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Luggage Transfer Correos

Bordeaux to Irún on the Voie Littorale to connect with the Norte

2020 Camino Guides

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I walked this route at the end of Sep / beginning of Oct, and I thought I would post my itinerary on walking it in the off-season, when many places have closed for the winter. There are no albergues, so the choice of accommodation is usually hotel or campsite.

I arrived in Bordeaux late on 21 Sep, stayed overnight at an airport hotel (Hotel F1), and took the airport bus next morning into the city centre.

The first train from Bordeaux to Le Verdon-sur-Mer, to get onto the Voie Littorale, didn’t leave until 13:13 (well, actually 07:11, but I don’t do early morning starts if I don’t have to). I jumped off the train at Soulac-sur-Mer about 3pm. It seemed a bit pointless to go on another 8kms to Le Verdon, only to have to walk back to Soulac in the late afternoon.

So this is how it went:

22 Sep Visited the Basilica in Soulac-sur-Mer, and got the first stamp in my credential at the tourist office. Walked 5kms to L'Amelie where a single room for pilgrims costs E13 at Les Oyats campsite. There were about 10 rooms in the hostel, and I was the only one there. I was told off for not making a reservation! But she had a good point: if I don’t phone to book ahead, there may be nobody there when I arrive to let me in.

23 Sep Walked 15kms to Montalivet-les-Bains on cycle tracks through pine forests. The Soleil d’Or campsite was open, and I paid E12.60 for a piece of ground, where I pitched my poncho using my walking poles as tent poles.

24 Sep Walked 18kms dead straight due south to Hourtin Plage, where there was nowhere to stay. Walked on a further 5kms to Contaut, where there is a fabulous walk on a boardwalk around the lake. Nowhere to stay in Contaut either, so I hitched a ride into Hourtin-Ville and stayed at the Hotel Hourtin for E53.66.

25 Sep I hitched a ride back to Contaut, and then it was a lovely undulating walk through forests alongside the lake to Maubisson, about 19kms. I stayed in a cabin for E45 at the municipal campsite.

26 Sep A really lovely walk of 13kms to Lacanau-Ocean. I stayed on the cycle track as the official path meanders around a lot through sand. Got a dorm bed at Villa Zenith surf hostel for E20.

27 Sep A long day of 36kms to Ares. The first 9kms to Longarisse were easy going, and then there was a very pretty path by the lake. It was then due south alongside the canal with thick sand sometimes making it very heavy going. I then took the cycle track into Ares and stayed at the Hotel Le Grain de Sable for E68.88.

28 Sep 25kms to Biganos. Started off with a nice walk alongside the salt flats in the mist, and through small oyster ports. It was then a boring cycle track for 6kms into Audenge, and, not for the first time, I wondered why I was walking this and not cycling. It was then a quiet country road into Biganos. I tried two campsites that had cabin accommodation, but neither would rent one out for one night only. The hotel at the railway station was full, so I walked on to the Hotel du Delta, which had a bathtub (yeay!), and a (cold, but good) buffet breakfast, all for E64.15.

29 Sep A very boring 25kms to Sanguinet, first parallel to the freeway, and then on a track through forests, but thankfully not sandy ones. The tourist office was open, so I asked about pilgrim accommodation, and they gave me the keys to the annexe next to the church. It was very spacious with 4 beds, a large table, kitchen and fridge. It was donativo, and there was no box inside, so I made up an envelope and popped it into the parish letter box outside when I left in the morning. The keys I had to put into the box on the wall outside the municipal office next to the tourist office.

30 Sep Another boring day – 37kms of yet more pine forests to St Jean-en-Born. I’d read that there was a “refugio” next to the Mairie, but I couldn’t see it. I probably didn’t look very hard, as the Hotel Le Regale was calling me in for a long cold beer. I then checked into a room there for E45.

1 Oct 15kms, first on a cycle track to Mimizan, and then a forest track to Bias, where I stayed at the Hotel Le Tilleul (The Lime Tree Hotel). The previous hotel had kindly phoned ahead for me to check it was open. It was E45 for a single room, but I treated myself to dinner, bed and breakfast for E65, and had the best crème brulee in the whole of France. I told the chef so, and he proudly told me that he makes an essence, for the flavour, with the flowers from the big lime tree outside.

