Navarre is probably most famous for the running of the bulls in Pamplona. It has also traditionally been an important pilgrim area for people crossing from France, on their way to Santiago de Compostela.In addition to these elements the region also has many interesting small towns with well preserved historical monuments and buildings.
The old-world little town of Olite lies on the Río Cidacos, south of Pamplona. There was a settlement here in Roman times, but the town's heyday was in the 15th century, when the kings of Navarre made it their residence and built the huge castle, a labyrinth of passages and rooms.
Castle of the Kings of Navarre
In 1406 Charles III of Navarre commissioned French architects to alter and enlarge the original castle, making it a combination of fortress and palace. Although partly destroyed in the 19th century, the castle is still overwhelmingly impressive with its fifteen slender towers and battlemented walls. Within the castle, dominated by the keep (Torre de Homenaje), there were once beautiful gardens. The rooms had azulejo-clad walls and fine timber ceilings.
Santa María la Real
The 14th century church of Santa María la Real, below the Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra, has a very beautiful Gothic doorway, in the center of which is the Virgin, surrounded by the Apostles. It has a 16th century retablo and a Gothic figure of Christ.
The church of San Pedro (12th-13th C.) is distinguishable by its two dissimilar towers. The doorway, with scenes from the life of St Peter, is flanked by two eagles symbolizing power and goodness.
A beautiful landscape draws nature lovers from all around to the Roncal Valley.
The village for which the Roncal Valley has been named is a lovely example of Pyrenean tradition and architecture. Cheeses are made here.
Isaba is rich in tradition and architecture.