Classic Camino – “French Way”

Certainly, if you want to gift yourself with an experience that will indelibly enrich your life, then this is the one. Our words can never truly capture what it is you gain from undertaking such a feat. Certainly though what we can offer you is a description of what to expect, and also support you in walking this Iconic Pilgrimage.

What you feel is ultimately the essence of Camino de Santiago.

Indeed famous for its transformative power. Walking the full “French Way” on Camino de Santiago is an iconic journey where you immerse yourself in mind, body, spirit, and soul. A personal challenge at every level of your being. Therefore at first, you experience the power of your mind as you build endurance and resilience. Gradually realising your strength and courage as your body grows stronger and more able. Finally, you fall into your own rhythm, feeling the spirit within.

Walking 800km, 41 days through different regions of Inland Spain.

Climbing across the Pyrenees Mountains, not long after crossing the border into Spain. Passing through green forests and pastures arriving at the rich agricultural land of the Navarra region. Soon entering La Rioja, where you will meander amongst its famous vineyards. Then the notorious La Meseta, with its flat endless planes and cereal fields of the Spanish central plateau. On to the El Bierzo region, a wide valley surrounded by high mountains. Finally climbing to the highest point in O Cebreiro, then down to Galicia through what is known as the greenest region of Spain, all the way to Santiago de Compostela.

UNESCO World Heritage-listed.

Be astounded by the History, Culture and Spiritual richness of this land. Visit sites including, monasteries, castles and buildings of grand proportions. Walk across ancient Roman bridges and over cobbled paths, and so much more. Be humbled as you enter Cathedrals that have survived the ravages of life yet still stand with spectacular architecture and stories to tell from times gone by. Live and breathe the outstanding natural landscapes with rich cultural heritage.

Social and Cultural

Connect daily with the locals and enjoy their Spanish hospitality as they feed and house you on your journey. Be blown away by the regional diversity in their gastronomy, delivered with a passion to the pilgrims. There is no more intimate way to understand a culture than to walk their land, through the villages and cities of their hearts.

Relish in meeting Pilgrims from every corner of the world.

Greeting one another with Buen Camino. Share stories, a meal, or drinks on a terrace at the end of a long day. Camino is as sociable or solitary as you need.

An achievement realised

A bittersweet moment as you reach Santiago de Compostela. CELEBRATIONS will unfold! This is an achievement of grand proportions. Take time to farewell your newfound friends and rest in Santiago de Compostela where, in 1985, the city’s old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This alone is a great reward for the effort you have made, a spectacular city with so much to offer.

Will you go all the way to “The End of The World”

For some, however, the legends of the past will see them wanting to finish in Fisterra. Consider continuing on our Ocean Extension Camino.

Buen Camino!

 

If you have Special Needs we offer

Tailor-Made Packages 

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: km.
  • Hours: h.

Day 1: Arrival at St Jean Pied de Port

Saint Jean Pied de Port, is situated in the Basque country at the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. A beautiful village, akin to a Fairy-tale scene. Cobbled narrow streets, with white stone houses with red wooden windows and doors. Walk across the spectacularly beautiful bridge leading you out of the village towards the Pyrenees Mountains. The beginning of the French Way of Camino de Santiago, the start of your Pilgrimage.

Make sure you wander the streets of St Jean Pied de Port and soak up the French charm. Try some local French cuisine before passing over the Pyrenees mountains into Sapin. Then make a point of joining the pilgrims’ mass in the evening, a great way to connect with other Pilgrims and mark the start of your journey.

Take advantage of your hotel room to relax and have a good nights sleep before beginning your Camino. You have a huge first day in front of you!

Note: In St Jean Pied de Port there are some great outdoor products shops for Pilgrims, a chance before you begin to pick up any last-minute items you may have missed.

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Length: 24.5 km.
  • Hours: 8.5h.

Day 2: Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles 24.5km

Today is a long and difficult day especially since it is the first. Before setting out check the weather forecast in the pilgrim’s office at the top of the main street, 39 Rue de la Citadelle. You will be advised of an alternative route if the weather is dangerous however ultimately it is your call as to what direction you choose.
Walk through the village across the bridge and head to the mountains for a very steep climb.  Starting at 172m above sea level, passing Huntto and Orisson before reaching Vierge de Biakorri (statue of Madonna)at 1.095m.  She sits on top of a rock protecting the shepherds of these beautiful mountains.

Continue to climb the Pyrenees through Lepoeder mountain pass at 1.430m, then a 480m descent to Roncesvalles at 950m, crossing a beautiful beech forest.

Roncesvalles is the primary starting point for pilgrims, mainly Spaniards. Visit St James chapel and the Royal Collegiate Church of Saint Mary.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 21.5 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 3: Roncesvalles to Zubiri 21.5km

Today’s stage begins in Roncesvalles, almost 1000m above sea level, and ends in Zubiri, at 526m. You will mainly be on undulating downward tracks, however, you will climb two small mountain passes, Mezquiriz and Alto de Erro.
At the peak of Alto de Erro, you will begin a difficult descent. This section is very rocky and needs your complete attention.

If you have knee problems it may be advisable for you to enjoy the view from the top then jump in a Taxi to Zubiri.
Do not be a hero, listen to your body, it is not a defeat if you can’t manage this section, it is simply smart management. You have to take care of your body, you have a long way to go. For those that are physically ready the difficulty is compensated for, by breathtaking views.

Zubiri is a quaint village on the Arga River. There is a wonderful Romanic bridge Puente de piedra waiting for you to cross it. After you cross the bridge take some time on the river’s edge to soak your feet in the cool water.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 21 km.
  • Hours: 5.5h.

Day 4/5: Zubiri to Pamplona 21km

Today you will follow the Arga River on what is essentially an easy day. You will pass through many small villages on paths through woods and on roads. Crossing from side to side of the Arga River over several beautiful old bridges.
In Irotz you cross via the Roman bridge of Iturgaiz to the next town Zabaldika where you will find a picnic area close to the road.

At this point there are two possible routes: the original Camino de Santiago or continuing to follow the river through Huarte, both will lead to the same junction a few kilometers along. For the last 5 km, you will cross into the urban area of Pamplona.

Pamplona is the capital of Navarre province in northern Spain home to Gothic-style churches including fortresslike San Nicolás. Here you will enjoy your well-deserved rest day. There is so much to see and do in this magnificent City.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: km.
  • Hours: h.

Day 5: Rest Day Pamplona

Pamplona is the first major city on the Camino. Famous for its Running of the Bulls festival, Sanfermínes, taking place in July. Have a coffee in the beautiful Café Iruña in Plaza del Castillo, with its incredible art deco interior where Ernest Hemingway spent many of his days.
The Cathedral, Town Hall and Citadel are the three main historical sites to visit in Pamplona.
Pamplona is very popular for its incredible “Pintxos” generally a slice of bread with an unimaginable wide variety of toppings. You will find the most popular Pintxos restaurants in San Nicolas, San Gregorio, Navarreria and Estafeta streets.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 24 km.
  • Hours: 7h.

Day 6: Pamplona to Puente La Reina 24km

Today you will enjoy walking out of Pamplona through beautiful parks until Cizur Menor. Here you start your climb to Alto del Perdón (Hill of Forgiveness). There is a steep ascent to the iconic sculpture of Pilgrims by Vicente Galbete. On one of the figures, you can read: “Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas.” (Where the path of wind crosses with the stars). From this point, an incredible panoramic view of Pamplona and the Pyrenees is before you. Both up to the north with Navarra plains and down to the south.

After Alto del Perdón you face 3-4km of a difficult stony, steep descent.

Another Iconic point on your way from Pamplona to Puente la Reina is the church of Santa Maria de Eunate, built-in 1170. An unusual example of Romanesque architecture which has been declared a national monument. Standing in solitude in the middle of a flat open landscape. Approximately 2 km off the Camino however well worth the extra walking if you have the energy. There is a legend of a tradition whereby those who walk around the building three times are freed from their sins!
Note: ask a local for directions to avoid getting lost.

Finally, you will arrive at Puente la Reina. A magnificent medieval village with its perfectly balanced 11th Century stone bridge. Crossing the river Arga it truly is a sight to behold.

On Rua Mayor, the main street of this village you will discover the architectural delights, historical buildings, and churches of St James and St Peter.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 22 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 7: Puente la Reina to Estella 22km

Today you will leave over the medieval Puente la Reina Bridge (Queen Bridge). You will pass through three beautiful towns on hilltops: Cirauqui, Lorca, and Villatuerta.
After Cirauqui you will walk on an old paved Roman road, one of the best-preserved along the Camino.

For the rest of the day, you will pass through rolling farmland, small towns, and villages, mostly along meandering tracks until you reach the end of your walk at Estella (Lizarra, in the Basque language). A charming historic city of 13,000 inhabitants, known for its passion for music and theatre as well as its impeccable cuisine.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 21.5 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 8: Estella to Los Arcos

Not the most inspiring start to your day as it will be spent mainly on busy roads. However, you will soon arrive at Bodegas Irache the famous Navarra winery. Here you will find a free wine fountain, yes you read correctly. A wine fountain especially built for pilgrims.

Close by is the Monastery of Irache declared a national monument in 1887.
The exit of Irache leads you to vineyards, cereal fields, small pinewoods and streams. Later climbing to Villamayor de Monjardin on a hilltop. From there to Los Arcos you have 12km without any village and very little shade. Therefore you will need plenty of water and something to eat to keep up your energy.

Arriving at your destination Los Arcos an ancient town with a blend of history, art, folklore, and gastronomy.  Visit the beautiful Iglesia Santa Maria.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 28 km.
  • Hours: 8h.

Day 9: Los Arcos to Logrono 28km

There are three very different landscapes today. At first from Los Arcos to Torres del Río it is quite a flat walk. Then Torres del Río to Viana, up and down for several km. Finally Viana to Logroño through an industrial suburban area.

In Torres del Río you’ll witness an architectural wonder the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, an eight-sided 12th-century building associated with the Knights Templar. Next passing through Viana a well-preserved historic town you will find fascinating mansions, palaces, and churches that tell tales of its history. From here you will head to Logroño, where at the entrance you will pass over the Ebro River. The main river in Spain crosses the country from the mountains in the North, close to the Atlantic Ocean, to meet the Mediterranean Sea in the South of Catalonia.

Logroño is the capital of La Rioja Region, the most famous Spanish wine region. Look out for Laurel Street, an experience in itself. Tapas in Logroño are some of the best in Camino, don’t miss out! Choose a Tapas bar and treat yourself to an afternoon Tapa and Rioja Wine.
You can visit the city with its old town, historical Cathedral

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 29 km.
  • Hours: 8.5h.

Day 10: Logrono to Najera 29km

Before leaving Logroño pack some snacks and plenty of water in your backpack. You have 13km before you arrive in the next town Navarrete, with very few opportunities to stock up in between.

The first part of the day is spent walking out of the city, as in Pamplona. After about 2 km you will begin to walk through open parkland and through beautiful vineyards. Then over soft hills and valleys to your first stop Navarrete, a 12th-century town, built by the ‘Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. Here you will find the fabulous Baroque Church of the Assumption of Mary.

Today is long yet not very challenging. You face two moderate mountain passes, Alto de la Grajera and Alto de San Antón, with several sections close to the highway, not a Pilgrims favorite. However, walking through vineyards is impressive.

Your final destination is Najera. The town is built on the banks of  Najerilla river. Along its banks, you will find the Monasterio de Santa María La Real constructed in the 11th Century.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 21 km.
  • Hours: 5.5h.

CC-Day 11: Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada 21km

Today you have a few mountain passes mainly with soft undulating ground.

You will see a change in landscape from vineyards to cereals fields. After a while when passing through the village of Azofra you will find yourself on quiet country roads. To the South on your left is the La Demanda Mountain.

On the road from Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada before arriving at your destination you will walk up a steep hill to Cirueña where you will walk past the Rioja Alta Golf Course. Many Pilgrims stop here for a rest.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Saint Dominic of the Road) is a beautiful medieval town. Its name refers to the founder, Dominic de la Calzada who dedicated his life to improving the physical route for the pilgrims and built a pilgrim’s hospital (now the Parador) and a church that has now evolved into the Cathedral.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 22.5 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 12: Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado 22.5km

The beginning of today’s walk is along a road close to the main N-120. You then turn into the first village of Granon, your last village in La Rioja.
In 2km you will reach the border heading into Castilla. From here you will pass through many small villages before arriving in Belorado, a quiet town in the province of Burgos. With a large medieval plaza, Plaza Mayor. There are several shops and restaurant terraces for you to enjoy.

Buen Camino 

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 24 km.
  • Hours: 6.5h.

Day 13: Belorado to San Juan de Ortega 24km

Today begins closely near the N120 eventually crossing onto a dirt path into Tosantos.

Heading out of Tosantos you come across the 12th century Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Peña, which has literally been dug out of the mountain.

Continuing on your way from Belorado to San Juan de Ortega is a small incline to Villafranca Montes de Oca. Here you begin a long ascent to the Oca Mountains. Crossing through gorgeous woodlands of fragrant oak, juniper, ash, and pine trees. The last mountain range before the Meseta, taking you all the way to San Juan de Ortega.

San Juan de Ortega is a beautiful small hamlet in the middle of the mountains. Here you will find Iglesia de San Juan de Ortega. The church is an example of late Romanesque art, constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 26 km.
  • Hours: 7h.

Day 14/15: San Juan de Ortega to Burgos 26km

After heading out of San Juan de Ortega you will soon find Ages. With its Iglesia de Santa Eulalia. After 2km you reach the next village, Atapuerca. Here is located the Iglesia de San Martin. From this point, you are three kilometers away from where 800,000-year-old human remains were discovered. The oldest human remains in Europe!

Finally arriving in Burgos a large city where you can witness the walls of an old castle or the Museum of Human Evolution. Definitely, the main attraction of the city is its magnificent French Gothic Cathedral of St Mary. Boasting 3 main doorways flanked by ornamented bell towers. Inside the tomb of El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar), the 11th-century military commander. Also, the Chapel of Condestable, is decorated with figures of saints.

Here you will enjoy a rest day where you can relax and revive. There are plenty of shops and services. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy anything you need and wash your clothes. Enjoy the sites and have a slow-paced day and early night.

Buen Camino 

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 0 km.
  • Hours: 0h.

Day 15: Rest Day Burgos

Burgos is a spectacular, historically rich City. Boasting many ancient remains throughout.
with one of the most extraordinary Gothic Cathedrals in the whole of Spain (declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1984). Located in Santa Maria Plaza built over a period of 200 years. Combining French Gothic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, definitely deserves a visit.
Other points of interest are the famous Puente (bridge) San Pablo built in the 13th century. Lined with Statues of Castilian noblemen from the Middle Ages. The arch of Santa Maria is a stone relic from the 14th century. Paseo del Espolon and Monasterio de las Huelgas, and so much more!
You can also visit a futuristic-looking building, the Museum of Human Evolution with remains, dating back 800,000 years.
While you are there try some unusual local Gastronomical treats. The famous blood sausage Morcilla. Lechazo, wood oven slow-roasted lamb, and queso (cheese) de Burgos, a white soft cheese eaten with a glass of local wine.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 21 km.
  • Hours: 5.5h.

Day 16: Burgos to Hornillos del Camino 21km

During the days ahead you will walk through cereal fields, in a land with extreme temperatures, scorching in the summertime and freezing in winter.
Limited shade and villages are available to you here, ensure that you have water and food for the day. Don’t forget to take your essentials hat and sunscreen.
Today’s walk is quite flat, only 20km for about 5 hours. You will have a nice rest in Hornillos, a tiny village, one of many old medieval villages you will visit in the coming days. A great place to immerse yourself in the ancient atmosphere of the way.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 20 km.
  • Hours: 5h.

Day 17: Hornillos del Camino-Castrojeriz

Today we have a short walk again, 20km along two small plateaus up to Hontanas. At the end of the day, before arriving at Castrojeriz, you will pass the old Pilgrims Monastery and Hospital of San Antón.

Castrojeriz is a pretty town, with a curious 9th-century hilltop castle, worth a short visit, and beautiful old houses. The village is 2 km Long! Pay attention as you walk through you may not want to walk that far to explore it later.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 19 km.
  • Hours: 5h.

Day 18: Castrojeriz-Boadilla del Camino

Those who love solitude, silence, and endless fields will relish in this section. A unique and unforgettable stage.
When leaving Castrojeriz, we find in front of us the impressive Alto de Mostelares. The highest point in Meseta. A problematic steep ascent of 145m in 1.7Km.
It’s worth the effort, for at the top of the hill you will admire one of the many beautiful views on the Camino. An incredible landscape of crop fields with no end, in every direction.
Finish your day in Boadilla Del Camino, a cute small village in the middle of nowhere. There is limited accommodation in Boadilla. If there is no availability, you will finish in Frómista, 6 km ahead. (This will be discussed with you at the time of booking).

