Driving the Navarran Pyrenees

Driving through this beautiful region is a pleasure. As you bear northeast out of Pamplona on the N135 and ascend into the Pyrenees, the yellows, browns and olive greens of lower Navarra begin to give way to more-luxuriant vegetation before the mountains thunder up to great Pyrenean heights, following the path of the Camino de Santiago.

Happy wanderers on wheels can drift around a network of quiet country roads in the area, stopping in pretty villages along the way. A couple of kilometres south of Burguete, the NA140 branches off east to Garralda. Push on to Arive, a charming hamlet, from where you could continue east to the Valle del Salazar, or go south along Río Irati. Another option is to take a loop northeast through the beautiful Selva de Irati forest, with its thousands of beech trees that turn the slopes a flaming orange every autumn and invite exploration on foot (from the parking area several well-marked trails lead off for anything from 2km to 8.2km return). Eventually this route will link you up with the Valle del Salazar at Ochagavía. If you stick to the NA140 between Arive and Ochagavía, Abaurregaina and Jaurrieta are particularly picturesque.