Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Travel Guide

  • Gite Compostella
    by pfsmalo
  • Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
    by IberianDreamer
  • Pilgrim's way, rue de la Citadelle.
    Pilgrim's way, rue de la Citadelle.
    by pfsmalo

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Things to Do

  • Arrive At SJPdP Station fro Camino...

    Four coaches, most with backpacks and very obviously headed for the Camino de Santiago.After arrival follow the masses and head for the old street rue de l Citadelle

  • A View of Edge of the Pyrenees

    St.Jean-Pied-de-Port is in the shadow of the Atlantic-Pyrenees at the edge of the Bearn area. It is increasingly a winter sport center and has become increasingly a place where maize is grown.

  • The Weir on the Nive Stream

    Below the center of town on the river us a weir to control the flow of water past the town. Along the river are several pleasant restaurants.

  • The Rue d'Espagne

    At the far end of town after a hill toward toward the South is the Way toward the border only 7 km further. On this end of town there are extensive ramparts which run down to the river

  • Into the Upper Town

    Further down the hill there are the older buildings. On the right one of the older buildings is called the former almshouse which contains a small museum. Nearby on a wall is a plaque with an inscription indicating the pilgrimage direction.

  • Walk In the Haut Ville

    On the hill above the Ville Haut on the right near the St. Jacques gateway is the Citadel which is of the 17C with views into the distance.

  • More Views of the Church

    The best view of the church is from the South along the Nive. A view frpm the North side gives a view toward the Citadel above the upper Ville. Another view from further down the Nive River shows the Belfry and the Church. The inside of the church is simple.

  • The Church Belfry and More

    The North and Southern sides of the Belfry have statues below the top. The one on the south is the Notre Dame. That on the north is possibly an Archangel. There is nothing on the west and south sides. It gives a nice view of the rue d'-Eglise

  • The West Front of the Assumption Church

    The church of the little old city of St. Jean is in the rue d'Eglise and its west end projects over the bridge edge. It is called the Church of the Assumption or alternately Notre Dame. The western entrance has an arcade of small statues upon it of various types ranging from grotesques to church leaders to grape clusters and leaf groups.

  • Accueil des Pelerins

    The Accueil des Pelerins, or Pilgrims' Welcome, is an oft-visited centre in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. It has information on the route and is a great place to meet up with other pilgrims en route to Santiago, but if you're not on your way to make the pilgrimage, there isn't really a lot to see or do here. Nevertheless, given the popularity of the...

  • Maison des Evêques

    The Maison des Evêques is a mediaeval structure that is now open to the public as a museum. This area was frequently engulfed in the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries, not least because of its proximity to Navarre, where King Henry I was a Protestant monarch. I don't remember the exact story behind the house, but I believe that at one...

  • Rue de la Citadelle

    Rue de la Citadelle is the major street that runs through the old town of St. Jean Pied de Port. In fact, now that I think about it, it may be the only street running through the inside of the ramparts, if you exclude that little piece of Rue de France that enters through the Porte de France. This street is typically what you would expect from a...

  • Rue d'Espagne

    Rue d'Espagne is essentially the continuation of the Rue de la Citadelle on the opposite side of the Nive from the Citadelle. It does not have the same charm and old-world character of the town within the walls, and this is largely because it is packed with shops hawking anything and everything that might be considered Basque or Basque-inspired....

  • The Ramparts

    Donebane Garazi is a fortified town, and its ramparts and various other defensive structures have been incredibly well maintained. It is one of the aspects of the town that is so attractive, especially if you walk up from the train station and enter through the Porte de France. Surprisingly, the ramparts can be accessed by simply going up...

  • La Nive

    I know, this is a bit of a double-up tip: I have one on the Nive in my page on Bayonne too. The thing is that the Nive in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is quite different from the Nive at its confluence with the Adour. Here is where the Nive begins, in the torrents above Donebane Garazi, and here is where the Nive has a quintessentially Basque feel,...

