Witchcraft Route in Navarre
Witchcraft Museum in Zugarramurdi. Antonio Olza © Photos courtesy of the Navarre Tourist Board
Jaureguizar mansion. Patxi Uriz © Photos courtesy of the Navarre Tourist Board
Zugarramurdi caves. Patxi Uriz. J.Ederra © Photos courtesy of the Navarre Tourist Board
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If you're interested in taking intriguing journeys, we propose four unique routes by car around the most "mysterious" towns in Navarre in northern Spain. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, witchcraft was much more common than you could ever imagine... Some 400 years later, you can discover what traditions and curiosities remain alive in these lands.
The first of the routes (about 50 kilometres) goes through the areas of Auritz/Burguete, Orreaga/Roncesvalles, Ochagavía, Burgui and Vidángoz, where several witches were burnt at the stake for having supernatural powers. Along the route you'll find "enchanted forests", such as Basajaunberro or places like Muskilda, where witches used to gather together to hold their covens. One of the best times to take these routes is in the last week of August, as in Vidángoz, in the dead of night, there is a performance of the “Descent of the Witch”, a dance around a bonfire to welcome Maruxa, the local witch.
The second itinerary (around 30 kilometres) includes the villages of Urdazubi/Urdax, Zugarramurdi, Bertiz, Arraioz and the five villages known as the Cinco Villas. You'll find this route particularly interesting, as in Zugarramurdi you'll be able to visit the Witchcraft Museum and then feel the magical aura in the famous local cave where devil worshippers used to hold their feasts and orgies under the moonlight. Another attraction not to be missed is the medieval palace of Jauregizarrea, in Arraioz, where women accused of witchcraft were incarcerated and tortured in 1612.
The third route (about 70 kilometres) goes through the valleys of Larraun, Leiztarán and Araitz. This is the actual location where the film “Aquelarre” (Witches Coven) was shot. Finally, the fourth route goes through the villages of Viana and Bargota (about 10 kilometres). Bargota is apparently the birthplace of one of the most popular figures in Navarran witchcraft, the sorcerer Johanes, who as well as being a cleric in the church of Santa María, was also a witch-doctor, and was said to be able to cure headaches and travel on clouds... The town celebrates a varied programme of activities on this theme every summer.
Witchcraft, magic, potions, legends, persecutions… all the ingredients of mystery are present to be explored in the area of Green Spain. And keep your eyes open, because you might see a thistle hanging upside down on the door of an old house, to keep away evil spirits.
You'll find all the information on these routes on the official web page of the Navarre Tourist Board .
Things to remember:
Route 1 is reached on the N-135 road from Pamplona to Orreaga/Roncesvalles
Route 2 is reached from Pamplona on the N-121-A and 121-B
Route 3 is reached on the A-10 and A-15
Route 4 is reached by taking the A-12
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