The Camino Francés | French Way

Camino de Santiago from Burgos

camino-de-santiago-desde-burgos

Tour Description

Burgos is one of the most important cities on the French Way and a popular starting point. The itinerary we propose below has a duration of 23 days and is divided into 22 stages over approximately 485 km. If you are worried that the stages are too long or if you prefer a more relaxed pace, remember that our itineraries are totally flexible, so we can split them in two or add extra nights for you to rest.

The Camino de Santiago from Burgos is the ideal option if you want to avoid the crowds that are concentrated in the most popular starting points of the French Way: Roncesvalles and Saint Jean Pied de Port.

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Experience details

Included Services

Lodging in private room with private bathroom
Luggage transfer between stages
Half board: breakfast and dinner
Travel insurance
Walking notes
Pilgrim passport
24/7 telephone assistance

The Camino de Santiago from Burgos consists of 485 km to Santiago de Compostela. The route starts in the autonomous community of Castilla y León and ends in Galicia.

In addition to Burgos, the French Way has other popular starting points such as León, Astorga, Ponferrada and especially Sarria, which comprises the last 100 km of the Way, required to obtain the Compostela.

Stage 1: Burgos - Hornillos del Camino (20 km)

Once in the city of Burgos, we will enter the Meseta, where we will walk along a path of holm oak forests and small villages until we reach Hornillos del Camino. This charming town, considered a Jacobean village, is home to the church of San Román, a Gothic-style temple from the 16th century. This stage generally has a flat profile, but there are different gradients in some of the sections. After leaving the town of Rabé de las Calzadas, a slight descent begins for 9 km until reaching the Cuesta de Matamulos, where there is a notable descent.

Stage 2: Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz (18 km)

Once we leave Hornillos del Camino, this is a fairly flat stage with hardly any significant elevations, which makes it an easy route for pilgrims. Descending the valley of the river Bol, we reach Castrojeriz, a village of rich historical heritage and natural beauty. You cannot miss its castle, located on a hill with stunning panoramic views of the town and its surroundings; and the Monastery of San Antón, a former pilgrims’ hospital.

Stage 3: Castrojeriz - Frómista (25 km)

In this last stage of the Burgos region, we reach Palencia. Although the previous stages did not present great unevenness, this itinerary begins with the ascent to the Alto de Mostelares, the highest point of the Meseta. After crossing the municipality of Boadilla del Camino, we reach the end of the route: the town of Frómista, capital of the Romanesque Palencia. It has a diverse cultural offer where the church of San Martín stands out, with an interior of frescoes, strokes and colors that will transport you to the Middle Ages.

Stage 4: Frómista - Carrión de los Condes (19 km)

This journey is similar to the previous ones: flat and with hardly any unevenness, crossing the extensive cereal plains of the region of Tierra de Campos. On your way through Villalcázar de Sirga, we recommend a visit to the Templar church of Santa María la Blanca, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and dating from the 13th century. Following the C-908 we arrive at Carrión de los Condes, emblematic residence of the Beni-Gómez family, historical enemies of the Cid.

Stage 5: Carrión de los Condes - Calzadilla de la Cueza (17 km)

Once again, long stretches of cereal fields will dominate the day. However, this path runs along an ancient Roman road: the Via Aquitana. The end of this route is in the small town of Calzadilla de la Cueza, whose large number of Santiago crosses testify to the important presence that the Order of Santiago had in the municipality. Important note We recommend taking enough food and drink before leaving Carrión de los Condes, because for ten kilometers you will not find any town along the way. In addition, the route crosses the N-120 on several occasions. Although it is not a busy road, we advise you to be very careful when crossing it.

Stage 6: Calzadilla de la Cueza - Sahagún (17 km)

In this stage, we leave the province of Palencia to enter the last of Castilla, León. It is a simple route, generally flat and without slopes. Once in León, we reach the end of the stage: the Mudejar-style town of Sahagún. This town is characterized by its mud brick and straw houses, its castles and its golden cereal fields. Among its historical heritage, the ruins of the Royal Monastery of San Benito, declared a National Monument; and the church of San Lorenzo, the Romanesque jewel of the town, built in Moorish brick, stand out.

Stage 7: Sahagún - El Burgo Ranero (18 km)

After leaving Sagahún, we head towards El Burgo Ranero. In this land of history and legend, its old town, declared a Historic Site; and the parish church of San Pedro are the main attractions, The route of this stage does not pose great difficulties, as it runs between a flat path of shady plane trees, created so that pilgrims can comfortably continue their walk.

Stage 8: El Burgo Ranero - Mansilla de las Mulas (19 km)

This itinerary runs along a flat track between villages and cereal fields through the ancient lands of the Kingdom of León until it reaches the old walled town of Mansilla de las Mulas. Located on the banks of the Esla River, it houses a medieval urban structure and part of its wall, considered the best medieval fortification work in the province of León. In addition, it still retains its traditional hospitable and Jacobean vocation, as it continues to be a place of passage for thousands of pilgrims.

Stage 9: Mansilla de las Mulas - León (17 km)

This route does not present difficulties and its landscape will become more urban as we approach León, historical enclave of the Camino de Santiago. The result of its splendor during the Middle Ages, it has an important Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance legacy. Its magnificent cathedral stands out with its carved porticoes, colorful stained glass windows and emblematic rose windows; and the Azabachería street, closely related to the Camino de Santiago, as there were the artisans who made the pilgrim’s shells. León is a city of great historical value with a multitude of places of interest, so we recommend adding an extra night so you do not miss the opportunity to know all the charms of this city.

Stage 10: León - Villavante (31 km)

The route leads us along wheat fields and rural landscapes to Villavante, a beautiful agricultural village very popular with pilgrims throughout the year. It has one of the few schools of bell ringers in Spain and every year it holds the Encuentro de Campaneros, a celebration declared a Tourist Event of Cultural Interest. Important note When leaving León, the path runs very close to the N-120, so we recommend paying special attention to the crossings, especially at those points that lack pedestrian crossings.

Stage 11: Villavante - Astorga (21 km)

The route begins to become irregular, with ups and downs, as we approach the Montes de León. This route presents interesting places to visit such as the Passo Honroso bridge, one of the most famous medieval bridges of the Camino de Santiago, located at the exit of the town of Puente Órbigo; and the destination of today’s stage: Astorga. On top of a hill is Astorga, with a rich medieval legacy, the result of its location at a crossroads of the Camino de Santiago and the Via de la Plata route. Its walled enclosure preserves churches, convents and hospitals. It also highlights a masterpiece of the modernist architect Antonio Gaudí: the Episcopal Palace.

Stage 12: Astorga - Rabanal del Camino (19 km)

The French Way enters the region of La Maragatería and crosses lands of unique architecture and gastronomy. On this route you can take a detour to visit Castrillo de los Polvazares, a village of Maragatería architecture declared a Historic-Artistic Site. After crossing the old municipality of Santa Catalina de Somoza we arrive at Rabanal del Camino. Here you can visit the church of the Assumption and the house of the Four Corners, where it is said that Philip II spent the night during his pilgrimage to Santiago in the sixteenth century.

Stage 13: Rabanal del Camino - Ponferrada (32 km)

Leaving behind the urban layout of Ponferrada, the Bierzo region offers a change of scenery where orchards and aromatic vineyards will be the protagonists of this stage. Thus, we arrive at Villafranca del Bierzo, a charming medieval village, dominated by a feudal fortress. Its old town has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and its Jacobean character has turned it into an important tourist center. Important note The departure from Ponferrada may seem confusing, as it goes through the whole city, but it will be the perfect excuse to see this city one last time before continuing on our way.

