Crossroads Travel packages always include rest days. It is important 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 resting.
Rest days are not only for your feet and body they are for “smelling the roses” take in the historical sights, observe the culture, indulge in the Gastronomy and maybe even some essentials like a reviving massage!
Saint Jean Pied de Port
This is a charming little Village somewhat like strolling through a live postcard and your only stop in France before heading south over the Pyrenees mountains across the Spanish border.
We highly recommend if you have travelled a long distance to take the opportunity to rest before you start your Camino, a chance to check that you have everything 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, it is 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 dating back as far as the 11th Century just to name a few.
A small city with all of the amenities for washing, restocking and fabulous for people watching!
And of course THE FOOD with a strong Basque culture you don’t have to go far to find some tasty pintxos, similar to tapas, or the Yummy Pomentos de Piquillo, peppers stuffed with meat, seafood or cheese.
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 of the modern amenities that you could possibly need, a very 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 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 some of the best Pintxos and Tapas in northern Spain.
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 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, 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 a stone relic from the 14th century, Paseo del Espolon, 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.
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, with its towers and flying buttresses, Basílica de San Isidoro, boasting Romanesque architecture of the 10th-century, known for its frescoes and royal tombs and Casa Botines, a neogothic styled building designed by Antoni Gaudi.
Visit the Parador in the city centre with its famous Facade of carved skulls and scallops.
If a bit of socialising and gastronomy are on your agenda, two districts, Barrio Húmedo and Barrio Romántico, full of narrow streets and plazas, with a variety of taverns, bars, restaurants and terraces, both close to the Cathedral, are known for food and fun!
There are also several outdoor shops and a large department store Corte Ingles in this centre. If you are struggling with any of your walking equipment this is a good time to update
Astorga is a place for pilgrims to rest and get ready 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, the edifice was begun in 1471, within the same walls it’s Romanesque predecessors from the 11th-13th centuries.
The 19th-century Palacio Episcopal (Episcopal Palace) designed by Antoni Gaudí, the current role of the palace, a museum of religious art called Museo de los Caminos, dedicated to the Way of Santiago.
The Town Hall, where construction started in 1683, has a Baroque edifice with three towers in its façade, the middle one including the bells.
The Roman Walls that were rebuilt around 1242 and underwent several repairs during the Middle Ages and Roman archaeological remains including those of the original military camp, two baths (late 1st and 3rd century AD) and remains of the forum and several mosaics.
As with every region of Spain, there are food specialities. Astorga is the European birthplace of chocolate, you will see Astorga chocolate all over the region. Mantecadas de Astorga, a small cake famous in this region and Cocido Maragato, a stew or hotpot made of various meats (some say seven portions of meat), potatoes, chickpeas and noodle soup.
Distinctly split with a beautiful river running through it Ponferrada is 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 the time. Another place to see is the Basilica de la Encina, Renaissance style and the Church of Santiago de Penalba, the Monastery of San Pedro de Montes and the Church of Santo Tomás de las Ollas.
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 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 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 here in Santiago, no matter if you are not religious it is the milestone of having made your destination and the community of Pilgrims that gather giving this service an energy that is a wonderful way to finish your Camino and for those heading to Fisterra a little boost in morale to keep you strong and walking.