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Walk quiet paths leading you through ever changing and colourful landscapes, from the rolling fields and Mediterranean forests of Navarre to the mountains and vineyards of La Rioja. Stay in beautiful small hotels and enjoy fantastic food and wine throughout this off the beaten track walking holiday.
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Arrive in Pamplona and spend the afternoon exploring this lively city. Follow Hemingway’s foot steps to Café Iruña or make a virtual “run of the bulls” along the streets of the city, stopping here and there to have a pintxo and a wine like the locals do. Your hotel is a converted house of nobility in the heart of the city built in the XVIIIth century by the Viceroy of New Granada.
Walk with pilgrims as you follow the Camino de Santiago through some of its prettiest villages, before peeling off into the peaceful countryside. Your first few kilometres are along the Camino de Santiago so you get to soak up the atmosphere of this great pilgrimage which dates back to the IXth Century. This afternoon you leave the Camino behind to explore the quieter valley of Yerri on your way to Estella, a beautiful town rich with historical buildings.
Walk through wide colourful agricultural landscapes dotted with picturesque villages. Start early for today's long but beautiful walk along the Ega river valley. Birdsong fills the air as you walk past fertile allotments, forests and cereal fields. As you approach the mountain ridge that takes you to Mués, there are fantastic open views of a landscape punctuated by villages, each one with its large church as a main feature.
This morning walk gentle landscapes and villages as you approach the Sierra de Codés, the highest mountains of this holiday. The northern slopes of the range are covered in thick forest showing the influence of the Atlantic as Mediterranean forests mix with beech trees.
Enjoy the peace of the village and give your legs a rest while you enjoy the hospitality of Maribel and Guy. You can relax in the house terrace and read, stroll on the rural paths around the village or admire the impressive XVIth century altar-piece of the local church. On hot days you can go for a dip in the river pools in nearby Campezo and if you are dying to keep on walking hard you can climb to the top of the Sierra de Codés.
The walk starts on a beautiful path through an oak forest before climbing gently to the pass, from where the wide Ebro valley opens up below. Walking through the forest on the side of the valley, in the distance you will see the hill-top village of Laguardia. Rest tonight in the heart of town enjoying the atmosphere and also the good food, wine and perhaps even a massage in the hotel spa.
Have a good rest this morning and enjoy the town, walk around the narrow streets, have a massage or visit one of the ancient wineries in town. This afternoon you have to stroll across the sea of vineyards for a couple of hours to get to Villabuena de Álava. Along the way you will discover the variety of Rioja's vineyards, from small patches on the hills with gnarled, old stumps to modern vineyards prepared for mechanised harvest.
Today is yours to explore the area as you want. The village itself has many bodegas including the Luis Cañas winery which offers a particularly good visit, Luis himself is often out and about in the vineyards. Your hotel can arrange a wine tasting lesson or you can simply sit out on the terrace with a good glass and enjoy the wine. For a bit more activity we suggest that you walk or cycle a loop down to the Ebro and along the riverbank.
Transfers to Bilbao or Pamplona are also available, at additional cost, if those gateways are more convenient for you.
Walk quiet paths leading you through ever changing and colourful landscapes, from the rolling fields and Mediterranean forests of Navarre to the mountains and vineyards of La Rioja. Your beautiful surroundings are complemented by premium, small hotels and unique gastronomic experiences giving you a taste of a genuinely unspoiled part of Spain.
Although you will cover a good distance every day the walks are not very hilly, being mostly flat walks with some rolling hills. There are a couple of longer hills on two of the days, with a maximum 350m gain in one go, 650m accumulated height gain over the day. The paths are mainly wide trails used as agricultural and forest tracks, which makes it easier to admire the landscapes and enjoy the walk throughout. Nevertheless, the terrain and the distances might be hard on your feet so well worn walking shoes and training are essential to enjoy the week. The challenge will be the distance more than the uphills.
Though we have tried to pace the holiday well, you might like to shorten the walks on some days. If needed, we can reduce some of the walks without missing on the best sections by taking advantage of your luggage transfers to give you a lift.
This holiday is based on a carefully chosen collection of very comfortable hotels, but most importantly we believe they offer variety and character, making your accommodation a key part of your holiday. Most of the hotels are historical buildings that have been renovated, maintaining the cultural heritage of the area at the same time as promoting its enjoyment in comfort. This is something we deeply support in Pura Aventura. As well as traditional properties you can admire the dramatic contrast of some of the modern architectural projects that have chosen La Rioja to blend the old and the new. For details of the hotels we use on this trip, please get in touch and we will send you a detailed pdf itinerary.
In terms of weather the best months tend to be spring and autumn. The summer months of July and August will likely be too hot to really enjoy the walks. May and June tend to be showery, but this is also one of the most beautiful times to visit. The driest month is usually September, with harvest usually towards the end of the month. October gradually gets more changeable but benefits from the beautiful colours of the autumnal forests.
This route, exclusive to Pura Aventura, takes you to the Spanish Toscana, a landscape of colourful, rolling fields, hill-top villages, vineyards and mountains. The area's rich historical past is marked by the Basque culture, the pilgrim’s way to Santiago de Compostela and the medieval kingdom of Navarre. This area is also home to some of the best wines in the world, great vegetables and meats and some of the finest examples of modern Spanish cuisine.
The food on this trip is another highlight. The vegetables grown in this area are the ones that Spaniards consider to be the very best, especially the local asparagus, peppers and artichokes. During the week you will be able to try traditional dishes as the gorrín (roasted pig) in Estella or a fresh menestra (vegetable stew), but also you will find contemporary and innovative cuisine which at its best can really surprise and delight.
This is a tailor made holiday which can leave on any day to suit you. The best time of year for the trip is from April through to October.
As described, the holiday price is based on two people travelling and sharing a room. Included is accommodation as described, meals as listed in the summary, luggage transfers plus transfers from Pamplona at the start of the walk and to Logrono at the end. Also included is a GPS, maps and walking notes as well as a meet & greet with a Pura Aventura guide at the start of your trip. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura Aventura's expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.
Flights are quoted separately for this trip. We generally assume flights to and from Barcelona, from where you can connect to Pamplona and from Logrono by train. Madrid is also an option. If you prefer, we can return you to Pamplona at the end of the trip or indeed have you start and finish in Bilbao though additional transfer costs will be passed on. Though booking of travel to and from the walk is invariably best done directly by you, we will always help you with this process and offer our advice and expertise.
Price per person based on two travelling. Departs on a day to suit you, March through June, and September through November.
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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.
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