Flag for Spain - El Camino Walking Holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stage 1 - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Pamplona

The French Way - Stage 1 - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Pamplona - Hotel to Hotel Trek Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays 

For those with little time to spare who wish to start at the beginning  and hope or plan to return to walk further, this section is a superb introduction to walking the Camino and passes through delightful mountain and pastoral landscapes from the high Pyrenees to the lower hills surrounding Pamplona.

With a distance of just 35 miles or 52 kilometers, this stage may be completed with 4 night stops including St Jean at the beginning and ending in Pamplona.

Starting in the pretty walled town of St Jean Pied de Port, the Pilgrim has two routes to choose; either way it is necessary to cross the Pyrenees with the option of a high, spectacular route or by a lower, easier one primarily following the road. The route is mostly rural and after a tough first day crossing the Pyrenees, it then meanders more leisurely up and down through beautiful Basque villages.  It takes in the Monastic settlement of Roncesvalles where a special Pilgrim Mass is celebrated every evening, follows sparkling rivers of melting snows from on high, and ends in the vibrant city of Pamplona where the annual Fiesta de San Fermin is celebrated by the running of bulls through the town and endless nights of partying.

The Walking

Walking the Camino involves average daily distances of about 14 miles and follows well marked paths with good surfaces. Some days are long and where possible we offer a split with accommodation midway. In more remote regions, where accommodation is sparse, this is not always possible. We provide a step by step guide to the trek and location of your overnight hotel along with other supporting notes such as language and history. You may wish to spend an extra night in one of the cities exploring its architecture and culture, especially Santiago at the journey’s end to relax and reflect on your journey. On rare occasions, we offer a short transfer to avoid less attractive sections but if you wish to walk every step it can be arranged! We show the route as five separate sections starting in St Jean Pied-de-Port and ending in Santiago de Compostela, which may be combined as desired. Each section has a brief summary followed by our standard itinerary with approximate distance, ascent and descent.

The Experience

Without doubt this holiday is about more than the usual joys of walking! The Camino may be walked  for religious or non-religious reasons or perhaps just the desire to hop out of the fast lane to reflect on life and refresh the soul. For whatever reason, a very special atmosphere arises from the comradeship quickly established between pilgrims of many nationalities - each walking for their own personal reasons. With our fully flexible stages and accommodation grades you can walk all or part of the Camino – many walk a week each year until completed….and then start over again! The experience is recommended for everyone from Church Groups to the solo walker, all joining together at the Cathedral in Santiago to witness or participate in the daily Pilgrims’ Mass – an intensely memorable and moving experience.

Variations

Our basic itineraries can be varied when possible. You may make the walking days shorter by adding additional nights, take rest days in one of the existing stops or stay longer at the beginning or end to explore the historical and vibrant cities. Just contact us with your wishes and we will provide a quotation.

Luggage Transfers

Luggage may be transported from each hotel to the next enabling you to travel with a day rucksack. Unlike our other treks, baggage transfer is an optional extra as many Perigrinos (Pilgrims) prefer to travel light and carry their own. See price section for costs.

Walk Grading

Challenging with Moderate option. Total for standard itinerary:- Ascent 1960m, Descent 1670m, 42 miles.

Click here for the next Stage of the Camino 

Click here for St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela 


To view the pricing for this holiday, please scroll down to "Pricing Details" tab below.


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Accommodation Details Click to View Accommodation Details

Camino de Santiago

Your hotels have been selected to be friendly welcoming and comfortable.

We offer standard and higher grade hotel options.  Our standard grade hotels all have rooms with private bathroom, and are generally 2* in category. The higher graded options utilises superior accommodation (where available) that is generally 3*.

All hotels have been chosen to be convenient for the route.

Walking holiday in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stage 1 - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Pamplona - Click Here For Full DetailsVIEW MORE INFORMATION

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Accommodation Details Click to View The Itinerary

Day 1 Travel to St Jean Pied-de-Port and overnight in the city centre.

Day 2 St Jean Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles A choice of two routes today to cross the Pyrenees into Spain. Take the easier and/or poor weather Route de Valcarlos,

Distance 15 miles Ascent 990m Descent 200m Time 6 hours

or the higher, more physically demanding but breathtakingly beautiful Route de Napoleon.

Distance 17 miles Ascent 1390m Descent 500m Time 7 hours

Either way you will cross the mountains into Spain to arrive at the medieval settlement of Roncesvalles.

