This specific route is the starting point of the Camino Frances. It begins in France at St-Jean-Pied-de-Port and finishes in Logrono - Stage 2 of the French Camino. You will cross 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. You will finish in Logrono at the heart of the Rioja wine region. Enjoy an attractive hike in hilly Navarra with its 12th-century castles, picturesque villages, and vineyards.
FREE This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
No booking for this year
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.
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!
Logrono is the capital city of La Rioja. However it owes its prominence in the region to the Camino de Santiago which has passed through its cobbled streets since the Middle Ages. The Puente de Piedra is the oldest bridge crossing the river Ebo into Logrono and is still used today by pilgrims. Sampling the local wine when here is a must do but also is trying some of the local dishes in one of the many bars and restaurants you will discover as you wander the historic centre where you will also encounter the Cathedral of Santa María la Redonda where there is a painting of the Christ on the Cross by Michelangelo.
Included in this package
Experienced Bilingual Guide
Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
7 Breakfasts and 7 Dinners
From/To Santiago Airport Transfer
Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
24/7 Customer Service
Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack
Premium Accommodation in Santiago
Additional Night in Santiago
Day Tours Available
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 24.35km
SAINT JEAN PIED DE PORT
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 3 options:
A stay in the Refuge Orisson (basic accommodation but welcoming) halfway to split the day into 2.
Stay 2 nights in St Jean Pied de Port and use a taxi lift from/to Refuge Orisson.
An alternative route via Valcarlos that splits this walking day into two stages (12km and 14km). 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 42.64km
Leaving the Pyrenees behind us, we cycle down to Pamplona (Alt. 450m) through the undulating terrain of the Basque Country via woodlands and hilly cultivated lands, before reaching the capital city of the region of Navarra – Pamplona.
Day 4 22.99km
PUENTE LA REINA
When leaving Pamplona behind, 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 5 21.53km
PUENTE LA REINA
The Camino to Estella is very uneven and quite agricultural. Small towns and villages are dotted amongst cereal fields, vineyards and olive trees.
Day 6 49.99km
Today is another beautiful day, cycling through vineyards and red earth crop fields. We also pass by a few famous landmarks of the Camino such as the Monasterio of Irache and its bodega, and the steep climb up to Villamayor de Monjardin. Shade also decreases as we get closer and closer to Logrono, capital city of world-known wine producing region of La Rioja.
After breakfast we bid you farewell. Logrono is a city rich in history and traditions that have been preserved since the Middle-Ages. The pilgrim’s Camino to Santiago de Compostela made this one of the most important towns on the Camino.
How to Get There
Getting to Sarria, Spain
It is best to fly to Santiago de Compostela. If flying from the United States, please check on Renfe the train timetables from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela.
Fly into Santiago de Compostela
Ryanair and Iberia/BA fly direct to Santiago de Compostela from the UK. Ryanair flies from Stansted, Nottingham East Midlands and Liverpool and Aer Lingus operates from Dublin. Many of the flights that arrive at the airport are from internal Spanish destinations. Iberia offers the best selection of flights and you can fly to and from Santiago De Compostela from Frankfurt, Paris and Rome and Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Palma, Seville, Tenerife and Valencia.
Take two buses to reach Sarria from Santiago, or ask us about a private airport transfer.