Stage 5: Puente la Reina – Estella Distance: 25.5km
Puente la Reina
Leave Puente la Reina crossing the bridge, turn left and cross the main road.
You’ll pass a convent, Comendadores del Espíritu Santo and the Barrio de las Monjas then onto a track that runs along the Río Arga.
You’ll pass a factory after a few kilometres.
Follow the track uphill then go through some fields, you then pass the site of 13th century Monasterio de Bargota where you’ll find a fountain and a modern picnic area.
Continue on, passing a roundabout, and follow the yellow arrow way markers over a bridge into Mañeru.
As you enter the village you will see a medieval cruceiro (cross).
To your right you will see the Iglesia de San Pedro which houses an 18th century Baroque painting.
Near the church you’ll find two bars and two shops.
Heading out of the village along the Calle de la Esperanza into the Plaza de los Fueros and turn left at the end of Casa Consistoria then a right and continue on Calle Forzosa straight through olive groves and vineyards. After you pass a cemetery, keep straight on. The path takes you through an arch into to the hilltop village of Cirauqui.
Cirauqui is a mediaeval village whose cobbled streets take you up to the old part of the village and to the 12th century Iglesia de San Román which has an impressive Romanesque doorway.
You will also find the Iglesia de Santa Catalina and a Roman bridge nearby.
If you are passing through Cirauqui between the 13th & 19th of September you will see the locals celebrating Día de la Cruz (Day of the Cross)
Leaving Cirauqui through an arch, the Camino route runs along a tree lined track downhill onto an old paved Roman road which crosses the river on the Roman bridge. Continue on until you reach the main road.
Cross the road onto a dirt track and follow this path through farm land and over hills, passing the site of a mediaeval bridge and the medieval route of a well preserved Roman road.
On reaching the brow of the hill, keep straight on along the edges of farm fields. Take the right hand path along the Roman road continuing to the junction of a minor road to your right, passing underneath it twice.
Follow this road under a high modern aquaduct, then turn left onto a path which leads you over the Río Salado via an old restored mediaeval bridge.
Take the path from the bridge under the road again then go straight up into the village of Lorca.
Lorca has a population of around 140, it has a nice plaza with a fountain and if you wish to stay there are two albergues.
Go through village past the church and down the main street along a narrow track through cornfields and next to the road. Follow this track passing through a tunnel and then across an arched Romanesque bridge over the Río Nueva into the village of Villatuerta.
Head uphill to the 12th century Iglesia de la Asuncíon which is an ideal place for a rest. If needed there is a fountain with safe drinking water (aqua potable) to the left of the church gate.There is also a statue of San Veremundo to the right.
The route leaving Villatuerta follows a path uphill past farm buildings and through fields and passes close to the Ermita de San Miguel. You’ll come to a picnic area, cross the main road here and take the path until you come to a small footbridge across a stream.
When you reach a factory building turn right and continue until you pass the Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro with it’s impressive 14th century Gothic doorway. Continue straight on into Estella and after the Puente de los Peregrinos you’ll see the Albergue Municipal.
Estella / Lizarra
The picturesque town of Estella / Lizarra is situated on the bed of the Río Arga.
The village of Lizarra acquired its Castilian name, Estella, in 1090 when Sancho Ramírez, King of Aragón & Navarra, made it the main reception point for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago.
The towns Tourist Office, Calle de San Nicolás 1, Tel: (0034) – 948 55 40 11 is on open Mon – Fri during the months of Apr – Sep. They organise regular guided tours of the town and are situated amongst some of the towns most important buildings.
The tower of the 13th Century Iglesia de San Pedro de la Rúa is the most prominent building in Estella. You can visit the partly ruined cloister but first you need to ask at the tourist office.
Beside the tourist office is a rare example of 12th century Romanesque construction, the Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra. It is now home to the Museo de Gustavo de Maetzu, a small free gallery open from Tue – Sat 11:00am – 01:00pm then from 05:00pm – 07:00pm
Across the Río Arga and overlooking Estella is the Iglesia de San Miguel which features an elaborate Romanesque door depicting the Last Judgment. Most of Estella’s bars and shops are on this side of the river.
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