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, ultimately it is your call.
Walk through the village across the bridge and head to the mountains for a very steep climb, starting at 172m above sea level. You will pass Huntto and Orisson before reaching Vierge de Biakorri, the statue of Madonna at 1.095m. She sits on top of a rock protecting the shepherds in these beautiful mountains. Continue to cross the Pyrenees through Lepoeder mountain pass 1.430m high, then a 480m descent to Roncesvalles (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.