Camino Francés: Logroño to Navarrete - Stage 8

The view looking south from one of the windows at the refuge in Navarrette
Share this!
Simon Kemp Camino de Santiago author

By: Simon Kemp, Editor

Camino Francés Diary: Route segment: 8

Wednesday 4th October 2000

The meal I had last night did not agree with me, it might have been sunstroke as yesterday was too hot a day for me. I have lost the plot. Olga sympathizes and I try yogurt for breakfast. Maybe not the wisest choice. I should have read a book about dealing with an upset stomach on the Camino Francés ! They are not quite ready yet and I start off on my own. There is a bar open and because this is a city they give me strange looks when I walk in.

After a coffee I continue and spot Carlos and Olga walking on the opposite side of the road. I follow them for a while but they are fast walkers and I am starting to have some sort of problem developing with my left leg. We walk past a natural lake “Pantano De La Grajera” which I take to be a reservoir.

Looking back to one of the lakes at Logroño
Looking back to one of the lakes at Logroño

It is developing into another really hot day and the sun cream I bought yesterday is going to prove necessary. After the lake I quickly lose sight of the others and I am alone with my thoughts again.

Today’s journey is only 21Km and it does not take long to get to Navarrete . I spot a bar and of course Olga and the others are sitting outside in the shade. This seems like a good place to stop to let the sun go down a bit. They decide to go on to Nájera but I am having problems with the leg and still annoyed with myself. It is only 14.00 and the refuge does not open until 15:00 so I havea few more coffees and a beer until then. The refuge here is very modern and the view out of the window is interesting:-

The refuge in Navarrete
The refuge in Navarrete

Eventually the French girls arrive and I feel more at home. Up till now the people arriving at the refuge have been strangers. That evening the keeper of the refuge does a blessing for the pilgrims. I am not sure that she has the ecclesiastical authority to do this but it is a pleasant experience anyway. Part of the blessing is holding hands with the person either side of you and I hold hands with Margaux for 10 minutes or so, which is very nice indeed.

Part of the blessing is based on singing and the woman has a good voice. After the blessing everyone gives everyone else a big hug. I give Margaux and Ophelia a big hug each which is nice. The woman running the refuge will turn up again later in “Burgos” and seems to rather like giving people hugs.

Departure Point: Logroño

Logroño , the capital of La Rioja, is a vibrant city in northern Spain that beautifully combines tradition and modernity. Situated in the picturesque Ebro River valley, it is renowned for its wine culture, rich history, and lively street scenes.

Location and History

Logroño’s strategic location in the Ebro River valley has played a significant role in its development. With a history dating back to the Roman Empire, it served as a bustling trade hub. Over time, it evolved into a center for winemaking and agriculture. Today, it stands as a thriving city that preserves its cultural heritage while embracing modernity.

Points of Interest

Pilgrims standing at the entrance of the concatedral de santa maria de la redonda logrono la rioja
Pilgrims Standing At The Entrance Concatedral De Santa Maria De La Redonda Logrono La Rioja

Logroño offers a wealth of attractions that captivate visitors of all ages. The magnificent Cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda, an impressive Gothic-style masterpiece, stands as a testament to the city’s architectural splendor. The charming streets of the Old Town, with their delightful shops, restaurants, and cafes, invite exploration and discovery. Calle Laurel, famous for its vibrant pinchos bars, beckons food enthusiasts to indulge in the tantalizing flavors of the region.

Wine Culture

Logroño is synonymous with Rioja wine, and its wine culture is deeply ingrained in the city’s identity. With numerous wineries and wine bars, visitors have the opportunity to savor the world-class Rioja wines. Wine aficionados can partake in tastings, delve into the intricate art of winemaking, and learn about the region’s vinicultural heritage. The annual San Mateo Festival, a celebration of the harvest season, immerses visitors in the joyous atmosphere of wine-related festivities.

Gastronomy

The gastronomic scene in Logroño is a delight for food enthusiasts. The city’s famed pinchos, delightful bite-sized treats, are a culinary highlight. Visitors can indulge in a tapestry of flavors, textures, and aromas as they sample a variety of pinchos paired with the finest Rioja wines. Beyond pinchos, traditional Riojan cuisine showcases local ingredients and culinary traditions, offering a delectable journey through regional flavors.

As a significant stop on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, Logroño provides essential services for pilgrims. The city offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to comfortable private rooms. Pilgrims can refuel at local restaurants and cafes, stock up on supplies at shops catering to their needs, and access medical facilities and pharmacies for any required assistance.

Conclusion

Logroño is a captivating city that seamlessly blends history, wine culture, and modern amenities. Its scenic location, historic landmarks, and vibrant street life make it an enticing destination for travelers. Whether you’re drawn to its wine heritage, culinary delights, or cultural treasures, Logroño offers an unforgettable experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Route Description

Embark on this picturesque journey from Logroño to Navarrete, a portion of the 30-kilometer Stage 8 of the Camino Francés. Traversing mostly flat terrain, this route immerses you in the heart of the renowned La Rioja wine region.

The journey from Logroño to Navarrete is an approximately 13-14 kilometer stretch that takes walkers through the heart of the picturesque La Rioja wine region12. As you depart from Logroño, your first stop might be the Parque de la Grajera, a beautiful park where you can discover the “Rose of the Camino”2. A little further down the trail, you’ll encounter your first “pilgrim shop,” complete with an actual hermit stamping Pilgrim passports2.

Immersing yourself into the lush Riojan countryside, you’ll stroll through vineyards that line the route, making for a pleasant and scenic journey2. A notable point along the route is Alto de la Grajera, a spot above the main highway where pilgrims have placed crosses made from scrap pieces of bark on a fence2.

The trail then brings you to a major road crossing, which serves as a reminder of the wider world outside the Camino’s tranquil environment2. From here, it’s not long before the charming town of Navarrete, with a population of approximately 3,000, comes into sight2.

Alternative Routes

No significant alternative routes are available for this stage of the Camino Francés.

Tips and Recommendations

As you embark on this journey, remember that the best times of year to walk this stage are spring and autumn when temperatures are moderate. Pack essentials like comfortable footwear, sun protection, water, and snacks. Make sure to respect the locals and their property, stay on the designated path, and follow the yellow arrows marking the route. Finally, don’t miss the chance to try local dishes in Navarrete, such as “chuletillas al sarmiento” (grilled lamb chops) and “bacalao a la riojana” (cod in tomato and pepper sauce).

Destination: Navarrete

Navarrete is a captivating town located in the heart of the La Rioja wine region in northern Spain. Known for its winemaking heritage, rich history, and breathtaking landscapes, it offers a delightful experience for visitors seeking a taste of traditional Spanish culture.

Navarrete, La Rioja, Northern Spain
Navarrete

Location and History

Navarrete is nestled amidst picturesque vineyards and rolling hills, providing a stunning backdrop for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The town is strategically located on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, attracting pilgrims from all over the world. With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, Navarrete played a crucial role in the development of the region’s winemaking tradition. Its historic center still retains its medieval charm, with narrow streets, stone buildings, and well-preserved architecture that transports visitors back in time.

Points of Interest

Navarrete boasts several noteworthy points of interest that showcase its historical and cultural significance. The Church of the Assumption, a beautiful Gothic-style church dating back to the 16th century, stands as a prominent landmark in the town. Its impressive façade, intricate stone carvings, and ornate interior captivate visitors with its architectural splendor. The nearby Pilgrim’s Fountain, a symbol of the town’s significance as a stop on the Camino de Santiago, offers a tranquil spot for pilgrims to rest and reflect on their journey.

Winemaking Heritage

Winemaking in the Rioja Region
Winemaking In Rioja

Navarrete is deeply rooted in the winemaking tradition of the La Rioja region. Visitors can explore the local wineries, known as bodegas, and indulge in wine tastings that showcase the exquisite flavors and craftsmanship of the renowned Rioja wines. The town is also home to the Wine Museum, where visitors can delve into the history and techniques of winemaking through interactive exhibits and displays. The museum offers a fascinating insight into the winemaking process, from grape cultivation to fermentation and aging.

Natural Surroundings

Surrounded by lush vineyards and captivating landscapes, Navarrete offers ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can embark on scenic hikes or bike rides through the vineyard-dotted countryside, soaking in the beauty of the region. The nearby Sierra de Cantabria mountain range provides breathtaking views and exhilarating hiking trails for those seeking a more challenging adventure. The tranquil Ebro River, which meanders through the region, offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and leisurely riverside walks.

Navarrete, being a significant stop along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, provides pilgrims with a range of services and amenities. Accommodation options include comfortable hostels and guesthouses that cater to the needs of weary travelers. The town also offers a variety of restaurants and cafes where pilgrims can savor local delicacies and replenish their energy. Additionally, there are shops selling pilgrim supplies and souvenirs to commemorate their journey. Pilgrims can find information centers and support services to assist them on their pilgrimage.

Conclusion

Navarrete is a captivating town that offers a blend of history, winemaking heritage, and natural beauty. Whether you’re an avid wine enthusiast, a history buff, or a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago, Navarrete provides a memorable experience. With its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, it invites visitors to immerse themselves in the charm of the La Rioja wine region and create lasting memories.

Share this!