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Explore the Forest of Witches via Camino de Santiago

Roncesvalles, Spain



14 miles

Elevation Gain

1500 ft

Route Type



Added by Tammy Molepske

Pass through the enchanted forest with divine protection and descend onward down into the plains of Spain.

Departing Roncesvalles with rested bodies was an unknown necessity.   As we picked up the path marked with blue and yellow arrows, my companions and I were promptly greeted with a dark and damp forest trail, with thick moss upon the stone wall.   I felt heavy, but not due to my pack or hiking boots that were trudging through the mud laden trail.   My mind and heart felt the burden, perhaps by the thoughts of the historical gravity of this pilgrimage or as evidence of time away from home.   Luckily the heft was lifting by an acknowledgment that the forest was protected, as were we for the journey to be had.

Exiting the forest, we carried on through village and field for several miles.  We admired church courtyards and stone bridges over creekways.  Eventually the sky opened after three days of fog and rain to reveal sun rays and a clear blue canvas to grace the camera lens.

We were truly unaware that the most difficult and physically burdening segment was yet ahead.   Steep ascents and rocky descents took a toll on knees, ankles and mindset for many more miles.   Luckily we were welcomed into Zubiri to fully restore with a stay at the beautiful hotel Txantxorena.  As many fellow pilgrims made their way out of forest and off of rock ridged trail, we all gathered to celebrate another day of accomplishment.

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