Day 2: Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles 24.5km
Today is a long and difficult day especially since it is the first. Before setting out check the weather forecast in the pilgrim’s office at the top of the main street, 39 Rue de la Citadelle. You will be advised of an alternative route if the weather is dangerous however ultimately it is your call as to what direction you choose.
Walk through the village across the bridge and head to the mountains for a very steep climb. Starting at 172m above sea level, passing Huntto and Orisson before reaching Vierge de Biakorri (statue of Madonna)at 1.095m. She sits on top of a rock protecting the shepherds of these beautiful mountains.
Continue to climb the Pyrenees through Lepoeder mountain pass at 1.430m, then a 480m descent to Roncesvalles at 950m, crossing a beautiful beech forest.
Roncesvalles is the primary starting point for pilgrims, mainly Spaniards. Visit St James chapel and the Royal Collegiate Church of Saint Mary.