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Overview

The semi-autonomous region of Navarre and La Rioja is historically linked to the Basque country. The region's highlights are the magical, snow-capped Pyrenees and the vineyards of Spain's premier winegrowing district. Outdoors fans visit the Pyrenees to ski, walk and climb and to enjoy charming villages like Ochagavía. Others come to sightsee the gorgeous Valle de Roncal. Pilgrims have been passing through for centuries on the Camino de Santiago, stopping by the 13th century Roncesvalles monastery on a high pass linking Spain and France. Down below the green foothills is the region's capital, Pamplona, which explodes into life at the ...

The semi-autonomous region of Navarre and La Rioja is historically linked to the Basque country. The region's highlights are the magical, snow-capped Pyrenees and the vineyards of Spain's premier winegrowing district. Outdoors fans visit the Pyrenees to ski, walk and climb and to enjoy charming villages like Ochagavía. Others come to sightsee the gorgeous Valle de Roncal. Pilgrims have been passing through for centuries on the Camino de Santiago, stopping by the 13th century Roncesvalles monastery on a high pass linking Spain and France. Down below the green foothills is the region's capital, Pamplona, which explodes into life at the infamous Running of the Bulls Festival (San Fermín) in July. West of Pamplona on the Río Ebro, is Logroño, La Rioja's capital, also on the Camino de Santiago. Logroño has a heart of twisting streets with plenty of bars in which to sample the vino and eat imaginative tapas/pinxtos. Upstream the Río Ebro is lined with vineyards, towns and bodegas. Haro is at the center of it all but pretty Laguardia has more character.

John Noble
About the Expert

John Noble is a coauthor of Lonely Planet's Spain, Andalucia, and Mexico as well as many other LP titles from Indonesia to Belize to Brazil.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France. The capital is the city of Pamplona.
  • Language: Castilian (Spanish), Catalan, Galician, Basque
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: La Rioja, Spain | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year-round, but July for the Running of the Bulls and September for the grape harvest