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Has anyone walked from Bayonne to St. Jean Pied de Port?

2020 Camino Guides

iago1709

New Member
Hello,
I will fly into Biarritz in early April. Instead of getting a train or taxi straight down to SJPP I am considering starting my camino in Bayonne. I have found some information about this on the Internet where the route is called 'La Voie de la Nive' or way of the Nive (river).
It seems easily do-able in 3 days, in stages of 14, 25 and 28 km.
My question is if anyone here has already done this route and has any advice about accommodation or if there is anywhere on the route that it would be easy to get lost etc. Sorry if the Camino Frances thread is not the right one for this but I wasn't sure where else to put it.
 

iago1709

New Member
Thanks for that link, Margaret. The map of the route that they have on that site seems very good.
It would be great to get some feedback from someone who's walked the Voie de la Nive too though.
I know that the majority of people start in SJPP but I though it would be nice to have a few quiet days to get me gently back into long-distance walking again before joining up with the masses of peregrinos in St. Jean and Roncesvalles.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Iago 1709:

You could start in Bayonne and walk to Irun. From Irun you could continue down the Camino Vasco (tunnel route) to Santo Domingo de Calzada where this route intersects with the Camino Frances.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

dazzamac

Active Member
@iago1709: I too am keen to walk from Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port and have been investigating a combination of La Voie de la Nive and the Camino Baztan as accommodation seems more likely along the Camino Baztan. However I am not due in France until August. If you decide to walk to St Jean, I would be most interested in hearing your views.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Hi Iago,

I walked the route in 2014. I had limited time, so I powered through it in two days. I slept alone in Helette at the end of day one in the gite municipal, which was basic but had a good kitchen. Then I continued on to SJPdP the next day. I used this site for maps and instructions.

For the most part, the routing was straightforward. Some bridge repair made a mess of things outside of Bayonne, but I suspect that will be resolved by the time you walk. I lost the route around 10km before St. Jean, but that may have been my fault. It was no problem, though--I just followed a local road for a few km and got back on track.

On the whole, it's not the most exciting walk, and there's a lot of time on asphalt. But, it has its moments. Note that if you're interested in walking from the airport, you can follow the Voie Littorale from the Biarritz train station (very close to the airport) back to Bayonne, and then carry on from there on the Nive (the two routes split outside of Bayonne).

Walking from Bayonne to Hendaye and then back to SJPdP would take a full week. It's more spectacular, as you can follow the coast south and then the Pyrenees inland via the GR-10 (or a lower level trajectory north of it), but the GR-10 in particular is much more demanding.

If you're just interested in getting in a few days of walking before the Pyrenees, I might suggest traveling from Bayonne to Navarrenx and then following the Le Puy route from there. That's three easy days of walking with some gradually increasing foothills.

More info than you wanted, I'm sure!
Dave
 

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