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The Camino Francés | French Way

French Way | Full Walk

Pilgrims on the French Way

Tour Description

Walk the Full French Way or Camino Francés from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago

Walk the most popular route of the Camino de Santiago from its very beginning, the French village of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. On the full French Way (or Camino Francés) you will be able to discover the most genuine and rural side of Spain, contemplate its diverse landscapes and some of the main cities such as Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Ponferrada… and finally Santiago de Compostela!
This trip, created by locals, will allow you to meet many fellow Pilgrims from all over the world, taste our delicious gastronomy, and discover both the main cities and the countryside. Forget about your luggage and all the logistics, we will take care of all these details, so you can enjoy the Camino Francés!

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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

Arrival to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

The lovely village of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port has a medieval atmosphere, and a strong presence of the Basque culture. It marks the beginning of the French Way. We strongly recommend to wander around its small streets, to get ready for the Camino.

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port – Roncesvalles (26 km)

The first walking day is one of the most challenging of the Camino Francés, but at the same time the views are stunning, from the Pyrenees Mountains. For those who want to avoid long slopes, it is possible to take the route to Valcarlos, through the valley.

Roncesvalles – Zubiri (22 km)

We leave France behind, and once in Spain the walk will become a bit lighter than the previous day. Even if the route is called “French Way”, only the first walking day is in France (all the rest is in Spain). The panoramic view of the Pyrenees Mountains will be on your back. You will walk through crop fields, in parallel to the Erro River.

Zubiri – Pamplona (20 km)

The day will start through a quiet area, in parallel to the Arga River, with many trees and shadows. The last part will became busier, as we approach Pamplona, a great city. There is a lot to do there, for those thinking about adding an extra night, Pamplona is definitely a good choice. One of the best things of the French Way, is that we can visit some of the major cities of Northern Spain.

Pamplona – Puente de la Reina (24 km)

The first part of the day will be through paved roads, as we leave Pamplona behind. Today you will be able to contemplate the Pilgrim Statue in the Alto del Perdón.

Puente de la Reina – Estella (22 km)

The walk from Puente de la Reina to Estella is quite relaxing, through farms and vineyards. You will walk through the ruins of the Monasterio de la Bogota, wineries, and old Roman bridges, until you arrive in Estella.

Estella – Los Arcos (22 km)

Most of the walk passes through small rural areas, surrounded by natural landscapes and vineyards.

Los Arcos – Logroño (27 km)

This is a lovely stretch, because of the natural areas, until we reach the outskirts of Logroño, the capital city of La Rioja Region. It is a great place to add an extra night. Logroño is also one of the most iconic towns of the Camino Francés.

Logroño – Nájera (27 km)

You will walk through paved roads until you finally leave Logroño; just after, the landscape will become more rural. If this walking day seems to be too long, you can add an extra night in Navarrete, which is in between.

Nájera – Santo Domingo de la Calzada (24 km)

Today the walk will take you through some of the most rural areas of Spain, farms and countryside, away from the main road.

Santo Domingo de la Calzada – Belorado (22 km)

On the way to Belorado, we will walk through small wooden areas and crop lands. We will see the mountains on the horizon, the last ones just before arriving to the “Meseta”. La Meseta: this part is avoided by some pilgrims walking the French Way (it is considered to be the “psychological” stretch of the Camino de Santiago).

Belorado – San Juan de Ortega (24 km)

You will enjoy a relaxing day, through rural areas, and cross the Oca Mountains.

San Juan de Ortega – Burgos (24 km)

Once we leave Burgos behind, the walk to Hornillos del Camino will take us through rural areas, and the typical crop lands of this region.

Burgos – Hornillos del Camino (20 km)

Once we leave Burgos behind, the walk to Hornillos del Camino will take us through rural areas, and the typical crop lands of this region.

Hornillos del Camino – Castrojeriz (18 km)

This lovely landscape is very similar to the one seen on the previous day. It is a nice walk through the “Meseta”.

Castrojeriz – Frómista (25 km)

Today we leave behind the Province of Burgos, and arrive into the Province of Palencia. We will arrive into the highest point of the “Meseta”, and see the Pisuerga River (a tributary of the Duero, one of the main rivers in Spain).

Frómista – Carrión de los Condes (19 km)

The walk to Carrión de los Condes goes in parallel to the Uciesa River, and also to the main road in some stretches.

Carrión de los Condes – Calzadilla de la Cueza (17 km)

This walking day is a bit shorter, through rural areas. That’s why we recommend to stop and visit the Monasterio de San Zoilo.

Calzadilla de la Cueza a Sahagún (17 km)

We will find many ups and downs on the way to Sahagún, as we will walk through small valleys. Be ready, as it can be a bit more challenging.

Sahagún – El Burgo Ranero (18 km)

The terrain from Sahagún to El Burgo Ranero is quite flat. It is a quiet walk through farmlands.

El Burgo Ranero – Mansilla de las Mulas (19 km)

El Burgo Ranero – Mansilla de las Mulas (19 km)

Mansilla de las Mulas – León (17 km)

The landscape will start to get more urban as we approach the city of León, one of the main stops of the Camino de Santiago. León has a really nice historical quarter, and many buildings that are worth a visit, such as the Cathedral. We recommend to add an extra night here, specially to those who want to discover it in depth.

León – Villavante (31 km)

This walking day is quite flat and quiet. Once we leave behind the suburbs of León, we will find again rural and crop areas.

Villavante – Astorga (21 km)

As we get closer to the Mountains of León, the terrain will become more irregular, with ups and downs. Astorga is a stop with many interesting spots, this town is linked to Gaudí, the architect.

Astorga – Rabanal del Camino (19 km)

Today we will get into the Mountains of León, surrounded by trees and plantations. The landscape of the “Meseta” is finally over.

Rabanal del Camino – Ponferrada (32 km)

On the way to Ponferrada, we will see the Iron Cross (Cruz de Hierro in Spanish, and Cruz de Ferro in Galician), on of the most emblematic symbols of the French Way. It is quite a long route, but really rewarding.

Ponferrada – Villafranca del Bierzo (23 km)

Ponferrada is the starting point for many pilgrims that want to complete the last 200 km of the French Way. The walk, through the Bierzo Region, has a lovely landscape.

Villafranca del Bierzo – O Cebreiro (28 km)

Villafranca del Bierzo – O Cebreiro (28 km)

O Cebreiro – Triacastela (21 km)

The walk from O Cebreiro to Triacastela is not as demanding as the previous one. We will see the Pilgrim Monument in the Alto Poio, and finally a nice descent towards Triacastela.

Triacastela – Sarria ( 18 km)

From Triacastela to Sarria, we will enjoy a nice walk through some of the most rural areas of Galicia, we will see small woods, streams and valleys. Sarria is the starting point of most of the Pilgrims walking the French Way, as 100 km is the minimum required to get the Certificate.

Sarria – Portomarín (22 km)

A lot of pilgrims start their walk in Sarria, since this town marks the beginning of the last 100 km of the French Way. You will see that the number of pilgrims will radically increase from this point. The walk will take you to some of the most iconic spots of the French Way, such as Morgade, or Portomarín. This medieval town is considered by many visitors, as one of the most beautiful places of the Camino Francés.

Portomarín – Palas de Rei (25 km)

The walk will take all pilgrims through rural areas, pine forests, and woods. There will also be time to visit really nice hamlets, with religious constructions, such as Santa María de Castromayor (after leaving behind Portomarín). This stretch finishes in Palas de Rei. There are many restaurants and hotels in Palas de Rei, a town where everything seems to be related to the Camino de Santiago.

Palas de Rei – Arzúa (29 km)

The walk from Palas de Rei to Arzúa is the longest of the last 100 km of the Camino Francés. That is why a lot of pilgrims split in two, and stay in Melide. Melide is very popular because of the octopus, we strongly recommend you to taste it if you are around! Just before arriving in Arzúa, you will walk through Ribadiso: the river, the trees, the traditional houses… everything looks like a perfect postcard image.

