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How Difficult Is The Camino Baztan?

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jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
How difficult is the Camino Baztan? What stages would you do if you wanted to take 6 days to walk from Bayonne to Pamplona, averaging about 18kms per day? Thanks for any suggestions and advice! Jill
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Up and down and up and down and up and down.
The first and last days are mostly flat, and the middle three more than adequately make up for that.
The hill after Urdax seemed endless and for me was more challenging than the one going up to Belate - though in places the latter was steeper. But overall, my impression of this camino is that it was rolling, and more challenging than expected.
Do check out Gronze for possible stages, as well as perusing the posts in the Baztan sub-forum. The best places to stay are the ones that suit your needs for distance and rest - and only you know that. But I would try to stay in Urdax, if only to have the hill at the beginning of the day rather than 2/3 of the way through it. And Elizondo was so intetesting; the only downside being that if you stay there, you'll probably miss staying in Berroeta, which had a fantastic albergue.
Happy planning, and buen camino! This is a gorgeous camino, and a wonderful alternative to walking out of St Jean.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Definitely read the Baztan sub forum. Lots of very useful information there. VNwalking has given a good summary above. It was beautiful, breathtakingly stunning when we ( the Baztan 4 ) walked it last September. If I can pass on any info I'd be glad to. P.M. me if you'd like to know where we stayed.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
So what do you all think of the following:

Ustariz (14kms) – but where to stay?
Urdax (21kms)
Elizondo (19kms)
Berroeta (9kms)
Olague (20kms)
Pamplona (24kms)

??

Jill
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
It would add an extra day but you could break up the last 24km with a stop in Zabaidiki.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
So what do you all think of the following:

Ustariz (14kms) – but where to stay?
Urdax (21kms)
Elizondo (19kms)
Berroeta (9kms)
Olague (20kms)
Pamplona (24kms)

??

Jill
Im on a ferry somewhere crossing thr channel but home late tonight
Once I have the guide book to hand I will send a reply.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2005, 2007; Madrid/Frances 2011; 1/2 VdP 2012; Portugese Litoral2019; Finisterre/Muxia2019
In Ustaritz you can stay with Natalia, she has 2 rooms she rents to pilgrims as well as a self-catering cottage. Her details can be found on Gronze.com under “Maison Familiale” - very nice and right near the supermarket and exit from town.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
It would add an extra day but you could break up the last 24km with a stop in Zabaidiki
In order to do this, you'll need to go off-piste a bit, but Zabaldika is not far, just 'sideways' over a hill from Sorauren. There's a decent way there, too. And the albergue at Zabaldika is one of the 'special' ones.
A good idea, @biarritzdon!
 

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FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Home again and now I have access to all my Camino books and notes.

Gerald Kelley's 2015 guide to walking the Camino del Baztan was useful also NualaOC's. notes to be found on the Baztan sub forum.

Breaking up that first day with a stay at Ustaritz sounds good. Hot and exhausted, we stopped there for lunch, sat for too long then found it a hot, long slog to Espelette.
Ustaritz signage not always very obvious to
Urdax , stay at the monastery there, check in at the tourist office first.
Urdax to Elizondo would be doable though we were tired and glad to stop at Arizkun at one of the guest houses owned by the lady who runs the nearby bar / shop.
Berroeta, a very good hostel but it is in a village with no shop or restaurant, as others have warned, you need to take food for that stop over.

After the climb up venta san blas we were glad to stop at Lanz. There's an Albergue there plus across the rd. a casa rural where we 4 were pleased to stay. 25€ each we had 2 twin bedded rooms, all facilities and the whole house to ourselves. The lady in the shop manages the Albergue , shop and Casa rural!

Our last day from Lanz to Pamplona was too long. Ideally it would have been better to take an extra day and stay overnight in Sorauren.

How difficult is it?
That will depend on the weather, your age/stamina and walking ability .
No facilty for transport of rucksacks as far as I know.

We 4 did it and survived the late September heat and some rain. Our ages, 71, 71, 64, and our 36 yr old youngster!
 
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FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
P.S. some pilgrims have walked the Baztan alone but I really appreciated having the company of good friends to walk with. Once out of the towns and villages we barely met anyone. A few walkers on the French GR routes.
We met three Spanish pilgrims at the Albergue in Lanz but we didn't actually stay there. Pilgrims galore once we arrived at Pamplona but none en route.
 

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