Points of interest of stage 6: Stage from Estella/Lizarra to Torres del Rio
- Km 0. Estella (All Services)
Straight ahead, through the streets of Rúa, San Nicolás and Camino de Logroño, we start through the corners that gave life to Estella , populated by Franks thanks to the Fuero granted by King Sancho Ramírez in 1090. Between Rúa and San Nicolás, we find on one side is the Palace of the Kings of Navarre , from the 12th century and with a porticoed façade, and on the other is the modern staircase that leads to San Pedro de la Rúa , a church with a beautiful doorway and a better cloister that seems to overcome the laws of gravity. It comes out onto Zalatambor street and we continue straight ahead after the roundabout. After the gas station we turn slightly to the right and continue to Ayegui, an old ecclesiastical manor that has its own town hall and that is physically assembled with Estella.
- Km 2. Ayegui (Shelter. Bars. Shop. Pharmacy. ATM)
The traditional route descends to the Fuente del Vino and the Irache Monastery . The fountain flows with water and it has also come since 1991 and allows one to cool off before reaching the Irache monastery, located under Montejurra . It is from the 11th century and has all the possible styles, although today it is uninhabited. Leaving it behind, we reach a point where there are two options to continue : the first, more wooded and straight ahead, goes along the slopes of Montejurra and passes through Luquin ; the second, on the right, is the traditional one and visits Azqueta and Villamayor de Monjardín. Both variants come together before Los Arcos. We choose the traditional one, which takes us to cross the N-111 and go through a service road between Camping Iratxe and the urbanization of the same name (Km 4) . A tunnel gives access to a path surrounded by arable land that later penetrates between dense masses of holm oaks. The path briefly aborts to cross the Igúzquiza road but we join it again and continue to Ázqueta , the town where Pablo Sanz Zudaire, nicknamed Pablito el de las Varas , lives . Mythical on the Camino, Pablito has been building and offering hazelnut sticks to pilgrims who come to his house since 1986.
- km 7.4. Ázqueta (Bar. Hospedería)
Who knows if with a new staff we leave Ázqueta and, after some warehouses, we turn left to gain the upper hand over the unevenness between the vineyards. At the edge of the road there is a medieval cistern known as the Fuente de los Moros , designed to satiate medieval pilgrims. Further on is Villamayor de Monjardín .
- km 9.2. Villamayor de Monjardín (Hostels. Shop. Bar)
Above, at the top of Monjardín, are the remains of the castle of San Esteban de Deyo . In the town, the church of San Andrés stands out , Romanesque from the 12th century and with a Baroque tower from the 18th century. It was restored between 1973 and 1984 and its greatest treasure is an old silver processional cross that already has a replica in the cathedral in the Polish town of Torun. Villamayor is also famous for its winery and its own vineyards are in charge of guiding us through the valley that was once known as San Esteban de la Solana. Two kilometers later we arrive at the junction of the Urbiola highway, with a fountain to hydrate ourselves well and cope with the next ten kilometers without intermediate populations, through long and monotonous concentration tracks(Km 11.3) . However, a couple of kilometers away we will find Eduardo’s bar-trailer in season . It has been in operation since April 2014, opens seasonally (tel: 606 851 231) and serves cold drinks, hot sandwiches and combined dishes. Some texts by R. Ábrego animate this solitary section. In a panel, one of them informs us that in a nearby place, in 1873, the liberal general Domingo Moriones and his army were defeated by the Carlists (Km 13.3) . An hour and a half later we entered Los Arcos through the area of San Vicente and Calle Mayor. The town retains much of its historical legacy and the old pilgrim hospitals of Santa María, Santa Brígida and San Lázaro have passed the baton to a good number of more modern hostels. You reach the porticoed square of Santa María where the church of the same name is located, a monumental building in which the late Romanesque to the Baroque periods come together. The square invites you to rest, deserved and necessary to face the final stretch of the stage.
- km 21.2. Los Arcos (All Services)
We cross the Castilla portal and immediately cross the road and the Odrón river. After the last houses of Los Arcos we return to another agricultural track that runs in a straight line, parallel to the N-111, for three kilometres. At this point, difficult to describe but signposted, we turn right along a path (Km 24.8) . We continue along it to the San Pedro stream and the Sansol road , which leads us to this town.
- Km 28. Sansol (Hostel. Rural House. Bar. Pharmacy)
We left Sansol next to a chalet, already within sight of Torres del Río . A rapid descent places us at the gates of this population. It is difficult to go up its steep streets and find the Church of the Holy Sepulchre , an octagonal temple from the 12th century that maintains an attached tower that could have been used as a lighthouse to guide the pilgrims who preceded us.
- Km 29. Torres del Río (Shelters. Bar. Shop. ATM)
- Go up and down to Villamayor de Monjardín: It is the most rugged part. From Villamayor the orography is very favourable.
- Between Estella and Logroño there are 49 kilometers that are usually covered in two days. We have the option of ending in Los Arcos, a town with all services, or continuing the stage to Torres del Río. Also a good alternative that we reflect to shorten the journey of the stage that ends in Logroño.
- 4 kilometers into the stage we will find the monastery of Irache and its famous wine fountain, the fountain has two spouts, one for water and the other for young red wine in order to continue the tradition of the monastery that already offered in ancient times it came to the pilgrims as a restorative. PILGRIM, if you want to arrive in Santiago with strength and vitality from this great wine, take a drink and toast to happiness.
- Shortly before Villamayor de Monjardín is the fountain of the Moors. It is a medieval cistern built in the year 1200 where pilgrims refreshed and washed. It is worth a while to meditate under its shadow.
- Between Villamayor de Monjardín and Los Arcos there are 12 kilometers without services or water. It is very important to stock up on water, especially in summer.
- In Ázqueta, Helena Murugarren runs the Hospedería La Perla Negra . The accommodation has 5 beds in a single bed with vegetarian dinner and breakfast for 45 euros person. Telephone: 627 114 797.
- In Sansol is the Casa Rural El Olivo . It is located at Calle Taconera, 9. The single room costs 25 euros, the double room costs 40 euros and the double room with bathroom costs 50 euros, the triple room costs 75 euros and the quadruple room costs 100 euros. You have the right to cook. Telephones: 649 750 815 and 948 64 83 45.
- In Torres del Rio, a visit to the octagonal church of the Holy Sepulcher is well worth it.
What to see, what to do
- VILLAMAYOR DE MONJARDÍN:
- Castle of San Esteban de Deyo: Sancho Garcés, a bust of him remembers him in the Plaza de Villamayor, in the year 905 he occupied the throne of the Kingdom of Pamplona. This king reconquered lands near Pamplona still in the hands of the Banu Qasi Muslim dynasty. One of the squares won was Monjardín and its castle of San Esteban de Deyo. It is believed that in this fortress located on Mount Monjardín he is buried together with his only son García Sánchez. The castle began its decline after the annexation of Navarre by Castile in 1512 but it still preserves the hermitage, the cistern and other dependencies. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it also housed the valuable silver processional cross that can be seen today in the village church.
- Church of San Andrés: Restored between 1973 and 1984, it is Romanesque from the 12th century and its tower is Baroque from the 18th century. The Romanesque façade and the door with medieval ironwork stand out, but its greatest treasure is a silver cross that already has a replica in the cathedral of the Polish town of Torun. Thanks to the whim of a bishop from this city, he was shocked to see her on a visit to Navarre.
- LOS ARCOS: Los Arcos was Romanized and its term, it is believed, was located in the military circumscription of the city of Curnonium , cited by Ptolemy in his Iberian Geography. Conquered by the Muslims and reconquered in turn by King Sancho Garcés in the 10th century, Los Arcos received its jurisdiction from the Navarrese King Sancho VI el Sabio in the year 1175. At that time, the dominant area of Los Arcos belonged to the from Torres del Río, Sansol, Armañanzas, Eregortes and Villanueva. The jurisdiction and the pilgrimage to Santiago led to a period of prosperity in Los Arcos: the beginning of the works on the church of Santa María, the construction of hospitals, fairs and markets, etc. For almost three centuries, between 1463 and 1753, Los Arcos was a town belonging to the Kingdom of Castile.
- Church of Santa María: After passing the plaza de la fruta, turn towards the plaza de Santa María where this monumental church is located. Construction began at the end of the 12th century and it did not stop being reformed and expanded until the 19th century, a circumstance for which it treasures from the Romanesque to the Neoclassical, passing through the Gothic, Plateresque and Baroque. The Plateresque façade, the Baroque main altarpiece, the flamboyant Gothic cloister and the four-section tower from the 16th century deserve it. In the altarpiece of the main altarpiece is the carving of Santa María de los Arcos, the black Virgin with blue eyes.
- Puerta de Castilla: Old main gate of the medieval wall. It was last renovated in 2007.
- Church of San Zoilo: Something out of the way for the pilgrim since the church is located at the top of the town. It is Baroque from the 18th century and preserves a Gothic carving from the 14th century. Next to the tower there is an excellent viewpoint over Torres del Río.
- RIVER TOWERS:
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Carrera street ends face to face with one of the architectural jewels of the Camino: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Its presence clouds the attributes of the population and the parish of San Andrés del XVI. A Historic-Artistic Monument since 1931, the Holy Sepulcher is a 12th-century Romanesque construction that stands out for its octagonal plan and eight-arch caliphal vault. The altar is presided over by a Romanesque wooden carving of Christ crucified. The key importance of this church went unnoticed until the early 20th century and it was the American author and traveler Goddard King who noticed it during her pilgrimage to Santiago.
You can visit it by calling Mari Carmen at 626 325 691 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and in the afternoon between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission costs one euro.