Search 62305 Camino Questions

St Jean to Roncesvalles in a day, or stop at Orisson?

KerryW

KerryW
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Via Podiensis 2017
Norte/Prim 2019
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
It's a difficult climb. --- I am 54. My15yo son and I started at about 1 or 2pm from SJPP (in April). We had arrived in Paris the day before from Toronto, taken the night train to Bayonne, where we had time for breakfast, a visit to the cathedral, and picked up some cheese, bread and fruit at the market. We had a picnic in SJPP (there is a place with picnic tables along the river). I had not done all the training and practice hikes I had planned on doing at home and had to stop a number of times walking up to Orisson, and I was very glad to that we had planned to stop at Orisson. -- If we had started earlier from SJPP, and if I had not been jet lagged, I think we could have walked to Roncevalles. But I must say that my evening at Orisson is one of my most memorable evenings on the camino. There was so much anticipation, camaraderie, and openness around the dinner table that night. I met people there whom I met again and again over the next five days. (My son and I pulled ahead of most of them, as we were on a tight schedule.) -- Hope that helps... Oh, we ran into sleet and snow on the pass in late April. And then, lots of fog. Can't wait to do it again. ;)
 

Canuck60

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept-Oct (2016)
Camino Portugues (2020)
Hi Kerry, my wife and I are also leaving SJPDP on September 5. We are only going to Orisson and then relax for the evening. We are afraid that the 28kms with at least 20 going upwards will kill us on our first day?
We are trying to book Orisson but have had no response yet. Buen Camino and maybe we'll cross paths!
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

edandjoan

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
In our 50's, we walked from SJPP to Roncevalles twice. Once when I had a very bad head and chest cold. We started around 7 or 8am and we were there by 2pm, before the albergue opened. We also stopped at Orisson for coffee (both times) , and a stop to look at the Virgin Mary (both times) and stopped for a picnic lunch (both times). We also had beautiful weather, both times.
We are fit...exercise, cardio and crosstrain, 5 days a week.
Just another thing, for our first crossing, after the car ride from Pamplona to SJPP I was throwing up because of the windy road. We took a little time to sit and have a cup of coffee so I could get myself together, then walked on.
Only you know what you can do...
 

jsalt

Jill
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.

Hi, I always stop at Orrison (make a booking), or at the albergue in Valcarlos, on the other route. It doesn’t matter how fit I am, I see no point walking 28 kms (mostly uphill) on the very first day when it’s possible to split the day into two, and start off slowly. Jill
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
Hi and Welcome @KerryW
I'm with @kelleymac
But I must say that my evening at Orisson is one of my most memorable evenings on the camino. There was so much anticipation, camaraderie, and openness around the dinner table that night. I met people there whom I met again and again over the next five days.
we met pilgrims Orisson who became our Camino family - off and on - all the Way to Santiago and beyond.

Yes, you can walk to Roncevalles in a day but the experience of stopping at Orisson - Priceless!
 

Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Time of past OR future Camino
September/October 14, May 17, September 18,
May22
Hi, you do not say where you are travelling from. On Sept. 6/ 14, we travelled from Vancouver to Paris, overnighted, early flight to Biarritz and then a pickup from Express Bourricot. We started walking up to Orisson just after 11 am and arrived in early afternoon. Almost no sleep in Paris (time change - anticipation??) so very tired, and the weather was extremely hot. There was no way with the lack of sleep, that we could have gone all the way to Roncevalles without being in trouble for the next day. Loved Orisson for all the reasons others have mentioned and when thinking of the next trip in May/17, would choose to do it again. I would also try to start out for Orisson much earlier in the am. Happy planning.
 

AaronI

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 2017
I am have the same debate right now too for my Camino in April, leaning towards stopping, but weather will have an influence on my plans too.
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

Felipe

Veteran Member
According to the local Association "au coeur du chemin", in 2014 (the latest available statistics) there were more than 9000 pilgrims leaving SJPP in September. That is, around 300 per day. Well, Orisson has 28 beds, so, a vast majority did SJPP-Roncesvalles all the way.
The Orisson refuge profits from its place (convenient, after some of the initial worst climbs) and from the natural apprehension of first time walkers. I am in my sixties, did this the last year; it was tough, but perfectly doable. I also saw pilgrims of every age and condition in this stage, including many that were not exactly fit, who arrived very tired but without particular problems. I spent 9 1/2 hours, which judging by the arrivals in the albergue, seems to be an average.
My take on this: staying in Orisson is convenient, but not imperative. I'd probably reserve there next time, provided that I have plenty of time to do my camino, because it implies an extra day; or if I arrive in the morning to SJPP, too late for walking the whole stage at once.
Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

Doogman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
?
I need to qualify my comment by saying that I did SJPdP to Roncesvalles at the end of my 15-day trip finishing the Le Puy route, so I was likely stronger and in better shape than had it been Day 1. However, even as a 57 year old accountant that does not work out enough, I found it tiring and a challenge, but quite doable.
 

grayland

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Yes
Just to put things in the proper prospective.....Most pilgrims walk on t0 Roncesvalles. In the busy months Orisson does not have enough beds for more than a small percentage.
If you sit on the terrace at Orisson you will watch most pilgrims walk on by. Many don't even stop for a coffee or cold drink.
The first 7km to Orisson is the hardest part. After that it is much easier with a much more gradual slope and mostly on an asphalt road.

This forum and the American Pilgrims Facebook page over the past few years has made it seem as if the stop is mandatory and that walking to Roncesvalles is too hard for most people.
This is simply a story that has become fact on the internet.
It is very difficult for most people on the first day...it always has been...but all seem to make it. It is a real rite of passage for those who walk it as they now know they can handle anything else the Camino throws at them. They take great pride in it all the way to Santiago.

Those who have not trained or who are carrying a load of extra pack weight will struggle and cry for their mama...but they will make it.;)

There is an alternative route through Valcarlos that does not go through Orisson.
I have done both a couple of time and really don't think the Valcarlos route is much, if any, easier. The myth of the Napoleon route adds to the stress and worry of the actual route and sucks up a lot of energy.

It really is up to you.
 

shubertj

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2012, 2013, 2018 Portuguese 2014 Ingles 2017 Fin/Mux 17, 19 Invierno 2018
Primitivo 2019
My wife and I were in our 60's but in good shape when we walked from SJPD to Roncesvalles. We left SJPD and reached Orisson by 11 am and had no problem reaching Roncesvalles by 3 pm. A lot of the decision should be 1) are you in fairly good shape and 2) what time are you leaving. The only difficult part was the last downhill into town.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
This forum and the American Pilgrims Facebook page over the past few years has made it seem as if the stop is mandatory and that walking to Roncesvalles is too hard for most people. This is simply a story that has become fact on the internet. It is very difficult for most people on the first day...it always has been...but all seem to make it.
This is very true. My first time, I was 66 and jetlagged when I got to SJPP. Orisson was closed (mid October) so I thought I'd be sensible and take 2 days to get to Roncesvalles, stopping in Valcarlos. Everyone in my albergue in SJPP was going over the Napoleon, in 1 day, so I succumbed to peer pressure and went with them. I lightened my pack a bit by sending some items on by bag transport. I had no significant problem, although it was a tiring and long day (maybe 8-9 hours?). It makes a huge difference if you have a light load, don't talk on the steep sections, pause frequently to look around, and use poles.

The following year, I was able to book at Orisson, so I did that and enjoyed it very much too.

I agree that the only real difficulty is on the last downhill stretch, when your legs are tired and it is easy to slip. If your knees are really bad on downhills, you might consider stopping at Orisson so you'll be a little less tired at this point and less likely to injure yourself on Day 1.

Either plan is fine, as long as the weather is acceptable and you have previously tested your pack weight and shoes on a 20+ km walk.
 
Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat
Want to give back to the Camino? Help clean it up with us this May.

jsalt

Jill
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I agree that the only real difficulty is on the last downhill stretch, when your legs are tired and it is easy to slip.

I’ve never done that steep downhill stretch (I must try it sometime!). I take the easy road route option, just after Col de Lepoeder. It connects with the Valcarlos route at Ibaneta. It adds 1.6 kms to the walk, but is well worth it if dodgy knees are a problem. Jill
 

grayland

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Yes
Funny how the downhill into Roncesvalles never has bothered me. I would probably never even comment on it if others did not point it out.

It does show that our experiences differ greatly.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Funny how the downhill into Roncesvalles never has bothered me. I would probably never even comment on it if others did not point it out.
It does show that our experiences differ greatly.
That section reminds me of skiing down to the bottom of the hill at the end of the day, knowing that more accidents occur when people are tired. But I also agree that it is not such a big deal as it is portrayed. People are just very excited that day!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Funny how the downhill into Roncesvalles never has bothered me. I would probably never even comment on it if others did not point it out.

It does show that our experiences differ greatly.
Ah, yes, but then grayland you are probably using those hiking poles that you carried onto the plane with no problem. :) I would never do that downhill without them.
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

Shirley Prisco

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2016)
I too am worried about going from St. Jean to Roncesvalles. I am trying to train as much as possible before I leave but don't think I can do it in one day. Can I arrange to stay in St. Jean and can a bus/taxi pick me up somewhere along the route return me to St. Jean then the next day take me to where I stopped?
Thanks
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
I have mentioned it before on this forum, but will mention it again - how hard or easy that first stage is depends hugely on the (unpredictable!) weather you have that day. If in doubt, reserve a bed in Huntto or Orisson and if you feel like continuing - just carry on and donate your bed. Buen Camino, SY
 
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc

Dave2525

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014
I didn't realize I was in such poor shape, despite my training, until I started out that first day. I was glad I had booked a place in Orisson.

More important than the rest stop was all the friendships that began that evening and continued all the way to Santiago and beyond.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
There is the question of whether it is doable and then the question of what is the most recreational? I probably could have gone to Roncesvalles, but I really enjoyed stopping in Orisson. "Precious"? I don't care what other people think about that. I think I was more present and appreciative of the scenery in the Pyrenees, taking two days to cross them.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
My decision was made primarily not knowing what to expect concerning weather. I live & trained here in the Rocky Mountains. Physically it did not concern me, Yet early spring can have snow, I did not know the weather patterns in Spain/France. So I treated it the same as our mountains just south of Canada. So I booked Orison.
The decision was a good one I pushed on to Rocevalles & donated my bed to a fellow who was very much struggling that lived at sea level on board a ship. After arriving in Roncevalles a big spring storm hit the Mountain. My best advice is if you have not prepared for crossing across 30k of mountains stay at Orisson, then depending on the time of year do your research on temps & weather. This is a walk you will never forget, it is no race. Enjoy it!
 

Allan Morris

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2009, 2011 and will walk again August/Septmber 2016
My thoughts is that it is really up to you. I've done the whole thing 2 times and walk again in 2 weeks . My wife and a friend did the Valcarlos route the first time, then she went with me over the top the second. We are in our 60's. She found both hard, and was very tired after doing the Napoleon. As has been said here before, it depends on several factors. First, what shape are you in and how hard have you trained. I've seen people who have said they trained hard but found they only did short, flat mileage every day with no hills, they found it very hard, if not impossible to do Roncesvalles; others that said they did little training but were in great shape (not overweight) did it fine. The second is when you plan to do it. I admire people who get off the train and start walking, but Orisson or Hunto should be their goal for the day. To do Roncesvalles takes a whole day, starting at about 7 am. Lastly is the weather. It can be a hard slog if you can't admire the views of the Napoleon Route due to fog or rain. 2 days a that point or the Valcarlos route may be better, but as someone said, Valcarlos is not that much easier. Personally, if the weather is fine, I rank the Napoleon route as the most scenic and confidence building part of the whole Camino. If you think you are in shape and are aware of the distances and vertical you will be doing, and if the weather is fine, you will not regret it. Most people do it at their own speed, which is a key. The thrill of that first days adrenalin rush and the encouragement of your fellow walkers can take you well past where you where you normally would question your decision. Remember, the next couple of days to Zubiri, then Pamploma are relatively short and easy, as a rest.

However, I am not advising against stopping at Orisson if you do not have the ability or the confidence to continue on. I recognize that stop also can be a very worthwhile experience. If you can't go much past Orisson, there are other suggestions on this other parts of this website about a shuttle service you can arrange to pick you up where you feel like stopping, take you back to SJPDP and bring you back to exact spot you stopped, the next day. This is an alternative to stopping at Orisson and allows you to make it much further up the hill. It also relieves you of worrying about no beds at Orisson.

It is your Camino to do as you find fit for your ability and enjoyment. There are no rules.

Buen Camino
 

Penny Kingma

Never Stop Trying !
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
I just got back from my first Camino. It is a pretty good climb to Orrison, and the views from there beautiful. I stayed at Orrison and it was a special place and start. The big family style dinner. The tradition of introductions and stories from everyone is a nice introduction to the experience. The people you meet there, will be familiar friends you'll meet along the way. It's not always about the distances travelled but the experience gained by choosing to stop.
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

wcsjms

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2016) ; 1st Camino Frances September 2016-November 2016 ; Camino Frances August 2017-October 2017
Hi, Buen Camino ! Having never trekked the Camino before we are stopping at Orisson. We've decided this is not a race but an experience. We are in our mid 60's and we are training in 90+ Fahrenheit heat in Florida. Your decision is personal, but if you are not in a hurry, why not enjoy the day. We are traveling with our daughter and husband who are 40'ish and they too want to slow it down having done it last year.
 

Nancy Love

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future (2016)
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.
 

Nancy Love

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future (2016)
You should try but you may be too late. I got the last room for Sept 5th 3 weeks ago. BTW It took a week to hear back by e-mail. I tried calling -no luck.
 

Parksville

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Tui to Santiago (2011), SJPP to Najera (2016) Najera to Finisterre (2017), Lucca to Rome (June 2019)

Gareth Griffith

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
I chose to stay at Orisson as I wanted the opportunity to wander round SJPdP in the morning and didn't want to be in the position of being forced to go the whole hog if the weather was adverse (I was starting early April). I'd heard stories of people that were physically worn out, drenched with rain and on reaching Orission were told "sorry we're fully booked" and had to carry on. I didn't want to be in that position.
In addition most people will only do the Camino once. If you don't do Orisson, you don't know what you're missing.
Having said that, I overnightedat Orisson on the 13/04/2016, the next day the Napoleon route was officially opened. There were horrendously strong winds the following day which made the walk to Roncesvalles a real test of endurance. One American lady walking with her son, went back to Orisson and ordered a taxi. No names, no pack drill!
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

grayland

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Yes
Keep in mind that Orisson only has 28 beds (according to their own site).

This is a very small number in comparison to the hundreds (thousand some days) that walk the Napoleon Route each day in the busy season.

Most pilgrims do not stay at Orisson....because there is simply not room except for a very few.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
The albergue at Orisson is well known for being slow to reply. I've not heard of it not replying at all. Try again if you want, I did, it can't hurt. I think you need a PayPal account.
If you are reasonably fit you could walk all the way in one go. The walk to Orisson is steep but does not take long. It can seem too early in the day to stop. However, it is a beautiful spot. On a clear day the views are as good as anything on the way to Santiago. And spending time meeting people on the terrace looking at the scenery, while having some refreshments is great. The food and drinks are good. During the communal meal you will see people that you will see again. An excellent way to start a conversation with someone you may not see until 2 or 3 days/weeks later. "hello, I think I recognise you from my night at Orisson, how are you?" or something like that. There is a definite camaraderie between people that meet in SJPdP & Orisson as most of them will be new to the Camino and have a certain kind of enthusiasm.
I walked to Orisson in glorious sunshine and it would have been easy to press on. I stayed and the next morning was windy, rain, sleet, snow all the way to Roncesvalles. I loved it. I prefer to walk in sunshine but that day out of Orisson is one of my favourite days of the whole Camino. If you don't stay there, you really should stop for a drink or snack. You won't find another place until Roncesvalles, unless you see a snack wagon. Sit near a stranger, introduce yourself. I doubt you'll regret it.
 

Otmoor22

Member
I left SJP at 6.30am and passed Orisson at 8, arriving Roncevalles at 1. 71 years old but fit. However, next time I will start walking on arrival at SJP and stay at Orisson. Day 2 will go beyond Roncevalles to avoid chaos as hundreds leave there early in the morning. That was my worse day on entire Camino.
 

Pam Scott

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago compostella 2015
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.
It's always good to start a long distance walk with an easy day unless you are super fit. Buen Camino
 

Flem

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 - 2019 several caminos (7 differents)
It would help if you would state your age, approximate fitness level and hiking experience as we don't know you ;-) Buen Camino, SY

I was 68 and in normal fit, started late august 2015 from SJPdP at 0630. Get my coffey in Orisson at 1000. Reached Roncevasses around 1700.
In fact it is a kind if hard ride but it is worth it.
Just remember it is your camino so take care of your self.
Then it schould be no problem.
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

virginia stevens

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
JJDPP August 22 2016
Hi Kerry, my wife and I are also leaving SJPDP on September 5. We are only going to Orisson and then relax for the evening. We are afraid that the 28kms with at least 20 going upwards will kill us on our first day?
We are trying to book Orisson but have had no response yet. Buen Camino and maybe we'll cross paths!
Give them time, it takes a while for them to get back to you. We just booked Orisson for august, it took me a week and a half to book it.
 

Inbar

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2015; Camino Portugues October 2017
If you can allow one extra day, then stay in Orisson. It's a difficult day and it's a good idea to start slow. I went straight to Roncesvalles, and I don't regret it. But going again, I'd stay in Orisson, because really, why not.
 

donaldum

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances,2006
Hi, I always stop at Orrison (make a booking), or at the albergue in Valcarlos, on the other route. It doesn’t matter how fit I am, I see no point walking 28 kms (mostly uphill) on the very first day when it’s possible to split the day into two, and start off slowly. Jill
Also I think the mountany stretches have great vistas and should be savoured slowly without a headlong rush to the next stage. Get into sjdpp at 3 in the afternoon and stay in ontto after an enjoyable climb.
 

John Briscoe

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francais 2014
Camino Portuguese 2016
In 2014, my wife and I walked from St Jean over the pass to Ronscevales. It was a tough walk. But we were in no hurry so we stayed an extra day in Ronscevales and had a great day in the museum, the crypt and other buildings in the village.
The other thing is also. I walked the Milford Track and mentioned to my companions on the 3rd day as we went over the McKinnon Pass at 1100m that when I did the Camino we went that far on our first day and the pass was 1500m. So it is an epic walk and thanks also go to the gentleman who waits up the top with fruit, boiled eggs and other treats.

Finally, if you cant get accommodation at Orrison, walk there and get a taxi back to St Jean. Stay the night there and then taxi back in the morning to Orrison and head off to Ronscevalles.
 
Last edited:
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Time of past OR future Camino
August/September 2016
Hi Kerry, my wife and I are also leaving SJPDP on September 5. We are only going to Orisson and then relax for the evening. We are afraid that the 28kms with at least 20 going upwards will kill us on our first day?
We are trying to book Orisson but have had no response yet. Buen Camino and maybe we'll cross paths!

