Optional Pilgrimage Destinations

Lourdes is unquestionably the most important place of pilgrimage in the world for Catholic people. Visiting Lourdes is a must for Catholic people, but many other shrines can be added to a visit to Lourdes.| More info… (video)

Basilica of Nuestra Seora del Pilar


Cathedral-Basilica del Pillar, Zaragoza, Spain

On the other side of the Pyrenees, the Spanish pilgrimage destinations of Zaragoza with the Basilica del Pilar, Torreciudad known as the Sanctuary of the Families set in a beautiful natural environment, with wide views over Grado Lake and the Pyrenees and Montserrat (a characteristic Marian destination which is not only a sanctuary, but a monastery and a mountain at the same time) can be additional stops on a Marian Tour in between France and Spain. | More info

Between four and six million pilgrims from all countries annually travel to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, near Ourém, in Portugal.

Fátima, in Portugal is a great place of Catholic pilgrimages, if you plan to visit both Lourdes and Fátima, we can assist you on your organization of that trip. | More info…

In France, Nevers is a pilgrimage destination totally linked to the city of Lourdes, as it is where St Bernadette ended her life. We can assist you to plan your trip to Nevers or other places of Catholic pilgrimages in France. | More info…

Jerusalem; the bible instructs all Jews to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem | More info…

Pilgrimage is an ancient form of mobility and a fundamental precursor to modern tourism. Traditionally, it applies to journeys with a religious purpose, but it can also refer to secular travel with particular importance for the spiritual pilgrim.

Espousing a distinctive ritual structure, pilgrimage is often considered to be personally and collectively transformative. Though individually experienced, pilgrimage is a social process developed iteratively over time; pilgrims walk in the footsteps of Others.


Montserrat Barcelona, Benedictine Monk mountain retreat

Montserrat is a spectacular Benedictine monk mountain retreat about one hour North West of Barcelona by train. Not only is Montserrat Monastery of significant religious importance but the natural beauty surrounding the monastery is breath-taking. | More info…


The Kumbh Mela is the largest gathering for religious purposes in the world © Yosarian | More info… 

Spiritual tourism is to travel to find purpose and meaning to your life. It lifts your physical, mental, and emotional energies. It develops, maintains, and improves your body, mind, and spirit. Spiritual tourism is not connected with any specific religion. It is different from religious tourism.

Spiritual Tourism is linked to Religious Tourism. In this sense, pilgrimage implies a ritualized, hyper-meaningful journey – both inward and outward – to a person’s or group’s sacred center, set apart from everyday life, and built on rich mythological representations and symbolic markers

BAYONNE

Bayonne is a city and commune and one of the two sub-prefectures of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France. It is located at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers in the northern part of the Basque Country, as well as the southern part of Gascony where the Aquitaine basin joins the Pre-Pyrenees. Together with nearby Anglet, Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and several smaller communes, Bayonne forms an urban area with 288,359 inhabitants, 45,855 of whom lived in the city of Bayonne proper.

The site on the left bank of the Nive and the Adour was occupied before ancient times as a fortified enclosure was attested in the 1st century at the time when the Tarbelli occupied the territory. Archaeological studies have confirmed the presence of a Roman castrum, a stronghold in Novempopulania at the end of the 4th century before the city was populated by the Vascones.

In 1023 Bayonne was the capital of Labourd and, in the 12th century, extended beyond the Nive. At that time the first bridge was built over the Adour. The city came under the domination of the English in 1152 through the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine: it became militarily and, above all, commercially important thanks to maritime trade. It was separated from the Viscount of Labourd in 1177 by Richard the Lionheart. In 1451 the city was taken by the Crown of France after the Hundred Years’ War. The loss of trade with the English and the silting up of the river as well as the movement of the city towards the north weakened it. The district of Saint-Esprit developed thanks to the arrival of a Jewish population fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. From this community Bayonne gained its reputation for chocolate. The course of the Adour River was changed in 1578 under the direction of

Louis de Foix and the river returned to its former mouth, returning business lost to Bayonne for over a hundred years. In the 17th century the city was fortified by Vauban. In 1814 Bayonne and its surroundings were the scene of fighting between the Napoleonic troops and the Spanish-Anglo-Portuguese coalition led by the Duke of Wellington: the city then underwent its final siege.

In 1951 the Lacq gas field was discovered whose extracted Sulphur and associated oil are shipped from the port of Bayonne. During the second half of the 20th century many housing estates were built forming new districts on the periphery and the city was extended to form a conurbation with Anglet and Biarritz: this agglomeration became the heart of a vast Basque-Landes urban area.

Bayonne is the heart of the urban area of Bayonne and of the Agglomeration Côte Basque-Adour which includes Anglet and Biarritz. It is an important part of the Basque Bayonne-San Sebastián Eurocity and it plays the role of economic capital of the Adour basin. Modern industry—metallurgy and chemicals are established to take advantage of procurement opportunities and sea shipments through the Harbour. Today it is now mostly business services which represent the largest source of employment. Bayonne is also a cultural capital, a city with strong Basque and Gascon influences and a rich historical past. Its heritage lies in its architecture, the diversity of collections in museums, its gastronomic specialties, and traditional events such as the famous Fêtes de Bayonne.

