Biking from St Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, into Spain on the Saint James route.

This site provides detailed information only on the “Chemin” in France. Many cyclists, however, will continue on the Camino in Spain. The additional biking distance to Compostela will be the equal to that ridden in France—about 440 miles (738 kilometers), measuring from Roncesvalles. For cycling directions and general coverage in Spain, I recommend the Cicerone Guide Cycling the Camino de Santiago: The Way of Saint James – Camino Frances, available from Cicerone in the UK, Amazon and other book sellers. This book covers both the road bike route and the mountain bike route.

To ride from St Jean-Pied-de-Port as far as Roncesvalles (Roncevaux in French) please see this page:

If continuing in Spain, strongly consider avoiding July and August. It will be quite hot, and the trail and accommodations will be overcrowded with Spanish tourists and many teenagers. Many, many more persons walk the Spanish camino than the French chemin, partly because Santiago is the patron saint of Spain, and also because you end up at Compostella with a much shorter walk.

If it is not a jubilee year (when July 25 falls on a Sunday and general dispensations are granted), and if you don’t mind hot weather, and if you are planning to stay in hotels and are willing to reserve in advance, or to sleep on gymnasium floors, then crossing Spain in the summer, though not recommended, is feasible.

Finding accommodation in gites or campgrounds is very competitive in Spain (i.e., said to be almost impossible), but many nice, small hotels may have available space. Avoid the “wave” of walkers that leaves Roncesvalles towards the beginning of the months of July and August (vacations usually correspond with months) and arrives at Compostella towards the end of the same month. As a cyclist, it is probably best to leave Roncesvalles a few days before the end of May, June or July. It is impossible to obtain reservations in Pamplona, even at many times the normal price, from July 6th to 14th, due to the running of the bulls; thus you must circumnavigate the city. If you are considering riding or walking in Spain in the summer or any time, please carefully research the experience and the lodgings.

The standard Spanish Santiago route for road bicycles is on national highways, with one-meter-wide bike lanes. It is probable that these correspond more closely to the walking camino of ancient times than does the present-day walking route. Because these highways have been supplanted by new superhighways, they usually have little traffic. It is said to be unwise, even somewhat dangerous to follow the walking camino through some of the mountainous part of Spain.

The first 400 kilometers of the route from Pamplona through Spain are in flatlands, and in my opinion the views will be less interesting than those of any part of the French chemin from Le Puy to Roncesvalles that is the subject of this website. I hold this view from looking at photographs. From Roncesvalles I rode back to St.Jean-Pied-de-Port, and continued to the Atlantic coast. For the bike route to the Atlantic Coast at St Jean-de-Luz, please visit this page: