The second most popular starting point of the Camino Frances is the French town of St Jean Pied de Port. Every year, over 20,000 pilgrims choose this town as the first stop of their journey. The Saint James Gate (Porte St-Jacques) is the point of arrival for pilgrims from all secondary Caminos in France.
The first part of the journey, getting from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles is probably the most difficult section of the Camino Frances as a pilgrim will have to cross the Pyrenees through the Roncesvalles Pass. The maximum height one reaches is 1,601 meters and it is recommended to be prepared for more extreme conditions and to not take this route during the winter months unless fully prepared.
There is an alternative route to reach Roncesvalles that splits this tiresome day into two. This route passes through the town of Valcarlos situated right at the border and is less challenging.
Accommodation in Roncesvalles
Plan ahead Camino! Find a place to sleep in Roncesvalles.
Hotel Roncesvalles is probably the most convenient choice in Roncesvalles for solo travelers; it will cost about 74 euros/night. It offers perfect conditions, comfortable rooms, and good food available.
If you are looking for a lower-budget room, you can try walking a little further away from Roncesvalles. You can use the map below to find a suitable location and price for your stay: