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What time to depart SJPDP in order to reach Roncesvalles by 4pm

JustJack

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF: May/June 2023
VDLP: April/May 2024
I appreciate everyone walks at a different pace, but on average how many hours does it take to walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles, including a stop for coffee and/or food in Orrison, and not rushing.

My gite in SJPDP serves breakfast at 7am, so would be departing around 7:30. Is that sufficient time? Ideally I'd like to arrive at Roncesvalles by around 4pm.

I do have a reservation, and have a reservation for the 7pm dinner. Also hoping to attend the pilgrim's mass after dinner.

I'm happy to miss breakfast and leave an hour or more earlier if it's necessary, but no point in that if it's not necessary. If the walk was flat I could easily calculate how long it would take me, but I'm not sure given the altitude gain that day.

Cheers for your thoughts.
 
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I'm 60 years old, overweight and with arthritis in both knees. I left SJPDP at about 0800 on January 2nd and walked the Valcarlos route. I stopped for coffee and tortilla at Arneguy and several short breaks for water and some rest further on. I arrived at Roncesvalles shortly before 4pm. Plenty of time to shower and rest before an early dinner and the pilgrim mass. It is a long time since I walked the Napoleon route but I would not expect much difference in time that way.
 
Back when the dinosaurs walked, we ate at 0630 where we stayed and headed out. Even though we were hopelessly outclassed by the steep slopes before Orisson, and sat down to rest multiple times, we hauled into the monastery at Roncesvalles about 4 pm.

BC
 
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I appreciate everyone walks at a different pace, but on average how many hours does it take to walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles, including a stop for coffee and/or food in Orrison, and not rushing.

My gite in SJPDP serves breakfast at 7am, so would be departing around 7:30. Is that sufficient time? Ideally I'd like to arrive at Roncesvalles by around 4pm.

I do have a reservation, and have a reservation for the 7pm dinner. Also hoping to attend the pilgrim's mass after dinner.

I'm happy to miss breakfast and leave an hour or more earlier if it's necessary, but no point in that if it's not necessary. If the walk was flat I could easily calculate how long it would take me, but I'm not sure given the altitude gain that day.

Cheers for your thoughts.
Hi,
A good rule of thumb I always use on hills, is to count the time it would take to walk the distance on flat and then add 30mins for every 300m climbed. Plus say 1 hour at Orisson.

At my usual pace of 5km/h (3mph), 27km would take say 5.5 hours. A 1200m climb that would be an extra 2hours. Add 1 hour resting time is a total of 8.5hours.
So 7:30 should be a good time to start at SJPDP for 4pm arrival. (Roughly).

Enjoy it! Buen Camino.
 
I have walked the Napoleon route twice, in my 60s, with a dodgy knee, once in pouring rain and once in sunshine. Given the choice, I recommend the sunshine.

On each occasion I left St Jean Pied de Port at about 8:30-9:00 AM and comfortably reached Roncesvalles about 4:00 p.m, with a brief stop to eat my packed lunch. Leaving at 7:30 a.m. should give you ample time.

The one very firm piece of advice I would give is that, when you get to the metalled road down to Roncesvalles, at Col de Lepoeder, take the road (to your right) and not the steep muddy track down through the forest.

Good luck and enjoy yourself.
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
I like to take my time and never walk the full stage, prefering to overnight in Orisson. However, it takes me about 3 and a half hours to get to Orisson (rest breaks in Echevestea, Hunto and the viewpoint just after the slog where path rejoins the road). Then, leaving Orisson at about 8-8.30ish after the coffee supping ritual it takes me about 7-8 hours to get to Roncesvalles (again with lots of rest breaks if the weather is ok).
 
You want to get to dinner and mass... arrival by 1800 is fine for the vast majority who walk Napoleon in 1 day

Some quicker walkers will arrive earlier, some leave later / earlier etc

Breakfast times on the camino will set your departure times... so many of us tend to skip any breakfast time that interferes with walking time and we grab food and coffee en route.

1600-1800 and you will be fine. I often advise grabbing food for breakfast the evening before in STJPDP and making an early start.
 
I started 7:40 and arrived 12:40, that was via Valcarlos and makes for almost 5km per hour.
That was at the age 47.
The route over the mountain would be slower for sure.
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
I would plan on an overall walking pace average of 4Kph. Round the 26 Km distance from SJPdP to Roncesvalles up to 28 and divide by 4.

Thus, figure on at least seven-hours walking. Add an hour for needed breaks.

Leaving NLT 0800 gets you there before 1600.

Remember, the first 8-10 Km out of SJPdP is a constant climb. Once you get to Orisson, the incline turns to rolling hills.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
Only you can answer that question the best as only you know your physical abilities in walking the distance and terrain. The same goes for the entire Frances.
Get a guidebook, study the maps and elevation diagrams and plan accordingly.
 
I appreciate everyone walks at a different pace, but on average how many hours does it take to walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles, including a stop for coffee and/or food in Orrison, and not rushing.​

My gite in SJPDP serves breakfast at 7am, so would be departing around 7:30. Is that sufficient time? Ideally I'd like to arrive at Roncesvalles by around 4pm.

I do have a reservation, and have a reservation for the 7pm dinner. Also hoping to attend the pilgrim's mass after dinner.

I'm happy to miss breakfast and leave an hour or more earlier if it's necessary, but no point in that if it's not necessary. If the walk was flat I could easily calculate how long it would take me, but I'm not sure given the altitude gain that day.

Cheers for your thoughts.
Granted I did it in 2 days but IMHO I was doing a turtle's pace, was stopping enough time to take photos and videos and took breaks

The breakdown
Day 1 SJPdP to Orisson (incl 1 30-min break)
start 0800 arrived 1100 for total of 3 hours​
Day 2 Orisson to Roncesvalles (2 breaks also about 30 mins ea Food Truck and Col Lepoeder, plus hung out at la Vierge d'Orisson and Fontain de Roland probably close to 1 hour total). Took "the path to the right" (i.e. into Ibaneta)
start 0800 arrived 1500 for the total of 7 hours​
So... 10 hours total like I said with all those stops and walking quite slow. IMHO if you set your mind on doing it in 8-8.5 hours like you plan you will have no problem. And given the fact that dinner is not until 1900 - you can easily afford to give yourself and extra hour "in case of something" and still be OK
Good luck & Buen Cmino
 
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I appreciate everyone walks at a different pace, but on average how many hours does it take to walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles, including a stop for coffee and/or food in Orrison, and not rushing.

My gite in SJPDP serves breakfast at 7am, so would be departing around 7:30. Is that sufficient time? Ideally I'd like to arrive at Roncesvalles by around 4pm.

I do have a reservation, and have a reservation for the 7pm dinner. Also hoping to attend the pilgrim's mass after dinner.

I'm happy to miss breakfast and leave an hour or more earlier if it's necessary, but no point in that if it's not necessary. If the walk was flat I could easily calculate how long it would take me, but I'm not sure given the altitude gain that day.

Cheers for your thoughts.
Both your pace, your stamina and the weather are all factors determining walking time. In our case, and I was over 60, I was in reasonably good shape and the weather was ideal: cool, clear and a light breeze. We started at 7:15am, stopped for coffee at Orrison after the steep walk there, then carried on, with stops for photos on that beautiful day. We arrived at the albergue at precisely 3pm, leaving us plenty of time to set up our bunk, shower and wash clothes before attending the pilgrim's mass and blessing. Buen camino!
 
I appreciate everyone walks at a different pace, but on average how many hours does it take to walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles, including a stop for coffee and/or food in Orrison, and not rushing.

My gite in SJPDP serves breakfast at 7am, so would be departing around 7:30. Is that sufficient time? Ideally I'd like to arrive at Roncesvalles by around 4pm.

I do have a reservation, and have a reservation for the 7pm dinner. Also hoping to attend the pilgrim's mass after dinner.

I'm happy to miss breakfast and leave an hour or more earlier if it's necessary, but no point in that if it's not necessary. If the walk was flat I could easily calculate how long it or 4 would take me, but I'm not sure given the altitude gain that day.

Cheers for your thoughts.
My wife and I were both in our late 60's when we walked in 2017. We left a 7am stopped 3 or 4 times and arrived around 3 30ish. It's a long hard walk but very beautiful
Buen Camino
 
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I appreciate everyone walks at a different pace, but on average how many hours does it take to walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles, including a stop for coffee and/or food in Orrison, and not rushing.

My gite in SJPDP serves breakfast at 7am, so would be departing around 7:30. Is that sufficient time? Ideally I'd like to arrive at Roncesvalles by around 4pm.

I do have a reservation, and have a reservation for the 7pm dinner. Also hoping to attend the pilgrim's mass after dinner.

I'm happy to miss breakfast and leave an hour or more earlier if it's necessary, but no point in that if it's not necessary. If the walk was flat I could easily calculate how long it would take me, but I'm not sure given the altitude gain that day.

Cheers for your thoughts.
I hope you enjoy your Camino, having walked it 3 times both ways I have alway broken the walk, but and yes there is always a but be careful listen to your body as I have found that the first week is where people give up why. because they push themselvs and breakdown both physical and mental so just take it easy it is not a race.
 
I appreciate everyone walks at a different pace, but on average how many hours does it take to walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles, including a stop for coffee and/or food in Orrison, and not rushing.

My gite in SJPDP serves breakfast at 7am, so would be departing around 7:30. Is that sufficient time? Ideally I'd like to arrive at Roncesvalles by around 4pm.

I do have a reservation, and have a reservation for the 7pm dinner. Also hoping to attend the pilgrim's mass after dinner.

I'm happy to miss breakfast and leave an hour or more earlier if it's necessary, but no point in that if it's not necessary. If the walk was flat I could easily calculate how long it would take me, but I'm not sure given the altitude gain that day.

Cheers for your thoughts.
I got there at 2.00pm, after leaving around 7, stopping for a rest at Orrison, and then again at the food truck. They didnt start check in until 3pm. My recollection as well - the check in time at Roncesvalles took a really long time, it added a hour before being assigned a bed.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Walked the Napoleon in both winter (before mandatory closure) and in May. The January walk was windy and very cold. Orrison was not open for a stop...I recall leaving about 7am and arriving around 4 pm both times.
I walked the Valcarlos route a couple of other times in about the same time frame.

I should add that the time I walked the Napoleon in May I was coming from Le Puy so had already walked about 800km when I got there and was in pretty good walking condition. I actually started out of LePuy on May 1st. Sunshine turned to bitter cold with freezing rain after Orrison.
You never know from year to year.
 
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