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If you had an extra day in Bayonne, St. Jean, and Pamplona...

SusanH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked 2014
Hello all! If you had an extra day in Bayonne, St. Jean, and Pamplona, what would you do?
 
Last edited:
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Bayonne has a wonderful Basque Museum, a walking tour of the town ending at the marche is fascinating as is the Cathedral. There are some very nice outdoor restaurant along the Nive
St Jean is nice for a first timer but can be run over by tourist in buses. There are too many tricket shops.
Pamplona is worth a day, lots to see if you feet aren't too tired after walking there.
Consider Biarritz, there are great beaches and wonderful bars around the marche.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Bayonne has a wonderful Basque Museum, a walking tour of the town ending at the marche is fascinating as is the Cathedral. There are some very nice outdoor restaurant along the Nive
St Jean is nice for a first timer but can be run over by tourist in buses. There are too many tricket shops.
Pamplona is worth a day, lots to see if you feet aren't too tired after walking there.
Consider Biarritz, there are great beaches and wonderful bars around the marche.
According to your avatar, Don, I would say you really like Biarritz.😃
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
According to your avatar, Don, I would say you really like Biarritz.😃
I own an apartment on the south side of the city and lived there for 5 years with a resident visa. It is a convienent place to live and jump off to do many part of the Camino and various GR's in France. A town with a great vive and great people.
 
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Helen1

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
In Bayonne… I think I would have a relaxing morning and start the day with hot chocolate and toast at Cazenave. Visit the cathedral and the pilgrim desk, then take a stroll around some of the fortifications before visiting Monsieur Txokola for a bar of Mexican style chocolate. Then I would hop on a bus to Biarritz and hit the beach/people watch for the afternoon, taking afternoon tea at Miremont Patisserie if the mood took me. Then I would head back to Bayonne in the evening and have a lovely long meal at one of the restaurants overlooking the river drinking Irouleguy wine and chatting with friends.

[In real life my finances and sugar tolerance might not stretch quite so far!]
 

nathanael

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
Perhaps you could mention Bayonne in the title of the thread to receive better answers, since most people who walk the Camino Francés never go to Bayonne at all.
I did because I wanted to walk from Bayonne to St Jean but was told there was no route from there. So I spent two days there then took a bus to St. Jean, was later told there is a route from there to ST. Jean.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I can only speak for Saint Jean and Pamplona, and I have spent an extra day in both places while walking the Camino.
First thing I do is sleep in very late, and then find a really good breakfast. I then roam about a la tourist. You can get a map for Pamplona at the tourist office there. See the sights. Maybe go to a mercado and get some snacks etc. I get a big lunch, siesta later and then go back out and eat again drink a sundowner or two or three ;)
I am lazy as heck on the extra days.
 

pepi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
After experiencing a day in SJPdP at my first and second CF, schedules imposed that I stay overnight in Bayonne on my most recent Camino. I must say that it was a most enjoyable and interesting stop-over. While SJPdP can be explored within a few hours, I warmly recommend planning a full day and night stay in lovely and picturesque Bayonne. Dining along the Nive river on a summer's eve is an experience not to be missed...the Camino can wait!
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
SJPdP: After done with the town you could walk out and back on the route you won't be taking. The walk to Arneguy and Valcarlos is pretty and easy. The Napoleon is steep but you can get rides up or back and just do one way, your preference. Ask at the pilgrim house about this.

Pamplona: The Museum of Navarra is an art museum near the tourist office. It was free for pilgrims. Also nearby is the corral where the running of the bulls start. Follow the course to the bull ring; it goes through the old town so you sightsee along the way. But take a detour to the Church San Saturnino not far from the tourist office. Once at the bull ring backtrack to the Plaza del Castillo that you've been told about.

Warning, these suggestions involve walking and standing. I had my spare days in Pamplona at the end of my caminos so I was in shape.

 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Hello all! If you had an extra day in Bayonne, St. Jean, and Pamplona, what would you do?
I would do just what I did: Tour the Cathedrals and churches. do some laundry. Enjoy a real sit-down meal.
Sit at an outdoor cafe and enjoy some delicious Spanish coffee and sweets. Go have a coffee with Ernest Hemingway (at least with his bronze statue!). Get an ice cream cone just like Martin Sheen in The Way. And other wise recoup and give my legs and feet a break!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Bayonne has a wonderful Basque Museum, a walking tour of the town ending at the marche is fascinating as is the Cathedral. There are some very nice outdoor restaurant along the Nive
St Jean is nice for a first timer but can be run over by tourist in buses. There are too many tricket shops.
Pamplona is worth a day, lots to see if you feet aren't too tired after walking there.
Consider Biarritz, there are great beaches and wonderful bars around the marche.
I have been to Biarritz with my family when the kids were so little and still so cute and lovable. We had a great time. The beach was wonderful. I know so many people stereotype the French as cold and aloof and not open to foreigners but I think that notion can easily be dispelled if you go to France with children. We made two long trips to France when are children were really small. I can not tell you how incredible, warm and caring the French people were and I know it was because of their love of children and family. Yes it was true even in Paris!!!!! Thank you France for those lifetime memories.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I can only speak for Saint Jean and Pamplona, and I have spent an extra day in both places while walking the Camino.
First thing I do is sleep in very late, and then find a really good breakfast. I then roam about a la tourist. You can get a map for Pamplona at the tourist office there. See the sights. Maybe go to a mercado and get some snacks etc. I get a big lunch, siesta later and then go back out and eat again drink a sundowner or two or three ;)
I am lazy as heck on the extra days.
The perfect advice for a rest day on the camino for sure. Whether it is your first or your 20th day.
 
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Sherpa47

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2008 and 2017
Hello all! If you had an extra day in Bayonne, St. Jean, and Pamplona, what would you do?
In Pamplona, I would live to visit the bull ring, the Cathedral and other churches plus of course any museums. Then in the late afternoon tapas and beer! Simply arriving in the city in the afternoon and away first thing in the morning is such a shame.
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have been to Biarritz with my family when the kids were so little and still so cute and lovable. We had a great time. The beach was wonderful. I know so many people stereotype the French as cold and aloof and not open to foreigners but I think that notion can easily be dispelled if you go to France with children. We made two long trips to France when are children were really small. I can not tell you how incredible, warm and caring the French people were and I know it was because of their love of children and family. Yes it was true even in Paris!!!!! Thank you France for those lifetime memories.
I agree! I visited Paris and France with my young children and they were treated superbly. In one restaurant the owners came by and took the children off somewhere so we could enjoy a romantic meal. Now that's service.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
Both times I walked CF I spent the night in Bayonne, in fact 2 nights the second time. I used that “down time” before beginning the Camino in SJPdP to catch my breath a bit and regroup after the long journey getting there from the US west coast. Bayonne with its picturesque narrow streets is a great city to walk and wander. There’s a really nice Airbnb couple right next to the Cathedral. The following day you can take the afternoon train to SJPdP which gets you there with plenty of time to check in at the Pilgrim Office and then check in right across the street at Beilari albergue for a wonderful start to your Camino! Secondarily, in Pamplona a visit to the cathedral is recommended. Just down from the cathedral is a “Camino shop” which has just about anything that by Day 4 or 5 you know that you need or that needs replacing.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
This is an easy one..............Santiago!
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Steve Taylor

