If you opt for the extra day in Pamplona, you will arrive a day before the standard tour begins and be treated to an extraordinary dinner the day you arrive, followed by a walking tour of the city the next morning featuring the most famous places in Pamplona –including our hotel, Palacio de Guendulain. You will have the remainder of the day free to explore the city, which has so much to see and offer.
Whether you arrive by train or by plane to Pamplona, we will have a private car pick you up and bring you to our fabulous hotel, Palacio de Guendulain. All participants will meet for dinner in the evening and prepare for the walk the following day.
13.5 kms / 8.3 miles
13.5 kms / 8.3 miles walking.
We will transport you by our private bus from Pamplona to Roncesvalles, near the French border, to begin your walk. This day’s walk is one of our favorites on the entire path. As you descend and occasionally ascend, you are treated to a beautiful forested path with lots of shade, great vistas, and a stroll through incredibly charming towns. We end our walk in Lintzoain and head off to an extraordinary lunch outside Pamplona. We will return to Pamplona for the evening.
14.5 kms / 9 miles
14.5 kms / 9 miles walking.
We will board our private bus to transport us to the outskirts of Pamplona, thereby bypassing the miles of sidewalks and industrial areas. We begin our walk outside Pamplona in the town of Cizur Menor. From here, we steadily climb to the Alto del Perdón (Forgiveness Peak), an iconic symbol on the path. At the top you will find many windmills and a beautiful long metal sculpture representing pilgrims on foot and horseback which is dedicated to all who walk the Camino.
From there we descend through beautiful countryside and charming towns until we reach Muruzábal. We will have lunch in the lovely town of Puente la Reina, famous for its ancient bridge. After lunch, our bus will take us to our hotel for the night.
16 kms / 10 miles
16 kms / 10 miles walking.
Zirauki is a beautiful old medieval town in the midst of it all. Today’s walk is out in the country and brings us across an ancient Roman bridge near Lorca. Your reward today is arriving in Estella and getting to spend the afternoon exploring the city. It has a beautiful church and basilica and a charming river that winds through the city. There is an abundance of cafes and shops.
9 kms / 6 miles
9 kms / 6 miles walking.
We travel in our private bus to the Monastery of Irache, where you will find two fountains in a courtyard: one from which you can drink water and another from which you can drink wine. From there we begin our walk in the countryside, including a beautiful ascent to Villamayor de Manjarin and its even more beautiful descent!
After our walk, we will go by private bus to the city of Logroño for a fabulous lunch, followed by a short trip to our accommodation in the country for the evening.
Wine celebration day
Each stage of the Camino de Santiago has its own idiosyncrasies, and pilgrims learn about them along with the culture, history, gastronomy and art. The first part of the French Way to Santiago crosses La Rioja and Navarra, two of the most internationally renowned wine production areas in Spain. The Way to Compostela in these regions has always been known for the quality of their local wines, even mentioned in the XII century Codex Calixtinus, the oldest pilgrim guide to Santiago as “land of good bread and optimal wine”.
We will spend this day visiting the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture and the Vivanco Winery, in the medieval town of Briones in La Rioja. This winery and its museum are difficult to capture on paper; one must see, feel, and live it. The museum was opened in the late 90s to educate and teach about wine as an important aspect of civilization through time. The owners decided to open the winery to the world, breaking down the wine for your senses, ending with a thought-provoking and educational wine tasting.
The museum, with various permanent and temporary exhibition halls has the Garden of Bacchus outside, including a collection of grapevines that boasts more than 220 varieties from around the world. The history of La Rioja reflects a long and varied winemaking tradition, starting with the first settlers in 1000 BC. In the Middle Ages, pilgrims on their way to Santiago crossed the region and carried back the extraordinary reputation of its wines. Stopping here on our sixth day of the tour, we have a small “celebration of wine” to recreate what has been happening for centuries, a stop to discover the hidden secrets of the Spanish Rioja wine culture.
15.5 kms / 9.7 miles
15.5 kms / 9.7 miles walking.
We will take our bus from the country inn to a spectacular natural park on the edge of Logroño to begin our walk. We will walk through the park for a few miles, and then find ourselves headed through the vineyards that make up Spain’s most famous wine regions. It is particularly famous for its refreshing Rosado (pink) wine. After walking through the vineyards for several miles, we ascend to Ventosa, and then board our bus to Nájera for a great lunch, and return to our accommodation in the countryside.
15.3 kms / 9.6 miles
Nájera–Santo Domingo de la Calzada
15.3 kms / 9.6 miles walking.
We begin our walk in Nájera, passing through Azofra and a famous pilgrim’s cross. After ascending for a few miles, we have lunch on the outskirts of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. We arrive in the city to spend a couple of nights in this most special place. It is believed that a miracle was performed in this town –specifically that two chickens came back to life after being roasted– which is memorialized by keeping two chickens in the church at all times. The city also has two beautiful paradores –one a renovated monastery and the other an old palace. You can visit both on your own time and we always stay in one or the other to sleep.
15.3 kms / 9.6 miles
Santo Domingo de la Calzada–Viloria de Rioja
15.3 kms / 9.6 miles walking.
Beginning on this day’s walk, and after a short ascent, the path starts to flatten out as it is the edge of the Spanish mesa. Depending on the season, you will be treated to beautiful fields and flowers. We will spend the night in Burgos, a fabulous Spanish city with its splendid and famous Cathedral.
15.1 kms / 9.5 miles
15.1 kms / 9.5 miles walking.
We begin our walk at a monument near the Puerto de la Pedraja, which is at about 3300 feet altitude. From there, we walk on a wide beautiful path through the forest for several miles. We then pass the beautiful monastery of San Juan de la Ortega, and end our walk in Agés. We return to our hotel in Burgos and our farewell dinner.
You can wander around Burgos on your own prior to leaving, if your flight schedule permits. Commercial buses run all day between Burgos and Madrid’s airport and city center. We can help you book the bus to your chosen destination.