Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Pilgrims walking the Camino
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Highlights

  • The official start point of the Camino Frances, St Jean Pied de Port.
  • Crossing the Pyrenees on foot to Roncesvalles.
  • Pamplona and Burgos - two of Northern Spain's most wonderful cities.
  • Meeting fellow pilgrims, hearing their stories and travel tips along the way.

Walk the first two stages of the Camino from St Jean Pied de Port, which straddles the French and Spanish border, to the medieval city of Burgos.

Crossing the Pyrenees your first day will undoubtably be the toughest day of the whole Camino. The steep climb up to Roncesvalles is demanding but will be graced with stunning views all around. The high mountains and deep valleys of the Pyrenees soon give way to the undulating plain that surrounds the fortress town of Pamplona. As you approach Logrono, the regional capital, you cross into the well know wine growing region of the Rioja.

As you continue towards Burgos, the landscape is dominated by vineyards. The Camino then takes you through crop fields with small brooks and oak woods until you reach the Oca Mountains. As you reach Burgos you make your way down into the valley of the Pico river and then you reach the medieval city of Burgos, with its spectacular gothic Cathedral.

DAY 1: Arrive in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port and overnight

Arriving in St Jean Pied de Port, enjoy your first overnight in this pretty market town at the foothills of the Pyrenees. A good meal and an early night will prepare you for the start of your journey.


DAY 2: Walk to Roncesvalles

Today is the toughest section of your walk, with a steep climb up to the Roncesvalles Pass across the Pyrenees. However, this is rewarded with wonderful panoramic mountain views. An alternative route is available along the valley for those who prefer a more gentle option.


Walk: 23km


Overnight: Roncesvalles


DAY 3: Walk to Akerreta

From Roncesvalles, you will cross two further mountain passes before continuing through beech and oak woods alongside the River Arga to the small village of Akerreta.


Walk: 27km


Overnight: Akerreta


DAY 4: Walk to Pamplona

At first following the River Arga, today’s walk then starts to get slightly busier as you head towards Pamplona. Famous for the running of the bulls festival, Pamplona is a beautiful city lined with medieval streets, and a tasty meal can be enjoyed in the main square, Plaza del Castillo.


Walk: 15km


Overnight: Pamplona


DAY 5: Walk to Puente la Reina

After the first 5km along suburban roads, you are soon back in the countryside. From Cizur Menor, a climb takes you through a field of wind turbines, with wonderful views back over Pamplona. The Arga valley then opens up ahead as you descend down to Puente la Reina.


Walk: 22km


Overnight: Puente la Reina


DAY 6: Walk to Estella

Walking through rolling farmland and vineyards will bring you to Estella. There are also a few examples of Roman roadway on this section at Cirauqui, a pretty hilltop village.


Walk: 20km


Overnight: Estella


DAY 7: Walk to Los Arcos

Natural paths take you through oak and pine trees today as you climb towards Montjardin, before a final remote section through open country and vineyards to Los Arcos.


Walk: 20km


Overnight: Los Arcos


DAY 8: Walk to Logrono

A long section with some steep sections into the Cornava river valleys. However, this is rewarded by entering into the wine region of La Rioja, and the bustling town of Logrono.


Walk: 27km


Overnight: Logrono


Day 9:Walk to Najera

Leaving Logrono, pass through the Pantano de la Grajera, a pretty reservoir surrounded by woodland. Continue to Navarrete famous for its Rioja wine, then enter Najera via the Alto de San Anton.


Walk: 27km


Overnight: Najerar


Day 10: Walk to Santa Domingo

Wide country roads through gently undulating farmland take you to Santa Domingo. The historic town of Santa Domingo is lined with medieval streets and grand buildings, including a 12th century Romanesque and Gothic cathedral.


Walk: 21km


Overnight: Santa Domingo


Day 11: Walk to Belorado

Leave Santa Domingo by the Puente del Santo bridge over the Rio Oja, and pass the 16th century Iglesia de San Juan Bautista and Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Calle before arriving at Belorado, a town which can be traced back to Roman times.


Walk: 22km


Overnight: Belorado


Day 12: Walk to Atapuerca

Continue through open countryside to Villafranca Montes de Oca, where the path starts to climb before dropping down to the remote village of St John the Nettle and on to Atapuerca via the mountainous Sierra de Atapuerca.


Walk: 29km


Overnight: Atapuerca


Day 13: Walk to Burgos

From Atapuerca, you descend to Burgos where the hustle and bustle of the city may be a bit of a culture shock after the peace and tranquility of the Camino. However, Burgos is a beautiful city with numerous monuments worth exploring, including the wonderful gothic Cathedral.


Walk: 20km


Overnight: Burgos


Day 14: Onward Travel

Enjoy breakfast before checking out and making your way home.



