Information about stage 8: Stage from Logrono to Najera
- Km 0. Logroño (All Services)
Like a fish out of water, this is how the pilgrim feels in the big cities of the Camino. The capital of La Rioja is by no means one of the worst. Ruavieja street connects with Barriocepo and this leads us to Plaza de Santiago , where the homonymous church stands (with a hostel and where they stamp and provide the credential). Further on, passing under the arch known as Puerta del Camino , we come to the circular fountain where Marqués de Murrieta street begins . More than a kilometer of sidewalk, shops and pedestrians lead us to the train tracks and three hundred meters further on, next to a Nissan dealership, we turn left to continue until the San Miguel park. Between gardens we arrive at the ring road tunnel and immediately at the promenade – here called the greenway – which leads to the Grajera park (Km 3.5) . A section of the promenade is flanked by cypresses and is reminiscent of the images of the Via Appia, a famous road that started from the very forum of ancient Rome. After a children’s play area and a sports area is the dam of the Grajera reservoir , built in 1883 on a lagoon in order to accumulate water from the Iregua river and irrigate the orchards located to the south of the capital. Today it is an enviable recreational environment where you can fish, walk, have a snack or simply rest (Km 5.8) . After the dam, the environmental didactic classroom is shortly reached and the limits of the park are crossed by an asphalt track that advances between gentle hills populated with vines. Leaving aside the detour to the golf course (Km 8) we begin a demanding slope that gives us magnificent views. In the foreground the vines, a mass of trees surrounding the reservoir in the background and Logroño in the background. With this formidable view we reach the top (Km 9.2) and descend towards Navarrete next to a metallic fence sewn by the crosses that the pilgrims leave behind. The silhouette of an Osborne bull also accompanies us on the descent and, once on the plain, we finally cross over the AP-68 to reach the ruins of theSan Juan de Acre pilgrims’ hospital , founded around 1185 by Doña María Ramírez. A straight line separates us from Navarrete , a village of potters located on Mount Tedeón . Calle La Cruz surrounds the town center and goes up to the Church of the Assumption . Navarrete has enough establishments where you can satisfy your appetite, which already appears after three hours of walking.
- km 12.7. Navarrete (All Services)
We enter the town through Calle de la Cruz (limit of the old wall) after crossing the road and take Calle Mayor Baja to the right up to the church. Then we take the exit of the town along Calle Arrabal and continue straight on Calle San Roque. After the cemetery, which shows off the façade and the windows of the San Juan de Acre hospital , we take a path that comes close to the vines, olive groves and fruit trees that populate the private orchards. The path ends next to the Sotés Wine Cooperative , where we cross the road that goes to Sotés . In this population is the San Martín hostel , inaugurated in May 2013.
- km 16.1. Detour to Sotés (Shelter. Bar. Pharmacy)
We take a paved track that reaches the edge of the highway. Parallel to the A-12 we advance until the detour that leads to Ventosa (Km 18.1) . Here we have the possibility of heading towards this town – with a hostel and several bars – or continue straight ahead . We choose to visit Ventosa and walk the 1.3 kilometers of clay track that separates us from it.
- km 19.4. Ventosa (Hostel. Bars)
Thus we arrive at the LR-341 and the Way continues along the shoulder without accessing, paradoxically, the urban center of Ventosa, on which the church of San Saturnino stands out . Shortly, next to the Alvia winery , a stony path leads us to the San Antón hill in a short and easy climb. From this vantage point the view clears up and shows us the Najerilla valley , clayey terrain covered, of course, with twisted branches arranged in separate terraces of scrubland. The panoramic view also reveals Nájera, apparently close but really distant (Km 21.2) . We go down to the pass that crosses the N-120 and continue towards a telephone repeater, located in Poyo de Roldán , an enclave where the legendary fight between Roldán and the giant Ferragut took place . We also come across a guardaviñas , a circular construction that served as a refuge for farmers and used by field guards to guard the crops (Km 25) . Nájera still does not show up and after an aggregates factory we cross the Yalde river by a small wooden and concrete bridge (Km 26) . We move away from its bed and after a kilometer and a half finally, now yes, we cross the N-120 (very careful) to enter Nájera . However, we still have two kilometers of urban crossing. We pass by the sports center and continue along the avenues of Logroño and San Fernando as far as the bridge over the Najerilla river . After crossing it, you have to turn left and walk along the path parallel to the river to the hostel.
