The Bardenas Reales de Navarra constitutes one of the most interesting natural environments of Navarre. The erosion for millions of years has shaped this desert zone in spectacular formations thanks to the combination of dry lands with other rocky sections. Currently it is a nature reserve trying to conserve for the next generations this delicate environment. The mountains aren't very high, the paths aren't easy, but the landscape is wonderful and for this reason it's one of the most visited places of Navarra, in the North of Spain, near with the border with Zaragoza (Aragón).
In the centre of this desert is located a field of shot of the soldiers in which they carry out manoeuvres of shot with airplanes. For the moment the government of Spain has not determined to destroy this installation, completely incomprehensible in an area that is nature reserve and that intends to conserve.
This great environment has two different places, completely different, the Bardena Blanca (white), with the most known places with desert (dunes, hills, ravines…) and the Bardena Negra (black) with most vegetation (dark trees, pines,…). Both are interesting but obviously the most special is the Bardena Blanca because it's unique in the world. From year 2000 the area is a Biosphere Reserve according with the UNESCO.
It exists different options to know Bardenas but the better place for the first time it's probably the visit of the fascinate Castil de Tierra following the track from Arguedas to Cuartel Militar (Military Headquarters). A track goes from the Headquarters rounded the Polígono de Tiro (shot’s area) and it's the approach to the two most popular climbs, the peaks Piskerra (471m) and Rallón (498m).
-From North: from Pamplona take AP-15 in direction to Tudela and take the exit of Arguedas-Valtierra some km before of Tudela.
-From South: go to Navarra in direction to Tudela and follow the AP-15 to the exit of Arguedas-Valtierra.
-In Arguedas you must take the narrow road signalled as “Bardenas Reales” in the road in direction to Tudela.
Ermita de la Virgen del Yugo:
-The road of access is in the road between the villages of Valtierra and Arguedas.
Ermita de Sancho Abarca:
-The access to this place is from the village of Tauste (province of Zaragoza). It's a trailehad to Punta Negra.
El Paso, Monumento al Pastor:
-The acces is from the village of Carcastillo in the road to Sádaba. Trailhead to Tres Mugas, Cornialto or Puy Aguila.
Portillo de Santa Margarita
-In the road between Tudela and Egea de los Caballeros. Trailhead to Punta Negra and Nasa Alta.
-The Bardenas is a Natural Park with rules. You can read generally the signals about it.
-Some of the areas in Bardena Blanca are signalled as Zona Militar. Prohibido el Paso (Military zone, forbidden pass). It’s very advisable to respect the area if you don't want to die for a shot of any airplane. Be careful with it.
-Use of a car: after a recent rain (not very frequent in this desert) it's not advisable to drive across the tracks of Bardenas with a normal car, in this case is advisable the use of 4x4.
-One of the best options to know Bardenas is the use of Mountain Bike. With the bike you must reach many of the places, even the summit of Rallón (493m)!!! For this reason it's one of the most visited zones of the lovers of BTT. If you love the competition in Mountain Biking it has a famous challenge: Extreme Bardenas. If you want to read more: Bardenas in MbPost.
Many of the small formations has name but really only a few have interest as mountains.
The best places to know Bardena Blanca and to walk are Piskerra (471m), Rallón (493m), Ralla (498m), Sanchicorrota (425m), Angarillones (491m), La Gorra (460m) or Cabezo de las Cortinas (364m).
Very important note for the people that see an image of Castil de Tierra for the first time: the Castil de Tierra (314m) is IMPOSSIBLE to climb, it's forbidden because the terrain is eroded and you can destroy the peak and as well it's not possible even for expert rock-climbers because the sand is not secure. The Bardena Blanca has two types of peaks, the tablas o mesas ("tables") as Rallón (493m) or Ralla (498m) and the cabezos (it mean "head" and it's normally used for rounded peak in other places of Spain) as Sanchicorrota (425m) or Piskerra (471m).
P.de las Negras
External LinksBardenas official web
Rules of the park
Unesco Biosphere Reserve
CampingCamping is not allowed.
It exist many villages near of Bardenas. The most important city near of Bardenas is Tudela with some hotels.
Camping Bardenas, Villafranca (Navarra). It's the only one in this area.
Another campings near of Bardenas:
-Camping Olite at 39km.
-Veruela de Moncayo, Veruela de Moncayo (Zaragoza) at 52km.
-Camping El Molino, Mendigorria (Navarra) at 68km.
-Camping Ezcaba, Eusa-Pamplona (Navarra) at 85km.
You can consult this page with more campings in Navarra: