• 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

Tourism in SJPP or surroundings - Any suggestions??


Hi everyone, I have a few days to spare in SJPP before I start my walk. Never been there or anywhere in France, but would love to spend a couple of days in France, not too far from SJPP, getting to know the area, the people, food etc. Any ideas of where to go, where to stay, what to do? I'm prepared to spend more than what I would in pilgrim accommodation... Any tips appreciated.

Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

Transport luggage-passengers.
From airports to SJPP
Luggage from SJPP to Roncevalles
Hi aussieval,

This may not be the kind of answer you're looking for, but you are asking this question to a huge bunch of die-hard walkers and camino addicts. :D My suggestion would be to spend those days "warming up" -- go a few days back from St. Jean on the GR 65 (I walked the LePuy route years ago and can't pinpoint specific towns right now, but I'm sure others can). The scenery is beautiful and the accommodation is good. This is a particularly good idea, I think, if you think the crossing from St. Jean to Roncesvalles will be challenging for you, because it ease you into the walking routine more gently. The few days before St. Jean are all pretty level terrain. Combining easy walk days with tourism in this part of the world shouldn't be hard at all.

Hi aussieval,

I agree with Laurie!
I would recommend starting at St-Palais. There is an excellent Gîte where you can get your legs back for a couple of nights and then hit the road for a warm up as suggested.

Take a look: http://maisonfransicaine.over-blog.com/

If you prefer something more romantic, then go past (a few minutes by train) Bayonne to St-Jean-de-Luz. A lovely Basque village by the ocean. You might not want to go any further...

3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
There is a lot to see around St Jean. You could start walking from Saint Palais which has one of the best Chemin St Jacques museums in France. It is about 38km from St Jean. About 2km from Saint Palais, on the way to Gibralta, is a 'stele' that was erected to mark the spot where the routes from Paris, Le Puy and Vezelay meet.

There is a lovely walk from there, uphill (the Chemin de procession) where you will have a wonderful view of the Pyrenees.

At the top is the tiny Chapelle de Soyarza with a covered area to rest and a pilgrims' book to write in.

5kms from there is the tiny hamlet of Ostabat where, it has been said, inns could accommodate up to 5000 pilgrims in the middle ages. Ostabat is about 19kms from St Jean Pied de Port.


  • Gibraltar small.JPG
    Gibraltar small.JPG
    51 KB · Views: 525
  • Chapel at the top.JPG
    Chapel at the top.JPG
    151.8 KB · Views: 525
  • 104 View from the top.JPG
    104 View from the top.JPG
    28.6 KB · Views: 526
Beautiful pictures, Sil.

I guess I should modify my earlier statement about the terrain before St. Jean being level. Your picture jogged my memory, and now I do remember the ascent up to that beautiful spot a few km before Ostabat, but no specific memory about how difficult it was. But the views were amazing, just as your picture shows.

Thank you all for your ideas and tips. The area does look very beautiful and it might be a good idea to warm up my legs before I take on the Pyrenees! :) I'll consider...
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

The Fransican Monastery in St Palais was wonderfully welcoming when I was there last year. There is a VERY steep hill on leaving St Palais, but wonderful scenery. On a Wednesday night the villages gather and practice their Basque dancing - truly a delight, watching the young and old all helping and encouraging each other, and working at keeping their culture alive. The Pelota games are worth watching too - I am not sure if that is a Tuesday or a Thursday in St palais, but the tourist office will tell you. Cheers, Janet

Most read last week in this forum

Hello. I am considering walking the Camino for the first time this fall, probably beginning the third week of September in St. Jean. But I keep reading about how crowded the Camino is, including...
One death attributed to a heart attack last week. Two pelegrinos gored, one seriously. One broken leg and many ending in Pamplona due to knee and leg and ankle injuries. Is it possible to confirm...
Is there a list of albergues that also have private rooms on the Camino Frances? Gracias.
Hi everyone -- After walking the Frances from SJpdP last October, I'm planning to revisit the bit between Logrono and Burgos this July, following different stages. It's the section where I had...
And another attempt looms, to buy a decent Poncho after trying and failing in the previous two likely towns. Anyone know where an Altos or similar might be bought in Leon, please? 😁
I've just read this article from La Voz de Galicia. A Camino guide and frequent pilgrim with over 30 years of Camino experience calling for some greater regulation of numbers - at least on the...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

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