Day 3 Roncesvalles to Aquerreta Easier walking today takes you along quiet country tracks through forests and alongside tranquil rivers as the landscape flattens into rolling farmland. Pretty Basque villages offer stopping off points for refreshments. The day ends in a beautifully restored Basque house (featured in the film “The Way”). (Day may be shortened by 3 miles/5km to overnight Zubiri)

Distance 17 miles Ascent 270m Descent 320m Time 7 hours

Day 4 Aquerreta to Pamplona A shorter day of 12.5 miles takes you into the walled city of Pamplona. Spend the afternoon wandering the narrow streets exploring the many historical monuments and museums and absorbing the atmosphere of this vibrant city.

Distance 12.5 miles Ascent 300m Descent 450m Time 4 hours

Day 5 Return home

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Accommodation Details Click to View When it's Best To Go
Crossing the Pyrenees is best avoided in the winter months, December to February. There is a chance of snow impeding the high route in March and November. July and August will be hot when out of the mountains.




When to book your walking holiday in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stage 1 - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Pamplona
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
N/A N/A OK Good Best Best OK OK Best Best OK N/A

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Accommodation Details Click to Find Out How To Get There

The nearest airports for St Jean Pied-de-Port are Biarritz and Pau in France and Bilbao in Spain. The best option is to fly to Biarritz.

Bilbao has non-stop flights from London and Manchester. Outbound, take a taxi/bus at own expense to Bayonne railway station from where there is a train to St Jean.

Pau you can fly to from Southampton, London City and London Stansted. Outbound, take the bus to Pau, then train to Bayonne for the connection to St Jean, all payable locally.

Biarritz you can fly from London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester and Dublin. We can arrange a transfer or you can take a bus to Bayonne then train to St Jean, all payable locally, approximately 10€.

To return you take a bus from Pamplona to Zaragoza (included) before making your own arrangements to the airport for your flight back to London Stansted. We can make arrangements for other UK airports.

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Costs and Booking Details Pricing Details

Prices displayed in Sterling. View prices in £GBP  | View prices in $USD  | View prices in €EURO

Our prices as shown below; are available in GBP, USD, EUR, AUD, CAD and NZD and we accept payment in all these currencies.

St Jean to Pamplona

2017/18  

All Pilgrim prices include:

o    Accommodation in the grade indicated

o    Breakfast every day

o    Hotel location maps and useful notes

o    Our unique walking book compiled by one of our team from personal experience walking this stage

o    Experience of Camino specialist consultant in arranging the right trip for you

o    Walking map

o    All documents sent to your home in advance to travel

o    Pilgrims Passport (so you can claim your compostela)

o    24 Hour support line, manned by English speakers

o    General useful notes for your journey

Optional:

o    Baggage transfer between hotels, so you just walk with a day pack (1 bag per person @20kg)

                  o    Transfers to/from the local airport or bus station*

o    Flight, train or bus arrangements to/from Santiago, from a Spanish city or the UK

o    Dinner on each night in non-city hotels, recommended to ensure a meal is available at the end of a long day walking

o    Taxi transfer from Biarritz to St Jean Pied de Port

*we can provide rail/bus timetables for your arrival but cannot book tickets

Prices are per person 

Prices in US Dollar (USD), Euro (EUR), Australian Dollar (AUD), Canadian Dollar (CAD) and New Zealand Dollar (NZD) include all bank charges and costs of couriering documentation to your home. This enables you to study them before you set off and peace of mind as you will not have to worry that the documents will not be at your first hotel. These prices are fixed so that you know exactly what the total price is going to be.

 
    Prices Include Following   GBP   USD   EUR   AUD   CAD   NZD
                             
Standard Grade   Bed and Breakfast based on two   326   423   363   559   557   635
accommodation   sharing a twin/double room                        
                             
    Supplement for Half Board/   101   132   117   200   173   195
    Dinner/MAP                        
                             
    Single room Supplment   140   183   162   239   240   271
                             
Baggage   Transfer of Baggage Maximum    66   86   76   113   113   128
    20kg per bag                        
                             
Flights from UK   Approximate cost of flights to   160   209   185   273   274   309
    return between London &                        
    Santiago                        
                             
Local Access   Taxi transfer from   POA   POA   POA   POA   POA   POA
    Biarritz to St Jean Pied de Port                        
                             















