Roncesvalles to Zubiri
It take 5 to 6 hours if you walk it in one day.
Roncesvalles – Km 0
From the Itzandegia hostel we go out onto the N-135 to take a path that starts next to the right shoulder and runs through the Sorginaritzaga forest or Bruges oak grove. After a hundred meters you can see the Pilgrims’ Cross on the other side of the road, a Gothic transept that was moved to this place in 1880 by Prior Francisco Polite. The bucolic walk ends when we arrive next to the warehouses of the Ipetea industrial estate, at the point where we turn left to exit onto the N-135 and enter Auritz/Burguete.
Hostel, Bar, Restaurant, Tourist Office
Auritz/Burguete – Km 2.8
Calle San Nicolás and the highway are all one, so we cross the town along it, since there is no shoulder between the robust emblazoned houses and the asphalt. In the town there are a couple of bars that open early, the first one next to the church and another one hundred meters later. After the parish of San Nicolás we turn to the right next to a bank branch to cross a footbridge over a stream that goes down towards the Urrobi river. We continue along a track, flanked by some warehouses and extensive meadows populated by cattle and deciduous woods. After avoiding several watercourses through rudimentary stone fords and solving a slope, we come out onto a paved track from which we can already appreciate the scarlet roofs of Espinal, the first town in theErro valley. We enter the urban area to exit at the N-135 at the height of the modern church of San Bartolomé
Hostels, Rural Houses, Bars, Shop, Health Center, Pharmacy, ATM
Aurizberri/Espinal – Km 6.5
We turn right (here we have a bar and just after a bakery) and continue along the sidewalk. Just after a pedestrian crossing we turn left and along tracks of different levels we go up to the top of Mezkiritz. Next to the shoulder there is a carved image of the Virgin of Roncesvalles (Km 8.2). When crossing the road, be careful, because we can get lost and take the wrong path. There is one that leads to the Altos de Errebelu but we must follow the Jacobean path. A metal gate encourages us to enter the impressive beech forest, where the undergrowth of boxwood, holly and ferns guides us towards the next town. A last section, paved to keep the mud away, leaves us next to the road, where an artificial path leads to Bizkarreta, end of stage in the twelfth century thanks to the existence of a hospital for pilgrims.
Hostels, Hostel, Rural Houses, Bar, Shop, Clinic
Bizkarreta/Gerendiain – Km 11.4
At the entrance, on the left, we find a bar. We leave the town next to the Tiendica de Biskarret and head towards Lintzoain, almost two kilometers away.
Rural House, Bar, Shop, Office
Lintzoain – Km 13.3
Once in Lintzoain we pass next to the pediment and turn right to take a very steep cement cart. We continue along a gravel track – a milestone reminds us of the remaining four kilometers to the top of Erro – and we continue along a narrow path. The first ramps are the hardest but the slope subsides and the path widens. There are even good sections in clear descent, such as the one that takes us to the very top of Erro, where we cross the N-135.
Alto de Erro – Km 17.8
Between April and the end of October there is a mobile bar that works with solar panels. It has soft drinks, fruit, energy bars and pastries and in spring it also serves hot drinks. We take a track and after seven hundred meters we leave aside the place where the Venta del Puerto was located, an old inn of which today there are only remains. Afterwards, the descent becomes more evident, it leads us to open and close a couple of gates and surprises us with a flight of steps. At the end we present ourselves at the La Rabia bridge over the Arga river, a construction through which we access Zubiri and the Esteribar valley.
Bar-van in season
Zubiri – Km 21.5
- N-135 road: You have to pay attention because there are several times that you cross the N-135. In addition, you have to be careful when passing through Burguete because there is no shoulder.
- Rompepiernas layout: After Espinal the profile becomes harder, but there are more sections with a favorable profile than climbs. The ascent to the top of Erro does not entail any difficulty. At the exit of Lintzoain the first ramps are scary but then it becomes much more bearable.
- In the rainy season it is very likely to find numerous muddy roads, the alternative in case of looking for it would be the N-135. If you choose this option, extreme precautions must be taken.
