Route through the Bardenas Reales de Navarra (Spectacular!)

We had a terrible desire to return to a route through the Bardenas Reales from Navarra. The place fascinated us years ago and taking advantage of a bridge that we had set for a visit to the Olite Castle and the Leire monastery, we look for a morning to return to the desert of the Bardenas Reales. One morning that would be very long since at the end between stop and stop to take pictures we had no choice but to take a whole day.

Route through the royal Bardenas

Route through the Royal Bardenas of Navarra

Our hotel was located in the city of Tudela, south of Navarra. We found it a well connected and perfect place as a center of union between all the places we wanted to visit. From there and for 3 days we would make various excursions including a small route through the Bardenas Reales. These are relatively close to Tudela, just over 10 kilometers away.

You can enter the Bardenas Reales from many different places but perhaps from the town of Arguedas be the best option, especially since it is the closest place to the most important points such as the Castil de Tierra or Fairy chimney, besides being the interpretation Center on the park entrance road. This was our choice and because it was very close to Tudela.

After arriving at Argueda we take the detour to the Bardenas Reales, all very well signposted, and we start driving on a very narrow asphalt road but in good condition. Several kilometers later we stopped at interpretation Center where they gave us a small map and a series of instructions to visit the park.

Route through the Bardenas Reales

Our goal was not to make a circular path that we did years ago, but to cross the park from south to north completely, ending very close to Carcastillo and from there go to Leire monastery.

After entering the park the first thing we find is a military base with a huge military antenna. Moment in which the paved track is finished and from here it will be all land until the end. From this point we begin to see the silhouettes of the sandy mountains of the Bardenas desert and the first one we find is just turning left in the quartering itself, right next to some houses called the brothers' pen.

Route through the royal Bardenas

This is a simple aperitif of what awaited us and the weather although it was a little gray, at least two let you enjoy the brown tones that flood these small mountains less than 400 meters high.

Later we stopped again, where there are formations on both the left and right sides and the truth is that it is worth spending some time in this place and climbing up to a nearby lookout point.

On the left side there is a hut and a small mountain just behind it from where we can observe the grandeur of this desert. The truth that seems Mars.

Route through the royal Bardenas

To the right of the road, just the path that goes up to a viewpoint, we will have different views, all of them quite pleasant. The trail in question is simple but not advisable if it rains because it can be quite slippery.

Route through the royal Bardenas

The day that did not accompany, hid the landscapes that were around us, all because of a fog incipient and very common for these lands, all because the Ebro river It is not far from here.

Route through the royal Bardenas

From the viewpoint, the views were not bad, but since the day was a little strange, the shades of the mountains did not show how they really were.

Route through the royal Bardenas

We follow the road until we find the emblem of the royal Bardenas, the Castil de Tierra or Fairy chimney, where you will find a few cars parked in the parking lot.

Route through the royal Bardenas

Of course there is a fence that prevents us from approaching but if we have the possibility of bordering it and seeing it from its back side, through a ravine forged by the waters. The truth is that this pinnacle is impressive and it is very predictable that in a few years it will cease to exist because it seems that it will crumble at any moment.

Route through the royal Bardenas

We continue the route through the Bardenas Reales and we make a stop later just to walk for a while through a landscape taken from Mars, and where lots of small land formations have formed a true maze.

Route through the royal Bardenas

In this part of the route the cars began to disappear, especially when taking the track of the cauldron, since most stay in the chimney and turn around. From this point the track becomes a bit more tortuous but at the moment it is not necessary to use a 4 × 4.

Route through the royal Bardenas

On the sides of the track there are numerous ravines created by the action of the waters, having to stop in more than one to enjoy them. Its completely transparent waters seem to lack life, but nothing is further from reality.

Route through the royal Bardenas

We continue along the track and turn off the Royal Glen of the Roncaleses, where the classic formations of the Bardenas begin to disappear and thus reach the monument to Pastor Bardenero, sculpture created by Antonio Loperena, lovers of this place.

Route through the royal Bardenas

With this we terminated our Route through the royal Bardenas since a few kilometers from this famous figure we reached the paved road that would take us to Carcastillo.

When to go to the Bardenas Reales?

The best time of the year to visit the Bardenas Reales starts from October to June, avoiding the hottest months. Being a desert, it lacks trees and places where a small shadow prevents us from burning in the sun, so if you happen to go by bike or on foot, luck, you will end up like a fried egg.

Open every day, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and it is not allowed to spend the night.

How to get?

The main entrance starts from Arguedas on the N134, not far from Tudela, but there is an occasional entrance especially to be able to practice mountain biking.

What to wear

The car tours are usually about 2 or 3 hours, so make sure you bring the full gas tank, water and a snack, since there are no shops during the trip.