French Way 1/8 (The Heming-Way), Guided Tour
From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Pamplona, the starting point of the French Way/ the Camino Frances
The Camino Frances or the French Way is the most traditional of all the pilgrims’ ways to Santiago de Compostela and the best known internationally.
This specific route is the starting point of the Camino Frances/the French Way. It starts in France at St-Jean-Pied-de-Port and finishes in Pamplona, the town famous for its Bull Running festival, the San Fermin, described by Ernest Hemingway. For this guided trip however we will continue onto Puente De La Reina. At first it follows the ‘Route de Napoleon’ over the Roncesvalles Pass (1500m) in the Basque country, and then crosses onto more gentle terrain to the great region of Navarra.
This walk can be a bit of a challenge physically, so requires a reasonable level of fitness as you are going to cross over the Pyrennees. However, it is very doable and you are rewarded with it’s many cultural highlights and splendid scenery. Pamplona is also the capital for some of the best tapas in Spain (Pintxos).
On top of this, as the beginning of the French Way is in Saint Jean Pied de Port, the atmosphere is very special, full of enthusiasm, spirituality and joy from pilgrims from all around the world!
Important: Follow The Camino guided trips are guaranteed at a minimum of 7 people registered. In case we do not reach this number, the tour will continue as self guided and we will refund the price of the guide to you.
2019 Availability (Start – End)
31 Aug 19 – 05 Sep 19 (Available)
Day 1 – Arrival in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
You will be booked into the traditional inn type lodging, right in the centre of the small town. We always try to ensure that rooms are en-suite.
Day 2 – Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port To Roncesvalles (8h, 25km).
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. 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.
Day 3 – Roncesvalles to Zubiri (7h, 22km)
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 – Zubiri to Pamplona (6h, 21km)
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, reforestation and farmlands.
Day 5 – Pamplona to Puente de la Reina (6h15, 24km)
Leaving Pamplona,a city full of history and tradition, you are also leaving behind the Atlantic area of Navarra. From here onwards, the landscape will be dominated by cereal crops, Holm oaks and Mediterranean brushwood. The Pamplona basin is left behind too when you cross the “Alto del Perdon”.
Day 6 – Puente de la Reina
We bid you farewell.
- Experienced Bilingual Guide
- 5 nights in 2* and 3* hotels and guest houses.
- Holiday Pack – sent to 1st Hotel
- Luggage Transfers
- 5 Breakfasts
- 5 Dinners
- 24/7 Customer service
- Extra nights
- Airport transfers from Biarritz to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
It is best to fly to France (Biarritz or Paris). Biarritz Airport with airlines – Ryanair, EasyJet or British Airways.
Book Airport Transport with us
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
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.
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