- Navarre is an incredible destination in Northern Spain with natural attractions, rich culture, and ancient castles. It’s also perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Visitors can explore diverse landscapes in Navarre, including forests, waterfalls, deserts, and rivers, making it an exciting and laid-back destination.
- From visiting historic monasteries and touring grand castles to attending the vibrant San Fermin Festival, there is something for everyone in Navarre.
Navarre is an amazing destination in Northern Spain for outdoor lovers and those looking to embrace life beyond indoors. This region is famous for its natural attractions and parks, rich culture and history, and ancient castles reminiscent of the past.
Navarre also features diverse landscapes, including deserts, waterfalls, rivers, forests, and peaks. Hence, it offers plenty of exciting, laid-back, and adventurous things to do for any visitor. Whether it’s sampling different delicacies, hiking, biking, or just sightseeing tours, Navarre has something for everybody.
For those looking to visit, here are the best things to do in Navarre, one of the most adventurous and underrated destinations in Spain.
10 Check Out The Leyre Monastery
Monastery Leyre in Navarre, Spain
The Navarre region is highly religious and filled with monasteries and churches, which besides being religious centers, are also tourist attractions worth visiting Navarre. The Leyre Monastery is a good one and stands out from the rest owing to its magnificent architecture and imposing structure.
Located at the foot of the Leyre mountains, this monastery was established in the 11th century AD and stands as one of the most historic sites in the region worth visiting.
9 Eat Through Navarre
A panoramic view of a place in Navarre Spain
One of the best things to do in Navarre is to taste the region’s food, as it is also a great way to learn more about its history. Since the region is vast and diverse, culinary delights abound, and one will be spoiled for options.
For a start, visitors can visit one of the restaurants and order the most popular dishes in Navarre, which include:
A dish made with potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomato
one of the most popular types of cheese found here
A juicy meat with very little fat and a unique taste
8 Roam Irati Forest
A path in the middle of the Irati forest in Navarre, Spain
The Irati Forest is nestled between the valleys of Salazar and Aezkoa in Navarre, where it radiates natural elegance and charm.
As one of the largest beech and fir forests in the world, it’s a protected area and offers incredible natural views and exciting adventures year-round. Travelers seeking to explore the world’s most beautiful forests should add this one to their bucket lists for sure.
Things to do in Irati Forest:
Hiking, wildlife watching, birdwatching
7 Hike To The Source Of The River Urederra In Urbasa Nature Park
Urderra River in the Natural Park of Urbasa-Andia
The Urbasa Nature Park in Navarre is a place to truly unite with nature and discover the source of the River Urederra.
While getting to the source of the river requires a long and strenuous hike, the rewards at the end are incredible views of a gorgeous waterfall and turquoise water pools surrounded by beautiful greenery. Taking a camera to capture this scenic sight is a must.
6 Tour Ancient Castles In Navarre
Castle of Javier in Navarre
One of the best activities in Navarre is to tour some of its grand castles and wonder at their magnificence.
Visitors can start with the Olite Castle, once a royal palace and one of the most stunning castles in Europe, featuring beautiful gardens and even a zoo. The castle of Xavier is another interesting one to explore, and there are even more.
More of the best castles in Navarre:
San Esterban de Deyo Castle, Marcilla Castle, Monajardin Castle
5 Attend The San Fermin Festival In Pamplona (The Capital City Of Navarre)
People at San Fermin festival in Navarre Spain
Navarre’s capital city, Pamplona, proudly hosts one of Spain’s largest and most remarkable festivals, San Fermin, in July. This event is colorful and super exciting and is a great way to great way to immerse in the culture and heritage of the people.
The San Fermin Festival last for a week, and it is held in honor of Saint Fermin – one of the patron saints of Navarre.
4 Ascend A Mountaintop To See The Chapel Of Muskilda
At the summit of a mountain that stands guard over Ochagavia town is the beautiful 12th-century chapel of Muskilda that features spectacular Romanesque architecture. The chapel is dedicated to Our Lady of Muskilda, which is said to be the patron saint of Salazar Valley.
This chapel is worth visiting for its stunning architecture and the outstanding views of the surrounding greenery and gorgeous peaks it has.
Ochagavia, Near the valley of Salazar, Navarre
3 Explore The Capital Pamplona
A street in Pamplona Navarre Spain
No trip to Navarre is complete without touching down at the region’s capital, Pamplona, where history and natural beauty fuse together. While in the capital, one can begin an exploration by touring the ancient city walls that serve as a fort for the city.
Next, one can proceed to the Cathedral of Santa Maria, which is renowned for its impressive architecture and as a place where most kings of Navarre were crowned and buried. If there’s still time, one can visit the iconic 19,000+ capacity bullring that hosts interesting bullfights and races.
More things to do in Pamplona:
Walk at Riverside Park, visit Pamplona’s city hall, spend time in nature at Taconera Park
2 Admire Breathtaking Views Of The Gorge Of Arbaiun From The Iso Viewpoint
The Gorge of Arbaiun in Navarre, Spain
There are several viewpoints in Navarre from where one can see the different stunning landscapes of the region. However, nothing beats the views from the Iso viewpoint, as it overlooks the scenic gorge of Arbaiun, which is covered in green vegetation and has a river flowing through it.
The gorge is naturally a hurdle to access, but the Iso overlook makes it easier to see. Designated as a Nature Reserve and Bird Sanctuary, the gorge is also one of the world’s many amazing places for bird watching.
1 See The Unique Desert Landscapes Of The Bardenas Reales – A UNESCO Biosphere Preserve
Bardenas Reales in Navarre, Spain
An hour’s drive from Pamplona and one would find the incredible Bardenas Reales, one of Navarre’s unique landscapes and a must-visit when in the region. Unique and dramatic in appearance, this desert landscape is a spectacle for every visitor and has since been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Preserve.
At every turn, wondrous and bizarre geological formations stun the eyes, and the best way to explore this area is by hiking. However, a car or bike tour can also offer great experiences.
The Bardenas Reales is one of the filming locations used for the iconic Game of Thrones series.