This route describes a “shortcut” connecting the Camino Podiensis (Chemin le Puy) to the Camino del Norte. It is a route through the heart of French Basque country and not as well traveled as many other parts of the Camino. It leaves the normal route one day before Saint Jean Pied de Port in Saint Palais and goes to the border between France and Spain—crossing the Pyrenees at a low point close to the coast.
We used the Cicerone Guide by Dave Whitson, Camino de Santiago – Via Podiensis: Le Puy to the Pyrenees on the GR65 to reach Saint Palais. Once we reached Hendaye on the French coast we crossed into Spain via a passenger ferry to Hondarribia, Spain. From there we used Dave’s Cicerone Guide, The Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo – To Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre from Irun or Oviedo to hike the Camino del Norte.
Note that we used instructions shared by the Facebook group, “GR65 Via Podiensis: walking the Le Puy route in France,” to navigate this route. Despite the fact that we had to translate them from Italian they were invaluable in getting us started.
The route was challenging, but rewarding. Hillier overall than most of the Camino Podiensis, in part because you pass through the foothills of the Pyrenees.
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