QE26x/U031-E511-A071-C171-N391


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General Information Click to View General Information
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Accommodation Details Click to View Customer Feedback
Here are some comments from clients who have walked the Camino with us:-

All-in-all I had a fantastic, well organised & planned holiday. Something I will never foget - thank you!
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Miss CW, Kent

Location of hotels were spot on and central to shops etc.
Service: Good     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr RB, Belfast

Organisation by New Experience was really good. They had thought of everything and it worked.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Average     Documentation: Good     Mrs LM, Buckinghamshire

Service when booking: Helpfulness 5/5 Efficiency 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mr GP, Derry

Travel documentation: Quality 5/5 On time delivery 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average     Documentation: Excellent     Mr DMW, York

(Re documentation) Always concise & informative - much more than some we were compared with! Very helpful hints on where the next break was etc, terrain, distance.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr VS, Gt Yarmouth

A wide choice of hotels, generally very good.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mr JA, Bakewell

Very helpful and reassuring on the telephone.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr RH, Hexham

All excellent - friendly & helpful service.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs SG, Surrey

I had a superb time & valued your organisation.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mr BW, London

Matthew was always there to answer questions however trivial they may have seemed.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs EB, Stoke on Trent

Service when booking: Helpfulness 5/5 Efficiency 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Ms CK-R, London

We cannot thank you enough for your excellent service. Choice of hotels were excellent and always right on the Camino route.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr VS, Gt Yarmouth

Amongst the handful of our top holidays. The camaraderie was great. All arrangements worked very well.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr RH, Hexham

Taxis always arrived well before scheduled pick-up time. Drivers mart & helpful.
Service: Average/Good     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation:      Mrs SN, Oxford

Your organisation of the holiday was excellent.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs SG, Surrey

Overall we did enjoy the holiday- and would consider doing more of the Camino.
Service: Good     Hotels: Average     Documentation: Average     Mr JF, Carmarthenshire

Great service, thanks!
Service: Good     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Ms MW, Liverpool

All bookings and baggage transfers were excellent.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mrs DC, Hampshire

Found the experience enthralling.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mr GK, Derry

All taxi transfers were punctual, efficient & friendly as always.
Service: Good     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Average     Mrs SN, Oxford

Overall all very enjoyable.
Service: Average/Good     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Average/Good     Ms LS, Oxford

Overall I was very impressed from start to finish of my holiday.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs JB, Essex

A really good start and information.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mrs AN, Leeds

All my dealings with you have me feel valued and reassured about the walk.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr RB, Edinburgh

We had a great holiday. Thank you. We were sad to leave the Camino at Burgos.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mrs DC, Hampshire

Travel documentation: Quality 5/5 On time delivery 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Rev PF, Dorking

Member of staff put me at ease & chatted through my options patiently - very kind as this was mt first trip of this kind.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Ms NH, Reading

Service when booking: Helpfulness 5/5 Efficiency 5/5
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Average     Dr AG, Lincolnshire

Our advise to others is "Go for it". It is an unforgettable experience.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Good     Mrs ME, Weston Super Mare

The quality of the accommodation was great. All very welcoming and helpful.
Service: Good     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Ms MW, Liverpool

All hotels had great staff and good location.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr RB, Edinburgh

Service when booking: Helpfulness 5/5 Efficiency 5/5
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr AC, Surrey

New Experience Holidays is smooth, efficient and made my first holiday alone very easy.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs JB, Essex

Very helpful and responsive.
Service: Excellent     Ms EC, USA

We had a wonderful time and were very impressed at the organisation of bags, standard overall and service. Thank you.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs O, Surrey

Thank you for a wonderful "new experience".
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mr JD, Hexham

Very useful to have notes about route as we were self-guided. Handy size to carry.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mrs DE, Gloucestershire

Overall this was a great trip which exceeded our expectations in several regards.
Service: Good     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Average/Good     Dr RK, USA

Travel documentation: Quality 5/5 On time delivery 5/5
Service: Good     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Mr RD, Warwickshire

It was an excellent trip and I would have no hesitation in booking with New Experience again. In fact my husband has already looked at some of their other walking holidays.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mrs CM, Guildford

Excellent service with a very helpful personal touch.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mr KB, Sheffield

The luggage handling was faultless. Most certainly we will return.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     DR IG, Devon

Travel documentation: Quality 5/5 On time delivery 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mrs CC-T, Shropshire

Having walked with several other companies, we were very impressed with implementation and arrangements provided by New Experience.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mr KB, Sheffield