Canuck60 I am also thinking of leaving Sept 5. I am flying into Madrid on the 3rd and looking into getting to SJPDP. Have not decided if I am going to overnight Orisson. Have not done as much training as I thought (life got in the way) so not sure how I would do. I am hoping that the time I go there would be beds available. Maybe we will meet. Buen Camino.
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
My instinct is to say, "STAY IN ORISSON." I walked this past May from SJPDP to Santiago and when I stopped in Orisson for lunch I wished I had a reservation. One - because I was struggling with the climb and Two - it was a beautiful there - the view unforgettable and I would have liked to enjoy it a little longer and Three - no reason to rush things.

Also, when you arrive in Roncesvalles late in the day the nicer beds in the main building are taken and you have to stay in the back building and in outside buildings. Because I arrived late and my room at Roncesvalles were in the outside building...and, for me, it was the worst albergue experience of the entire Camino.

Have fun. Buen Camino
 

Gabip94

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances ( September 2016)
Hi Everyone,
I'll be undertaking my first camino early in September, I'm nervous but also super excited.I have the same debate regarding the walk to Orrison. I'll be arriving to Biarritz at 13.25 and then I'll either share a taxi with someone or get the train to St.Jean. I'm worried that by the time i get to St.Jean it'll be too late to walk to Orrison. So maybe it would be wise to book a bed in St.Jean and make my way to Roncesvalles the following day , I'm 21 and reasonably fit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
SJPP is very picturesque, and sharing diner and breakfast with other nervous and excited pilgrims is a good experience.
You can book in Saint Jean or Orisson (a 3 hrs walk, approx). If you are arriving late, inform the managers. But walking by night in a path you don't know well is a bit unnerving. So, it depends on your arrival.
On the other side, being 21 and reasonably fit, you can do all the stage from SJPP-Roncesvalles without problems. Make no mistake, it is tough, but doable for almost every person.
 
Last edited:

Gabip94

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances ( September 2016)
SJPP is very picturesque, and sharing diner and breakfast with other nervous and excited pilgrims is a good experience.
You can book in Saint Jean or Orisson (a 3 hrs walk, approx). If you are arriving late, inform the managers. But walking by night in a path you don't know well is a bit unnerving. So, it depends on your arrival.
On the other side, being 21 and reasonably fit, you can do all the stage from SJPP-Roncesvalles without problems. Make no mistake, it is tough, but doable for almost every person.

Thanking you kindly Felipe I will keep that in mind, sill undecided but I'm leaning towards staying in SJPP the first night and exploring it and the following day embarking on the journey to Roncesvalles , i will be broken but that's expected the first day.
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Thanking you kindly Felipe I will keep that in mind, sill undecided but I'm leaning towards staying in SJPP the first night and exploring it and the following day embarking on the journey to Roncesvalles , i will be broken but that's expected the first day.
If I were you I would plan this option. As arriving the first day to SJPDP after long flights can be a trying experience. You will meet others making the walk the next morning & you will find some who will want company going over the mountain.
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
Don't walk that day....go to the pilgrim office, get your camino passport stamp, then, relax. spend the day in St. Jean and start your journey the next day bright and early. Buen Camino!
 

KerryW

KerryW
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Via Podiensis 2017
Norte/Prim 2019
Wow! I feel like you're my family giving me great advice. What a gift! Thank you! We fly from Melbourne, Australia and arrive in SJPP Sept 7 at night, have a whole day to settle (and get some sleep!!) and then walk on the 9th (Now that sounds like we've made a good choice there!) When we tried to book at Orisson many, many weeks ago, it was already fully booked, so it left us with this quandary. We're told by the owner at Orisson that we can be picked up from there and driven back down the mountain a way to stay ON and then his friend would drive us back to 'start from Orisson' but it feels a bit weird to do that ... but maybe the 'sensible option' I'll 'sleep on it' and make a choice. :) Looking forward to meeting lovely peeps like all of you on our pilgrimage. (it's actually made me feel like I want to get going now!) Thank you!!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
My first Camino I walked the entire distance.
I injured myself and had problems the rest of the Way.

Every year since for the past 10 years, I have split that section into two days.
I have never slept at Orisson.
I take the 2 pm shuttle back down to SJPP, spend the night there again.
Next morning, shuttle back up to Orisson and go over.
Much more enjoyable and MUCH easier on my body.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
My first Camino I walked the entire distance.
I injured myself and had problems the rest of the Way.

Every year since for the past 10 years, I have split that section into two days.
I have never slept at Orisson.
I take the 2 pm shuttle back down to SJPP, spend the night there again.
Next morning, shuttle back up to Orisson and go over.
Much more enjoyable and MUCH easier on my body.


And... it's worth paying for pack transport on this "hell day" stage, in my opinion!
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
And... it's worth paying for pack transport on this "hell day" stage, in my opinion!
Lol Annie your going to scare the new folks..

I think a good way of determining fitness for the walk would be if you can run a 5k you will hurt but make it. If you can run a 10k you will be sore. But easily recover.
 

Dylan Price

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.


You may have left it a little late to get a bed at Orisson now and they are notoriously bad at not responding to emails! My wife and I did it in September last year and like you were very nervous about doing the whole day to Roncesvalles. We could not get accommodation at Orisson but could get a bed at the hostel before it. Trouble was we arrived there at around 9am in the morning and even arrived at Orisson at 11am.

So we pushed on - it was one of the most physically and mentally demanding days of our lives. We even contemplated staying the emergency hut (but someone had already beaten us to it!). So we just dug deep and struggled on - thirteen long hours after starting we arrived very tired in Roncesvalles.

The next day I honestly though that I would be unable to move - but I woke with almost no muscle pain, well rested and ready for the next session. You will amaze yourself at just how strong you can be.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Most pilgrims walk the entire distance, though this Forum has a lot of recommendations to break it into two days. The twenty-eight beds as Orisson cannot accommodate a lot of pilgrims!! ;) The other hundreds go elsewhere, mostly to Roncesvalles. On the Valcarlos route, there is an albergue that is more midway than Orisson is, but it always seems to have vacancies. Buen camino.
 

Paul mooney

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I have walk from StJean to Burgos last year and wish to continue this September from Burgos to Astorga, starting on the 7th and finishing on the 21st
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.
Hi Kerry W, I started my camino last September from SJDP and stop at Orrison and I was so glad I did, it was one of the best auberge on the Way,wonderful pilgrim meal, met some lovely people and met up again along the Way. Most important I was well rested for my walk into Roncesvalles,you need to book it NOW. Enjoy your Camino. This September I'm starting from where I finish last year in Burgos
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
My instinct is to say, "STAY IN ORISSON." I walked this past May from SJPDP to Santiago and when I stopped in Orisson for lunch I wished I had a reservation. One - because I was struggling with the climb and Two - it was a beautiful there - the view unforgettable and I would have liked to enjoy it a little longer and Three - no reason to rush things.