GUIDED TOUR OF BAYONNE
Bayonne travel through history from its beginning as a Roman military camp, to its importance as a commercial port during the middle ages and its geostrategic status during the wars between France and Spain. Visit its magnificent system of defensive walls, including the Roman one, enjoy the picturesque architecture, and see the stunning views of the ‘Nive’. Includes talk about the well-known features of Bayonne, the famous ‘Fetes de Bayonne’ and the delicious ‘Jambon de Bayonne’. Tour highlights: Bayonne’s Cathedral, The Old Castle (‘Chateaux Vieux’), The Roman defensive walls, Middle ages streets of Bayonne, the ‘Chocolate Street’ (‘Rue du Port Vieux’), ‘Nive’ Riverside, the square of the old medieval pillory (Place Pasteur), and much more.

GUIDED TOUR OF BAYONNE in English
(Any Day: 7 persons minimum – 2 hours duration).
Prices from €25.00/person + VAT.
Contact babanglophonegroup@gamil.com for more information.

City walking Tour (2hours)
City tour (3hours)
Small groups €25.00/person. + VAT

BOOKING
• Booking terms and conditions Available upon reservation.
• Advance/early booking is recommended due to availability and limited booking capacity.
• Bookings subject to availability on date/s requested
• Restricted bookings on Sundays and certain Bank Holidays

TO RESERVE/BOOK
• Booking request must be made by email.
• Reserve/book your tour at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com.
• Booking deposit of 50% required to confirm any/each reservation.
• Remaining 50% payment required 60 days prior to departure of Tour.
• Payment via PayPal, or by direct bank transfer in certain circumstances.
• In the event Operator cancels tour, Operator’s liability is limited to refund of payment received.
• Operator will do its best to assist Customer with finding an alternative option.

 

 

 

ESPELETTE (PAYS BASQUE)

If you could only visit one village in the interior of the French Basque Country, it would have to be Espelette. Its picture-perfect streets are lined with traditional Basque houses.

Espelette village is located in the foothills of the Pyrenees south-east of Biarritz below Mondarrain mountain. The village is within the Basque province of Labourd and is famous for its chili peppers and has an ‘appellation controlée’ vouching authenticity.

After the harvest the houses are strung with strings of the ‘piments’ to dry. Most of the houses are  in Traditional Basque style, with white houses and red or occasionally green shutters. These villages in the Basque region are unique in France.

The origins of the Espelette Pepper date back to 1650 when a Basque sailor that had been traveling with Christopher Columbus brought some chili peppers to the Basque Country. These peppers were first used medicinally and then later for conserving meat and ham.

With time, they have become a cornerstone in Basque cuisine. The ‘Espelette Pepper,’ is also grown in 10 villages of the region, among them Ainhoa and Espelette. The European Union has granted a protected designation to the Espelette region which means only peppers from this particular area can have the name Piment d ’Espelette.

At one end of the main street the 16th century castle is now the village town hall and Tourist Office and holds exhibitions including:
• an exhibition related to chili peppers
• another dedicated to Agnes Sauret, who lived in Espelette and was the first lady to win the ‘Most beautiful woman in France’ award (around 1920),
• another for Armand David, an intrepid explorer from Espelette who travelled the world in the first half of the 19th century.

The village itself is the main attraction to visitors. Be sure to visit the Church of Saint-Etienne. The church has a typical Basque church interior with three levels of wooden galleries going round the walls and a decorative 18th century altarpiece. The style of church interiors in the region is unique.

Shops, boutiques and artisans in Espelette offer souvenirs and home-made chocolates (chili flavor). Other villages nearby that have similar Basque architecture are Sare and Ainhoa which are both listed among the most beautiful villages in France.

The countryside is perfect for exploring, walking or cycling – or taking the small train that climbs the La Rhune Mountain offering magnificent panoramic views of the countryside, coast, and ocean. Whilst in the region you might be lucky enough to come across the semi-wild horses called ‘pottok’.

Sare; ranked among the ‘most beautiful villages in France’. It is surrounded by mountains and located 14 km from the sea. Visit the church, the pediment, the neighbourhoods with the beautiful plough dine houses, its medieval way, and its famous oratories, and the exhibition on the Basque ball.

Ainhoa; Among the ‘most beautiful villages in France’. This bastide/village in the Basque Country, on the El Camino to Santiago de Compostela: located on the edge of the province of Labourd and Navarre, a few kilometres from Espelette and Sare, the village has the white and red facades of its typical houses along its unique street.

In the 13th century Remonstrated monks created a vicarage on the road to Compostela. This would be the village of Ainhoa, a low-bastide village with houses perfectly aligned on either side of a wide avenue. The village experienced many avatars under English suzerainty disputed between England and Navarre in the 13th and 14th century and land between the two kingdoms. In 1451, under Charles VII, Ainhoa became a French commune.

The revolutionary turmoil of 1789 deeply affected the religious life of the Basque Country. The church of Ainhoa, was closed to worship, and turned into a fodder store. The parishioners, remained faithful to their faith, and clandestinely went to the abbey of Urdax over the border in Spain.

After the Revolution, war reappeared on the banks of the Nivelle River at the end of the Spanish campaign (1813-1814). Since then, the village of Ainhoa has moved away from the battles that have been fought on other fronts, during many wars.

Today the village the village has 680 inhabitants living in the village and in eight Neighbourhoods, the most important of which is the border district of Dancharia.

La Bastide Clairence 700 years of history Founded in 1312 under the name Bastida de Clarenza, the village has retained its original urban layout and its architectural peculiarities of bastide La Bastide Clairence is part of the network of the Most Beautiful Villages of France… a walk through the streets and you’ll quickly understand why!

TOUR ELEMENTS
• Coach picks you up and drops you off at Biarritz hotel.
• Biarritz to Espelette travel time approx 0h40.
• Tour guide joins your coach in Biarritz.
• Free-time in Espelette and villages, before you return to Biarritz.

Etienne Church

Highlights
• Hear the history of events that shaped the history of Espelette.
• Visit Espelette village. St Etienne Church, the Chocolaterie, Piment Exhibition
• Get tips on the best things to see and do in Espelette during your stay.
• Enjoy some of the best views of Espelette and surrounding countryside.

Tour includes
• Transport from Biarritz to Espelette and villages and return.
• Guided tour of Espelette and its history
• Pick-up/drop-off at Biarritz hotel
• The services of a professional guide

What’s Not Included?
• Food and drinks
• Tips (optional)
• All other extras

 Availability:
• as schedule and subject to availability (excluding exceptional dates)
• Duration: All day en route and in Espelette
• Departure point: Biarritz

• Language: tour conducted in the English language
• Reserve/book your tour/group at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com
• Guided tours are subject to availability on the reservation date/s desired.

BOOKING
• Full booking terms and conditions available upon reservation.
• Advance/early booking is recommended./Limited availability and booking capacity.
• Restricted bookings on Sundays and certain Bank Holidays

TO RESERVE/BOOK
• Booking request must be made by email.
• Reserve/book your tour at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com.
• Booking deposit of 50% required to confirm any/each reservation
• Remaining 50% payment required 60 days prior to departure of Tour.
• Payment via PayPal, or by direct bank transfer in certain circumstances.
• Should Operator cancel tour, Operator’s liability is limited to refund of payment received.
• Operator will do its best to assist Customer with finding an alternative option.

 

BILBAO/GUGGENHEIM

Bilbao is the Basque Country’s biggest and busiest city. It is a thriving cultural metropolis. The famous Guggenheim Museum has secured Bilbao´s position on the international stage


Guggenheim Museum


Calatrava Bridge

Visit one of the most vibrant cities in Spain. This once industrial motor of Spain which supplied iron and steel to the rest of Europe has undergone a massive rejuvenation and is now considered a world class cultural centre. The Basque Country’s biggest and busiest city, Bilbao is a thriving cultural metropolis where daytime and night-time entertainment abounds.

The famous Frank Ghery designed building, the Guggenheim, has secured Bilbao´s position on the international stage. The same can be said about the art work spread over 20 galleries. It hosts some of the most comprehensive collections of contemporary art.

Stroll along the banks of the Nervion River and arrive at the place where the city began in 1300. Enjoy the local atmosphere while sipping traditional Basque drinks and savouring authentic Basque ‘pintxos’. Meander through the Seven Streets and witness the important point of transit (Cathedral of Santiago) that pilgrims used for centuries to get to Santiago de Compostela.

Enjoy the lively ambiance of Plaza Nueva, see the replica of the Paris Opera House here in Bilbao (Theatre Arriaga), and bear witness to the incredible user friendly infrastructure that has made Bilbao a sought after example for urban planners and strategic smart city planning internationally.

Visit Bilbao Guggenheim museum with an expert tour guide. Discover the great building designed by Canadian Frank Ghery with its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

The tour of the Guggenheim museum consists of three parts:
First, the historical context and reasons why the foundation came to Bilbao.
Second, analyses of the architectural features design by architect Frank Ghery.
Third, masterpieces of the permanent and temporary art exhibitions.

TOUR ELEMENTS
• Bus/Coach picks you up and drops you off in Biarritz.
• Biarritz to Bilbao travel time approx 1h45mins
• Tour guide meets you at your Biarritz hotel.
• Free-time after the Tour in Bilbao, before you return to Biarritz.

Highlights
• A guided tour makes for a personal way to discover Bilbao.
• Enjoy spectacular views of the Basque Country and Pyrenees en route
• Take a walking tour of one of the most vibrant places in Euskadi.
• Discover why Bilbao became the site of the Guggenheim Museum
• See the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

Description
Enjoy a guided tour of Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum. Join a local guide on a tour that takes you through the history of Bilbao. Visit the Guggenheim Museum and the permanent and temporary exhibitions. Bilbao is the Basque Country’s biggest and busiest city and is a thriving cultural metropolis. On this tour you will visit the iconic Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Ghery and visit the permanent and temporary art exhibitions.

Tour includes
• Transport from Biarritz to Bilbao and return.
• Guided walking tour of Bilbao and the museum (17€ per person entry is additional).
• Pick-up/drop-off at Biarritz hotel.
• The services of a professional tour-guide.

What’s Not Included
• Food and drinks.
• Tips (optional).
• All other extras.
• Entry ticket to Guggenheim Museum: 17€ per person.

Availability:
• Every day (excluding exceptional dates).
• Duration: All day in Bilbao.
• Departure point: Biarritz.
• Language: tour commentated in the English language.
• Reserve/book your tour/group at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com.
• Guided tours are subject to availability on the reservation date/s desired.

BOOKING
• Booking terms and conditions are available upon reservation.
• Advance/early booking recommended/limited availability and booking capacity.
• Restricted bookings on Sundays and certain Bank Holidays

TO RESERVE/BOOK
• Booking request must be made by email.
• Reserve/book your tour at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com.
• Booking deposit of 50% required to confirm any/each reservation.
• Remaining 50% payment required 60 days prior to departure of Tour.
• Payment via PayPal, or by direct bank transfer in certain circumstances.
• Should Operator cancel tour, Operator’s liability is limited to refund of payment received.
• Operator will do its best to assist Customer with finding an alternative option.

LOYOLA

Visit the Shrine and Basilica of Loyola and see the house where Loyola was born, the Saint Ignatius Tower. Learn about the history of the founder of the Jesuits.


Sanctuary of Loyola

LOYOLA is the birth place of St. Ignatius to Loyola founder of the Jesuit Order. The Cantabrian corniche en route offers spectacular views with limestone cliffs dropping vertically to the ocean, coves, beaches, and charming fishing villages that follow one another along the wild coastline.

Follow in the footsteps of St. Ignatius to Loyola, in a monumental complex built between the 17th and 18th centuries. Visit The Holy House, the life and conversion of the Saint; The Basilica, The Prayer Space; the Spirituality of St Ignatius and the history of the Order.

En route enjoy the little port of Getaria, Mount Jaizquibel, Zarautz, and Hondarribia.

TOUR ELEMENTS
• English-speaking tour-guide
• Bus/Coach picks you up and drops you off in Biarritz.
• Biarritz to Loyola along corniche travel time approx 1h00.
• Tour guide meets/joins bus-coach at your Biarritz hotel.
• Free-time in Loyola, and villages, before your return to Biarritz


Getaria

Highlights
• Hear the history of events that have shaped the story of Loyola.
• Visit Loyola’s iconic sites, the Holy House, the Basilica, and the Prayer Space
• Get tips on the best things to see and do in Loyola during your stay.
• Enjoy some of the best views of Loyola and surrounding countryside.

Description
The basilica is located right in front of the old Loyola’s family house, where St. Ignatius of Loyola was born. Visit the “conversion chapel” (capilla de la conversion), where Ignatius had a God experience and decided to follow Jesus, founding the Jesuit Order years later.


Sanctuary of Loyola

Tour includes
• Transport from Biarritz to Loyola and return
• Guided tour of Loyola and its history
• Pick-up/drop-off in Biarritz
• The services of a professional guide

What’s Not Included?
• Food and drinks
• Tips (optional)
• All other extras

 Availability:
• Every day (excluding exceptional dates)
• Duration: All day en route and in Loyola
• Departure point: Biarritz

• Language: tour commentated in the English language
• Reserve/book your tour/group at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com
• Guided tours are subject to availability on the reservation date/s desired.


Zarautz

PRICING
Guided tour groups are limited to a minimum  size of two persons
Each group participant pays their respective share of the total, in advance.
To reserve/book your tour/group; contact babanglophonegroup@gmail.com
(Pricing based on 2021 tariffs at time of publication)

Other Full Day Excursions
Larger group size prices available on request to babanglophonegroup@gmail.com

BOOKING
1, When booking, please specify the tour option number of interest.
2, When booking, please specify the number of persons in your group/party.
3, When booking, please specify your desired tour Start and End dates.

Bookings relate specifically to excursion option number.
Bookings to one or more specific locations, available upon demand.
When booking, please specify tour option number and date/s desired.
Bookings option #1, Start Lourdes end Biarritz.
Bookings option #2, Start Biarritz end Biarritz.
Bookings option #3, select a destination below;
3A, Basilica of El Pilar, Spain
3B, Torreciudad Sanctuary, Spain
3C, Fatima Portugal,
3D, Montserrat (Barcelona) Spain,
3E, Nevers, France
3F, Other (link to all places page)

Bookings for excursion option #4 upon email request only.
1, When enquiring, please specify the tour number of interest.
2, When enquiring, please specify the number of persons in your group/party.
3, When enquiring, please specify your desired tour Start and End dates.