2 Oct It was about 21kms to Aire Lassalle, a campsite just past Lit-et-Mixe, where they have a caravan for pilgrims at E10 per person per night. It was a bit grim, but OK. She kept my credential overnight (in case I tried to do a runner?), and she sat opposite me in the morning, at the table in her kitchen, while I had breakfast for E5, but she was really quite nice.

3 Oct A long 32kms to Moliets-et-Maa, where I met up with a friend, and we shared a twin bed room at Hotel Ecureuils for E65.

4 & 5 Oct We walked 22kms to Seignosse-le-Pen, where we hoped to stay, but there was a surfing competition in the area, and everywhere was full. The tourist office phoned around for us, but nothing. She phoned Alain Hontanx in Hossegar, who puts up pilgrims, and he first said “yes”, but only if we could arrive after 7pm (we agreed), but then he changed his mind, and said “no”! The tourist officer was as confused as we were. So we took a taxi to Labenne-Ocean and stayed at the Municipal Les Pins campsite, where they have old chalets for pilgrims at E10 per person per night. It was so nice (and cheap) that we stayed 2 nights, and we walked back to Hossegar to watch the surfers, 10kms along the cycle track. We had a good lunch and walked the 10kms back to our chalet!

6 Oct Easy and pleasant walk of about 20kms into Bayonne, and we stayed at the Hotel Les Genets in Anglet (about 3kms further) for E49 for a twin-bed room.

7 Oct It was about 23kms to St Jean de Luz via Bidart and the coastal path. Stayed at the Ibis Budget in Ciboure for E44 for the room.

8 Oct We continued along the coast path to Hendaye, and took the ferry from France to Spain, where (in Hondaribbia) we discovered we were already now on the Camino del Norte, so we just followed it to the albergue Capitan Tximista, and spent the night there for E19 per person, bed and breakfast.

9 Oct – 20 Nov The Camino del Norte, from Irun to Santiago de Compostela.

Jill
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Thank you so much for posting this information. I have been looking at this route for maybe next year. Ferry from Royan to Le Verdon would be my choice but I have read that accommodation is extremely sparse on the Voie Litterale.
A few years ago walking in the French Basque country I met a young French student who'd walked from Nantes and was heading for the C.F.
He said he'd phone ahead to the Mairies in the next towns to enquire about places to stay and never had a problem finding accommodation. Being a native Fr. speaker he obviously didn't have a language problem.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Some photos:

The basilica in Soulac-sur-Mer
006Soulac2.jpg

The lake at Contaut
029Contaut2.jpg

Bombannes - on the way to Maubisson
040Bombannes2.jpg

The route is well-marked
046Signpost2.jpg

An oyster port in the mist
076OysterPort2.jpg

The parish annexe at Sanguinet
089Sanguinet2.jpg

Parentis-en-Born
093ParentisEnB2.jpg

A bridge before Lit-et-Mixe
101Bridge2.jpg

Etang de Leon
107EtangDeLeon2.jpg

The chalets in Labenne-Ocean for 10 euros pppn
120LabenneOcn2.jpg
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Thanks for sharing your photos
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Thank you Jill for this great information. I visit this region most years and see many pilgrims on foot and on bikes but never got to speak with any of them to find out about stages and places to stay.
 

WearyBoots

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2011), Via Domitia (2013), Via Turonensis (2015), Camino Del Norte (2015).
I walked this route at the end of Sep / beginning of Oct, and I thought I would post my itinerary on walking it in the off-season, when many places have closed for the winter. There are no albergues, so the choice of accommodation is usually hotel or campsite.

I arrived in Bordeaux late on 21 Sep, stayed overnight at an airport hotel (Hotel F1), and took the airport bus next morning into the city centre.

The first train from Bordeaux to Le Verdon-sur-Mer, to get onto the Voie Littorale, didn’t leave until 13:13 (well, actually 07:11, but I don’t do early morning starts if I don’t have to). I jumped off the train at Soulac-sur-Mer about 3pm. It seemed a bit pointless to go on another 8kms to Le Verdon, only to have to walk back to Soulac in the late afternoon.

So this is how it went:

22 Sep Visited the Basilica in Soulac-sur-Mer, and got the first stamp in my credential at the tourist office. Walked 5kms to L'Amelie where a single room for pilgrims costs E13 at Les Oyats campsite. There were about 10 rooms in the hostel, and I was the only one there. I was told off for not making a reservation! But she had a good point: if I don’t phone to book ahead, there may be nobody there when I arrive to let me in.

23 Sep Walked 15kms to Montalivet-les-Bains on cycle tracks through pine forests. The Soleil d’Or campsite was open, and I paid E12.60 for a piece of ground, where I pitched my poncho using my walking poles as tent poles.

24 Sep Walked 18kms dead straight due south to Hourtin Plage, where there was nowhere to stay. Walked on a further 5kms to Contaut, where there is a fabulous walk on a boardwalk around the lake. Nowhere to stay in Contaut either, so I hitched a ride into Hourtin-Ville and stayed at the Hotel Hourtin for E53.66.

25 Sep I hitched a ride back to Contaut, and then it was a lovely undulating walk through forests alongside the lake to Maubisson, about 19kms. I stayed in a cabin for E45 at the municipal campsite.

26 Sep A really lovely walk of 13kms to Lacanau-Ocean. I stayed on the cycle track as the official path meanders around a lot through sand. Got a dorm bed at Villa Zenith surf hostel for E20.

27 Sep A long day of 36kms to Ares. The first 9kms to Longarisse were easy going, and then there was a very pretty path by the lake. It was then due south alongside the canal with thick sand sometimes making it very heavy going. I then took the cycle track into Ares and stayed at the Hotel Le Grain de Sable for E68.88.

28 Sep 25kms to Biganos. Started off with a nice walk alongside the salt flats in the mist, and through small oyster ports. It was then a boring cycle track for 6kms into Audenge, and, not for the first time, I wondered why I was walking this and not cycling. It was then a quiet country road into Biganos. I tried two campsites that had cabin accommodation, but neither would rent one out for one night only. The hotel at the railway station was full, so I walked on to the Hotel du Delta, which had a bathtub (yeay!), and a (cold, but good) buffet breakfast, all for E64.15.

29 Sep A very boring 25kms to Sanguinet, first parallel to the freeway, and then on a track through forests, but thankfully not sandy ones. The tourist office was open, so I asked about pilgrim accommodation, and they gave me the keys to the annexe next to the church. It was very spacious with 4 beds, a large table, kitchen and fridge. It was donativo, and there was no box inside, so I made up an envelope and popped it into the parish letter box outside when I left in the morning. The keys I had to put into the box on the wall outside the municipal office next to the tourist office.

30 Sep Another boring day – 37kms of yet more pine forests to St Jean-en-Born. I’d read that there was a “refugio” next to the Mairie, but I couldn’t see it. I probably didn’t look very hard, as the Hotel Le Regale was calling me in for a long cold beer. I then checked into a room there for E45.

1 Oct 15kms, first on a cycle track to Mimizan, and then a forest track to Bias, where I stayed at the Hotel Le Tilleul (The Lime Tree Hotel). The previous hotel had kindly phoned ahead for me to check it was open. It was E45 for a single room, but I treated myself to dinner, bed and breakfast for E65, and had the best crème brulee in the whole of France. I told the chef so, and he proudly told me that he makes an essence, for the flavour, with the flowers from the big lime tree outside.

2 Oct It was about 21kms to Aire Lassalle, a campsite just past Lit-et-Mixe, where they have a caravan for pilgrims at E10 per person per night. It was a bit grim, but OK. She kept my credential overnight (in case I tried to do a runner?), and she sat opposite me in the morning, at the table in her kitchen, while I had breakfast for E5, but she was really quite nice.

3 Oct A long 32kms to Moliets-et-Maa, where I met up with a friend, and we shared a twin bed room at Hotel Ecureuils for E65.

