The collection of the historic buildings in Roncesvalles, located in the westernmost side of the Pyreneen mountain range, are erected on the bottom of the southern slope of the Ibañeta hill and near the wide plain of Auritz- Burguete.
A place for the pilgrims to rest after the rough ascent from the lower Navarre valleys, "The Collegiate church of Santa María de Roncesvalles" is surrounded by some mountains like: Astobiskar (1266 m.) and Ortzanzurieta ( 1570 m), distinguished because they are the oldest territories of Navarra, with more than 450 million years old.
This orography, with a French side distinguished by a strong drop and the other one, the Spanish, more progressive, is drawn by a deep fault called "Cabalgamiento de Roncesvalles " which shapes the most accessible way of the western Pyrenees in order to get into the Iberian Peninsula.
The chosen place to build the collection of buildings was the hollow protected by the Ibañeta Pass, which protects the pilgrims' hostel, from the hostile weather conditions of this mountainous area. The great altitude in which the collection of buildings were erected and the humidity from this area explains the reason of the greenness that surrounds them, in combination with the wide beech and oak forests, which are more numerous as we go down to Auritz- Burguete.
During the winter time, the green colour turns into a white robe of snow, which explains why the roofs of the buildings are constructed as a sloped, as we can see in Burguete, a town nearby, also known by the name Auritz. Its name comes from its origins as a French hamlet, this is a city centre promoted by the reign just to contribute to its development. Nowadays has a big offer of hotel and catering industry.