• Excursion option #4
4A, Bordeaux,
4B,Toulouse,
4C,Madrid,
4D,Pampelona
4E, Other (link to all places page)
Booking terms and conditions (in English) available upon request/reservation.
Advance/early booking is recommended due to limited availability.
Restricted bookings on Sundays and certain Bank Holidays

TO RESERVE/BOOK
• Booking requests must be made by email.
• Reserve/book your tour at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com.
• Booking deposit of 50% required to confirm any/each reservation
• Remaining 50% payment required 60 days prior to departure of Tour.
• Payment via PayPal, or by direct bank transfer in certain circumstances.
• In the event Operator cancels tour, liability is limited to refund of payment received.
• Operator will do its best to assist Customer with finding an alternative option.

SAN SEBASTIAN

The center of San Sebastián is known for its elegant buildings that were inspired by France’s Belle Époque and the lively and friendly ambiance of its streets.

Discover the City Center, the Romantic Area, and the Old Part of San Sebastian. The center of San Sebastián is known for its elegant buildings that were inspired by France’s Belle Époque and the lively and friendly ambiance of its streets. The Theatre, romantic, and commercial area is packed with shops, from small boutiques and retailers to big fashion chains.

The Old Quarter is the old walled-in city which didn’t expand beyond the stone walls until the end of the 19th century. The city’s most interesting buildings in artistic terms are found in this characteristic neighborhood. In the Old Quarter, you will find the popular market, a perfect place to try some of the delicious local appetizers known as pintxos.

San Sebastian has a population of 186,095 and its metropolitan area reaches 436,500. Locals call themselves donostiarra, both in Spanish and Basque. The city was chosen by the Spanish monarchy to spend summer following the French example of nearby Biarritz. Subsequently, the Spanish nobility and the diplomatic corps opened residences in the summer capital.

San Sebastián has a dynamic cultural scene and is known for its traditional festivals of music, theatre, and cinema. The San Sebastián Jazz Festival (Jazzaldia), is the longest, continuously running Jazz Festival in Europe and is held in the last week of July. In September, the San Sebastián International Film Festival comes into the spotlight and is an event with more than 50 years behind it. Each year on 20 January (the feast of Saint Sebastian), the people of San Sebastián celebrate a festival known as the “Tamborrada”. | More info

TOUR ELEMENTS
• Bus/Coach picks you up and drops you off in Biarritz.
• Biarritz to San Sebastián travel time approx 45mins
• Tour guide meets you at your Biarritz hotel.
• Group size maximums are limited to 30 persons.
• Free-time after the tour in San Sebastián, before you return to Biarritz.


Click for a visual virtual tour

Highlights
• Hear tales of events that shaped the history of San Sebastián
• Learn why aristocrats used to flock to this corner and why surfers still love it today
• See Donostia’s most iconic sites, incl. stunning Old Town & beautiful La Concha Bay
• Get tips on the best things to see and do in the city during your stay
• Enjoy some of the best views of San Sebastián, from recommended lookout spots

Description
Get a taste of San Sebastián’s (also known as Donostia) past, present, and future on the tour of the city’s many faces. Explore areas that have shaped the evolution of the city and learn why it’s a favourite spot for socialites and surf seekers. Visit the Portaletas, one of the most characteristic places in San Sebastián. Located at the crossroads of the Old Town and fishing district, it provides a fascinating glimpse at San Sebastián’s past and present. Visit the battlefield of Monte Urgull, before moving to the modern part of the city to discover where glamour and new world architecture meet.

Explore the Urumea River and visit the Gros district, crossing a bridge that’s got some stories to tell; from the European aristocracy who crossed it to visit the casino, to the Hollywood stars that crossed it on their way to movie festivals. Visit the residential ensanche (city expansion), built when the old city walls where demolished. Mix with the modern-day fashionistas and experience everyday life in a city of the Basque Country. See the cathedral, La Concha Bay, and discover a favourite spot for summer vacations.

Tour includes
• Transport from Biarritz to San Sebastian and return.
• Guided walking tour of Sab Sebastián and its historical buildings
• Pick-up/drop-off in Biarritz.
• The services of a professional guide.

What’s Not Included?
• Food and drinks
• Tips (optional)
• All other extras

 Availability:
• Every day (excluding exceptional dates)
• Duration: All day in San Sebastian/(Donostia)
• Departure point: Biarritz
• Language: tour commentated in the English language
• Reserve/book your tour/group at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com
• Guided tours are subject to availability on the reservation date/s desired.

