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The Middle Area

Transition landscape

This is an intermediate landscape, which shares traits with both the Mountains and the Ribera, which is not to say that it lacks a personality of its own – it most certainly does not – but rather its transition landscape softens and tempers the huge geographical contrasts between the Mountains and the Ribera. There are two distinct areas, Eastern Middle Navarre and Tierra Estella.

Eastern Middle Navarre

An area lying to the south of the mountain ranges of Perdón, Aláiz, Izco and Leire, it extends from the Arga, to the south, to the boundary with Aragon. It consists of Valdizarbe, Valdorba, Val de Aibar, Tierra de Sangüesa and the Somontano of Tafalla-Olite. Its terrain is made up of somontanos (foothills) or generally small plains, abutting mountains that run in a south-east direction, through which from north to south flow the Aragón, Cidacos and Arga.

The land is flatter, with a temperate Mediterranean climate, with an average rainfall of 450 to 750 mm and average temperatures of between 12.5 and 14ºC, which suggests a tendency towards a continental climate. Although there are instances of beech. oak and common pine, the tree covering is thinner than in the Mountains, with a prevalence of a mixed forest of holm and oak, and scrubland featuring rosemary, lavender, scorpion’s thorn, juniper and Kermes oak.


View of Olóriz (Valdorba)

Paisaje Zona Media

Typical landscape of the Middle Area.

Tierra Estella

Also referred to as Western Middle Navarre - Navarre Media Occidental, this area runs from the boundary with Alava, to the south, to the mountain ranges of Urbasa and Andía, to the north, and to the Arga River, to the east. The southern limit is less precise and it extends into what has become known as the Ribera Estellesa. Tierra Estella is also a series of basins, plains and mountain ranges that include the valleys of the Améscoas, Val de Lana, Valdeallín, Yerri, Guesálaz, Goñi, Villatuerta, Mañeru, Monjardín, Ega, Berrueza, Aguilar, Solana and numerous municipalities from Dicastillo and Allo to Viana. All these lands have historically centred on the city of Estella, the district’s administrative centre.

The Ega is the main river. The Urederra, which springs forth from deep in the Urbasa range, is its principal tributary. There are huge climate changes between the mountainous northern area, under the influence of the Atlantic - with 1,100 to 1.500 mm. of rainfall and an average temperature of between 9 and 11ºC in the area of Urbasa-Andía, and the southern plains, with a continental Mediterranean influence - 500 to 800 mm. and 11.5 to 13.5ºC on average. The vegetation reflects this climate transition and, accordingly, evolves from oak, beech, holy, boxwood and meadows in the north to holm oaks and clumps of rosemary, thyme and lavender in the foothills of the south.

Government of Navarre

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