Tag Archives: camino de santiago en bicicleta


Distance to Santiago: 661 km

Stage distance: 49 km

Estimated time: 4 hours

Minimal height: 420 m

Max height: 590 m

Difficulty of the route: middle – low

Places of interest: Los Arcos, Torres del Río, Viana, Logroño

Itinerary in Google Maps: To see the tour in Google Maps click here

Saint James Way by bike stage four: from Estella to Logroño

Click on the image to enlarge

At this stage we will leave Navarra to enter La Rioja, the smallest community in Spain but internationally known for its wines. To get to Logroño and be able to taste them, we will have to cross 49 km that will combine quiet stretches of agricultural track with simple profile with two more complicated ones, especially the one of the about 11 km that separate Towers of the River of Viana.

From Tournride we tell you everything about the profile, services and heritage; to help you enjoy your Camino to the fullest and to make the best itinerary decision. Even so, if you have any doubts, you can always contact us.

Good way!


We leave from Estella and we cross the about 2.5 km that separate us from Ayegui by a stony route in permanent rise, although with some jumps of abrupt slopes. A kick-start a bit break-legs, but nothing that cannot be carried.

After leaving Ayegui and making the obligatory stop at the Fuente de Bodegas Iratxe, there are two possible routes: follow Azqueta and Monjardín or go south and save the Montejurra to pass later for Luquín. Both options take us to Los Arcos, but from Tournride we choose (and recommend you) the traditional route through Azqueta and Villamayor de Monjardín.

When leaving Azqueta the land path begins to take slope and becomes narrower as it advances. At some point the route can become quite uncomfortable, so if you need to get off the bike, do not hesitate. This ramp lasts only 1.5 km and will reward us with the visit to another of the most emblematic sources of the Camino, the Fountain of the Moors.

Arrival at Villamayor de Monjardín on a wild path during a cloudy day

Arrival at Villamayor de Monjardín (photo provided on Flickr by Antonio Periago Miñarro under the following conditions)

We will leave Los Arcos we will have to leave by the cemetery, in the east side of the town, to take another agricultural track of good firm that in 7 km will cause us to end in Sansol (kilometer 26 of route).

In Sansol we leave by the NA 1110 and from there we will be able to see Towers of the River to our left, in a lower quota. The road turns and takes us straight to the village. We enter Torres del Rio in the north and we go through the streets of the Race and the Sepulcher to find the yellow arrow on our right, which leads us to face the most complicated stretch of this stage.

The 10.5 km that separates Towers of the Viana River compose a true section “rompe-piernas” (break-legs), with permanent rises and falls and continuous changes of terrain. The most complicated part is the crossing of the ravine of Cornava, on horseback between both localities. Most of this part of the itinerary passes almost to the NA 1110 and does not cross any notable town or monument, except for the hermitage of the Poyo, at the edge of the road NA 1110. In addition, the road crosses several times the road of double meaning, which also makes this stretch dangerous.

For all this, despite trying to follow the traditional itinerary when making the Camino, in this case from Tournride we recommend that from Torres del Rio to Viana you go on the road NA 1110. When you reach Viana there are still 11 Km of road and it does not make sense to exhaust unnecessarily.

Once in Viana, the rest of the stage to Logroño is a steep slope, except for a small ramp that we will use to return to the road crossing the border between Navarra and La Rioja.
We leave from Viana on the N 111 (also we can follow the pedestrian path exiting the polygon and crossing the road by an underground passage) and after traveling less than 1 km we see a path of land with a military with the symbol of the shell and the Arrow on our left. We must take that asphalted track, which will take us direct to the hermitage of the Virgin of the Caves (kilometer 41 of stage).

From the hermitage we follow the asphalt sloped track and head west to return to the N 1111 by a slight ramp. When you get to the road and join it, we will see the green sign indicating that we enter the Rioja and, almost afterwards, the blue and yellow road sign that points us to the asphalt road that we must follow.

After crossing three underground steps, with the N 1111 to our right, in a little more than 2 km we will arrive at the Stone Bridge, entrance to our end of stage: Logroño.

Logroño stone bridge over a river and during the sunset

Logroño stone bridge (photo provided on Flickr by Roberto Latxaga under the following conditions)

In summary…

In short, although this stage is the longest we have done since Saint Jean Pied de Port, the simple profile and the large number of paved tracks will make a large part of the kilometers to be traveled become a pleasant farewell Of the Navarrese fields.

We only remember here the two sections in which we have to be cautious and the possible variants of them:

  1. Azqueta – Monjardín. Rise of 1.5 km along a ramp sometimes quite uncomfortable. Variant: go through Montejurra and Luquín, although it is not a path of roses either (climb the mountain to a height of 970 m and lower it again).
  1. Torres del Río – Viana. 10.5 km stretch with variation of land type and permanent ups and downs, a full “rompepiernas” (break-legs). Variant: Do this part for the NA 1110, which we recommend from Tournride.




  • If you start your way in Estella, the best way to get there is by bus, since there is no train station. Estellesa is a bus company with connections to Estella from Irún, Logroño, Pamplona, Puente la Reina and San Sebastian (in addition to many other smaller towns).

Another option is to take a taxi from Pamplona to Estella, if you contact Fermín on +34 609 44 70 58, you will get 55 euros on weekdays and 68 on holidays. Your taxi can accommodate up to 8 people, so you can organize groups of pilgrims to reduce the cost.

Remember that in Tournride we take the bikes to the place where you start and we can transport your surplus luggage at your end of the road.

  • At this stage there are two stretches of kilometers where there is no place to buy water or food: 9.3 km from Urbiola to Los Arcos and 10.6 km from Torres del Rio to Viana. Therefore, we recommend provisioning in Villamayor de Monjardín or Urbiola and in Sansol or Torres Del Río.
  • Much of the stage runs through tracks between open, shadowed fields. If you are going to travel this itinerary in summer, keep in mind the need to be well protected from the sun and with water to spare.
  • Less in Azqueta and Urbiola, in the rest of towns that are passed in this stage there are shelters with closed places to store the bicycles: one in Ayegui, two in Villamayor de Monjardín, two in Los Arcos, one in Sansol, two In Torres del Rio, three in Viana and six in Logroño. The Logroño parish hostel  does not have a closed place for bicycles.



Today we have a lot to see: from medieval civil engineering in the form of fountains and bridges to large temples in Logroño and other smaller ones in Torres del Rio. We will visit the great Viana, historical and monumental nucleus and we will cross fields between vineyards. Start the geological experience in La Rioja!

La Rioja vineyard with the village of Briones in the background

La Rioja vineyard with the village of Briones in the background (photo courtesy of Flickr by Juantigues under the following conditions)

Ayegui is practically an extension of Estella, reason why in this principle of stage we must face the route by these municipal terms populated and with heavy traffic.

We must leave Estella in the southwest. Both the street of San Nicolás (already visited in our walk of end of previous stage) and Fray Diego Street in Estella, which leaves of the bridge that crosses the Ega and connects with the center of the locality, they end in a roundabout that takes us to the street Carlos VII. On this street we leave for Ayegui, taking the second exit Calle de Estella towards at the next roundabout.

In less than 1 km we are in Ayegui, through which center passes the NA 1110 that we must pick up again after passing the Plaza de los Fueros. In about 200 meters we will see the sign of the pilgrim with the arrow that indicates that we take the street of the left that in less than half a kilometer will take us to our first obligatory stop of the day: the monastery of Santa Maria de Iratxe and the famous source of The wineries of the same name that, instead of water came.

First we will see to our right the source of Bodegas Irache, the call “source of the wine”. Of stone, it has a metal plaque with the Santiago Cross embossed with two pipes at its sides; one emanates water and the other leaves wine. This fantastic invention was built in 1991, with the idea that all the pilgrims could approach the source and corroborate what Aymeric said in his codex of the 12th century, that Estella was “a land of good bread and great wine.”

Source of Bodegas Irache which has a Compostela cross of stone

Source of Bodegas Irache (photo provided on Flickr by Jose Antonio Gil Martínez under the following conditions)

In fact, bread and wine used to be a substantial and important part of the diet of pilgrims, since products such as meat or eggs were not available to the majority of society.

In addition, the source combines that reference to the antiquity of the wine and the Camino in the area with the clearest modernity: there is a webcam installed in the fountain, which allows live viewing of pilgrims. Do not hesitate to advise your family and friends to keep an eye on you when you are there, it is always good to give healthy envy!

Pilgrim drinking a glass of wine at the fountain of Bodegas Irache doing the Saint James Way

Pilgrim drinking a glass of wine at the fountain of Bodegas Irache

If we want, in the office near the source and in the Wine Museum of the winery can seal the credentials of pilgrims.

We continue along the road and a few meters further on we reach the square where the Monastery of Santa Maria de Iratxe is. This monumental construction that combines different styles began to be built in the S. XI on an earlier one of S. VIII. Since then it has been adding extensions and improvements and has been inhabited continuously since its birth until 1985. Today it occupies almost 7000 m2, of which more than 1000 correspond with its church.
It was the first hospital of pilgrims of Navarre, since the one of Roncesvalles did not begin until near 100 years later. In addition to hospital pilgrims has also functioned as a university and training place for clergymen.

Monastery of Irache in the forest

Monastery of Irache

From its initial construction, it is striking how the church, from the 12th century, has been preserved. The Romanesque temple is clearly influenced by Cistercian architecture. The Cister came as an opposition to the Order of Cluny, with the idea of restoring monasteries to asceticism and poverty. That’s why its architecture is not plagued by decoration, but is clean and elegant, like this temple.

In relation to this approach towards poverty, the legend says that the abbot of this monastery used to hide food from the monastery under his habit to give it to the poor and that, when the rest of monks reprimanded him for hiding it, when the habit Roses and flowers came out.

Cover of the Monastery of Irache

Cover of the Monastery of Irache (photo provided on Flickr by José Antonio Gil Martínez under the following conditions)

Besides the church, it is very worth the visit to the two cloisters of the whole, being one late gothic and the other Herrerian style.
We continue along the asphalt road until we reach a half-kilometer crossing. If we follow the yellow arrows painted on a stone that point us to the right, we will go towards Azqueta and Monjardín. On the other hand, if we continue along the dirt path that we have in front, we will see in a few meters a military road that will indicate that we continue straight, to make the route through Montejurra and Luquín. Both routes are well signposted.


After this festive and cultural stop, we must follow our path, which will lead us to visit another of the emblematic sources of the Camino: the source of the Moors. For that we must reach Villamayor de Monjardín.

We follow the dirt road until we reach the road NA 1110 and then we cross it to take the Prado de Irache Avenue that goes a little to our right. This street will make us pass by the Camping Iratxe and then it will become a dirt path that crosses a road by a lower step. Following this narrow path of land between the populated vegetation, we will cross the road again and taking the NA 1110 to our left all the time, we will arrive at Azqueta.

From Tournride, we recommend that this small stretch between Ayegui and Azqueta be made by the NA 1110. The path is narrow and full of jumps. It is not technically complicated, but it is cumbersome and nothing is gained by going there, even if it is the traditional route.

Mention that Azqueta is natural one of the best known characters of the French Way, called Pablito. For pilgrims on a bicycle, it is a myth because he was one of the first people (if not the first) to ride the bike in the 60’s. He always waits for the pilgrims at the entrance of the village to give advice on how to walk correctly or tell stories in relation to the pilgrimage.

On Carrera Street we leave Azqueta, turning left after passing an industrial warehouse. On the front we have a ramp in the form of a path not too wide ground of about 1.5 km that ends directly in Monjardín. After climbing it, we’ll be able to refresh ourselves in a clear water source and we’ll have a quiet walk ahead to Los Arcos!

When arriving at Monjardín the land path becomes an asphalted track and to our left the medieval source of the Moors is pointed out. Although its roof was recently rebuilt, giving it the same shape it had when it was built in S. XIII; the rest of the fountain is a very special example of well-preserved medieval civil engineering and no additions.

Medieval Fountain of the Moors in Villamayor de Monjardín

Medieval Fountain of the Moors in Villamayor de Monjardín (photo courtesy Flickr by Dani Latorre under the following conditions)

The source of the Moors is actually a cistern, a word from Arabic meaning “well” or “deposit”. By the influences of Al-Ándalus in the Iberian Peninsula we can find this type of construction in different places. The Arabs always put them in the courtyard of their houses, in the form of a central pool to which they channeled rainwater. Therefore, more than a traditional Western source with pipes, this cistern looks like a shed with two large arches leading to stairs leading down to the water tank. If it is hot, this place will be perfect to cool off a little after the ramp you have touched up from Azqueta.

Says the municipality of Villamayor de Monjardin own this people is that of the four lies, because “it is neither Villa nor greater, nor has nuns nor garden. In fact, in ancient times the name of the town was simply Villamayor but as in Spain there are many localities with that name they added the one of the mountain in which it is. Before that mountain was called Deyo that is why to the castle that is in its summit is denominated San Esteban de Deyo.

View of Villamayor de Monjardín from the castle

Villamayor de Monjardín from the castle (photo courtesy Flickr by Mikel Culla under the following conditions)

The castle is said to have been “built by the Romans, made strong by the Moors and conquered by the Navarrese. The archaeological evidences date the castle in S. VIII so that the Romans could not build it and at the end of S. IX the town was conquered by the Arabs, although at the beginning of S. X the king Sancho Garcés recovers it. They say that this monarch was buried in the castle of the town, which was very important because his position at a high point on the adjoining land made it a strategic fort.


From Monjardín to Los Arcos, we have just over 13 km of dirt track in the form of agricultural land. When leaving Villamayor by the Romaje Road we will see the militaries that tell us to continue towards the south, crossing later the A-12 by a lower passage and climbing a very light ramp to Urbiola.

In Urbiola (or even before in Monjardín) it is not enough to provide food and water, since there is no other town to Los Arcos.

We leave Urbiola on Calle Mayor, we cross the NA 7400 and we see how the asphalt turns into an agricultural track that in about 600 m makes us cross the A 12 again through another underground passage. From that moment, we have more than 10 km of road well signposted in slight slope. Although it is not paved for most of the way the trail is quite wide, so we will have no problem.

We entered the Arches in the north. This town owes its historical development to its position of “knot of roads”, among them the Camino de Santiago or the Roman trade routes. Due to the importance it has as a pilgrimage, it follows the village-street structure, with its main street coinciding with the itinerary of the French Way.

Today it is the end of the stage for many pilgrims, especially those who go on foot, and therefore has many services. In the old days it was like that and it had three hospitals of different pilgrims. One of them, that of St. Lazarus, catered to many sick pilgrims in longer stays (a great epidemic of leprosy is remembered).

After passing the poorly preserved hermitage of San Vicente, only vestige of a splendid past in which there was a large palace and a church, we headed down the main street to the center of town.

This main road is flanked by large stone houses with shields on the facades; I also remember the historical importance of the town, where important Navarrese families lived.

In the square of the fruit we must turn to the right to reach the square of Santa Maria, where we will automatically see the solemn construction of the same name, due to its magnificent stonework and wingspan. It is one of the most important churches in Navarre.

Again, the Camino de Santiago is again the cause that in medieval times it was decided to promote the construction of a temple. It began at the end of the 12th century, when the itinerary was a mass phenomenon of the time and was reformed until the S. XVIII.

From the outside, the 16th-century northern doorway is noteworthy, a great Renaissance example full of carvings of angels and cherubs. In the exterior there is also a large portico of later construction (S. XVIII), neoclassical and lacking of iconic decoration.

From the tower of this church used to ring the bell to guide the pilgrims who, since the road from Monjardín was not as well signposted as it is today (the signs that guide us today are the result of a collective effort initiated In the 80s), they lost and despaired to not see Los Arcos.

In Tournride we recommend you without hesitation to get off the bike to visit what may be the best of the church of Santa Maria: it’s interior. Filled with smaller altarpieces in rococo style, it also has a large main altarpiece in the Baroque style apse of the 17th century. The amount of colors and sizes everywhere marvel the visitor, full of small details that attract attention. It is also worth noting the Mannerist carving (between the Renaissance and the Baroque) of the choir chairs and, above all, in its organ of the S. XVIII, the most ostentatious of Navarre.

Outside the church is also worth visiting the cloister, from the 16th century and late-Gothic style.


We leave Los Arcos by the Plaza de Santa María, crossing the zebra crossing that is in the square itself and which ends at the Jacobean route. A paved road once again becomes a dirt road when leaving the town and, following a little more than 3 km in slight slope, we will arrive at a point where a military tells us that we take the track to the right.

Continuing straight on a slight ramp, we come to the road NA 7205 where another sign makes us turn left and continue on asphalt until reaching Sansol..

Sansol and Torres del Rio are practically glued, separated by a ravine. Therefore, when following the road we arrive at the NA 1110 and continue through it, we will see to our left Torres Del Río at a lower level.

Sansol and Torres Del Río separated by a ravine in a cloudy day

Sansol and Torres Del Río (photo provided on Flickr by Jose Antonio Gil Martínez under the following conditions)

The NA 1110 will take us directly to the north of Torres del Rio, down a very steep slope. We enter Carrer de la Carrera and head to the town center to visit the Holy Sepulcher church, a strange jewel of the Romanesque.

To the pilgrims who before getting to Puente la Reina were curious and approached to visit the church of Santa Maria de Eunate, this temple sure reminds them of that previous visit. Like the other church, it is from the 12th century and is also related to the Order of the Temple (although there is no historical evidence of it) and in its form closely resembles the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. The two also coincide in their octagonal form, although in this case their geometric shape is perfect.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Torres Del Río

Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Torres Del Río (photo provided on Flickr by Total 13 under the following conditions)

Inside, the imposing vault attracts attention, with interspersed nerves reminiscent of the influence of Arabic architecture in this area. In fact, it is thought that it could be built by Christian artisans who lived for years under Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula and who then saw their work influenced by it.

Outside, it is curious how in spite of being Romanesque and therefore part of a style that tends to tend to robustness and horizontality; this temple has three floors with open spans illuminating the upper dome and a large cylindrical tower that provides much Verticality. Like other towers already seen, this was used as a beacon for the pilgrims at night, guiding their way.


The stretch of Torres del Rio to Viana is uncomfortable, with continuous ascents and descents, with a firm change according to the necessities, surrounded by vegetation and crossing several times the NA 1110 near curves. As we mentioned at the beginning, we recommend doing this part of the stage directly on the road NA 1110, in this case it does not make sense for cyclists to follow the original path.

In any case, if you decide to take the traditional path of the road, you will see that it is well signposted. Leaving Torres del Rio along the asphalted road Camino de Santiago, it ends at a path that crosses the national road by a lower pass. In just over 2.5 km from Torres del Rio, we will arrive at the hermitage of Poyo.

The hermitage of the Virgen Del Poyo is on the north bank of NA 1110, so if you make the route by road you will pass here as well. Formerly in this place there was a hospital of pilgrims and a church dedicated to the Virgin, but all that is left is this hermitage, which is in a bad state of conservation. The initial work probably began in the sixteenth century but in the nineteenth century it was highly recommended and in that same century the temple suffered a great fire that burned its image of the virgin of the XVI. The sculpture that can be seen today is a copy of the original.

Road to Viana on a path surrounded by nature with a lot of green trees

Road to Viana (photo provided on Flickr by Hans-Jacob Weinz under the following conditions)

After following for a few meters along the road, we cross them and take a road from the land that leads to another road, NA 7206. After less than 80 meters along that road we cross the sign on a path on the right and continue a strong hanging down the ravine of Valdecornava. With the road to our left, we crossed a small bridge over the Cornava River and we followed the path of the earth, crossing by a lower passage of the highway and continuing until arriving at the NA 1110 again. The last 2 km we make the road to enter Viana by its area of polygon (kilometer 38 of route).

When you reach Cristo Street, at the entrance of Viana on the NA 1110, you will see the sign of the pilgrim on the right that tells us to follow that street. Following practically straight all the time they arrived at the center of the locality, to the Place of the Forces.

Fueros square in Viana with a fontain in the center

Plaza de los Fueros in Viana (photo courtesy Flickr by Instant 2010 under the following conditions)

Viana is the last Navarre town we will visit on the French Way and the great number of monuments, remnants of ramparts and emblazoned houses testify to the importance of this town historically. Part of this importance is due to its strategic location, on a high near the border with Castile. It came to have six hospitals of pilgrims and nowadays it has all the services that a pilgrim may need. If you do not see the strength to get to Logroño (there are 11 km) is the other option you have to spend the night.

At our stop in Viana we cannot miss the visit to the Gothic church of Santa María, in the Plaza de los Fueros itself. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries in one of the most splendid moments of the town, it is a wonderful example of Gothic, with later additions. One of them is next to the south, Renaissance cover, where a tombstone reminds visitors that there is buried César Borgia, prince, warrior and cardinal.

Church of Santa María in Viana

Church of Santa María in Viana (photo ceded in Flickr by Jose Antonio Gil Martínez under the following conditions)

Son of Pope Alexander VI, of the Borgia family (known for his intrigues in the Vatican and for the succession of popes and powerful characters that were part of the Italian renaissance panorama), this character went down in history for his reputation of doing everything Necessary to achieve its objectives. This is summed up in his motto of “o Caesar or nothing”. In fact, it is said that it was he who inspired the work of Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, with his philosophy so influential in the politics of the Modern Age of “the end justifies the means.”

The name of the Borgia family is actually an Italianization of the house of Borja, of Navarrese origin. César Borgia was bishop of Pamplona with only 16 years and cardinal a year later. Like others of his lineage, it was wanted that it arrived at Pope, but the appointment of Julio II, staunch enemy of his family, led to his imprisonment. In the end he manages to return to Spain as a military man and ends up dying in a battle in Viana at the beginning of the 16th century.

Renaissance dome on the tomb of César Borgia

Renaissance dome on the tomb of César Borgia (photo courtesy Flickr by Instant 2010 under the following conditions)

The front page of his tomb is one of the best examples of the Spanish Renaissance, with many Biblical and mythological passages carved in stone.

The interior of the church almost makes us feel like in a great cathedral, with three large naves and different chapels very decorated, with frescoes in the vaults. You can go around the temple by the triforium, that is, the aisle above the side aisles on an upper level and facing the central nave. From there we will have a good view of the impressive baroque altarpiece that is in the apse of the church.

If you want to spend more time in Viana it is also interesting to go to see the town hall, the House of Culture (former pilgrim’s hospital), the convent of San Francisco and the church of San Pedro.


We leave Viana on the NA 1111 and after a kilometer we will see on the left a paved track marked with a military that in a little over another thousand meters will take us to the hermitage of the Virgin of the Caves, which will appear on our right.

The hermitage of the Virgen de las Cuevas does not impress artistically, since in the XVIII it was completely restored in a very simple way, with masonry and without much decoration. What attracts the most attention is the lowered arch that gives entrance to its portico.

But we still recommend the visit for several reasons. First, because that, is part of the traditional French road. Second, because it is located in a place where there was a village already since before the arrival of the Romans (town of Covas) that later in the S. XIII joined Viana. And finally, because the already mentioned Aymeric Picaud, this place is in his guide of the 12th century. Next to the chapel is a small picnic area with tables and stone benches. A good place to relax.

After the visit, we face the last 8 km of stage, continue along that track and in about 200 meters a military will point us a path of dirt and gravel to the right. Continuing on a slight slope (as from leaving Logroño) we find a tarmac track that leads to a roundabout of the NA 1111.

Road at the entrace to Logroño with the city in the background

Road to Logroño (photo provided on Flickr by Hans-Jakob Weinz under the following conditions)

Continuing to the left, we see the sign that tells us that we enter La Rioja. We pass and we take the exit to the right, well signposted, that takes us to an underground passage and a paved track through which we entered Logroño. On the banks of the Ebro we reach a roundabout that connects with the Stone Bridge. Welcome to Logroño!


As always, in Tournride we propose you a tour in the afternoon through the city end of stage, so that you can enjoy everything that Logroño can offer. In this case, in just 24 minutes walking in total you will be able to see much of the city’s impressive sacred and civil heritage, while diving in the atmosphere of a city where to go from pinchos and wines is a delight.

To start, a little bit of history…

Logroño is since 1982 the capital of the Autonomous Community of Rioja, the autonomy with less territory of Spain. Its territory has been occupied since before the arrival of the Romans in I a. C. and its historical development have been marked, above all, by three factors:

  • Its localization next to the Ebro. In fact, the name of the city is believed to be derived from the root word celtíbera “gronio”, que significa “vado” o “paso”. which means “ford” or “step.” The celtiberians occupying area would refer to the continuous wading of the Ebro.
  • To be point of passage of the Way of Santiago. Since in the 11th century the king decided that the Jacobean route passed through the city, the city did not stop taking on importance.
  • Its border position with the kingdoms of Castile, Navarre and Aragon. Its strategic location surrounded by the river and near borders facilitated the construction of military infrastructures and also increased commerce. It was a crossroads place.


Ribera Park next to the Ebro, Logroño in the background. On the way to Santiago de Compostela

Ribera Park next to the Ebro, in Logroño in the background (photo courtesy Flickr by Marc Kjerland under the following conditions)


In the S. I a. C. was founded “Vareia”, the old Roman city, which gained much importance because like Ebro is a navigable river allowed connecting the commercial routes from Italy with the interior of the peninsula. It continued to gain importance in the following centuries but but in 1092 is destroyed by the Cid Campeador, but since its position was strategic, for the king of Castile it was important that it was populated and for that reason three years later it gives a jurisdiction to him to be restored. It grants citizenship to the Franks (foreigners) and allows them to appropriate land, among other things. Soon afterwards, it was decided that the Way pass by and the city grows, walks and infrastructures are created.

Today half the population of La Rioja lives in Logroño and is a city accustomed to receive pilgrims and visitors, with much history and heritage to know.

As it could not be otherwise, we start in the Ebro and go to the old town

We start the visit on the stone bridge, which we have already passed on entering the city. Just cross it is the park of Pozo Cubillas to the right, and from there there is a viewpoint that allows us to see the Stone Bridge and the river.

The bridge is called this because there is also another one of iron and there was formerly one of wood. This one was inaugurated in 1884 and has seven arches and measures 198 meters. It was built by the poor state in which was the old stone bridge that had there, that had 17 arcs and two fortified towers and was the great symbol of the city (in fact appears in the shield of Logroño). It ended deteriorating by the continuous floods of the Ebro, today with the flow much more stabilized by the construction of dams and subsidiary channels.

Stone bridge in the city of Logroño

Stone bridge (photo provided on Flickr by Hans-Jakob Weinz under the following conditions)

We go to the roundabout and we go in the old town by the street Ruavieja, one of the oldest of the city. Turning in the first street on the left we reach the Santa Maria de Palacio church.

This church was built between the 12th and 13th centuries, with new contributions up to the 18th century. The most characteristic of it is its lantern tower, known as “la aguja”, (the needle), another of the symbols of the city. Its construction is related to the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the religious and military organizations that protected the pilgrim’s also striking the Renaissance altarpiece of the temple.

Tower called the "needle" in the city of Logroño

Tower called the “needle” (photo provided on Flickr by Jynus under the following conditions)

Plaza de Santiago, from Templar mysteries to miracles of the apostle

We return to Calle Ruavieja and Sagasta Street who cross it to get to Santiago Square, where there are three things that we cannot miss since they are all related to the Camino: The pilgrim’s fountain, the curious game of the “Oca” of human size and the Santiago’s church.

In the square we can see to our right some drawings in the ground, with enormous dice included, that represent a board of the Oca game. There is a theory that says that this game was invented by the Templars in the S. XI, as a representation of the Camino de Santiago with its bridges (“from bridge to bridge and shot because it takes me the current”) and with the goose as representation Of the protective role that the order exercised, since these animals make a lot of noise before strangers (“from goose to goose and shot because it touches me”). That is why in the ground each stop is represented as a city of the road, starting in Logroño, with important monuments marked.

Game of the Goose and church of Santiago the Real in the background, in the square of Santiago

Game of the Goose and church of Santiago the Real in the background, in the square of Santiago (photo ceded in Flickr by Aitor Escauriza under the following conditions)

Opposite is the pilgrim’s fountain, built believed to be in 1675 but completely restored in 1986. This fountain is also called the fountain of Santiago, as it is next to the church of the same name.

The church of Santiago el Real is the oldest in the city, it is said that it was founded by a disciple of Santiago himself. When the apostle came to preach to the peninsula, a group of people followed him to Jerusalem, among them his disciple Arcadius, who is said to have founded this church (for more information see Santiago’s history).Obviously, the building we see today is not that, but a later one.

In 884, this primitive temple was rebuilt after the Battle of Clavijo, but later that church was burned and what we see today, in the 16th century. The Battle of Clavijo is one of the most mythical of the war of the Christians to expel to the Arabs of the peninsula. On the facade of the church we can see a sculpture at the top, which represents Santiago as Matamoros.

We had already seen Santiago dressed as a pilgrim in other representations, which rationally makes no sense because he would pilgrimage to his own tomb, but it is a very powerful symbology.

The apostle’s as a warrior on horseback is another of his most representative iconographies. During the middle Ages the stories of miracles of saints were current, and the apostle’s appearances in battles were one of the most widespread. During the recon quest was said that the apostle appeared and helped to “kill Moors” and in the Battle of Clavijo made one of his most stellar appearances. In fact what is known today of that battle is a historiographical revision of the XVIII that surely is quite “adorned”.

Stone iconography of Santiago Matamoros in León

Iconography of Santiago Matamoros in León (photo courtesy Flickr by Francisco González under the following conditions)

The appearance of Santiago in battles continued being a frequent miracle with the passage of the centuries. When it was conquered America was created the iconography of Santiago Mataindios that helped to the Spanish conquerors against the natives. And, centuries later, the sons of these conquerors fought for independence, Santiago Mataespañoles was born. As we see, ¡The different military iconographies of Santiago tell much of history!

Visit to parliament and replenish forces in the market of supplies

We continue along Calle Barriocepo to reach one of the most representative buildings of the city, this time civil: the parliament of La Rioja.

The building that occupies was an old convent, the one of the Merced, constructed between S. XIV and S. XVI. Since 1998, parliament has used what was once the church and the cloister which, covered with a glass dome, is where the hemicycle is. The east part of the building is the Library of La Rioja.

In addition to these two uses, the enclosure was also used as a military barracks and, from 1889 to 1978, it was a tobacco factory. In fact, in the street Portales remains today the most characteristic feature of this ancient use: a large red brick fireplace, which was left as a souvenir.

La Rioja Museum in the city of Logroño

La Rioja Museum (photo provided on Flickr by Kris Arnold under the following conditions)

We continue walking along Calle de la Merced until Museo de la Rioja, and there we turn left to go to the market of Abastos, dating from the beginning of S. XX. Among its red brick walls, irons and large windows we can enjoy the best gastronomy of La Rioja, since in addition to selling the products there are also places where they cook them. If you want to lower your budget for food, it is a great place to buy something rich and eat it in a park later. Schedules can be viewed on your web site.

We finish at the Santa María Cathedral and learn about wine

We leave the market by Sagasta Street and turning on the street Portales to the right and we arrive at the concatedral of Santa María la Redonda. Although today the name draws attention because we see nothing circular in the temple, it is given because before there was another church that was octagonal, similar to the view in Torres del Rio. When in the XV century it is declared to Logroño “city” it is decided to create a great temple, throwing the small Romanesque and beginning in 1516 what we see today.

South facade of the Cathedral of Santa María la Redonda in Logroño

South facade of the Cathedral of Santa María la Redonda (photo courtesy of Flickr by Antonio Periago Miñarro under the following conditions)

The interior is in Elizabethan Gothic style, so named because during the end of the reign of Catholic kings were many works that are between the end of Gothic and the beginning of the Renaissance, so they have characteristics of both styles. And also it takes decorative elements Muslim and of Flanders, by the political situation of the moment. An example of eclecticism.

That is why, although the columns and arches are of Gothic style, we see how in rib vaults ribs are marked forming a kind of palm grove, with filigree, of Arab influence. In the main façade, on the other hand, we see how it is already a fully baroque style, since the whole exterior of the church was reformed in the XVIII. The two huge twin towers of the temple are another of the great symbols of the city and the door looks almost like a stone altarpiece.