BOOKING
• Booking terms and conditions available upon reservation.
• Advance/early booking is recommended due to limited availability/booking capacity.
• Restricted bookings on Sundays and certain Bank Holidays

TO RESERVE/BOOK
• Booking request must be made by email.
• Reserve/book your tour at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com.
• Booking deposit of 50% required to confirm any/each reservation
• Remaining 50% payment required 60 days prior to departure of Tour.
• Payment via PayPal, or by direct bank transfer in certain circumstances.
• In the event Operator cancels tour, liability is limited to refund of payment received.
• Operator will do its best to assist Customer with finding an alternative option.

 

 

 

 

ST JEAN PIED DE PORT

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port capital of the Basque province of Lower Navarre is known as Donibane Garazi in Basque, it is a small town located on the Nive River, 8 kilometres from the Spanish border.

St Jean Pied de Port walled city is ranked among the most beautiful villages in France. Stroll the cobbled streets, go back to the time of the Kings of Navarre and contemplate the Nive du New Bridge. On the way to Compostela, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port has always been a strategic place located just 8 kilometres from the Spanish border. After visiting the main attractions of the city, stops take place at the artisan’s village of Osses, a pretty locality in lower Navarre.


St Jean Pied de Port

Saint Palais at the European ‘Crossroads of the Ways’. to Compostela is a haven of peace, knowledge and art in the heart of the Basque Country, in Lower Navarre.


Chateau at Saint Palais

Les Basse Landes boasts superb and varied panoramic views, endless pine forests, lakes, vineyards on hillsides, parks and floral gardens. If country walks are your thing, hike, cycle or getting on a horse are readily available. Get away from it all here. The waters offer fishing, and the Courant d’Huchet offers remarkably rich flora and fauna. Unique natural landscapes abound in Les Landes.

Les Basse Landes

TOUR ELEMENTS
• Bus/Coach picks you up and drops you off at your hotel.
• Biarritz to St Jean Pied de Port travel time approx 45mins
• St Jean Pied de Port to Lourdes travel time approx 45mins
• Guide meets/joins your bus-coach in Biarritz/lourdes
• Free-time in St Jean Pied de Port and villages, before you return.

Highlights
• Hear the history of events that shaped the history of St Jean Pied de Port.
• Visit iconic sites, la Citadelle, Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont, Porte St-Jacques,
• Get tips on the best things to see and do in St Jean Pied de Port during your stay.
• Enjoy the magnificent views of St Jean Pied de Port and surrounding countryside.


Walking… El Camino

Video El Camino

Description
St Jean Pied de Port is famous for being one of the traditional starting points of the Way of St. James (the El Camino). Located on the Roncevaux Pass at the base of the Pyrenean Mountains, the name “Pied-de-Port” actually means “foot pass.” Being a walled town it has numerous gates. The most well-known is Porte St-Jacques which was along the Route of Santiago de Compostela in France, and made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

Saint Palais at the European ‘Crossroads of the Ways’ to Compostela is a haven of peace, knowledge and art in the heart of the Basque Country, in Lower Navarre.

Les Basse Landes boasts superb and varied panoramic views, pine forests, and lakes, vineyards, parks and floral gardens. Get away from it all here. The waters offer fishing, and the Courant d’Huchet with remarkable rich flora and fauna. Unique natural landscapes abound in Les Landes.


Migrating Cranes

Tour includes
• Transport from your hotel to St Jean Pied de Port and return.
• Guided walking tour of St Jean Pied de Port and its history.
• Hotel pick-up/drop-off in Biarritz or Lourdes.
• The services of a professional guide,

What’s Not Included?
• Food and drinks
• Tips (optional)
• All other extras

 Availability:
• Every day (excluding exceptional dates)
• Duration: All Day in St Jean Pied de Port, St Palais, & les Basse Landes.
• Departure point: Biarritz/Lourdes
• Language: tour commentated in the English language
• Reserve/book your tour/group at babanglophonegroup@gmail.com
• Guided tours are subject to availability on the reservation date/s desired.

BOOKING
• Full booking terms and conditions available upon reservation.
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El Camino

El Camino

The Camino de Santiago

People and pilgrims around the world are rediscovering Spain’s Camino de Santiago, Medieval Europe’s version of the thru-hike. A veteran of the pilgrimage shares his tips for getting your boots on the path.

Today, believers make up a small proportion of people walking the Camino de Santiago. The vast majority of pilgrims are on their own quests, either recreational or spiritual. A month-long hike sounded like an amazing challenge, but an achievable one too. Read here

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, extends from different countries in  Europe, and even North Africa, on its way to Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre.

Links are the following

1UNESCO World Heritage Listings

The El Camino is known by different names. Each route is named according to its country/place of origin and route

The most popular route, the Camino Francés, stretches 780 km (nearly 500 miles) from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago. This route is fed by three major French routes: the Voie de Tours, the Voie de Vezelay, and the Voie du Puy. It is also joined along its route by the Camino Aragones fed by the Voie d’Arles. It crosses the Pyrenees at Somport Pass, by the Camí de Saint Jaume from Montserrat near Barcelona, the Ruta de Tunel from Irun, the Camino Primitivo from Bilbao and Oviedo, and by the Camino de Levante from Valencia and Toledo.

Other Spanish routes are the Camino Inglés from Ferrol to La Coruña, the Via de la Plata from Seville and Salamanca, and the Camino Portugues from Oporto.

Today’s pilgrims/believers make up a only small proportion of people walking the Camino de Santiago. The vast majority of pilgrims are their own quests, either recreational or spiritual. A month-long hike sounds like an amazing challenge, but an achievable one too. Like any long-distance walk, there’s a physical and mental commitment to the task, a simple rhythm of daily needs to meet.

The number of people walking the Camino Francés has jumped from under 10,000 in 1992, to over 190,000 in 2012. The focal point and namesake of the Camino de Santiago is the city of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, in Spain’s northwest. Legend has it that the martyr St. James is buried in Compostela. He became a rallying point for Europeans fighting the Moors in the eighth century, after a shepherd claimed to have seen a bright light in the skies above.

During the Middle Ages, the Camino was responsible for the largest movement of people in Europe: millions of people, both rich and poor, made their way to Santiago de Compostela, where the pilgrim mass and certificate of pilgrimage ensured they would spend less time in purgatory. The route was nearly lost to history until recently, when a growing body of literature around the Camino sparked a resurgence of interest in it

When people talk about “the Camino”, they’re referring to one of many routes to Santiago de Compostela. Also known as the Camino Francés (the French Way), this route starts at St. Jean Pied-de-Port in France, crosses the Pyrenees, and continues westwards across Spain about 60 miles south of the coast. It passes through Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, and a host of smaller towns and villages, and is about 500 miles in length, depending on how many detours you take

The network is similar to a river system – small brooks join together to make streams, which join together to make rivers, most of which join together to make the Camino Francés. During the middle ages, people walked out of their front doors and started off to Santiago, which was how the network grew up. Today, cheap air travel has given many the opportunity to fly to their starting point, and often to do different sections in successive years. Some people set out on the Camino for spiritual reasons; many others find spiritual reasons along the Way as they meet other pilgrims, attend pilgrim masses in churches and monasteries and cathedrals, and see the large infrastructure of buildings provided for pilgrims over many centuries.

The history of the Camino de Santiago goes back at the beginning of the 9th century (year 814) moment of the discovery of the tomb of the evangelical apostle of the Iberian Peninsula. Since this discovery, Santiago de Compostela becomes a peregrination point of the entire European continent.

The Way was defined then by the net of Roman routes that joined the neuralgic points of the Peninsula. The impressive human flow that from very soon went towards Galicia made quickly appear lots of hospitals, churches, monasteries, abbeys and towns around the route. During the 14th century the pilgrimage began to decay, fact brought by the wars, the epidemics and the natural catastrophes.

The recovery of the route begins at the end of the 19th century, but it is during the last quarter of the 20th century when the authentic contemporary resurge of the peregrination takes place. There is no doubt that the social, tourist, cultural or sport components have had a great importance in the “jacobea” revitalization but we cannot forget that the route has gained its prestige thanks to its spiritual value.

The Routes
The network of Caminos crosses Europe, and you can follow a Way from Finland or Turkey. The possibilities are beyond the scope of this article, but these are the main routes.

Camino Francés (the French Way)
The Camino Francés is the most popular option for a reason: The varied scenery and good infrastructure means that it’s an enjoyable walk. Most of the routes from other parts of Europe converge in St Jean Pied-du-Port, which is where the Camino Francés officially starts.

Camino del Norte (the Northern Way)
Hugging the northern coast of Spain, this route starts in Irún on the border with France and travels west through Bilbao, Santander and Oveido. The 510 miles of pathway will take about 35 days to complete, and though the distances between towns are reasonable, the sparse accommodations mean that you have to stick to a fairly rigid itinerary.

Camino Portugués (the Portuguese Way)
In contrast with many of the other routes, the Camino Portugués is relatively flat, without too many hills. It starts in Lisbon and passes through Porto and Pontevedra on its way north through Portugal, and is approximately 380 miles long. The infrastructure is reasonable but much of the route takes you alongside motorways.

Via de la Plata
The “plata” in the Via de la Plata’s name comes from a corruption of an Arabic word that means “wide surfaced road.” In this sense, it’s well named, as most of the route follows an old Roman road north from Seville; if you’re interested in Roman history, this is the route for you. At 620 miles, it’s the longest route through Spain, and it passes through Merida, Cáceres, Salamanca, and Zamora, as well as other cities.

Camino Inglés (the English Way)
English pilgrims arriving by boat from Britain started their walk at either La Coruña or Ferrol, and the English Way is a Y-shaped route which can be started in either of these cities. The 75km from La Coruña can be walked in three days, though you won’t earn a Compostela as it’s under 62 miles. From Ferrol, the 70-mile walk will take five days.

