In Navarra, parks and beautifu natural landscapes make up a large percentage of the Province.
This is a guide to the heavenly nature of the Navarra Pyrenees Mountains.
Navarra’s high concentration of natural parks and green spaces is impressive.
In the parks of Navarra you’ll find steep mountain peaks and vast picturesque valleys, dark magical forests and peaceful green meadows.
As well as fascinating rocky landscapes, like the massive Gorges of Arbayún, the Sierra of Urbasa or the legendary Caves of Zugarrmundi.
The natural parks and landscapes of the Navarra Pyrenees mountians truly are outstanding.
Here’s a list of Navarra’s parks and Natural Highlights:
This expansive woodland is one of the largest beech-fir forests in Europe, and one of the most beautiful of all Navarra parks.
The forest extends through the Navarran valleys of Aezkoa and Salazar.
It can be reached by the beautiful villages of Ochagavía and Orbaitzeta.
There are lots of well-marked routes to be done on foot or by mountain bike, as well as places for climbing and winter sports like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Hidden deep inside this forest you’ll find a pretty reservoir and an interesting old abandoned Arms factory which has been declared an ‘Asset of Cultural Value in Navarra’.
Orgi Oak Forest
The Orgi forest is 25 kilometres north of Pamplona, the capital of Navarra, in the south part of the valley of Ultzama, between Gerendiain and Lizaso, in the Pyrenees mountains.
It’s a millennial forest covering 80 hectares, with easy walks, a picnic area, and oaks which are more than 200 years old.
Origi is one of the outdoor settings of the Navarra Pyrenees mountains where events and performances are held during the summer. It’s called ‘Culture Program in Navarra.’
Quinto Real Forest
The Beech forest of Quinto Real is located in the north west of Navarra, 27 kilometres from Pamplona. It is shared by the Pyrenees mountain valleys of Baztan, Erro, Esteribar and Alduides, and is very close to the French border.
Within the limits of the forest is a reservoir called Eugui, along with a pretty village of the same name.
From the village you can easily visit the ruins of the Royal Arms Factory and the prehistoric burial mound of Artesiaga.
Señorío de Bertiz Natural Park
Bertiz Natural Park of Navarra is in the district of Oieregi, 45 Km from Pamplona, and can be accessed from the village of Oronoz-Mugaire by crossing the little bridge over the river Bidasoa.
This park has various kinds of trees and is an excellent example of mixed Atlantic Woodland in Navarra.
On the grounds you’ll find a beautiful exotic garden, a Navarra nature interpretation center, some ruins, and an information booth where you can find out about the numerous treks throughout.
Gorge of Arbayún
Although not exactly in the Pyrenees mountains, this 6 km long canyon is certainly worth mentioning. It’s situated in Navarra, in the Valley of Salazar, between Lumbier and Romanzado.
The area has been declared as a Nature Reserve of Navarra, and also as a Special Protection Area for Birds.
The River Slazar has carved out this ravine, and flows through it still today.
It’s spectacular outcrops of cliffs and ledges are home to some truly unique species of flowers, and many birds of prey; including a large colony of griffon vultures, with more than 290 pairs.
Sierra of Urbasa -The Natural Park of Urbasa
This plateau is located west of Pamplona, in the Valley of Sakana, and between Atlantic and Mediterranean Navarra.
It’s a protected park of Navarra and natural area that is made up of pretty meadows, beech woods, and rocky outcrops.
There are signposted paths, dolmens, menhirs and cromlechsthroughout the park.
Don’t miss the spectacular natural viewpoint over the cirque, the source of the river Urederra.
This is also a great area of Navarra for fans of caving.
Caves of Urdazubi/Urdaxierra
These legendary caves of Navarra are located just a few kilometres from the coast (Bay of Biscay), and a few minutes from the French border at Dantxarinea.
The entrance to the caves of Ikaburu was found by a Navarran shepherd in 1808, however, we now know that they date back some 14,000 years, were first inhabited by prehistoric man, and later served as a refuge for smugglers, and soldiers during the War of Independence and the Carlist conflicts.
Local myths also speak of this being the home of Lamia, a mystical being of the Pyrenees mountains that is half fish and half woman.
There are guided tours of the caves and an excellent trek which links the Caves of Ikaburu with those of Zugarramurdi, in Navarra, and Sara (these other caves are on the other side of the border in France). Just follow the signs with a little painted horse.
Caves of Zugarramurdi
The caves of Zugarramurdi lie in the western Navarra Pyrenees mountains, past Baztan, just a short distance from the French border, and close to a picturesque village of the same name.
Legends about the caves abound in this area of Navarra, mostly of witches and wizards who performed pagan rituals and had feasts around bonfires, which were presided over by the devil.
These alleged witches and wizards of Zugarramurdi were harshly punished by the Spanish Inquisition in 1610.
Many were tortured into confessing to witchcraft, and subsequently indicted. Some of these locals of Navarra were even burnt alive in the square of Logroño. You can see their names on a panel at the entrance to the cave.
These caves are also on the route linking the other Navarra Caves of Ikaburu, Urdazubi/Urdax, with the village of Sara (on the French side).