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Location

St Jean Pied de Port to Logrono

Difficulty

6

Challenging

Length

11

Trip Cost

from $1790 pp
twin share

Overview

  • Follow in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims and over 1,000 years of history on the world’s greatest historical trail as you cross the imposing and beautiful Pyrenees from France into Spain.
  • Pamplona – Enjoy the history, vibrant basque culture and nightlife of this historic walled city.
  • Enjoy the fantastic Navarran food and wine and take your own Tapas or Pincho tour in the streets of Pamplona and Logrono.
  • Enjoy a sip of wine at the famous wine fountain of Irache, walk through vineyards and Olive groves and enjoy the world famous Tempranillos of the Rioja region.
  • Coincide your visit with a festival such as San Fermin (Running of the Bulls) or the Rioja Wine Harvest Festival.

Walk the first sections of the 800km long Camino and start in the beautiful French Pyrenees from where you walk through the hills to Pamplona then on through Navarra and Rioja to finish at Logrono. Enjoy the excellent food and wine this region is known for as well as the leafy green surroundings and stay in historical accommodation that will delight you.

This section of the Camino Trail is undoubtedly the hardest but one of the most beautiful and diverse sections of the trail as it crosses the Pyrenees but there are untold rewards with mountain vistas, fantastic food and wine and wonderful accommodation en route.

RAW Travel also offer tailor-made arrangements and can adapt this itinerary to suit your needs – just ask us about this and we can advise on how to best vary the itinerary to suit your needs. Please note that tailor-made arrangements incur higher costs due to the extra work involved.

Extend Your Holiday – City Breaks

Double your holiday experience by including a stopover on your journey! A city break is a great way to explore another place, indulge in some extra shopping, dining or sightseeing and is a great way to break up a long flight. Our fabulous array of RAW Travel city breaks can be tailor made to your requirements and usually include an arrival transfer, 2 nights accommodation and a city sightseeing tour.

Read more about our city breaks.

Are you a first-time or solo traveller?

We’ll support you all the way! View our preparation and training resources.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in St Jean Pied de Port

Arrive into this delightful mountain town at the foothills of the Pyrenees after your journey from Pamplona or Bayonne. The old town of St Jean Pied de Port winds down the hill with narrow cobbled streets that are a delight to explore. Take in the views from the Citadelle which looks across the wooded valleys as you meet pilgrims from all over the world ready to embark on their Camino.

St Jean was built in an important position that guarded the passes through the Pyrenees and the armies of Charlemagne and Napoleon passed this way. It has become the traditional starting point for pilgrims walking the French Way and you will see many people arriving and preparing for the challenging Pyrenees crossing. Decide if you will take the Napoleon route (very scenic but more difficult) or the Valcarlos route (for bad weather). Before you embark on your Camino journey make sure you buy any last minute supplies, pack your lunch and light a candle at the church for good luck.

Day 2: Walk St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles (25km)

Set off in the predawn darkness through the old streets and under the statue of St James, follow in the footsteps of millions of others who have preceded you over the centuries. The streets are full of pilgrims walking towards the hills, it is a magical feeling as you cross the old bridge and head out of town. Today will be the first time you follow the famous yellow arrows which mark the 790 km journey all the way to Santiago; you will get very practiced at looking out for the markings and for other pilgrims along the route. The first section today is steep as you follow country lanes up out of the Valley of St Jean. Make sure you take time to enjoy the views over the beautiful countryside. As you climb higher you will pass the Albergue at Orisson and then head into open country above the tree line, where sheep and ponies graze. Look out for the statue of the Virgin of Orisson and the van which sells hot drinks and snacks to weary pilgrims.

The inconspicuous border crossing from France to Spain lies within a patch of forest marked by an old stone sign stating the distance to Santiago and a small drinking fountain. Continue onwards to the highest point at the Col De Lepoeder (1450m) and enjoy the extensive views over the Pyrenees. After this, you start your descent through woodlands to the monastery at Roncesvalles which beckons enticingly between the trees on your downhill climb. Arrive at Roncesvalles and enjoy a well earned drink at the Posada before checking into your accommodation. Roncesvalles or ‘the valley of thorns’ is a beautiful spot still cloaked in a medieval atmosphere. Make sure you visit the beautiful 12th century church, cloisters and museum before dinner, where you will share tales with fellow pilgrims from every corner of the world, all relieved to have finished today’s section and some would say the hardest day of all the Camino.

Meals: B

Day 3: Walk Roncesvalles to Akerreta (28km)

After yesterday’s efforts, today’s walk is mostly downhill as you head down through valleys and enjoy delightful woodland walking. Meander on country paths, crossing rivers and climb two small hills with plenty of shade and drinking fountains en route. It is very pleasant walking and not as strenuous as the day before. Towards the end of the day you will descend into the town of Zubiri and possibly your overnight accommodation or onwards to Akerreta another few kilometres away depending on your itinerary.

