• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)
  • ⚠️ Emergency contact in Spain - Dial 112 and AlertCops app. More on this here.
  • Get your Camino Frances Guidebook here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Starting Before SJPDP

BillW

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022, 2023, 2024, 2025
I walked Le Puy to Santiago last year, and it struck me that there are several nice stages before SJPDP that could be added to the Frances as a “warm up.” My sisters and I are walking the Camino Frances this fall, and we're decided to walk three days before SJPDP. Here's our plan with some additional notes. I hope it's helpful to someone!

Navarrenx to Saint-Palais (via Aroue)

Navarrenx is a lovely town of about 1000. It has a nearly intact medieval wall surrounding the entire town. Many of the businesses have caricatures of the owners in the front window which is fun.​
A train from Paris to Orthez plus a 14 mile taxi ride will get you there. Check Rome2Rio.com for other travel options.​
The walk to Aroue is about 20 km. It has some undulating hills but nothing too big. Total climb is about 300 meters, so it's a good first stage to get your hiking legs going.​
Aroue is very small (population of about 250) with only has a couple of gites, so if you need more options, you can take a short bus ride to Saint-Palais. The bus comes pretty regularly.​
I stayed in Saint-Palais and found it to be lovely. It has about 2000 residents and several restaurants and hotels on a nice town square. We'll be staying here again when we walk in the fall.​

Saint-Palais to Larceveaux (17km, 770 meters of climbing)
Or, Aroue to Ostabat-Asme (24 km, 650 meters of climbing)


This stage is beautiful and offers some hills to start to get you ready for the Pyrenees. I walked from Saint-Palais, and there was a large hill a few miles out of town that was challenging but offered beautiful views. It's a good stage to warm-up for the climb up the Pyrenees.​
Both Larceveaux and Ostabat-Asme are small villages with just a few lodging options. If you can afford it, I recommend trying to find a Chambres-d’Hôte. These are French B&B’s that serve dinner in a family-style setting. Priced more like a hotel room, but you get a great local experience. I stayed in one a few kilometers outside of Larceveaux. Rather than walk off the Camino to get there, the owner came and picked me up in town and returned me in the morning.​

Larceveaux to SJPDP (19 km, 300 meters of climbing)
Or Ostabat-Asme to SJPDP (23 km, 325 meters of climbing)


This is a pretty easy walk into SJPDP with just some undulating hills. The village of Saint-Jean-le-Vieux is about 5 km from SJPDP and offers a nice break before you finish the hike. Entering SJPDP is fun, and the hustle-and-bustle of the town stands out after three quiet days of hiking.​

Other Thoughts

All of these stages are part of the GR65 (Le Puy route), so you can find plenty of information online (e.g. Gronz) and can get guidebooks as well. The most up-to-date English guide book is the Cicerone one by Dave Whitson.​
These are lightly traveled routes. You’ll probably only see 10 or 20 other pilgrims the whole day. The trail is well marked, but there are generally no restaurants or cafes between the start and finish towns, so bring water and food to cover you for the day. (That's pretty normal on the Le Puy route.)​
FWIW... I found these other threads on this topic, but decided to create a new post since those covered different info:​
I've attached some photos to give you an idea of the sites and the terrain.​

tempImagefXwkxi.png
Store front in Navarrenx. Several stores have caricatures like this.

tempImageV5yZR6.png
City walls of Navarrenx along with Pilgrim statues.

tempImagecWnZpt.png
Views of Pyrenees as you walk to Aroue.

tempImageoKCQG2.png
Saint-Palais city square.

tempImagezTGNmf.png
Trail from Saint-Palais to Larceveaux

tempImageFEabWf.png
Trail from Saint-Palais to Larceveaux

tempImageSvORd0.png
Ostabat-Asme.

tempImagePO7GHm.png

Looking back as you walk out of Larceveaux in the morning
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I walked Le Puy to Santiago last year, and it struck me that there are several nice stages before SJPDP that could be added to the Frances as a “warm up.” My sisters and I are walking the Camino Frances this fall, and we're decided to walk three days before SJPDP. Here's our plan with some additional notes. I hope it's helpful to someone!

Navarrenx to Saint-Palais (via Aroue)

Navarrenx is a lovely town of about 1000. It has a nearly intact medieval wall surrounding the entire town. Many of the businesses have caricatures of the owners in the front window which is fun.​
A train from Paris to Orthez plus a 14 mile taxi ride will get you there. Check Rome2Rio.com for other travel options.​
The walk to Aroue is about 20 km. It has some undulating hills but nothing too big. Total climb is about 300 meters, so it's a good first stage to get your hiking legs going.​
Aroue is very small (population of about 250) with only has a couple of gites, so if you need more options, you can take a short bus ride to Saint-Palais. The bus comes pretty regularly.​
I stayed in Saint-Palais and found it to be lovely. It has about 2000 residents and several restaurants and hotels on a nice town square. We'll be staying here again when we walk in the fall.​

Saint-Palais to Larceveaux (17km, 770 meters of climbing)
Or, Aroue to Ostabat-Asme (24 km, 650 meters of climbing)


This stage is beautiful and offers some hills to start to get you ready for the Pyrenees. I walked from Saint-Palais, and there was a large hill a few miles out of town that was challenging but offered beautiful views. It's a good stage to warm-up for the climb up the Pyrenees.​
Both Larceveaux and Ostabat-Asme are small villages with just a few lodging options. If you can afford it, I recommend trying to find a Chambres-d’Hôte. These are French B&B’s that serve dinner in a family-style setting. Priced more like a hotel room, but you get a great local experience. I stayed in one a few kilometers outside of Larceveaux. Rather than walk off the Camino to get there, the owner came and picked me up in town and returned me in the morning.​

Larceveaux to SJPDP (19 km, 300 meters of climbing)
Or Ostabat-Asme to SJPDP (23 km, 325 meters of climbing)


This is a pretty easy walk into SJPDP with just some undulating hills. The village of Saint-Jean-le-Vieux is about 5 km from SJPDP and offers a nice break before you finish the hike. Entering SJPDP is fun, and the hustle-and-bustle of the town stands out after three quiet days of hiking.​

Other Thoughts

All of these stages are part of the GR65 (Le Puy route), so you can find plenty of information online (e.g. Gronz) and can get guidebooks as well. The most up-to-date English guide book is the Cicerone one by Dave Whitson.​
These are lightly traveled routes. You’ll probably only see 10 or 20 other pilgrims the whole day. The trail is well marked, but there are generally no restaurants or cafes between the start and finish towns, so bring water and food to cover you for the day. (That's pretty normal on the Le Puy route.)​
FWIW... I found these other threads on this topic, but decided to create a new post since those covered different info:​
I've attached some photos to give you an idea of the sites and the terrain.​

View attachment 144864
Store front in Navarrenx. Several stores have caricatures like this.

View attachment 144866
City walls of Navarrenx along with Pilgrim statues.

View attachment 144868
Views of Pyrenees as you walk to Aroue.

View attachment 144870
Saint-Palais city square.

View attachment 144871
Trail from Saint-Palais to Larceveaux

View attachment 144872
Trail from Saint-Palais to Larceveaux

View attachment 144873
Ostabat-Asme.

View attachment 144874

Looking back as you walk out of Larceveaux in the morning
Thank you for sharing your fotos from your walk last year and plans for this Fall. I hope you will be in touch with the Forum during your upcoming trip. I also am interested in the Le Puy route and am considering it to begin my initial Camino. The area looks beautiful! What time of year did you walk last year? And I wonder, how’s your French?
 
I walked Le Puy to Santiago last year, and it struck me that there are several nice stages before SJPDP that could be added to the Frances as a “warm up.” My sisters and I are walking the Camino Frances this fall, and we're decided to walk three days before SJPDP. Here's our plan with some additional notes. I hope it's helpful to someone!

Navarrenx to Saint-Palais (via Aroue)

Navarrenx is a lovely town of about 1000. It has a nearly intact medieval wall surrounding the entire town. Many of the businesses have caricatures of the owners in the front window which is fun.​
A train from Paris to Orthez plus a 14 mile taxi ride will get you there. Check Rome2Rio.com for other travel options.​
The walk to Aroue is about 20 km. It has some undulating hills but nothing too big. Total climb is about 300 meters, so it's a good first stage to get your hiking legs going.​
Aroue is very small (population of about 250) with only has a couple of gites, so if you need more options, you can take a short bus ride to Saint-Palais. The bus comes pretty regularly.​
I stayed in Saint-Palais and found it to be lovely. It has about 2000 residents and several restaurants and hotels on a nice town square. We'll be staying here again when we walk in the fall.​

Saint-Palais to Larceveaux (17km, 770 meters of climbing)
Or, Aroue to Ostabat-Asme (24 km, 650 meters of climbing)


This stage is beautiful and offers some hills to start to get you ready for the Pyrenees. I walked from Saint-Palais, and there was a large hill a few miles out of town that was challenging but offered beautiful views. It's a good stage to warm-up for the climb up the Pyrenees.​
Both Larceveaux and Ostabat-Asme are small villages with just a few lodging options. If you can afford it, I recommend trying to find a Chambres-d’Hôte. These are French B&B’s that serve dinner in a family-style setting. Priced more like a hotel room, but you get a great local experience. I stayed in one a few kilometers outside of Larceveaux. Rather than walk off the Camino to get there, the owner came and picked me up in town and returned me in the morning.​

