This place is filled with the scent of adventure, desert scenery, and western vibes! And trust me, you won’t be let down. This incredible natural park, recognized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, spans over 42,000 hectares of semi-desert beauty. The unique combination of wind and rain erosion has sculpted some truly surreal landforms.

Practical infos to organise your trip

📍Where : The Bardenas Desert is located in the north of Spain, in Navarre, more specifically in the south-east of the region.

📅 When : You can explore this nature reserve throughout the year, but the ideal seasons to visit are autumn and spring, as the weather is more enjoyable. During winter, it can get extremely chilly and windy. In summer, the temperatures can soar up to 40º, and there are no shaded spots to take cover.

🚧 Access :It is very well signposted. There are several ways to get to the nature reserve:

  • Via Tuleda to Plana Negra
  • Via Arguedas for access to Blanca Baja or El Plano
  • Via Carcastillo to take El Paso and cross the Blanca Alta

The main entrance is near Arguedas. This is where you will find the information point.

Landscape Bardenas Reales

ℹ️ Information point : Very welcoming, they will show you everything you need to know to be self-sufficient. They also provide a map and tell you where it’s worth staying.
Tips: closed between 12pm and 2pm and they don’t sell food or water.

🚐 How : it can be explored by car, on foot, by mountain bike, on horseback or even by 4×4. There are many and varied itineraries. We did it by car.

🕓 Opening hours : from 8am to 1 hour before sunset.

⌛ How long to explore : for the most emblematic part of the park, the Blanca area, we recommend taking a day trip by car. However, if you want to do one or two hikes, book a whole weekend.

🛸 Drone point: it is forbidden to use drones in most areas of the park. Don’t hesitate to ask at the information point where you can use it.

Map of Bardenas Reales
Bardenas Reales, a natural park, 4 different parts (and all amazing!)
  • Bianca Baja : the most emblematic part of the famous Bardenas desert
  •  Bianca Alta : just behind La Bianca Alta, we find the same elements, but with a more far-western twist
  •  Negra : the greenest part, just as beautiful as the others, and home to a biosphere
  •  El Plano : a large plateau in the Bardenas Natural Park, visible in the distance, an immense green expanse that even boasts a turquoise lake!
Bianca Baja and Alta

The lesser-known Blanca Alta is certainly worth a visit! It is closed for a good part of the year (March to October most of the time – please enquire beforehand), as it is the nesting ground for many birds, including the region’s famous vultures!

Blanca Baja is a well-known desert region. It features a stunning track that encircles the famous military base and offers a diverse range of desert landscapes. One of the highlights here is the renowned Castildetierra, also known as the « fairy chimney, » which is often used to symbolize this famous desert. The scenery is absolutely awe-inspiring, and the colors transform throughout the day. Make sure to take your time exploring this area by strolling around the Castildetierra to uncover various viewpoints and observe the geological and natural wonders of the site.

A little further on, continue your walk via the cabezo de las Cortinillas, which offers a superb 360° view of the area.

El Plano

El Plano,  located higher up, is a large alluvial plateau to the very north of the nature reserve. Here you’ll find the El Ferial dam and its immense turquoise lake at high altitude, giving the area a very special look. More of an agricultural area, it offers an incredible landscape.

Plana de la Negra

Equally home to 2 distinct zones, the Bardena Negra is distinguished by its wide plains, but also by its Aleppo pine and oak forests. Highly wooded and green, this zone is made up of plains and streams, allowing these forests to flourish.

Finally, in order to preserve this natural park and ensure that travellers can continue to visit the Bardenas Reales desert, it is of course forbidden to climb on the rock formations to avoid damaging them!

Monkey in Bardenas Reales
The most beautiful hike in the Bardenas – the Piskerra

La Piskerra: 468 m – Difficulty: technical route – Duration: 2h45

However, it is closed to the public from the arrival of spring (dates not fixed) until the end of August. Check the Bardenas news website for details. The Piskerra massif is located in the heart of the Bardenas desert, in the Bardena Bianca.


Arguedas: a delightful little Spanish village with a population of just under 2,500 people. It serves as the perfect starting point for exploring the Bardenas Reales desert, and you won’t have any difficulty finding a place to stay while you visit.

Tudela: situated approximately a 30-minute drive away from Arguedas. Tudela is renowned for its main square, the Plaza de los Fueros, and the magnificent Santa Maria Cathedral.

Alfaro: this town is famous for its storks! Every year, from December to August, Alfaro becomes home to the largest colony of white storks in the world. Hundreds of storks flock to the town, particularly around the San Miguel church, to breed and create a mesmerizing sight.

Now you are ready to explore one the biggest European desert. If you’re planning to explore Spain, you should take a look here 😉 Vamos!!!

Happy travel! J&T