Las Bardenas Reales of Navarre
A 3 km short distance from Bardenas Caves Houses (Bardeneras) is located the access to Bardenas Reales Natural Park of Navarre, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The biggest desert landscape in Europe, plenty of picturesque corners and capricious forms through the landscape that create almost lunar effects. Visitors can follow different routes on foot, cycling, by car or 4X4 jeep and will discover impressive views as Castildetierra, El Rayón o Piskerra.
The origin of Las Bardenas
To find out the origin of this desert we must travel 56 million years back, when the formation of Pyrenean Mountains and Iberian Mountain Range provoked the depression of the central zone of the Ebro river, emerging an inner sea. Over 10 million years, the inner sea run away towards Mediterranean Sea and sculpted a peculiar landscape due to the erosion of the materials which were placed at the bottom of this inner sea. Nowadays, it is calculated that sandstone soils are placed 4 km deep into the ground.
Las Bardenas Reales of Navarre cover about 45km area from north to south and 24 km from Eastern to Western and its altitude is among 280 and 659 m. The Natural Park is divided into several areas, in which we can find great differences between them because of their historic singularity and natural attractive.
Bardena Blanca is the most arid area, the most spectacular and most visited, where water and wind erosion have created geological features and sculpted spectacular and surprising shapes: gullies, bare plateaux and solitary hills, and incredible “cabezos” as Castildetierra.
In the Bardena Blanca is located the well-known área “Rincón del Bú”, declared Natural Reserve. The singular orography of the area has been mainly created by erosion. You will discover a wide variety of birds of prey, Egiptian vulture, golden eagle, stone curlew, skylark…
Bardena Negra is located along the border with Aragon. The origin of the name is the vegetation that grows in this area, where the land darken.
La Bardena Negra has a land extension called “Caídas de la Negra”. Here you can find owls, vultures, eagles, foxes, wildcats, amphibians, reptiles… It is also a Natural Reserve, plentiful of vegetation and bushes.
A small hill about 100m height over the crops-land around it, where cereals are grown. The sides of the hill are covered by junipers, rosemary and sagebrush.
Vedado de Eguaras
Vedado de Eguaras is located in the heart of Las Bardenas Reales. It remains an oasis in the desert, declared Nature Reserve, where the ruins of the Castle of Peñaflor still stand. According to legend, Blanca I of Navarre was prisoner into the castle because she didn’t accept marriage to the Prince of Aragon.