Larceveaux to SJPDP (19 km, 300 meters of climbing)
Or Ostabat-Asme to SJPDP (23 km, 325 meters of climbing)


This is a pretty easy walk into SJPDP with just some undulating hills. The village of Saint-Jean-le-Vieux is about 5 km from SJPDP and offers a nice break before you finish the hike. Entering SJPDP is fun, and the hustle-and-bustle of the town stands out after three quiet days of hiking.​

Other Thoughts

All of these stages are part of the GR65 (Le Puy route), so you can find plenty of information online (e.g. Gronz) and can get guidebooks as well. The most up-to-date English guide book is the Cicerone one by Dave Whitson.​
These are lightly traveled routes. You’ll probably only see 10 or 20 other pilgrims the whole day. The trail is well marked, but there are generally no restaurants or cafes between the start and finish towns, so bring water and food to cover you for the day. (That's pretty normal on the Le Puy route.)​
FWIW... I found these other threads on this topic, but decided to create a new post since those covered different info:​
I've attached some photos to give you an idea of the sites and the terrain.​

View attachment 144864
Store front in Navarrenx. Several stores have caricatures like this.

View attachment 144866
City walls of Navarrenx along with Pilgrim statues.

View attachment 144868
Views of Pyrenees as you walk to Aroue.

View attachment 144870
Saint-Palais city square.

View attachment 144871
Trail from Saint-Palais to Larceveaux

View attachment 144872
Trail from Saint-Palais to Larceveaux

View attachment 144873
Ostabat-Asme.

View attachment 144874

Looking back as you walk out of Larceveaux in the morning
absolutely‼️ yes, yes and yes ... the walking in the Pays Basque is magnifique 😍
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
I'm starting from Cahors May 4th. I'm actually picking up from an earlier start in Le Puy 30 years ago! Really looking forward to pushing on along the via Podiensis with the aim of ending up at Pamplona. By the time we get to SJPDP we'll be match fit and hopefully find the climb to Roncesvalles as easy as a walk in the park.
 
Thank you for sharing your fotos from your walk last year and plans for this Fall. I hope you will be in touch with the Forum during your upcoming trip. I also am interested in the Le Puy route and am considering it to begin my initial Camino. The area looks beautiful! What time of year did you walk last year? And I wonder, how’s your French?
I did August-September, but all seasons are wonderful. I speak no French, but I made it work. Everyone was gracious to the stupid American. ;)
 
I'm starting from Cahors May 4th. I'm actually picking up from an earlier start in Le Puy 30 years ago! Really looking forward to pushing on along the via Podiensis with the aim of ending up at Pamplona. By the time we get to SJPDP we'll be match fit and hopefully find the climb to Roncesvalles as easy as a walk in the park.
Better late than never!

One idea comes to mind... In Lectoure... go to the tourist office and the keys to the tower. I was able to go up to the top all by myself. Wonderful views and being there by myself was especially cool.

Bon Chemin!
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
I did August-September, but all seasons are wonderful. I speak no French, but I made it work. Everyone was gracious to the stupid American. ;)
Very good. Despite what many fellow Americans from the US say or believe, I have found the overwhelming majority of French folk, Parisians included, to be gracious, friendly and helpful. Thank you again. Enjoy round 2 in France and the CF with your sisters. Buen Camino! 🤙🏽
 
Transport luggage-passengers.
From airports to SJPP
Luggage from SJPP to Roncevalles

Most read last week in this forum

Snoring (another post ...) After 4 days of seriously noisy snorers in albergues, I was getting increasingly drained during the day. At one point, I was thinking whether I can continue, whether I...
Now it's done, and I'm showered, fed and generally numbed with alcohol, it was great. Fortunately, the weather was cool all day, the rain held off and the terrain was rolling countryside. But...
Hi All! I will arrive SDC on 5/17 and need a bed for 5/17 & 18. I can't find anything ,( well, the Parador for 800eu). Any & all help is greatly appreciated. I've checked gronze and all apps...
Hello; I started my camino on May 15th, today husband and I walked from Roncesvalles to Zubiri. I did the Camino in 2019 and the path from alto erro to Zubiri has eroded and is more hazardous...
We all know there are a lot of bikers on the shared Camino path. I was knocked over in the town of Villatuerta and had to return immediately to the US for treatment after destroying my Camino on...
We are in Santa Marina del rey staying at a hostel costing 59 euros after redirecting from our destination which was San Martin del Camino. We found the albergues were all booked or closed after...

❓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) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top