- 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.
- Logrono, the regional capital of the famous wine growing region of Rioja.
- Meeting fellow pilgrims, hearing their stories and travel tips along the way.
Walk the first stage of the Camino de Santiago, from St Jean which straddles the French and Spanish border, to Logrono in the famous wine growing region of Rioja.
Undoubtedly the toughest stage of the whole Camino de Santiago, but one filled with rewards. Walk through the high mountains and deep valleys of the Pyrenees, before crossing through undulating plains and olive groves. Added to this are overnight stays in a couple of Northern Spain’s most beguiling cities and towns, including Pamplona and Logrono.
Day 1: Arrive St Jean Pied de Port
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.
Overnight: St Jean Pied de Port
Day 2: St Jean Pied de Port 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, 7hrs
Day 3: Roncesvalles 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, 6hrs
Day 4: Akerreta 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, 3-4hrs
Day 5: Pamplona 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, 5-6hrs
Overnight: Puente la Reina
Day 6: Puente la Reina 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, 5hrs
Day 7: Estella 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, 5hrs
Overnight: Los Arcos
Day 8: Los Arcos 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, 6hrs
Day 9: Onward Travel
If you are not staying longer in Logrono, you can take a train to either Madrid or Barcelona for your onward travel.
Our Camino tours include small rural hotels and inns close to the route of the Camino. You will always have a private room and en-suite (attached) bathroom.
In the larger cities like Pamplona and Logrono you will stay in 3 star hotels, the other nights will be in a mixture of rural hotels and hostels all with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms.
Some examples of accommodation used are detailed below but your exact hotels will be detailed on your confirmation which will be of a similar standard to those shown.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
This trip is available to solo travellers to start on any day. You will need to pay a supplement for a single room (which is available on the Included tab of this tour).
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!
Hotel Ramuntcho - St Jean Pied de Port
A family run traditional hotel with a pleasant dining room where you can eat al fresco on the balcony.
Casa Beneficiados - Roncesvalles
Former home of the Beneficiaries of the Collegiate Church of Roncesvalles, this property was built in the early eighteenth century and has been recently restored. It consists of 24 apartments of 2, 3 and 4 beds, each with a living-kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
Hotel Akerreta - Akerreta
Hotel Akerreta is a small family-run bed & breakfast. It is a typical Basque caserio of the Pyrenees, built in 1723. The stone-wall house still conserves its original Pyrenees-style kitchen.The hotel also has living rooms where guests can read whilst enjoying the valley´s panoramic views.
Hotel Tres Reyes - Pamplona
Right on the edge of Taconera Gardens, this is a 4-star property with air-conditioned modern rooms where you are sure of a warm welcome.
Hotel Hospederia Chapitel - Estella
This four-star accommodation offers a unique artistic yet classic charm. The team strives to offer a fantastic service to meet guests´ highest expectations.
Hostal Suetxe - Los Arcos
This accommodation comprises of a small hotel and restaurant built in 1999 and renovated in 2004. Accommodation is clean and comfortable, characterised by a lovely rustic style.
You can start your Camino on any day of your choosing between April and Mid October.
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.
Time of Year
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 northern Spain at this time of year. 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Getting home from Logrono
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
Can I walk the Camino solo?
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.
Do you offer group trips?
No, we do not offer group trips as independent self-guided trips are a much better way to experience the Camino.
When can I start?
You can start on any day of your choosing between February and mid November, subject to availability.
Can I tailor-make my Camino tour?
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.
What type of trails does the Camino follow?
A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is well marked and easy to follow.
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. Numbers can rise by up to 100,000 people. We will always try and accommodate late booking requests.
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.
When is the best time of year?
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.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support contact us and we will be more that 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.
Do I need travel insurance?
We strongly suggest that you have travel insurance which covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury before and during your trip.