This road turns out to be the favorite route of many pilgrims. The motifs are several, first, the historical motif, as it turns out to be a place famous for the exploits of Charlemagne and Roland in the famous battle of Roncesvalles. Another reason is geography, as we will have practically the Pyrenees next to us, which is a landscape and views that we cannot miss. If you want to start from this point, we recommend that you arrive from Pamplona, either by bus or taxi.
However, what will surprise you will be its landscapes, even if you don’t finish in Santiago de Compostela, this is important when starting this Way, since, as we have said, the final stage is located in Logroño and not in Santiago.
You may be interested in our guide más completa del Camino de Santiago.
Stages of the French Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago starting in Roncesvalles
The first stage runs from Roncesvalles to Zubiri, is a short stage of just 22 kilometers being a low mountain stage in which you can appreciate many wooded landscapes. From this stage it is important to highlight monuments such as the Puente de la Rabia, the Colegiata de Roncesvalles and, among others, the 14th century Gothic Cruise. It will take you 5 to 6 hours to complete it.
The second stage runs between Zubiri and Pamplona, having to cross the Esribar valley via the Ulzuma river and La Trinidad. In just 20 kilometres we will be in Pamplona, arriving at the city through the famous Puerta de Francia. This stage can be completed in just 5 hours.
The third stage takes place between Pamplona and Puente La Reina. In this stage we will see the Monument to the Pilgrim, the Church of the Crucifix and the Church of Santiago (not to be confused with the Cathedral of Santiago). The distance is 24 kilometers and the estimated time is about 6 hours.
In our fourth stage we will go from Puente La Reina to Estella, about 23 kilometers taking from 5 to 6 hours. The Roman road will be spectacular, as well as the Romanesque Church of San Román.
In the fifth stage we will go from Estella to Los Arcos, in about 22 kilometers and taking from 5 to 5 hours and a half. The Puerta de Castilla stands out from this route.
The last stage takes place between Los Arcos and Logroño, there are 28 kilometres so it will take from 7 to 8 hours and when we finish in Logroño we will have covered about 140 kilometres, so we will have won the Compostela in our own right.
Is it better to make the way from roncesvalles by bike or on foot?
With regard to the debate on whether or not it is better to do it on a bicycle, I believe that this is an issue that depends a great deal on each person. What you do have to bear in mind is that if you are an amateur it is more difficult to go by bike than on foot. However, as they are usually short stages, cycling can make you lose some of your charm by not being able to stop to enjoy the landscape what we should. For this reason, it is better to do it on foot, although this does not mean that doing it on a bicycle is bad or not recommended at all.
If you still don’t know which way to choose, we recommend you to read our article on Which way to Santiago to choose?