The French Way, or Camino Francés, is the most popular and sociable route of the Camino de Santiago walk. It is the itinerary chosen by 60% of pilgrims, and there are many books and movies showing it, like “The Way”.
After the discovery of the remains of Saint James de Apostle in 812, Santiago de Compostela became a pilgrimage destination. The French Way started to be a route towards the sacred city during the Reconquista period. It was considered to be a safe way into Spain, for those pilgrims coming from Northern Europe. Moreover, the route followed the same path as an ancient Roman road. This way, even if the French Camino is not the oldest route (this is the Primitive Way, or Camino Primitivo) it became the most popular itinerary of the whole Camino de Santiago.