Also, when you arrive in Roncesvalles late in the day the nicer beds in the main building are taken and you have to stay in the back building and in outside buildings. Because I arrived late and my room at Roncesvalles were in the outside building...and, for me, it was the worst albergue experience of the entire Camino.

Have fun. Buen Camino
When in May were you there? I am planning next May to take 3 weeks probably beginning mid May. First day in Toulouse visiting a friend, 2nd day SJPdP to Orisson, 3rd day to Roncesvalles, maybe a 2nd night there, then bus to Leon or Astorga and walk to Santiago. I want the SJPdP-Pyrenees-Orisson-Roncesvalles experience, but don't have the luxury of time off to do the whole Camino.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

Flem

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 - 2019 several caminos (7 differents)
And... it's worth paying for pack transport on this "hell day" stage, in my opinion!
Now now Annie. You sound like a true turist saying "hell day".
Yes it is up hill but somewhere else would or could givethe pilgrim somthing of a hard day.
On the other hand if your set-up isn't for pilgrimage but a walk in the park you schouldn't take the Camino France - in my opinion
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
Now now Annie. You sound like a true turist saying "hell day".
Yes it is up hill but somewhere else would or could givethe pilgrim somthing of a hard day.
On the other hand if your set-up isn't for pilgrimage but a walk in the park you schouldn't take the Camino France - in my opinion

Hahaha!
I'm not the one who made up that term. It was around a long time before me!

Calling me a tourist is funny - maybe I am :)
Actually I'd say MOST people walking these days are tourists and most villages along the Camino in Spain are loving it.
Most, not all.

My description of "hell day" is based on walking this route every year for about 10 years, sometimes twice, and escorting somewhere around 35-45 other pilgrims over the years and hearing THEIR description.

The Camino Frances, in my opinion, IS a walk in the park, except for "hell day" and maybe two other short stretches.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I actually had a rougher time going to the top of Ocebrio granted I took the long way but I often wonder if the elevation difference is higher. When I saw the sign & horses I actually started looking for bale string to catch one. Then I smiled, wasn't at home. Can't be borrowing a horse. Besides they also put their hay up different. If anyone is interested take the time in the spring to watch how they do it. They claim it is why their milk is sweeter in Galicia than other areas of the country. But I would agree it becomes almost like silage. I asked how they keep it from getting too hot & causing fires, generations of combining grasses, was the answer. Darn good farming it is.
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
We're in our early 50s - reasonably fit
My wife and I just returned from the CF. We are both 55.

We stopped in Orisson for a cup of coffee and to use the bathroom and then pressed on to go to Roncesvalles. Orisson is only a couple hours up the hills from SJPP. Seemed silly to stop mid-morning. We started the morning walking in a group of 8 out of SJPP and we were the only 2 who pressed forward from our little group.

My wife was feeling bad that day, walked very slowly, stopped for a lot of rest stops but we made it.

The rain started in earnest just before we left Orisson. It turned to hail somewhere before the French/Spanish border. There were a lot of people who passed us because my wife's pace was clearly the slowest on the slope. Despite her feeling ill we managed to get into Roncesvalles without any major grief.

The hills are steep in some spots, in others its just a long slow uphill slog with peak being replaced by peak. You come to several thinking surely this is the top only to find that there is another top.

So all that said, if I do it again I'd do the same thing (except I'll make sure my wife is feeling better).
 

Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, Portuguese 2017, Del Norde 2018
Still haven't got a confined start date but hoping it will be between 13th and 21st if September. Would I be right in thinking the Orrison would be likely to be fully booked up during this period? If not was thinking of seeing how I felt when I got there and see if there was a bed available. Is this being a bit optimistic or a little naive?
I'm only travelling over from London so won't be hopefully as tired as some who will have been travelling from far. That's my logical thinking now, but my head is telling me to pre book at Orisson.
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
When in May were you there? I am planning next May to take 3 weeks probably beginning mid May. First day in Toulouse visiting a friend, 2nd day SJPdP to Orisson, 3rd day to Roncesvalles, maybe a 2nd night there, then bus to Leon or Astorga and walk to Santiago. I want the SJPdP-Pyrenees-Orisson-Roncesvalles experience, but don't have the luxury of time off to do the whole Camino.

I left SJPdP on May 6th and got to Santiago June 1st...but, I bussed from Burgos to Leon because I knew I wouldn't make it in time for my flight out. I didn't have the time either...but, even in this somewhat abbreviated version of the walk (about 400 or the 500 miles) it was quite a beautiful experience. If you have any questions or are wondering anything, please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to answer. Where are you traveling from?
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
If you have any questions or are wondering anything, please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to answer. Where are you traveling from?

Thanks for the response. I am in Texas. Where are you? The most cost effective & convenient travel timeframes turned out to be flights via Boston & Madrid to Bordeaux. (Not sure whether you were inquiring about my location or travel itinerary.) Actually since writing the post to you the plan changed from a meet up in Toulouse to Bordeaux for a couple days before I take the train to Bayonne & SJPdP May 14th. Monday May 15th the trek begins & wherever I sleep on the 31st is where it ends. Taking it slowly in the beginning to savor being in France a bit longer. It's 20 years since I lived there, but it was just long enough for it to find its place in that 'feels like home' corner of my soul. It sounds like the Camino weaves itself into a Pilgram's soul. Was that your experience?
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
I'm in Ohio. My route to SJPdP was - flew from Pitts to Dublin. Stayed overnight in Dublin, Then, flew nonstop to Biarritz (RyanAir) then took taxi (Express Bourricot) to SJPdP. It was fairly simple, actually. Spending some time in France before you begin sounds awesome. I would like to walk the Le Puy Camino Route at some point. The Camino does weave itself into your soul...for sure. I had a dream about it last night, in fact. For me, a lot happened on the path...but, even more happened in my soul once I got home.

The Camino takes life down to its simplest terms. Wake, walk, eat, drink, laugh, repeat. You don't have to be reminded to "stay in the now" because that's all there is. It's freedom in its purest form.
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP
Debora, love your last paragraph! Taking this to heart & trying to live my Camino day to day until I am actually there. I lost the last 10 years to a telecommuting IT job in a very aggressive environment. As a youngster in Vacation Bible School we sang I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart. I have that peace now & am looking forward to the natural quiet of the Camino to put things on 'pause' and listen. Thanks for your unwitting influence on my day to day life.

