France - Walking from Lourdes to St Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Foothill Route

France - Walking from Lourdes to St Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Foothill Route

Self-guided walking tour on the Pyrenean Foothill route from Lourdes to Saint Jean Pied de Port

The Piemont Route also called the Pyrenean Foothill Route winds its way across the foothills of the Pyrenees between Lourdes and Saint Jean Pied de Port which is the first stage in France of the Camino Frances before crossing the mountain range and reach Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Between the fervent city of Lourdes and  the authentic St-Jean-Pied-de-Port this route crosses many villages along the Gave River on GR78 and then reaches the famous GR65 .You will discover the green hilly Bearn and Basque country, both very rich cutural places, that offer views over the Pyrenenan Mountain range in a preserved environment.

The accommodation is carefully selected :  2 and 3 star hotels or Guest Houses / 1 night in a pilgrim dormitory on day 5


Once in Saint Jean Pied de Port you can decide to pursue your walk on the Camino Frances from Roncesvalles to Pamplona  ( from 3 to 4 more stages)

Day 1

Afternoon arrival in Lourdes. A high place of Pilgrimage, with the Domain and the town's 35 place of cult. Dinner and night in a hotel close to the Sanctuary.

Day 2

Lourdes-Lestelle Betharram – 16 km (10 miles) – 4 hour walk.
A shorter walk to have the time to walk underneath the arches of St Pee de Bigorre, before taking a break in the coolness of the Betharram caves, reaching finally the imposing Chapel of Notre Dame de Betharram.Dinner and night in a hotel near the caves.

Day 3

Lestelle Betharram-Arudy – 25 km (15 miles) – 6 ½ hour walk.
Today's walk leads you into the foothills of the Pyrenees mountain range passing through cultivated fields and numerous villages like St Martin d’Asson with its baroque St James evocation chapel, or Ste Colome and its 16th and 17th century sculpted lintel houses. The walk ends in Arudy where you can admire the 16th century marble church, the Ossau Valley house and ancient abbey. Dinner and night in a hotel in Arudy.

Day 4

Arudy-Oloron Ste Marie – 23 km (14 miles)- 6 hour walk.
The Pyrenees range, postcard scenery and the Gave River, a mountain torrent from where came the rocks used in the stone walls of the traditional houses. Close to the village of Busy discover a glacial erratic block left there by the Ossau Glacier. The last ascent of the day leads to the typical mountain city of Oloron Ste Marie with its ancient bridge and 12th century church.Dinner and night in a hotel in Oloron.

Day 5

Oloron Sainte Marie- Hopital St Blaise – 18 km (11 miles)- 4 ¾ hour walk
Your path today arrives in Moumour with its 13th to 16th century Oloron Bishop Castle, next heading off to the village of Orin discovering its peculiar St Martin porch. Among corn fields we continue reaching Hôpital St Blaise and its Greek-cross-shaped Church. Dinner in a restaurant and night in a Pilgrim dormitory run by the Church.

Day 6

Hopital St Blaise- Mauleon – 15 km (9 miles)- 4 hour walk.
The green rolling hills and the Cheraute Forest marks your entrance into Basque Country. The perched fortified castle of Mauleon, its toll bridge as well as the 16th century Notre Dame Church are all worth a visit.Dinner and night in Mauleon

Day 7

Mauleon-St Just Ibarre-Larceveau 21km (13 miles)- 5 hour walk.
Here starts the real mountain. Just before climbing up to Napale Pass (539m), have a break at the Odiarp Church on the river's edge. Your descent takes you into the large and green Bidouze valley and the hamlet of St Just Ibarre.Transfer with a taxi to Larceveau to spend the night. Dinner and night in a Guest House in Larceveau.

Day 8

St Just Ibarre or Larceveau St Jean Pied de Port – 20 km (12 miles) -5 hour walk.
Taxi transfer to Saint Just Ibarre in the morning, or no taxi transfer if you continue your way from Larceveau. Another mountain stage with the crossing of the Gamia Pass (503m). You can admire and observe the vultures hovering over your head and down slowly towards the castle Apat flanked by four round towers. After passing through St Jean le Vieux you reach St Jean Pied de Port, the first step of the "Way" in France where most of the routes converge. Dinner and night in Saint Jean.

Day 9

End of the tour after breakfast

titre 1

Self guided WALKING
Duration :
9 Days
From :
800 €

Included :

(see details in Dates and prices section)

 2 or 3 star hotels- Half Board- (dinners + breakfasts)

Luggage transfer- A road book and a map.

English Phone Assistance 




Starts in : Lourdes.

Ends in : St Jean-Pied-de-Port.

Access : Lourdes train station.






More Information

Phone : +33 558 48 71 65

Customize your tour : add or remove one night or more. Combine with another section of the Way of Saint James :


See also :

Walking from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Logrono


More pictures on the walking tour here



Pay your trip online.


.Off the beaten path in Bearn and Basque Country

.Discover the fervent Lourdes.

.The incredible views on the Pyrenees range.