Accommodation

The accommodation in Pamplona, Logrono and Burgos will be in 3 star hotels, the rest will be a mixture of rural hotels and hostels all with private rooms and en-suite. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We do recommend that you book this trip early as the area is always popular and the hotels and inns do fill up early, especially in high season. Below you will find a list of the accommodation we regularly use which will give you a good idea of the standard of accommodation: View Accommodation Details


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The Camino is available to solo walkers at a single supplement.


Meals

A local continental breakfast is included each morning, which can sometimes just be coffee, bread and orange juice. Lunch and dinner are not included as standard so you are free to choose from the available options.  Every place you stop will have evening meals available, you can get a pilgrims menu for about 10 euros which includes 3 couses, wine and water!

Availability

You can start on any date between March and mid November that suits your travel plans subject to availability.


San Fermín Festival in Pamplona


Please be aware that should you wish to travel during the San Fermín Festival in Pamplona, then accommodation at this specific location is normally very difficult to secure and the hotels may charge a premium. We will always do our best to make arrangements for you, however at busy times a supplement may be payable for transfers or superior accommodation.


Specific dates for 2016 are: 06th to the 14th of July


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The Camino is available to solo walkers at a single supplement.


Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 9-30km.


A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. Section 1 from St Jean Pied de Port is the most strenuous part of the walk with some steep inclines/declines as you travel through the Pyrenees.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections. There will always be other walkers around in case you are looking for help. A detailed information pack including route notes, local information and maps will be waiting for you at your first accommodation.


Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfers are included (max 20kg per person). Your main bag
will be transferred each day between your overnight accommodation so
that you only need to walk with a day pack.


Additional Nights

There is so much to see and do along the route that many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk either as a rest day or simply to do some extra sightseeing. If you are walking the whole route solo try not to add too many extra nights along the way as you will lose touch with those you have met.


Fewer Nights

It is possible to walk the Camino in less time but we would not recommend this.


Compostela/Pilgrims Passport

The pilgrim’s passport is issued by the church of St James, you can obtain one at the start of your walk in the pilgrim’s office or the local church in town.  You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants and hotels along the way. At the end of the walk in Santiago you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have walked the last 100km). For the other sections of the trail, the passport is used as a souvenir with all the colourful stamps you will receive.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to St Jean Pied de Port

The best place to fly into to get to St Jean is Biarritz airport. You can get here easily from the London and Manchester with Ryanair or if you are travelling internationally it is often a good idea to fly into Paris and either take the train down to Bayonne with SNCF, or to take an internal flight with Air France or Easyjet to get to Biarritz.
From Biarritz, you simply take the bus from outside the airport to Bayonne rail station (20 mins) and then from there take the mountain railway up to St Jean (1.5 hours) which you can book in advance with SNCF.


From Burgos you can take the train to Madrid with RENFE which takes around 2 and a half hours. Alternatively you can take the bus with ALSA which takes around 3 hours.


There are many flights from the UK to Madrid with carriers such as Easyjet, Vuelingand Ryanair

Included

  • Accommodation in small rural hotels and hostels with en-suite W/C.
  • Baggage Transfers
  • A detailed information pack for the group leader including route notes, maps, and local information
  • Camino guide book.
  • Emergency support from our local and UK offices in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Return travel to France/Spain.
  • Lunches, dinners (optional), snacks or drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.

Extras

  • Additional nights accommodation along the way.
  • Single supplements.

How fit do I need to be?

The average daily distance of our Camino tours are between 20 and 25 kilometers and you can expect to walk for between five and eight hours each day. You should do as much walking as possible prior to your walk as this will simply add to your enjoyment. That said if you are not at peak fitness you will find you will soon walk yourself fit. 

What type of trails does the Camino follow?

A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections.  There will always be other walkers around in case you are looking for help.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino is extremely popular especially in Holy Years (when 25 July is on a Sunday ) when numbers rise by up to 100 000 people. We will always try and accommodate late bookings but realistically you need to book at least 6 weeks prior to departure.

Can I walk with my bags?

Yes, some people prefer to walk carrying their own bags as a true pilgrim would have. You can select the option for removing the baggage transfers in Step 2 of the Booking Engine.

What equipment do I need?

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack. 

When is the best time of year?

I would recommend April/May when the spring flowers are at their best and September/October when the colours are just lovely. June, July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat while the temperatures can fall sharply in the winter with some accommodation closing down for the end of season.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support our local partner in Spain will be more than happy to help.

Can I change my itinerary once I start walking?

Unfortunately we are unable to change your accommodation bookings and itinerary once you start walking as alternative accommodation is generally not available at such short notice.

 

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureCamino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos
 
4.8

(based on 29 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (29)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (23)
  • Great accommodations (22)
  • Fun (18)

Cons

  • Exhausting (3)

Best Uses

  • Trying something new (24)
  • Holiday (11)
  • Relaxation (6)
  • Thrill seeking (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • World traveller (18), Occasional traveller (7), Avid adventurer (5)

Reviewed by 29 customers

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5.0

Perfect Planning for a Camino Hike

By Coach

from Cape Town

About Me Mindful Meditation Life Coach, World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Total peace of Mind
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Getting away from the city and discovering spain
    • Holiday
    • Relaxation

    Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

    Focusing on the culture surrounding us, not for one moment stressing about tomorrow.

     
    5.0

    Macs is the best!

    By Phil

    from Ottawa

    About Me World Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

      Macs did a great job with our recent Camino trip -this is the fifth time we have used them and their organization and attention to issues is the best! Sinead did a great job for us.

       
      5.0

      Excellent product

      By Dougy

      from Australia

      About Me World Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday

        Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

        Excellent experience. All arrangements including accommodation was fanfastic.

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Outstanding ... made perfect by Sinead's professional attent

        By Kate

        from Australia

        About Me World Traveller

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Great Accommodations
        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

          Challenges occurred for our Mind, Body and Soul and this is part of the Camino journey and experience. We all have our own path to walk and no two Camino personal journeys will ever be the same or can be compared .... but for to know that our wonderful accommodation in perfect locations was waiting for us after each sector was completed gave us such piece of mind. The luggage transfer service was handled so well and was always on time and well looked after. We had a couple of questions while we were away and sinead attended to them in such a prompt and kind manner it was wonderful. I am in the travel industry myself (travel agent) and have been actively promoting you to colleagues who gave been following my journey via Facebook.

           
          5.0

          I will recommend MacsAdventure to friends

          By Pilgrim Walker

          from U.S.A.

          About Me Occasional Traveller

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Great Accommodations
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

            MacsAdventure is a good balance of adventure and having a comfortable bed to rest and regroup for the next day.

             
            5.0

            A well supported, unique experience!

            By Bud

            from St. Paul, Minnesota U.S,A,

            About Me Occasional Traveller

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Great Accommodations
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Trying Something New

              Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

              Walking The Way of St. James was a way to mark a new phase in my life.

               
              5.0

              A truly special experience

              By Ann

              from Shropshire

              About Me World Traveller

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Fun
              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

                A fantastic opportunity to meet people from all around the world. There is a great camerarderie which comes from the shared experience and most people want to interact. Perfect for people watchers! Whilst the standard of accommodation inevitably varied, all were clean and friendly and some really stood out, notably for us the Hotel Akerreta.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Highly Recommend Macs Adventure

                By Megan

                from California

                About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Great Accommodations
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

                    I booked the entire Camino de Santiago through Macs Adventure for my son and I on the recommendation of my aunt and uncle who did this exact itinerary 2 years ago. It was a 42+ day trip which was perfectly planned with our input from the beginning and executed flawlessly through the company during our pilgrimage. Our accommodations were varied and exactly as advertised... ranging from 4 star to tiny village B and Bs. Our requirements were to have private rooms every night with a private bath and bag transfers. We always had hot water, clean rooms/bathrooms, ample breakfasts (also included) and wifi. Every day our bags were collected and taken to our next destination and alway arrived before we did. We were truly Camino VIP's. We were provided with VERY detailed itineraries, maps and guide books down the the kilometer (yes we walked nearly 800 kilometers). There were two times over the 6 week duration where I had a question (confirmation) about the itinerary and they were answered immediately via email by a Mac Adventure representative. We thought about making a small change in plans and they would have been willing to accommodate but in the end we left things as originally planned. The internet has made the facility of travel so that I do not usually use a tour company or travel agent. I could not have booked this tour on my own nearly as well as they were able to do for me. You lose a little bit of flexibility booking the trip in entirety but if you have a limited schedule (in our case 6 weeks), this type of booking was necessary. It took the unknown and worry about our choices as well. My legs need a long recovery period but if I were to ever do the camino again (alternate route) or another walking holiday, I would immediately contact them for planning.

                     
                    5.0

                    Wonderful experience

                    By Jean the walker

                    from Hertfordshire

                    About Me Avid Adventurer

                    Pros

                    • Fun
                    • Great Accommodations
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                    • Well Organised

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Trying Something New

                      Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

                      Excellent website, user friendly. Amazing communication, prompt, the people extremely friendly and always had the time to go through things. I felt that the reliability and organisation was the best I have ever seen.

                       
                      5.0

                      It is called a walk...but it is a hike!!

                      By Old Guy

                      from San Francisco

                      About Me World Traveller

                      Pros

                      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                      • Well Organised

                      Cons

                      • Be Prepared For Tough Hik

                      Best Uses

                      • Adventure
                      • Trying Something New

                      Comments about macs adventure Camino Stage 1 & 2 St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Burgos:

                      Just be aware it is a tough hike, Leon to Santiago...I was expecting a walk...but it was not the case...but no regrets...it was worth the trip...Just had to change my mindset...More of an adventure than a walk...

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