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Roncal Route

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  • Santa María la Real Church, in Sangüesa © Turespaña

    Santa María la Real Church, in Sangüesa © Turespaña

  • View of the tympanum in the church of Santiago Apóstol in Sangüesa © Turespaña

    View of the tympanum in the church of Santiago Apóstol in Sangüesa © Turespaña

  

Amongst rivers and mountains

This route through the Roncal Valley in the east of Navarre uncovers an area of small villages and farmhouses with deep-rooted celebrations and traditions that compete with the beautiful green woodland and meadows. We will pass through spots with standout monumental heritage along the journey and nature- and open air activity- lovers will discover a true paradisiacal setting.
 

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We start on the one day or weekend trip in the mediaeval village of Sangüesa, a major stop on the Way of Saint James. Make sure to see the three Romanesque-Gothic churches: Santa María la Real, Santiago Apóstol y El Salvador, especially for the sculptures and reliefs on the façades.

Before leaving Sangüesa, a trip to the convents of San Francisco and El Carmen, the Príncipe de Viana Castle, the Baroque palace of the Marquis of Vallesantoro and, in the outskirts, the Romanesque shrine of San Adrián de Vadoluengo is highly recommended. In addition, the Three Kings Mystery Play can be seen at Christmastime which is performed outdoors on 6th January, with all the townsfolk taking part.

Next, we take the road to the nearby town of Javier, eight kilometres away, to discover its mediaeval castle where the missionary and saint Francis Xavier was born in 1502. This spot is also the stage for the traditional pilgrimages known as the “javieradas” in March. Further along the route is Yesa. Just four kilometres in the outskirts is the Monastery of San Salvador de Leire, one of the major Romanesque architectural sites in Spain, later renovated in the Gothic period. Take a close look at the so-called Porta Speciosa, a richly carved façade. In addition, there is a large reservoir in Yesa which is ideal for all types of water sports.

Around twenty kilometres after Yesa we get to the province of Saragossa to enjoy the towns of Sigüés, housing the Gothic Church of San Esteban with its Romanesque façade, and the mediaeval town of Salvatierra de Esca.

Returning to Navarre, we head to the remaining villages in the Roncal Valley on our itinerary: Burgui, Roncal, Urzainqui, Isaba, Vidángoz, Garde and Uztárroz. All of them stand out for their popular architecture with typical mountain farmhouses and the possibilities they offer to enjoy rural tourism. In spring, Burgui celebrates Almadía Day: a curious descent along the Esca River in remembrance of the traditional river transport used by the wood trade.

Visitors can also visit the home museum where the tenor Julián Gayarre was born in Roncal, as well as his mausoleum designed by Mariano Benlliure. The town of Isaba is known for its festival of the “Tribute of the Three Cows”: this tradition takes place every 13th July in remembrance of the ancient agreement between the people of Navarre and France to use the Pyrenean pastures.

Our route ends at the highest point in the Valley. Here, the road crosses the glacier-origin Belagua Plain, alongside the Larra Massif, where one of the deepest and longest fissures in Europe can be found: San Martín Chasm.

 

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What to see on the route

What to do

Hiking

Hiking

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Calendar

The Three Kings mystery play. Sangüesa © Fotografía: Domench y Azpilicueta, Fotografías cedidas por el Archivo de Turismo “Reyno de Navarra”

Jan 6, 2021

Sangüesa-Zangoza
The Three Kings mystery play

Thousands of pilgrims gather on the esplanade of the Javier Basilica during the religious ceremony to venerate the Saint © EFE

To be confirmed 2020

Javier
The Javieradas

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To be confirmed 2019

Festivity of National Tourist Interest

Burgui-Burgi
The day of the Almadía

Discover the surroundings See more

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