Based in Spain since 2006

A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour

Chapter 1 – The Beginning! Some of you have been to Santiago and even Finisterre, but would you like to see the starting point? Come with us as we take you to the launch pad of the Camino de Santiago, Roncesvalles and the Pyrenees.

Private Bed & Bath

We understand that people do want to walk the Camino, but would rather not sleep in albergues, the communal dormitories available along the trail. Some pilgrims enjoy having their own bedrooms with a door, an en-suite bathroom, and plenty of hot water!

Freedom From Your Bags

Our self-guided clients do not want or cannot carry all their belongings with them. In fact, they enjoy being able to add some extra weight to their load and have some creature comforts, such as that Ipad!

Meals with Friends, IF you wish

Independence can be great when traveling, but it is also nice to have some occasional companions to share those tales from the trail and a meal or two!

A Live Person to Help

Are you nervous and scared? Coming to a foreign country to walk for a couple of weeks is daunting no matter how many books and web forums you’ve read. You want more than just an Orientation Packet sent to you in the mail – you want a LIVE person to answer your questions and help you take those first steps on your journey.

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The Church of Santiago and Charlemagne's Silo at Roncesvalles on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 1

Roncesvalles

Accommodations: Roncesvalles (D)

Meeting time: 6:30pm

In the afternoon, your Fresco Tours guide will hand out your Orientation Packets and review all the materials to get you ready for your Pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago! Afterwards, we will take a walk around Roncesvalles, where we attend a moving Pilgrim’s Mass. The blessing at the end is an appropriate way for you to start your journey. Afterwards, we have our first night's feast – perhaps some trout, like the ones Hemingway used to catch in the local river!
The Camino de Santiago in the Pyrenees leaving Roncesvalles.

Day 2

Roncesvalles – Zubiri

Accommodations: Zubiri (B)

Walking: 22 km / 14 mi

With our boots and scallop shells on, your Fresco Tours guide escorts you out of town following various Camino markers and the famous yellow arrow. You follow the yellow arrow through pastures and fields that make this part of Basque Navarra so famous for its local fresh produce. You walk by "caserios", giant stone farm houses that have been in the same family for generations and generations. Tradition is the theme here! Entering Zubiri, you come across the Gothic bridge known as "La Rabia," which was used by farmers in a ritual to prevent their livestock from developing rabies (rabia).
Medieval Gate to Pamplona on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 3

Zubiri - Pamplona

Accommodations: Pamplona (B)

Walking: 21 km / 13 mi

This morning, you continue to Larrasoaña, a town with strong ties to the Camino as it was mentioned in the 12th century Codex Calixtinus, the official Camino guide book of the time! Keep an eye out for several Jacobean signs and armor shields on the stone buildings. You work your way into Pamplona, where you come across the 15th century Cathedral of Santa María la Real, with its beautiful cloisters and interesting façade. Pamplona's patron saint is San Fermín, and in keeping with tradition, this energetic university city is always filled with tourists and locals, ready to keep the festivities going!
The Alto del Perdon on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 4

Pamplona – Puente la Reina

Accommodations: Puente la Reina (B)

Walking: 24 km / 15 mi

You leave Pamplona and make your way to Cizur Menor, where you can see the Church of San Miguel Arcángel. To get the blood going, the Camino gives you your first steady climb to the crest of the Alto de Perdón, where you can enjoy the views of the surrounding valleys. Following the scallop shells, you come to Puente la Reina, named in honor of Doña Mayor, who had the bridge built to make sure pilgrims coming from the French & Aragonés routes, could continue walking safely.
Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in Navarra.