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 25 km.
  • Hours: 6.5h.

Day 19: Boadilla del Camino-Carrion de los Condes

With Frómista in front of you, you will walk along a stretch of an 18th Century Canal, the Canal de Castilla. It is a beautiful microclimate in this dry land. An oasis where you will enjoy 5 Km with trees, water, ducks, and other animals during these days.
In Frómista, visit the beautiful 11th-century Church of St Martin.
A simple, flat stage today in Tierra de Campos (Fields Land). A region in the middle of Castilla where you will find no shade and not many villages. Prepare yourself with enough water, sunscreen, and a hat.
Pass through Villalcázar de Sirga which is declared a national monument, home to the XIII Century Templar church of Santa Maria la Virgen Blanca.
Finishing your day’s walk at Carrión de Los Condes with its many historical sites and churches.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 26.5 km.
  • Hours: 7h.

Day 20: Carrion de los Condes-Terradillos de los Templarios

Leave Carrión de Los Condes by crossing the 16th-century bridge and passing the 10th-century Benedictine San Zoilo Monastery. From here the Camino de Santiago is reasonably straight and follows an old Roman road known as the Via Aquitania, alternatively known as the Calzada de los Peregrinos.
Today you have another stage with endless straight paths in the Castilian steppe. From Carrión de Los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza you have the longest stretch on Camino (17km) without any villages and almost no shade. (remember: water, cap, and sunscreen).
At times you will find makeshift Bars, a welcome sight, however, you cannot rely on this happening so stock up. The most exciting thing along this road will be the haystacks! An extra special time for reflection and contemplation.
Pass the remains of the 11th-century pilgrim hospital of Terradillos de los Templarios.

Terradillos de los Templarios is a small humble village, with not much else to do but rest.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 23.5 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 21: Terradillos de los Templarios – Bercianos del Real Camino

Today we follow through dirt tracks in little valleys. Passing through Sahagún quite a big village, full of ancient monuments. With its well-known Romanic Church of San Lorenzo, worth a visit. This town was once the seat of high religious power.
Before arriving at Sahagun you will find the sign depicting the halfway mark of the Camino!
In Calzada del Coto, the route diverges, but you will follow the Real Camino Francés to Bercianos del Real Camino for your overnight accommodation.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 26.5 km.
  • Hours: 7h.

Day 22: Bercianos del Real Camino – Mansilla de las Mulas

Your Camino leaves the expansive ‘Tierra de Campos’ behind and continues across grain and cereal crops. Leading pilgrims to the plateau of León. The whole stage continues through straight paths, with little shade, take advantage when you find it.
You have 27 km with only two villages in the middle, El Burgo Ranero, and Reliegos.

From Reliegos, with only 6km to go, you can almost see Mansilla de las Mulas a small walled enclave, founded in 1181. Intimately connected to the Camino hence its seven churches, a house for pilgrims, three hospitals, and two monasteries.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 18.5 km.
  • Hours: 5h.

Day 23: Mansilla de las Mulas–Leon 

Leaving Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon you leave behind the high plateau setting of the remote Meseta and continue your journey to the spectacular city of Leon. You will walk along busy roads for most of the day.
Your approach to the city of León will see you passing through residential suburbs and industrial areas. From Portillo Hill onwards you will spot the beautiful city of León ahead with its stunning Cathedral.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: km.
  • Hours: h.

CC – Day 24: Leon rest day

You have now walked 470 km in 21 days! your body deserves a rest day to charge your batteries.

Leon is a lively Unesco Heritage listed City one of the largest on Camino de Santiago. So much to see and do. Many churches and cathedrals noted for their architecture and art can be discovered in Leon. Among them is the Gothic 13th-century Cathedral de Leon. Indeed a spectacle of beauty with its towers and flying buttresses.  Also boasting Romanesque architecture of the 10th-century, Basílica de San Isidoro. Known for its frescoes and royal tombs.  Then a must-visit, Casa Botines, a neogothic-styled building designed by Antoni Gaudi.
Famous for its facade of carved skulls and scallops is the Parador Hotel in the city center. Indeed a visit there will leave you speechless.
Once you have done your touristy visits head to Barrio Húmedo and Barrio Romántico, both close to the Cathedral, are known for food and fun! full of narrow streets and plazas. Here socialising and gastronomy are on the agenda. A time to rest and enjoy a variety of taverns, bars, restaurants, and terraces,
If you are struggling with any of your walking equipment this is a good time to update. There are several outdoor shops and a large department store Corte Ingles to cater to your needs.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 36 km.
  • Hours: 9h.

Day 25: Leon – Hospital De Orbigo 

From León to Hospital de Órbigo you have 33 km. The exit from León is 8 km through the city streets, to the monument of La Virgen Del Camino, marking the end of the city.
Many Pilgrims take a bus or a taxi, to Virgen Del Camino to start their day from there. This, of course, is your choice, making it 25km to Hospital de Órbigo.
When in Virgen Del Camino you enter the off-road Camino path. Here you must choose between the historic Camino through Villadangos Del Páramo (full of industrial and residential areas) or the alternative Camino through Villar de Mazarife. We suggest this alternative as it takes you off the national road to a more rural option, again your choice. Both options take you to Hospital de Órbigo a flat and manageable stage.
When you arrive at Hospital De Orbigo you will cross the magnificent stone medieval bridge the town is famous for. It has nineteen arches with the Río Órbigo (river) flowing through only three. A bridge reserved for pedestrians only. You will also find in this Templar Town a 12th Century Church.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 16.5 km.
  • Hours: 5h.

Day 26: Hospital De Orbigo – Astorga

Enjoy an easy short walk today only 16.5km. Meander of hills and enjoy the landscape.
Reaching Astorga, a pretty hilltop city.

Visit its ‘pink’ cathedral, designed by Antoni Gaudí (the famous Catalan architect). Constructed in 1471, it also now houses a museum.

Then there is the fabulous Episcopal palace, a sight to behold. Also the monumental city walls, are a testament to times gone by.
Astorga is well known for its famous chocolates and “Las Mantecadas (cupcakes) de Astorga”.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 20 km.
  • Hours: 5.5h.

CC – Day 27: Astorga – Rabanal Del Camino 

Start your way towards León Mountains on paths where you will be surrounded by heather, oak, and broom. The ascent is soft and progressive up to Rabanal Del Camino.
Witness to your left, for several days, the magnificent view of “El Teleno”, the highest mountain summit in León Camino. 2,188m above sea level, escorting you towards Galicia.
Passing through several beautiful villages, Santa Catalina de Somoza and El Ganso.
Soon you will reach Rabanal Del Camino 1,150m high, a beautiful little town where you can eat the famous and very hearty Cocido Maragato.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Length: 25 km.
  • Hours: 8h.

Day 28: Rabanal Del Camino – Molinaseca 25km

A spectacular stage, however it is very unpredictable weather generally cold most of the year. Take something warm in your backpack.
You will have a difficult steep ascent to the beautiful village of Foncebadon. A lost village in the middle of the mountain. Continue to climb to “Cruz de Ferro”(Iron Cross) 1.504m, which is the most symbolic milestone in the entire Camino. A bit further you find the “Collado de las Antenas” 1.515m, the highest point on the French Camino. Of course take some time to enjoy the stunning view.
Start your descent to the lush area of El Bierzo. You will experience a challenging descent to Molinaseca, probably the hardest on Camino together with the decline to Zubiri, encountered at the very beginning. The most difficult section is between the Collado down to Acebo. Please take your time and take care of your ankles and knees. In bad weather, we suggest walking the road instead of the way.
You will enter Molinaseca crossing its beautiful Romanesque Pilgrim’s Bridge, a picturesque town that looks a little like a movie set, sitting at the foot of the mountain. Its narrow streets and historic buildings are spectacular.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 23.5 km.
  • Hours: 6.5h.

Day 29: Molinaseca – Cacabelos 

In just 7.7km you will find yourself walking into Ponferrada the last big city on the way to Santiago de Compostela. The 12th-century Templars Castle is especially worth visiting here if you have the time.

Leaving Ponferrada you will pass through the village of Compostilla, a former mining town. Columbrianos in next closely followed by Fuentes Nuevas and Camponaraya.
From Camponaraya to Cacabelos you will walk through beautiful vineyards. This is the heart of the well-appreciated El Bierzo wine region.
Arriving in Cacabelos you walk past the Hermitage of San Roque. If it is open pop in, it has been turned into a quirky little museum of sorts. Wander through the village and admire the clever street art. At the end of the main road, you will come to Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Plaza.
While here try another hearty speciality of this land, El Botillo.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 24 km.
  • Hours: 6.5h.

Day 30: Cacabelos – Ambasmestas 

Today you continue in the beautiful El Bierzo. Passing through Villafranca Del Bierzo, with its beautiful castle and the church of Santiago. Here you can admire the “Puerta Del Perdón” (Forgiveness Gate) which only opens during Holy Years.
You may hear a change in the language of the people with locals speaking Galician. This is the original language of Galicia and bordering regions. Your route passes through the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’ finishing your day in Ambasmestas or Vega de Valcace, depending on the best available accommodation. There you can see the motorway bridge, 100m above.

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Length: 14 km.
  • Hours: 5h.

Day 31: Ambasmestas – O Cebreiro 

From here to Santiago you walk mainly through a landscape with oak, beech, chestnut, and gum trees.
Today you face the iconic milestone of the Camino, the feared climb up to O’Cebreiro, at 1.330m. From Vega de Valcarce, at 630m you climb 700m in 12 km. The hardest section is between Las Herrerias and La Laguna, 500m in 5.5 km. You cross the border between Castilla and Galicia and realise the day was well worth every step, the views are spectacular.
O’Cebreiro is the first village in Galicia, a delightful hilltop hamlet. From here we have a spectacular 360º view. This image will remain in your mind forever.

O’Cebreiro is an iconic location for its outlook, church, legends, and its “Pallozas”, typical Galician construction, round stone houses with a straw roof.
After a hard days’ walk, you will enjoy the specialties of this land: Pulpo (octopus) and the local Cebreiro cheese.
Make sure you get to the Pilgrims Mass whether you are religious or not the Mass here has a special spirit as does this land.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Length: 21 km.
  • Hours: 6.5h.

Day 32: O Cebreiro – Triacastela 

Today you cross into Galicia, through the “Ancares” Mountains.
It’s important to consider that you are walking in a land where fog, wind, and low temperatures are frequent in all seasons and particularly in winter. You find Initially you will be climbing moderate but frequent steep sections up to Hospital de la Condesa. With a difficult, challenging, incline up to Alto de Poio 1.337m. The highest point in the Galician section of Camino. When there you will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto, you will continue to Fonfría and from there you have a long walk downhill, 9 km to the town of Triacastela. The first stop on the Galician section of the Camino with around 1000 inhabitants. There are regularly more Pilgrims than locals in the town, a great place to rest after your days of climbing mountains!

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 25 km.
  • Hours: 7h.
Day 33: Triacastela – Sarria 

You have a decision to make today. There are two options to get to Sarria: Through San Xil valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in Camino (7km shorter), or, through Samos, where you walk along the valley of the river Ouribio, with magnificent oak and chestnut trees and the impressive Samos Monastery.
Whatever decision you make, you’ll get it right.
At the end of your day, you arrive in Sarria, a large town, with about 15,000 inhabitants. You will notice from here an influx of Pilgrims. This is due to the last 100 km rule of the Compostela. It is here that tour companies and groups in buses hop on and off the Camino to do short walks and get stamps.
A Camino fact, around 40% of French Camino pilgrims arriving in Santiago every year start the pilgrimage here in Sarria. Do not fear though, you will find as the groups only do small sections, there are still stretches where you will have times of peace and tranquillity.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: km.
  • Hours: h.

Day 34: Sarria rest day

Today is the day for a well-earned rest in a modern bustling town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars.
No bag to place in the foyer, have a sleep in, eat a hearty breakfast then visit the old quarter. Grab yourself a map of the city, amble along Rua Major. Take your time to visit all of the historic delights this city has to offer. Visit Iglesia de Santa Mariña, Monasterio de la Magdalena, medieval bridge Ponte Aspera, Capilla de San Lazaro and Torre de la Fortaleza, the only remains of a once impressive castle, just to name a few.

ENJOY YOUR DAY!

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 22 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 35: Sarria – Portomarin 22km

Today you face a beautiful stage through Galician bushes, pretty villages, and hamlets along with traditional “hórreos” (granaries). In Pina dos Corvos you will enjoy wonderful views of Belesar reservoir and the surrounding countryside.  From here there is a steep descent into Portomarín where you cross the Miño River over its modern bridge into Portomarín.
The remains of the medieval town of Portomarín disappeared under these reservoir waters in the 1950s. Franco (Dictator) decided to build a hydroelectric dam 40 kilometers downriver and flooded the town of Portomarín. The most important monuments; the churches of San Nicolás, San Pedro, and some of the cherished 16th and 17th-century manor houses or Pazos.  Stone by stone high above the river the people transported the buildings creating the new village of Portomarin. The square in the centre of town boasts most of the historic monuments including the Pazo Del Conde da Maza.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 25 km.
  • Hours: 7h.

Day 36: Portomarin – Palas de Rei

Today’s walk passes through similar landscapes to yesterday. You exit from Portomarin crossing the river Miño, Galicia’s longest river, then you begin a steady uphill walk from 350m to 725m for 12km. A challenging yet not difficult section on and off the road.
In Ventas de Narón, you pass the small 13th century Ermita de Santa María Magdalena built by the Knights Templar. Soon after in Castromaior the circa 4BC to 1AD Roman ruins, are well worth the short detour off the Camino.
Your destination Palas de Rei, known as Palace of the King due to a king residing there. A small country town with plenty of shops, bars, and cafes. Most of town life revolves around the Plaza del Concello. Visit la Iglesia de San Tirso originally built in the 12th to early 13th century. It has undergone numerous changes over the centuries with the only original part of the church, the Romanesque doorway.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 28.5 km.
  • Hours: 8h.

Day 37: Palas de rei – Arzúa

Today you will find yourself walking downhill for most of the way. And crossing many creeks.

Reaching Melide about halfway into your day. A mandatory town to stop and enjoy the most famous Pulpo (octopus) in Galicia.

Two of the most renowned octopus restaurants in Galicia are found here, Ezequiel and Garnacha.

After a hearty lunch find yourself winding your way in and out of pine and eucalyptus forest. Soon you have a steep descent into Ribadiso da Baixo.
Finally arriving at the town of Arzúa, the most significant city (6,000 inhabitants) before Santiago. Famous for its local cheese Queixo Arzúa-Ulloa.

Visit the 14th-century Capilla de la Magdalena, all that is left of a former Augustinian monastery.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 19.5 km.
  • Hours: 5h.

Day 38: Arzúa – O Pedrouzo 19.5km

A comfortable stage, quite flat, along prairies and bushes. Alternating between track and county lanes, passing through several small hamlets.
Continue on woodland paths, passing a monument to Guillermo Watt who died at this spot, a day from completing his Camino. Reaching Alto de Santa Irene, the high point of today, with a good picnic and rest area.
O Pedrouzo is a small busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. The last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 20 km.
  • Hours: 5.5h.

Day 39: O Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela 20km

Today you face your last walking day on Camino!
The first half runs through a rural landscape, similar to prior days.
From Lavacolla you walk through the airport, highways, urban and residential areas. Then you reach Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) 5km before the city center. From here you will glimpse the spires of the Cathedral in Santiago.
The entrance to the old city of Santiago (100,000 inhabitants) is stunning, an incredible walk through the historic city streets leading you under the Arco del Obispo where you make your triumphant entrance into the Plaza del Obradoiro, Congratulations!
This night is one of celebration, the City will be brimming with Pilgrims and Locals alike enjoying the local cuisine and wines. Sharing tales of their Camino and for many saying farewells to their Camino Friends.
*Don’t forget to go and get your Compostela. The location will be noted on your daily map

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: km.
  • Hours: h.

Day 40: Santiago de Compostela – rest day

Enjoy your last day and explore this Historic City with its many specialised Tapas bars and restaurants, meet other pilgrims with whom you have shared joys and sorrows during so many days, some of them you will never meet again others will be friends for the rest of your life and some of you will have found love!
If you were late arriving yesterday you can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St. James which forms the city’s heart and watch the collection of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey as you did yesterday.
The end of this unique experience, unless of course, you are heading to Fisterra!

Buen Camino

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: km.
  • Hours: h.

