Camino Stage 1 St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles
You begin the first stage of the Camino from St.Jean Pied Du Port on the French and Spanish border. Crossing the Pyrneese this day is the toughest on the route with steep climbs up to Roncesvalles, You will however be rewarded with stunning views. Leaving Roncesvalles you traverse mountain passes through beech and oak woods alongside the River Arga. The high mountains and deep valleys of the Pyrenees soon give way to the undulating plain that surrounds the fortress town of Pamplona. You will also pass though Puente la Reina, where all routes from France meet and Estella once the Capital City of the Kingdom of Navarra.
- Experiencing a sense of timelessness and freedom amongst the rolling green hills.
- Enjoying an endless succession of beautiful churches and buildings on the route.
- Experiencing the buzz and bustle of some of Northern Spain’s most beguiling cities.
- Meeting fellow pilgrims, hearing their stories and travel tips along the way.
- Accommodation as per Itinerary
- 6 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers available at €65 supplement
Fly into Biarritz airport – take bus from outside airport to Bayonne rail station (20min) take mountain railway to St. Jean (1.5hrs) Private transfer also available.
6 nights 7 days
Mix of 2,3 & 4 star hotels.
You should be able to walk 20 to 25 km per day.
Arrive St.Jean Pied Du Port
Overnight Hotel: 2* Hotel Continental in St. Jean
St. Jean – Roncesvalles
St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, Huntto, Alto de Ibañeta, Orreaga/Roncesvalles
This is an extremely tough stage, particularly in the French part, which is uphill all the way. It is also poorly marked with deteriorated signs which are difficult to see. The downhill part towards Ibañeta is also hard. Drinking water fountains are few and far between.
Flora, fauna and crops
The vegetation in this area consists mainly of meadows, and beech and oak woods.
Distance: 23 km
Overnight Hotel: 3* Hotel Casa de los Beneficiados in Roncesvalles
Roncesvalles – Zubiri
Orreaga/Roncesvalles, Auritz/Burguete, Aurizberri/Espinal, Bizkarreta/Gerendiain, Lintzoain, Zubiri
Lack of signage for pilgrims on the road crossings.
Flora, fauna and vegetation
Crops in the area include beech, holly, spruce, meadows, hazel, bogies and potato fields.
Six, one at 200 meters Auritz-Burguete, with tables, benches, shade and hob, one in Auritz-Burguete, with tables, benches, shade, paper and fountain, another 100 meters Auritzberri-Espinal, with a fountain and benches in Aurizberri-Espinal other two, with a fountain and benches, and the sixth in Lintzoain with benches and a fountain.
Distance: 23 Km
Overnight Hotel: 2* Cottage Hostería Zubiri in Zubiri
Zubiri – Pamplona
Zubiri, Larrasoaña, Akerreta, Zabaldika, Trinidad de Arre, Burlada, Pamplona
Flora, fauna and crops
The local vegetation features pastures, oaks, hedges, forests of wild pine and apple trees.
There are rest areas in Ilarratz: with shade, a drinking fountain and benches; in Irotz: with benches, tables, barbecue facilities and a drinking fountain; in Zabaldika (past the town on the roadside): with toilets, tables, benches, barbecue facilities and a drinking fountain; in Villava: with a drinking fountain and benches; in Burlada (after 500 metres, beside the Arga river): with fountains, benches and tables; and in Pamplona (beside the Magdalena bridge): with a drinking fountain and benches.
Distance: 20 Kms
Overnight Hotel: 4* Hotel Maisonnave in Pamplona
Pamplona – Puente la Reina
Pamplona, Cizur Menor, Uterga, Muruzábal, Obanos, Puente la Reina
The route up to the Monte del Perdón is hard-going.
Flora, fauna and crops
The vegetation and crops in the area are mainly cereals, grapevines, asparagus, pastures, holm oaks, kermes oaks, and almond trees.