Stage 14: Ponferrada - Villafranca del Bierzo (23 km)

Leaving behind the urban layout of Ponferrada, the Bierzo region offers a change of scenery where orchards and aromatic vineyards will be the protagonists of this stage. Thus, we arrive at Villafranca del Bierzo, a charming medieval village, dominated by a feudal fortress. Its old town has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and its Jacobean character has turned it into an important tourist center. Important note The departure from Ponferrada may seem confusing, as it goes through the whole city, but it will be the perfect excuse to see this city one last time before continuing on our way.

Stage 15: Villafranca del Bierzo - O Cebreiro (28 km)

This route is more demanding, as it enters a mountain pass with a steep slope, being the hardest ascent the stretch that runs between Hospital and La Faba. The municipality that ends this stage is O Cebreiro, first stop of the French Way in Galicia and located in the region of Os Ancares Lucenses, a beautiful natural area declared a Biosphere Reserve. Here you can discover the legend of the miracle of O Cebreiro and the statue of the pilgrim woman at the viewpoint of the village.

Stage 16: O Cebreiro - Triacastela (21 km)

The route between O Cebreiro and Triacastela continues with constant ups and downs, so we recommend taking it easy and enjoying the scenery during the walk. The end of the stage, Triacastela, is the first Galician village on the Camino and has an archaeological heritage of great interest, as there were three important castles, hence the name Triacastela.

Stage 17: Triacastela - Sarria (18 km)

From Triacastela to Sarria, we will enjoy a pleasant walk through rural areas, small forests and valleys. Sarria is the starting point of the French Way for many pilgrims, as the last 100 km is the minimum required to obtain the Compostela.

Stage 18: Sarria - Portomarín (22 km)

In this section you will find sections with frequent slopes but they will not be a difficulty on your way. During the route, you will be able to enjoy the most rural Galicia through its beautiful forests of carballeiras. Several Romanesque vestiges, rustic walkways and medieval bridges are other charms of this stage.

Stage 19: Portomarín - Palas de Rei (25 km)

Its layout is characterized by paths parallel to the road and asphalted tracks for pilgrims. Along the route, we will come across small villages and places of great interest such as the Os Lameiros crossroads or the Castromaior archaeological sites.

Stage 20: Palas de Rei - Arzúa (29 km)

This stage marks the final stretch of the French Way. Several sections of the stage are hard, as they have numerous climbs and descents, on poorly preserved tracks. It is one of the longest of the Galician territory, so we recommend splitting it in two and spend the night in Melide. In addition, it is also one of the stages with the largest number of places of historical and cultural interest, such as Melide or Arzúa, where we will meet the pilgrims of the Primitive Way.

Stage 21: Arzúa - Pedrouzo (19 km)

Stage 21: Arzúa – Pedrouzo (19 km)

Stage 22: Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela ( 20 km)

Last stage of our French Way is a short route without great difficulties through eucalyptus forests, until you reach Monte do Gozo, from where you can see the Cathedral of Santiago in the distance. Santiago de Compostela has a World Heritage Site and in its majestic cathedral, the remains of the apostle St. James rest.

The French Way route from Burgos has a moderate-high level of difficulty due to its long distances and significant slopes at the entrance to Galicia. It is an extensive route, 485 km, so it will be a challenging experience for many pilgrims.

Layout

The French Way from Burgos has different characteristics along the route. Generally, the route runs through the Meseta, compact dirt roads that are very comfortable to walk on. However, in certain areas, you will find stony ground, so it is essential that you pay more attention to this uneven terrain.

In certain sections of the Camino, especially in towns and urban areas, you will walk on asphalt roads and paths, which are harder on the legs and feet.
The difficulty of the terrain can influence fatigue and walking speed, so we recommend adapting your pace to the conditions of the terrain.

Slope

The gradient may vary depending on the stage. When you start the route in Burgos, the terrain will generally be flat, with gentle hills and small elevations as you enter the Meseta. The stages with the greatest gradient are those that take place in the region of León, as you pass through its mountains; and once you approach Galicia, when the route runs between hills and valleys, with moderate ascents and descents.

Signposting

Along the route, you can find your way around by following the different signs such as cairns, scallop shells or bronze scallops located on walls, buildings or floors along the route.

Important note:
At some point along the route you may come across the iconic scallop shell without an accompanying yellow arrow. In this case, you will have to follow the direction that the open part of the shell points to continue on your way to Santiago de Compostela.

Standard Category Accommodations on The Camino Francés | French Way

1* and 2* hotels

These hotels offer private rooms with private bathrooms as well as other additional services that may vary depending on the type of category: restaurant service, television, room service, dry cleaning, ironing service, etc. It is common to stay in this type of hotels in the cities along the Camino.

Hostels and pensions

These accommodations have the necessary services to cover the basic needs of cleanliness and rest at a more moderate price than the hotels . Officially, hostels and guesthouses are 1-star accommodations. However, this rating should not be taken into account when evaluating the level of comfort and quality of their services.

Trip cancellation insurance
Upgrade to superior room
Extra night at the beginning of the tour
Extra night at the end of the tour
Private transfer airport-starting location
Private transfer Santiago-Airport
Other private transfers
Organized visits and excursions
Pilgrim massage

Route map

Touristic information

The Camino de Santiago is one of the oldest pilgrimage routes in the world whose origin dates back to the ninth century when the remains of the apostle were found in the holy city of Santiago de Compostela.

Villages you will visit on the Camino de Santiago from Burgos

On the French Way from Burgos, pilgrims will encounter numerous picturesque villages on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The most outstanding are the following:

Frómista

Capital of the Romanesque architecture in Palencia, it is linked to the two roads that history has bequeathed to it, the Camino de Santiago and the Canal de Castilla.

Carrión de los Condes

Carrión de los Condes

Emblematic locality that keeps an important patrimonial legacy such as the Royal Monastery of San Zoilo

Mansilla de las Mulas:

Ancient walled town with medieval layout, this town stands out for its Romanesque churches and traditional squares.

León

Known as the “Sistine Chapel” of Spanish Romanesque architecture, it has an incredible natural landscape such as the National Park of Picos de Europa or Las Médulas; and a rich cultural heritage.

Rabanal del Camino

A small town that preserves traditional Maragata architecture and religious heritage where the Church of Assumption, which belonged to the Order of the Temple, stands out.

Ponferrada

Capital of the Bierzo region, it has an imposing historic center with a castle founded by the Templars and a wide range of monuments and culture.

Villafranca del Bierzo

Villafranca del Bierzo

A town in León whose emblematic monuments and Jacobean character have turned it into an important tourist center.

O Cebreiro

Village made up of pallozas and closely linked to the legend of the miracle of the Holy Grail.

Sarria

It is one of the most popular places to start the Camino, as it is 100 km away, the distance required to obtain the Compostela.

Portomarín

A small village located at the foot of the Miño river where the Romanesque church of San Juan and San Pedro stands out.

Palas de Rei

Small municipality in the region of Ulloa, of great importance in the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Arzúa

Also known as the “land of cheese”, it is one of the most important stops before reaching Santiago de Compostela.

O Pedrouzo

It is together with, Monte do Gozo, the last stop for pilgrims before their arrival in Santiago de Compostela. Among its cultural heritage highlights the Parish Church of Santa Eulalia or its numerous Roman forst from the Iron Age.

Places of interest on the French Way from Burgos

Atapuerca (Burgos)

Atapuerca (Burgos)

If you are a lover of history and archeology, you have to make a stop in Atapuerca on your way through Burgos. This archaeological site, cradle of the oldest human beings in Europe, is located in the Sierra de Atapuerca and was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000.

Although it is not a common place for pilgrims to visit on this route, many of them choose to make a detour to visit this important paleontological and archaeological site.

If you wish to visit Atapuerca, you should keep in mind that the site is located about 15 kilometers east of Burgos, so it will require additional time. To get there, you can consider taking public or private transportation from Burgos, such as a bus or cab.

