French Way (Camino Francés): Stage 4
Pamplona – Puente la Reina (23,9 km – 15 miles)
Today you will change the Arga River for the Sadar River and the oak trees for beach trees and cereal lands. You will start in Pamplona and your main objective will be reaching Alto del Perdón that is 750 meter high (2,460 feet). Wind will be with you on your way. The wind was the reason why the first wind farm of the community was installed here.
It is not a long stage but you have to be careful because there are many complicated areas that you should cross carefully, this area will be a challenge. After crossing the Sierra del Perdón Mountain pass you will get to the same place as the pilgrims that come from the Aragones Way, to Obanos, after this village you will walk with them to Puente la Reina.
You will start your route through Curia Street and then you will go through Mercaderes. After crossing the Plaza Consistorial square where Sanfermines fest starts officially with the burst of fireworks the 6th of July, you will go through all Mayor Street to get to Avenida del Ejercito avenue. You should cross all the parks and fields that surround the citadel, also known as Vuelta al Castillo and then you will cross Fuente del Hierro street to get to the university area. You could think that cross the university area is boring but the truth is that there is a river in this area that will be your companion through all this part, you will cross it through the Puente Azella bridge that is located in a park with an amazing garden. After going through 2-kilometer path (1 mile) to get to Zizur Menor. While crossing this village you will see the Iglesia de San Miguel and after going a little bit downhill you will see the old Señorío de Guenduláin domain where still remain a church and a palace from the 17 century.
We’ll follow the path towards next step: Zariquiegui, where San Andrés’ Romanic Temple will welcomed us and will inform us we are halfway our destiny. We could stock up on a local shop before arriving Sierra del Perdon or we’d rather make a stopover in Ardogi’s Inn Following the arrows settled all along The Way, we’ll take the path will take us to the well-known Gambellacos Fountain or Reniega’s. Legend has it that after a long trip under the sun, the devil appeared to a thirsty and exhausted pilgrim to offer him something to drink in return of his unfaithfulness. Despite the temptation, the traveler rejected the offer and prayed until the devil vanished. As a reward, St Jacobs Apostle materialized before the pilgrim and create a fountain on that spot to give him water. Perfect moment to imitate the pilgrim and took a sip to gain strength to face the hardest part of the stage:Perdon’s Top.
If we are lucky, the wind will give us a boost for the next 2,5km (1,5mi). We’ll be surrounded by meadows and the sound of the windmills. On the top these mountains we’ll discover amazing views and a monument built to commemorate those who summoned this peak which owns its name to an ancient basilica in honor of The Perdon Virgin. According to legend, our sins are forgiven now, so we are ready to descent to Uterga. Do not hasten! The pavement is in bad condition and it is easy to stumble and fall.
We’ll cross this place from side to side. After walking 2 km (1 mi) of cereal fields , we’ll finally arrive to Muruzábal. Many facilities can be found in this village. Among the remarkable places, we can visit the refurbished Baroque Palace (now become a cellar) and San Esteban Church which contains highly valuable works on it. Another recomended chruch to visit is the one located in Eunate county (please note we have to divert a couple of km) Many mysteries are hidden in this lonely hermitage of 11th century , which was the meeting point between The Aragonese and French Way. As many corpses were found there, it is suspected that in any moment of the history was used as pilgrim’s cemetery due to dozen of scallop shells buried there as well (known as a pilgrim symbol).
Back again to Muruzábal, we take the Way back by climbing to Obano, where every year is performed a play based on Obanos’ Mystery (legend placed on St James Way and starring Prince Williams of Aquitania whom killed his sister and after regretting, travelled to Santiago to spend the rest of his life leaving as an hermit in Arnotegui). This event was declared as Fiesta of Tourist Interest of Spain in 2001 After remembering these events we’ll leave towards Robo River to walk by its side to De la Reina Bridge, built in the 11th century to help pilgrim on their journey..
What to see
We walk by your side! If you have any doubts about this stage or about other stages, please contact us, we will help you. Have a nice Way, Pilgrim!
What to eat
- Local wines (Señorio de Sarria)
- Costillas al Sarmiento (lamb ribs grilled with vineyard wood)
- Pochas de Campollano (typical beans)
- Local cheese from Urbasa
- Magras con tomate (pork lard with tomato sauce)
- Trout with Parma ham
- Codfish cooked with garlic
Bear in mind
If you are lucky the wind will be your best friend during this stages. You should pay attention because in this stage there are many false indications that will lead you to a commercial area.
Bear in mind that if you want to visit the Ermita de Eunate hermitage you should turn aside in Muruzábal or in Obanos, from this village there are just two kilometres (1 miles) to Eunate. If you have doubts about how to get there you can ask local people, they will help you.
If you are doing the way by bike we don’t recommend you descend Alto del Pedrón by bike; we recommend you go through the N-111 road, we also recommend this route reduced mobility people, to avoid possible accidents due to a lot of rocks that you could find there. The road route is not easy due to the traffic, but it would be better than the other one. Be careful with all the vehicles that you will find.What to see
|Towns||Public Hostel||Bike rental||Medical assistance||Coffe bar||Cash Point||Pharmacy||Hotel||Touristic Information||Guesthouse||Restaurant||Supermarket||Veterinarian|
|Puente la Reina||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|