STAGES OF THE JACOBEAN WAY IN NAVARRA
The Jacobean Way finds out in Navarra, the entry door to Spain, and after going through Luzaide- Valcarlos. The Royal Collegiate of Roncesvalles, served as threshold, a historical framework full of Christian meanings, ideal to receive the Jacobean experience.
There are 150 km from Saint Jean de Pied de Port to Logroño, which cross Navarra from north to south and shows the beauty of its landscape and also its complexity.
1TH STAGE – SAN JUAN DE PIEDEPORT – RONCESVALLES
You set off from Saint Jean de Pied de Port and cross the pon`t d’Espagne. The next reference point is Luzaide- Valcarlos, which is at the bottom of the Ibañeta pass. So this the 1st point of the Way in Spain before we go through the Pyrenean.
The old way followed the Roman road to the pass of Bentartea, which is called in the medieval texts “Portus Cisere” (Puerto de Cisa) and its ascent is the hardest part of this stretch. During the winter, it is not recommended to do this route because is very dangerous, many people have died there. So, it is better to use the present road.
After we have left the Ibañeta pass behind, we reach the Collegiate of Roncesvalles, first hostel for Pilgrims.
2TH STAGE – RONCESVALLES – LARRASOAÑA
We set off from the Royal Collegiate of Roncesvalles and we cross several towns located in woodlands of beeches, birches and pines, which are characteristic of the northern part of Navarra. First we reach Burguete, and then Aurizberri- Espinal, Mezquiriz, Bizcarreta- Guerendiain, Lintzoain and Larrasoña. Although it is not necessary to visit them, we will go near Erro and Zubiri. The hostels are in Zubiri and Larrasoaña.
3TH STAGE – LARRASOAÑA – PAMPLONA
Pamplona is the first big city we find since the beginning of the Way. To reach it, we follow the route, which goes through the towns of Aquerreta, Zuriáin, Iroz, Zabaldica, Arieta, Villava, Burlada and finally Pamplona. In this route, there are two hostels: one in “Trinidad de Arre” and the other one in Pamplona.
4TH STAGE – PAMPLONA – PUENTE LA REINA
After we leave Pamplona, we go to the south to arrive to the historical village Puente la Reina. In the direction of Zizur Mayor, we reach Uterga, which is followed by Muruzábal, Obanos and finally Puente la Reina, where we connect with the French road that comes from Somport (Jaca). That is why, there are so many hostels in this area, five of them: “Albergue de la familia Roncal”, another one in Cizur Menor, another in Uterga (although it is a bit from of the route), and two more in Puente la Reina, “Padres” and “Santiago Apóstol”.
5TH STAGE – PUENTE LA REINA – ESTELLA
After leaving the medieval bridge that crosses the Arga river, we set off from Estella. The first town we find is Mañeru, followed by Cirauqui, Lorca, Villatuerta and finally Estella. In this town, we find the hostel “Hospital del Peregrino”, probably one of the most important hostels of this pilgrimage in Navarra because it is in very good condition.
6TH STAGE – ESTELLA – LOS ARCOS
This is the hardest and loneliest part of the Way for the pilgrim, due to the long distances that are between the towns. We set off from Estella, across Ayegui in the direction of Azqueta. Relatively near, we will find Villamayor de Monjardín, where one should rest just to be able to do the last stretch to Los Arcos, because if not, we will not find another hostel in any other town around. There are four hostels in this stretch: “Hogar de Monjardín” (Villamayor de Monjardín), and the other three in Los Arcos: “Isaac de Santiago”, “Casa Alberdi” and “Casa Romero”.
7TH STAGE – LOS ARCOS – VIANA – LOGROÑO
We have almost reached the last stage of the Jacobean Way in Navarra. This one will take us to the Rioja, and more exactly, to Logroño. This stage is full of vineyards and dry lands, typical of the south of Navarra. We set off from Los Arcos to go to Sansol. From here, we will go through Torres del Río, leaving behind the “Ermita de Santa María del Poyo” we reach Viana (before we arrive to Logroño), from here we will have 612 km to reach Santiago de Compostela. The first place where we can rest, is the “Hospital del Peregrino” in Torres del Río. We will also find hostels in Viana (“Alberguería Andrés Muñoz”) and in Logroño (Albergue de Peregrinos”).
SANTIAGO APOSTLE’S FIGURE
James was one of the twelve apostles, he died martyred in Jerusalem about the year 44 b.C. Five or six centuries later, stories about his preaching in Hispania started circulating in Christendom.
According to tradition, the martyred body of James the Apostle was placed by two of his disciples in a stone boat, which set sail through the Mediterranean Sea and reached the Galician coast, where the body was secretly buried because of persecutions.
In 829 b.C, in the reign of Alfonso XII of Asturias, the bishop Teodomiro, discovered a sepulchre, which he identified as James’s grave, and soon it was recognised as such in Christendom.
The amazing story, the lack of clarifying news from the Oriental sources, and all the questions that this story brings up, have worried researchers, who have been attentive to verify the thousand year old historical tradition. But there is no doubt, that Europe started its pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela to venerate and prostrate themselves before one of the apostles who had received the message of the Revelation directly from Jesus Christ. Only Rome and Jerusalem kept relics of this importance.
“A pilgrim is someone who goes to Compostela”, and the pilgrimage implies a way full of sacrifices and many difficulties, in which the walker reflects, does penance, finds himself, prays, and everything culminates in the “Monte del Gozo”, in front of the Church where his remains are venerated.