At Crossroads Travel we always express the need to look after your body and take time out during your Camino. We have witnessed way too many injuries that could have been avoided by taking rest days.
Rest days are not only for your feet and body they are for “smelling the roses” taking in the historical sites, observing the culture, indulging in Gastronomy, and maybe even some essentials like a reviving massage!
Crossroads Travel preferred rest points
St Jean Pied de Port
This charming little Village is somewhat like strolling through a live postcard. Your only stop in France before heading south over the Pyrenees mountains across the Spanish border.
We highly recommend a rest here before you start your Camino. Soak up the charm of the village and take advantage of the shops for any last-minute slip-ups in packing before you begin your climb across the Pyrenees Mountains.
Pamplona is an Iconic Spanish location on the Camino. Generally, a quiet provincial city of narrow streets lined with colourful houses, their balconies so close the neighbours can almost pass food to one another across the street.
Here you will find some incredible sites; Santa Maria a 14th-century Gothic Cathedral, the old city walls, medieval churches San Nicolas, and San Saturnino just to name a few.
A small city with all of the amenities for washing and restocking supplies and fabulous for people-watching!
With a strong Basque culture, you don’t have to go far to find some tasty pintxos, similar to tapas.
Logrono on the Ebro River is the capital of La Rioja, a region known for some of Spain’s finest wines.
This Stunning city has all the modern amenities you could possibly need. A social city where the streets (Calle) offer opportunities to relax a little with friends and enjoy the spoils of the land.
Calle Portales the main street in the old town where locals like to walk and then choose a terrace to sit and share a wine or meal with friends.
The most iconic Calle to visit; Calle del Laurel, full of Bars where you will find on offer the best Pintxos and Tapas in northern Spain.
Burgos is a spectacular, historically rich city boasting many ancient remains throughout.
Home to 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. A must-visit.
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.
Leon is a lively Unesco Heritage listed City, one of the largest on Camino de Santiago. Home to many churches and cathedrals noted for their architecture and art. Among them is the Gothic 13th-century Cathedral de Leon, Basílica de San Isidoro, of 10th-century Romanesque architecture then Casa Botines, a neogothic style building designed by Antoni Gaudi. Not to forget the Parador with its famous Facade of carved skulls and scallops.
For socialising and gastronomy two lively districts Barrio Húmedo and Barrio Romántico are a must. Full of narrow streets and plazas, with a variety of taverns, bars, restaurants, and terraces. Both are close to the Cathedral known for food and fun!
There are also several outdoor goods stores and a department store Corte Ingles in this centre. If you are struggling with any of your walking equipment this is a good time to update
is a place for pilgrims to rest in preparation to climb the mountains ahead of them. A vibrant city with tourism as its main focal point. The main attractions of Astorga are Catedral de Santa María de Astorga also the 19th-century Palacio Episcopal (Episcopal Palace) designed by Antoni Gaudí. Currently, a museum of religious art called Museo de los Caminos dedicated to the Way of Santiago.
Then you have the town hall, Roman walls that were rebuilt around 1242, Roman archaeological remains of the forum and several mosaics.
Astorga is the European birthplace of chocolate and Mantecadas de Astorga, sweet specialities. Be sure to try Cocido Maragato, a stew made of various meats (some say seven types of meat), potatoes, chickpeas and noodle soup.
Distinctly split with a beautiful river running through it Ponferrada is the capital of the El Bierzo region, the historic quarter of this town sits below an imposing castle built by the Knights Templar open to visit if you have time. The must-try food is the Botillo, thick pork sausage marinated and smoked, served with “Cachelos” (boiled potatoes) and vegetables, have this with one of the local Bierzo wines!
Sarria is a modern bustling town with plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and bars.
Grab yourself a map of the city, amble along the Rua Major and take your time to visit all of the historic delights this city has to offer. Visit the 19th century 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.
Sarria is noted for its Artisinal Beef grown in the surrounding area.
Santiago de Compostela
Well, what can we say if you have done the entire French way you will certainly appreciate a rest day here! The very brave that are continuing on to Fisterra will no doubt enjoy a break at this point.
Santiago de Compostela has so much to offer. The old centre is rich in history with lively Bars and restaurants serving incredible foods and wines of the region. You can also visit the new city centre where you will find everything you could possibly want or need.
Get yourself a map of the city centre to ensure you do not miss a thing!
We highly recommend going to the Pilgrims Mass if you are religious or not. The milestone of having made your destination and the community of Pilgrims that gather give this service energy that makes a wonderful way to finish your Camino. For those heading to Fisterra a little boost in morale to keep you strong and walking.