'A Taste of Pyrenees & Basque Country'
The Camino de Santiago - Camino Frances / French Way is the most traditional of all the pilgrims' ways to Santiago de Compostela and the best known internationally.
This Walking Holiday explores the 1st section of the Camino Frances / French Way. It starts in France at St-Jean-Pied-de-Port and finishes in Pamplona, the town famous for its Bull Run festival. At first it follows the 'Route Napoleon' over the Roncesvalles Pass (1500m), and then crosses the Basque country onto more gentle terrain.
Everyday, during the walk, you are guaranteed a high level of comfort and gastronomy. The Camino is clearly marked with the “Scallop Shell” showing you the way. This walk can be physically demanding and requires a reasonable level of fitness. However, it’s a highly rewarding walk that includes numerous cultural highlights.
♦ Roncesvalles - a small village at an altitude of 900 meters in the Pyrenees
♦ The Pyrenees Mountains - said to be "a wonderland to the holiday-maker"
♦ Pamplona – a city, famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, in which the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions
The quoted price (to the right) is from price! Minor price adjusting can occur due to meals plan or/and accommodation.
Day 1. Arrival - Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
You will be booked in a hotel in the heart of the small town. The rooms are en-suite.
Day 2. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port - Roncesvalles
This first day is considered the most difficult as the Camino crosses the Pyrenees. The "Camino Napoleon" kicks off with a steep climb, on through orchards and past country houses and then, later, through Alpine style meadows, before weaving its way alongside leafy beech woods towards the border and the descent into Roncesvalles.
Walking distance: approx. 8h, 26km, +1250m/ -540m.
Day 3. Roncesvalles - Zubiri
The Camino crosses two beautiful mountain passes and continues on through beech and oak woods and meadows before coming to Espinal, where the panoramic views of the countryside with the Pyrenees in the background are a sight to behold. The river Arga runs alongside this part of the Camino and continues its course all the way to Larrasoana.
Walking distance: approx. 7h, 22km, +90m/ -550m
Day 4. Zubiri - Pamplona
The Camino runs along the river Arga, at the foot of a group of hills covered in beech, oak and Scots pine. As we approach Pamplona, the landscape shows the obvious influence of civilisation; with its conifers, reafforestation and farmlands.
Walking distance: approx. 6h, 21km, +/-250m
Day 5. Pamplona
After breakfast we bid you farewell.
Luggage transportation: Luggage will be transported from hotel to hotel. The baggage allowance is one item (maximum 20kg) per person. If you need to add more bags please contact us in advance.
Good to know: If you would like to stay in Pamplona or Puente de la Reina during the Fiesta de San Fermin (6-14 July), there is an obligatory surcharge in the price.
How to get there?
♦ Fly in - We recommend to fly to France (Biarritz or Paris), then come back from Spain (Bilbao, Santander or Madrid). To Biarritz you can fly with Ryanair, easyJet, Air France (via Orly). Biarritz airport info: www.biarritz.aeroport.fr. To Paris you can fly with almost all companies.
♦ Fly out - From Bilbao you can fly out with EasyJet (daily flights from Bilbao to London Stansted Airport), Iberia (flights to Gatwick or Heathrow via Madrid) or AerLingus (operates out of Dublin). From Santander you have direct flights only with Ryanair (London Stansted, Dublin, Frankfurt, Milan and Rome, as well as Reus and Madrid in Spain), and internal flights with Iberia to Alicante, Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville and Valencia.
♦ Getting there - From Biarritz you can take a bus with STAB, line 6 to reach Bayonne train station (the ride takes 20 minutes and costs 1.20 Euro, you can see the timetable www.bus-stab.com). From Bayonne to Saint Jean Pied de Port there are direct trains (Depart at 6:13 pm, the journey takes 1.22 h, for prices see www.voyages-sncf.com). From Paris there is an everyday train to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. The journey lasts 6.30 h, depart at 12.10 and arrive at 18:30.
♦ Getting back – To Bilbao there is a Bus with the Burundesa bus company, which links Pamplona with Bilbao (the ride takes 2 hours, and there are 10 departures a day). You can check prices and timetable: www.renfe.com. To Santander there is a bus with the Burundesa bus company, which links Pamplona with Santander (the journey is 2 hours, and there are 2 departures a day). As well as there is a direct city bus from the bus station in Santander to the airport, which takes 20 minutes and you can check prices and timetable here: www.renfe.com.