Estella, in spite of not being a very big town, has a lot to offer. The camino enters along the river and keeps to the west bank. To see many of the churches, or to stay in some of the albergues, you will need to cross the río Ega.
The town boasts an impressive number of historically significant buildings, so many that to visit them all would take the better part of a weekend. The two not to be missed are the Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra (never actually used by the King of Navarra) and the Iglesia de San Pedro de la Rua. The others include the Iglesia de Santo Sepulcro (as you enter town on your left, closed since 1881), the Iglesia de San Miguel, and the Basílica del Puy which requires a climb to the top of town. Be sure to spend enough time wandering the streets to take it all in.
If you find yourself in Estella for a day of rest and exploration, there are some excellent walking trails nearby. Ask for maps in the tourist information office next to the Palacio.
Thursday is market day in Estella, just as it was 900 years ago. Be sure to stop by the Plaza de los Fueros (opposite the Iglesia de San Juan) for a fresh selection of just about everything in season across Spain.
Estella has two patrons, San Andres and La Virgen del Puy. The former is celebrated as “El Viernes de Gigantes” on the first Friday before the First Sunday in August. Giants abound, and there is a running of the bulls. The latter, for the Virgin, is celebrated on May 25th.
Geographically speaking, Estella sits to the north of what would otherwise be an easy walk west from Villatuerta. Its growth as a commercial center developed not because of pilgrims (as was the case in most places) but rather at the manipulations of King Sancho Ramirez at the end of the 11th century.
If you stayed in one of the albergues on the new side of the town, cross back over the river to rejoin the camino out of town.
Accommodation in Estella [Lizarra]
|Hospital de Peregrinos de Estella
|Alda Estella Hostel
|Albergue La Hostería de Curtidores
|Albergue Parroquial San Miguel Archangel
|Albergue Capuchinos Rocamador
|Albergue de ANFAS de Estella
|Pensión Fonda Izarra|