There are rest areas in Pamplona (Vuelta del Castillo park): with benches, drinking fountains, and litter bins; in Cizur Menor (beside the pelota court): with benches, litter bins and drinking fountains; in Zariquiegui: with benches, a litter bin and drinking fountain; 200 metres after the Alto del Perdón: with a bench and drinking fountain; and in Puente la Reina (at the entrance): with benches and a drinking fountain.
Distance: 23 Km
Overnight Hotel: 3* Hotel Jakue in Puente la Reina
Puente la Reina – Estella
Puente la Reina, Mañeru, Cirauqui, Lorca, Villatuerta, Estella
Areas of mud between Puente la Reina and Cirauqui which make the route hard-going.
Flora, fauna and crops
The vegetation and crops in the area include an abundance of grapevines, olive trees, asparagus, cereals, Mediterranean scrubland and reforested pinewoods.
There are two rest areas on the way out of Puente la Reina; in Mañeru (at the entrance to the village): with benches, drinking fountains and litter bin; in Mañeru (town centre): with benches, litter bins and drinking fountains; in Cirauqui: with benches and litter bins; in Cirauqui (once past the town): with benches, tables and drinking fountains (out of order); in Lorca: with benches, a drinking fountain and litter bins; in Villatuerta (opposite the sports centre): with benches, a litter bin and drinking fountain; in Villatuerta (past the town on the roadside): with benches and tables; and in Estella (next to the church of Santo Sepulcro): with drinking fountains, benches and litter bins.
Distance: 20 Km
Overnight Hotel:2* Hotel Yerri in Estella
Getting to St Jean Pied de Port
The best place to fly into to get to St Jean is to fly Dublin to Biarritz airport with Ryanair. From Biarritz, take the bus from outside the airport to Bayonne rail station (20 mins) and then from there take the mountain railway up to St Jean (1.5 hours) which you can book in advance with SNCF.
Private transfers are also available.
The best way to get back from Estella is as follows
Company La Estellesa from Estella to Pamplona
departure times Estella : 06:45, 08:00, 08:45, 08:50, 14:00
duration : about 1 hour, price 4,45 Euro / Pax.
Company Laburundesa from Pamplona to Bilbao
departure times Pamplona : 10:00, 13:00
duration : about 2 hours, price 14,75 Euro / Pax.
On arrival in Bilbao you will have to take another Bus to Bilbao airport,
this one is every 20 minutes. Please check up to date time table before arriving.
Private transfers also available.
There are flights to Dublin from Bilbao with Aer Lingus..
Expect to cover on average 20 to 25 kilometres per day walking between five and eight hours each day. You do not need high levels of fitness, however the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the experience. If you are a regular walker you should have no difficulty. Get in training be doing regular walks during the week of 30-45 mins and longer walks at the weekend. You should do as much walking as possible prior to your walk as this will simply add to your enjoyment. That said if you are not at peak fitness you will find you will soon walk yourself fit.
What type of trails will I be walking on?
A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is way-marked on rocks walls and buildings with yellow painted arrows and shells. The are always other walkers to ask for assistance if required.
When do I need to book?
We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino is very popular with up to 100, 000 people walking the route. Ideally you should not leave it later than 8 weeks before departure.
Why is baggage transfer optional?
Most walkers carry their own bags. If you pack lightly (10kgs) you can comfortably carry what you need. As you will be staying in hotels you will be provided with toiletries, towels etc. If you want to avoid washing you clothes along the way, or bring more clothes use the luggage transfer option.
When is the best time of year to go?
We recommend April/May when the spring flowers are at there best and September/October when the what the autumn leaves are turning. It can get very hot in June, July and August.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support our local partner in Spain will be more that happy to help.
Available January – December
- €370per person Sharing double room.
- €167 single supplement
- €67 optional baggage transfer
- Optional Private transfer Biarritz to St Jean €161 per car.
- Optional Private transfer Estella – Bilbao €256 per car.