Arzúa – Pedrouzo (19 km)

We strongly recommend you to taste the delicious traditional cheese before you leave Arzúa. This stretch of the French Way continues through small hamlets, eucalyptus forests… One of the highlights of the day: the Chapel of Santa Irene. The final stop of the day is O Pedrouzo. This village is quite small, and limited in terms of accommodation. There are other hamlets around (also on the Camino de Santiago) like Rúa, O Pino, or Amenal. These are also popular spots to stay overnight.

Pedrouzo – Santiago (20 km)

Last walking day of the French Way, that will finally take us to Santiago de Compostela. If you feel it is very long, and you prefer to arrive in Santiago on time for the Pilgrim Mass, you can stay overnight in Lavacolla (just 10 km far from Santiago de Compostela). One of the most emotional moments of the French Way, will be the ascent to “Monte do Gozo”. This is considered to be a moment for self-awareness and reflection. To think about all the magical moments of an adventure that is about to end. Some of the things we recommend you to do once in Santiago de Compostela: -Go to the Pilgrims’ Office to get your “Compostela (Pilgrim Certificate) -Go to the Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral -Visit the most popular spots of the city: Plaza del Obradoiro, Plaza de la Quintana, the Cathedral…

Check out Santiago

Last day of the adventure. It is possible to add some extra nights in Santiago de Compostela so you can explore de city. We strongly recommend you to visit Finisterre or the Rias Baixas before leaving Galicia region.

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

Frequent questions

From Pamplona Airport

  • Car or cab: 77km with an estimated duration of 1h.
  • Bus: Take the urban bus from Pamplona Airport to the bus stop Yanguas y Miranda nº 19. Frequency every 20′ (17′ trip). Another option is to take a cab to the station (7′ trip). From the station, take a bus (ALSA) to Saint-Jean-Pied de Port (1 hour and 45 minutes). For schedules and more information visit: www.infotuc.es/index.php/es/ and www.alsa.es

From Madrid Airport

  • Car or cab: 460km with an estimated duration of 5 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Train: From T4 take the suburban train (LÍNEA C1) direction Atocha, journey time 40 minutes. Once there, take a train (RENFE) towards Pamplona, journey time 3h. In Pamplona, go by car (journey time 1h) or transfer to a bus (ALSA) to Saint-Jean-Pied de Port, journey time 1h and 45 minutes. For schedules and more information visit: www.renfe.com and www.alsa.es
  • Bus: From T4 take the bus to Soria or Zaragoza (ALSA), journey time between 52h and 3h 35 minutes. At the respective station take a bus to Pamplona, journey time 2h and 30 minutes. In Pamplona, go by car (1h trip) or transfer to a bus (ALSA) to Saint-Jean-Pied de Port, 1h and 45 minutes journey. For schedules and more information visit: www.alsa.es

From Barcelona Airport

  • Car or cab: 540km with an estimated duration of 5h.
  • Bus: From the TB take the bus (LÍNEA A2) to the stop Pl Espanya – Fgc, journey time 20′. There, go to Barcelona Sants to take a bus (MONBUS) to Pamplona, journey time 5h and 40 minutes. In Pamplona, go by car (1 hour trip) or transfer to a bus (ALSA) to Saint-Jean-Pied de Port, 1 hour and 45 minutes trip. For timetables and more information visit: www.amb.cat/s/es/home.html, www.monbus.es and www.alsa.es
  • Train: Take the train (LÍNEA R2N) towards Barcelona Sants (20′ trip). Once there transfer to the train (RENFE) direction Pamplona, journey time 3h and 50 minutes. In Pamplona go by car (1 hour journey) or transfer to a bus (ALSA) to Saint-Jean-Pied de Port, journey time 1 hour and 45 minutes. For schedules and more information visit: www.renfe.com and www.alsa.es

Our costumers reviews

Pilgrims on the French Way

TOUR SUMMARY

DISTANCE: 740 Km
STAGES: 34 Stages
DURATION: 35 Nights
DIFICULTy: 5/5
START: St. Jean P.P.
PRICE: desde 2765€

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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