Larrasona is also entered over a bridge however this was known as the bandit’s bridge as narrow obligatory passing places like this were favored to rob pilgrims.
Albergue de Larrasoaña, Municipal, 16 Calle San Nicolas, €6, 60 beds, K, @, Bike, Tel: 948 304 242, Closed from the 10th of December till the 10th of January.
Hostel Bide Ederra, private, 27 San Nicolas, €16-20, 6 beds, B&B, W, D, K, @, Tel: 948 304 692, 667 406 554, Web: Open March to October.
Larrasoana was mentioned in Picaud’s pilgrim guide and has kept strong links with the Camino; today the village warmly welcomes pilgrims and provides an outbuilding with mattresses when there are too many pilgrims for the hostel. In the 11th century there was an Augustinian monastery here and in 1174 the village declared “Villa de Francos” – a community for French settlers, then in the 13th the now local church dedicated to St Nicholas was built.
This is the shortest day so far on the Camino as it is worth having the extra time in Pamplona to see the city – that is, if you have the energy and your feet are not too sore. Additionally, there is little of interest to see in the villages during this stage, which is often the case as the Camino enters cities. The route today follows the River Arga in its descent toward Pamplona.
On my first Camino, I dumped my boots and bought new walking shoes in Pamplona, the boots were not good for my feet and were causing severe blisters. I learned many of my Camino lessons by making the mistakes.
Today’s route is more urban than the last two days, quickly passing into the suburbs of Pamplona, but not before one short sharp climb out of Larrasoana. There are a few small villages along the way for eating and water, but for many pilgrims, Pamplona is all they see in their sights today – and not without justification.
Zuriain 4.2km, cafe, pharmacy – neither are directly on the Camino, you have to walk into the village.
In the village is the small medieval church of San Millan which was restored in the 17th and 18th century.
Zabaldika 2.9km, water, toilets
Albergue Parroquial, 8 Calle San Esteban, donation, 18 beds, B, M, K, W, D, @, V, Bike, Tel: 948 330 918, 619 436 863, Open from mid April to mid October. Communal dinner at 8pm.
There is the 12th century Romanesque Church of San Esteban, it is worth a visit to see the geometric paintings over the door.
Parque 1km, water, toilets, picnic site
Trinidad de Arre / Villava 3.7km, cafe, bar, food shop
The pilgrim hostel above, Albergue de Hermanos Maristas, within the monastery is located behind the Basilica de la Trinidad de Arre.
Pamplona is a city that would be easy to spend a few days in. The main albergue is well signposted at the start of the city in the old part of the town, it is large, but does not open until 2pm. If, as most pilgrims do, you leave your backpack here before heading out into the city – remember you are in a main city. I was one of the very unfortunate few who have had their wallet stolen from the main albergue in Pamplona. The security in the albergue is not great, take any valuables with you, wallet, camera, phone, etc.
Pamplona 4.7km, all services
Pamplona is best avoided during the fiestas of San Fermin which are celebrated every year from the 6th to the 14th of July. Unless you have booked a room you will not find a place in the city to sleep and the hostels and albergues are given over to visitors for the duration of the fiesta. It can be strange dealing with the bustle in the city after the peace of the countryside, it is only 5.1km to the next town of Cizur Menor which is quiet. However, Pamplona has a great cathedral, museums, art galleries, and a beautiful medieval old town.
The route out of Pamplona is the best marked of any of the cities; you pass the university campus where there is a pilgrims office to have your pilgrim’s passport stamped.
For more information on Pamplona, history, the sights and what to eat see the Pamplona page
Larrasoana to Cizur Minor Photos
I have stayed in the main pilgrim hostel in Pamplona once. It is huge and now I would rather stay somewhere in the countryside.
Pamplona, however, is a beautiful city and worth spending a few in hours in as there is a fair bit to see and the tapas are great.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.