La Foz de Lumbier is one more example of the incredible variety of landscapes that Navarra offers. We are talking about a territory that goes from the banks of the Ebro river to the mountains of the Pyrenees. And precisely closer to these peaks is where this gorge is located, whose visit is a delight for lovers of hiking, ornithology, botany and geology.
What is the Foz de Lumbier?
The first thing to clarify is the name of the enclave. The term Foz alludes to a word from the area that means canyon, defile or gorge. It is a word that you can see and hear both in Navarra and in places in Aragon, and in general it is always related to places carved out by rivers that have sculpted some of the most beautiful Pyrenean landscapes over the centuries.
Y Lumbier mentions the town of the same name, which is one of the towns located at the ends of this road. Meanwhile, on the other side of the gorge is Liédena.
The irati river
We have already said that the Foz de Lumbier is a gorge created by the flow and erosion of a river. But it is not just any river: it is the Irati, a name that has always is associated with the Irati Forest, one of the most impressive beech forests in Spain. It is a must-see place if you spend a few days in this area of Navarra.
In fact, visits to the Foz de Lumbier and the Selva de Irati are going to leave us speechless by the landscape contrasts that we find between both places, so close and so different at the same time. What in Irati is a fairytale forest, in Lumbier it is transformed into rock cliffs with the most capricious and inspiring shapes.
Tour the Foz de Lumbier
We have already commented on the towns that are at the ends of the gorge: Lumbier and Liédena. They are six kilometers away, which is why you can do one of the most accessible hiking routes in Navarra, for being an acceptable length and for its few slopes. With the addition that, if done in autumn, it is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the area.
Although the truth is that it is recommended at any time of the year. It is a fantastic opportunity to go out into nature, contemplate a very beautiful place and, incidentally, do some physical activity, both walking and pedaling the mountain bike if you wish.
The Foz de Lumbier transformed into a greenway
did you know that the first Spanish electric passenger train ran through Foz de Lumbier? It was a train that had a longer journey, almost 60 kilometers of electrified tracks between the town of Sangüesa and the Navarran capital, Pamplona. That train was known as the ‘Irati’ and ran between 1911 and 1955, but ended up disappearing with the rise of the automobile.
However, as a witness of that time, the six kilometers of greenway through the Foz de Lumbier are preserved. It is a spectacular journey along the river and at the foot of the rock cliffs. Just to walk around, cross old bridges or immerse yourself in the darkness of the old tunnels looking for the dream of other times, it is already worth doing this excursion.
a nature reserve
However, the attractions of the Foz de Lumbier are not limited exclusively to that ability to evoke old trains. We are talking about a place of high ecological valuewhich is why it is protected as a nature reserve.
It is a rocky and rugged habitat where it is surprising to see how there are trees and shrubs challenging the law of gravity, since there are many gall oaks or Kermes oaks that grow in cracks and rocks in the highest parts. Meanwhile, next to the river, especially at the ends of the Foz de Lumbier, there are riverside forests with the typical ash and willow trees.
Also, there are endless plantsmany of them aromatic, which are the perfect space for the local fauna, difficult to see, since it easily hides between the rocks and the vegetation.
What It is very easy to observe the flight of birds of prey and scavengers., with special prominence of the griffon vultures and Egyptian vultures. In other words, put on your boots and do this beautiful and easy excursion as soon as possible.