June 2020 – St Jean to Los Arcos

Booking Update October 2019 – Only 1 available room remaining – First come first served!

 

Description

What many consider to be the first section of the Camino Francés is both a challenge and a wonder.

While not for the walker with no preparation done, it’s still well within the reach of anyone starting from scratch – as long as they have trained!

But what a reward! From your first day in the Pyrenees to the delights of Pamplona, every day brings its own delights. The iconic Alto del Perdón and the famous bridges of Puente La Reina and Zubiri, the condors of the Pyrenees and the plaza in Estella. Did we mention the Basque country and the wines of La Rioja?

We have only one fear. You might never again have as rewarding a Camino experience as this.

Departure Date and Cost

  • June 6th – 13th, 2020. (Saturday to Saturday)
  • €665 pps (not including flight – flight booked at cost).
  • Single Supplement €200 for first 3 places, €250 thereafter.
  • €50 discount for previous Camino Groups walkers.

All our escorted walks are with an Irish guide – the emphasis is on having fun while experiencing the Camino at your own pace!

What’s included:

  • 7 nights’ accommodation in ensuite rooms on a B&B basis.
  • Transfers from Biarritz to St Jean and from Los Arcos to Bilbao.
  • Bag transfer each day.
  • Pilgrim Passport (Issued by Camino Society Ireland – the only official Irish pilgrim passport).
  • An Irish tour guide to accompany, walking with the group each day.
  • A Camino Groups walking top – the must-have fashion accessory of 2020!
  • Detailed walking notes and accommodation maps.

Also:

  • Flights are not included in the prices, but as a licensed and bonded travel agency, we will book your flights at cost for you. Tip – the earlier you book, the cheaper it will be.
  • We recommend that you have travel insurance in place for your trip. We can provide this as an extra if required. T&Cs apply, but the standard cost (for those <70) is €25 pp, providing you with Premier Plus cover from Blue Insurance, the highest level of cover they offer.

Itinerary

Saturday 6th, Day 1

  • Fly from Dublin to Biarritz. Upon arrival, you are provided with a private transfer to St Jean Pied de Port. Stroll along the Rue de la Citadelle and experience the giddy anticipation of pilgrims from all over the world getting ready to start their journey!

Sunday 7th, Day 2

  • Walk 24 km from St Jean to Roncesvalles. Sometimes words can’t capture the majesty of a day on the Camino – this is the ultimate!
  • Climb steadily uphill into the Pyrenees before reaching the plateau where you pass from France into Spain. A sharp descent into the hamlet of Roncesvalles, with its majestic monastery, finishes off your day. What a challenge but what an incredible experience!

Monday 8th, Day 3

  • Walk 21 km from Roncesvalles to Zubiri. You are in Navarre now and you really get a sense of being in Basque country – from the architecture to the placenames. Hemingway made Burguete his home for a while and it’s easy to understand its draw!
  • Got rabies?! Then cross the bridge into Zubiri 3 times and you’ll be cured! (Actually, it was believed to cure rabies in animals, but “people” sounds a lot more dramatic!)

Tuesday 9th, Day 4

  • Walk 19km from Zubiri to Pamplona. Our advice here is simple – get to Pamplona as early in the day as you can! Famous for the festival of San Fermín and the running of the bulls, from the moment you enter the city through the arch in the city walls, you’ll realise you’re somewhere special.

Wednesday 10th, Day 5

  • Walk 25km from Pamplona to Puente La Reina. Today’s a day of two Camino iconic landmarks. The first half of the day sees you climb uphill to Alto del Perdón and the famous pilgrim statue(s). From here, you can see for miles around you – including the villages of Uterga, Muruzabal and Obanos spread out before you, leading the way to Puente La Reina.
  • Puente la Reina is pretty in its own right without ever considering the magnificent arched bridge at the end of the town!

Thursday 11th, Day 6

  • Walk 24km from Puente la Reina to Estella. While the brief climb into Mañeru will knock the wind out of you for a few minutes, it’s Cirauqui that really catches your breath. A village set on a hilltop, it’s like stepping into a different time!
  • Estella is one of those Spanish towns where you will want to sit out in the plaza and watch the world go by. Try some ajoarriero (a local cod and olive oil broth) if you can find it!

Friday 12th, Day 7

  • Walk 24km from Estella to Los Arcos. Named after the archway leading out of the beautiful little plaza, you’ll have earned your rest in Los Arcos!
  • Villamayor de Monjardín marks an obvious stopping point today – a pretty village that makes you want to stay for hours!

Saturday 13th, Day 8

  • Transfer to Bilbao for flight to Dublin.