Camino Stage 1 - St Jean-Pied-de-Port to Logroño9 Days & 8 Nights 4.8 Read 40 reviews
- The official start point of the Camino Frances, St Jean Pied de Port.
- Crossing the Pyrenees on foot to Roncesvalles.
- The fortress town of Pamplona, with it's colourful buildings lining the streets.
- Logroño, the regional capital of the famous wine growing region of Rioja.
- Meeting fellow pilgrims, hearing their stories and travel tips along the way.
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent holiday.
Pilgrim Trail | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travellers
This trip is suitable for:
Multi-Generational, Mixed Abilities, First Timers
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- Wine, Whisky & More...
- Spiritual Journeys
- Personal Growth
- Historical Journeys
- Most Popular
Grade & Terrain
This walk is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 19-30km so you will be walking for between 5 and 8 hours each day. The trail consists of a mixture of dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. Despite the fact that the ascents and descents are for the majority fairly small, the terrain is fairly easy and the navigation is easy, we have graded this tour moderate due to the fact that walking for 35 days in itself is a challenge and there are also a couple of longer days around 30km.
The Camino is very easy to follow. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows and a yellow shell on a blue background. The detailed travel pack we supply includes a detailed guidebook including maps, a detailed information pack for planning and preparing for your Camino, detailed instructions of how to find your overnight accommodation and everything you need for your Camino.
In addition to the printed route notes, you will receive in your travel pack, you will also have access to our Macs Adventure App, allowing you to follow the route on richly detailed mapping on your smartphone.
Our Camino Tours include small rural hotels and hostels close to the route of the Camino. You will always have a private room and en-suite (attached) bathroom. When staying in Leon, Pamplona, Sarria and Santiago, you will stay in 3* hotels, the other nights will be in a mixture of rural hotels and hostels.
Single rooms are available, although a supplement is payable. The price for a single room is available on the included tab of this tour and in the booking engine.
A light continental breakfast is included each morning, which can sometimes just be coffee, bread and orange juice. Lunch and dinner are not included 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 courses, wine and water!
Extensions and tailor-made itineraries
We can tailor-make your Camino to exactly meet your needs. Adding or reducing the number of nights and rest days. Contact our specialists to start planning your Camino. Purists might want to consider adding the extension to Finisterre in order to finish their Camino on the beach.
- 8 nights accommodation in small rural hotels and hostels with en-suite W/C.
- 8 breakfasts.
- Baggage Transfers.
- A detailed information pack for the group leader including route notes, maps, and local information.
- Camino guide book.
- Access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App.
- Emergency support from our local and UK offices in the event of a problem.
- 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.
- Additional nights’ accommodation
When To Go
You can start your Camino anytime between April and Mid October.
Weather and Climate
The weather on the Camino will change slightly as you travel from the Pyrenees over to Galicia. The spring months of April and May tend to offer nice mild conditions for walking although the nights can be quite cold at this time of year and there can be quite a lot of rain in the region of Galicia at this time. The summer months of July and August can get very hot and humid. The autumn from late September through to October offers cooler temperatures again although daylight hours start to become less at this time. The region of Galicia in particular experiences higher rainfall than the rest of Spain so you should come prepared with waterproofs!
Getting to the Start
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.
Getting from the End
If you are starting or finishing your Pilgrimage in Logrono (La Rioja wine region) then the best way to reach here is to get the train from either Madrid (3hrs 20) or Barcelona (4hrs) or the bus from Madrid (4hrs) or Barcelona (6hrs). The closest airports are San Sebastian which you can reach by local bus (2hrs 15 mins) : (Check La Estella )and also Bilbao airport which you can reach by bus (2hrs). (Check Termibus). Please note that on these websites it is often the case that tickets cannot be reserved until it’s at least less than 3 months, or sometimes even 1 month, before your departure.
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.
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, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking 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.
The Pilgrim Passport is issued by the Church of St James, you will find this in your pack waiting for you at your first hotel. Alternatively, you can obtain one at the start of your walk in the Pilgrims’ 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).
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.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
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.
Yes, many of our guests travel solo. Although the nature of the Camino means that they soon join up with other pilgrims. There is a single room supplement payable for solo walkers.
No, we do not offer group trips as independent self-guided trips are a much better way to experience the Camino.
You can start on any day of your choosing between February and mid November, subject to availability.
Yes, although we find our standard itineraries are perfect for most walkers, we can add additional nights at any point of the Camino and tailor-make the trip to meet your needs.
A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is well marked and easy to follow.
We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino is extremely popular. Numbers can rise by up to 100,000 people. We will always try and accommodate late booking requests.
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.
Although you can walk the Camino most of the year we would recommend April/May/June and September/October when the weather is at its best for walking. July and August can be very hot and are busy.
Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support contact us and we will be more that happy to help.
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.
We strongly suggest that you have travel insurance which covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury before and during your trip.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in St. Jean Pied de Port and overnight
Your journey starts in St Jean Pied de Port, which straddles the French and Spanish border.
This comfortable Hotel is located very centrally in St Jean Pied De Port at the start of the Pilgrimage route to Santiago. It provides clean and comfortable accommodation for walkers before they begin their journey.
The toughest section stage 1, with a steep climb to the Roncesvalles. Then pass across the Pyrenees on a route called Ruta Imperial (Imperial Route). You will be rewarded with wonderful panoramic mountain views and a great sense of achievement. An alternative route is available along the valley for those who prefer a more gentle option.
This house was built originally in the eighteenth century and has recently been refurbished to accommodate pilgrims on their journey.
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
Hotel Akerreta is a small family run bed and breakfast. The stone walled house still has many of its original features with its bread ovens and enormous wooden oak beams.
At first following the River Arga along shaded paths, today’s walk then starts to get slightly busier as you head towards Pamplona as you follow busy main roads into the city.
Pamplona is a beautiful city lined with medieval streets and famous for the running of the bulls festival which takes place one a year where daring men and women tear through the streets chased by bulls. Be prepared to enter a hustling and bustling city, quite the opposite to the Camino.
Castillo Javier is conveniently located and offers comfortable accommodation and a modern standard.
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.
This bright and spacious hotel is ideal for pilgrims with en-suite facilities, plasma TVs and air conditioning.
Walking through rolling farmland and vineyards will bring you to Estella, please be aware that there are few trees along this path and therefore nowhere to seek shelter from the sun.
There are also a few examples of Roman roadway on this section from Cirauqui to Lorca, especially where the majority of the track is along such roman roadways. The first section will have three steep climbs up to hilltop villages before you descend into Estella.
A friendly, family run hotel on the outskirts of Estella.
The majority of your walk today will take you along beautiful natural paths, starting with the first section up to Monjardin. You will have magnificent views southward of the alternative route and Luquin, both route options join for the last section to Los Arcos.
The Hostal Suetxe is a small hotel which offers rustic charm and clean, comfortable accommodation.
Wander along natural paths leading you through arable farmland, please be aware that there is little shade along this stretch and make sure you adequately protected against the sun. Today's day is a long one and contains some short but steep sections into the rio Linares and Cornava river valleys.
Just before entering Logrono you will pass through the region of La Rioja which is renowned for the wine it produces, make sure you try a glass with your dinner!
The Hotel Gran Vía is located in the main street of the capital of La Rioja in one of the many retail and leisure areas, just a few minutes from the old quarters and the famous street Calle del Laurel.
After breakfast, your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
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