Camino de Santiago: the Baztån Way

Hiking Vacation

DATE: Oct 05, 2023
END DATE: Oct 12, 2023

Hike/Event Location: Bayonne, France, to Pamplona, Spain MA

Trip Leader(s)

HOLYOKE, MA United States

Meeting Time: 6:00 PM

Max # People: 5

Hike Guiding / Event Fee: Yes, but only to cover shared expenses, and I too am paying

Hike Difficulty Level:

Moderate to Strenuous

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The Camino de Santiago, the Way of St James, is a network of ancient walking routes from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The main path has become heavily traveled especially in summer; October is an ideal time to enjoy cooler weather and less congestion on the trails. This trip is a week's trek on a less-traveled branch from Bayonne, France, to Pamplona, Spain, via the beautiful Baztán valley in the Basque country, comprised of about 5 days of walking, plus a day at either end to enjoy the historic cities of Bayonne and Pamplona. The Baztán route joins the main Camino to Santiago at historic Pamplona (famous for the July Running of the Bulls festival), which also has good onward transport links for those who are done walking. Those who have not previously done a Camino are welcome; I've done five previous trips (though not this one) and would be happy to share my expertise to help you prepare for and enjoy the trip. Participants should be in good physical condition; much of the route is mountainous, though not technically demanding, and we will be averaging around 12 miles a day. We will travel light: no camping equipment is needed; accommodations en route are in small local hotels and pilgrim hostels with spartan facilities. Adaptability and good humor in the face of of the unexpected are key. Spanish and French language skills would be helpful but not a must.

Several options are possible for extended trips. You could walk the main Camino from Pamplona to the stunning cathedral city of Burgos (about a week's trek). I myself will be heading to San Sebastián from Pamplona by rail to pick up the Camino del Norte, which runs along the cliffs and beaches of the Atlantic coastline on its way to Santiago, then I'll be switching after about 240 miles to the Camino Primitivo at the city of Oviedo for the last 200 miles to Santiago. Happy to have company on parts of that too.


Directions To Trailhead Parking Lot

Trip begins at Bayonne, France on the evening of October 5, meeting point TBA. The local airport is Biarritz (BIQ); Bilbao airport (BIO) is 2.5 hrs away by bus; Bordeaux Airport (BOD) is 2.5 hrs by train; San Sebastian airport (EAS) is about 2hrs away. Return flights can be booked from Pamplona, Bilbao or San Sebastian. High speed trains (renfe.com) connect all these Spanish cities with Madrid and Barcelona for transatlantic flights.

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Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


United States
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Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Nutley, NJ

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Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Hanover, NH

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