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 2019 Sarria to Santiago Sept 2019 Logrono to Burgos Aug 2020 St Jean Pied De Port to Logrono
Hello all! If you had an extra day in Bayonne, St. Jean, and Pamplona, what would you do?
I caught the train from Bayonne to St Jean last August, so I was only there for a short time.
It looked like a nice place though. While St Jean is a charming village, not sure if I’d spend two nights there.
However, I did stop at Pamplona for a rest day and that was worth doing. Not only does it have the connections with Ernest Hemingway, but also the cathedral.
It’s a good place to break your Camino, but be aware that if you’ve struck up any connections with other pilgrims between St Jean and Pamplona, you run the risk of losing contact if you take a day off.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
If your arrival in Bayonne is timed right, you can catch a local bus to Saint Palais and start walking from there. It’s about a two day walk, through some glorious scenery.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Hello all! If you had an extra day in Bayonne, St. Jean, and Pamplona, what would you do?
Bayonne-- Spend time in the Cathedral, walk to the beach. Take a tour of the town.
SJPP- Have a picnic in the little park along the river (just upstream from the pedestrian bridges). Take a tour, enjoy hearing the french language.
Pamplona-- Have lunch in a cafe on the big plaza, spend time in the museums and churches. Lie in the sun like a lizard.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
I have been to Biarritz with my family when the kids were so little and still so cute and lovable. We had a great time. The beach was wonderful. I know so many people stereotype the French as cold and aloof and not open to foreigners but I think that notion can easily be dispelled if you go to France with children. We made two long trips to France when are children were really small. I can not tell you how incredible, warm and caring the French people were and I know it was because of their love of children and family. Yes it was true even in Paris!!!!! Thank you France for those lifetime memories.
I have always found the French people to be patient and helpful. :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
I’ve aged. I’ve done the “Death March” & “Battle for Lower Bunk” bit – basta! -- my more recent walks are slower and more reflective. A few more creature comforts, and a lot more time spent just living in the moment and thanking God for my many blessings … Never been to Bayonne, but have seen pix and it looks great. The last time I had a whole free day in Pamplona I did something of a half-day “Great Circle” walk. Memorable! I suggest it to you:

After a lazy coffee on the terrace at the always-a-pleasure Café Iruna, set off for the Plaza de Toros, and if it’s open see what you can…. Near the Plaza de Toros is something of a museum of Pamplona fortifications, worth a peek, and close by it is a marvelous glassed-in elevator that you can ride down the slope to the river’s edge. Great views! Great fun! There is then a funky modern footbridge across the river. Cross it, turn left and stroll along the river Arga across from the Paderborn to the Puente de La Magdalena, the Pilgrim’s Bridge….. Reflect wistfully on your previous visits….

Pic below: the funky footbridge

1617459440170.png

Re-enter the city through the French Gate, turn right and visit first the municipal market and then the Museum of Navarre. Which is world class! Really! Then stroll west (great views looking north across the river!) until you reach the venerable Parque de la Taconera, where the sight of the ducks and animals wandering freely among the battlements is charming. ... Then there’s the short hop to the vast and beautiful Ciudadela. Unmissable if you're ex-military or interested in such things…. Head back into town, stroll down the Paseo de Sarasate, pay your respects to the stupendous medieval Church of San Nicolas, and finally re-emerge on the Plaza del Castillo. By which time you’ll be ready for a nice, fortifying vino tinto!

And then there's the Cathedral...! (The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is dear to me!)

When I die I'm not going to Heaven, I'm going back to Pamplona!
 
Last edited:
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filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Pamplona... I spent two nights in 2020. I walked to to University Campus and was delighted by the fabulous art gallery and Museum of Navarre. The Campus is a delight with superb views.

When I hiked the Norte, I started from the airport at Biarritz. I subsequently spent time in Bayonne and Biarritz. The bus service is cheap and encompasses for a set price those two cities and Anglet, Bidart. The coast is sensational. The coastal walk from Bidart westwards was exhilarating. St Jean de Luz is a little further but the bay, as the Michelin Guides used to say ‘vaut le dėtour’.
 

