Stage 1 - Camino Francés

St. Jean Pied du Port to Los Arcos – 136 km (8 days)

Your journey starts in St Jean Pied de Port which straddles the French and Spanish border.Your first day, crossing the Pyrenees, will undoubtedly be the toughest day of the entire Camino.Whilst graced with stunning views the climb up to Roncesvalles is steep and demanding. Leaving Roncesvalles you cross through mountain passes adorned with beech and oak woods along the River Arga. The high mountains and deep valleys of the Pyrenees soon give way to the undulating plain that surrounds the fortress town of Pamplona.From there you pass through olive trees and small towns as you approach your destination, Los Arcos.

Highlights

  • The Basque market town of St. Jean Port de Pied
  • The stunning views as you cross the Pyrenees
  • The historic town of Pamplona – avoid the running of the bulls in July!
  • The camaraderie of fellow walkers
  • Excellent local food and wine

What is Included

  • Return flights Dublin/Biarritz and Bilbao/Dublin (This tour is based on a specific airfare – a surcharge may apply if the fare is unavailable at time of booking)
  • Airport taxes
  • One carry on bag per person max 10 kg
  • 7 nights accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis
  • 2 dinners – one on arrival and one on departure
  • Luggage transfers throughout - 1 piece of luggage - max 15 kg per person
  • Services of local English speaking agent (emergencies only!)


What is Not Included

  • Checked in bag max 15 kg €50.00
  • Travel insurance €36.00 (+ 66 years - double premium applies)
  • Single room supplement €182.00 for duration of stay
  • Pilgrim passport €12.00

Itinerary Details

Day 1: Tuesday 11 September: St. Jean Pied de Port

Fly Dublin to Biarritz and transfer to St. Jean Pied du Port and spent your first night preparing for your journey in this pretty market town at the foot of the Pyrenees.

Day 2: Wednesday 12 September: St Jean - Roncesvalles (21.8 km) - 2 nights

Today is the toughest day of the entire Camino with a steep climb across the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles.The stunning views over the mountains will compensate somewhat for this.

Day 3: Thursday 13 September Roncesvalles - Zubiri (20.7 km)

Today the Camino cross two further mountain passes before reaching Zubiri.Walk through beech and oak woods along the River Arga.Transfer back to Roncesvalles for overnight

Day 4: Friday 14 September: Zubiri - Pamplona (23.5 km)

Transfer back to Zubiri to recommence walk.Continuing along the River Arga towards the medieval city of Pamplona famous for the Festival of San Fermin better known as ‘the running of the bulls’ held every July.

Day 5: Saturday 15 September: Pamplona - Puente la Reina (22 km)

Leaving Pamplona you are soon back in the countryside with the ascent from Cizur Menor taking you through a field of wind turbines.Stop to take in the view back over Pamplona.Walk through the Arga valley down into Puente la Reina.

Day 6: Sunday 16 September:Puente la Reina - Estella (21 km)

Leave Puente la Reina over the Pilgrims Bridge.Most of today’s walk is through quiet farmlands and olive groves.In Maneru you will pass the ruins of a Gothic church and see the 13th century church in the picturesque hilltop village of Cirauqui.Pass through the village of Villatuerta to reach Estella.

Day 7:Monday 17 September: Estella - Los Arcos (27 km)

Leaving Estella you enter the famous Rioja wine region and will pass the wine museum of Bodegas Irache and the Rioja vineyards. Natural paths of oak and pine trees take you to Villamayor de Monjardin before reaching the small town of Los Arcos.

Day 8: Tuesday 18 September

Transfer from Los Arcos to Bilbao airport

Accommodation

Your accommodation will be in 2/3* hotels/pensions while walking. Your en suite room will be simple, basic and clean.Facilities generally consist of a reception area and a breakfast room. Some have restaurant facilities. Breakfast is usually of the continental variety: coffee and croissants – anything else is bonus!As we use a wide range of accommodations in the various overnight locations you will be advised of names of all accommodation with your travel documents.

Proposed Flights

Date

Carrier

From / To

Departure

Arrival

Tue 11 Sep

Ryanair

Dublin/ Biarritz

10.05 hrs.

13.10 hrs.

Tue 18 Sep

Aer Lingus

Bilbao/ Dublin

15.35 hrs.

16.40 hrs.

Dates & Prices

Start Date

End Date

Price PPS

Tue 11 Sep

Tue 18 Sep

€895.00*

*Bed & Breakfast basis

Important Information

  • Walking each day: you are “independent” which means you have maximum flexibility – set off walking in the morning whenever you are ready, walk at your own pace, choose when and where to stop for lunch en route and plan the day around your own agenda.You simply leave your packed luggage at reception and it will be awaiting you on arrival in your next accommodation.
  • Walking grade: Strenuous (particularly at the start) to moderate.

How to reserve a place(s):a completed booking form with deposit of €250.00 per person (payment by cash/cheque debit or credit card) should be sent directly to MAP Travel.The balance will be due 10 weeks prior to departure – payment by cash/cheque or debit card.