- km 29.6. Nájera (All Services)
- High mileage: The route of this stage is the longest from Saint Jean Pied de Port, although it should not present any difficulty at this stage of the Camino. The two stops of the day, the one after the Grajera reservoir and the San Antón one , are mere tacks. The section of gentle descent between San Antón and the end of the stage becomes harder, since Nájera can be seen for two endless hours. However, for those who are short on legs, the stage can be shortened by spending the night in Ventosa, there is a well-signposted detour.
- If someone decides to start the Camino de Santiago in Logroño, they can get the credential at the municipal hostel, managed by the Association of Friends of the Camino de La Rioja and located at Calle Ruavieja, 32. The credential can also be obtained at the Church of Santiago, crossing point of the Camino through the city.
- Those who are not going to go through Ventosa must fill their canteen in Navarrete, there are no sources between this town and Nájera .
- If you do not intend to spend the night in Ventosa, there is a well-signposted detour that saves us just over half a kilometer, we must continue straight parallel to the road instead of turning left towards Ventosa.
- Once in Nájera, a visit to the Monastery and the church of Santa María la Real, founded in 1052, is highly recommended.
What to see, what to do
- LA GRAJERA RESERVOIR AND PARK : A greenway allows pilgrims to comfortably connect from San Miguel Park to La Grajera Park, built around the reservoir built in 1883, a pastime for sports fishermen and habitat for several species of ducks and birds of prey. typical of wetlands. The park was inaugurated in 1992 and, in addition to the reception, restricted areas and the swamp itself, it has a golf course.
- NAVARRETE : A town with the appearance of a stronghold, with a medieval framework and emblazoned houses located on Mount Tedeón. The scene of multiple battles between Castilians and Navarrese, Alfonso VIII, King of Castile, granted it the Fuero in 1185. It is famous for its ceramic workshops. Not surprisingly, the trade of pottery dates back to prehistoric times in these lands and, despite having become an industry, small craft production workshops still exist. Before entering Navarrete, there is, almost as an exhibition, the floor plan of what was the San Juan de Acre church-hospital for pilgrims . The hospital was founded around 1185 by Doña María Ramírez and the transitional church between the Romanesque and the Gothic were built later. The Gothic doorway of the hospital was moved to the Navarrete cemetery and today decorates the entrance to the holy field. Next to it is the hermitage of the Virgen del Niño Jesús , rehabilitated by the Association of Friends of the Camino de La Rioja. In the summer months you can see an exhibition of photography, painting and ceramics inside.
- VENTOSA : Town located between the fertile plains of the Iregua and Najerilla rivers. Church of San Saturnino: Its 17th-century square tower offers the best vantage point to recreate the red, vine-covered clay fields that surround Ventosa. The original construction dates from the 16th century and from this period it preserves its Gothic façade.
- NÁJERA : Located near a Roman castro, its name Naxara comes from Arabic and means “between the rocks”, Sancho el Mayor makes it the capital of the Kingdom of Navarre and makes the Camino de Santiago pass through it. The city revolves around the monastery and the church of Santa María la Real founded in 1052 by Don García who turned it into a family vault. This slender temple with three naves is a Gothic work from the 15th century and has a beautiful 16th-century choir and different tombs of the kings of Navarra, Castilla y León, as well as that of Don Diego López de Haro, founder of Bilbao. The cloister of the Knights is Plateresque in style and is equipped with precious stone latticework. In July they are celebrated in this monumental complex the spectacular Najerienses Chronicles. Nájera is the head of its region, so it has extensive services and shops for the pilgrim, the region has famous pelotaris and countless furniture factories.