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The Voie Littorale

2020 Camino Guides

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hello Everybody. Has anyone walked from Soulac to Hendaye recently? If so, what were your stages, and where did you stay? I am thinking about it, for end Aug/ beginning Sep 2016, before attempting the Camino del Norte. Jill
 
A

AJ

Guest
Hello Everybody. Has anyone walked from Soulac to Hendaye recently? If so, what were your stages, and where did you stay? I am thinking about it, for end Aug/ beginning Sep 2016, before attempting the Camino del Norte. Jill
Yes, 2013. PM me your email address.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Delighted to hear that somebody has walked this route. Please could we stay on the forum with this, so that others may benefit from any useful info? Many thanks! Jill
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hmmm . . . . seems not many people (if any) walk this route. Why not? What's wrong with it? It connects into the Camino del Norte. Do any forum members have any personal experience at all of the Voie Littorale? Many thanks in advance for any views you may have. Jill.
 
A

AJ

Guest
Hmmm . . . . seems not many people (if any) walk this route. Why not? What's wrong with it? It connects into the Camino del Norte. Do any forum members have any personal experience at all of the Voie Littorale? Many thanks in advance for any views you may have. Jill.
If you want my "as walked" itinerary, PM your email address
 

Rellrog

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: March 2013
Le Puy: July 2015
Portugues: April 2018
My wife and I are planning to do the Voie route and connect to the Norte also. We had planned to start in mid August. We also would like the posting of anything you all might have. Jill if you are still there...since you wrote in January...if there is no reply maybe we can post information we've found. Rella tells me that in August we have to book ahead. We don't want to start too early in August because of the crowds and not too late since we still have to walk the Norte.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hi, yes, still here. And still aiming for Sep 2016. Would be great to hear how it goes. Thanks for posting! Jill
 

Rellrog

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: March 2013
Le Puy: July 2015
Portugues: April 2018
If we discover anything in our search, will post so stay tuned. We will be using the Cicerone guide for the Norte. We will likely branch off to the Primitivo before entering Santiago. This depends on the weather and temperature. I prefer the change to the mountains but we are worried that it may be too hot.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hi, could anyone point me in the right direction of where to find out which campsites are still open at the end of September / beginning of October? Hoping to start walking the Voie Littorale about 22 Sep 2016. I understand very basic French. Thanks! Jill
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hi, could anyone point me in the right direction of where to find out which campsites are still open at the end of September / beginning of October? Hoping to start walking the Voie Littorale about 22 Sep 2016. I understand very basic French. Thanks! Jill
What sources are you using? Have you seen this overview with links to further info?

This in French is good for the VL in Gironde.
 
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BShea

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
(9/2019) RL Stevenson
I walked the section from Anglet (Biarritz) to St. Jean de Luz one day in October 2013 using a map that the tourist office gave me - I've found the on-line version:

http://cdt64.media.tourinsoft.eu/upload/PDF-Sentier-littoral-Bidart-a-St-Jean-de-Luz.pdf
http://cdt64.media.tourinsoft.eu/upload/PDF-Sentier-littoral-St-Jean-de-Luz-a-Hendaye.pdf

I'm also attaching scanned copies of what they gave me as they show the campsites.
1 - Bidart to St Jean de Luz.jpg 2 - St Jean de Luz to Hendaye.jpg

I'm guessing you can find the sections prior to Bidart on line as well...

Supposedly, the route is well marked, but I had a hard time finding the arrows so I just basically followed the coastline. It was beautiful - but lots of pavement...

Not sure if this is what you're looking for... I hope it helps!

Edit: I found English versions!
http://randonnee.tourisme64.com/uploads/rando/Bidart-st_je_A.pdf
http://randonnee.tourisme64.com/uploads/rando/ST_JEAN_LUZ_HENDAYE_A.pdf
http://randonnee.tourisme64.com/uploads/rando/Hondarribia-Pasaia-A-10-05-12.pdf
 
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jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Excellent, many thanks to you both, very helpful :)
 
A

AJ

Guest
Early last year I offered my "as walked" itinerary. The offer is still open. Just PM your email address.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Early last year I offered my "as walked" itinerary. The offer is still open. Just PM your email address.
Hi AJ, that's really kind of you, I appreciate it. Can you not copy and paste it here? Then not only do I benefit, but others who might be thinking of walking the Voie Littorale as well. Just a thought. :) Jill
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hi Everyone
My flight arrives in Bordeaux on 21 Sep, and I’ll be making my way to Le Verdon-sur-Mer on the 22nd. Hoping some campsites will still be open so I don’t have to find a room to stay every night. On a budget, so if there is anyone else walking La Voie Littorale at the same time, would love to hear from you so we can share accommodation some nights! Jill
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
My flight arrives Bordeaux in the evening of 21 Sep, so have booked a room at the Hotel F1 at the airport. Trying to work out the best way to get to Le Verdon-sur-Mer next day to start La Voie Littorale, and have come up with the following:

Bus line 48 from the airport to Le Haillan Rostand
Tram from Le Haillan Rostand to Merignac-Arlac
Train from Merignac-Arlac to Le Verdon-sur-Mer

Can anyone suggest an easier or simpler route that doesn’t involve taxis?
 

Andrewsmith78

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Voie du litterole
I completed the way a week ago. Now continue on the Notre. There is a handout, maybe you can find one at a tourist info center. Its landscape A4, with about 20 or so refuges listed and the kms between them. The route is fairly easy to follow and flat. I only met 2 others on my walk from Bordeaux to irun via sanguit.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I completed the way a week ago. Now continue on the Notre. There is a handout, maybe you can find one at a tourist info center. Its landscape A4, with about 20 or so refuges listed and the kms between them. The route is fairly easy to follow and flat. I only met 2 others on my walk from Bordeaux to irun via sanguit.
Hi Andrew, thank you so much for your reply. I think I have that handout:
Voie-LittoraleZE1.11.Aqu.Lit_Lan_heb.pdf.

I am not expecting to meet many walkers, but hoping that my sister will be able to join me for a week somewhere around Sanguinet. I am a little bit worried that places to stay may be closed already at the end of September.

Where did you start from? And how did you get there from Bordeaux?
Jill
 

Andrewsmith78

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Voie du litterole
I walked along the road from Bordeaux to sanguinet, don't do this. 60kms of unpleasantness. Sanguinet church has an annex with 4 beds, get keys from tourist info. If full, like my day, I stayed at a camp ground. It looked a little rough, but the caravan was great and the owner was wonderful. Don't rely on tourist info being open to help you though.

It took me 12 days to irun. Good stops are at Alan hints place, just before hossager. Tarnos plage and camping landes, just north of the Leon lake.

I collected 7 'stamps' on my way down. Spent around €300 per week. Others nights were airbnb or booking.com. I never did anything like this before so was just improvising each evening, which in hindsight, was difficult after long days walking. Try keep it to 20-25km a day

Once in Spain it gets harder to walk but way cheaper and easier to find accommodation. I been staying mostly in alberge, so budget down to around €20 per day. But, there are big rooms with lots of beds... Add in a few snorers and multiply by a few nights in a row... So once a week I treat myself to my own room somewhere.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Good stops are at Alan hints place, just before hossager. Tarnos plage and camping landes, just north of the Leon lake.
Hi Andrew, what is Alan hints place? Is it a private house, campsite, hotel? The campsite on the north side of Leon Lake closes 26 Sep this year (according to their website), so I will be too late to stay there, and I may have to walk a long day through to Moliets-et-Maa. Thank you so much for your replies, really appreciated! E300 a week is heavy, but, yes, France is indeed much more expensive than Spain. Looks like I’ll be on bread and cheese rather than eating out on the Voie Littorale. Jill
 

Andrewsmith78

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Voie du litterole
ahont@free.fr
Email him, your welcome to mention me. It was the highlight of France for myself. Alain Hont.
Camping lassale near lit-en-mixe does dinner/ sleep/breakfast for around €20.
Yes the accommodation and overall costs were high. And a lot of walking (+50%) is on tarmac or cycle paths! There is a bus to Bayonne from Bordeaux, then you could walk to irun in 2 days... Save you about €500 and 10 days too.
PS: hope this does not come across negatively, it was just my experience, on those days. The whole energy/vibe gathers momentum the further along you get.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Great, thanks for the info! Not negative at all. I know this isn’t a popular route, and that it’s going to be a bit of a challenge. Researching as much as I can so I have Plan C as well as Plan B when Plan A fails. :D
 