Day 41: Santiago de Compostela

Today you will have your last breakfast as a Crossroads Travel Customer unless, of course, Fisterra has called you!

Whatever it is you do from here please go safely, thank you for choosing Crossroads Travel
We hope to see you again sometime soon.

End of our Services.

Buen Camino!

Flexible. Set your own agenda.

Please note that all Classic Camino bookings starting from the 1st – 15th July may have a small extra cost due to St Fermin festival in Pamplona

Inclusions Classic Camino:

  • 40 nights’ accommodation, preferably Charming rural and Iconic boutique hotels.
  • Private Bathroom in all rooms
  • Daily breakfast
  • Luggage transfer daily (1 x 20kg bag per person)
  • Maps of your accommodation locations
  • Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
  • Australian and Spanish emergency phone numbers
  • local support person in Spain

Welcome Pack:

  • Pilgrim’s passport
  • Camino shell
  • Luggage tags
  • Full Camino walking guidebook with maps
  • Camino Journal with Pen
  • Other goodies for your Camino

Not Included 

  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Additional bags transfer (will incur additional costs)
  • Single Supplement
  • Any meal not specified in the Inclusions list
  • Any other item not specified in the Inclusions list
  • Flights/Transfers/Extra Accommodations.

Optional Services: 

  • Airport transfers from the start point and end destination
  • Extra night accommodation in the start point and end destination
  • Extra luggage transfer or storage
  • Fisterra experience: Tour from Santiago to Fisterra return 2 days

Day 1: Arrival at St Jean Pied de Port

Saint Jean Pied de Port, is situated in the Basque country at the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. A beautiful village, akin to a Fairy-tale scene. Cobbled narrow streets, with white stone houses with red wooden windows and doors. Walk across the spectacularly beautiful bridge leading you out of the village towards the Pyrenees Mountains. The beginning of the French Way of Camino de Santiago, the start of your Pilgrimage.

Make sure you wander the streets of St Jean Pied de Port and soak up the French charm. Try some local French cuisine before passing over the Pyrenees mountains into Sapin. Then make a point of joining the pilgrims’ mass in the evening, a great way to connect with other Pilgrims and mark the start of your journey.

Take advantage of your hotel room to relax and have a good nights sleep before beginning your Camino. You have a huge first day in front of you!

Note: In St Jean Pied de Port there are some great outdoor products shops for Pilgrims, a chance before you begin to pick up any last-minute items you may have missed.

Day 2: Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles 24.5km

Today is a long and difficult day especially since it is the first. Before setting out check the weather forecast in the pilgrim’s office at the top of the main street, 39 Rue de la Citadelle. You will be advised of an alternative route if the weather is dangerous however ultimately it is your call as to what direction you choose.
Walk through the village across the bridge and head to the mountains for a very steep climb.  Starting at 172m above sea level, passing Huntto and Orisson before reaching Vierge de Biakorri (statue of Madonna)at 1.095m.  She sits on top of a rock protecting the shepherds of these beautiful mountains.

Continue to climb the Pyrenees through Lepoeder mountain pass at 1.430m, then a 480m descent to Roncesvalles at 950m, crossing a beautiful beech forest.

Roncesvalles is the primary starting point for pilgrims, mainly Spaniards. Visit St James chapel and the Royal Collegiate Church of Saint Mary.

Day 3: Roncesvalles to Zubiri 21.5km

Today’s stage begins in Roncesvalles, almost 1000m above sea level, and ends in Zubiri, at 526m. You will mainly be on undulating downward tracks, however, you will climb two small mountain passes, Mezquiriz and Alto de Erro.
At the peak of Alto de Erro, you will begin a difficult descent. This section is very rocky and needs your complete attention.

If you have knee problems it may be advisable for you to enjoy the view from the top then jump in a Taxi to Zubiri.
Do not be a hero, listen to your body, it is not a defeat if you can’t manage this section, it is simply smart management. You have to take care of your body, you have a long way to go. For those that are physically ready the difficulty is compensated for, by breathtaking views.

Zubiri is a quaint village on the Arga River. There is a wonderful Romanic bridge Puente de piedra waiting for you to cross it. After you cross the bridge take some time on the river’s edge to soak your feet in the cool water.

Buen Camino

Day 4/5: Zubiri to Pamplona 21km

Today you will follow the Arga River on what is essentially an easy day. You will pass through many small villages on paths through woods and on roads. Crossing from side to side of the Arga River over several beautiful old bridges.
In Irotz you cross via the Roman bridge of Iturgaiz to the next town Zabaldika where you will find a picnic area close to the road.

At this point there are two possible routes: the original Camino de Santiago or continuing to follow the river through Huarte, both will lead to the same junction a few kilometers along. For the last 5 km, you will cross into the urban area of Pamplona.

Pamplona is the capital of Navarre province in northern Spain home to Gothic-style churches including fortresslike San Nicolás. Here you will enjoy your well-deserved rest day. There is so much to see and do in this magnificent City.

Buen Camino

Day 5: Rest Day Pamplona

Pamplona is the first major city on the Camino. Famous for its Running of the Bulls festival, Sanfermínes, taking place in July. Have a coffee in the beautiful Café Iruña in Plaza del Castillo, with its incredible art deco interior where Ernest Hemingway spent many of his days.
The Cathedral, Town Hall and Citadel are the three main historical sites to visit in Pamplona.
Pamplona is very popular for its incredible “Pintxos” generally a slice of bread with an unimaginable wide variety of toppings. You will find the most popular Pintxos restaurants in San Nicolas, San Gregorio, Navarreria and Estafeta streets.

Day 6: Pamplona to Puente La Reina 24km

Today you will enjoy walking out of Pamplona through beautiful parks until Cizur Menor. Here you start your climb to Alto del Perdón (Hill of Forgiveness). There is a steep ascent to the iconic sculpture of Pilgrims by Vicente Galbete. On one of the figures, you can read: “Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas.” (Where the path of wind crosses with the stars). From this point, an incredible panoramic view of Pamplona and the Pyrenees is before you. Both up to the north with Navarra plains and down to the south.

After Alto del Perdón you face 3-4km of a difficult stony, steep descent.

Another Iconic point on your way from Pamplona to Puente la Reina is the church of Santa Maria de Eunate, built-in 1170. An unusual example of Romanesque architecture which has been declared a national monument. Standing in solitude in the middle of a flat open landscape. Approximately 2 km off the Camino however well worth the extra walking if you have the energy. There is a legend of a tradition whereby those who walk around the building three times are freed from their sins!
Note: ask a local for directions to avoid getting lost.

Finally, you will arrive at Puente la Reina. A magnificent medieval village with its perfectly balanced 11th Century stone bridge. Crossing the river Arga it truly is a sight to behold.

On Rua Mayor, the main street of this village you will discover the architectural delights, historical buildings, and churches of St James and St Peter.

Buen Camino

Day 7: Puente la Reina to Estella 22km

Today you will leave over the medieval Puente la Reina Bridge (Queen Bridge). You will pass through three beautiful towns on hilltops: Cirauqui, Lorca, and Villatuerta.
After Cirauqui you will walk on an old paved Roman road, one of the best-preserved along the Camino.

For the rest of the day, you will pass through rolling farmland, small towns, and villages, mostly along meandering tracks until you reach the end of your walk at Estella (Lizarra, in the Basque language). A charming historic city of 13,000 inhabitants, known for its passion for music and theatre as well as its impeccable cuisine.

Buen Camino

Day 8: Estella to Los Arcos

Not the most inspiring start to your day as it will be spent mainly on busy roads. However, you will soon arrive at Bodegas Irache the famous Navarra winery. Here you will find a free wine fountain, yes you read correctly. A wine fountain especially built for pilgrims.

Close by is the Monastery of Irache declared a national monument in 1887.
The exit of Irache leads you to vineyards, cereal fields, small pinewoods and streams. Later climbing to Villamayor de Monjardin on a hilltop. From there to Los Arcos you have 12km without any village and very little shade. Therefore you will need plenty of water and something to eat to keep up your energy.

Arriving at your destination Los Arcos an ancient town with a blend of history, art, folklore, and gastronomy.  Visit the beautiful Iglesia Santa Maria.

Buen Camino

Day 9: Los Arcos to Logrono 28km

There are three very different landscapes today. At first from Los Arcos to Torres del Río it is quite a flat walk. Then Torres del Río to Viana, up and down for several km. Finally Viana to Logroño through an industrial suburban area.

In Torres del Río you’ll witness an architectural wonder the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, an eight-sided 12th-century building associated with the Knights Templar. Next passing through Viana a well-preserved historic town you will find fascinating mansions, palaces, and churches that tell tales of its history. From here you will head to Logroño, where at the entrance you will pass over the Ebro River. The main river in Spain crosses the country from the mountains in the North, close to the Atlantic Ocean, to meet the Mediterranean Sea in the South of Catalonia.

Logroño is the capital of La Rioja Region, the most famous Spanish wine region. Look out for Laurel Street, an experience in itself. Tapas in Logroño are some of the best in Camino, don’t miss out! Choose a Tapas bar and treat yourself to an afternoon Tapa and Rioja Wine.
You can visit the city with its old town, historical Cathedral

Buen Camino

Day 10: Logrono to Najera 29km

Before leaving Logroño pack some snacks and plenty of water in your backpack. You have 13km before you arrive in the next town Navarrete, with very few opportunities to stock up in between.

The first part of the day is spent walking out of the city, as in Pamplona. After about 2 km you will begin to walk through open parkland and through beautiful vineyards. Then over soft hills and valleys to your first stop Navarrete, a 12th-century town, built by the ‘Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. Here you will find the fabulous Baroque Church of the Assumption of Mary.

Today is long yet not very challenging. You face two moderate mountain passes, Alto de la Grajera and Alto de San Antón, with several sections close to the highway, not a Pilgrims favorite. However, walking through vineyards is impressive.

Your final destination is Najera. The town is built on the banks of  Najerilla river. Along its banks, you will find the Monasterio de Santa María La Real constructed in the 11th Century.

Buen Camino

CC-Day 11: Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada 21km

Today you have a few mountain passes mainly with soft undulating ground.

You will see a change in landscape from vineyards to cereals fields. After a while when passing through the village of Azofra you will find yourself on quiet country roads. To the South on your left is the La Demanda Mountain.

On the road from Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada before arriving at your destination you will walk up a steep hill to Cirueña where you will walk past the Rioja Alta Golf Course. Many Pilgrims stop here for a rest.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Saint Dominic of the Road) is a beautiful medieval town. Its name refers to the founder, Dominic de la Calzada who dedicated his life to improving the physical route for the pilgrims and built a pilgrim’s hospital (now the Parador) and a church that has now evolved into the Cathedral.

Buen Camino

Day 12: Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado 22.5km

The beginning of today’s walk is along a road close to the main N-120. You then turn into the first village of Granon, your last village in La Rioja.
In 2km you will reach the border heading into Castilla. From here you will pass through many small villages before arriving in Belorado, a quiet town in the province of Burgos. With a large medieval plaza, Plaza Mayor. There are several shops and restaurant terraces for you to enjoy.

Buen Camino 

Day 13: Belorado to San Juan de Ortega 24km

Today begins closely near the N120 eventually crossing onto a dirt path into Tosantos.

Heading out of Tosantos you come across the 12th century Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Peña, which has literally been dug out of the mountain.

Continuing on your way from Belorado to San Juan de Ortega is a small incline to Villafranca Montes de Oca. Here you begin a long ascent to the Oca Mountains. Crossing through gorgeous woodlands of fragrant oak, juniper, ash, and pine trees. The last mountain range before the Meseta, taking you all the way to San Juan de Ortega.

San Juan de Ortega is a beautiful small hamlet in the middle of the mountains. Here you will find Iglesia de San Juan de Ortega. The church is an example of late Romanesque art, constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Buen Camino

Day 14/15: San Juan de Ortega to Burgos 26km

After heading out of San Juan de Ortega you will soon find Ages. With its Iglesia de Santa Eulalia. After 2km you reach the next village, Atapuerca. Here is located the Iglesia de San Martin. From this point, you are three kilometers away from where 800,000-year-old human remains were discovered. The oldest human remains in Europe!

Finally arriving in Burgos a large city where you can witness the walls of an old castle or the Museum of Human Evolution. Definitely, the main attraction of the city is its magnificent French Gothic Cathedral of St Mary. Boasting 3 main doorways flanked by ornamented bell towers. Inside the tomb of El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar), the 11th-century military commander. Also, the Chapel of Condestable, is decorated with figures of saints.

Here you will enjoy a rest day where you can relax and revive. There are plenty of shops and services. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy anything you need and wash your clothes. Enjoy the sites and have a slow-paced day and early night.

Buen Camino 

Day 15: Rest Day Burgos

Burgos is a spectacular, historically rich City. Boasting many ancient remains throughout.
with one of the most extraordinary Gothic Cathedrals in the whole of Spain (declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1984). Located in Santa Maria Plaza built over a period of 200 years. Combining French Gothic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, definitely deserves a visit.
Other points of interest are the famous Puente (bridge) San Pablo built in the 13th century. Lined with Statues of Castilian noblemen from the Middle Ages. The arch of Santa Maria is a stone relic from the 14th century. Paseo del Espolon and Monasterio de las Huelgas, and so much more!
You can also visit a futuristic-looking building, the Museum of Human Evolution with remains, dating back 800,000 years.
While you are there try some unusual local Gastronomical treats. The famous blood sausage Morcilla. Lechazo, wood oven slow-roasted lamb, and queso (cheese) de Burgos, a white soft cheese eaten with a glass of local wine.

Day 16: Burgos to Hornillos del Camino 21km

During the days ahead you will walk through cereal fields, in a land with extreme temperatures, scorching in the summertime and freezing in winter.
Limited shade and villages are available to you here, ensure that you have water and food for the day. Don’t forget to take your essentials hat and sunscreen.
Today’s walk is quite flat, only 20km for about 5 hours. You will have a nice rest in Hornillos, a tiny village, one of many old medieval villages you will visit in the coming days. A great place to immerse yourself in the ancient atmosphere of the way.

Buen Camino

Day 17: Hornillos del Camino-Castrojeriz

Today we have a short walk again, 20km along two small plateaus up to Hontanas. At the end of the day, before arriving at Castrojeriz, you will pass the old Pilgrims Monastery and Hospital of San Antón.

Castrojeriz is a pretty town, with a curious 9th-century hilltop castle, worth a short visit, and beautiful old houses. The village is 2 km Long! Pay attention as you walk through you may not want to walk that far to explore it later.

Day 18: Castrojeriz-Boadilla del Camino

Those who love solitude, silence, and endless fields will relish in this section. A unique and unforgettable stage.
When leaving Castrojeriz, we find in front of us the impressive Alto de Mostelares. The highest point in Meseta. A problematic steep ascent of 145m in 1.7Km.
It’s worth the effort, for at the top of the hill you will admire one of the many beautiful views on the Camino. An incredible landscape of crop fields with no end, in every direction.
Finish your day in Boadilla Del Camino, a cute small village in the middle of nowhere. There is limited accommodation in Boadilla. If there is no availability, you will finish in Frómista, 6 km ahead. (This will be discussed with you at the time of booking).

Day 19: Boadilla del Camino-Carrion de los Condes

With Frómista in front of you, you will walk along a stretch of an 18th Century Canal, the Canal de Castilla. It is a beautiful microclimate in this dry land. An oasis where you will enjoy 5 Km with trees, water, ducks, and other animals during these days.
In Frómista, visit the beautiful 11th-century Church of St Martin.
A simple, flat stage today in Tierra de Campos (Fields Land). A region in the middle of Castilla where you will find no shade and not many villages. Prepare yourself with enough water, sunscreen, and a hat.
Pass through Villalcázar de Sirga which is declared a national monument, home to the XIII Century Templar church of Santa Maria la Virgen Blanca.
Finishing your day’s walk at Carrión de Los Condes with its many historical sites and churches.

Buen Camino

Day 20: Carrion de los Condes-Terradillos de los Templarios

Leave Carrión de Los Condes by crossing the 16th-century bridge and passing the 10th-century Benedictine San Zoilo Monastery. From here the Camino de Santiago is reasonably straight and follows an old Roman road known as the Via Aquitania, alternatively known as the Calzada de los Peregrinos.
Today you have another stage with endless straight paths in the Castilian steppe. From Carrión de Los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza you have the longest stretch on Camino (17km) without any villages and almost no shade. (remember: water, cap, and sunscreen).
At times you will find makeshift Bars, a welcome sight, however, you cannot rely on this happening so stock up. The most exciting thing along this road will be the haystacks! An extra special time for reflection and contemplation.
Pass the remains of the 11th-century pilgrim hospital of Terradillos de los Templarios.

Terradillos de los Templarios is a small humble village, with not much else to do but rest.

Buen Camino

Day 21: Terradillos de los Templarios – Bercianos del Real Camino

Today we follow through dirt tracks in little valleys. Passing through Sahagún quite a big village, full of ancient monuments. With its well-known Romanic Church of San Lorenzo, worth a visit. This town was once the seat of high religious power.
Before arriving at Sahagun you will find the sign depicting the halfway mark of the Camino!
In Calzada del Coto, the route diverges, but you will follow the Real Camino Francés to Bercianos del Real Camino for your overnight accommodation.

Day 22: Bercianos del Real Camino – Mansilla de las Mulas

Your Camino leaves the expansive ‘Tierra de Campos’ behind and continues across grain and cereal crops. Leading pilgrims to the plateau of León. The whole stage continues through straight paths, with little shade, take advantage when you find it.
You have 27 km with only two villages in the middle, El Burgo Ranero, and Reliegos.

From Reliegos, with only 6km to go, you can almost see Mansilla de las Mulas a small walled enclave, founded in 1181. Intimately connected to the Camino hence its seven churches, a house for pilgrims, three hospitals, and two monasteries.

Day 23: Mansilla de las Mulas–Leon 

Leaving Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon you leave behind the high plateau setting of the remote Meseta and continue your journey to the spectacular city of Leon. You will walk along busy roads for most of the day.
Your approach to the city of León will see you passing through residential suburbs and industrial areas. From Portillo Hill onwards you will spot the beautiful city of León ahead with its stunning Cathedral.

CC – Day 24: Leon rest day

You have now walked 470 km in 21 days! your body deserves a rest day to charge your batteries.

Leon is a lively Unesco Heritage listed City one of the largest on Camino de Santiago. So much to see and do. Many churches and cathedrals noted for their architecture and art can be discovered in Leon. Among them is the Gothic 13th-century Cathedral de Leon. Indeed a spectacle of beauty with its towers and flying buttresses.  Also boasting Romanesque architecture of the 10th-century, Basílica de San Isidoro. Known for its frescoes and royal tombs.  Then a must-visit, Casa Botines, a neogothic-styled building designed by Antoni Gaudi.
Famous for its facade of carved skulls and scallops is the Parador Hotel in the city center. Indeed a visit there will leave you speechless.
Once you have done your touristy visits head to Barrio Húmedo and Barrio Romántico, both close to the Cathedral, are known for food and fun! full of narrow streets and plazas. Here socialising and gastronomy are on the agenda. A time to rest and enjoy a variety of taverns, bars, restaurants, and terraces,
If you are struggling with any of your walking equipment this is a good time to update. There are several outdoor shops and a large department store Corte Ingles to cater to your needs.

Buen Camino

Day 25: Leon – Hospital De Orbigo 

From León to Hospital de Órbigo you have 33 km. The exit from León is 8 km through the city streets, to the monument of La Virgen Del Camino, marking the end of the city.
Many Pilgrims take a bus or a taxi, to Virgen Del Camino to start their day from there. This, of course, is your choice, making it 25km to Hospital de Órbigo.
When in Virgen Del Camino you enter the off-road Camino path. Here you must choose between the historic Camino through Villadangos Del Páramo (full of industrial and residential areas) or the alternative Camino through Villar de Mazarife. We suggest this alternative as it takes you off the national road to a more rural option, again your choice. Both options take you to Hospital de Órbigo a flat and manageable stage.
When you arrive at Hospital De Orbigo you will cross the magnificent stone medieval bridge the town is famous for. It has nineteen arches with the Río Órbigo (river) flowing through only three. A bridge reserved for pedestrians only. You will also find in this Templar Town a 12th Century Church.

Day 26: Hospital De Orbigo – Astorga

Enjoy an easy short walk today only 16.5km. Meander of hills and enjoy the landscape.
Reaching Astorga, a pretty hilltop city.

Visit its ‘pink’ cathedral, designed by Antoni Gaudí (the famous Catalan architect). Constructed in 1471, it also now houses a museum.

Then there is the fabulous Episcopal palace, a sight to behold. Also the monumental city walls, are a testament to times gone by.
Astorga is well known for its famous chocolates and “Las Mantecadas (cupcakes) de Astorga”.

CC – Day 27: Astorga – Rabanal Del Camino 

Start your way towards León Mountains on paths where you will be surrounded by heather, oak, and broom. The ascent is soft and progressive up to Rabanal Del Camino.
Witness to your left, for several days, the magnificent view of “El Teleno”, the highest mountain summit in León Camino. 2,188m above sea level, escorting you towards Galicia.
Passing through several beautiful villages, Santa Catalina de Somoza and El Ganso.
Soon you will reach Rabanal Del Camino 1,150m high, a beautiful little town where you can eat the famous and very hearty Cocido Maragato.

Buen Camino

Day 28: Rabanal Del Camino – Molinaseca 25km

A spectacular stage, however it is very unpredictable weather generally cold most of the year. Take something warm in your backpack.
You will have a difficult steep ascent to the beautiful village of Foncebadon. A lost village in the middle of the mountain. Continue to climb to “Cruz de Ferro”(Iron Cross) 1.504m, which is the most symbolic milestone in the entire Camino. A bit further you find the “Collado de las Antenas” 1.515m, the highest point on the French Camino. Of course take some time to enjoy the stunning view.
Start your descent to the lush area of El Bierzo. You will experience a challenging descent to Molinaseca, probably the hardest on Camino together with the decline to Zubiri, encountered at the very beginning. The most difficult section is between the Collado down to Acebo. Please take your time and take care of your ankles and knees. In bad weather, we suggest walking the road instead of the way.
You will enter Molinaseca crossing its beautiful Romanesque Pilgrim’s Bridge, a picturesque town that looks a little like a movie set, sitting at the foot of the mountain. Its narrow streets and historic buildings are spectacular.

Buen Camino

Day 29: Molinaseca – Cacabelos 

In just 7.7km you will find yourself walking into Ponferrada the last big city on the way to Santiago de Compostela. The 12th-century Templars Castle is especially worth visiting here if you have the time.

Leaving Ponferrada you will pass through the village of Compostilla, a former mining town. Columbrianos in next closely followed by Fuentes Nuevas and Camponaraya.
From Camponaraya to Cacabelos you will walk through beautiful vineyards. This is the heart of the well-appreciated El Bierzo wine region.
Arriving in Cacabelos you walk past the Hermitage of San Roque. If it is open pop in, it has been turned into a quirky little museum of sorts. Wander through the village and admire the clever street art. At the end of the main road, you will come to Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Plaza.
While here try another hearty speciality of this land, El Botillo.

Day 30: Cacabelos – Ambasmestas 

Today you continue in the beautiful El Bierzo. Passing through Villafranca Del Bierzo, with its beautiful castle and the church of Santiago. Here you can admire the “Puerta Del Perdón” (Forgiveness Gate) which only opens during Holy Years.
You may hear a change in the language of the people with locals speaking Galician. This is the original language of Galicia and bordering regions. Your route passes through the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’ finishing your day in Ambasmestas or Vega de Valcace, depending on the best available accommodation. There you can see the motorway bridge, 100m above.

Day 31: Ambasmestas – O Cebreiro 

From here to Santiago you walk mainly through a landscape with oak, beech, chestnut, and gum trees.
Today you face the iconic milestone of the Camino, the feared climb up to O’Cebreiro, at 1.330m. From Vega de Valcarce, at 630m you climb 700m in 12 km. The hardest section is between Las Herrerias and La Laguna, 500m in 5.5 km. You cross the border between Castilla and Galicia and realise the day was well worth every step, the views are spectacular.
O’Cebreiro is the first village in Galicia, a delightful hilltop hamlet. From here we have a spectacular 360º view. This image will remain in your mind forever.

O’Cebreiro is an iconic location for its outlook, church, legends, and its “Pallozas”, typical Galician construction, round stone houses with a straw roof.
After a hard days’ walk, you will enjoy the specialties of this land: Pulpo (octopus) and the local Cebreiro cheese.
Make sure you get to the Pilgrims Mass whether you are religious or not the Mass here has a special spirit as does this land.

Buen Camino

Day 32: O Cebreiro – Triacastela 

Today you cross into Galicia, through the “Ancares” Mountains.
It’s important to consider that you are walking in a land where fog, wind, and low temperatures are frequent in all seasons and particularly in winter. You find Initially you will be climbing moderate but frequent steep sections up to Hospital de la Condesa. With a difficult, challenging, incline up to Alto de Poio 1.337m. The highest point in the Galician section of Camino. When there you will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto, you will continue to Fonfría and from there you have a long walk downhill, 9 km to the town of Triacastela. The first stop on the Galician section of the Camino with around 1000 inhabitants. There are regularly more Pilgrims than locals in the town, a great place to rest after your days of climbing mountains!