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Year of past OR future Camino
Bike: Mont St Michel-SdC. Budapest-Vezelay. Alicante-Burgos
Walk: Le Puy-SJPdP. Dax-(CF)-SdC.
I have a soft spot for Bayonne, it has a wonderful Basque vibe. The cathedral can give you a stamp and is worth spending time in. Chocolate makers came from Spain during the Inquisition, and shared their expertise with the locals, so a thick hot chocolate in a tearoom is recommended. For lunch though, it has to be the atmospheric Bar du Marche near the covered market. Adorned with bullfighting posters and ancient advertising, it serves authentic Basque/French people's food - nothing too fancy but filling and exciting to your taste buds.
I agree with the poster above who advocates a bus to St Palais, from where it is less than an hour's walk to Stelle of Gibraltar, where several of the French tributary paths meet, then half a day undulating stroll to SJPdP.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I’ve aged. I’ve done the “Death March” & “Battle for Lower Bunk” bit – basta! -- my more recent walks are slower and more reflective. A few more creature comforts, and a lot more time spent just living in the moment and thanking God for my many blessings … Never been to Bayonne, but have seen pix and it looks great. The last time I had a whole free day in Pamplona I did something of a half-day “Great Circle” walk. Memorable! I suggest it to you:

After a lazy coffee on the terrace at the always-a-pleasure Café Iruna, set off for the Plaza de Toros, and if it’s open see what you can…. Near the Plaza de Toros is something of a museum of Pamplona fortifications, worth a peek, and close by it is a marvelous glassed-in elevator that you can ride down the slope to the river’s edge. Great views! Great fun! There is then a funky modern footbridge across the river. Cross it, turn left and stroll along the river Arga across from the Paderborn to the Puente de La Magdalena, the Pilgrim’s Bridge….. Reflect wistfully on your previous visits….

Pic below: the funky footbridge

View attachment 96894

Re-enter the city through the French Gate, turn right and visit first the municipal market and then the Museum of Navarre. Which is world class! Really! Then stroll west (great views looking north across the river!) until you reach the venerable Parque de la Taconera, where the sight of the ducks and animals wandering freely among the battlements is charming. ... Then there’s the short hop to the vast and beautiful Ciudadela. Unmissable if you're ex-military or interested in such things…. Head back into town, stroll down the Paseo de Sarasate, pay your respects to the stupendous medieval Church of San Nicolas, and finally re-emerge on the Plaza del Castillo. By which time you’ll be ready for a nice, fortifying vino tinto!

And then there's the Cathedral...! (The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is dear to me!)

When I die I'm not going to Heaven, I'm going back to Pamplona!
I do like Pamplona and it’s energy. They sure don’t need a reason to celebrate. I think they have a fiesta when they can’t think of another reason to celebrate. I too and way past even considering a bed race or walking with crowds. That is why I have started walking Caminos less traveled.
As I also age as gratefully as possible 😊 I have not had a problem getting a bottom bunk in years!
 
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RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Hello all! If you had an extra day in Bayonne, St. Jean, and Pamplona, what would you do?
Get a private room. Take a long hot shower, take a nap, get dinner, take another nap. Go out for the evening not worrying about getting locked out. Sleep in the next morning. Take another hot shower. Hit the road.
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I do like Pamplona and it’s energy. They sure don’t need a reason to celebrate. I think they have a fiesta when they can’t think of another reason to celebrate. I too and way past even considering a bed race or walking with crowds. That is why I have started walking Caminos less traveled.
As I also age as gratefully as possible 😊 I have not had a problem getting a bottom bunk in years!
I am always amazed in London to be given vacated bus seats due to my greying, thinning ‘barnet’, and never reveal that I still hike thousands of kilometres a year... and likewise always accept, when offered, the increasingly common, wheelchair accessible ground floor ‘suite’ with private shower in many municipal albergues... Gracias indeed to all!
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
As It56ny mentioned Paseo de Saraste, I recall that I went into a municipal building where on the first floor in stately surroundings are numerous wonderful effects, posters, scores, walking canes, instruments etc. Left to the city by one of its famous ‘sons’, namely, the world celebrated violinist SARASATE. Free access.
 

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