Today is a long walk but well worth it once you reach your hotel in Akerreta which is a beautiful converted country house that featured in the movie ‘The Way’. Enjoy the lounge and library or relax with a drink before your meal which is prepared from produce grown in the gardens of the hotel, you will never taste anything fresher.

Meals: B

Day 4: Walk Akerreta to Pamplona (17km)

Today’s walk is much shorter as we leave the peace of the countryside and approach the famous city of Pamplona. There are some beautiful old bridges along today’s route and as we climb a small hill, the city comes into view. The excitement builds as you walk through the outskirts of the city, over the river and through the old city walls. Once inside the city, you’re immediately immersed in the narrow cobbled streets which burst with colour and life. The Camino passes through famous streets forming the route for the running of the bulls as part of the San Fermin Festival and spills into the central plaza area.

Meals: B

Day 5: Free Day in Pamplona

A day to sleep in, explore the sights of Pamplona and take in its artistic, historical and gastronomical highlights of this vibrant city. Alternatively, head to Cafe Iruna on the main plaza where Hemingway and other celebrities hung out, pay close attention to its art deco interior which has not changed over the decades. In the evening, dine in one of the city’s award-winning restaurants specializing in elaborately prepared ‘pinchos’ or finger foods.

Meals: B

Day 6: Walk Pamplona to Puente la Reina (24km)

The Camino quickly leaves the city and enters tranquil rolling countryside, passing through Cizur Menor on your ascent to the hill of the Sierra del Perdón. Here you’ll find a statue depicting medieval pilgrims huddled against the wind; the translated inscription reads ‘Where the way of the wind meets the way of the stars’. Upon descent you have the option of a side trip to the distinctive eight sided church of Eunate, linked to the Knights Templar who defended the pilgrims on the road to Santiago, continue on to Puente la Reina, famous for its perfectly balanced 11th century stone bridge and one of the famous landmark images of the Camino.

Meals: B

Day 7: Walk Puente la Reina to Estella (22km)

Today’s track initially follows the River Arga before it begins its uphill journey. The walk continues through fields and past the remains of the 13th century Monasterio de Bargota. Passing olive groves and vineyards takes you through the towns and villages and through a gothic arch into the medieval hilltop village of Cirauquí. A little unusually the Camino guides you through a building where you can stamp your own credencial. Look out for the beautiful 12th century Iglesia de San Román with its impressive doorway.

Leaving Cirauquí through another gothic arch, the Camino takes a downhill path leading to an old paved Roman road considered to be one of the best preserved examples along the Camino. After crossing a rather dilapidated Roman bridge, the route meanders through rolling arid hills where the Roman road disappears and reappear time and again. The next town is Villatuerta where at the top of the hill you will find the gothic 12th century Iglesia de la Asuncíon, an ideal place to rest a while. You will also find the Iglesia del Espiritu Santo and the Iglesia Santo Domingo just before reaching the pretty town of Estella.

Meals: B

Day 8: Walk Estella to Los Arcos (22km)

The day starts in Estella, a lovely small town split in two by the Ega River and surrounded by conic, wooded hills topped with castles (or their ruins) and churches attesting to its long history as a crucial centre of commerce. In Estella you will find the famous Irache fountain which dispenses free red wine to thirsty pilgrims (courtesy of the Bodegas)! After taking a sip and visiting Estella’s most important monuments, your walk enters a dense forest of evergreen oaks and passes through fields of red poppies, wheat, grapes and white asparagus; the latter a local grown specialty. Continue on to Los Arcos a classical pilgrim halt, where you can enjoy narrow tranquil streets.

Meals: B

Day 9: Walk Los Arcos to Viana (19km)

Most of today’s route is on natural paths and dirt tracks and is very enjoyable walking with some steep sections as you cross a set of hills prior to crossing the river valleys of the Rio Linares and Valdearas. At Torres del Río you’ll pass another architectural wonder of the Camino, the 12th century, 8-sided Holy Sepulchral Church, associated with the Knights Templar. Further on you reach Viana, your stop for the night, a well preserved historical town whose centre has changed little over the centuries.

Meals: B

Day 10: Walk Viana to Logrono (10km)

Today our goal is Logrono, capital of the La Rioja region and home of some of Spain’s most celebrated red wines. The last short section of today’s route take us into the region of La Rioja before approaching the university city of Logrono built on the river Ebro. Logrono has one of the most distinguished culinary traditions in Spain and there are over 50 taperías (tapas restaurants) located within a four block area close to the town centre. The traditional tapas restaurants often serve only one tapa (such as mushroom), served as pincho (pintxo in Basque) and meaning one serving. Many pilgrims also elect to include a rest day here.

