The seventh stage of the Way of St. James Pilgrim Route. The first stage through Spain.
This eight night walking tour is the seventh stage of the legendary Way of St. James Pilgrim Route – one of the most famous pilgrimages in all of Christianity.
Price: £770.00 per person
£125.00 single room supplement
additional £30 for solo walker
8 nights B+B, 6 dinners (dinner not included in Pamplona or Logrono), family run hotels, luggage transfer from hotel to hotel, route notes and back up if required.
Difficulty: 6 to 8 hours walk a day, no difficulty, 300m of altitude change per day (except D2: 1300 metre climb).
Luggage: Your luggage is transferred from accommodation to accommodation every day.
Day 1: Arrival at St Jean Pied de Port (overnight and dinner)
Day 2: St Jean Pied de Port – Roncesvalles, 24.9 km/15.6 miles.
Altitude at departure: 180m/594ft.
To cross the Pyrenees, it is better to use the Route Napoleon which tallies with the old Roman road between Bordeaux and Astorga and was used by pilgrims. The other route via Arneguy is less interesting. Initially, we climb up to Our Lady of Biakorri (or Orisson) at 1095m/3614ft, then a short respite before continuing up to the Col Lepoeder at 1430m/4719ft, the high point of the entire pilgrimage. From here, descend to Puerto de Ibaneta and Roncesvalles.
Altitude at arrival: 920m/3036ft. 24.9 kms/15.6 miles. 8 hours.
Day 3: Roncesvalles – Zubiri, 21.8 km/13.6 miles.
Altiitude at departure: 920m/3036ft.
This first completely Spanish section is essentially Pyreneean. Pass several pretty villages – Burguete, Espinal, Viscarret…whilst everywhere is in the shade of the immortal Roland.
Altitude at arrival: 526m/1736ft. 21.8 kms/13.6 miles. 6 hours.
Day 4: Zubiri – Pamplona, 20.8 km/13 miles.
Altitude at departure: 526m/1736ft.
The itinerary follows the Arga Valley as far as Zabadilca before crossing to Pamplona, the first major Spanish town on the route. Don’t be taken in by the frequently unattractive nature of Spanish towns’ suburbs – they often conceal fascinating historic centres (‘casco antiguo’). Pamplona is just such an example and it worth spending time exploring the old town’s ancient streets. Dinner is not included tonight.
Altitude at arrival: 415m/1370ft, 20.8 kms/13 miles, 5 hours 30.
Day 5: Pamplona – Puente La Reina, 23.5 km/14.7 miles.
Altitude at departure: 415m/1370ft.
With the Pyrenees far behind us, we continue across Navarre. After the picturesque village of Zariquiegui, we cross the Sierra del Perdon, bristling with windmills. At the top (780m/2574ft), we pass a surprising group of pilgrms fashioned in metal, before descending to Puente la Reina, joining point for pilgrims coming from Arles via the Somport pass. As the accommodation is just outside the old town, you may prefer to visit it tomorrow.
Altitude at arrival: 346m/1142ft, 23.5 kms/14.7 miles, 5 hours 30.
Day 6: Puente La Reina – Estella, 22.1 km/13.8 miles.
Altitude at departure: 346m/1142ft.
As the route heads towards the Rioja region, which we will reach the day after tomorrow, the landscape is flatter and drier. Nonetheless there are curiosities to enjoy along the way – roman roads, medieval bridges…half-way we will cross the restored centre of Cirauqui (498m/1643ft).
Altitude at arrival: 426m/1406ft, 22.1 kms/13.8 miles, 5 hours 30.
Day 7: Estella – Los Arcos, 21.3 km/13.3 miles.
Altitude at departure: 426m/1406ft.
The route flanks immense fields, whilst a short detour is worthwhile to the monastery of Irache, where a curious wine fountain has been built. The more sober-minded may prefer to quench their thirst further on a the fountain of Villamayor de Monjardin.
Altitude at arrival: 447m/1475ft, 21.3 kms/13.3 miles, 5 hours 15.
Day 8: Los Arcos – Logrono, 27.9 km/17.4 miles.
Altitude at departure: 447m/1475ft. Today we pass from Navarre into Rioja, famous for its vineyards, and watered by the Ebre river. The old town in Logrono, the regional capital, hides some fine surprises for the walker. Overnight B&B.
Altitude at arrival: 400m/1320ft, 27.9 kms/17.4 miles, 6 hours 45.
Day 9: Departure after breakfast.