September 3: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Orisson

It is possible to walk from SJPP to Roncesvalles in one day, but many pilgrims choose to do a stopover at Orisson and I did the same. On my previous Camino I had seen many people get knee and ankle injuries in the first week, so it seemed sensible to start off with an easy day. Besides that, it would give me the chance to enjoy the Pyrenees longer.

The albergue at Orisson is very popular and there isn’t any other accommodation close by, so if you want to stay there, you need to book as early as possible.

As said, it’s a short hike, so I chose to start walking in the afternoon, and visited SJPP in the morning. It’s a charming village, with of course many souvenir shops and shops that sell hiking gear.

Camino Frances de Santiago: a pilgrim in Saint Jean Pied de Port

The hike to Orisson was indeed short, but also it was pretty steep. And hot. Hardly any shade. But boy, the views are worth it and the albergue is an oasis. You can enjoy a drink outside, with a mountain view, and in the evening there is a big meal inside where everybody introduces himself. People share stories like: “I’ve been wanting to do this all my life and now I’m retired and finally got the chance” or “it was my deceased brother’s dream to do this, now I’m doing it for him”. As Orisson is the first stop for many pilgrims, everybody is full of excitement and anticipation.

Camino Frances de Santiago: albergue de Orisson

-> September 4: Orisson to Espinal

<- September 2: from the Netherlands to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port