  • Pont Notre-Dame

    It seems like everything in Donebane Garazi is named Notre-Dame, which is perhaps also why everything has a second name. This old bridge, which crosses the Nive near the Porte Notre-Dame, is also known as the Pont Sainte-Marie or the Pont romain, despite the fact that it dates from the 1630s and not the Roman period. It provides pretty views of the...

  • Porte Notre Dame

    The Porte Notre Dame is interesting because it serves as both a gate and a clock tower for the Church next to it. It opens the ramparts of the old city onto the Nive and provides the continuation of the Rue de la Citadelle into the newer part of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. There is an interesting statue as well beneath the clock, adding to the mixed...

  • Église Notre Dame

    The Église Notre Dame is a rather small, unassuming church at the end of the Rue de la Citadelle inside the ramparts of the old city. In fact, it is actually right up against the rampart walls, and part of the church juts out on the other side of the defensive line (see the fifth picture). It has an interesting statue of Jesus (I think that's...


Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Hotels

  • Hotel Central

    Rue Du Trinquet, 64220, Saint Jean Pied de Port, France

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

  • VVF Villages Garazi

    17 chemin de Kuruchamendy, Saint Jean Pied de Port, 64220, France

    Good for: Families

  • Gite Compostella

    Principally a b+b for pilgrims it has rooms for couples or singles only, no dorms. Clean enough with...


Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Restaurants

  • lomi's Profile Photo

    by lomi Written Aug 27, 2010

    There are many restaurants and cafe's offering plat du jour of a lunch-time in this town. My advice is start looking for somewhere to eat just after 12pm as everywhere gets busy, especially in August.

    We found Chez Peio by default as everywhere we looked, seemed to be busy the day were were there. However we noticed a couple leaving some seats outside this cafe and immediately took their place. I'm rarely dissapointed when eating out in France. Be patient if its August! It took a while to get served but we were not dissapointed by the food.

    Favorite Dish: we ordered the lamb chops, which arrived with an enormous salad, a jug of the local Rosè wine and basket of bread. The lamb was divine.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Transportation

  • fabrice's Profile Photo

    by fabrice Written Aug 31, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    from paris there is a fast train:paris-bordeaux-bayonne-biarritz-hendaye-irun(spain).....bordeaux has an international airport(mérignac) and so has biarritz(parme)
    there is a cute little train from bayonne to saint-jean-pied-de-port(see its picture)

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Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Local Customs

  • Basque in Donebane Garazi

    Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, or Donebane Garazi (much the same in Basque) is in a heavily Basque-speaking area. This is rather odd for France, where the government and educational system were heavily stacked against the preservation of the Basque language. Perhaps the process of urbanization and the flight of youth to the cities has helped the language...

  • Basque Architecture

    I think that Donebane Garazi is far better for seeing and experiencing traditional Basque archtecture than is Bayonne. This is probably because Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is a solidly Basque town, whereas Bayonne was mixed Basque-Gascon when it began growing in the Middle Ages, and then the city's architectural tastes were again affected by the...

  • Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Hotels

    3 Hotels in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Off The Beaten Path

  • Take a walk in the countryside

    Unfortunately, my leg was bothering me badly when I visited Donebane Garazi, and I wasn't able to wandering about in the areas surrounding the town. It wasn't for lack of desire that I didn't hike a bit - the green hills and fields just call for you to take an hour or two to explore the valleys and paths. The countryside is absolutely spectacular,...

  • Route d'Uhart

    I couldn't find the official name of this square, but it is pretty easy to find, as it is where the Route d'Uhart (a large street) meets the Rue d'Uhart (a small street branching off from the Rue d'Espagne). It has an interesting monument to a French politician, Charles Floquet. Actually, the monument is interesting because it is entirely in Basque...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

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Explore Deeper into Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
The route to the Citadelle
Things to Do
The Citadelle
Things to Do
Map of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

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