Navarre’s most important traditional events include its various religious processions, pilgrimages like the Javierada, the festival of the almadías (traditional barges for transporting logs), witches’ covens, the San Fermin bull-running festival, hunting, and Carnival.
Navarre is heir to a proud culinary tradition based on the produce grown in its varied landscapes, and which makes every meal a social event. In store for its visitors are red, white and rosé wines, pinchos (morsels of haute cuisine served on bread), delicious farm produce and home-made desserts.
The greatest of all festivities takes place in Pamplona. The firing of the traditional “chupinazo” or firecracker on 6 July marks the start of the festival known as the “Sanfermines”, when everyone is caught up in the explosion of camaraderie and high spirits which fills the streets throughout the fiesta.
Roads make history and lay the foundations for tradition. The most important of these routes in the old kingdom of Navarre is the Way of Saint James, which has left its indelible mark on the customs and heritage of these lands. Other traditional routes with centuries of history are the Roman roads and the cattle-migration routes; Navarre also has numerous hiking trails covering both short and long distances.
The personality and way of life of the people of Navarre can be experienced through their architecture, traditions, dances and rural sports: from the steep-walled valleys of the north which have shaped the upstanding and friendly nature of the traditional farm dwellers, to the south with its constant sunshine, where life is lived in the streets.
Gastronomy is a pleasure normally linked to festivity or leisure. Among the pride of Navarrese dishes are asparagus, Piquillo peppers served on their own or stuffed with meat or fish, game such as wild boar, and trout. Also calderetes (a stew made of lamb and potatoes) and local cheeses. Tasty beef and mutton, pork sausages, pate and duck foie. Also a large variety of milk desserts such as cuajada made from sheep´s milk and usually eaten with honey.