Today is one of our longer days, but well worth the effort! We depart Estella this morning after a hearty breakfast. As we leave town we come across the ancient Benedictine Monastery of Irache, where the winery still honors the ancient tradition of providing free wine to pilgrims! The Wine Fountain is a unique and generous offering to pilgrims and travelers passing through the region. It is located at the entrance of the Bodega Irache and dispenses red wine for pilgrims to enjoy and toast to a successful pilgrimage.
We stop here to enjoy a locally-sourced gourmet picnic, and who doesn’t love lunch with a free glass of wine? This tradition dates back to 1991 when the local winery set up the fountain as a goodwill gesture to weary travelers. Don’t forget to greet the world on the live webcam feed!
Our journey continues to Los Arcos, whose ancient entrance was known as Puerta de las Conchas, or the Gate of Shells, once the access point to the Jewish quarter. While we explore the town centre we see the outstanding 13th-century Church of Santa María, known for its beautiful cloister. The main square of Los Arcos, known as Plaza Mayor, is a charming and lively place to rest and have a well-deserved drink to celebrate the end of a long stage.
Before dinner the group sits down for our evening meeting, where our knowledgeable Fresco Tours guides prepare us for the terrain tomorrow, explaining the map, where we stop, and what to look at for on the path. After enjoying dinner, we rest to prepare for tomorrow!