Day 5

Puente la Reina - Estella

Accommodations: Estella (B)

Walking: 22 km / 14 mi

Leaving Cirauqui, you walk through rich agricultural fields of olives, grapes, almonds and fruit trees and will suddenly find yourself along ancient Roman roads and bridges leading into Lorca. After a few ups and downs, you enter the once magnificent town of Estella, where you can still see evidence of its importance in the 11th century as a merchant town. Pilgrims were also greatly respected, and their rights specifically protected in Estella’s town charter.
Approaching Villamaior de Monjardin on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 6

Estella – Los Arcos

Accommodations: Los Arcos (B)

Walking: 22 km / 14 mi

Walking out of Estella, you come across the ancient Benedictine Monastery of Irache, where the winery still honors the ancient tradition of providing free wine to pilgrims! Have a sip, but not too much as you still have km's ahead! The tower of the 12th century Church of San Andrés lets you know you’ve arrived in Villamayor de Monjardín, before continuing on to Los Arcos, whose ancient entrance was known as the Gate of Shells and was the access point to the Jewish quarter.
Entering La Rioja wine country on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 7

Los Arcos - Viana

Accommodations: Viana (B)

Walking: 18 km / 11 mi

Your walk today takes you through kilometers of vineyards. While in Torres del Río have a look at the Iglesia de Santo Sepulcro, attributed to the Knights Templar and known for its special acoustics, before continuing to Viana. Viana is an energetic town with a lot of Camino history, including the 13th century Church of Santa Maria, where Cesare Borgia is buried. Borgia was said to be the illegitimate child of Pope Alexander VI, and he was killed while defending Viana in 1507.
The town of Viana on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 8

Viana - Logroño

Accommodations: Logroño (B)

Walking: 9 km / 6 mi

7 days of walking, 141 kilometers, and you arrive to Logroño, the capital of La Rioja, and famous for its superb red wines. Today is a shorter walk, so it would only be appropriate to spend the afternoon sampling some of the Rioja’s fine wines in this buzzing university city! Also, make sure to visit the 14th century Cathedral of Santa Maria la Redonda, known for its twin towers (Las Gemelas). Congratulations – you’ve completed the first chapter of your Camino!
The Church of Santiago in Logroño.

Day 9

Logroño

Accommodations: Itinerary ends (B)

After breakfast, your tour has come to an end. Safe travels!

 

*Please note: This itinerary is subject to slight modifications due to hotel availability, weather, festivals, and other occurences.

Orientation Meeting

A Fresco Tour guide will hand deliver your Orientation Packet and give you a detailed meeting on the first night in Sarria. Your Welcome Packet is filled with all the materials you’ll need to transform into a pilgrim: Your credentials (Pilgrim’s Passport), a scallop shell, daily maps of the route, a guide book with historical information of the villages that you will pass through, and a few other goodies for the trail! We’ll answer any questions that you have before starting your journey to Santiago and on the next morning lead you out on The Way! Minimum of 3 people for this service to be provided.

Accommodations

8 nights in a combination of 3 & 4 star hotels, restored manor homes, and small pensions / inns located on the Camino. All rooms have their own bathrooms. We’ve chosen places for their hospitality, comfort, and location.
*Keep in mind that as you will be walking through rural countryside, the availability of 3 & 4 star hotels all along the route is not possible.

Meals

All breakfasts are included with your hotels. We have arranged that they will be supplemented from the standard Spanish breakfast of coffee & toast. The first night of the itinerary, our guide will take you for dinner at one of our favorite places in Sarria – wine and beer included. Afterwards, we will provide you with a list of places along the Camino with food recommendations. Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions and we can ask our hotels to accommodate for those as well!

Limited Group Size

Although this tour is Self-Guided, we’ve limited the size of each departure to 16 participants. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis.

Luggage Transport

We will arrange for the transfer of 1 suitcase / piece of luggage (20 kg / 45 lbs MAX) per person between your hotels on your walk along the Camino. If the weight of your bag exceeds the limit, you will need to divide it into 2 pieces. Please contact us for details for rates for extra bags.

Additional Assistance

We are here to help! Need assistance with hotels prior to or after your trip? Train or bus tickets to and from your tour? Questions about what to wear? Need a taxi while on the trail? Based in Spain, we are here to make sure that your trip runs smooth as can be – we are available!