- To get to Roncesvalles, the logical thing to do is to do it from Pamplona. From its bus station, the AUTOCARES ARTIEDA company offers this service from Monday to Saturday at 4:00 p.m. check prices and availability at the following link: https://www.autocaresartieda.com/. Sundays and holidays there is no service and the only possible option is by taxi. teletaxi San Fermín offers the possibility of making the reservation of the taxi in advance and thus being able to share the taxi with other pilgrims, it offers services for both Roncesvalles and Saint Jean Pie de Port. https://taxipamplona.com/camino-de-santiago/
- If we leave Roncesvalles very early we can have breakfast in Burguete. There is a bar next to the church and another one hundred meters further on. In Espinal, with a hostel since Easter 2013, and Bizkarreta there are also bars and some shops and bakeries. At the top of Erro there is a mobile bar between April and the end of October.
- Between Burguete and Espinal (2.5 km from the center of Burguete) at the foot of the N-135, is Camping Urrobi. They have 38 beds in multiple rooms with bunk beds and another 68 beds in bungalows with between 2 and 6 beds (the price of these varies according to capacity). They have showers, a swimming pool during July and August, laundry rooms, a bar-restaurant, a grocery store and Wi-Fi connection. Open from April 1 to November 1. Telephone: 948 76 02 00. Web: http://www.campingurrobi.com/
- In the town of Lintzoain, the pension ‘Posada El Camino’ opened in April 2017. It is located after the pediment, on Calle San Saturnino, 46. It has double rooms (with one or two beds) and triple rooms. Check prices at the following link http://www.posadaelcamino.com/.
- For older pilgrims or those in better physical shape, the stage could be extended to the town of Larrasoaña.
What to see, what to do
“Upon reaching the end of the slope, we made out the red roofs and the white houses of Burguete, scattered across the plain.” This quote is from Ernest Hemingway, the American writer who immortalized Burguete in his work Fiesta De él. As reflected in his 1926 novel, in addition to living the Sanfermines with passion, he liked to come to Burguete to fish and relax from the hustle and bustle of the city. Burguete is a village with a vertebrate passage around San Nicolás street, populated to the left and right by emblazoned houses from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Church of San Nicolás de Bari
The Renaissance façade was carved in 1699 by Juan de Miura from Beratar. Inside the temple, the baroque main altarpiece stands out.
After Burguete, the Camino de Santiago enters the domains of the Pyrenean valley of Erro. Among its 12 population centers, the Jacobean itinerary enters the urban centers of Aurizberri/Espinal, Bizkarreta/Gerendiain and Lintzoain. In the port of Erro, dividing the Atlantic and sub-Mediterranean climates, the valley is abandoned to descend to the Esteribar valley.
Espinal, founded in 1269 by the Navarro King Teobaldo II (1253-1370) is the largest town in the Erro Valley. Like Burguete, it is a service town divided by the N-135. Its church of San Bartolomé was built in 1961.
Around the 12th century, the old Biscaretum had a hospital for pilgrims but today there is no trace of that. The church of San Pedro, profusely reformed at the end of the 18th century, still retains its 13th-century Romanesque façade.
Lintzoain is the geographical center of the valley and its administrative capital. Its pinkish stone church of San Saturnino is Romanesque from the 13th century and was renovated in the 16th century. It houses two later altarpieces from the 17th and 18th centuries. It is located at the top of the town and you have to deviate about one hundred and fifty meters to visit it.
Zubiri, Pueblo del Puente in Basque, is the first town in the Esteribar Valley on the Camino de Santiago. It is also the largest nucleus and the administrative capital of the valley. In Zubiri, the pilgrim has his first encounter with the Arga River, a channel that will accompany him for two more stages to Puente la Reina. Precisely, over this river stands a medieval bridge with two eyes known by the nickname “Rage”, since by tradition the animals were forced to pass through the central pillar to heal from this disease. The church of San Martín is a new plant since the old one was used during the Carlist war as a barracks and was destroyed in 1836 during the war.