4 & 5 Oct We walked 22kms to Seignosse-le-Pen, where we hoped to stay, but there was a surfing competition in the area, and everywhere was full. The tourist office phoned around for us, but nothing. She phoned Alain Hontanx in Hossegar, who puts up pilgrims, and he first said “yes”, but only if we could arrive after 7pm (we agreed), but then he changed his mind, and said “no”! The tourist officer was as confused as we were. So we took a taxi to Labenne-Ocean and stayed at the Municipal Les Pins campsite, where they have old chalets for pilgrims at E10 per person per night. It was so nice (and cheap) that we stayed 2 nights, and we walked back to Hossegar to watch the surfers, 10kms along the cycle track. We had a good lunch and walked the 10kms back to our chalet!

6 Oct Easy and pleasant walk of about 20kms into Bayonne, and we stayed at the Hotel Les Genets in Anglet (about 3kms further) for E49 for a twin-bed room.

7 Oct It was about 23kms to St Jean de Luz via Bidart and the coastal path. Stayed at the Ibis Budget in Ciboure for E44 for the room.

8 Oct We continued along the coast path to Hendaye, and took the ferry from France to Spain, where (in Hondaribbia) we discovered we were already now on the Camino del Norte, so we just followed it to the albergue Capitan Tximista, and spent the night there for E19 per person, bed and breakfast.

9 Oct – 20 Nov The Camino del Norte, from Irun to Santiago de Compostela.

Jill
Thank you for your post. Sadly we 'wimped' out and caught the train from Bordeaux to Irun, but after reading your account now wish that we hadn't.
 

O Peracha

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Jill, appreciate you posting this. I'm now thinking of tacking this on to my Norte in May 2017. Thank you.
 

Leigh Macklin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances {2016}, Portugese {2017}
Hello all,

Can anyone recommend stages walking (not busing to another camino/chemin location) from Bordeaux to Irun? Especially if you have any resources you could share.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hello all,

Can anyone recommend stages walking (not busing to another camino/chemin location) from Bordeaux to Irun? Especially if you have any resources you could share.
Hi Leigh, sorry for the late response, I’ve been offline while on the camino.

I used the Confraternity of St James’s 2010 guide to the Voie Littorale, when I walked in 2016, but I see they don’t sell it anymore. I have it still, in pdf format, and am happy to send it to you, if you PM me (private conversation) your email address.

I am sure the route hasn’t changed much, so if you find it useful you could always make a donation to them via their website: https://www.csj.org.uk/
Jill
 

Pilger Franz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Podiensis-Norte-Ingles-SdC; Francigena; Touron.; Bretagne; Lemovic.; Lana; Lusitana (Este)
Hi Leigh,

hope you did not walk the way already ;-) since here are some useful links to:

a map from Soulac to Irun http://www.jakobus-info.de/unser_weg/camino2-1.htm

two lists of accomodations and useful infos from
- Soulac to SANGUINET http://www.saint-jacques-aquitaine.com/doc_pdf/littorale/20180202131031.pdf
- SANGUINET to Tarnos/Bayonne http://www.compostelle-landes.org/documents_pdf/hebergements/20180927150913.pdf

and two way descriptions for
- Soulac to SANGUINET http://www.saint-jacques-aquitaine.com/doc_pdf/littorale/20180319092134.pdf
- SANGUINET to Tarnos/Bayonne http://www.compostelle-landes.org/documents_pdf/Pas-a-pas/Littoral/20180720160242.pdf

BC
Franz
 

Redvespablur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo April/May 2016
Voie Littorale May 2020
Thanks for this thread and recent information Franz.

We will walk this route in spring of 2020 and just decided and started planning today.

We did Norte/Primitivo in May 2016 and wanted to return to Pais Vasco. This looks like two good week of walking and then a week and a bit to revisit San Sebastian and Bilbao.

Very excited to have a Camino to plan for again!
 
Last edited:

Redvespablur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo April/May 2016
Voie Littorale May 2020
We have had to defer our plans. Look forward to reading about your trip
 

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