A Self-Guided Trip. 10 Days, 9 Nights, with 8 days of hiking
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 magnificent Pyrenees mountains into Spain, then descend into the fertile valleys surrounding Pamplona, capital of the region of Navarre, to end in Logroño, in Spain’s most famous wine-producing area – La Rioja.
Walking a total of nearly 158 Km (98 mi) in 8 daily stages, some of which involve considerable elevation gain and loss may seem challenging, but in fact, completing this itinerary is well within reach of anyone who maintains a moderate level of fitness.
10 Days, 9 Nights
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.
Several daily connections to Madrid, Barcelona and certain European cities by rail and bus
Average “standard” stages range from 19 – 27 km daily. For most people this would be about 5 to 6 hours of walking.
In Pamplona and Logroño we use quality 3* or 4* hotels in great locations in the pedestrian-only zones of the old cities. In rural areas, we use the best available, mostly 2* to 3* or equivalent, small family-run hotels and inns. All properties have en-suite bathrooms and are personally chosen for their comfort, character, location and overall quality, with a preference for stylishly restored historic buildings. Good food is also a must! Upgrades to a 5* historic hotel is available in Pamplona.
Any day between April 1 and October 31
St. Jean Pied de Port – a lovely little town in France’s Basque country, nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees, with a marvelous pilgrim’s atmosphere, it`s the perfect place to start your journey.
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!
La Rioja – Spain’s most famous wine-producing region, this area is also famed for the quality of its vegetables and fruit in general, resulting in a rich and varied culinary tradition sure to please every palate. Small hills and valleys create a constantly changing and pleasant walking environment.
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 traveler soon finds herself imbued with the unique and magical spirit of the “Camino “.
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!
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