Las Médulas (León)

Las Médulas is a scenic environment formed by an ancient Roman open-pit gold mining site located in the vicinity of the region of El Bierzo. This environment was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1996 for its archaeological interest; declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Natural Monument in 2002.

Although it is not directly on the route of the French Way, many pilgrims choose to visit this impressive place for its historical importance and natural beauty.

Monuments to visit on the Camino from Burgos

León Cathedral

As you pass through León, you will come across one of the monumental jewels of the French Route, its Cathedral. This Gothic basilica dates from the thirteenth century and is one of the most important historical and interesting points of the city. One of the treasures of this cathedral are its stained glass windows, one of the most outstanding collections of Gothic in Europe that create a mystical and luminous atmosphere inside. An unforgettable visit for pilgrims.

Cruz de Ferro

Cruz del Ferro

Also known as La Cruz de Hierro, Cruz do Ferro or Cruz de Fierro, it is located between the towns of Foncebadón and Manjarín, in the province of León. It is a mound of stones deposited by pilgrims passing through this place during their pilgrimage, and is crowned by a large wooden mast.

Castle of the Templars

Approaching the end of the route, we reach the town of Ponferrada. Located on a hill, we find the Castle of the Templars, a Romanesque style building dating from 1187 and one of the wonders of the Middle Ages declared of Cultural Interest and National Monument.
This historic place has a special relationship with the pilgrims. During the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar were known for their work of protection and lodging for travelers on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

What to do on the Camino de Santiago from Burgos?

Schedule cultural visits

You can enjoy monuments such as churches or monasteries and visit places recognized as World Heritage Sites such as Las Médulas or the Atapuerca archaeological site.

Enjoy a wine tasting

Many of the places that make up the Jacobean routes have an extensive tradition in the production of exquisite wines. Especially, the wines D.O. Ribera, D.O. Terra de León and D.O. Ribeira Sacra.

Taste the local gastronomy

The Camino de Santiago is also a gastronomic journey that will introduce you to the flavours of each region.

Frequent questions

From Burgos airport

By car: To the center of Burgos, it is 7 km, approximately 12 minutes.

From Vitoria airport

By car: It is 124 km with an approximate duration of 1h 17 min.
By bus: Take a LA UNION bus from the airport to the bus station, with an approximate duration of 15 minutes. Buses to Burgos leave from the bus station with an average duration of 1h 45 min. You can check the timetables and more information at www.autobuseslaunion.com and www.alsa.es

From Bilbao airport

By car: To Burgos there is a distance of 170 km, with an estimated duration of 1h 40 minutes.
By bus: From the airport, take a BIZKAIBUS bus to the Intermodal station of Bilbao with a duration of 20 minutes. Once there, take an ALSA bus with an average duration of approximately 3 hours. You can check their schedules and more information at www.bizkaia.eus and www.alsa.es.

FromMadrid airport

By bus: From the airport, take an ALSA bus from T4 to Burgos bus station, with an approximate duration of 3 hours. You can check their schedules and more information at www.alsa.es

Our costumers reviews

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TOUR SUMMARY

DISTANCE: 485 Km
STAGES: 23 Stages
DURATION: 22 Nights
DIFICULTy: 4/5
START: Burgos
PRICE: desde 1870€

Why book with Galiwonders?

Taylor-made Camino

We will design an itinerary tailored to your needs, preferences and budget and book all services for you. You enjoy the road.

We are on the Camino

Galicia is our home. We have traveled all the routes of the Camino and we have direct contact with the service providers on the Camino.

We are also travellers

We speak several languages, have lived abroad and have years of experience organizing trips for people from all over the world.

An unforguettable experience

Hundreds of pilgrims repeat year after year the experience of traveling with us. We want you to be one of them. And that is why we will strive to make your trip unique and unforgettable.

If you have any questions or want to plan your Camino de Santiago trip, our team will assist you in a personalized way!

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