The Camino the Santiago is one of the easiest routes to follow considering the long-distance hiking trails of the world. It is well waymarked and runs essentially in very humanized areas, but this does not mean that you do not have to take certain precautions.

Starting the French Way in Saint Jean Pied de Port

If you choose to start the French Way in Saint Jean Pied de Port, you will have a hard and spectacular first stage until reaching Roncesvalles.

However, do not be alarmed. This first stage has two options:

  • The classic one known as the Napoleon routeharder
  • The winter variant: through Valcarlos softer

St. Jean – Roncesvalles – Napoleon route

This is the main itinerary, known as Napoleon Route, we cross the Pyrenees through the Ports of Cize, ascending from the 172 meters of altitude of Saint Jean Pied de Port to 1,430 of the hill of Lepoeder; then, we descend through a fascinating beech forest to Roncesvalles, at an altitude of 945 meters. No less than 1,258 meters of positive height gain and 485 meters of negative height difference.

Napoleon route profile

Napoleon route profile

St. Jean – Roncesvalles – through Valcarlos

Mandatory detour in winter or during bad weather, through the valley of Valcarlos, always close to the road and at lower altitude than the Napoleon Route. In case of snow or bad weather conditions, and also in case of doubts about one’s physical condition, it is undoubtedly the most sensible option, although its landscape is somewhat less spectacular. The positive difference is 885 meters.

Saint Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles : through Valcarlos

Saint Jean Pied de Port – Roncesvalles : through Valcarlos

Get in touch with us

During days of a few hours of light, a lot of rain, etc. It is necessary to plan the stages well in advance to avoid surprises.

We highly recommend that if for some reason the night falls and you arrive late during this particular stage, you contact us directly, or the accommodation, so we can react and do not start worrying about whether something has happened. Thus, unnecessary worries can be prevented.