The Roncal Valley
, situated high in the Pyrenees
, on the border between France and the Spanish province of Huesca, has a striking character forged on the basis of ancient traditions, delicious gastronomy and nature in its purest form. Seven unique villages of acclaimed beauty make up this valley, the main resources of which still continue to be forestry and livestock, complemented significantly in recent decades by tourism. Burgui, Vidángoz, Garde, Roncal, Urzainqui, Isaba and Uztárroz are the seven pearls of this valley.
The river Esca crosses the valley from north to south, washing the banks of its stony villages full of carefully-tended steep traditional houses, steeply sloping roofs and smoking chimneys. Its fast-flowing waters, which have created impressive natural spectacles such as the gorge at Burgui, were used for centuries by almadieros (rafters who used to carry goods as far as the river Ebro), to whom a tribute is paid every spring.
Woods, cross-country skiing tracks, unique traditions, such as the Tributo de las Tres Vacas
(Homage of the Three Cows) or the Día de la Almadía
(Day of the Raft), quality gastronomic products such as Roncal cheese or migas (shepherd's breadcrumbs), museums dedicated to famous figures such as the tenor Julián Gayarre, paths of varying difficulty such as the Camino de Zemeto
, high mountain peaks such as the Mesa de los Tres Reyes
(the highest in Navarre), prize-winning sculptures such as the Tomb of Julián Gayarre
, village squares full of flowers, towering landscapes such as Larra in Belagua
and fairy-tale like spots. It is a valley to be visited unhurriedly and with a camera? a valley to experience.
Everyone has its identity. In villages like Burgui or Isaba the echoes of 'swallows' and rafts can still be felt and heard. Swallows is the nickname given to young alpargateras from the Roncal valley that used to walk to the factory in Mauleon (France) every autumn, where they stayed until the spring. This phenomenon, and the black dress rounded off by a white taffeta, justify the nickname. Nowada ... [+ info]