The desert of the Bardenas Reales (Southern Navarra)


The desert of the Bardenas Reales. More than one will wonder what a place does semi-desert in northern Spain and specifically in the Navarra regional community. The Bardenas Reales, located southeast of Navarra, are a succession of landscapes marked by erosion caused by rainfall and the characteristic wind characteristic of the place, the north wind, since it blows in a north-northwest direction with constant speeds ranging from 20 to 30km / h. Besides, with the invaluable help of man, we are what we are, and the scarce vegetation make this place one of the most spectacular places in northern Spain.

Bardenas reales

The real Bardenas

We are in November, a month where rains occasionally lurk in a place as "hostile" as this. When it rains and these trip normally we all think, what a job !, but go to the Bardenas when the previous day it rained without stopping, at least in our case, it is a sign of luck since the landscapes are more shining and the earth being wet has different shades that help photography. Besides the heat, that asphyxiating heat that can be given in this place, let's not forget that here the 35th in summer they overcome quietly, disappears, so it becomes the perfect day to visit the Bardenas Reales.

Near the entrance to Bardenas reales
Bardenas reales

For some, the wet and sometimes muddy ground can make the adventure of visiting the Bardenas a true nightmare, but be careful, if you don't carry a 4 × 4 nothing happens. The roads are dirt, or muddy in some cases (only if it has rained), but as they told me at school, Javier don't go so fast, go slower and slowly, and you'll see that things will work out better for you. If you listen to this good advice, traveling on these roads will not be more difficult than getting through a traffic jam in Madrid or Barcelona.

Bardenas reales
Torrente in the Bardenas reales

After a good breakfast in Tudela we take the N134 in the direction Arguedas, the town where the main entrance to the Bardenas Reales is located. Once in Arguedas we take a paved road to the right where a few kilometers later we arrive at the park office. We took a brochure right there and informed ourselves about the state of the roads. With the duties done we continue by the same road until the asphalt was changed by land and the few cars that circulated drastically slowed down the state of the road. Few 4×4 there were among them, but those who had clearly circulated more agile and therefore, did not go in Indian line like the rest.

Fairy chimney

Shortly after stepping on land we turn left towards the Land Castile o Chimney of the fairies, the most famous place in the Bardenas Reales. He Land Castile It is a small chimney-shaped hill very similar to those in Cappadocia, Turkey or Bryce Canyon in the United States. The Castil is next to a booth and a stream that becomes a great torrent when it rains, so this site is an ideal location to realize why the shapes are so curious in this place.

Mud roads

We continue along the same road making a circular route bypassing a lot of puddles and going through the odd little reservoir, something rare for the eyes, but more than pleasant in a place like this. Apart from the successions of small hills of strange shapes, small ravines and dry riverbeds, in the Bardenas Reales it is possible to find abandoned houses and cattle grazing in the place.

Abandoned houses

After 2 or 3 hours driving through this peculiar desert without seeing cars we decided to return to Sos of the Catholic King, one of the most beautiful villages in the area, but this is another trip and it's another story. Javier Blanquer

Other similar landscapes in Spain

  • Las Médulas in León
  • Las Carvavas, between Madrid and Guadalajara
  • LasBarrancas de Burujón in Toledo
  • LaRambla de Barrachina in Teruel
  • ElBarranco de Gebas in Murcia

Practical data

When to go to the Bardenas Reales?

The best time of the year to visit make a route through the Bardenas Reales starts from October to June, avoiding the hottest months. Being a desert, it lacks trees and places where a small shadow prevents us from turning to the sun, so if you happen to go cycling or walking, luckily, you will end up like a fried egg.

By the way, open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m..

How to get?

The main entrance starts from Arguedas on the N134, not far from Tudela, but there is the occasional entrance especially to be able to practice the bike of mornings.

What to wear

The car tours are usually about 2 or 3 hours, so make sure you bring the full gas tank, water and a snack, since there are no shops during the trip.

Where to sleep?

I prefer not to advise a place to sleep here, since there are countless hotels and rural houses in the area of ​​all possible tastes and colors. Anyway, here is a selection of Booking hotels next to the natural park.