Interior of the Cathedral of Santa María la Redonda in Logroño

Interior of the Cathedral of Santa María la Redonda (photo courtesy Flickr by Antonio Periago Miñarro under the following conditions)

A curiosity of this church is that, being so close to the river, the land on which it sits is marshy. For this reason, it was used to cement parts of branches of vine that do not rot with the humidity and help to distribute the weight.

Facade of the Cathedral in Logroño

Facade of the Cathedral (photo courtesy Flickr by Antonio Periago Miñarro under the following conditions)

But the vine not only plays a crucial role in this temple, but as it is known in this community everything related to the world of wine is very important. La Rioja is one of the best known nationally and internationally. Since the Romans introduced their cultivation, wine has not been stopped in this area.

Proof of this are the different wineries that we can find near the core of Logroño. If you are interested in this topic, the ones that are closer to the city are the Bodegas Franco-Spanish, Ontañón and Ijalba although in this page and in this other you can find all kinds of activities related to wine in Logroño.

Interior of a winery in Logroño with a lot of barrels inside

Interior of a winery in Logroño (photo provided on Flickr by Kris Arnold under the following conditions)

We rebuild forces by dining something in one of the parks or we go of pinchos

To end the day, from Tournride we give you a couple of options to have something to eat, relax and be able to face the next day. If you prefer to relax in a park snacking on something to eat, you can go to a park on the banks of the Ebro, such as the Ebro Park that we have already marked on our map.

If you prefer to taste the gastronomy of Rioja, goes de “pinchos” will be a very good option. In the southern part of the food market, on Laurel Street, you will find more than 50 shops in a lively, quiet and relaxed atmosphere. The other area that is also typical of pinchos is the area near San Juan Street, parallel to Portales Street to the south. Even so, in this page you will find all the necessary information about places of pinchos and gastronomic and oenological activities in Logroño.

In the next stage we will travel a similar distance but will demand more effort for your profile and itinerary, so enjoy before everything that Logroño can offer us!


Distance to Santiago: 705 km

Stage distance: 44 km

Estimated time: 4 hours – 4 and a half hour

Minimal height: 397 m

Maximum quota: 780 m

Difficulty of the route: mid

Places of interest: Alto del Perdón, Church of Santa María de Eunate, Puente la Reina, Cirauqui, Estella.

Itinerary in Google Maps: To see the tour in Google Maps click here

Stage 3 of the French way by bike: from Pamplona to Estella doing the Saint James Way

Click on the map to zoom it

This stage of 44 km is characterized by a continuous ascent from Pamplona during the first 12 km until reaching the Alto del Perdón (780 m), maximum route quota. From there we will descend for about 4 km on a steep slope until we reach Uterga. We recommend caution to avoid injuries. But, as always, “after the storm, calm always comes.” Therefore, a much smoother terrain profile will lead us to our end of stage: Estella.

In addition, today the pilgrims, who started in Somport and have toured the so-called Aragonese Road, will be joining us. Near Puente la Reina, in the middle of the stage, we will meet them and will be together until arriving at Santiago de Compostela.
Along the road, today we can see a curious monument to the pilgrims in Alto del Perdón. We will also pass by one of the most emblematic localities of the Camino Francés: Puente la Reina, urban prototype of population born around the pilgrimage route. Near Muruzábal we can turn aside to visit the church of Santa Maria de Eunate, one of the most magical temples of the road.
Medieval and picturesque villages will splatter our route, which we travel through agricultural paths or ancient Roman roads between large tracts of cereal fields and vineyards.

Welcome to the Navarran countryside, a haven of peace!

The outbound trail from Pamplona on the way to Santiago de Compostela

Pamplona Outbound Trail (photo by Flickr provided by Hans-Jakob Weinz under the following conditions)


As we have already noted, the profile of this stage is much less brittle, but requires an initial effort to climb to the Alto del Perdón, where we can see the road from Pamplona at our left, and on our right, the valley that we still have to go. From Puente la Reina there is only one ramp that will really make us sweat. It is 1.5 km and takes us from the edge of the Arga leaving from Puente la Reina until Mañeru. The rest of the road to Estella runs along paths between cereal fields and vineyards, crossing several times with the A-12 in underground steps.

Leaving Pamplona by the university we will take a quiet road that crosses a fluvial park and, in a slight ramp, we arrive to Cizur Menor. We left the residential nucleus and started to climb towards Alto del Perdón by a first dirt track and a grass road later, with an average slope of 2%. At the end of the grass road, a little before the eighth kilometer of our stage, left to the left Guenduláin, now uninhabited.
Here the slope will become higher and higher From Guenduláin to Zariquiegui the average climb inclination will be about 5%. Arriving at Zariquiegui we will be at the foot of the Monte del Perdón peak (1034 m) and we will see in front of us the ramp that will take us to the high that we will reach in this route, with a quota of 780 m.

Cyclist reaching the top of Alto del Perdón

Climb to Alto del Perdón (photo courtesy Paul Quayle)

To reach the Alto del Perdón from Zariquiegui we saved a difference in altitude of 125 m in less than 2.5 km, following a ramp that can reach 15% incline several times. This rise can sometimes be made harder if there is a lot of wind, a circumstance that is not unusual. In fact, the sound of windmills moving with the air will be with us through the road.

When arriving at Alto del Perdón we can stop to rest, admiring the views. To our right, we will see the valley that we will cross to Estella, a whole picture of cereal fields dotted with small towns.

Views on the top of Alto del Perdón

Views from the Alto del Perdón (photo provided on Flickr by Hans-Jakob Weinz under the following conditions)

With the descent from Alto del Perdón you have to be very careful, especially if it rains. It is difficult because it can have a slope of up to 12.5% (although the average will be 7%) and the ground is unstable. There are enough loose stones and it can wind up, which does not help the balance. If you do not have much experience in complicated slopes and you see that the wheel begins to slide, do not hesitate to get off and take the bike to your side helping you with the brakes. The descent is about 3.5 km so you will not lose much time. If you want to abolish this whole stretch, take before the Alto del Perdon the N-111 and border the mountain.

Trail down from the Alto del Perdón on the way to Estella

Trail down from the Alto del Perdón (photo provided on Flickr by Hans-Jakob Weinz under the following conditions)

The descent takes us straight to Uterga. After crossing the village we go to Muruzábal, where we will arrive after the 18 km route. There you have to take a dirt track that runs to the right from the village. Just 2 km after walking that flat path, we will arrive at Obanos.

Kind of between Muruzábal and Obanos there is a stop that we cannot miss: the church of Santa Maria de Eunate. It is a very unique Romanesque temple in an uninhabited place, for which it is well worth adding a few kilometers to the stage. To get to it we have to detour in Muruzábal, taking a different road from the center of the village and traveling for 2 km. It is not very well marked, so it is recommended to ask the villagers. They will be more than accustomed to seeing doubting pilgrims!

Temple of Santa María de Eunate in the night

Temple of Santa Maria de Eunate (photo provided on Flickr by Xabi M. Lezea under the following conditions)

After about two kilometers we arrive to the church. Near this point we will see how the pilgrims who have traveled the Aragonese Way, which begins in Somport, also arrive.

From the church we must take the path towards the west, to reach Obanos, where we will retrace the path with those who have gone directly from Muruzábal without visiting the church of Santa Maria de Eunate. To get out of Obanos you have to go through a stone arch, and there is little to get to Puente la Reina, by a dirt track with a slight slope. It is a very pleasant walk.

We arrive to the Ecuador of our route in Puente la Reina (22 km), , one of the most emblematic localities of the road. We cross it and we leave town by its famous medieval bridge, passing on the same river that we crossed at the beginning of the stage: the Arga River.

Medieval bridge over a river in Puente la Reina

Medieval bridge in Puente la Reina (photo courtesy Flickr by Aherrero under the following conditions)

From Puente la Reina to Estella, the profile is so much flatter. We will only find two moments of quite a ramp: when leaving Puente la Reina to go to Mañeru and when we cross the town of Cirauqui, of steep medieval streets.

After leaving Puente la Reina we climb the ramp of 1.5 km between pine trees through a dirt track and we arrive to Mañeru. We cross the village and from there, we see a path of about 2.5 km in almost flat profile to Cirauqui. This path is very beautiful, runs between agricultural fields in a very quiet environment.

Arriving at Cirauqui we will have already passed 29 km traveling through this stage. This population of medieval origin has very steep streets. After crossing it, going up to the town hall and then going back down, we must walk 5.5 km until we reach Lorca.

Three pilgrims at the entrance of Cirauqui with the village on the background

Entrance to Cirauqui (photo courtesy Paul Quayle)

The Cirauqui-Lorca route is very quiet: a profile with gentle inclinations by dirt tracks and asphalt crossing the A-12 through different steps.Already in Lorca we are only 8.7 km to reach Estella.
The landscape will remain similar, with large cereal plantations and vineyards delimited by agricultural tracks and national highways. We must first pass through Villatuerta, 4.5 km from Lorca. We can go by road (NA 1110, before part of the N-111) or take it to leave Lorca, and then follow a dirt path that leads us to cross a bridge and an underground passage to end at Villatuerta.

From Villatuerta we face the last 4 km, which we will walk on a slight slope, so it will be a pleasant stage end. With the same dynamic, we will follow agricultural tracks and we will have to pass through a last bridge and an underground passage. And at last, Estella.

Narrow path that lead to Estella from Puente la Reina

From Puente la Reina to Estella (photo provided on Flickr by Antonio Periago Miñarro under the following conditions)

Resuming, although this stage can be done completely by local road, the original path is quite affordable and therefore Tournride recommends you to follow it. We only have to take precaution between kilometers 10 and 16 of our route, when the Alto del Perdón goes up and down. If you do not feel safe, you can skirt the mountain by road or get off the bike and push in some moments.


  • Pamplona and Puente la Reina are places where many people start the journey. If this is your case, we give you options to get there:
  1. How to get Pamplona:

This modern city has a bus station, train stations and airport. Among all these safe transport modes you will find some that will bring you to the city.

2. How to get to Puente la Reina:

The best transportation option is the bus. The company that has most connections is La Estellesa with departures from Irún (2h 45min), Pamplona (30min), Logroño (1h 30min) and San Sebastián (1h15min). Conda and Avanza leave from Pamplona.

You can also go by taxi; there are special services for pilgrims. A 7-seater taxi from Pamplona costs around € 30.

** Remember that at Tournride we have luggage transfer service from start to finish on the way. Tell us where you begin to pedal and where you finish: we will leave the bicycle in your accommodation and take the excess luggage, which will wait for you in the place that you choose. If you have any questions you can consult our FAQ section or contact us.

  • Many of the stage populations have shelters, in case you are tired and do not arrive until Estella. There are hostels in Muruzábal, Mañeru, Cirauqui and Lorca and, of course, in Puente la Reina.As in that locality joins our way with the Aragonese, there may be many pilgrims. Hikers have preference over cyclists in hostels. So, if you see that all are full but you want to stop, know that there is a camping-hostel past the bridge. You can also continue to Mañeru (5, 2 km), although you have to save a ramp of 1.5 km.
  • In this stage we go through many towns and is a very traveled by pilgrims area, so it has many services. You will not have problems to obtain provisions and in the way you will be able to accede to enough doctors’ offices if it were necessary.


Today we say goodbye to one of the great cities that we will cross in our cycling adventure, but we do it to discover wonderful things: medieval towns as emblematic as Puente la Reina, or the special Romanesque church of Santa Maria de Eunate. Our path will continue to be dotted with bridges from different eras and will run between large cereal fields and vineyards.


To leave Pamplona we must cross the university campus of the city. We leave by the Calle Mayor that takes us to the Park of the Taconera, the miniature zoo of the “pamplonicos”.We leave it to our right and we continue by the Pío XII Avenue until the Sancho el Fuerte Avenue, where we turn left and then in the first one to the right, by the street Fuente de Hierro. Going down this street we go now to the university campus of Pamplona.
We continue straight and go down University Street, along the campus bike path. When we reach the roundabout where the cars cross the Arga River, we follow the bike path that diverts right at the first exit of the roundabout. We cross the zebra crossing a little further and, now, we pass over the Arga River.

To cross the Arga River we pass on the stone bridge of Acella Landa. This bridge, three meters wide, has a single arch of about eight meters height. It is part of the Pamplona river park.

Stone bridge of Acella Landa over the river Arga

Acella Landa Bridge (photo courtesy of the Pamplona City Council)

When crossing it, we enter directly in the municipality of Cizur Menor.After following the road for less than 2 km, passing over the motorway, we reach the population nucleus. Due to its proximity to Pamplona, this town is very urbanized and serves as a residential area adjacent to the city. In spite of this also it has heritage of great antiquity, like the Romanesque church of San Miguel Arcángel.

We cross from northeast to southwest, by a large urbanization. Afterwards, yellow arrows painted on pivots and a milestone with the shell on Zelaia Street indicates the path of the French Way.

Old road at the exit of Pamplona surrounded by cereal fields

Road to the exit of Pamplona, surrounded by cereal fields

We continue along the road, seeing to our left large extensions of cereal fields and, to our right, the urbanized area of Cizur Mayor.Almost 5 km of ramp that is hardening progressively takes us between agricultural fields and makes us leave behind Guenduláin to arrive at Zariquiegui.

When entering Zariquiegui, we find in our left the church of San Andrés. Of Romanesque style, it emphasizes its great cover with several archivolts and the vegetal decoration of its capitals. In the tympanum, as we saw in the church of Santiago de Roncesvalles, there is a carving of a crismón. Like there, it is a pictogram that representing Christ as the beginning and end of all things, through the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet.

Church of San Andres in Zariquiegui on the way to Estella doing the French Way

Church of San Andres in Zariquiegui (photo courtesy Flickr by Lucas Martínez Farrapeira under the following conditions)


The sturdiness of this temple, which has been welcoming pilgrims since the 13th century, gives us the strength to face the ascent to the Alto del Perdón. It is a ramp of little more than 2 km that is not especially fatiguing, but it can harden if it is very windy and, as already said, it is not unusual that that happens.
In fact, on reaching the summit of Alto del Perdón (780 m) we will see how one of the figures of the sculpture that is there can be read: “where the road of the wind crosses with that of the stars”. This sculpture was designed by the artist Vicente Galbete in 1996. The fact that it refers to the Camino de Santiago as the “one of the stars”, it’s related to the legend of the discovery of the remains of the apostle. It is said that the hermit who discovered them, did so because he saw stars raining over a valley. Hence the name of the city and the road: Santiago de Compostela would be Santiago of the campus stellae. Meaning stars field.

Sculpture in the Alto del Perdón with mills in the background

Detail of the sculpture in the Alto del Perdón, with the mills in the background

In this case, the allusion to the “path of the stars” also refers to what the sculpture itself represents. Formed by different forms of plaque, you can see a group of pilgrims from different times heading towards Santiago guided by the Milky Way.

In Alto del Perdón we can also see a marker with distances to different world capitals and a wall with an empty niche. The remains of stone remind us that formerly there was a complex formed by a hermitage and a hospital of pilgrims, abdicated to the Virgin of Forgiveness. The sculpture of the Virgin today is found in Astrain church. It was carried there in the 19th century, when Napoleon’s army desecrated the hermitage during the Independence War.

But the thing that makes the Alto del Perdón really special is the views it offers from the Navarrese landscape. Behind us lies the basin of Pamplona and, ahead, we see Valdizarbe Valley and its hills, behind which is the Puente la Reina.

This is one of the most emblematic points of the French Way. Its name remembers the integral forgiveness of sins obtained by the pilgrimage, which has been an incentive for the realization of the Way from the Middle Ages. Surely also in reference to this sense of the fight against the sins arose a legend that is situated in this place.

Two pilgrims on the Alto del Perdón watching the fields and trees in the background

Views from the Alto del Perdón (photo courtesy of Flickr by Giovanni Ricardi under the following conditions)

It is said that the devil tried to buy the will of a thirsty pilgrim by offering water from a source of this mountain range. He asked that, in return for water, renounce God, the Virgin and Santiago. But the walker did not fall into the trap, and finally the apostle himself appeared miraculously to cast Satan.


If we continue along the path from Alto del Perdón, we will descend from the sierra by a steep slope. It’s a tricky descent. Alternative: go by road, not a big detour. 

To go by road we take the NA 6056 that passes through Alto del Perdón and we make the final curve to join the NA 1110. In less than two kilometers we turn left to link with the NA 6016 that leads directly to Uterga.

However, all the roads lead us to Uterga! We enter the Asuncion street, where is the church that bears the same name.Its solidity resembles that of Zariquiegui, but this temple is later, from the 16th century. The tower and the portico, the two elements that most characterize it, are of the XVII and XIX respectively. The portico is reddish brick and in front of it there is a precious olive tree and benches to sit on. Another good place to do a little break.

Views of Uterga village at the entrance

Views of Uterga from the driveway (photo provided on Flickr by Hans-Jakob Weinz under the following conditions)

We leave the village by the street of the Eras and in less than 2.5 km by an agricultural path in profile on a slight slope we descend to Muruzábal. From this point we are going to see how the cereal fields leave space also to the vineyards.
In tune with the introduction of the vineyard in the landscape, we find in Muruzábal a winery that can be visited. It is located in the Muruzábal Palace, a large baroque building that was erected as a residence of an important Navarrese family. Nowadays it is bottled in its own wine and, together with the church of San Esteban, is one of the great attractions of the town.


Whether or not you are great lovers of Romanesque art, from Tournride we recommend you visit the church of Santa Maria de Eunate. It is one of those magical places of the French Way, a special and wonderful construction in the middle of acres of agricultural field.

Church of Santa Maria de Eunate surrounded by fields of cereal and vineyards

Church of Santa Maria de Eunate surrounded by fields of cereal and vineyards (photo courtesy Flickr by P1040058 under the following conditions)

In fact, the detour does not increase the distance so much. If you go direct from Muruzábal to Obanos, you will cross a path of 2 km. If, instead, you leave Muruzábal in a southeasterly direction to get to the church and then you go to Obanos, you only add a kilometer to your route. Worth it!

Detail of the church of Santa María de Eunate

Detail of the church of Santa María de Eunate(photo provided on Flickr by Zubitarra under the following conditions)

There are many beliefs and legends that surround this temple in such a characteristic way. Santa Maria de Eunate is special, above all, for three reasons:

  • Its location. Plus being even today “in the middle of nowhere”, it is located exactly in what, according to our current political map, is the center of Navarra. They say the experts in the subject that is erected in a place in which different flows of energies come together.
  • The lack of documentation about the church. Although the majority of experts date it in the S. XII and that forms part of the Way of Santiago, almost is not mentioned in almost any historical text. Strange, do not you think?
  • Its way. The church is Romanesque and octagonal, which by itself is rare. But, besides, it is not a perfect octagon and it is known that given the constructive quality of the building they could have done it well if they had wanted to. In addition, a portico exempt of 33 arcs repeats that same form around it, and there was never a cover that unites it to the building, since there are no marks of fastenings in the stone. Why then build those arches? Why not give a perfect shape to the temple?
Church of Santa Maria de Eunate on a sunny day

Church of Santa Maria de Eunate (photo ceded on Flickr by Gianfranco Petrella under the following conditions)

Many questions and few answers. Since the church resembles in its form the Holy Sepulcher, it was said that it could have relation with the Templars Order. But historically speaking, this does not make much sense. What is believed is that it could be of the Order of the Knights of San Juan, who attended and protected the pilgrims. This is thought because it is known that this area had influence and have been found remains of ancient burials with scallop shells around the church. That is why one hypothesis is that in this place this order had a hospital for pilgrims.

If so, it could also be that the central tower of the church serves as a lighthouse. By lighting a fire in it would be seen from afar and so the pilgrims would not be lost on the road.


From the church of Santa Maria, we take a path of earth in a westerly direction that in few meters ends in the road that takes to Puente la Reina. But, before arriving, we will leave Obanos to our right.

For those who decide not to go to see the church of Eunate and therefore pass through this town or, also, for the curious who decide to stop there to meet her, we leave here a little information about this place.

Obanos is a town with a great Jacobean tradition. In fact, the most important party of the town is every two years and consists of a theatrical performance in which more than 600 people participate and in which a legend of the Camino de Santiago is staged. According to the so-called “Misterio de Obanos”, a duke pilgrimed with his wife when they passed through the town and she decided to stay there to help in the hospital of pilgrims. Her husband was so angry for his decision that he ended up killing her and crying about it for the rest of his life. Later, he returned to the village and retired until he died in the hermitage of Arnotegui, which still exists today and is in the vicinity of the village.

Western facade of the church of San Juan Bautista in Obanos

Western facade of the church of San Juan Bautista in Obanos (photo courtesy of Flickr by Zubitarra under the following conditions)

Architecturally, Obanos is characterized by its cobbled streets and the beauty of some of its houses and civil buildings, with large arches of stone.. The best known are Casa Muzqui, Tximonco or Cildoz.
the two variants of the French road (the one that begins in Somport and the one of Roncesvalles) converge. Sometimes it is said that the two roads meet in Puente la Reina, as many pilgrims pass through Obanos bordering it and therefore join with the rest in the next stop.

The church of San Juan Bautista is of 1912, of neo-gothic style. Their asymmetry is because they reused some of the parts of the previous Gothic church, so it only has a tower. The cover is also from S. XIV. Inside, a large nave covered with white tiles welcomes visitors, with an altarpiece in the apse, S. XVII.
When leaving the town, we won’t be lost thanks to the low originality of the street names: both taking the street Pilgrims of Compostela and the Way of Santiago will end at NA-6064, which after turning to the left to take the NA -1110 will take us direct to Puente la Reina.


At the entrance of Puente la Reina we receive a monument to the pilgrim way.. Since 1965 welcomes all visitors on a basis in which you can read: ““And from here all the roads to Santiago become one””. Although we already know that, being strict, it is not where they converge but in our already visited population of Obanos.

Base of the monument to the pilgrim at the entrance of Puente la Reina

Base of the monument to the pilgrim at the entrance of Puente la Reina

We have already passed through other towns with much of their history linked to the Camino de Santiago. But, never better, we can say that this is the “queen” of all: born by and for the pilgrims. Other towns that we passed risen due to its proximity to a hospital of pilgrims or a monastery, but Puente la Reina is a town whose main vertebrae is its own road and that, in addition, preserves that original urban plot of “town-street”.

Therefore, it reflects in its urban design its own history. Its main streets are parallel to the Calle Mayor, the road to Santiago. In the middle of this is the Playa Mayor. And the streets which are today the “new enclosure” and “old enclosure” that close the old area, which formerly were the wall itself. Everything closes in, creating an almost perfect rectangle.

Image of the medieval bridge over a river at the exit of Puente la Reina

Image of the medieval bridge of exit of Puente la Reina (photo ceded in Flickr by Victor Rivera under the following conditions)

In fact, its original inhabitants were the “francs”, those foreigners who entered through France on the peninsula of which we have already spoken previously. King Alfonso I gave them a “carta puebla” to promote the founding of the city, that is, he gave them a series of trade deals and taxes in exchange for being settled in that place.
The reason for this is that in the 12th century the Arabs were losing territory, and one way of securing it was to create settlements in territories that were once again of the Crown. where Puente la Reina is today, a few years before Queen Doña Magna had built a large stone bridge so that the pilgrims could save the Arga River. On the edges of the Camino, next to that bridge and in the quiet valley of Valdizarbe; King Alfonso I found a good place for a new settlement.
The town was created having as axis the Road and during the following two centuries the pilgrimage to Santiago was a great medieval “phenomenon of masses” and this locality grew around that main street: churches, hospitals of pilgrims and trades for the walkers. Even the monk Aymeric Picaud, the creator of the first “guide” of the western world, mentions the place in the Codex Calixtino as a point of convergence of the Aragonese Way with the three that came through Saint Jean Pied de Port.

Today, all this overlap of stone history is in an exceptional state of preservation for the pilgrims who, almost a thousand years later, continue to visit it..

Just after entering the town, following the Jacobean sign that from the road points to the left, we find a stony memory of the antiquity of the place: the Romanesque church of the Crucifix. From the end of the 12th century, it was born as part of the complex of the old hospital of pilgrims (now a school) and owes its name to the old Cofradía del Crucifijo which from the S. XV managed the hospital.

 Image of Christ in the church of the Crucifix

Image of Christ in the church of the Crucifix (photo courtesy Flickr by Antonio Periago Miñarro)

In addition, inside the church, there is a large Gothic crucifix from the beginning of the fourteenth century, which marvels at both its size and its originality. Instead of having a “T” shape, Christ stands on a large “Y” carved so that the cross seems to be formed by large, natural trunks. The sculpture of Jesus gives a good account of the changes experienced from the Romanesque to the Gothic: it is a realistic and naturalistic Christ, who gives an impression of pregnancy and covered by large cloths that give a lot of dynamism. In spite of its large size there is correction in proportion and, in addition, the fineness in the size of each trait transmits to us sensation of pain and sorrow. One of the great works of Gothic imagery.
There are different speculations about the origin of this crucified Christ. Some relate it to the Templar Order and others say it was a gift from some Germans who carried the size throughout their pilgrimage and who ended up giving it as a gift to the hospital of pilgrims.

The street of the Crucifix takes us direct to the Main Street. In it we will see a whole life revolve around the pilgrims, in the form of shops in low stone big houses, with balconies forged in iron and large arched doors. When you go there you will find three points worth visiting: the church of Santiago, the Playa Mayor and the church of San Pedro.

Puente la Reina Main Street with the Church at the end

Calle mayor in Puente la Reina (photo provided on Flickr by Zubitarra under the following conditions)

The church of Santiago was built almost contemporaneously with the one of the Crucifix, but today it is much larger due to the successive reforms it was undergoing. Also for this reason we can find a mixture of different styles in it: from Romanesque to Late Gothic and Renaissance.
Inside, the vaults of the main nave create complicated starry shapes with their nerves. They are held by huge Renaissance pillars. In addition, inside this temple we will be able to see one of the most famous carvings on the Camino, from which we already had an aperitif in the form of a copy in our visit to Roncesvalles: la escultura de Santiago “Beltza” o Santiago “Negro”. Although in all the French Way you can see more than 300 sizes of the apostle, this is one of the most known and admired. It is called the “black” (beltza in euskera) because before it was restored its complexion was that color.

Leaving the church, we continue along the main street and we arrive at the main square of the village. A good place to make a stop if we need it, sheltering us under its portico gallery. They adorn the place the beautiful buildings that give shape to it, especially the so-called “Flatware House”.

We continue along the Calle Mayor and, before leaving the village, we pass by the church of San Pedro. This one is way modern than the other two, of the S. XVI, although it has a chapel of gothic origin along with other three Baroque. The highlight of this temple is an altarpiece and a carving of the Virgin. The sculpture used to be a hollow of the medieval bridge that gives out to the town, and it is called the Virgin of the Txori (“little bird” in Euskera) because supposedly a small bird washed the face to him every day with water that caught of the river with its peak.

After leaving the Calle Mayor behind us we arrive at the great medieval bridge that bids us from Puente la Reina and gives the start signal to the second half of our stage.

This marvelous medieval construction was commissioned in the 11th century by Queen Doña Mayor, wife of the Navarra King. Although most scholars argue that the name of the town is due to this fact, there are others who believe that since the Arga River was called “rune” in Basque, could be derived from “pons rune” (bridge over the Arga).

Bridge to the exit of Puente la Reina over a river in a sunny day

Bridge to the exit of Puente la Reina

The stone bridge has 5 large pillars with mole that hold 6 round arches. The central arch is larger and the eastern one is not visible today because it has been buried. Formerly the bridge had three towers and in one of them was where the hole was where the Virgin of the txori, was, who according to legend washed a little bird with water from its beak.


We leave Puente la Reina crossing its medieval bridge and then turn left.We cross a zebra crossing that introduces us to the neighborhood of Zubiurrutia, the so-called “barrio de las monjas” (Nuns´s Neighborhood), because it has a convent of Augustinians since the 13th century. The Arga River follows us parallel to our leftand so we continue straight until passing the purifier. A large pine grove on steep terrain occupies the space between the river and the A-12 motorway, the Auto via del Camino.

View of Mañeru surrounded by wineyards and green fields

View of Mañeru (photo courtesy of Flickr by Malditofriki under the following conditions)

To get to Mañeru, which is next to the freeway, we will have to climb that ramp between pines. It is not a very long slope and it is also the last great effort of this stage but they are still more than 20 km ahead so, if you are tired; do not hesitate to raise it by pushing the bike.

We arrive to Mañeru, delimited by the A-12 by the north. We cross the village on its side and, leaving the villa, one of the most endearing views of the road we open before us. A whole path of land, between cereal fields and vineyards and, in the background, is Cirauqui.

Mañeru is a picturesque medieval village of less than 500 inhabitants.. Like our next stop, Cirauqui, it also retains its medieval layout set on a hill. This village has a great wine tradition, although nowadays the cultivation destined to vineyards has lost ground in favor of the cereal. Even so, a wine called “Belardi” is still produced and produced in a cooperative way.

A pilgrim doing thw Saint James Way by bike in a narrow street in Mañeru

Narrow street in Mañeru (photo provided on Flickr by Malditofriki under the following conditions)

During the middle Age the town was under the control of the San Juan Order, and soon happened to depend on Puente la Reina linked to the monastery of the Crucifix. It was also the scene of the first Carlist War. Today we can find in Mañeru all the services that we need.

After crossing the town through its narrow streets and passing through the great square of the Fueros, we went through the cemetery area towards Cirauqui. To get there, we cross 2.5 km of agricultural path between large fields.

When arriving at Cirauqui we have to face the last great ramp of the day, since to cross the town means to cross its steep streets, entering by what is left of the old wall until reaching the city council. Before arriving to the town hall, from Tournride we recommend that you get off the bike for a few minutes to visit the Church of San Román.

Two pilgrims doing the Saint James Way arriving at Cirauqui

Arrival path to Cirauqui (photo provided on Flickr by Hans-Jakob Weinz under the following conditions)

This church was built in the 12th century and belonged to the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla (like the whole village). Although it has undergone many additions and reforms, it preserves its southern door intact. This cover is very interesting because it is a sample of the mixture of three different influences that could be found at the end of the XII century in the Iberian Peninsula: it has elements of the Romanesque sculpture, the way to make covers of the Cistercian order and, also, decorations reminiscent of the Arab world. All of it a conjunction of currents.

Stone cover of the church of San Román

Cover of the church of San Román (photo ceded on Flickr by Jose Antonio Gil Martínez under the following conditions)

Also there is a possibility of itinerary signalized at the entrance of Cirauqui that borders the town instead of crossing it. Precisely, it is designed for cyclists who want to avoid the ramps of the locality.


The path we take when leaving Cirauqui is part of an ancient Roman road and takes us straight to a bridge of the S. XVIII, built on another previous that was also Roman. Rolling on this road so old we arrive in a few meters to an overpass on one of the most modern roadway of Navarra, the A-12 or “Del Camino”.
We crossed the pass and followed the road for almost three kilometers, always with the freeway to our left. Then we must cross the highway again through an underpass. We arrive at a roundabout where we turn right to take the NA-7171, which crosses the A-12 below. After pedaling for about 500 meters we will see a great structure that crosses the NA-7171 above us: it is the viaduct of Alloz.

Viaduct of Alloz on the way from Pamplona to Estella

Viaduct of Alloz

El viaducto de Alloz fue diseñado por Eduardo Torroja en 1939. Alloz viaduct was designed by Eduardo Torroja in 1939. Surely many do not sound their name, but that of their granddaughter: Ana Torroja, the singer of the missing group Mecano. Even so, we must not forget this great Spanish engineer, considered one of the great masters and artists of the reinforced concrete of S. XX. Designed this great structure to carry the water from the reservoir of Mañeru and today it is still standing, fulfilling its function and has already become an incentive for the realization of the Way of Santiago by Navarra.

A few meters later after passing the viaduct, a dirt road leaves from the road. When we take it we will arrive direct to another work of engineering, this time instead medieval, which is the bridge that crosses the Salado River.

This bridge is supported above two arches and is mentioned in the Codex Calixtino. Monica Picaud warns all pilgrims in his book to be careful, because he says that here they used the bandits to assault the walkers. Standing on the bank of the river and sharpening their knives, they told the pilgrims to give their horses to drink from the water of the river, which, because of the saltiness it was, killed them. Afterwards, they slaughtered the horses and took away the belongings of their owners.

LAST 10 KM … LITTLE MISSING TO ACHIEVE ESTELLA! We pass through Lorca and Villatuerta

After crossing the bridge, we turn left and continue along a dirt track until we pass through a tunnel that crosses, again, the A-12. When leaving the underground passage we will see an asphalted track that will take us direct to Lorca (kilometer 36 of route), that we will cross from east to west by the Calle Mayor.

Like many of the towns in the area, this locality in which today less than 100 people live has its history closely linked to the Camino de Santiago. More than 900 years ago it had a hospital for pilgrims and today it has two private shelters.

A pilgrim passing through a stone bridge in Lorca

Lorca exit bridge (photo provided on Flickr by Elcaminodesantiago0920 under the following conditions)

We leave the main street of Lorca to undertake the last 9.5 km of route to Estella. But first we must travel about 4.5 km to Villatuerta. We have two itinerary options:

  • Go through the NA-1110 road.
  • Take a dirt path that appears at our left when leaving Lorca and continue between paths of crops and vineyards. After crossing another underpass under the motorway, we will arrive at Villatuerta.

If you take the second option, you will see that there is a rest area just before passing the tunnel that crosses the freeway. There has been installed a monument in honor of a Canadian who died in 2002 when she was doing pilgrimage to Santiago.


Villatuerta is divided in two by the Irantzu River and to cross it we must follow the streets until arriving at a stone bridge of medieval origin. Like that of Puente la Reina, it is higher in the center than in the extremes. This is called “dromedary-type” bridges. Although, of course, this one is much smaller.

Villatuerta bridge doing the Saint James Way by bike

Villatuerta Bridge (photo provided on Flickr by Jose Antonio Gil Martínez under the following conditions)

The other monument is the temple of the Asuncion. Formerly there was another tard-roman church in its place, but it caught fire in S. XIV and for that reason was constructed the gothic temple that we see today. It emphasizes, above all, its interior. It is very decorated, with even the remains of murals.
We leave the town by the northwest, by the “Camino de Estella”. We crossed a zebra crossing and came to a dirt path. When we see the road (NA 1110) we turn left to, for a short way, reach the hermitage of San Miguel.

This temple is almost obligatory visit for those who make the French Way. It rises like a fort, a huge stone mass surrounded by fields. It is the first pre-Romanesque temple that we will see in our route and, inside, many pilgrims leave papers with desires and rest for a while,, enjoying the peace that transmits the place and marveling with its splendid copper altarpiece with semi-precious stones. A medieval jewel.

In addition to being a traditional stop for pilgrims, the temple is also related to rites for fertility or to cure pains. Women who wanted to get pregnant would sit on a rock and hear mass. Also, in the central chapel there is a small hole and the people put in him the head to cure chronic pains.

We leave this church so special and we return to the road, and very little! To return to the route we have to step back a bit, taking back the short path that took us to the hermitage. Back on the road, we have to cross a last underground passage on the A-12 to reach Estella.
When passing, we continue and we see a bridge that crosses the Ega river and by the end, we enter following the street Curtidores we entered by the southeast to Estella.


As always, in Tournride we propose you an afternoon walk, so that you know what to see and what to do in Estella, your end of the stage. You can see the itinerary of the walk here. They are just 35 minutes walking, and you can know many monuments of the town aquí. They are just 35 minutes walking, and you can know many monuments of the town!

First, a little history about what is known as “Toledo del Norte”

The fact that the Camino de Santiago passes through Estella is due to a decision of King Sancho Ramirez.. In the year 1090 decided that the route was diverted until the Ega river that crosses the population and gave a Jurisdiction to the francs so that they developed their activities there. With the great phenomenon in which the pilgrimage became in the following centuries, great constructions were developed in Estella.
The city development made different neighborhoods appear, being also very important the Jewish community of the place (until the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492). In addition, it should be noted that the whole movement of the pilgrimage involved the expansion of artistic currents, which was reflected in the populations of el Camino. The monumental result of all this in Estella makes it often called “the North Toledo”.

Houses on the banks of the river Ega

Houses on the banks of the river Ega (photo courtesy Flickr by Miguel Ángel García under the following conditions)

We go for a walk, too much to admire in just half an hour!

Upon entering Estella, either by the NA-1110 or by the original path, you will end up in the Curtidores Street. In it you will find a municipal hostel where you can rest, but if you are full you can always try to find a place in the other four hostels of the village (see more about accommodation on practical advice stage).

Curtidores Street

Street Curtidores (photo courtesy Flickr by Alex Bikfalvi under the followingconditions)

In the vicinity of the Curtidores Street, we find a point with several interesting monuments:the Santo Sepulcro church, the Santo Domingo convent, the Santa Maria Jus del Castillo church and, following the street by the river, The the Navarra Kings Palace.

The Holy Sepulcher church is the first thing we will see upon entering Estella. During the Middle Age it was the main temple of some of the neighborhoods or boroughs that constituted the locality. Today we can see the different influences that left a dent in his factory since the 12th century. Only one of the ships is from that century and most of what remains is from the S. XIV (Gothic). A particular note is the main front, with 12 archivolts forming a huge flare door. It has a lot of decoration, highlighting a Santiago figure dressed as a pilgrim.

Cover of the church of the Holy Sepulcher

Cover of the church of the Holy Sepulcher (photo provided on Flickr by Magnus under the following conditions)

Side by side, are the Santo Domingo convent and the church of Santa Maria Jus Del Castillo.To go from one to another we will return to the Curtidores Street and see the Picudo bridge over the Ega river, another example of the “dromedary” type.

Weeping Bridge surrounded by trees

Weeping Bridge (photo provided on Flickr by Hans-Jakob Weinz under the following conditions)

The Santo Domingo convent reflects the importance of the relationship between the Church and the Crown in the middle Ages. It was the king of Navarra who ordered and paid for the construction, but the Dominicans, who were going to occupy it, gave benefits to the faithful and helped to maintain it. Due to the cruelty of the Independence War before Napoleon, the monks flee the convent and although it is later inhabited intermittently, with the confiscation of 1939 is abandoned and remains in disuse, until at the middle of the century only remained the Walls. In the 60’s and 70’s it was rehabilitated and now functions as a nursing home, so it cannot be visited in the interior.

Almost adjacent to the present residence is the church of Santa Maria Jus del Castillo. Formerly, in the place where it is, there was a synagogue. In the 12th century, the site is occupied and this Christian temple is built, which maintains its function as a church until the XVII C. Although initially called the Holy Mary and All Saintschurch, with the construction of the castle of Zalatambor in a nearby high, you will begin to know as the church “under the castle” (“jus” del Castillo, in euskera).Then begins a process of deterioration that stops when at the end of S. XX it is decided to use this valuable space artistically and historically as a center of Interpretation of the Romanesque and Camino de Santiago.
If we return to Curtidores Street, we will arrive at the Museum of Carlism, which is right next to the pilgrims’ hostel we already mentioned. It occupies the space of the old palace of the Governor of Navarra, of the XVII Century. If you are interested in Contemporary History you will surely find here a place to enjoy learning, since in addition to promoting research on Carlism, the museum has a clear didactic and pedagogical approach.

People at the entrance to the Carlismo Museum

Entrance to the Carlismo Museum (photo courtesy Flickr by Zumalakarregi Museoa under the following conditions)

Carlism was a political movement that appeared in the nineteenth century in opposition to liberalism. While the new liberal political current wanted to remove the Bourbons from power and change the political and economic system, the Carlists were betting on a system more similar to the Old Regime in which the Church and the Crown had a lot of presence. Basically, its essence is summarized in the motto “God, Fatherland, King”. The curious thing about this movement is that it extended and evolved a lot over time, as it even persisted until the end of the Franco dictatorship. In addition, during the S. XIX the different attempts to seize the power of his followers led to three different civil wars.

Many of the areas that today are part of the Camino de Santiago in Navarra were scenario of battles during these three Carlist wars, which is why this space has been dedicated to the study and research of this political movement.

Coming back to Curtidores street, we continue walking it towards the west and we arrive at the San Martín Square. In it there is a beautiful 16th century Renaissance fountain with trees and benches where to rest admiring the two monuments that surround us: the palace of the Kings of Navarra, in the square itself and, on the other side, the San Pedro church.

Old photograph of the Palace of the Kings of Navarre

Old photograph of the Palace of the Kings of Navarre (photo courtesy of Flickr by Batto0 under the following conditions)

The palace of the Navarra Kings is very important because it is the only rest that remains in Navarra of Romanesque style civil architecture. As we have seen so far, most of what remains of this movement of the 11th and 13th centuries is reduced to religious buildings. But, in this case, we can see how it is applied in a civil construction, although the original function of the space is not clear. There are some scholars who believe that the Franks with power were there that governed the different boroughs of the old Estella. Others believe it could be a large cellar and barn with a room for the governor of the kingdom.
Regardless of its original function, the building stands out for its conservation. Its current facade is divided into three horizontal bodies with two towers. The medium body, with large windows, rests on a large porticoed gallery. The upper part is an extension of the XVII. Nowadays it houses the artist´s Gustavo de Maetzu museum.

In front of this square you will find, on a higher level (there are stairs and a lift to get there) the largest church in the town and one of the main attractions of the place: the San Pedro de la Rua church.

Views from the church of San Pedro de la Rúa

Views from the church of San Pedro de la Rúa (photo courtesy Flickr by Ignacio Gómez Cuesta under the following conditions)

This temple occupied what was the center of the medieval city of Estella and it emphasizes especially with its cloister, very decorated. It was next to the old castle, from there its position in a high of the slope, of defensive end. In fact, the tower at the foot of the church gives the whole military aspect. Its oldest remains are of the XII Century and worked during the Average Age like pilgrims cemetery.

In addition to the remains of the cloister, stands out its entrance portico. As we have already seen in the church of San Roman de Cirauqui, the polylobulated forms of this one remind us of the influence of the Arab art that during XIII Century predominated in the south of the Iberian Peninsula.

San Pedro de la Rúa Church

San Pedro de la Rúa Church (photo courtesy Flickr by Jose Antonio Gil Martínez under the following conditions)

The climb to the church is worth not only to see the whole in itself, but also by the views offered by Estella. We recommend you to stand on the stairs down to the square and enjoy a beautiful sunset with the Navarrese landscape in the background.

We restore forces with good gastronomy and places to rest

After so much racking of stage and tourism, we are sure that you want to rest and to eat something appetizing. Estella is a good place for it, not in vain Already in S. XII warned the monk Aymeric in his guide of the Way that was a place of “good bread, excellent wine, much meat and fish and all type of happiness”.

If you are of fish, you cannot leave without trying the ajorriero codfish, with vegetables and tomato. You can also find trout cooked in different ways. The carnivores will find in the roasts their great ally, especially of suckling pig (look for the “gorrín” in the letters of the restaurants) or of all type of hunting. In addition, like all the Community of Navarra, stands out for the good quality of its vegetables.

Sweet Tooths know that there are several shops with a lot of pastry tradition in the village. They are famous, above all, the puff pastry of Estella (“alpargatas”) and the chocolates bonbons.