Camino Primitivo (the Original Route)
Oveido isn’t on the Camino Francés, but many pilgrims detour there to visit the city’s cathedral. The Camino Primitivo is the most direct route from Oveido to Santiago (passing through Lugo), and it rejoins the Camino Francés about 40 miles from Santiago. The walk is about 180 miles long and is quite challenging, as it includes a fair amount of hill climbing and the weather can be very erratic.

Camino de Finisterre (the Finisterre Way)
Instead of finishing their walk in Santiago, many pilgrims continue on to one of the westernmost points in Europe: Finisterre, whose name literally translates to “end of the world.” The route from Santiago to Finisterre adds on 55 miles and is best walked in five stages, with an optional extra 18-mile walk to Muxia afterwards. Organizations in Finisterre and Muxia both offer Compostelas to those that complete these routes.

A compostela is the “pilgrim certificate” you get at the end of the walk if you’ve completed 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) or more on foot. If you are not Catholic, but did the Camino for ‘spiritual reasons’ you can get a compostela. If you say your goals were non-spiritual, you get a rather plain certificate of completion.

Albergues and refugios are the pilgrim’s accommodation stops. Run by churches, town councils, non-profit organizations, and private for-profit groups, they provide cheap beds in dorm rooms, mattresses in church bell towers, or provide hotel-like rooms with prices starting at five euros a night.

A credential is the ‘pilgrim passport’ issued by various Camino-friendly organizations. Each albergue or refugio has its own stamp, which you’ll receive each night. You need a credential to stay in pilgrim accommodations, and a complete record of stamps to get your compostela. Arrange to have one posted to you in advance if you’re not starting at a popular stepping-off point. Accommodations are first come, first served, with preference given first to walkers, then horse-riders, then cyclists.

Starting Towns and Cities
If you don’t plan on doing a long trek, you can start at one of the towns on the way. These are:
Pamplona
Logroño
Burgos
Leon
Ponferrada|
Sarria

If you’re not doing the Camino Frances, the other routes begin at these places:

  • Camino del Norte: Irun
  • Camino Aragones: Soport
  • Via de la Plata: Seville
  • Camino Ingles: A Coruña
  • Camino Portugues: Porto
  • Camino Primitivo: Oviedo

There are about thirty stages of pilgrimage from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela. You average 24 kilometres per day for each stage. Many accommodations dot the different Ways of Compostela. We cannot detail exactly each step here. However, here is the detail of the map of the stages along the Camino Francés:


Expand the map here

The Camino Francés  (The French Way) may be considered in Steps as follows

Step 1: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in Roncesvalles: 26.9 kilomètres,

Step 4: Pamplona to Puente-la-Reina: 24.3 kilometres, 93 km travelled,

Step 6: Estrella in Los Arcos: 21 kilometers, 137.3 km covered,

Step 8: Logroo in Najera: 30.1 kilometres, 195.4 km in total,

Step 21: Mansilla de las Mulas in Leon: 23.2 kilometres, 489.6 km in total,

Step 24: Astorga to Rabanal del Camino: 22 kilometers, 560.5 km in total,

Step 33: Santa Irene to Santiago de Compostela: 25.3 kilometers, 811.9 km in total.

© Craig Martin Pilgrimage Tours

Stages on foot on The French Way ▷ Camino Frances: Route Planner, Stages & Map | French Way | Pilgrim

How many stages does the Camino Frances have?

Camino Frances route overview (Click for any stage)
St.Jean Pied de Port the beginning of the Camino Frances
Detailed one-month itinerary for the Camino Frances
Day 1. St.Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles
Day 2. Roncesvalles to Zubiri
Day 3. Zubiri to Pamplona
Day 4. Pamplona – Puente La Reina
Day 5. Puente La Reina to Estella
Day 6. Estella to Los Arcos
Day 7. Los Arcos to Logroño
Day 8. Logroño – Navarrete
Day 9. Navarrete to Azafra
Day 10. Azofra to Grañon
Day 11. Grañon to Villafranca Montes de Oca
Day 12. Villafranca Montes de Oca to Cardeñuela Riopico
Day 13. Cardeñuela Riopico to Tardajos
Day 14. Tardajos to Castrojeriz
Day 15. Castrojeriz to Frómista
Day 16. Frómista to Carrión de los Condes
Day 17. Carrión de los Condes to Terradillos de los Templarios
Day 18. Terradillos de los Templarios to Bercianos del Real Camino
Day 19. Bercianos del Real Camino to Mansilla de las Mulas
Day 20. Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon
Day 21. León to Villar de Mazarife
Day 22. Villar de Mazarife to Astorga
Day 23. Astorga to Foncebadón
Day 24. Foncebadón to Ponferrada
Day 25. Ponferrada to Villafranca de Bierzo
Day 26. Villafranca de Bierzo to O Cebreiro
Day 27. O Cebreiro to Triacastela
Day 28. Triacastela to Sarria
Days 29-33. Sarria to Santiago de Compostela