A FEAST OF THE SENSES

JOURNEY OVERVIEW

Pamplona – Olite – Tudela

– Pamplona – Elgorriaga – San Sebastián

Travel to the most emblematic gastronomic hotspots as we venture into Navarra’s appealing traditions and culture. Each magical corner of this region offers you a unique perspective – a narrative of the historic evolution of the region from the ancient to the modern. 

Discover the hidden culinary gems of Navarra with a seasonally-inspired expedition to savor regional flavors, from the rustic to the rare. We venture off the beaten track to discover such joys as the renowned Iberian Basque ham and the fine wines of the Navarra wine region. As we cross the haunting desertscape to the land of vegetables in southern Navarra, we will taste the rustic migas de pastor, a shepherd’s delicacy. Following in the footsteps of American writer Ernest Hemingway, as we travel along the edge of the legendary Irati forest and river, we savor the fresh water trout ‘a la Navarra’ in the Pyrenees. And last but not least, sample the exquisite seafood of the Atlantic coast, as we wend through the picturesque Basque-Navarra, stopping in fishing villages along the way to San Sebastian.

THE WINES OF NAVARRA

Discover the joy of Navarra’s many fine, award-winning wines. See why the Garnacha wine variety of Navarra is here to stay.

HIDDEN GEMS

A fantasy playground into the world of medieval castles, courtyards and towering stone edifices. 

 

EXQUISITE MOMENTS

Gastronomy is one of the highlights of this adventure into Navarra. Discover the hidden culinary gems of Navarra with a seasonally-inspired expedition to savor regional flavors, from the rustic to the rare.

 

NAVARRA IS BEAUTY

Find your chance to live the Navarran culture, traditions, and gastronomy through out-of-the-box experiences.

 

ITINERARY

Pamplona – Olite – Tudela

– Pamplona – Elgorriaga – San Sebastián

Day 1: Pamplona

Pamplona is the capital of Navarra – explore this jewel in the raw. Find out why Hemingway was so captivated by its year-round festive atmosphere. Our journey begins with a gastronomic experience, cooking in a private gastronomy club from the 1920s, learning how to make and then enjoy traditional Navarran dishes. Then we go on a running of the bulls walkabout, followed by bar-hopping to try the region’s famous and delicious pintxos. Relax on a café terrace where Hemingway himself once sat, and watch the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago stroll into town. Join us through the charming cobbled streets in the heart of the historic quarter to discover 2000 years of history and culture. We stay in the beautiful Castillo de Gorraiz.

Day 2: Medieval Navarra

Our journey brings us to medieval Navarra with gastro-cultural stops along the way. Breakfast in Puente de la Reina calls for a café con lecheand a local pastry just before we take a photo on the beautiful 11th Century Romanesque bridge that extends over the Arga River. We make a cultural stop in Artajona, the backdrop of the 1976 film Robin and Mary starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn. Enjoy a gastronomic surprise in the southern village of Ujue, voted Navarra’s most beautiful village in 2018. To complete the morning, we make a private visit to a majestic Navarran winery. Late lunch is served in a medieval castle, which we later explore in a private visit. Have a meander on your own through the spectacular courtyards and royal chambers with enough time to go at your own speed. We stay in the fabulous Parador de Olite. 

Day 3: The Singular Desert of Navarra

This is a desert like no other – get ready for sand dunes, ravines and plateaus in a Natural Park that UNESCO has officially recognized as a biosphere reserve. The mountains vanish and the barren desertscape transforms into outcrops of sheer-cliff ridges, sand dunes, ravines and plateaus all shaped by a rare type of dry wind called the cierzo. For those who prefer to discover this unique desert on foot, we have a circuit planned out to hike to some of the most iconic locations.  Mid-morning we stop for a shepherd’s picnic – a delicious arrangement of sheep cheese, spicy chorizo and thinly-sliced jamón Ibérico with freshly made bread. We then have lunch in a stunning restaurant in the desert, with a menu of local specialties. We sleep out in a luxury hotel in the desert where we can watch the star-filled sky. 

 Cycling the Desert

For those who prefer cycling the desert, get ready for unusual scenery that will stop you in your tracks and experience a cycling wonderland.

Day 4: Hemingway Classic into the Pyrenees

Here we find ourselves traveling along a portion of the Saint James Way and the famed Irati forest, following in the footsteps of American writer Ernest Hemingway. Our Hemingway day is a delightful visit to the Navarran Pyrenees. We visit his favorite trout fishing spot on the Irati River near Aribe, a place you can imagine spending the afternoon daydreaming away. We travel to Burguete to the very hotel Hemingway stayed at when he came up here to relax. We visit his room, kept the same as when he stayed there, and have lunch in the dining room he describes in The Sun Also Rises. After a delicious home-cooked lunch, we transfer back to Pamplona for more treats: another pintxo tour of the Old Town. 

Day 5: Hidden Culinary Gems

We discover the hidden culinary gems of central Navarra with a seasonally inspired expedition, to savor regional flavors from the rustic to the rare. We venture off the beaten track to discover the renowned Basque Iberian pork, sought after by Michelin star restaurants around the world. We go deep into a country landscape that will stimulate your appetite, as well as your sense of adventure. Today’s journey takes us to a hermitage perched at the top of the legendary San Miguel de Aralar. Then we travel to learn about the Euskal-txerris, the free-range, acorn-fed Basque Iberian pigs, one of Spain’s best kept secrets. This is followed by a fourteen course sampling menu of this amazing pork product,  and later, a digestif at a quaint neighbouring cider farmhouse. We save the afternoon for relaxation in yet another hidden treasure of this region: the natural salty hot springs spa at the hotel Elgorriaga, where we offer you a half hour massage. We stay here for the night. 

What we offer in the fall and winter:

The cider season in Navarra is the perfect time to visit rural Navarran cider farmhouses, where enormous chestnut barrels spout a fine flow of amber cider. This flow pours from a distance into tilted glasses, in order to aerate the cider and create the best fizz – a truly authentic display of cider tradition. The outstanding local cuisine offers chorizo cooked in cider, a salt-cod omelette, fresh cod fried with peppers, char-grilled T-bone steaks, and desserts such as walnuts and Idiazábal sheep cheese. 

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Day 6: Land to Sea Through Navarra

For a late-morning snack, we try what is considered to be the best tortilla de patataof Navarra in the precious village of Lesaka, also known as the Venice of the Mountains. Our day trip on the Atlantic coast continues with a visit to a magnificent Basque whaling boat museum and then a light lunch at the best restaurant in the fishing town of Pasajes. A romantic 1920s schooner awaits us to sail the Atlantic coast to San Sebastian. We go at our own pace, so there is time to jump into the clear blue ocean for a swim while docked in San Sebastian’s famous Playa de la Concha harbor. Our afternoon is completed at the top gastro bars in San Sebastian to enjoy what they do best – the delicious bite-size wonders called pintxos, and perfectly paired wines. We stay at the aristocratic Hotel Londres with views of the beach.