Continued Buen Camino, chere peligrina.
 

Janetlm

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Way September 2017
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.[/QUOTEI
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Janetlm

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Way September 2017
My friend and I starting September 6, we are fit and in our 50's and we are staying September 6th night at Orisson and then the next night in Roncesvalles.
Many people have told us it is a good idea being it is our first week and we have the time to take a nights stay there. We will leave St. Jean on the 6th late morning.
 

Ove Garpeman

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
0
Me and my girlfriend crossed the mountain last week with a wonderful sunny start on monday 5th of June
and stayed in Kayola for the night. (right before Orisson).
The following day started with heavy rain and it continued being very wet and very windy all day over the mountain.
It was a complete nightmare i must admit, since we did not put on enough clothing, but after a few hours a wonderful frenchman had a Van selling hot Cocoa, eggs, refreshments etc. and we could put on more clothing there, thankgod.
Going down to Roncesvalles was terrible, very wet and slippery and it's a looong walk down.
I assume crossing in nice weather it's much different.
Buen Camino :)
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.

It's fun to stay at Orisson. AND you don't have to if you don't want to. I wouldn't worry about whether it seems "precious." It's easy to get sucked into being competitive about how far you walk. I was sure I wouldn't, but when I told others I usually walked 20 K, and sometimes less, a day, and they said, "Oh, so you're taking your time..." I had to fight just a wee bit the pressure to walk farther. Why?
 

wcsjms

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2016) ; 1st Camino Frances September 2016-November 2016 ; Camino Frances August 2017-October 2017
I didn't realize I was in such poor shape, despite my training, until I started out that first day. I was glad I had booked a place in Orisson.

More important than the rest stop was all the friendships that began that evening and continued all the way to Santiago and beyond.
AMEN BROTHER ...lol We being from coastal lands which are flat, flat, flat... the training we thought was good enough turned out to be woefully inadequate and there but by the Grace of God we made it to Orisson ...lol Allow me to say, that this year our training is very different and we get strange looks walking 20+ kms with our backpacks on in 90+F/33+C degree temps and sometimes in the pouring rain. Needless to say... we LOVE Orisson...lol and are booked there this August once more !
 

wcsjms

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2016) ; 1st Camino Frances September 2016-November 2016 ; Camino Frances August 2017-October 2017
It's fun to stay at Orisson. AND you don't have to if you don't want to. I wouldn't worry about whether it seems "precious." It's easy to get sucked into being competitive about how far you walk. I was sure I wouldn't, but when I told others I usually walked 20 K, and sometimes less, a day, and they said, "Oh, so you're taking your time..." I had to fight just a wee bit the pressure to walk farther. Why?
We are with you, it is not a race unless you have limited time. We are going to take even longer this year. I suspect clor to 60-70 days than the 44 days we did it in last year.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

wcsjms

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2016) ; 1st Camino Frances September 2016-November 2016 ; Camino Frances August 2017-October 2017
Debora, love your last paragraph! Taking this to heart & trying to live my Camino day to day until I am actually there. I lost the last 10 years to a telecommuting IT job in a very aggressive environment. As a youngster in Vacation Bible School we sang I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart. I have that peace now & am looking forward to the natural quiet of the Camino to put things on 'pause' and listen. Thanks for your unwitting influence on my day to day life.

Continued Buen Camino, chere peligrina.
Nothing prepared me for the changes that took place in me along the Camino, it was the first time in my life that I "slowed down to smell the roses" . Its the reason I am returning in August to trek it once again and in the spring of 2018 to trek the Norte'. The daily challenges it brings, the friendships and even the solitude you will find at times along the trail will stay with you long after you have finished. Once, does not quench the thirst, it only heightens it !!!
Buen Camino !!! :)
 

KerryW

KerryW
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Via Podiensis 2017
Norte/Prim 2019
Hi everyone! Well ... I thought I'd better give an update, especially as we walked the Camino Frances nearly a year ago and people are still giving wonderful advice ... Just thought I'd update on what we actually did :) We walked to Orisson and, as we couldn't get accomodation there (booking a few months in advance) they advised us about Gite Antton - and had a FANTASTIC stay ... would recommend to anyone. We met some people that night who became 'Camino sisters and brothers'! At first, we were sad to think about walking to Orisson, then having to travel a short way (via their minibus) back down to Gite Antton, but it didn't matter at all! We had a beautiful view back on a couple of kms, wonderful dinner, sleep and then they took us all back to Orisson to start again at 7am then next morning. Perfect. Would recommend to anyone.
PS We now have the spirit of the camino in our blood ...off to do the Le Puy to SJPP leg this September!
 

Flem

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 - 2019 several caminos (7 differents)
My friend and I starting September 6, we are fit and in our 50's and we are staying September 6th night at Orisson and then the next night in Roncesvalles.
Many people have told us it is a good idea being it is our first week and we have the time to take a nights stay there. We will leave St. Jean on the 6th late morning.
In late august 2015 I started in SJPDP at 630 and reached Orisso aprox 10. Crossed the Mountain the first Day. I Was then 68 and have No problems at all. It is a pitty not to walk the Way into Roncevalles in one trip.
 

MikeShaw

No past, no future, only the note you play today.
Time of past OR future Camino
This year (May 2017)
We're in our early 50s - reasonably fit
Stop at Orisson, enjoy the great hospitality and comaraderie, and meet many of the people you met at Orisson all along the way. Also - doing SJPP to Roncesvalles in one day is a killer - in my opinion. I am glad I didn't rush it, and took my time stopping at Orisson. Yes, I met many people who did it in one day, and they all had smiles on their faces. I'm in my 60's and even in two days it was very strenuous. The downhill part is a killer on your knees. Again - just my take on things. I hope that's what you were looking for. Older people than I raced past me both up and down, so my answer is personal. Buen Camino.
 

MikeShaw

No past, no future, only the note you play today.
Time of past OR future Camino
This year (May 2017)
AMEN BROTHER ...lol We being from coastal lands which are flat, flat, flat... the training we thought was good enough turned out to be woefully inadequate and there but by the Grace of God we made it to Orisson ...lol Allow me to say, that this year our training is very different and we get strange looks walking 20+ kms with our backpacks on in 90+F/33+C degree temps and sometimes in the pouring rain. Needless to say... we LOVE Orisson...lol and are booked there this August once more !
Another Amen.
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

MikeShaw

No past, no future, only the note you play today.
Time of past OR future Camino
This year (May 2017)
Me and my girlfriend crossed the mountain last week with a wonderful sunny start on monday 5th of June
and stayed in Kayola for the night. (right before Orisson).
The following day started with heavy rain and it continued being very wet and very windy all day over the mountain.
It was a complete nightmare i must admit, since we did not put on enough clothing, but after a few hours a wonderful frenchman had a Van selling hot Cocoa, eggs, refreshments etc. and we could put on more clothing there, thankgod.
Going down to Roncesvalles was terrible, very wet and slippery and it's a looong walk down.
I assume crossing in nice weather it's much different.
Buen Camino :)
It was the best hard boiled egg I ever ate. It was the best cheese I ever had. You can actually see this fellow on YouTube in a French documentary... I discovered it this week. OMG. A great experience. Check it out -
at minute 12:21. You'll see the man. Yes, he told me the cheese was from his mother's sheep in the valley and pointed to them. So glad we share this!
 

jo webber

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept 9th 2017
We are flatlanders. We have made a trip to the mountains a couple of times, several hours away and a long drive. I know up and over the mountains will be difficult for me. We have reservations at Orisson on Oct 9th. Much of our pack weight will be transported to Orisson and then over and down. After that I will carry my full pack.

Our goal is to not hurt ourselves, enjoy the Camino, the history, the food and especially the people. And then, to make it to Santiago. We have return tickets for the 28th of Nov. LOL. Time to see other places in Spain is on the list after we finish.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
My first Camino I walked the entire distance.
I injured myself and had problems the rest of the Way.

Every year since for the past 10 years, I have split that section into two days.
I have never slept at Orisson.
I take the 2 pm shuttle back down to SJPP, spend the night there again.
Next morning, shuttle back up to Orisson and go over.
Much more enjoyable and MUCH easier on my body.
Annie- I see this reply is from a while ago. I’m taking my husband and my brother with me on my second Camino June 20, 2918. Is the shuttle still an option as far as you know? I may try to convince the guys to go for that.

Also, does the shuttle take you up to Orisson fairly early in the morning? I don’t know how warm it is on the route in mid June. My last Camino started in late August. I expect a crazy hot Camino but my husband is a teacher so we’re stuck with these dates.

Sandi Smith
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
Annie- I see this reply is from a while ago. I’m taking my husband and my brother with me on my second Camino June 20, 2918. Is the shuttle still an option as far as you know? I may try to convince the guys to go for that.

Also, does the shuttle take you up to Orisson fairly early in the morning? I don’t know how warm it is on the route in mid June. My last Camino started in late August. I expect a crazy hot Camino but my husband is a teacher so we’re stuck with these dates.

Sandi Smith


Yes, the shuttle still is run by Carolyn from Express Bourricot.
You can make your arrangements online.
In my experience the shuttle goes up around 8 am and picks up people going back to SJPP beginning around 2 pm.
If Carolyn doesn't reply right away, don't worry. . . sometimes she won't respond until after January for the following season. Just keep trying.
Her office, by the way, used to be a few doors down from the Pilgrim Office in SJPP.
http://www.expressbourricot.com/fr/
 

Roamer35

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2009, Camino Finisterre, 2009, Camino Portuguese, 2009, Via de La Plata, 2011. Pending: VdlP April-May 2014
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.
Somewhere in the Brierley guide he says something to the effect that "a physically fit experienced hill walker can do it in one day. Millions have done it." There are some steep sections, but there also some flats and undulating stretches for the first 13 miles or so. Most of it is on pavement or the grassy verges. There is a steep rocky descent towards the end. There was also a mobile canteen about half way where one could get a coffee and a bit of food. Before I left home I received a dire warnings, subtle hints and not-so-subtle hints about the folly of trying to do it in one day. Nevertheless, I decided I met Brierley requirements. I left SJPdP at 7:40 a.m. and arrived at Roncesvalles at about 3:30 p.m. Tired but not overly so. I'm 81.
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

Mana di Castanja

Castanja di Mana
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2018
Lebaniego / Picos / 2022
I am also interesting what others do between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. But after reading al these stories i think i wil not reserve a hostel at least between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. I don't now what the weather could be on april 27. I don't now how far i wil come and how hard it will be. Normally i could walk the 27 km with no problem. But walking up a mountain i know is another story. I'm 51 and in good shape and will try to make it to Roncesvalles in one day. If the weather is bad and hard to walk, i will try to stay at a hostel nearby at that moment. But if an hostel is closed or full, i would move on to the next. The moment and luck of that day will bring me where ever that will be!
 
Last edited:

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I am also interesting what others do between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. But after reading al these stories i think i wil not reserve a hostel at least between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. I don't now what the weather could be on april 27. I don't now how far i wil come and how hard it will be. Normally i could walk the 27 km with no problem. But walking up a mountain i know is another story. I'm 51 and in good shape and will try to make it to Roncesvalles in one day. If the weather is bad and hard to walk, i will try to stay at a hostel nearby at that moment. But if an hostel is closed or full, i would move on to the next. The moment and luck of that day will bring me where ever that will be! I don't now if this is stupid. But hey, Hakuna Matata..:D
If you don't have a reservation at Orisson you won't really have a choice, unless they have a cancelation that day. You'll have to walk all the way to Roncesvalles, as there are no other places to stop. Most pilgrims do walk all the way between St Jean Pied de Port and Roncesvalles in one go, so you should be fine.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
August/September 2016
I am also interesting what others do between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. But after reading al these stories i think i wil not reserve a hostel at least between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. I don't now what the weather could be on april 27. I don't now how far i wil come and how hard it will be. Normally i could walk the 27 km with no problem. But walking up a mountain i know is another story. I'm 51 and in good shape and will try to make it to Roncesvalles in one day. If the weather is bad and hard to walk, i will try to stay at a hostel nearby at that moment. But if an hostel is closed or full, i would move on to the next. The moment and luck of that day will bring me where ever that will be! I don't now if this is stupid. But hey, Hakuna Matata..:D
I am also interesting what others do between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. But after reading al these stories i think i wil not reserve a hostel at least between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. I don't now what the weather could be on april 27. I don't now how far i wil come and how hard it will be. Normally i could walk the 27 km with no problem. But walking up a mountain i know is another story. I'm 51 and in good shape and will try to make it to Roncesvalles in one day. If the weather is bad and hard to walk, i will try to stay at a hostel nearby at that moment. But if an hostel is closed or full, i would move on to the next. The moment and luck of that day will bring me where ever that will be! I don't now if this is stupid. But hey, Hakuna Matata..:D

There is a company in SJ where you can arrange to be picked up at a certain location at a certain time they will take you back to SJ and bring you back at that spot the next day. Sorry I do not remember the name.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Flem

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 - 2019 several caminos (7 differents)
I am also interesting what others do between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. But after reading al these stories i think i wil not reserve a hostel at least between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. I don't now what the weather could be on april 27. I don't now how far i wil come and how hard it will be. Normally i could walk the 27 km with no problem. But walking up a mountain i know is another story. I'm 51 and in good shape and will try to make it to Roncesvalles in one day. If the weather is bad and hard to walk, i will try to stay at a hostel nearby at that moment. But if an hostel is closed or full, i would move on to the next. The moment and luck of that day will bring me where ever that will be! I don't now if this is stupid. But hey, Hakuna Matata..:D


In 2015 I walk the french with a coffeybreak in Orisson. I was 68 at the time not especially fit. But no problems at all.
The way up to Alto del Perdon and up to O'Cebreiro is more worse. But at that time your legs is fittet.
Buen Camino
 

pobrien

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
English Camino 2010
SJDPDP - Burgos 2017
SJDPDP - Santiago (April/May 2018)
St. Jean - Roncevalles Its very do-able in one day. I am 60, reasonably walking fit and done it last year in ideal conditions. It was the downhill section that gave me my only blister of my 11 days!
I intend doing the whole Camino Frances this year leaving 27th Sept and will go to Roncevalles on the first day.
Paul
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I am also interesting what others do between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. But after reading al these stories i think i wil not reserve a hostel at least between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. I don't now what the weather could be on april 27. I don't now how far i wil come and how hard it will be. Normally i could walk the 27 km with no problem. But walking up a mountain i know is another story. I'm 51 and in good shape and will try to make it to Roncesvalles in one day. If the weather is bad and hard to walk, i will try to stay at a hostel nearby at that moment. But if an hostel is closed or full, i would move on to the next. The moment and luck of that day will bring me where ever that will be!
Lot's of folks do it, Chris, especially if in decent shape at the start. The key is to keep your engine fueled, take sufficient rest breaks, stay well hydrated, and keep a pace that is comfortable and consistent.
 

Mana di Castanja

Castanja di Mana
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2018
Lebaniego / Picos / 2022
Well, after reading the last replys, i think i will book Roncevalles ahead then. Is it wise to book now already, when walking in the end of April?
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Time of past OR future Camino
2018 CF Spring
I will be starting my 1st Camino at the end of March'18 (Semana Santa) from St Jean.
So for me this topic is not just a discussion but of actual relevance and part of my decision making.
Thanks for everyone's input & shared experience!

(PS.: Contacted Orisson and after carefully reading their reply I had the impression that at the end of March/Easter, Orisson will definitely be closed, except if it is open...)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
In our 50's, we walked from SJPP to Roncevalles twice. Once when I had a very bad head and chest cold. We started around 7 or 8am and we were there by 2pm, before the albergue opened. We also stopped at Orisson for coffee (both times) , and a stop to look at the Virgin Mary (both times) and stopped for a picnic lunch (both times). We also had beautiful weather, both times.
We are fit...exercise, cardio and crosstrain, 5 days a week.
Just another thing, for our first crossing, after the car ride from Pamplona to SJPP I was throwing up because of the windy road. We took a little time to sit and have a cup of coffee so I could get myself together, then walked on.
Only you know what you can do...
The nausea on the winding road with a crazy young driver was my experience, too!
 

John McEvoy

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
My husband and I begin our pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port early September and are still undecided as to whether the 'wise' decision is to walk to Orisson then on the next day to Roncesvalles, or whether we're being a bit precious and should just have the long day. We'd love to hear advice from some who know better than us :) Thank you.

I broke it up into two days with a stop in Orisson and am so thankful that I did. I would not be able to do the full 30K in one day, two days nearly broke me (particularly) the second day. If you do try to do it in one day , you should leave very early because you will be making the descent in the evening and it is very difficult.

Also you will see the mountain that you are going to have to summit for some time prior to the ascent. It will be exhilarating when you go over the top.

Please know that you have "three more mountains" to climb before you get to the major descent which is extremely difficult.

Buen Camino
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I broke it up into two days with a stop in Orisson and am so thankful that I did. I would not be able to do the full 30K in one day, two days nearly broke me (particularly) the second day. If you do try to do it in one day , you should leave very early because you will be making the descent in the evening and it is very difficult.

Also you will see the mountain that you are going to have to summit for some time prior to the ascent. It will be exhilarating when you go over the top.

Please know that you have "three more mountains" to climb before you get to the major descent which is extremely difficult.

Buen Camino

Some folks do find it extremely difficult, but others find it far less so..... it is all relative. ;)

My son and I left SJPdP at around 8:00 am, and arrived in Roncesvalles at just before 4:00 pm. It was a bit tiring, but less difficult than many of the thousands of backpacking miles that I have put in in the Cascades, Sierra Nevadas and Rockies. A lot of the perceptions and experience one has is related to the shape one is in, the condition of the body from knee, foot, muscle, and other personal problems, and how well one provides for themselves while walking (water, food, breaks).

My issue was my feet. The descent is relatively short compared to the ascent, and subjects the feet to a lot of pounding. My feet yelled at me the whole way down. No blisters, just soreness. My son, on the other hand, was maddeningly just fine, thank you. My feet were just great and ready to go the next day.

For Caleb and I, stopping at Orrison would have been a boring and restless waste of most of a day. We did stop there and refreshed ourselves on some chorizo bocadillos and a nice sit down, though. :)

By and large, the individual needs to be realistic about their fitness and health in deciding what to do.
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

Most read last week in this forum

Last Fall, I walked through San Anton and fell in love. Toward the end of May, I'll be walking through again and would love to stay in the tiny albergue in the ruins. Most of the posts I'm seeing...
Hi, my sister and I will start June 18 in Sarría. First timers, so please excuse my ignorance😁 I have written a company that gave me a quote three times asking for accommodation with swimming...
I have decided on the Frances in early to mid June for my first Camino. I keep hearing how crowded the Sarria to Santiago portion is at that time of year. am concerned It may be too crowded...
A question to those who have experience of pilgrim habits and statistics on the Camino Francés. God being willing, I hope to walk this spring to Santiago along the CF, starting out in mid-April...
I booked a bed at Gite Makila, but they don't offer dinner. As this will be day 0 for me, I wouldn't mind having some company for dinner. Do any of the gites allow people to join their communal...
Ivar probably knows the answer to this. For a few years up until Covid, I much enjoyed the annual update (last one 2019). I assume Covid interrupted it. Anyone know if the author plans to resume...

How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2023 Camino Guides
Top