de Santiago / French Way : 05. Puente
la Reina - Estella
down the Calle Mayor you will reach the medieval
bridge over the river Arga and the route
out of Puente la Reina. Turning left and
following the road you will walk past the Convento
Comendadores del Espíritu Santo and the Barrio de
las Monjas. After about 100 metres you will come
to a metal cross with a scallop shell, at this point
you will need to turn left down a dirt track. This
track follows the flow of the River Arga and after
about a kilometre you will pass a factory to your
right. The track here begins to go uphill and it
is here you wave goodbye to the River Arga.
track continues through fields and past the remains
of the 13th Century Monasterio de Bargota and
after having walked around 5 kilometres you reach
the town of Mañeru. As you enter the town
you come across a medieval cruceiro or cross.
you will find a private hostel, a couple of shops
and café bars as well as a chemist. The town contains
some remarkable houses with stone balconies and
impressive family crests on their facades as well
a neo-classical 18th century church called la Iglesia
de San Pedro.
the village the path takes you through some olive
groves and vineyards and past a cemetery. After
about 2.5 kilometres you pass through a gothic arch
into the medieval hilltop village of Cirauquí.
A little unusually the Camino passes through a building
where you can stamp your own credencial. The 12th
century Iglesia de San Román has an impressive
doorway which is mainly Romanesque but also shows
Cistercian influences. There is an Albergue here
which can be booked in advance and which serves
both dinner and breakfast.
through one of the gothic arches the Camino takes
a downhill track which leads to an old paved Roman
road considered to be one of the best preserved
examples along the Camino. After crossing a rather
dilapidated Roman bridge the route meanders
through rolling yet arid hills. Every now and then
the Roman road disappears only to reappear again.
After nearly 5 kilometres you will cross the medieval
bridge over the Rio Salado (salt river).
In Aymeric Picaud’s 12th century guidebook the writer
warns the pilgrim: "Beware of drinking from
it or watering your horse in it, for this river
over the bridge you will pass through a tunnel under
the road and down an asphalted road with the village
of Lorca ahead. There are a couple of private
hostels here that offer accommodation and a Pilgrim
menu. Both hostels have cafés but there are also
some vending machines as you leave the village.
the village passing the church and travelling down
the main street. Turn left onto the N111 but then
take the left down a track that winds through fields
adjacent to this main road. After 5 kilometres you
will come to another tunnel under the N111 and a
Roman bridge which crosses the river and leads to
the village of Villatuerta where you will
find a couple of bars and a chemist as well as a
recently renovated Albergue. At the top of the hill
you will find the gothic 12th century Iglesia de
la Asuncíon, an ideal place to rest a while.
Villatuerta by following the tarmac road called
Camino de Estella and after a short while you will
come across the track that takes you past what remains
of the Ermita de San Miguel. Continue along
the path, passing the picnic area, and across the
small footbridge over a stream and after approximately
4 kilometres you will pass the Iglesia del Espiritu
Santo and the church of Santo Domingo. Pass through
the tunnel under the road and enter the town of
is another town that came into existence because
of the large number of Pilgrims that followed the
Camino de Santiago in the middle ages. A romantic
place it has a number of palaces, stately homes,
churches and beautiful buildings which earned it
the name "Toledo of the North". In his
Pilgrim guide, Aymeric Picaud said "Estella
is a city of good bread, excellent wine, much meat
and fish and all kinds of pleasures." The town
was founded by King Sancho Ramírez in 1090 and one
of the most impressive buildings in the town, the
Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra built in the early
12th century, is considered a rare example of a
civic Romanesque building, one of only a few remaining
non-religious buildings from this era.
you are a fan of architecture, and you still have
a little energy after your trek, this town is a
little piece of heaven as there are so many buildings
worth seeing including two 18th century palaces
surrounding the Plaza de los Fueros. There
is also the 16th century Eguía Palace, the 17th
century Governor’s Palace and the house of Fray
Diego de Estella, a 16th century stately home to
name but a few.
you are interested in religious buildings there
are the ruins of the medieval church Iglesia de
San Pedro de Lizarra. Alternatively, there is the
Iglesia de San Pedro de la Rúa with its 12th
century cloister, or the 14th century Iglesia del
Santo Sepulcro as well as a number of others.
Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro in particular
has a very interesting 16th century façade. Above
the main door there are 3 rows of sculptures. The
highest row of sculpture depicts the crucifixion,
the next row depicts the 3 Mary’s at the sepulchre
(Mary of Cleopas, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother
of James and John), the rescue of the innocents
and when Mary Magdalene recognises Jesus following
the crucifixion, the lowest row depicts the last
supper. The door is also surrounded by the 12 apostles.
Most importantly after having walked so far you
will want somewhere to eat and sleep.
town has 2 refugios and a few hostels as well as
a number of restaurants, bars and cafés which are
found over the Rio Ega.
à CF description