The Camino Francés: Stretch 1 from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona
1 pax min.
Stretch 1: from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona crossing the Pyrenees
When we speak about the St. James’s Way it is often associated with the so-called “French Way” without considering that only in Spain there are several routes to Santiago coming from different points of the Peninsula. This way, compared to others, is the busiest and the one which has the best facilities.
It dates back to the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle and the first pilgrimages to Santiago from France. It partly runs along old Roman roads that were used by the pilgrims.
There are three routes of the Camino Francés that cross the Pyrenees, the one across Saint Jean Pied de Port which is the busiest, the one across Somport also known as the Camino Aragonés even if it’s part of the French Way and the Baztán route which comes from Bayona and joins the Camino Francés in Pamplona. The route coming from Somport joins the Camino Francés in Puente La Reina.
Day 1: Saint Jean Pied de Port
Transfer to Saint Jean Pied de Port. Possibility to visit this pretty village, the last of the French ones, before entering into Spain.
Day 2: From Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles, 26 – 29 km approx.
From Saint Jean Pied de Port you can have a choice between two routes:
1. The Valcarlos route (Camino Principal), of medieval origin runs along secondary roads through the villages of Arneguy and Valcarlos, 26 km approx.
2. The so-called Route de Napoleón (Camino de Napoleón) as it was used for the Napoleón soldiery to enter Spain, runs through forest tracks and is a bit longer, 29 km approx.
We must take into account that crossing the Pyrenees is the hardest challenge that Pilgrims will come across along the Camino de Santiago with an around 900m ascent just in one day and it’s only recommended to do if you are fit.
This stage is going to be the hardest so it can be divided by chosing the medieval route with an overnight stay in Valcarlos. In this case, there would be two stages as following:
- From Saint Jean Pied de Port to Valcarlos, 8 km approx.
- From Valcarlos to Roncesvalles, 18 km approx.
Day 3: From Roncesvalles to Zubiri, 23 km approx.
We pass through the villages of Burguete and Viscarreto where we can visit its Romanesque church. Later we will drop down to Zubiri across Puente de la Rabia bridge.
Day 4: From Zubiri to Pamplona, 22 km approx.
Walk to Larrasoaña across Puente de los Bandidos bridge. Here the church is worth visiting. Through the Portal de Francia we reach Pamplona.
Day 5: In Pamplona
Free day to visit this beautiful city well known by its San Fermines, where we can make the same itinerary as the one made by the runners during this festivity. It is also important to see the Gothic Cathedral.
Transfer to the airport.
*There is the possibility to extend the stay in Pamplona, if you are interested in it please don’t hesitate to contact Viajes Orbis. When extending your stay, apart from enjoying the city, we can arrange some excursions.
*It is also posible to combine various trips, e.g. follow the Way of Saint James to Burgos, Astorga or until Santiago.