What is the Royal Palace of Olite ?

Built in 1402 by Charles III the Noble and his wife Leonor of Trastámara, the palace’s architecture is reminiscent of France, from where Charles III originated.

Very impressive upon our arrival in the medieval town of Olite with its numerous towers, it completely dominates the village. It was not a defensive palace but one constructed for relaxation and pleasure with its many royal chambers and gardens that housed a zoo of exotic animals.

The Navarrese king Charles III decided to transform the palace into the seat of the monarchy and thus adapted the layout and decoration. At the time, it was considered one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe and hosted the court of the Kings of Navarre.

Located in Navarre, 42 kilometers south of Pamplona, it is regarded as one of the most interesting Gothic constructions in Europe and was classified as a National Monument in 1925.

In 1813, the palace was partially destroyed by a fire set by General Espoz y Mina to prevent French troops from occupying the castle. Its restoration began in 1937, attempting to stay as close as possible to its original appearance.

When to visit the Royal Palace of Olite ?

All year round! However, the town hosts medieval festivals in August, perfect for immersing yourself in the ambiance of the Middle Ages.

While visiting the palace, take the time to wander through the cobbled streets of the town, where you’ll find many restaurants and tapas bars. The region is also well-known for its acclaimed wine, so don’t hesitate to step into a wine cellar.

In the summer, the palace also offers theatrical tours that bring the court’s life at the palace to life. The theatrical tour covers the rooms and lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

How to get to the Royal Palace of Olite and where to stay ?

  • By motorhome :

Very convenient, you will find a free area at the entrance of the town where you can empty grey water and fill up with water. There is no electricity, but you can also stay overnight there.

  • By car :

Olite is only about 40 km from Pamplona on the road to the Bardenas Desert.

Practical information for preparing your visit to the Royal Palace of Olite

  • Opening Hours: 10 AM to 7 PM
  • Admission Fees: €4.40 for general entry and €7.50 for the guided tour
  • You can request an audio guide at the entrance.
  • Parking: Free parking is available outside the town.
  • Accessibility: There is an elevator for people with reduced mobility.
  • Theatrical Tour Tickets: Purchase your tickets here.
  • You do not need to buy tickets for the regular visit in advance.

Our review of the Royal Palace of Olite visit

The children especially loved the visit; this palace is a real labyrinth where you can easily get lost. It’s a succession of corridors, rooms, staircases, and towers… the kids spent their time running around, playing hide and seek, and discovering every nook and cranny!

The castle is unfurnished but in perfect condition, which doesn’t detract from the visit at all. The various inner courtyards and gardens are particularly pleasant and bring a lot of freshness to this vast stone structure, which might seem cold since it’s not furnished. It’s easy to imagine life back in those times.

The palace also has a small souvenir shop, just like any good tourist site!

About Author

We are Sophie, Adrien, and our two adorable little ones. Passionate about travel, discovery, and gastronomy, we bought a 2007 Rapido camper van to travel differently, travel more, and introduce our children to the world. Here, we share our wonderful discoveries and tips for activities to do with children in France and beyond ! Welcome !

Also worth discovering

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *