The traditional Camino de Santiago

The Camino Francés is probably the best Camino to travel alone: A great infrastructure and many fellow pilgrims make travelling easy and memorable. The rich cultural heritage of northern Spain and the long history of the Camino Francés ensure that this trip will be a definite highlight. The Camino crosses various region and passes mountains, dense forests, fertile wine region and vast high plains until its final destination in Santiago de Compostela.

Read about the history of the Camino Francés

In the 11th century, faced with growing numbers of pilgrims, king Sancho III of Navarra established a way over the Pyrenees to Nájera. The royal cities of Jana, Pamplona, Burgos and León were all connected by the Camino Frances and the thousands of pilgrims enriched the region both economically and culturally.

In 1993 the UNESCO included the French Way in their world heritage list, for its historic and cultural significance.
The medieval pilgrims left a strong imprint of the regions of Northern Spain and many traces of this time can still be found when walking the French Way. When foreign traders, craftsmen and artists settled along the Camino Frances, many Spaniards simply called them “Franks”, even though not all of them were. This is how the Camino Frances got its name.

It is true though, that especially the superior Frankish craftsmanship and architectural knowledge shaped many cities along the Camino. The movement of pilgrims was also a strong economic stimulus and many hospitals were founded along the way to treat pilgrims that had gotten ill. Cities like Logroño, Burgos and Santo Domingo de la Calzada owe their size and prestige partly to their location along the Camino Frances. Over time, many cities along the way acquired Christian relicts and built churches, while also more and more miracles were reported to have been witnessed in various locations.

As the French Way became the main route for pilgrims in medieval times, it still boasts many historical and cultural treats. Cities of medieval charm, stories of miracles, vibrant cities like León and great landscapes make it an absolute highlight. The great infrastructure and comradery among pilgrims make the Camino Frances so special and appealing. Most pilgrims begin their journey in St. Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees. It’s a 800km walk to Santiago de Compostela from here.

Camino Francés

Tour 1: High up the Pyrenees

Saint Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona

You will start in St. Jean Pied de Port, on the French side of the Pyrenees, following the Camino over the great mounatin range of the Pyrenees. Later you will cross the wine region "La Rioja" to the charming town Nájera. Read more...
67 km          5 days          medium - difficult

Tour 2: Bridges and Grapes

Pamplona to Logroño

Leaving Pamplona, you will hike up the Puerto del Perdón (Hill of Forgiveness). Later you can enjoy the beauty of the region "La Rioja", taste one of its great red wines and carry on until you reach Logroño. Read more...
94 km          6 Tage          easy - medium

Tour 3: On The Kingsroad

Logroño to Burgos

Leave the region La Rioja behind you and make your way to Burgos. Its cathedral is world-famous and this meautiful city warrants a rest day to explore it without haste. Read more...
123 km          8 Tage          easy

Tour 4: On the Vast Meseta

Burgos to Sahagún

Enjoy Burgos before you depart on the Camino. This stage will take you on the high-plain "La Meseta". You will walk cross the fascinating landscapes that this barren land until your reach Sahagún.
123 km          8 days          easy

Tour 5: No Man's Land and Cathedrals

Sahagún to Astorga

The Camino leads you further through "La Meseta" - the surreal landcape that seems like No Man's Land. You will reach León an, where you should visit the famous cathedral, before you carry on to the Roman city Astorga. Read more...
104 km          7 Tage          easy

Tour 6: Carry a Stone to the Cross

Astorga to Cacabelos

On this stage you will leave Asorga and hike through green hills and get to one of the highlights of the Camino Francés: El Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross). Pilgrims lay down a stone at the cross - a ritual that goes back to Celtic times. Read more...
68 km          5 Tage          medium

Teil 7: Entering Green Galicia

Cacabelos to Barbadelo/Rente - Tour 7

Leaving Cacabelosyou will hike up the Cebreiro-Pass and spend a night in the mystical O Cebreiro. Now you enter the green and hilly Galicia with its many charming villages. Read more...
76 km          6 Tage          medium

Tour 8: St. James awaits you

Sarria to Santiago de Compostela

The last 100 km of the Camino Francés are especially busy and pilgrims become more and more excited before they reach the destination of their journey: Santiago de Compostela. Enjoy this special stretch of the Camino. Read more...
110 km          7 Tage          easy