Distance: 171 km
Date prepared: 2004-02-04
Date updated: 2013-12-01
We drive towards the north, over what has been called "The Navarrese Switzerland": Lovely oak woods, pasture lands, and the big old Basque houses that are typical of this area.
171 km. (18 sections)
Motorways and highways: 13 km
Local / Secondary: 158 km
PAMPLONA - PA-30 (0.9 km)
Fill up the tank at the Villava petrol station and, with the partial odometer on zero, start this route that goes round the north of Navarre.
Touching the petrol station there’s a yellow milestone indicating the NA-2517 road. This stretch is so short there isn’t another milestone. After a curve to the left, you’ll enter a roundabout which also marks the end of this leg.
PA-30 - N-135 (2.1 km)
We take the left exit at the roundabout onto the PA-30 road, a well surfaced wide road with a slow lane on a slight hill, which leads us to the N-135 towards Zubiri.
N-135 - NA-138 (13.6 km)
We leave behind the built-up area while driving on a nice wide road without many curves until we reach Zubiri, town which we go through to reach a stop sign near a petrol station, where we turn left towards Eugi on the N-138 road.
NA-138 - Urtasun (4.2 km)
We drive onto the NA-138, a mountain road that welcomes us with plenty of curves and woods on either side of the road.
On reaching km 20 of the route we arrive at Urtasun, where, instead of continuing on to Eugi, we turn left at a stop sign to join the NA-2520 towards Iragi and Olagüe.
Urtasun - Olagüe (13.2 km)
We drive up the Egozkue mountain pass on good, narrow tarmac, with an abundance of curves and bends, including two of 180 degrees. We will drive through Iragi and Egozkue before reaching Olagüe.
Olagüe - NA-4230 (5.4 km)
Once through Olagüe we will re-join the NA-121-A where, after a straight stretch of 5km, we will reach a stop sign at milepoint 25.9, where we shall turn left to join the NA-4230 towards Lizaso.
NA-4230 - NA-4161 (4.5 km)
This local road takes us into the Ultzama valley, where we pass on the left the town of Arraitz, and past Alkotz and Iraitzoz, after which we take a turn to the right which takes us onto the NA-4161 towards Larraintzar.
NA-4161 - Larrainzar (2.5 km)
The NA-4161 takes us through green countryside to the town of Larrainzar, where we can find the Bosque de Orgi, an extremely well-preserved oakwood of great ecological interest. Before entering Larrainzar we turn right to drive onto the NA-411.
Larrainzar - NA-4114 (6.7 km)
This leg will take us through such beautiful green countryside with such gorgeous small woods that it is known as the Navarrese Switzerland. Drive with care, the road is narrow and patched-up at times.
After 6.7km and having driven through Illaregi and Auza, we reach milepoint 11 where we will take a road on the right to join the NA-4114 towards Orokieta.
NA-4114 - Saldias (14.1 km)
This 14km stretch is on a good road with a lot of curves, bordered by the same landscape we have been driving through before.
We will drive through Orokieta, where a famous battle of the third Carlist war took place (1872), and continue up a short pass that runs parallel to a small stream we will be able to make out through the trees, to then start the descent towards Saldias.
Saldias - Santesteban / Doneztebe (17.2 km)
Once in Saldias we will leave the houses on our left and continue straight on throw a three-way crossroads. After 3km on a slight incline we will reach Beintza-Labaien.
As we drive through we will see beside the road signs for places where they sell the local cheese, if you are a cheese fan this would be the right moment to stop and try some. We continue on the NA-4040 through Urrotz and Oitz and reach Santesteban / Doneztebe.
Santesteban / Doneztebe - Leitza (28.6 km)
We are halfway through the route. After a short stop at Santesteban / Doneztebe, we take the NA-170, a good but narrow bendy road that will widen out as we drive.
We will drive alongside the Ezkurra river for a few kilometres. We are only 100m above sea level and can notice that the mountains around us are not too high.
We will drive through Elgorriaga, Ituren and Zubieta, all towns famous for their carnivals, and later on through Ezkurra. We will drive up to the Leitza High Point, where there’s a nice restaurant, at which point we start driving downhill until we reach Leitza village.
Leitza - Lekunberri (12 km)
Fast leg with curves on the road. The 11km between Leitza and Lekunberri are on a wide, well kept road .
We will drive uphill to the Uitzi High Point and the town of the same name. The local rural architecture can be admired in this town. Then the road heads on downwards through the Larraun valley until we reach Lekunberri.
Lekunberri - Irurtzun (13 km)
In Lekunberri we take the A-15 dual carriageway, a total contrast with the rest of the route in its monotony, and, after 12km we reach Irurtzun only to take the exit at milepoint 114 to get back to the kind of road we enjoy.
Irurtzun - NA-4120 (3 km)
We leave behind Irurtzun while driving on the N-240-A until we reach a stop sign, where we turn left to take the NA-4120 towards Muskitz, which takes us into the Iza Valley.
NA-4120 - NA-4100 (14 km)
Only 15km away from our final destination we are back on a lovely well kept local road, our favourite kind of road.
We will drive through Zia, where we can stop and have a drink at its fountain if necessary. The countryside changes between woods and pastureland where the typical herds of mares and flocks of sheep graze in contentment.
We drive past Muskitz and, at milepoint 13 we reach a stop sign where we turn right onto the NA-4100
NA-4100 - PA-34 (12 km)
The surface on this road is in worse state of repair than that on the previous stretch.
The scenery turns urban as we get close to Pamplona by driving through the houses of Berriosuso and Berrioplano, on the outskirts of Pamplona. After Berrioplano we reach a roundabout where this leg ends.
PA-34 - PAMPLONA (4 km)
At the roundabout we take the exit on the left and join the PA-30 towards Pamplona, our final destination.