Rionajmc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Burgos (2012)
Pau - Santiago (2017).
Rota Vicentina (Dec 2017)
Porto - Finisterre (2018)
Hi Jill - I am also considering this route (or else the nearby Tours Route) in April of this year. My main concern is accommodation, as I don't have a tent. Did you go? How did you find it?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Hmmm . . . . seems not many people (if any) walk this route. Why not? What's wrong with it?
I walked the Voie Littorale in spring 2014 as part of my route from west Wales to St Jean Pied de Port. I carried a small tent (1kg) and wild-camped almost every night. Too early in the year for most official campsites and a couple of hundred km of forest and beach gives you plenty of potential pitches!
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hi Jill - I am also considering this route (or else the nearby Tours Route) in April of this year. My main concern is accommodation, as I don't have a tent. Did you go? How did you find it?
Hi, I posted the flowing on another thread, but no harm in posting it again. Hope it's useful!
Jill

Bordeaux to Irún on the Voie Littorale to connect with the Norte

I walked this route at the end of Sep / beginning of Oct, and I thought I would post my itinerary on walking it in the off-season, when many places have closed for the winter. There are no albergues, so the choice of accommodation is usually hotel or campsite.

I arrived in Bordeaux late on 21 Sep, stayed overnight at an airport hotel (Hotel F1), and took the airport bus next morning into the city centre.

The first train from Bordeaux to Le Verdon-sur-Mer, to get onto the Voie Littorale, didn’t leave until 13:13 (well, actually 07:11, but I don’t do early morning starts if I don’t have to). I jumped off the train at Soulac-sur-Mer about 3pm. It seemed a bit pointless to go on another 8kms to Le Verdon, only to have to walk back to Soulac in the late afternoon.

So this is how it went:

22 Sep Visited the Basilica in Soulac-sur-Mer, and got the first stamp in my credential at the tourist office. Walked 5kms to L'Amelie where a single room for pilgrims costs E13 at Les Oyats campsite. There were about 10 rooms in the hostel, and I was the only one there. I was told off for not making a reservation! But she had a good point: if I don’t phone to book ahead, there may be nobody there when I arrive to let me in.

23 Sep Walked 15kms to Montalivet-les-Bains on cycle tracks through pine forests. The Soleil d’Or campsite was open, and I paid E12.60 for a piece of ground, where I pitched my poncho using my walking poles as tent poles.

24 Sep Walked 18kms dead straight due south to Hourtin Plage, where there was nowhere to stay. Walked on a further 5kms to Contaut, where there is a fabulous walk on a boardwalk around the lake. Nowhere to stay in Contaut either, so I hitched a ride into Hourtin-Ville and stayed at the Hotel Hourtin for E53.66.

25 Sep I hitched a ride back to Contaut, and then it was a lovely undulating walk through forests alongside the lake to Maubisson, about 19kms. I stayed in a cabin for E45 at the municipal campsite.

26 Sep A really lovely walk of 13kms to Lacanau-Ocean. I stayed on the cycle track as the official path meanders around a lot through sand. Got a dorm bed at Villa Zenith surf hostel for E20.

27 Sep A long day of 36kms to Ares. The first 9kms to Longarisse were easy going, and then there was a very pretty path by the lake. It was then due south alongside the canal with thick sand sometimes making it very heavy going. I then took the cycle track into Ares and stayed at the Hotel Le Grain de Sable for E68.88.

28 Sep 25kms to Biganos. Started off with a nice walk alongside the salt flats in the mist, and through small oyster ports. It was then a boring cycle track for 6kms into Audenge, and, not for the first time, I wondered why I was walking this and not cycling. It was then a quiet country road into Biganos. I tried two campsites that had cabin accommodation, but neither would rent one out for one night only. The hotel at the railway station was full, so I walked on to the Hotel du Delta, which had a bathtub (yeay!), and a (cold, but good) buffet breakfast, all for E64.15.

29 Sep A very boring 25kms to Sanguinet, first parallel to the freeway, and then on a track through forests, but thankfully not sandy ones. The tourist office was open, so I asked about pilgrim accommodation, and they gave me the keys to the annexe next to the church. It was very spacious with 4 beds, a large table, kitchen and fridge. It was donativo, and there was no box inside, so I made up an envelope and popped it into the parish letter box outside when I left in the morning. The keys I had to put into the box on the wall outside the municipal office next to the tourist office.

30 Sep Another boring day – 37kms of yet more pine forests to St Jean-en-Born. I’d read that there was a “refugio” next to the Mairie, but I couldn’t see it. I probably didn’t look very hard, as the Hotel Le Regale was calling me in for a long cold beer. I then checked into a room there for E45.

1 Oct 15kms, first on a cycle track to Mimizan, and then a forest track to Bias, where I stayed at the Hotel Le Tilleul (The Lime Tree Hotel). The previous hotel had kindly phoned ahead for me to check it was open. It was E45 for a single room, but I treated myself to dinner, bed and breakfast for E65, and had the best crème brulee in the whole of France. I told the chef so, and he proudly told me that he makes an essence, for the flavour, with the flowers from the big lime tree outside.

2 Oct It was about 21kms to Aire Lassalle, a campsite just past Lit-et-Mixe, where they have a caravan for pilgrims at E10 per person per night. It was a bit grim, but OK. She kept my credential overnight (in case I tried to do a runner?), and she sat opposite me in the morning, at the table in her kitchen, while I had breakfast for E5, but she was really quite nice.

3 Oct A long 32kms to Moliets-et-Maa, where I met up with a friend, and we shared a twin bed room at Hotel Ecureuils for E65.

4 & 5 Oct We walked 22kms to Seignosse-le-Pen, where we hoped to stay, but there was a surfing competition in the area, and everywhere was full. The tourist office phoned around for us, but nothing. She phoned Alain Hontanx in Hossegar, who puts up pilgrims, and he first said “yes”, but only if we could arrive after 7pm (we agreed), but then he changed his mind, and said “no”! The tourist officer was as confused as we were. So we took a taxi to Labenne-Ocean and stayed at the Municipal Les Pins campsite, where they have old chalets for pilgrims at E10 per person per night. It was so nice (and cheap) that we stayed 2 nights, and we walked back to Hossegar to watch the surfers, 10kms along the cycle track. We had a good lunch and walked the 10kms back to our chalet!

6 Oct Easy and pleasant walk of about 20kms into Bayonne, and we stayed at the Hotel Les Genets in Anglet (about 3kms further) for E49 for a twin-bed room.

7 Oct It was about 23kms to St Jean de Luz via Bidart and the coastal path. Stayed at the Ibis Budget in Ciboure for E44 for the room.

8 Oct We continued along the coast path to Hendaye, and took the ferry from France to Spain, where (in Hondaribbia) we discovered we were already now on the Camino del Norte, so we just followed it to the albergue Capitan Tximista, and spent the night there for E19 per person, bed and breakfast.

9 Oct – 20 Nov The Camino del Norte, from Irun to Santiago de Compostela.

Jill
 

Rionajmc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Burgos (2012)
Pau - Santiago (2017).
Rota Vicentina (Dec 2017)
Porto - Finisterre (2018)
Thank you Jill! This is extremely helpful. Are there no hostels at all on the French part of this route, or were they just closed at the time you walked?
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Thank you Jill! This is extremely helpful. Are there no hostels at all on the French part of this route, or were they just closed at the time you walked?
Hi, there are no hostels (gites, albergues) on the Voie Littorale. Pilgrim-friendly places were L’Amelie (Les Oyats), Lacanau-Ocean (for surfers’ hostels), Lits-et-Mixe (Aire Lasselle), Sanguinet (church annexe), and Labenne-Ocean (Municipal Les Pins). I found it very frustrating that the hotels would not (without exception) reduce the rate for only one person in the room. They rather watched me walk away and try another hotel further along. Every twin-bed room I stayed in I wanted to mess up the bed I didn’t sleep in, use all the towels, and take all the shampoo satchets. But that would make me a baaaaaaad pilgrim, wouldn’t it? :eek:
 

Rionajmc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Burgos (2012)
Pau - Santiago (2017).
Rota Vicentina (Dec 2017)
Porto - Finisterre (2018)
Hi, there are no hostels (gites, albergues) on the Voie Littorale. Pilgrim-friendly places were L’Amelie (Les Oyats), Lacanau-Ocean (for surfers’ hostels), Lits-et-Mixe (Aire Lasselle), Sanguinet (church annexe), and Labenne-Ocean (Municipal Les Pins). I found it very frustrating that the hotels would not (without exception) reduce the rate for only one person in the room. They rather watched me walk away and try another hotel further along. Every twin-bed room I stayed in I wanted to mess up the bed I didn’t sleep in, use all the towels, and take all the shampoo satchets. But that would make me a baaaaaaad pilgrim, wouldn’t it? :eek:
Veerrrrrry bad :) That's a shame, and seems a missed opportunity for everyone - but useful to know. Thank you so much for responding (and so quickly!).
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
WOW!! Two years on... This is wonderful reading, @jsalt & @BShea ! Thanks so much for all the information - who knows, maybe I'll tack it on to the end of a Le Puy walk Aug/Sept (maybe Oct) 2020!
 

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