Distance: 200 km
Date prepared: 2005-04-28
Date updated: 0000-00-00
We drive around the south-east of Navarre, where we find castles and medieval villas. The route runs at times parallel to the Canal de Navarra, over local roads with little traffic on them, and ends in Pamplona.
200 km. (20 sections)
Motorways and highways: 19.6 km
Local / Secondary: 180.4 km
PAMPLONA - PA-30 (0.8 km)
Set off from the Villava petrol station with a full tank and, with your partial odometer on zero, we head for the Navarrese Ribera. One kilometre ahead we reach a roundabout where take the exit to the left to join the PA-30.
PA-30 - NA-150 (2.6 km)
the road leaving the roundabout is wide and with a good surface, with a slow-moving traffic lane. We will drive through a commercial area until we reach another roundabout where we take the exit for Aoiz, on the NA-150 road.
NA-150 - NA-2420 (40.5 km)
The NA-150 is a good road with a lot of traffic, which thins out, except on Sunday afternoon, as we drive away from Pamplona, and the road gets narrower. The road is mostly straight, and we will see two interesting defensive towers inside some private properties.
Warning! halfway through the leg the road forks towards Aoiz, and Lumbier. We take this second option.
The road goes past Lumbier, where, if there is time and good weather, the gorge of Lumbier or “Foz de Lumbier” can be visited. This stunning gorge is well worth a visit, and can be accessed from the town which bears the same name.
Once past the town, we will leave the NA-150 to join the N-2402 road towards Sanguesa.
NA-2420 - NA-127 (5.9 km)
The NA-2420 ( the old N-240) is a straight wide road, and at milepoint 38 we will reach a viewpoint from which we can see the Lumbier Gorge. This craggy gorge houses a vulture colony that can be seen soaring overhead.
Just before Liedena, we will reach a roundabout beside a petrol station where we will take the NA-127 road towards Sanguesa.
NA-127 - NA-8603 (2.7 km)
The NA-127 will take us into Sanguesa. In order to enter over the old bridge, we will take the NA-8603 towards Tafalla at a roundabout located in an industrial estate.The road runs alongside the river and, in about one kilometre, we reach a yield sign that takes us directly into the town centre.
Sanguesa is a Historical town where it is worth stopping to see the magnificent portico of the Santa Maria la Real church. And the culinary choices make it worth lengthening the stop in the route.
NA-8603 - Sangüesa (3.1 km)
We drive through Danguesa over cobbled roads and, once on the outskirts, we look for the well-indicated roadsigns for Javier, marked with the classical castle outline by the Navarrese Tourism Board .
Sangüesa - Javier (8.1 km)
The NA-5410 is a road with a perfectly-kept surface and that starts with some straight stretches which lead to a succession of bends as we near Javier.
The splendid castle welcomes us into the town. It is a very important historical and religious landmark, as here is where the patron saint of Navarre, San Francisco Javier, was born.The Day of Navarre event is commemorated at the castle every 3rd of December.
A little further down we reach the town of Javier, where it seems as if the road will end...
Javier - A-127 (11 km)
If you don't feel very adventurous, or the weather is too bad to drive down a narrow country road, you will have to drive back to the NA-127 (near Sanguesa) to drive straight on to Sos del Rey Catolico.
If you want to have a little adventure, there is a narrow country road that runs mostly parallel to the Canal of Navarre, the biggest construction work that has been carried out in recent years in Navarre, and which provides the region with water for the crops.
Being a very narrow road with little-kept surface over the first few kilometres, and with very little use, we recommend not going over the 40km/h and to be very careful.
A T-junction allows us to join the NA-127 by turning left, towards Sos del Rey Catolico.
A-127 - CV-868 (11.6 km)
The NA-127 is well-tarmacked and wide. The first stretch is straight, and then we will drive up a bendy stretch until we reach Sos del Rey Catolico, a heritage Aragonese town with an important number of monuments in it.
Four kilometres on, near the top of the Sos mountain pass, we will come across the turn-off to the CV-868, which we will take towards Sofuentes.
CV-868 - Castiliscar (18.7 km)
We drive up the CV-868, a narrow road without much traffic on it. As we near the top, the trees thin out and the countryside opens up. Twenty kilometers away we could find the Bardenas Reales, a semi-desert located in Navarre.
We will drive past Mamillas and Sofuentes,, and continue on the same road until we reach Castiliscar.
Castiliscar - Vecinal (3 km)
Once out of Castiliscar we re-join the A-127. Three kilometers further on we will reach the Bardenas canal, immediately after which we find an abandoned house beside a crossroads, where we turn right.
This is a service road for the Bardenas canal, narrow but in good condition, on which you have to drive with some care.
Vecinal - NA-534 (14 km)
The 14 kilometres of this leg run beside the canal.
The tarmack is good and with little traffic on it, but be cautious, as we could come across some tractors or sheep on the road. The handrail is a dangerous one, so we must not speed here.
After 15 kilometres we are back in Navarre. We will come up to a stop where we turn left to join the NA-534.
NA-534 - Carcastillo (12 km)
The NA-534, a well-kept wide road, leads us to Carcastillo over harvest territory.
As we near the town, we will drive down a slope that makes the road curve more. Once inside the town, the NA-534 has a turn-off that goes to the Oliva Monastery, one of the most important historic and religious monuments of Navarre. However, our route takes us straight on, not taking that bend, on the NA-1240 towards Santacara.
Carcastillo - Santacara (9 km)
This leg leaves Carcastillo, goes over the Aragon river and continues on the long straight roads of the ribera of Navarre. The road is in good condition and the setting sun can reflect its light upon it as if on a mirror.
We will leave Murillo el Fruto on our right and reach Santacara.
Santacara - Pitillas (8 km)
In the centre of Santacara we find a crossroad that takes us right towards Pitillas on the NA-5330. From here we can see what is left of a tower of the old castle of Pitillas, standing on high ground to our left, and if we head to the right we can reach the remains of the roman town of Cara.
We leave the town on a straight road and drive past the access to the Pitillas lake, a natural reserve where many migratory birds nest, and a reference point for bird watchers. Take some binoculars with you if you want to stop here!
Once past the lake, three kilometres on, we will reach the town of Pitillas.
Pitillas - Beire (4 km)
Here at Pitillas we turn right yet again onto the NA-5331 towards Beire, where this leg ends. This is a straight stretch of road that follows the Cidacos river, which runs on our left.
Beire - Olite (4 km)
We leave Beire driving over a stone bridge over the Cidacos river, and the NA-5301 takes us to Olite.
In this town we can find the castle and its outer buildings, part of the old court of the Navarrese kings, and which was done up at the start of the twentieth century. It is also an important tourist attraction and an important wine-making area.
Olite - N-121 (3 km)
We leave Olite on the N-121 until we reach a roundabout where we can take the motorway towards Pamplona or take the NA-8602 towards Tafalla.
This last route goes through the centre of the town, which is one of the largest in Navarra, with good commercial areas and a lot of restaurants, as well as being an administrative and judicial centre.
N-121 - A-15 (33 km)
We drive out of >Tafalla and head for Pamplona on the NA-121, being careful to turn off before the road turns into a motorway. There is a lot of traffic on this stretch of road, which runs past the Valdorba valley and towns such as Pueyo, Garinoain and Barasoain, all on an ondulating countryside dedicated to growing grain.
We drive over the Carrascal mountain pass, which marks the border between the Pamplona region and the Ribera region, and where there is often strong wind.
We drive through the town of Campanas and reach the A-15 a few kilometres further on.
A-15 - PAMPLONA (5 km)
After driving over 200 kilometres of road, we reach Pamplona on the A-15, a three-lane road, and here our route ends.