If you prefer a more economical option, you can buy something to eat and enjoy it by picnicking in the Llanos Park, on the banks of the Ega River. There are also pools where you can take a bath and those who say that its waters are medicinal and have healing properties.

But do not forget to rest well after this day full of discoveries … Tomorrow we change community and do wine immersion in La Rioja!

The Way of Saint James: French Way. Third route: From Estella to Logroño


From Estella to Logroño (48 kms.) (With exit from hostel, bar-restaurant, or tourist office)

One of the hardest stages but also more gratificantes of all the French Way. The difficulty is considered high with heights of height of until 750 metres, but the route by Navarra and The Rioja, do it an only experience.

Fuente del vino Camino de Santiago

Bodegas Irache en Estella- Fuente del Vino.

When splitting of the hostel of Estella, the first stop forced is the one of the famous source of the wine, of Cellars Irache. A grolo of wine to begin the travesía with energy, always comes very (but without happening ). In this distance, have the option to go by the traditional route, by narrow footpaths and that, depending on the period of the year, can be full of mud, or, visit the road that do the most comfortable Way, although, although it is true, less attractive and without being able to enjoy of the beautiful seen highland.

The first unemployed can do it in The Arches, a place in where you will be able to take a coffee in many of the cafés and take advantage of to do some shopping in the shops and local supermarkets. If you follow the option of road, the asphalt is in quite good state, although, to the equal that following the traditional route, is a continuous goes up and drop, because of the rugged terrain navarro. From Towers of the River, after going up to the high, if you look for backwards have a beautiful sight of Sansol, and if you look for forward, the Way complicates a pile. The following stopped before arriving to The Rioja is in a small pueblecito called Viana. Ideal for afterwards take the lane-bici that begins in the community and that drives directly to Logroño.

Santa María de Arcos- Camino de Santiago

Iglesia de Santa María de Arcos- Fuente: ViajarAhora.com

The way goes in in Logroño by the north until the famous Pozo Cubillas, known source where the pilgrims take advantage of to freshen his feet. You can enjoy in the next oriel to the source, in which the beautiful seen of the bridge of stone and the towers of the churches, will not leave you indifferent. At the beginning of the bridge of stone finds the office of the pilgrim and when crossing the river Ebro go in in the ancient helmet and arrive to the hostel of Logroño.

Logroño Is a small city, but with all the services, kind and near people and interminable places of visit after doing your Way of Santiago in bicycle. Gastronomy of luxury and to popular prices, and tourist visits like the Bridge of Stone, the Bridge of Iron, the Theatre Bretón of the Smiths or the Wall of Revellín.

Camino de Santiago- Pozo Cubillas

Pozo Cubillas en Logroño- Fuente de Peregrinos

Ruta Camino de Santiago Fisterra-Muxía

The Way of Saint James: Fisterra to Muxía. The lastest route

The fantastic last route of The Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago): The “muxiana”, from Fisterra to Muxía.

After our last post, where we explained the itinerary of one of the ways to Santiago that is having a most influence in recent times, (The Fisterrana), we present an extension of this way, which is completed with a new stage: the route from The End of the World (Fisterra) to the beautiful fishing village of Muxía, in Costa da Morte (Cost of Death), Galicia. This path is becoming increasingly well known among the pilgrims walking on different bike routes belonging to Camino de Santiago and want to explore new places in Galicia close to the sea.

It is a stage that runs very close to the Galician coast in the area of the Rías Altas, passing by beautiful rivers like Río Grande, Rego da Carballiza or Río Castro. This stage does not consist on steep and rugged terrain or high altitudes. It is quite comfortable to go through in one session.

Single stage: Finisterre to Muxía (29,3Km).

Km 0, Fisterra (all services).

We must retrace the steps that brought us to Finisterre. We return towards Langosteira Beach. We go through the parish of San Martiño de Duio. The parish church next to the road, dating from 1717 (S. XVIII), is baroque style. A beautiful place. We have already covered the first 1,7Km.

Camino de Santiago en bicicleta. Finisterre Fisterra

After passing San Martiño de Duio, we take a detour of 1km, with ups and downs through Escaselas (Km, 2,8), and reach Hermedesuxo de Abaixo, that we see on our left (Km 3,6). At this point, the official way braches off to the right towards San Salvador, although some pilgrims continue straight along the paved stretch. It is the well-known variant of Rostro. It links in Padris and although it is shorter, it is not worth much because you roll on asphalt.

In the last part, you see the beach of Rostro, usually through the pines, but you do not walk on the beach at any time.

If we take one or another direction, we reach the village of Padris (Km 9,7). Before us, we enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean, a fantastic memory that makes the Camino de Santiago by bike unforgettable. The route passes through beautiful meadows and cornfields, and ends in Canosa, where we have a picnic area where we can rest (Km 11,8).

Lires (all services)


After this short brake, we pass one of the most beautiful places in the Costa da Morte: Lires. We can even divert from the stretch of the Camino de Santiago by bike to enjoy the nearby beaches. Continuing our tour of the parish of Cee, we must pay close attention to the signs. There are several accommodation in Lires (Lires cabins, for example, is an ideal resting) and all the services of bars and restaurants. We walk uphill and left the detour to the bar on the right. It is the only town on the stage with services so it is almost bound to renew forces in this location.

We pass Lires and go down the river Castro. Crossing the river, we have already entered the council of Muxía, but we already have a long way to go. It is important to point out that in seventy meters the road branches off to the left and takes you to Vaosilveiro (Km 14,5).

After a brief detour, we connect a road that leads us to Fixe (Km 15,8). The bulk of the population is on the right and we turn left onto a track among pine trees. Later we cross a road –the official signs mark 12 Km to Muxía)- and resume the track until Guisamonde (Km 18,2).

Just over a kilometer after Morquintián, you will see a point with double signalization. Attention!! It is prudent to continue to the right following the yellow arrows painted on the asphalt. After 350 meter, the route deviates from the left and take a clear path up to the vicinity of Facho de Lourido, the highest point of the stage: 269 meters.

A wide path takes you down to the next village: Xuranantes (Km 24,7). At the exit, we take a local track and we pass near the drinking fountain of Bico. Immediately, on reaching the road, there is another little jam with the signals. In front of you, some arrows encourages you to enter a path with takes you to the beach of Lourido after a short stretch of sand dunes, but one there you, inevitably, must climb up to the road again. The official itinerary, the option we recommend, follows the road along the beach above (Km 26,1). So, there is no loss to Muxía. As soon as you enter Muxía, the signals lead us to the public shelter, turning right on Campo das Pinas Street and along Os Malatos and Enfesto streets (Km 28).

Muxía (all services)

Once settle in the hostel (there are also other private hostel near the Tourist Office), you should visit the sanctuary of Virgen de la Barca, ravaged by the fire that took place on Christmas Day 2013. Go down Manuel Lastres Street and turn right to Calle Real. On the way to the shrine we can get into the tourist office, where we can pick up de Muxiana. A heavenly place where you will find nature, leisure, entertainment and crowds of options to complete your trip.

The Way, second route: Pamplona-Estella



Pamplona to Estella (44 kms.) (from the hostel, restaurant or tourist office centre)

Pamplona, the city by recognized of the most multitudinous party of Spain: Saint Fermines. Affable and pleasant people, joy in the city and an old zone full of restaurants with excellent gastronomy. In the next church to the hostel, will be able to assist to the blessing of the pilgrim, so that the trip accompany you with all the luck and fortune of the world. We begin to ride!

Plaza del Castillo en Pamplona


The rest in the hostel of pilgrims of Pamplona is ensured. It consists of rooms with several literary but reigns a very cordial environment so much in the personnel of attention as with the remaining pilgrims. After the exit in bicycle, recommend not carrying a lot of weight in the alforjas, since it treats of a stage with rises and descents in which we will notice the weight of our luggage. True is that it is more remarkable during the descents, but in the rises complicates a lot the comfort in the pedaleo.

We stand out Pamplona like a city in which the amaneceres are cold and humid, by what, in your exit, recommend a good breakfast accompanied of clothes of coat and also some piece for the rain. Descending the street of Curia until Mercaderes, the one of the famous curve of the runnings of the bulls of Saint Fermín, arrive until the Consistorial square, beautiful façade the one of the City council of Pamplona. We continue by Saint Saturnino and visit of tip to tip the Greater street. After a step peatonal advance until the avenue of the Army and go in in the Turn of the Castle, beautiful park grown around the defensive bastion of the Citadel.

More advance, the signaling forces to leave the green zone to access to the street Source of the Iron, that crosses the avenue Sancho the Strong and drop until the University of Navarra. It abandons the private institution by the bridge of Acella on the river Sadar (Km 3). By an andadero, after two kilometres, arrives in light slope until Cizur Lower, population of the Cendea of Cizur.

Puente de paso de Cizur Menor

We leave Cizur between semi-detached and happen to places calmer. In the place of Guenduláin, visionaremos a beautiful lake of water and in two kilometres further up is Zariquiegui, last population of the Cendea of Cizur on the way of Santiago. We leave the tracks and take a more interesting footpath that opens  step between espinos. We will arrive to the famous source of Gambellacos, known by the following legend: they explain that in this place, the devil offered water to a pilgrim thirsty in return that it complained of God, the Virgin and Santiago. The pilgrim, half moribundo, despised the drink and prayed until the demon went  and appeared the source that satiated him. Satiated also we, devote the last effort until the high of the Saw of the Pardon, natural barrier between the Pamplona and Valdizarbe.

Fuente de la Reniega

Fuente de la Reniega

We will arrive to the Height of the Pardon, a good place to do a stop and enjoy of fantastic seen while we do a rest, eat something to replace strengths and pose the following part of the stage. After this light rest, visit the villages of Uterga, Muruzábal and Obanos in where we cross to continue to the vega of the river Steal until the entrance of Bridge the Queen. Beside the church of Santiago fulfil the two dozens of kilometres. The half of our way. In Bridge The Queen have all the services (hostels, cafeterias, restaurants, tourist offices, etc). A good place to stop to eat and enjoy of his architecture and monuments to face the afternoon until Estella, a more complex route.

The distance of game of Bridge The Queen goes through the valley of Mañeru, that gives us one of the postcards of the Way: a panoramic totally natural and no adulterated, surrounded by a road full of winegrapes and cereals that illustrate the image. Spectacular. Going down the valley, continue until Cirauqui, that stands out by his shod roman, the boat race of Iguste and the viaduct of the channel of Alloz, worthy places to contemplate and decelerar in the pedaleo.

The last stops would be Lorca and Villatuerta in where contáis with hostels, pharmacies, restaurants and cafés for “repostar” and take any refrigerio and can complete the 44 kms. Of this stage until Estella. A complete stage for any cyclist: rises and descents, different types of route: city, field, footpaths and shod, and excellent seen natural.

Puente del Picudo de Estella

Picudo Bridge in Estella