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French Way 1/8 (The Heming-Way), Guided Tour

French Way 1/8 (The Heming-Way), Guided Tour map

From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Puente De La Reina, 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.

Prices from €690

2019 Availability (Start – End)

31 Aug 19 – 05 Sep 19 (Available)

Trip Stats

92km

distance to walk

4

days of walking

difficulty level

Day 1

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

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
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 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
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 the obvious influence of civilisation; with its conifers, reforestation and farmlands.

Day 5
24km

Pamplona
to
Puente de la Reina

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.

Section 1

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
to
Roncesvalles

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.

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 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.

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.

Section 4

Pamplona
to
Puente de la Reina

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.

Map

French Way Camino frances - 1-8

How to get there

Fly In

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



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

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



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What you get with us

Included

  • Experienced Bilingual Guide
  • 5 nights in 2* and 3* hotels and guest houses
  • 5 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • Our Holiday/ Pilgrim Pack – sent to 1st Hotel
  • 24/7 Customer Service

Not Included

  • Flights/train
  • Insurance
  • Drinks/Lunch

Add-On Options

Airport Private Pick Up

Airport Pick-up

Upgrade to 4 star hotel

Premium Accommodation

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“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

“Our charity Camino trip was made special by the great accommodation organised by Follow the Camino. This played a big part in everyone mixing so well and making it a very special Camino experience.” Read more.
Ann Tracey, Fundraiser & Co-ordinator at Gary Kelly Cancer Support – Ireland.

"Thanks must go to Follow The Camino for facilitating a most wonderful experience.” Read more.
Tim Begbie – Australia

“Follow The Camino did a fantastic job organising our fundraising trip to the Camino de Santiago. The organisation was of excellent quality and all of our 28 travellers had a great time...” Read more.
Frances Black, Senator & CEO of The Rise Foundation – Ireland

“All went like clockwork, including the pick up at the airport, and the luggage drop to the various accommodations. Totally recommend the Follow The Camino crew.” Read more.
John Dillon, Pilgrim – Ireland.

“A transformative two weeks for both of us - thanks to Follow the Camino.” Read more.
Jamie and Flo McIvor – UK

“Our team leader Geraldine O’Callaghan was fantastic – pretty, bubbly, tireless – efficient and very kind. Arriving at the great cathedral of Santiago was an exhilarating, emotional finale to a completely mad week.” Read more.
Joan Flynn, retired – Ireland

“Thank you for helping us plan our journey in Spain. What a wonderful time we had trekking through the countryside. The places we stayed were wonderful!
We LOVED our trip!” Read more.
Georgia Meckes – USA

“Thank you Umberto and the Follow the Camino crew. It was an absolute pleasure to have you make our arrangements, and support us so magnificently along the way, in our efforts to raise awareness for Well Ways. You are all fabulous!" Read more.
Cheryl McInnes, Well Ways Mental Health Charity, Australia

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