One of the advantages of living in Spain is the bigger variety of landscapes. There are even a handful of locations here where there is a desert! And one of these locations is the Natural Park of Bardenas Reales in Navarra.
The nearest town is Arguedas; from there you will find road signs towards the Natural Park. The address of the visitor center is Finca de Aguilares Carretera del Parque Natural, Km 6, 31513 Arguedas. It’s a huge building, you can’t miss it. You can find a free map of the park there.
But what exactly is it? I found the following information on this website.
“Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Bardenas Reales is a natural park covering 42,500 hectares. (…)
You’ll see that there are three distinct areas:
– El Plano, the large plateau in the north and west used as cropland
– La Bardena Negra, in the south, formed by a set of horizontal landforms populated by pine trees and scrub
– La Bardena Blanca, the depression between the other two and the most eroded area. It is also the most photographed and visited area because it is home to the most spectacular formations, such as Castildetierra and Pisquerra, which you may well have seen in a film or two.”
The Bardena Blanca is where you will spend most of your time. You can easily find it on the map. There is a circular route you can follow (by car or bicycle). Take at least 2 hours. This is a vast area! Most visitors compare a visit to the park to a visit to the moon.
Here are our pictures:
All this looks more like the North of Africa than the North of Spain, especially since Navarra is such a green region.
Maybe some landscapes look familiar… This Natural Park has been used as the background in series like Game of Thrones and movies such as The Monk By Dominik Moll.
Where to stay? The closer you are to the park, the more expensive your hotel room will be. We found Hotel HM Alfaro in Alfaro (via booking.com, about €45/night). You are less than 30 minutes away from Bardenas Reales, there is a restaurant, you can park your car in the street, in other words, this looked like the best option.
In our next post, we will take you to Alfaro itself. This small town has an unusual tourist attraction; expect more stunning landscapes!