Table of Contents

Getting There & Back 

How do I get to A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour starting point? 

Roncesvalles, Spain is the official starting point of the Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago tour and can be reached via bus from Pamplona. Traveling from either Madrid or Barcelona, one can choose between the train (RENFE) or the bus (ALSA). For a sample of prices and timetables, please see: 

RENFE Train – Madrid to Pamplona & Barcelona to Pamplona 

ALSA Bus – Madrid to Pamplona & Barcelona to Pamplona

Once in Pamplona, you need to make your way to Roncesvalles by bus: Pamplona to Roncesvalles 

How can I purchase my bus or train tickets beforehand?

The RENFE website can be a bit temperamental. Therefore, we recommend Omio website for purchasing tickets. Omio is a travel booking platform with more than 1,000 trusted partners across trains, buses, and airport transfers. Search, compare and book all in one place so you can focus on the journey.

Keep in mind, the sale of train tickets depends on RENFE’s scheduling and some routes cannot be purchased until approximately 30 to 60 days prior to departure – please be patient. Schedules and availability are also subject to change based on train maintenance needs.

How do I get from Logroño to Madrid and other cities? 

There are now RENFE trains that will get you from Logroño to Madrid in less than 4 hours. While routes and availability may vary upon time of booking, there are several daily trains from Logroño to Madrid. 

How do I get from Madrid Airport to the city center? 

If your flight flies into Madrid’s T-4 (Aeropuerto T-4) terminal, you have a local Cercanias train that will get you from the airport to the Atocha and Chamartín train station in 25-30 minutes. These trains leave the T-4 station more or less every half an hour. For more information, please visit RENFE Train. 

In addition, there is an express bus that services all terminals at the airport with the Atocha Train Station.

On the Road 

What is the weather like on A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour? 

A Fresco Start Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago Tour covers the first 141 km of the Camino Frances. Coming down from the Pyrenees, the first couple of days may have cooler temps, but as you continue along the vineyards of Navara and Rioja, it can get warmer. 

Visit these links for current and average monthly temperatures of Pamplona and Logroño. 

What is the terrain like on A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour? 

On this part of the Camino, the terrain is rolling hills – the first stages are more challenging with inclines and descents albeit not treacherous descents. The trail is a combination of compact dirt and stone footpaths and small country roads. 

What is the change in elevation on A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour? 

You will be walking from Roncesvalles to Logroño, 141 km of the Camino de Santiago. For a detailed map of the distances between towns along the Camino and their respective altitudes, please click here. 

How many kilometers are walked each day on A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour? 

The number of kilometers scheduled for each day varies an average of 10 km to 25 km. We have designed this tour to allow the possibility to walk 141 km to Logroño. 

Before You Go / Preparing 

What type of shoes do I need to walk A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour? 

Footwear is a very personal question – depending on how active you are and how much support you will need. Since we will be walking on a daily basis on the Camino de Santiago, I believe that comfort is key – you do not want to get blisters. You probably won’t need a full high boot that covers your ankle (unless you need this support), but rather light trail walkers or even running shoes if you are used to walking. In the spring, there may be mud and water along the trail, so keep that in mind. Most important: Make sure that they are well broken in! 

What sort of conditioning do I need to undertake before A Fresco Start Chapter 1 Tour? 

We encourage you to walk before and be prepared for your own enjoyment. However, this is your vacation and not boot camp! Start with a short hike and work your way up to the average mileage you would like to achieve on the Camino (for most people this is between 20 and 30 kilometers per day). The most common injuries on the Camino are blisters (painful and can get infected), shin splints, stress fractures, and joint pain. Proper footwear, a light pack, and conservative daily distances all help to protect your joints, bones and muscles from injury and fatigue. If you have joint problems, hiking poles can be helpful. As a bit of insurance, we will also provide you will a list of taxi phone numbers…just in case! 

Booking a Tour

Thank you for choosing to travel with Fresco Tours! We are very excited for you to join the ranks of our Happy Customers. If at any moment you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you again and we look forward to sharing memories of a lifetime with you.

Reservations and Payments

To join us on a Fresco Tour, please visit our Secure Online Reservation Form or download and print a PDF version of the Reservation Form, one for each participant. To reserve your space on a tour, a 15% deposit per person is required and payment should be made via credit card (Visa or MasterCard only), bank transfer or via Wise transferThe balance of your tour payment is due 60 days prior to the departure date. If the tour that you selected begins within 60 days of booking, final payment is due at that time. Failure to receive the remainder of your trip balance by the due date will be considered a cancellation.

Confirmation

Once Fresco Tours has received your registration form and tour deposit, we will send you an email with an invoice of payments received and your remaining balance, a copy of our Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver Form and a link to your Guest Questionnaire. These last 2 items must be returned 60 days prior to the start of tour. In addition, we will send you a Confirmation Packet with information regarding suggestions on preparation, a packing and reading list and other tips to get you excited and prepared for your Fresco Tour.

Final Registration

Once we have received final payment, the signed Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver Form and Guest Questionnaire, you will be sent a receipt and final details regarding your tour, including a detailed itinerary and the hotel contact list.

Single Supplement Fee

Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, there are a limited number of single rooms available. Requests for these rooms are based on availability. Please see the tour itinerary for the cost of this fee. In some cases, it may imply a room smaller in size than a standard double room. If you are traveling alone, and would like to share a room, we will do our best to match you with a same-gender roommate.

Cancellation / Refund Policies

All cancellations must be made in writing. No refunds will be issued due to late arrival, early departure, or any unused portion of a tour. The Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver form must be signed and received 60 days prior to tour departure or the reservation will also be treated as a cancellation. Cancellation fees are outlined below:

Time Price
Cancellations received 121 or more days prior to trip start
10% of trip price
Cancellations received 120 - 61 days prior to trip start
15% of trip price
Cancellations received 60 - 31 days prior to trip start
50% of trip price
Cancellations received 30 days or less prior to trip start
100% of trip price

Fresco Tours reserves the right to change, modify, or cancel a tour prior to departure for any reason, including lack of participants (tour minimum: 3-6 passengers with 1 guide, 7 passengers or more with 2 guides) or acts of nature and/or circumstances beyond our control. In this case, any payments received will be refunded in full, and this will constitute full settlement. Fresco Tours is not responsible for any additional expenses due to a canceled tour, such as the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets.

Fresco Tours reserves the right to accept, refuse, or decline any tour member’s participation at any time for any reason. In such a case, Fresco Tour’s liability is limited to the actual cost of the unused services.

Changing Tour Dates

If we are notified of a change to your scheduled tour date 6 months prior, you can apply your tour deposit to another departure date without penalty. This change can be up to 1 calendar year in advance and is subject to availability. Otherwise, the above Cancellation Fees will be applied.

As Spain-taneous Private Tours are custom built and created with specific dates in mind, any modifications will incur a 15% surcharge.

Insurance

In accordance with Spanish law and for the duration of your tour with Fresco Tours, you are covered by a basic insurance provided by Intermundial.  We  strongly advise the purchase of a more comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation / interruption. We suggest using Travelinsurance.com, which allows you to compare and assess top insurance provider policies and their different coverage plans.

Traveling Safely and Responsibly

Traveling during these complex times requires a bit more planning and a lot more reassurance. We believe that the Fresco Tours style of travel is particularly well-suited to safe activities: walking in the outdoors, small group sizes, strong reliable relationships with our local partners and, most importantly, we have the local knowledge of our home – the Camino de Santiago and the Spanish culture.

Self-Guided

9 days / 8 nights

141 km / 88 mi

Camino Frances

Oct 1 - 9, 2024
Last Spots
Jun 3 - 11, 2025
Available
Sep 30 - Oct 8, 2025
Available

Price per person

1395 €

1,515.04 $

* USD$ price based on current exchange rate

Single Supplement Fee

445 €