Meals: B

Day 11: Depart Logrono

You are free to check out of your hotel any time before 10am. If you would like to explore Logrono further you are able to leave your bags with reception.

Meals: B

Dates

Self-guided trips offer flexibility, independence and choice. Set your own agenda while someone else worries about the logistics. Our self-guided walking holidays are fully flexible which means you can normally start your walk on any day during the season and customise by adding extra days for resting or sightseeing. As you’re walking independently, you’re free to follow the trail at your own pace. You set your own speed as you are not limited by the constraints of group travel.

Note that if booking for a start date of less than 30 days from the time of booking we cannot guarantee that your trip is possible unless you have contacted us first and your trip details have been confirmed.

PLEASE NOTE
The Napoleon route over the top of the Pyrenees mountains is closed between 1 November and 31 March.

Inclusions

  • 10 nights excellent accommodation including historic hotels and character country houses.
  • Twin share en suite rooms on a twin share basis
  • Daily breakfast
  • Luggage transfer each day from hotel to hotel (1 x 15kg bag per person)
  • Full Camino guidebook with maps (one book per two people in twin/double share)
  • Pilgrim’s passport per person
  • Spanish phrasebook (one book per two people in twin/double share)
  • Document case
  • Daily luggage tags
  • Maps of your hotel locations
  • Local and Australian emergency contact numbers
  • Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
  • Dedicated local support person in Spain for reassurance

Not Included

  • Single supplement is $650
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights to/from Spain

Options/Add Ons

We can include transfers to and from Barcelona by train, additional rest days as required and reduce the kilometres walked over the Pyrenees. If you would like to do a food or wine excursion in Pamplona or Logrono let us know.

Single supplement $650 extra.

For any part of your trip that falls before 15 March or after 31 October there is an out of season luggage transfer surcharge cost of $30 per day.

Map & Guide

Reviews

Joanna Padman, Bogangar (NSW) – October 2018
Seamless travel with no hitches. The accommodation was good to excellent, depending on what was on offer in villages/cities, and luggage transfers worked beautifully. Very pleased we chose to book through RAW Travel.

John O’Brien, Geelong (VIC) – April 2018
My Dad, Brother in-Law and I enjoyed a terrific adventure courtesy of RAW Travel on the Camino de Santiago and the French Way. Everything was organised well in advance and we were able to wake up each day, enjoy a delicious breakfast in a different town and walk leisurely to our next location, in the full knowledge that our luggage had been picked up and moved on to the next hotel. The team and Jason back in Oz were great fun, insightful and were genuinely interested in our experience. Thoroughly recommend RAW Travel and the wonderful food, culture and history of the Camino de Santiago.

Annastacia Oliver, Maroochydore (QLD) – September 2017
Our trip was fantastic and I was so glad we booked with RAW Travel for all our hotels and luggage transfers. It made our walking day easier and worry free, knowing we didn’t have to go looking for a place to sleep once we arrived at our destination. Highly recommend doing it this way if you are limited for time and don’t want to carry a heavy pack. Also all the hotels were of exceptional standard and located usually in the centre of the town. With breakfast daily, we could start our day refreshed and ready to go.

Janet Sloan, South Yarra (VIC) – September 2017
Our trip was impeccably organised, details well communicated, hotels selected exceeded expectations, and the cost very reasonable. As I was part of a group my personal contact was limited but all communication was clear and timely and I understand that Sandra was extremely helpful to all that contacted her. I would have no hesitation in recommending RAW Travel and the Camino de Santiago as an exceptional experience. My only complaint: it wasn’t long enough and I wish I was still walking it.

Shane, Somerton Park (SA) – September 2017
Simply amazing. We loved the entire Camino experience and the planning and support given to us by RAW Travel enhanced our trip. Our luggage was moved efficiently from site to site and the quality of the accommodation was superb. The Monastery at Roncesvalles, the Hotel Akerreta, and the accommodation at Mues were the standouts. The people we met and walked with were very friendly and made our trip memorable.

Daniela Clarke, Malvern (VIC) – September 2017
As a first-time long distance walker/trekker, the Camino walk was the perfect introduction. Although very challenging physically and mentally on the first 2 days that took us through and over the Pyrenees mountains, the scenery, people we met along the way and the camaraderie made it worthwhile. The trip exceeded all my expectations at every level. Thanks to RAW Travel’s brilliant planning and organisation, our experience was faultless. Their pre-walk communication and itinerary, transfers to and from villages and selection of beautiful, clean and comfortable accommodation meant that all we needed to do was relax and enjoy the walk and the strikingly beautiful scenery along the way. My only regret is that it was too short, but this just means that I will need to go back for more! Thanks RAW Travel for all the work and brilliant planning you put in and for taking me out of my comfort zone and making this an unforgettable experience.

Lisa Lin, West Melbourne (VIC) – August 2017
The cultural and scenic experience of Spain was excellent and the accommodation choices were great.

Gabrielle & Andrew Tagg, East Killara, NSW – May 2017
All aspects of our Camino walk were excellent. Thank you so much for the wonderful material and arrangements for our trip – there were no hiccups along the way, so it shows once again you are a most professional and reliable company. Our 10-day journey from St Jean Pied de Port to Logrono was indeed a great walk and day 1 across the Pyrenees was brilliant – strong winds on the day, but so uplifting and not as daunting as we at first thought it might be.

A special mention on the accommodation. The age and renovation of these magnificent establishments is mind blowing. At all places it was fabulous: roomy, bags already in the room (at most places) and delightful staff/owners. Special mention for the wonderful accommodation and staff at St Jean, Roncesvalles, Akerreta, Pamplona, Puente de la Reina, Estella, Mues, Viana and Logrono. The meal at Akerreta supplied by Joseph and his helper was fantastic; we also enjoyed the dinner at Mues in their cellar.

We also ate dinner at the hotels in Roncesvalles and Viana and both were excellent for tired walkers. An issue with Spain is some restaurants don’t open until 8pm however we managed to find wholesome and good quality produce in all locations. The weather was good for the 10 days with only 1 period of steady rain and we did not incur any injuries or hardship arriving at Logrono fulfilled and uplifted for the experience.

Thank you once again for all your help from two very satisfied and enriched wayfarers.

Timothy Mcqueen, Melbourne – September 2016
Everything was fantastic. We stayed in some beautiful places, Luggage transfers all worked perfectly. Personally I would have preferred to walk more of the taxi sections.

Greg Peach, Sydney – September 2016
We had a great time. The weather was perfect and the knees held up over the Pyrenees. It was so nice to have our boys with us to enjoy the experience together.

Vere Fairbairn, Witchcliffe, WA – April 2016
Thank you for organising and making our Camino journey so fantastically special. We finished our walk from St Jean de Pied Port to Longrono last Thursday and were just so sad it was ending there – perhaps we should have gone on to Burgos. Another time. Everything about our journey was so well organised and the information you gave us about what to expect and the training was just so useful. We felt really prepared and fortunately for us nothing went wrong and we made it to Longrono without any injuries or blisters.

What our Clients Say

Our trip was fantastic and I was so glad we booked with RAW Travel. The hotels were exceptional and with breakfast daily, we could start our day refreshed and ready to go.

Annastacia Oliver, Maroochydore (QLD) - September 2017

We had a great time. The weather was perfect and the knees held up over the Pyrenees. It was so nice to have our boys with us to enjoy the experience together.

Greg Peach, Sydney - Sept 2016

All aspects of our Camino walk were excellent. Thank you so much for the wonderful material and arrangements for our trip – there were no hiccups along the way, so it shows once again you are a most professional and reliable company. 

Gabrielle & Andrew Tagg, East Killara, NSW - May 2017

Thank you for organising and making our Camino journey so fantastically special. We finished our walk from St Jean de Pied Port to Longrono last Thursday and were just so sad it was ending there.

Vere Fairbairn, Witchcliffe, WA - April 2016

The cultural and scenic experience of Spain was excellent and the accommodation choices were great.

Lisa Lin, West Melbourne (VIC) - August 2017

Thanks RAW Travel for all the work and brilliant planning you put in and for taking me out of my comfort zone and making this an unforgettable experience.

Daniela Clarke, Malvern (VIC) - September 2017

e loved the entire Camino experience and the planning and support given to us by RAW Travel enhanced our trip.

Shane, Somerton Park (SA) - September 2017

Our trip was impeccably organised, details well communicated, hotels selected exceeded expectations, and the cost very reasonable.

Janet Sloan, South Yarra (VIC) - September 2017

My Dad, Brother in-Law and I enjoyed a terrific adventure on the Camino de Santiago. The team back in Oz were great fun, insightful and genuinely interested in our experience.

John O'Brien, Geelong (VIC) – April 2018

Very pleased we chose to book through RAW Travel. Seamless travel with no hitches. The accommodation was good to excellent, depending on what was on offer and luggage transfers worked beautifully.

Joanna Padman, Bogangar (NSW) – October 2018

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Sue Chater – Camino

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Trip Grading

This trip is rated as Challenging