The Camino Frances is the most famous Camino route, walked by millions of pilgrims from all over the globe since the Middle Ages. More than just a pilgrimage, the Camino is a unique social and cultural experience and a truly memorable adventure.
Follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims, walking its first stage from St Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to Logroño. This is the most demanding stage of the Camino de Santiago, but it is also one of the most rewarding ones. Walk through the high mountains and deep valleys of the Pyrenees, then across undulating fields and olive groves to Logroño.
- The walled town of Saint Jean Pied de Port
- The views of the Pyrenees when crossing the Roncesvalles Pass
- Pamplona and the world-famous San Fermin festival
- The city of Logroño and La Rijoa wine region
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Day 1: Arrive in Saint Jean Pied de Port
Today you will arrive in the pretty town of St Jean Pied de Port, at the foot of the Pyrenees, in the French Basque Country, the starting point of the famous Camino Frances. Overnight in Saint Jean Pied de Port.
- Accommodation: Hotel Ramuntcho or similar in St. Jean Pied de Port
Day 2: St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles | 25 km
This is one of the most challenging but beautiful parts of the route, especially if you take the ‘Napoleon Route’ over the Roncesvalles Pass. The ‘Napoleon Route’ starts with a steep climb past country houses before reaching mountain meadows, the cross and some spectacular mountain views. The views of the Pyrenees are worth the effort! An alternative route is available along the valley for those who prefer a more gentle option.
- Walking for the day: 25 km, 7 hours
- Accommodation: La Posada de Roncesvalles or similar in Roncesvalles
Day 3: Roncesvalles to Zubiri | 21 km
From Roncesvalles, the Camino route continues through beech and oak woods before entering Espinal. You will also cross two mountain passes, Alto de Mezquiriz and Alto de Erro. You will then descend towards the village of Zubiri and its medieval bridge ‘Puente de la Rabia’ over the river Arga.
- Walking for the day: 21 km, 6 hours
- Accommodation: Hosteria de Zubiri or similar in Zubiri
Day 4: Zubiri to Pamplona | 21 km
From Zubiri, the Camino de Santiago follows the river Arga to the town of Larrasoaña, an important stop for pilgrims in Medieval times. The second half of the day will get busier, as you approach the bustle of Pamplona city. Famous for its Running of the Bulls festival, San Fermín, taking place in July, Pamplona has many other attractions to visit. Explore the city’s medieval streets, visit the cathedral, taste some of the fantastic local food and wine and Hemingway fans can go for a coffee in one of the writer’s favourite haunts in the main square: Plaza del Castillo.
- Walking for the day: 21 km, 6 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Europa or similar in Pamplona
Day 5: Pamplona to Puente de la Reina | 24 km
From Pamplona, you will leave this beautiful city behind you as the Camino takes pilgrims towards the ‘Alto del Perdón’ (Hill of Forgiveness) pass. Get your picture taken with the photogenic pilgrim sculpture at the ‘alto’ and enjoy fantastic 360-degree panoramic views of Pamplona and the valley. From there, you will begin your descent towards Puente la Reina (Queen’s Bridge) with its quaint medieval alleys and impressive 11th-century bridge over the River Arga.
- Walking for the day: 24 km, 5-6 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Bidean or similar in Puente de la Reina
Day 6: Puente la Reina to Estella | 22 km
From Puente de la Reina, the Camino de Santiago route continues along peaceful tracks for most of the day to Estella. You will walk along rolling farmland, passing small towns and villages nestled among olive groves, cereal crops and vineyards. Estella-Lizarra is your finish point for today, a nice historic town with plenty to do and see.
- Walking for the day: 22 km, 5 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Yerri or similar in Estella
Day 7: Estella to Los Arcos | 21 km
From Estella, your Camino journey continues to the town of Los Arcos. Just outside Estella, you will find Bodegas Irache, the Wine Museum and its free wine fountain; stop for a rest and sip of the local Rioja! Today, most of your walk will be along nice tracks, among vineyards, olive trees, and cereal fields. From Villamayor de Monjardín to Los Arcos, you will cover approximately 12 km without passing a single village, so make sure you have plenty of water and a few snacks.
- Walking for the day: 21 km, 5 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Monaco or similar in Los Arcos
Day 8: Los Arcos to Logroño | 28 km
From Los Arcos, you will continue your Camino on a very enjoyable trail across rolling countryside, leaving Navarra and entering the world-famous winemaking La Rioja region. You will pass the dramatic ruins of Clavijo Castle before entering the city of Logroño, capital of La Rioja and home to some of the best tapas scenes on the Camino. Head for Calle Laurel to sample the local Rioja-style specialities.
- Walking for the day: 28 km, 7-8 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Murrieta or similar in Logroño
Day 9: Departure
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading to the airport.
What to Expect
Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming country inns and comfortable hotels located close to the Camino route. You will always have a private room and an en-suite (attached) bathroom. The accommodation places have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.
Click to view default hotels
- Hotel Ramuntcho (St. Jean Pied de Port)
- La Posada de Roncesvalles (Roncesvalles)
- Hosteria de Zubiri (Zubiri)
- Hotel Europa (Pamplona)
- Hotel Bidean (Puente de la Reina)
- Hotel Yerri (Estella)
- Hotel Monaco (Los Arcos)
- Hotel Murrieta (Logroño)
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included (usually a simple buffet breakfast/coffee and toast/bread/croissant) on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Where no dinner is included, most places serve hearty pilgrim menus – you can get a 3-course dinner including wine and water for about GBP 10-15 pp.
Difficulty & terrain
This Camino stage is graded moderate but note that it involves a rather demanding crossing of the Pyrenees. It includes daily walks of 20-25 km (read more about difficulty grades). You will follow a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The routes are perfectly waymarked with yellow painted arrows and a yellow shell on a blue background, and the itinerary is very easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.
When to go
This trip is available to depart from 1 March till 15 November; the best months to visit are April – June and September – October, as in the summer months it may become too hot (and crowded). The flexibility of self guided walking holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
Click to view travel options
By train or bus
Arrival in St. Jean: From Biarritz, you should take the bus from outside the airport to Bayonne rail station (20 min) and then from there take the mountain railway up to St Jean (1.5 h) which you can book in advance with SNCF.
Departure Logroño: From Logroño, you can take a train or bus either to Madrid (3.5-4 h) or Barcelona (4-6 h). The closest airports are San Sebastian (check La Estella) or Bilbao airport (check Termibus).
- 8 nights in private en-suite rooms
- 8 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (1 pc up to 20 kg per person)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes & entry fees (payable on the spot)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras & supplements
- Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room / single use of a double room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights