THE WAY OF ST JAMES IN NAVARRE

Stages 2 to 5 of the French Way of St James: Today, the most popular access of the French Way of St James as it enters Navarra is across the Pyrenees through Orreaga/Roncesvalles. The route will take you from the breathtaking scenery of the Pyrenees in the north to the plains of central Navarra, through beech woods, grain fields and vineyards.

An itinerary with a host of single-street villages, medieval bridges, great monuments, scenery that changes colour with each season, wineries and fine quality cuisine.

Roncesvalles – Zubiri
In the morning: Stage 2 of the Way (26.2 kilometres)

Walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port as far as Roncesvalles. Once at Roncesvalles, transfer to Pamplona and time to rest at the Hotel Maisonnave.

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Collegiate Church of Roncesvalles. An enigmatic monumental complex, built in the French Gothic style and set in some beautiful scenery that recalls the legendary battle of Roncesvalles, immortalised in the medieval poem ‘The Song of Roland’.

Accommodation at the Hotel Maisonnave

This is the perfect place for exploring the city on foot and discovering the real lifestyle and ambience of Pamplona. Our hotel is ideally located for taking a stroll through the city to visit its most iconic sights and discover a host of magical spots. This is the best way to really get a feel for the city, where everything is right on your doorstep.

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Zubiri – Pamplona
In the morning: Stage 3 of the Way (20 kilometres)

Early morning transfer to Zubiri to walk part of the Camino de Santiago as far as Pamplona.

In the afternoon: Guided tour of Medieval Pamplona

Throughout its history, Pamplona/Iruña has always been a strategic point, dominating the routes from France through the Western Pyrenees to Aragon and La Rioja. As a result, except for a few specific times, it has always been fortified.

In the 11th century, with the consolidation of the Way of St James, and thanks to this strategic location, Pamplona took on a prominent role as a host city, offering accommodation to pilgrims.
This attracted a large number of tradesmen and craftsmen who soon settled outside the city walls, finally creating the Boroughs of San Cernin and San Nicolas. From that time onwards, three different boroughs coexisted in what was once a single city. Each with its own defensive walls.
The differences between the boroughs of Navarrería, San Cernin and San Nicolás were finally resolved in 1423 with the enacting of the Privilege of the Union, to form a single walled city, the ramparts of which were finally completed in the mid-16th century, making Pamplona a defensive stronghold.

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Pamplona: Elegant and stately, with the three boroughs of its former medieval city enclosed by the city walls. Dominating its narrow streets and small squares stand the steeples and bell towers of churches such as San Cernin, San Nicolás and the Cathedral. As well as its extensive collection of monuments, the city boasts many parks and green spots such as the romantic Taconera park or the imposing Citadel. Don’t forget to follow the route of the world-famous bull run and also to taste some of the delicious tapas to be found in the city’s bars.

Accommodation at the Hotel Maisonnave

This is the perfect place for exploring the city on foot and discovering the real lifestyle and ambience of Pamplona. Our hotel is ideally located for taking a stroll through the city to visit its most iconic sights and discover a host of magical spots. This is the best way to really get a feel for the city, where everything is right on your doorstep.

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Pamplona – Puente la Reina
In the morning: Stage 4 of the Way (22.3 kilometres)

A walk from the Hotel Maisonnave as far as Puente La Reina. Arrival at the Hotel Jakue and rest.
In the afternoon: Guided tour of Puente La Reina and the Sta María de Eunate church
Puente la Reina, a crossroads and medieval town, in which the two main routes of the Camino de Santiago merge into one.
It is one of the towns that most exudes the spirit of the Way of St James in Navarra. Eunate, stands alone, amidst flat, open countryside. Its octagonal floor plan and surrounding cloisters set it apart from any other Romanesque temple. The unsolved mystery with regard to its origin and its unsettling interior, have aroused great interest for this temple which was a pilgrim hospital, funeral chapel, a beacon and guide for walkers, a place of Christian worship and a telluric sanctuary for those seeking esoteric powers.

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Puente la Reina: 11th C. Romanesque bridge, one of the most beautiful and stately examples of Romanesque architecture along the Way.

Accommodation at the Hotel Jakue

The Hotel Jakue (St James in the Basque language), was created in 1989. Right from the outset, it was an award-winning hotel: for its aesthetics, imitating the Palaces of Puente la Reina, and for the best idea for the Way of St James. Today, this hotel is a Quality in Tourism Approved establishment, on the Wine Route and Certified by the European Union as a non-polluting, fully Green Building.

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Puente la Reina – Estella
In the morning: Stage 5 of the Way (21.7 kilometres)

The next stage of the Camino de Santiago, walking to Estella. Rest and accommodation at the Hotel Tximista.

In the afternoon: Guided tour of Estella

In the 15th century, this town was known as “Estella la Bella” (beautiful Estella) and it still pays tribute to this adage. This Romanesque town boasts palaces, manor houses, churches, convents, bridges and beautiful buildings that have earned it the nickname of “Toledo of the north”. You’ll get time to discover its old French and Jewish quarters and see proof that the phrase coined by Aymeric Picaud is as true today as it was in the 11th century: “Estella is a town of good bread, excellent wine, much meat and fish and all kinds of pleasures”. The influence of the Camino de Santiago and the Jewish quarters – the town was the third in importance after the Aljamas (Jewish quarters) of Tudela and Pamplona – can be seen throughout the town. Founded in 1090 by Sancho Ramírez, Estella enjoyed its greatest splendour in the 12th and 13th centuries.

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Estella: The quintessential Romanesque town, boasting palaces such as the palace of the Kings, the only civil Romanesque building in Navarra, stately homes, medieval churches such as that of San Pedro de la Rúa, San Miguel, which features a number of styles, or the church of the Santo Sepulcro, whose doorway is one of the best examples of 14th C. Gothic carving. Convents, bridges, squares and beautiful buildings that tell the city’s history and invite you to take your time to discover it.

Monastery of Iratxe in Ayegui: A complex of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque buildings erected at the foot of the Montejurra hill and surrounded by vineyards. Next to the winery, there is a must-stop visit: a two spout fountain from which water and wine flow.

Accommodation at the Hotel Tximista

In the 19th century, the water from the river Ega, as it passed through the town of Estella, was used to fill the ponds that then served as a source of power to operate the mills. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, these formerly essential mills have either disappeared or have been converted for other uses. In this particular case, this former flour factory has been restored to all its magnificence, to become a four-star, state-of-the-art hotel, featuring a surprising use of the former grain storage warehouses to house octagonal-shaped guest rooms.

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