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.
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.
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.
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’. From Medieval city walls to impressive La Catedral de Santa María la Real de Pamplona. You can easily spend time wandering the streets and working up an appetite to enjoy either a traditional Basque influenced dish or a more modern fusion style dish, Pamplona has it all!