Vineyard Nekea's winery, Añorbe. Juan Manuel Sanz / © ICEX
The Autonomous Community of Navarre consisting of a single homonymous province is located in the north of Spain, bordering with France, and its capital city is Pamplona. It covers an area of 10,390.36 sq kilometers / 4,011.7 sq miles and has a population of 644,566 inhabitants.
Agricultural and livestock production in Navarre are quite varied, given the diversity of climates and terrains. Among the primary agricultural products of the region are rice, peaches and high quality vegetables, such as potatoes, peppers, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflowers, lettuce and onions. Its vegetable preserving industry is one of the largest in Spain.
Its livestock produces beef and lamb, as well as cow's milk. Sheep milk is used in the preparation of the excellent designation of origin cheeses such as PDO Roncal and PDO Idiazabal.
Wines from Navarre are well known in Spain, particularly its excellent rosés, while the quality of its whites and reds has deserved international recognition.
Read more: Wines from Spain.
Navarre was visited by 245.134 foreign tourists in 2012. The Museum of Navarre in Pamplona takes visitors on a journey through the archaeology, history and art of the region.
Navarre's natural beauty is highlighted in the natural parks of Urbasa-Andía, Señorío de Bértiz and Aralar. Within the Salazar Valley is the Irati Forest, Europe's second largest beech forest (17,175 hectares / 42,478 acres). All these nature parks are located in the Pyrenees or close to them.
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Navarra: Las Bardenas Reales de Navarra: a unique, completely different landscape, with its strange rock formations caused by erosion.
An interesting way of visiting this region is to follow the St.James' Way, one of the most important pilgrims’ roads of Christianity. The road leading to Santiago de Compostela enters Spain through the Pyrenean town of Roncesvalles and crosses through Pamplona and the beautiful medieval towns of Puente la Reina and Estella before entering La Rioja.
More info: Turismo de Navarra.
Navarre is a region of rich identity, with valleys of small villages in the north and extensive agricultural plains and villages with noteworthy artistic heritage in the south. The Camino de Santiago (St. James Way) long ago influenced the history and art of this region; Roncesvalles marked the beginning of the Camino in Spain and Estella was one of its most important way stations. This region has some outstanding sights for tourists - the monastery at Leyre (13th-16th centuries), the castle at Javier (14th century), the walled town of Ujué, and many others.
The work of one of Spain's most important sculptors of the 20th century is on display at the Oteiza Museum, in Alzuza (near Pamplona). The building, by Navarran architect José Ramón Sainz de Oiza, is adjacent to what was Oteiza's home (1908-2003).
Some world-famous natives of Navarre are Julián Gayarre (1844-1890), tenor; Rafael Moneo (1937), architect; Miguel Indurain (1964), cyclist.
July 7, San Fermín in Pamplona, famous worldwide for the running of the bulls.
Navarre has developed a light, rich, elegant cuisine, based on the fruits of the land, and particularly on its vegetable gardens, among which the asparagus and Piquillo peppers are outstanding. Menestra (vegetable stew) is the most renowned of the typical vegetable dishes of the region.
Other classic dishes include haricot beans from Sangüesa, lamb chilindrón from Pamplona and roast finch from Estella. Among its fish dishes, salmon from the Bidasoa River has become increasingly popular.
Delicatessen duck preserves from the Aranaz district enjoy well-deserved prestige, while the cherries from Ciriza or preserved peaches and pears make an ideal dessert.
The best-known wines of Navarre are the rosés, although excellent whites and reds are also produced, all under a designation of origin.
Pacharán, a liqueur made with sloe berries and anisette or local eau-de-vie that was originally created for medicinal purposes, has become a symbol of Navarre.