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Navarra Navarra Navarra

Places in Navarra

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Navarra is an autonomous region of Spain divided into three distinct areas; the Pyrenees to the North, the Pamplona region and the river basins of the Ebro and Cantabrian river systems. The Pyrenees decrease in altitude across Navarra from East to West until they meet the Basque mountains, the highest point of Navarra being the 2,434m Mesa de los Tres Reyes (Table of the Three Kings).

Navarra today is immensely rich in history and culture and has much to offer the cultural visitor having been an independent kingdom, falling under Moorish influence, and annexed by both Castile and Aragon. The regional capital Pamplona takes its name from the Roman general Pompey who made camp here 2000 years ago during his Iberian campaigns and is a must see. The old city has retained its medieval layout with most of the cityís 16th Century walls intact. The festival of San Fermin on July 7 features the running of the bulls or encierro, made famous by Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises. The medieval Castle-Palace of Olite is a stunning structure situated 42km South of Pamplona and was the seat of the Kings of Navarre.

In addition to the host of cultural activities on offer, Navarra has abundant natural beauty that encourages the visitor to embrace the great outdoors. Hiking and cycling are very popular with short itineraries or longer routes such as the Pilgrims Way to Santiago or the Pyrenean Trail. The Yesa, Morea and Alloz reservoirs offer sailing and canoeing whilst the more adventurous can try rafting and canyoning down some of the regionís rivers. Mountaineering and potholing are popular and thereís also some very good cross-country skiing through the tranquil forests of Abodi-Salazar during the winter months.

Navarra makes great use of its abundant natural resources and leads Europe in its use of renewable energy. By 2004, an amazing 61% of the regionís energy was generated by renewable sources such as wind farms, small-scale hydro-electric projects and solar power. By 2010 Navarra is aiming to reach 100% renewable power generation.