Walking Holidays in Spain - Mainland - Spain - Navarra - Mountains & Winelands

Holiday Highlights
  • This spectacularly diverse route encompasses part of the famous Camino de Santiago
  • Begin in the Basque lands of France and traverse the high Pyrenees down to Spain
  • Medieval villages and historical monuments lead you to the wine producing town of Logrono

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  • Overview
  • Walking
  • Pricing
  • Map
  • Accommodation
  • Info

This walk across the Pyrenees is part of the 500-mile Camino Frances, or French Way, to the spellbinding city of Santiago de Compostela. It’s a route of diverse and spectacular scenery. St Jean, in the Basque lands of France, is a well-preserved gem perched high in the French Pyrenees and provides a stunning start to the trek. Crossing the Pyrenees on the first day may be tough, but there is a choice of two routes: the higher route, or the lower less-challenging Route de Valcarlos. Either way, the next destination is the monastic settlement of Roncesvalles, which nestles in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees. Here, the unique experience of walking an ancient route truly begins. From Roncesvalles, the Camino follows mountain streams through ancient forests and pretty Basque villages to Pamplona – Navarra. After an afternoon, or perhaps a day, of exploring the walled city of Pamplona, famous for its fiestas and party atmosphere, continue along the route into Spain’s famous Rioja wine-producing region. Villages are compact, historic and superbly maintained with many houses lost beneath a profusion of flowers. The trek ends in Logrono – a city dedicated to wine production. This is a perfect conclusion to the trek, with plenty of Bodegas for wine-tasting before the journey home!

The Walking

This beautiful and popular trek is made up of a high percentage of country paths and farm tracks with minimal tarmac lanes and roads. You walk directly from one hotel to the next without the need for any car transfers. And being part of the Camino de Santiago, the route is well marked.

The Route

Day 1: Fly to Biarritz and take a bus to Bayonne, then the train to St Jean, all payable locally. Or transfer by car (optional extra). Transfer to your hotel in St Jean Pied-de-Port. 

Day 2: St Jean Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles
There is a choice of two routes today to cross the Pyrenees into Spain. Take the easier and/or poor-weather Route de Valcarlos, or the higher, more physically demanding but breathtakingly beautiful Route de Napoleon. Either way, you will cross the mountains into Spain to arrive at the medieval settlement of Roncesvalles
Valcarlos: Ascent 990m, Descent 200m, Distance 15 miles, Time 6-8 hrs.
Napoleon: Ascent 1390, Descent 500m, Distance 17 miles, Time 6-8 hrs.

Day 3: Roncesvalles to Aquerreta Easier walking today takes you through quiet forests and beside tranquil rivers as the landscape flattens into rolling farmland. Colourful Basque villages offer stopping-off points for refreshments. The day ends in a beautifully restored Basque house featured in the film “The Way”. Overnight Akerreta. 
Ascent 270m, Descent 720m, Distance 17 miles, Time 6-8 hrs. (Day may be shortened by 3 miles to overnight in Zubiri.)

Day 4: Aquerreta to Pamplona A shorter day of 10 miles, leading you to the walled city of Pamplona. Spend the afternoon wandering the narrow streets, exploring the many historical monuments and museums and enjoying this vibrant city. Overnight Pamplona. 
Ascent 330m, Descent 450m, Distance 10 miles, Time 4 hrs.

Day 5: Pamplona to Puente la Reina Now the Camino passes through wide open landscapes as it climbs steadily up to Alto del Perdon at 790m. From here, there are breathtaking views back to Pamplona and ahead to the Arga Valley with its string of medieval villages through which the Camino passes on its way to Puente la Reina. Why not detour to the beautiful Romanesque church at Eunate (add 1½ miles)
Ascent 360m, Descent 490m, Distance 12.5 miles, Time 5-6 hrs.

Day 6: Puente la Reina to Estella Follow peaceful country tracks and lanes through farmland and vineyards, then relish the historic hilltop villages of Cirauqui and Lorca. At the end of the day, Estella’s narrow streets and arched bridges over the River Ega are well worth exploring.
Ascent 300m, Descent 250m, Distance 14 miles, Time 5-6 hrs. 

Day 7: Estella to Los Arcos Leave Estella, passing the Monasterio and Bodega de Irache. You can quench your thirst at the Fuente de Irache, with wine courtesy of the Bodega! Continue on country tracks through serene, uninhabited landscapes of soft hills terraced with vineyards and olive groves. Overnight Los Arcos. 
Ascent 350m, Descent 390m, Distance 14 miles, Time 5 hrs.

Day 8: Los Arcos to Logrono Wander through more rolling countryside, but with some sharp ascents and descents as you enter the wine-growing region of Rioja. Visit some of the Bodegas dotted across Logrono to sample their delicious wines! Overnight Logrono. 
Ascent 300m, Descent 350m, Distance 19 miles, Time 7-8 hrs.

Day 9: Transfer to the station, then train/bus to Bilbao or Madrid and a taxi or bus to the airport (payable locally).

Luggage Transfer

Luggage is transported from hotel to hotel so you can then travel with day rucksacks. 

Walk Grading

Self-Guided –Challenging with Moderate option, some long days. Total for standard itinerary ignoring variations:- Ascent 3270m, Descent 3150m, 100.5 miles.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Navarra - Pyrenees hotels

Your hotels have been selected to be friendly, welcoming and comfortable. They are of varying grades and specialise in catering for ‘trekkers’ and are all conveniently placed for the Camino route. All rooms have private bathrooms.


Availability Information

This walk can be undertaken from March to November. It is best in spring and autumn. High summer is also suitable but will be hot during the final few days where there is little shade.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit. 

When to book your walking holiday in Spain - Mainland - Spain - Navarra - Mountains & Winelands

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