Service when booking: Helpfulness 5/5 Efficiency 5/5
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mr AC, Surrey

Very happy with the service provided & prompt response to emails.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mrs MM, London

The organisation was absolutely brilliant. The transfer of our luggage was a very slick operation from hotel to hotel and could not have been better.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mrs CM, Guildford

Very friendly and helpful.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs AP, Walsall

Travel documentation: Quality 5/5 On time delivery 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mr WD, Surrey

Everything went like clockwork. Excellent - Well done.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Average     Mr RK, County Down

Very happy with personal service I received.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Miss JS, Staffordshire

Very smooth & well thought out. Wonderful experience.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Miss DL, Surrey

The hotel accommodation was far better than I had anticipated, locations were good and the food was absolutely excellent.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mrs CM, Guildford

I was VERY impressed with the whole service. It was personal & tailored for me. This was my first solo walking trip & I felt supported.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs LR, Leeds

For a first time using a package holiday like this we were very impressed with the hassle free way it was organised.
Service: Good     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr RB, Belfast

We really enjoyed our holiday. All hotels were very clean and comfortable.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs LH, County Down

All hotels ideally situated and were more than suitable for our needs.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr GT, Merthyr

We both really enjoyed the Pilgrimage & would like to thank you for your efficiency & organization.
Service: Good     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Good     Ms MK, Northampton

Would look at your website before any other company if booking another walking holiday & would recommend to friends & family.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Miss DL, Surrey

Excellent thank you, tailormade to our needs as always!
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr VS, Gt Yarmouth

Everything worked perfectly & was organised spot on.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr DE, Lancashire

The whole trip worked smoothly and efficiently especially knowing that at the end of the day we had our luggage, a comfy bed and a good meal. Job well done.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mrs CM, Guildford

All the travel arrangements worked out very well, very impressed with our taxi driver and the way our bags were always waiting for us.
Mr LG, Kent

Service when booking: Helpfulness 5/5 Efficiency 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average     Documentation: Good     Mr WA, Henley

Despite trying situation with the ash cloud chaos you endevoured to communicate regularly and get me on the next flight with no additional cost.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Ms JT, London

Very Comprehensive… A good way to do the Camino de Santiago if you have a limited time and are booking late.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Ms SB, Middlesex

We had a great time - a really amazing holiday. Your organisation and arrangements worked out very well. We look forward to our next trip.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mr DF, Berkshire

We couldn't fault you! We were very happy with your excellent arrangements.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mr PG, Oxfordshire

Travel documentation: Quality 5/5 On time delivery 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Average/Good     Mr PA, West Midlands

We are all still raving on about our pilgrimage and regard it as a huge success, with all sorts of ever-deepening benefits.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Ms SS, London

Exceptional service with extraordinary attention to detail. Travel documents included more than I could have expected.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Excellent     Miss LB, Kent

I was going to telephone you to say that it was the best holiday I've ever had. Thanks. We shall be going to Spain again.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs LS, York

We were very impressed by the high standards of efficiency and arrangements made for our holiday.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average     Documentation: Good/Excellent     Mr KB, Sheffield

A sheer delight.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     DR IG, Devon

Really appreciated personal service + speed of communication + advice + suggestions during booking process - Great!
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Average/Good     Documentation: Excellent     Miss LB, Kent

Service when booking: Helpfulness 5/5 Efficiency 5/5
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Average/Good     Miss GC, Belfast

The hotels were all very varied and obviously chosen with care. Well situated on the route.
Service: Average/Good     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Good     Mrs SM, Newcastle

Overall, an excellent and very well organised holiday. We loved the experience.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mr PG, Oxfordshire

We've really enjoyed the walks we've done so far. We felt all the hotels were well chosen and it was reassuring to know, while walking, that at the end of a long, hot day the hotels were going to be comfortable and welcoming.
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mr DF, Berkshire

We had an excellent holiday! Everything went just as it should and the Parador was amazing.
Service: Excellent     Mrs LM, Ayrshire

(Re documentation) Easily understood, useful notes and tips!
Service: Excellent     Hotels: Good     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs LT, Denbighshire

Clear and prompt information given to me as I was a late booking.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs JP, Denbighshire

Thanks for the unfogettable holiday, and for all the help and encouragement. I had the best time ever.
Service: Good/Excellent     Hotels: Good/Excellent     Documentation: Excellent     Mrs JP, Denbighshire



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