Day 33: Triacastela – Sarria 

You have a decision to make today. There are two options to get to Sarria: Through San Xil valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in Camino (7km shorter), or, through Samos, where you walk along the valley of the river Ouribio, with magnificent oak and chestnut trees and the impressive Samos Monastery.
Whatever decision you make, you’ll get it right.
At the end of your day, you arrive in Sarria, a large town, with about 15,000 inhabitants. You will notice from here an influx of Pilgrims. This is due to the last 100 km rule of the Compostela. It is here that tour companies and groups in buses hop on and off the Camino to do short walks and get stamps.
A Camino fact, around 40% of French Camino pilgrims arriving in Santiago every year start the pilgrimage here in Sarria. Do not fear though, you will find as the groups only do small sections, there are still stretches where you will have times of peace and tranquillity.

Day 34: Sarria rest day

Today is the day for a well-earned rest in a modern bustling town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars.
No bag to place in the foyer, have a sleep in, eat a hearty breakfast then visit the old quarter. Grab yourself a map of the city, amble along Rua Major. Take your time to visit all of the historic delights this city has to offer. Visit Iglesia de Santa Mariña, Monasterio de la Magdalena, medieval bridge Ponte Aspera, Capilla de San Lazaro and Torre de la Fortaleza, the only remains of a once impressive castle, just to name a few.

ENJOY YOUR DAY!

Day 35: Sarria – Portomarin 22km

Today you face a beautiful stage through Galician bushes, pretty villages, and hamlets along with traditional “hórreos” (granaries). In Pina dos Corvos you will enjoy wonderful views of Belesar reservoir and the surrounding countryside.  From here there is a steep descent into Portomarín where you cross the Miño River over its modern bridge into Portomarín.
The remains of the medieval town of Portomarín disappeared under these reservoir waters in the 1950s. Franco (Dictator) decided to build a hydroelectric dam 40 kilometers downriver and flooded the town of Portomarín. The most important monuments; the churches of San Nicolás, San Pedro, and some of the cherished 16th and 17th-century manor houses or Pazos.  Stone by stone high above the river the people transported the buildings creating the new village of Portomarin. The square in the centre of town boasts most of the historic monuments including the Pazo Del Conde da Maza.

Day 36: Portomarin – Palas de Rei

Today’s walk passes through similar landscapes to yesterday. You exit from Portomarin crossing the river Miño, Galicia’s longest river, then you begin a steady uphill walk from 350m to 725m for 12km. A challenging yet not difficult section on and off the road.
In Ventas de Narón, you pass the small 13th century Ermita de Santa María Magdalena built by the Knights Templar. Soon after in Castromaior the circa 4BC to 1AD Roman ruins, are well worth the short detour off the Camino.
Your destination Palas de Rei, known as Palace of the King due to a king residing there. A small country town with plenty of shops, bars, and cafes. Most of town life revolves around the Plaza del Concello. Visit la Iglesia de San Tirso originally built in the 12th to early 13th century. It has undergone numerous changes over the centuries with the only original part of the church, the Romanesque doorway.

Day 37: Palas de rei – Arzúa

Today you will find yourself walking downhill for most of the way. And crossing many creeks.

Reaching Melide about halfway into your day. A mandatory town to stop and enjoy the most famous Pulpo (octopus) in Galicia.

Two of the most renowned octopus restaurants in Galicia are found here, Ezequiel and Garnacha.

After a hearty lunch find yourself winding your way in and out of pine and eucalyptus forest. Soon you have a steep descent into Ribadiso da Baixo.
Finally arriving at the town of Arzúa, the most significant city (6,000 inhabitants) before Santiago. Famous for its local cheese Queixo Arzúa-Ulloa.

Visit the 14th-century Capilla de la Magdalena, all that is left of a former Augustinian monastery.

Day 38: Arzúa – O Pedrouzo 19.5km

A comfortable stage, quite flat, along prairies and bushes. Alternating between track and county lanes, passing through several small hamlets.
Continue on woodland paths, passing a monument to Guillermo Watt who died at this spot, a day from completing his Camino. Reaching Alto de Santa Irene, the high point of today, with a good picnic and rest area.
O Pedrouzo is a small busy town with plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. The last stage of the Camino before entering Santiago de Compostela.

Buen Camino

Day 39: O Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela 20km

Today you face your last walking day on Camino!
The first half runs through a rural landscape, similar to prior days.
From Lavacolla you walk through the airport, highways, urban and residential areas. Then you reach Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy) 5km before the city center. From here you will glimpse the spires of the Cathedral in Santiago.
The entrance to the old city of Santiago (100,000 inhabitants) is stunning, an incredible walk through the historic city streets leading you under the Arco del Obispo where you make your triumphant entrance into the Plaza del Obradoiro, Congratulations!
This night is one of celebration, the City will be brimming with Pilgrims and Locals alike enjoying the local cuisine and wines. Sharing tales of their Camino and for many saying farewells to their Camino Friends.
*Don’t forget to go and get your Compostela. The location will be noted on your daily map

Buen Camino

Day 40: Santiago de Compostela – rest day

Enjoy your last day and explore this Historic City with its many specialised Tapas bars and restaurants, meet other pilgrims with whom you have shared joys and sorrows during so many days, some of them you will never meet again others will be friends for the rest of your life and some of you will have found love!
If you were late arriving yesterday you can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St. James which forms the city’s heart and watch the collection of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey as you did yesterday.
The end of this unique experience, unless of course, you are heading to Fisterra!

Buen Camino

At Crossroads Travel our focus is to ensure your comfort after a long day of walking. Hence we have carefully and extensively researched accommodation options on Camino. 

Our choice is based on location.

We personally book your rooms for this reason we know exactly where they are located. Being in the vibe of Camino amongst the other pilgrims, restaurants, bars, and cafes is our primary aim.

Note: There are a few extraordinary options off the Camino. We will discuss this with you when booking.

Next, we want you to be welcomed and taken care of.

Meeting regularly with the owners/management to discuss our client needs ensures your hosts have direct personal contact with us. If any need arises we can manage it immediately. 

Finally, we choose accommodation preferably in charming, iconic hotels and rural Casas.

The number of stars is not our criteria. A comfortable room and a private bathroom come first. Although, yes, we do throw in a few nights with lots of stars for a bit of indulgence. After all, you deserve to have a soak in a spa. Likewise, an indoor pool doesn’t hurt.

Book 60 days in advance

Because Camino de Santiago is a very unique destination with limited quality accommodation ON Camino. Consequently, we advise booking a minimum of 60 days in advance.

Examples of our chosen accommodation.

Images below are examples of what you can expect from your booking. Tailor-made packages are available if you wish to stay 5-star all the way. 

ARRIVING at SAINT JEAN DE PIED DE PORT (SJPP):
There are many options, depending on where you are departing from, however, these are our suggestions based on the easiest connections to the Camino:

From Paris:
1. Fly to Biarritz (1:30 h). From Biarritz, you have about 50 km to SJPP. Take the train from Biarritz to Saint Jean Pied de Port (2:00 h) You must change trains in Bayona.
2. A taxi or hire car service from the airport
3. From Paris take the TGV (High-Speed Train) to Bayona (4:00 h) from there the train to Saint Jean Pied de Port (1:20 h)

From Barcelona:

1. Take the train to Pamplona (3:45 h). From there take the Alsa Bus (1:45 h) to SJPP.
2. In summer, Fly to San Sebastian (1:15 h) and then take the Alsa Bus to SJPP (3.15 h)

From Madrid:

1. Fly to Pamplona (1:00 h). From there take the Alsa Bus (1:45 h) to SJPP.
2. Take the train to Pamplona (3:15 h). From there take the Alsa Bus (1:45 h) to SJPP.
3. In summer, Fly to San Sebastian (1:15 h) and then take the Alsa Bus to SJPP (3.15 h)

 Info
  • From - To: Saint Jean Pied de Port - Santiago
  • Length: 784 km
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: $5,545
  • Dates:

    Flexible. Set your own agenda.

    Please note that all Classic Camino bookings starting from the 1st – 15th July may have a small extra cost due to St Fermin festival in Pamplona