Walking the Camino Francés to Santiago de Compostela

The Camino Francés from St. Jean Pied de Port to Logroño

A Self-Guided Trip lasting 10 Days & 9 Nights

This itinerary begins in St. Jean Pied de Port the last stop in France on the Way, a lovely little town with a marvelous pilgrim’s atmosphere. You’ll cross the magnficient Pyrenees mountains into Spain, then descend into the fertile valleys surrounding Pamplona to end in Logroño, captital of Spain’s most famous wine-producing area – La Rioja.

Walking a total of 164 Km in 8 daily stages averaging nearly 20.5 km/13 mi  may seem challenging, but completing this itinerary is well within reach of anyone who maintains a moderate level of fitness

  • The unique energy and camaraderie of the “pilgrimage” – every day you’ll share the trail with fellow pilgrims from around the world, and inevitably, the traveller soon finds herself imbued with the unique and magical spirit of the “Camino “.
  • The Pyrenees – Europe’s 2nd major mountain range, after the Alps, you’ll cross at one of the lower passes near the Atlantic ocean, but still a respectable 1600 meters, where swirling mists and flocks of sheep are often your main companions. When the fog lifts wonderful views abound.
  • Pamplona  – the walled fortress city of Pamplona (Iruña in Basque language), ancient capital of the kingdom of Navarre (claimed as part of a “Basque homeland” nowadays by the Basque separatist-terrorist-nationalist groups such as ETA). Pamplona was the end of the second stage in Aymery Picaud’s guide. In modern times, the city has become world famous thanks to Ernest Hemmingway’s having written about its Running of the Bulls in its annual San Fermin Festival. It’s a great place to eat and drink the fine local wine!

Day
1

St. Jean Pied de Port

Independent arrival in the atmospheric and ancient walled town of St. Jean Pied de Port. Explore on your own.
Overnight: in St. Jean

Day
2

St. Jean Pied de Port to Vierge d’Orisson

The walk across the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles (the first town in Spain on the Way) is long and quite challening, with over 1200 meters elevation gain and another 500 m descent, so for most of our clients we break it up into 2 stages. The trail starts with a long steep climb to the Vierge d’Orisson, known in Spanish as Virgen de Biakorre, a modern statue of the Virgin Mary brought here from Lourdes by shepherds, in a marvelous setting with panoramic views. Wait here for a pre-arranged taxi pickup to take you back to St. Jean.

Overnight: St. Jean Pied de Port

Day
3

Vierge d’Orisson to Roncesvalles

A morning transfer returns you to the endpoint of yesterday’s walk. Continue climbing up to the Spanish-French border on the ridgeline of the Pyrenees – but there’s no border control police here! Just marmots, sheep and birds of prey soaring overhead. Views are splendid when not blocked by swirling mists so typical of the high mountains. A final descent brings you to Roncesvalles, a tiny yet emblematic hamlet dominated by an imposting monastery thought to be one of the earliest hospices of the pilgrims.

Overnight: Roncesvalles

Day
4

Roncesvalles to Zubiri

The first day’s walk in Spain descends along the Agra river through rolling terrain.
Overnight: Zubiri

Day
5

Zubiri to Pamplona

The descent from the Pyrenees ends in Pamplona.
Overnight: Pamplona

Day
6

Pamplona to Puente la Reina

Rolling rural terrain with several climbs and a steep descent into Puente de la Reina – one of the most important towns on the Way – it is here where the other main route crossing the Pyrenees at Somport Pass merges with the Roncesvalles route. A recommended detour shortly before reaching Puente de la Reina takes you to Santa Maria de Eunate – one of the most famous churches on the Camino, located on the Somport Pass route.
Overnight: Puente la Reina

Day
7

Puente la Reina to Estella

Rolling rural terrain with a section along an original stretch of Roman road flanked by cypress trees.
Overnight: Estella

Day
8

Estella to Los Arcos

The terrain becomes less hilly, with plenty of vegetable plots, cornfields and vineyards .
Overnight: Los Arcos

Day
9

Los Arcos to Logroño

A long walk crossing from Navarre province into La Rioja, with olive and almond groves, vineyards. On the way, pass through the attractive historic town of Viana. Logroño is the capital of La Rioja, and has a nice little historic centre huddled around the graceful cathedral
Overnight: Logroño

Day
10

Departure

Depart from Logroño.

NOTE: If you aren’t in a hurry and want to see more of the area or another part of Spain, consider hiring a car and exploring! For example, driving from Logroño through La Rioja and then to the Atlantic coast to the north to Bilbao to catch a plane, or explore the nearby Pyrenees mountains and then on to Barcelona for your flight home. We can help you to plan your itinerary. Ask us!

Includes:

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 9 breakfasts, 3 dinners with local wine and bottled water Other nights to explore on your own
  • Local maps of St. Jean, Pamplona and Logroño
  • Custom-written, detailed daily route instructions, hotel contact information, public transport schedules and other information necessary to complete your personal itinerary
  • Luggage and personal transfer as required by itinerary between walking start (St. Jean) and end (Logroño) points)
  • Local English-speaking Iberian Adventures contact
Extra night prices include excellent buffet breakfast and taxes.
Approximate per person:
In twin/double rooms: 1075€

Single room Supplement: 250€

Extra nights in St.Jean:
55€ per person (double/twin)
75€ per person (single room)
Extra nights in Logroño:
70€ per person (double/twin)
90€ per person (single room)
Discounts for 3 or more people. Consult us.
  • Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights
  • Meeting Point: St. Jean Pied de Port—various public transport options: by taxi from Pamplona or Bilbao (Spain) or Biarritz and Bordeaux (France); or train from Biarritz. For further details on getting to and from our trip start points, please see our FAQ’S page.
  • Ending Point: Logroño (several daily connections to Madrid, Barcelona and certain European cities by rail and bus
  • Walk Difficulty and Terrain: C – due to length of walks, averaging 22.5 km daily over 7 days walking for a total of approximately 158 km. For most people this would be about 5 to 6 hours of walking.
  • Accommodations: we use the best available lodgings in each overnight stop in rural areas (usually 2* – 3* hotels or equivalent inns). In larger towns such as Pamplona and Logroño we usually use quality 3* properties with plenty of charm and character. Upgrades to 4 * or 5* historic hotels are available in Pamplona.
  • Dates: start any day between March 1 and October 30.
  • Minimum Group size: 1

French Pilgrim’s Way Photo Gallery