Welcome to Southern Navarra
Take the A15 south of Pamplona and you only have to drive for 15 minutes before you enter an entirely new world. Within the space of just a few kilometres, the deep greens that you have grown to love in the Basque regions and northern Navarra vanish, replaced with a lighter and more Mediterranean ochre. As the sunlight becomes more dazzling (and more common!), the shark’s-teeth hills of the north flatten into tranquil lowland plains, while the wet forests become scorched vineyards and olive groves, and even the people change – they’re more gregarious and, as the graffiti suggests, sometimes fiercely anti-Basque. Awaiting travellers in this region are several medieval villages that look straight out of a fairy tale, plus the unlikely desert-like landscape of the Bárdenas Reales, Navarra's very own badlands.