Walking the Camino Frances from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Pamplona

This specific route is the starting point of the Camino Frances. It begins in France at St-Jean-Pied-de-Port and finishes in Pamplona, the town famous for its Running of the Bulls festival in San Fermin, described by Ernest Hemingway in his novel The Sun Also Rises. At first, it follows the Route de Napoleon over the Roncesvalles Pass (1500m) in the Basque country, and then crosses into more gentle terrain in the great region of Navarra.

St Jean Pied de Port
St Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona
sry 5 days
sry 4 nights
sry 68.3km
sry
sry
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Get Itinerary
From
€430
FREE CO 2 This trip creates 0.12 tonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free

Trip Highlights

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Your first stop on the Camino Frances is the quaint French town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port – the traditional starting point of the Camino Frances. Before you set off through the Pyrenees, explore this scenic gem and soak in the excitement of the town as pilgrims flock to start their pilgrimage.

Roncesvalles

Here you will find the beloved Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Roncesvalles, which has been receiving pilgrims since the 12th Century. It is here also in Roncesvalles you will see a monument commemorating the defeat of Charlemagne’s army and their commander Roland at the battle of Roncesvalles in 778.

Pamplona

The city famous for it’s running bulls! Once you arrive in one of Spain’s most famous and historical cities, take in the gothic-style architecture and walk through the streets that inspired Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’.

Itinerary

Day 1

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
(Arrival)

You’ll be booked into a hotel in the heart of the small town. The rooms are en-suite.

Day 2
25km

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
to
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 Spanish border and the descent into Roncesvalles. The Valcarlos Camino mainly follows the road which runs through the valley alongside the River Nive or River Valcarlos. Don’t miss the Collegiate Church in Roncesvalles. NOTE: If you would like to walk at a more relaxed pace, we can arrange an alternative route (though not as rewarding) that splits this walking day into two stages (12km and 14km), staying overnight in the village of Valcarlos. Here you will be staying in a two-star hotel. This is route through Valcarols is no the usual Camino itinerary and the walk is not as rewarding as it follows the main road. IMPORTANT: The Napoleon Route over the Pyrenees is closed for Pilgrims from the 1st November until the 31st March. Pilgrims need to use the alternative route via Valcarlos if they are travelling within these dates. Travelling on the Napoleon Route at this time is forbidden and all pilgrims going over the Pyrenees and having to be rescued before that time will be fined €5,000.

Day 3
22km

Roncesvalles
to
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.

Day 4
21km

Zubiri
to
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 more signs of civilisation, with its reforested conifers and farmlands.

Day 5

Pamplona

After breakfast, we bid you farewell.

Section 1

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
to
Roncesvalles

You’ll be booked into a hotel in the heart of the small town. The rooms are en-suite.

Section 2

Roncesvalles
to
Zubiri

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 Spanish border and the descent into Roncesvalles. The Valcarlos Camino mainly follows the road which runs through the valley alongside the River Nive or River Valcarlos. Don’t miss the Collegiate Church in Roncesvalles. NOTE: If you would like to walk at a more relaxed pace, we can arrange an alternative route (though not as rewarding) that splits this walking day into two stages (12km and 14km), staying overnight in the village of Valcarlos. Here you will be staying in a two-star hotel. This is route through Valcarols is no the usual Camino itinerary and the walk is not as rewarding as it follows the main road. IMPORTANT: The Napoleon Route over the Pyrenees is closed for Pilgrims from the 1st November until the 31st March. Pilgrims need to use the alternative route via Valcarlos if they are travelling within these dates. Travelling on the Napoleon Route at this time is forbidden and all pilgrims going over the Pyrenees and having to be rescued before that time will be fined €5,000.

Section 3

Zubiri
to
Pamplona

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.

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Fly In

It is best to fly to France (Biarritz or Paris). Biarritz Airport with airlines – Ryanair, EasyJet or British Airways.



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Starting Point

Option 1 Book Airport Transport with us Option 2 From Biarritz (2H) Step 1 – Shuttle bus to Bayonne train station Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz Airport is located just 3 Km from Biarritz. However, it is a much better option to go to Bayonne train station (not Biarritz). Take the STAB line 6 to Bayonne train station (direct). The journey takes approx. 20 minutes and will cost €1.20. The bus stop is in front of the terminal. Alternatively, there is a taxi rank in front of the terminal; cost is €25-€30. Step 2 – Train to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port There are direct trains from Bayonne to Saint Jean Pied de Port at 18h13 (1h22 travel). From Paris (6H30) Take a train to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port Departs every day at 12.10, arrives at 18:30



Getting Home Icon

Getting Home

Option 1 – Bilbao The Burundesa bus company links Pamplona with Bilbao (2h) with 10 departures a day. Bilbao airport with Aerlingus, Easyjet or British Airways. Option 2 – Santander Santander airport with Ryanair. Spanish Airport Website



Our Great Service

Included

  • Great mix of comfortable stay in 2-3* hotels or equivalent
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • Dinners
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Our Holiday/ Pilgrim Pack

Add on

  • Premium Accommodation
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Additional Night

Not Included

  • Flights/train
  • Insurance
  • Drinks/Lunch

“From start to finish, Follow the Camino organised our trip with great attention to detail, which left us with more time to enjoy our adventure... they’re the ultimate professionals! ” Read more.
Andrea Smith, Journalist – Ireland

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Ann Tracey, Fundraiser & Co-ordinator at Gary Kelly Cancer Support – Ireland.

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Tim Begbie – Australia

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Frances Black, Senator & CEO of The Rise Foundation – Ireland

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John Dillon, Pilgrim – Ireland.

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Jamie and Flo McIvor – UK

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Joan Flynn, retired – Ireland

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We LOVED our trip!” Read more.
Georgia Meckes – USA

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Cheryl McInnes, Well Ways Mental Health Charity, Australia

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