bertiz

        - Dronda- Mata de Haya in Belagua

        - Basajaunberro woodlands in Orreaga/Roncesvalles

        - Tres Hayas Trail, which is one of the bunker trails at Auritz/Burguete

        - Quinto Real Forest

  • Leitzalarrea Forest

    Mainly populated by beech and oak trees, although meadows and bracken are abundant, as are various conifer types.

    But there's more to Leitzalarrea than nature alone. The megaliths scattered around the land demonstrate that humans have been in this area since time immemorial. Mining was also important for centuries and there are still many vestiges and remains of the former foundries.

    Make a visit and check out the information panels showing the different trails and walks.

    More information on Leitzalarrea
Background in black

BIOSPHERE RESERVE

Bardenas Reales: the largest desert in Europe

This comes as a real surprise in Navarre because, instead of being in the north of the Iberian peninsula, you appear to be in the heart of Africa.

The Bardenas Reales desert is a Natural Park covering 42,500 hectares, sculpted by the elements to become a desert with an almost lunar landscape featuring gullies, plateaux and curious, solitary hills.

A place that is so extraordinary that you shouldn't be surprised to see a film or TV recording team there.

When water plays the leading role

Riparian vegetation
  • Source of the River Urederra

    One of the wonders of Navarre in sight!

    This river source is a natural outlet for the aquifer formed in the Urbasa-Andía Natual Park and the exceptional colour of its waters led it to be named Urederra which means "beautiful water" in the Basque language.

    To check this out for yourself, simply follow the 7 kilometre path running alongside the river to get some colourful views: the turquoise of the waters, the greens and russets of the vegetation, the azure of the sky... An easy-to-walk trail that will take you, following the pools, to one of the most luxuriant spots in Navarre.

    All about the Source of the River Urderra
  • Gorges of Lumbier and Arbaiun

    Pay attention! Because you're looking at one of the most impressive natural phenomena: the gorges in the Navarre Pyrenees.

    And the fact is that, here in Navarre, these canyons or ravines are called gorges; it has taken the rivers millions of years to carve out these narrow valleys in the limestone. The result is an extraordinary landscape, with narrow corridors and currents of air that give us a really unique ecosystem which is a haven for numerous birds of prey.

    The most well-known gorges are the Gorge of Lumbier, carved by the river Irati and now a greenway, and the Gorge of Arbaiun, whose panoramic views from the Iso pass should not be missed.

    All about the Gorges of Lumbier and Arbaiun
  • Leurtza Reservoirs

    Amid the woodlands in the Atlantic area of Navarre, these mountain lakes emerge as an attractive surprise. Surrounded by beech woods, they look like they've been taken out of a fairytale. Along their easy-to-walk trails, you'll be able to see the uses, fauna and flora in the area and, what's more there's a picnic site that makes this natural area an ideal spot for families.

    All about the Leurtza reservoirs
  • Alloz Reservoir

    Very close to Estella-Lizarra, you'll find this reservoir with calm, turquoise waters surrounded by gall oaks, thickets and pine trees. It's the perfect place for water sports or to take a dip in summer. It's ideal for getting started in sailing or paddle surf with no worries about currents. While, if you're after something relaxing, you can hire a water pedal boat, canoe or book a boat trip. Picnic areas, toilets, shade, car parks and bathing areas are all there. Everything ready to enjoy a sweet day on a freshwater beach!

    All the activities available on the Alloz Reservoir
Must-visit sierras in Navarre

Must-visit sierras in Navarre

By now, you're sure to have realised that Navarre is not lacking in natural areas. Quite the opposite, we have so many that it's complicated to highlight the merits of each one without getting too involved. Even so, we're going to continue our efforts to show you all our natural treasures. We're almost there.

  • Sierra de Aralar

    This karst massif shared with the neighbouring province of Gipuzkoa forms a unique landscape based on limestone pavements, blind valleys, caves, green meadows and endless beech groves. In short, it offers attractions for everyone!

     

    Rambling between woodlands and dolmens, pretty villages that stand peacefully on the lower slopes of the Sierra, such as Mugiro, Iribas or Arbizu, or a visit to the Romanesque Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar located at a viewpoint that has an altitude of more than 1,200 m. These are just a few examples of the things that you can do in these unforgettable places.

    See all the plans near to the Sierra de Aralar
  • Urbasa-Andía Natural Park

    Located no more nor less than at an altitude of 1,000 metres, this great karst massif combines woodlands and large tablelands in a place where it is customary to see horses and sheep grazing. The sheep's milk is used to make the delicious D.O. Idiazabal cheese.

     

    Don't miss the impressive views from its northern slopes towards the mythical mount Beriain and Sierra de Aralar, and also from the Balcón de Ubaba viewpoint in the south, which falls abruptly to form the impressive cirque of rocks around the Source of the River Urederra.

     

    See all the plans near Urbasa
Inside a cave

Journey into the centre of the earth

Caves in Navarre

Throughout history, these almost magical excavations in the earth have served to shelter from adverse weather conditions, to hold akelarres or gatherings of witches, or to escape from the law.

Today, you're offered the possibility to visit these caves and to explore the depth of nature in Navarre.

View of Belagua valley

The TOP most sports to enjoy in the open air

  • Group of cyclists on a greenway

    Bikes and MTB

    If you're into two wheels, then you've come to the ideal place, because Navarre is a destination that offers some well-prepared bike trails.

    For a relaxing tour to enjoy every change of scenery, choose one of its five greenways. This will allow you to combine your hobby with a little bit of history about the place. Another option is to do one of the stages of the Way of St James or the EuroVelo Route. However, if you 're looking for complete freedom, then pay attention to our MTB spaces.

    I'd like to tour Navarre by bike
  • Hikers contemplating the landscape from the Eyes of Lumbier

    Trail walking

    Hundreds of kilometres of paths and trails between oak and beech woods, alongside rivers, waterfalls and river sources; others along the greenways or more suitable for practising Nordic Walking. You can also find others that give you a small insight into culture, such as those that run alongside megalithic monuments and those that conceal treasures.

    They come in every colour and there's something for everyone. So there's no excuse for not staying active!

    I want to do trail walking

Are you game for doing the Way of St James?

Navarre is the entry point of the Way of St James into Spain.

And, during your journey, you'll find wild nature, with a peppering of popular traditions and a truly exceptional historical heritage.

Where can you start the Way of St James? Well, look, you've got up to four starting points. Your choice will depend on your physical condition and your scenery preferences.

  • Riders on horseback as they pass through the ramparts

    From Orreaga/Roncesvalles up to Viana

    French Way of St James

  • Church of Santa María de Sangüesa at night

    From Sangüesa to Puente la Reina

    French Way of St James (II)

  • Urdazubi / Urdax Monastery

    From Urdazubi/Urdax to Arre

    Way of St James through the Baztan Valley

    Monasterio de Urdazubi/Urdax

  • Castle of Cortes at night

    From Cortes to Castejón

    Way of St James through the Ebro Valley

    Castillo de Cortes de noche

Everything about the Way of Saint James

Adventure parks

Adventure parks

These locations fuse nature, sport and fun. The ultimate “all in one”.

You can come here to whizz down ziplines, walk over hanging bridges, enjoy water activities, and even see animals in their natural habitats, but they have so much more to offer.

All in a perfectly integrated natural setting: smiles guaranteed.

See all adventure parks
  • Enjoying bosleigh at Sendaviva theme park

    Sendaviva

  • Zipline descent in Irrisarri

    Irrisarri Land

  • Man in canoe on trees in Baztan Abentura Park

    Baztan Abentura Park

  • String circuit in Urbasa Abentura

    Urbasa Abentura

  • Entrance sign at Bertiz Abentura Park

    Bertiz Abentura Park

  • Girl practicing arborism at the Artamendia Adventure Park

    Artamendia Adventure Park

  • Arborismo en Beigorri Abentura Park

    Beigorri Adventure Park

Looking for even more adventure? Then Active Tourism is for you

Great, because if you take a closer look, you'll see that nature tourism in Navarre can be as active as you like: mountaineering, canoeing, climbing, canyoning, caving and even windsurfing.

 

And, if you're into air sports, then you can do paragliding, hire a balloon ride or a two-seater plane: you decide how you'd like to explore Navarre.

Ver todas las propuestas de turismo activo

Nature plans organised by professionals

Nature plans organised by professionals
Experience an adventure, but with the support of professionals who will guide you and tell you secrets that you'd never discover by yourself.

Rural tourism: accommodation in contact with nature

There are a host of options for rural tourism in Navarre. So you simply have to decide on where you'd like to stay.

Country guest houses: either renting a complete property and doing as you please, or renting bedrooms with breakfast.

Country hotels: if you're looking for convenience and places with character, yet without missing out on the essence of the natural setting.

Campsites: ideal for those looking for adventure or for families.

Hostels: the best option for groups and sports enthusiasts

Check out the Rural Tourism page to get more details on all the options available
House of a village
  • Unique accommodation for those looking for adventure

    Imagine sleeping in a suite at the top of a tree, waking up in a million-year old cave, resting in a shepherd's hut in the heart of the countryside or staying in a bubble under the stars and with view of the Bardenas Reales Desert.

    And, to end, one on historical buildings. We're highlighting the Parador de Olite, which offers you the possibility of staying in a real 15th century castle, which still holds that magical medieval air.

    Consulta aquí todos los alojamientos singulares

Other plans to complete your nature tourism visit to Navarre

So you can see that Navarre is a destination for nature tourism, set to surprise you at every step you take, giving you a warm welcome at any time of year.

Do you still want more? Then don't miss what's coming:

  • Dish made with asparagus tips Cuisine

    Cuisine

    Treat your palate to authentic Navarrese cuisine. All washed down, of course, with local wine.

  • Church of Santa María de Eunate Culture and roots

    Culture and roots

    Travel to the heart of the old Kingdom, where Navarre’s truly splendid cultural heritage will quench your curiosity.

  • Girl in the park of La Taconera City breaks

    City breaks

    A weekend goes a long way when you're in Navarre. Culture and pintxos join forces to bring you the best of urban leisure.

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