Things to Do in Funes

The Fateful Ravine of Peñalén

A few kilometers away from the town of Funes is the Ravine of Peñalén, one of the most interesting places in Navarra and the scenery of a regicide that may have changed its history. It is very close to two very important nature areas: the Natural Park of the Bardenas Reales and the Laguna de Pitillas.

Planning your Trip to Funes

From a monumental perspective, there is not much to see in Funes. This place is key to the history of Navarra because of the assassination that took place in its vicinity. Towards the east, you can visit the breathtaking  Park of the Bárdenas Reales, which is an excellent area where you can spend several days doing  active tourist activities. bird lovers can go up to the Park of the Laguna de Pitillas. Even closer is the historic city of Calahorra, an excellent place to eat and spend a full day doing cultural excursions. The good gastronomy of the area and the best places to stay can be found on our pages about where to eat and sleep in Funes.

Do you want to learn more about this place?

Funes was an important frontier village against the Muslim power during the time of the Reconquest. However, there are theories on the root of its name, which comes from the Latin term finis (limit) as its etymological origin. The Roman winery is the only archaeological site studied of the twenty that have been found in Funes, but tourists are not allowed to visit it yet.

In 1076,  King Navarro Sancho Garcés IV was hunting in the nearby ravine of Peñalén in Funes when he was thrown off the cliff by his brother Ramón. The Navarra courts, which had authority in the elections of rulers, refused to crown the brother because of the murder of his brother.  Before power was restored,  the kingdom was invaded by Castilians and soldiers from Aragón, and the Navarrens opted to crown King Sancho Ramírez of Aragón. Because of this, the crowns of Navarra and Aragón were joined together. The story of Sancho Garcés IV was recounted by Lope de Vega in his work, El Príncipe Despeñado (The Prince Thrown Off the Cliff).

Antigua fotografía de Funes
Funes, siglo XX

In 1110, King Alfonso I ‘The Battler,’ granted Funes under the jurisdiction of Calahorra. In 1378, the locality was invaded and devastated by Castilian troops. The severity of the attack caused neighbors to leave it temporarily, settling in Peralta. In 1430, the king surrendered the manor over the village to the knight Pedro Martínez de Peralta.  In the 16th century, his descendants sold it to the marquises of Falces.

In the late nineteenth century, Bernardín Terés, a musician and orchestra conductor, was born in Funes. He would later emigrate to America to make a fortune and end up being one of the founders of modern day tango.

At the most northern point of Funes, and on the foundations of the primitive medieval wall, is the Church of Santiago, a 16th century monument with a high reddish tower that has a square and polygonal finish. In the past, it served as a burial ground for local families.

The Hermitage of Santo Cristo del Calvario is an 18th century building that was rebuilt during the 50’s of the 20th century, when the garden atrium and the small belfry tower were added. Inside, there is an interesting wood carving of crucified Christ. Two kilometers from the town lies the Hermitage of Our Lady of Portegado.

Formerly, there was another hermitage with the same vocation in the center of the village, but its disuse and abandonment led to the erection of a new one in the second half of the twentieth century. Next to it is the Monument of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which began to be built in 1959 thanks for volunteer work and money from the village. The stone sculpture is the work of Rafael de la Huerta. Between the Church of Santiago and the monument runs the ‘Vía Crucis Monumental’ formed by fourteen large crosses made of cast iron.

Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Portegado en Funes
Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Portegado

The biggest tourist attraction to see in Funes is its natural environment that is just a few kilometers from its urban center. This is the Ravine of Peñalén, chosen in 2008 by popular vote as one of the Ten Wonders of Navarra. It is a steep promontory, almost four hundred meters above ground, that converges with the Aragón and Arga rivers.  Its rugged and breathtaking profile is the result of centuries of erosion of rivers from the wind and rain. There is a a lot of botanical and animal diversity, especially with birds like the falcon or the goshawk. This is one of the biggest attractions. The ravine and its surroundings can be traversed following a circular road of thirteen kilometers that is made for walkers and cyclists.

Important Information

Coordinates

42° 18′ 50.1″ N, 1° 48′ 10.7″ W

Distances

66 km from Pamplona, 68 km from Logroño, 354 km from Madrid

Parking

Around Sancho IV Street and on both sides of the bridge

Altitude

316 m

Inhabitants

2,494 (2013)

Celebration of Youth (March 18th and 19th), San Isidro (May 13th-15th), Celebrations of August (August 8th-15th)

Distribution of wine of the Brethren of San Isidro from 1765 (May 12th)

Embutidos Peñalén, Artisan Ice Cream from Mendoza S.L.

Other nearby destinations

[image-carousel category=”funes lugares”]


About the author

Other news of interest
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Navarre is a community filled with heritage treasures. Architecture, sculpture and painting have developed through Más información
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="The Palatial Court of Carlos III the Noble" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23000000" google_fonts="font_family:PT%20Sans%20Narrow%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal"][vc_column_text]Olite guards within its walls Más información
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="On the Banks of the Border River" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23000000" google_fonts="font_family:PT%20Sans%20Narrow%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal"][vc_column_text]On the banks of the Bidasoa Más información
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="The Capital City of La Ribera" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23000000" google_fonts="font_family:PT%20Sans%20Narrow%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal"][vc_column_text]The second city under the domain of Más información
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="The Cistercian Order of the Peninsula " font_container="tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23000000" google_fonts="font_family:PT%20Sans%20Narrow%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal"][vc_column_text]The history of this town is Más información