Distance: 226 km
Date prepared: 2004-02-13
Date updated: 2013-09-27
From the Etxauri high point we drive through vineyards and olive orchards, and go through some historical towns and villages that stand on the last leg of the Way of St James.
226 km. (19 sections)
Motorways and highways: 27.4 km
Local / Secondary: 198.6 km
PAMPLONA - NA-7110 (15.5 km)
We put the partial odometer on zero at the petrol station in Zizur Mayor (on the exit towards Logroño).
Once out of the petrol station we take a turnoff on the left which takes us onto the Avenida Belascoain which we follow until we leave on teh NA-7015 towards Gazolaz, on a well-kept road where overtaking is permitted on most of its layout.
We drive past Gazolaz, Paternain and Larraya, with their lovely stone houses, and drive on towards the Etxauri mountain range, and then towards the El Perdon mountain range with its crown of windmills.
We drive on a narrow, bendy road and go past the towns of Arraiza and Ubani until we reach Belascoain. We leave this town driving over a stone bridge over the Arga river.
NA-7110 - Etxauri (6.8 km)
The stone bridge takes us to a stop sign where we turn right to take the NA-7110 towards Pamplona on narrow road that is well mantained if we ignore a short stretch at its start.
We drive on a straightish road, leaving behind towns such as Vidaurreta, Echarri and Ciriza until we reach Etxauri, where this leg ends.
Etxauri - Arizala (25 km)
We climb up to Extauri on a surface that has been patched up many times, with plenty of curves, and with great views that go past Pamplona on a clear day. There is a vewpoint halfway up the pass which offers a good view of the area.
When we have covered 35 kilometres of the leg we reach the summit, only to go down a slope with plenty of curves towards Estella. We drive past Izurzu, Salinas de Oro and Muez, a town with a nice Romanic hermitage. Drive with care, as it would not be strange to meet some farm vehicle using these roads.
We keep on driving on the same road and through the Yerry valley until we reach a crossroads at the entrance to the town of Arizala, where we turn right towards Abarzuza.
Arizala - Abarzuza (2.1 km)
From Arizala to Abarzuza we drive through the typical farmland, full of harvest land and vineyards, that flank us on both sides of the road.
Abarzuza - Eraul (3.2 km)
A few metres after the rosdsign that marks the end of Abarzuza, we will turn right to take a concrete path that takes us to Eraul, where this leg ends.
Beware! We are driving on a concrete path without signposts, so pay attention to all visual landmarks.
Eraul - NA-718 (3.2 km)
We drive past Eraul through a very narrow street and start the descent with a hairpin bend to the left. The guard rails here are made of stone, and we drive on a road with quite a few curves. We will come up to a Stop sign at the end of this road.
NA-718 - NA-7130 (15.1 km)
After turning right, we drive on the NA-718 beside the Urederra river until we reach Zudaire, near which is the source of this river, in one of the most beautiful Atlantic forest areas of Navarre.
Once in Zudaire, and continuing on good tarmack, we ascend for 1.6 km until we reach a curve that lets us change lanes to the NA-7130, where this leg ends.
NA-7130 - A-3116 (12.7 km)
We turn right to take the NA-7130 towards Larraona, which we drive round on a poorly-kept, narrow road that follows the Urbasa mountain range, on our right.. The road improves gradually as we drive on and through the towns of San MArtin, Aranache and Larraona.
These towns are a good place to stop and have a break, while we admire their typical stone houses (caserios) and some curious historical remains, like a basin for cattle and a shrine that protects a XVI century cross.
A couple of kilometres further on we cross the border to the province of Alava.
A-3116 - A-2128 (2 km)
Here the toad improves slightly and takes on the name of A-3116. The old milestones are worth a look, as they mention, not the milepoints, but the distance remaining to Estella and Vitoria.
3 kilometres further on we will turn left on the A-2128 towards the town of Kontrasta.
A-2128 - Sta. Cruz de Campezo (17.4 km)
The A-2128 takes us on a long straight stretch that ends at Kontrasta, were we can take a look at its fortressed church, that stands as witness of the time when this area was the boundary between medieval kingdoms.
We continue on this road, entering the alavese mountainside, and rising to 829m over sea level, on a road thet then slopes down to Santa Cruz de Campezo, at 550m over sea level, and surrounded by the typical mountain scenery.
We have to pay attention as in this rural area sheep and cattle can invade the road. We recommend that, if this happens, you kill time by having a chat with the shepherd until the road is free once again.
Sta. Cruz de Campezo - NA-743 (4 km)
Halfway through the route, at Santa Cruz del Campero, we will take the A-126 road towards Genevilla. As we cross the border into Navarre, the road changes its name to NA-743.
NA-743 - NA-7200 (3 km)
Once past Genevilla, we take a left onto the NA-7200 and drive uphill towards Aguilar de Codes on a stretch of open curves that lasts around two kilometres, until, near this town, we will come up to a crossroads where we turn right onto the NA-7230 towards Viana.
NA-7200 - Aguilar de Codes (4 km)
Continuing towards Aguilar de Codes, we drive uphill on a road very similar to the previous one. On one side of the road we can get a great panoramic view of the area.
We reach Aguilar de Codes and, after a short downhill, we take a right turn on a bend, to start the nexst stretch towards Viana.
Aguilar de Codes - Viana (17 km)
This might be the leg with the most bends.
After a short downhill slope, we will climb to 800 metres, surrounded by the windmills of a vast windfarm. The first stretch of this leg runs on patched up, cracked tarmack, as we drive through a pine wood, which then clears out. On the way down the tarmack improves, with many zigzagging curves which continue until we reach the town of Aras.
As we continue driving down, we will drive past the remains of an old hermitage, and on to Viana. This is a historical town located on the Way of St. James, which boasts some monumental buildings such as the Church of Santa Maria (where Cesar Borgia is buried). This town is located near the border of the Comunidad de la Rioja and the city of Logroño.
Viana - NA-132 (41 km)
We drive through Viana and leave on the NA-1110 towards Torres del Rio, another town located on the Way of St. James, and in which we can find the interesting Church of the Santo Sepulcro (the Holy Tomb).
The forty kilometres of this leg consist of some straight stretches followed by plentiful bends until we reach Sansol. From here on, there is a long straight stretch that reaches as far as the eye can see, and flanked on either side by wheat fields and vineyards until we reach Estella.
We drive out of Estella on the same road and, two kilometers on, we finish this leg by taking a turnoff towards Tafalla, on the NA-132.
NA-132 - NA-601 (20 km)
We are now travelling on straight roads flanked by farmland.
We drive past the town of Legardeta and through Oteiza, and continue driving straight on for about 12 kilometres, when we reach the entrance to Larraga, a town which we are not going to drive into.
TAKE CARE because, at this point, there is a turn to the right that indicates Puente la Reina on the NA-602 road, a road which we WILL take but in the opposite direction, a bit further on, towards Mendigorria. We have to drive past this turn and drive on a slight downhill for about 400m until we reach a bridge over the Arga river. Just beside this bridge we find the turn we need to take, onto the NA-602 towards Mendigorria.
NA-601 - Puente la Reina (14 km)
We start this leg towards Puente la Reina on this well tarmacked road with little traffic density, and that follows the Arga river.
When Mendigorria can be seen on the horizon, we leave behind a bridge on the left. If there's time, you can drive over the bridge and after 3 kilometres you will get to the Roman Villa of Andelos, where you can visit one of its complex water supply system.
We drive through the pretty town of Mendigorria and as we leave we turn to the left towards Puente la Reina, which is just a few kilometres away.
Puente la Reina - A-12 (16 km)
We are now near the end of the route. The road isn't bad and hasn't got a lot of traffic on is as most of it goes on the highway that runs from Pamplona to Logroño.
At Motorutas, we prefer small country roads so we leave Puente la Reina on this road and drive on past Legarda and starting to drive uphill on the Perdon mountain pass, where at the high point, at 640 metres above sea level, we can see one of the oldest wind farms in Navarra.
Driving down the Perdon mountain pass we can see the city of Pamplona, which is only 11 kilometres away.
On the way to pamplona, we will drive through a couple of small villages and, just before Zizur Mayor, we join the A-15, the highway we mentioned earlier.
A-12 - PAMPLONA (4 km)
Once in Zizur Mayor, town where this route started, we drive straight on to reach our final destination: Pamplona.