Travel Guide Europe Spain Navarre

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Introduction

Running With The Bulls

Running With The Bulls

© All Rights Reserved Pamplona

Navarre is a region in the central north of Spain, bordering the Spanish regions of Basque Country to the northwest, La Rioja to the southwest, Aragon to the east and southeast, and the country France to the north. It has roughly 600,000 inhabitants living in an area just over 10,000 square kilometres, about a quarter of the Netherlands. Navarre is considered to be part of the bigger Basque Country, that also includes the Spanish and the French regions of Basque Country.

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Geography

Navarre consists of 272 municipalities and has a total population of 601,874 (2006), of whom approximately one-third live in the capital, Pamplona (195,769 pop.), and one-half in the capital's metropolitan area (315,988 pop.). There are no other large municipalities in the region. The next largest are Tudela (32,802), Barañáin (22,401), Burlada (18,388), Estella - Lizarra (13,892), Zizur Mayor (13,197), Tafalla (11,040), Villava/Atarrabia (10,295), and Ansoáin (9,952).

Despite its relatively small size, Navarre features stark contrasts in geography, from the Pyrenees mountain range that dominates the territory to the plains of the Ebro river valley in the south. The highest point in Navarre is Mesa de los Tres Reyes, with an elevation of 2,428 metres.

Other important mountains are Txamantxoia, Kartxela, the Larra-Belagua Massif, Sierra de Alaiz, Untzueko Harria, Sierra de Leyre, Sierra del Perdón, Montejurra, Ezkaba, Monte Ori, Sierra de Codés, Urbasa, Andia, and the Aralar Range.

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Cities

  • Pamplona - the capital, with half of Navarre's population living in the metropolitan area. Made famous by Ernest Hemmingway in 'The Sun Also Rises.' It hosts the festival of San Fermin, with the running of the bulls (el encierro). The festival is celebrated every year for a week beginning on July 7.
  • Tudela - the second largest city in Navarra with a population not higher than 40,000 people. Tudela is 94 km (60 miles) far from Pamplona, it's linked by a good highway and there are good connections by bus and train. It's used to be a big center of vegetables production although industry has been developed in the city. It has a beautiful cathedral from the Romanic and Gothic period.

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Sights and Activities

  • Nacedero del Urederra, National Park of Urbasa-Andia. A beautiful hike, alongside some ethereal, unreal looking turquoise pools and through some truly breathtaking views within the National Park of Urbasa-Andia. It is a easy 5km walk (3 hours round trip walk) which takes you from the small village of Baquedano to the source of the River Urederra; a waterfall easily reached by foot for families. This is not the only hike to do in the park, which has a variety of walks of various lengths (up to 24km) and difficulty among some spectacular countryside. Access to the park is regulated for conservation purposes but free to access and you should book on their website prior to going. There are 450 tickets available a day, of which 60% are bookable online, with the remaining allocated to those who turn up.

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Events and Festivals

Running of the bulls; day time party

Running of the bulls; day time party

© All Rights Reserved clancy_of_

Running of the Bulls

The running of the bulls is the highest profile even of the Saint Fermin Festival. The course is about 825 metres long and goes through 4 narrow streets in the old city center. The only requirements for entering is being over eighteen, choosing a street to run in and starting to run at the right time. Before the run starts people pray to Saint Fermin to protect them and dress in a white shirt and pants with a red waistband and neckerchief. It is also common to run with a rolled day's newspaper to distract the bull's if necessary. The fastest part of the run is up to Santo Domingo and across the Town Hall Square. The event is not without danger. Around 200 to 300 persons are injured every year and since 1910, 15 people were killed in the running. The last person killed was in 2009.

Running of the Nudes

Since 2002 a few days before the Running of the Bulls, the Running of the Nudes is staged as a protest to bullfighting. It started with a couple of streakers in 2002, but quickly grew into a annual event with hundreds of participants. The running of the nudes is backed by a couple of animal rights groups, including PETA.

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Weather

In the north, climate is affected by the Atlantic Ocean leading an Oceanic west coast climate (Köppen: Cfb) At central Navarre the summer precipitations start to lower, leading to a Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa and Csb) At the southernmost part of Navarre the climate is cool semi-arid (Köppen: Bsk)

The sole official weather station of Navarre is located in Pamplona in its north-western corner and has summer highs of 28 °C and lows of 14 °C, while winter highs are 9 °C and lows 1 °C with moderate precipitation year-round.

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Getting There

By Plane

Pamplona Airport (PNA) is a small airport outside Pamplona. There are regular flights every day operated by Iberia and TAP Portugal to Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon.

By Train

RENFE, the Spanish Railway Company, has trains to Pamplona to several cities, including Madrid and Zaragoza.

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Language

Both Spanish and Basque (Español and Euskera) are official languages in Navarra. Spanish is more widespread than Basque in Navarra, and everybody can speak Spanish in this land, but Basque is also spoken by a wide part of the population, especially in the north of Navarra and Pamplona, as a native language.

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Eat

Navarre has a very good reputation for its food and restaurants sharing it mostly with the Basque cook. These are some of the most typical products of Navarre:

  • Sparragus - eaten with mayonnaise.
  • Alcachofas - vegetable typical from Tudela.
  • Piquillo peppers - in the village of Lodosa, really tasty!
  • Txistorra/Chistorra - a kind of red sausage (made with pork), delicious.

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Drink

Patxaran is the most typical alcoholic drink of Navarra. It's distilled from blackthorns and it has an intense red colour. It has approximately 30% alcohol.

Wines are also very famous in this region producing wines with Rioja label, and also with their own certification label (D.O. Navarra).

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Contributors

as well as Sander (2%)

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This is version 7. Last edited at 10:53 on Mar 6, 19 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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