Xacobeo 2021 - 2022
Camino Francés (The French Way)
Stage

Saint Jean Pied de Port -Orreaga/ Roncesvalles

Orreaga/Roncesvalles - Zubiri
25’5 km

A steadily increasing number of pilgrims are choosing the town of Saint Jean Pied de Port to begin the French Route or Camino Francés. The first twenty kilometres are steep, with some sharp sections; therefore a slow pace is recommended.


The section begins with the medieval bridge over the Nive River, which crosses this ancient town, surrounded by its beautiful, historic wall. Following the sign for Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle,* a rural footpath takes the walker through the residential areas of Iruleya, Erruculus and Huntto to finally reach a wonderful viewpoint.


After Orisson, the mountain track takes us through the landscape of French Aquitaine until the Virgen de Biakorri. Another 15 kilometres down the road, the sign to Roncevaux/Orreaga takes us trekking through the slopes of peak Keizar Atheka and the hillock of Bentarte, with its Fuente de Roldán. Already entering Navarre, the road rises until reaching a height of 1430 metres at Col de Lepoeder. A double sign lets pilgrims choose: the shorter road to Roncesvalles, 3.6 km of steep hills, or 400 metres more through mount Donsimon, with excellent views from the peak of Ibañeta, which is also the site of the chapel of San Salvador. The forest then leads us to Roncesvalles.

* * Beware! Part of this route may be dangerous during the winter, so you must contact the emergency services before you start trekking. From November 1st to March 31st, trekkers must access Navarre by a different route: that of Arnéguy and Valcarlos, a detour signposted after crossing the wall of Saint Jean Pied de Port. The path runs along an elevation of 895 metres through the valley of Valcarlos and enters the first point in Navarre running parallel to the main road.

How to get to Saint Jean Pied de Port

The closest airport to Saint Jean Pied de Port is Biarritz (7 Espl. de l'Europe, 64600 Anglet, France). Several airlines fly from here to various destinations in Europe. The trip from the terminal to Saint Jean Pied de Port is around 50 kilometres by road.
Companies such as Conda or Alsa have daily buses from Pamplona or San Sebastian to Saint Jean Pied de Port. There are also buses from Roncesvalles, where a shared taxi can be hired as another option to reach Saint Jean Pied de Port.
The only direct train reaching Saint Jean Pied de Port leaves from Bayonne, France, and takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Tips from our postmen and women

What to see and do in Orrega/Roncesvalles?

Carlos Barberena
Carlos Barberena Correos Orreaga-Roncesvalles.

Having a look around the wonderful architectural complex of Arreaga-Roncesvalles is indeed a must after this first day. Set in the heart of the Pyrenees, there is no other house apart from the church. This place offers us the chance to experience first-hand the importance of this spot in the Camino Francés, the most important of all Routes to Santiago.” 


Accommodations Saint Jean Pied de Port -Orreaga/ Roncesvalles

Image gallery

Puerta de Notre Dame en Saint Jean Pied de Port
Puerta de Notre Dame en Saint Jean Pied de Port
Saint Jean Pied de Port, inicio del Camino Francés
Saint Jean Pied de Port, inicio del Camino Francés
Río Nive en Saint Jean Pied de Port
Río Nive en Saint Jean Pied de Port
Saint Jean Pied de Port-Roncesvalles, primera etapa del Camino Francés
Saint Jean Pied de Port-Roncesvalles, primera etapa del Camino Francés
El Camino Francés cruza los Pirineos entre Saint Jean Pied de Port y Roncesvalles
El Camino Francés cruza los Pirineos entre Saint Jean Pied de Port y Roncesvalles
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