Camino Frances Highlights

Stage 1 of 8

275.5km

15 days

Comfort

Popular time

september

Starting from

€2988

Overall

Distance:

17.9 min | 23km average | 29.1 max

Ascent:

355 min |586.5m average | 1529.2 max

Cardio:

3   3.4   5

Follow the Camino Preview Map Trip 1036

Want to see all the iconic highlights on the Camino Frances in just two weeks? Walk from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France over the mountainous region of the Pyrenees across the flat plateau of northern Spain to Logrono and travel on to sightsee in the city of Leon. To top it off, you will walk the famous last 100km of the Camino de Santiago, through the undulating hilly landscape of Galicia, finishing in Santiago de Compostela.

Saint Jean Pied de Port Central

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Your first stop on the Camino Frances is the quaint French town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port – the traditional starting point of the Camino Frances. Before you set off through the Pyrenees, explore this scenic gem and soak in the excitement of the town as pilgrims flock to start their pilgrimage. A must-see in the town is the 14th Century Gothic church.

Logrono

Logrono

Logrono is the capital city of the La Rioja wine region. However, Logoron itself owes its prominence to the Camino de Santiago which has passed through its cobbled streets since the Middle Ages. The Puente de Piedra is the oldest bridge crossing the river Ebro into Logrono and is still used today by pilgrims. Sampling the local wine is a must do while also trying some of the local dishes in one of the many bars and restaurants as you wander the historic centre. Here, you will encounter the Cathedral of Santa María la Redonda where there is a painting of the Christ on the Cross by Michelangelo.

Cathedral de Santiago

Santiago de Compostela

Just before arriving into Santiago you will pass the Mount of Joy. Here, take the time to get a stamp at the small church but also visit the Pilgrim Statues pointing at the city. It is here that you will get your first glimpse of the Cathedral in the distance. There are few feelings like the one of arriving to Praza do Obradoiro in front of the cathedral after your long pilgrimage. Once in the city, you can explore the bustling mediaeval streets, filled with market stalls, restaurants, bars and buskers, as well as the many interesting museums and Alameda Park for a relaxing stroll (if you haven’t had enough of walking)!

Camino Frances Highlights

Starting from € 2988

SAINT JEAN PIED DE PORT

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Camino Details
Contact Details

Services

Included in this package

Specially Hand-Picked Accommodations

Bed & Breakfast

Luggage Transfers from Hotel to Hotel

Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack

24/7 Customer Service

Add-On

Premium Accommodation

Airport Pick-Up

Additional Nights

Dinners

Day Tours to Local Sites of Interest

Not included: Flights/trains, Insurance, Drinks/Lunch

Itinerary

Day

1

km

SAINT JEAN PIED DE PORT

You’ll be booked into a hotel in the heart of the small town. While in town, you should visit the 14th Century Gothic church, Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont, the hilltop citadel (remodelled in the 17th Century), and follow the cobbled Rue de la Citadelle downhill and over the river for views back over St-Jean-Pied-De-Port.

Day

2

24.5 km

SAINT JEAN PIED DE PORT RONCESVALLES

This first day is considered the most difficult as the Camino crosses the Pyrenees. The ‘Camino Napoleon’ kicks off with a steep climb, on through orchards and then, later, through Alpine-style meadows, before weaving its way alongside leafy beech woods towards the Spanish border. The Valcarlos Camino mainly follows the road which runs through the valley alongside the River Nive or River Valcarlos. Don’t miss the Collegiate Church as you descend into Roncesvalles.
If you would like to walk at a more relaxed pace, we can arrange one of 3 options:

  1. A stay in the Refuge Orisson (basic accommodation but welcoming) halfway to split the day into 2.
  2. Stay 2 nights in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and use a taxi lift from/to Refuge Orisson. 
  3. An alternative route via Valcarlos that splits this walking day into two stages (12km and 14km). Here you will be staying in a 2-star hotel. This route through Valcarlos is not part of the usual Camino Frances itinerary and the walk is not as rewarding as it follows the main road.
    IMPORTANT: The Napoleon Route over the Pyrenees is closed for pilgrims from the 1 November until the 31 March. Pilgrims need to use the alternative route via Valcarlos if they are travelling within these dates. Travelling on the Napoleon Route at this time is forbidden and all pilgrims going over the Pyrenees and having to be rescued before that time will be fined €5,000.

Day

3

21.5 km

RONCESVALLES ZUBIRI

The Camino crosses two beautiful mountain passes and continues on through woods and meadows before coming to Espinal, where the panoramic views of the countryside, with the Pyrenees in the background, are a sight to behold. The River Arga runs alongside this part of the Camino and continues its course all the way to Larrasoana.

Day

4

21.3 km

ZUBIRI PAMPLONA

The Camino runs along the River Arga, at the foot of a group of hills covered in beech, oak and Scots pine trees. As we approach Pamplona, the town famous for its ‘Running of the Bulls’ festival in San Fermin each July, the landscape shows more signs of civilisation, with reforested planted conifers and farmlands increasingly prevalent.

Day

5

23 km

PAMPLONA PUENTE LA REINA

When leaving Pamplona behind, you are also leaving behind the Atlantic area of Navarra. From here onwards, the landscape will be dominated by cereal crops, Holm oaks and Mediterranean brushwood. The Pamplona basin is left behind too when you cross the Alto del Perdon (Hill of Forgiveness), so-named because of the centuries old pilgrim tradition of travellers forgiving others, and asking forgiveness for themselves, with each step up the hill.

Day

6

21.5 km

PUENTE LA REINA ESTELLA

As you leave Puente La Reina you will cross the ‘Puente Románico’, a six-arched Romanesque bridge over the Arga River. The Camino to Estella is very uneven and quite agricultural. Small towns and villages are dotted amongst cereal fields, vineyards and olive trees. This is one of the quieter sections of the Camino Frances.

Day

7

22.1 km

ESTELLA LOS ARCOS

Today you go through the Rioja area of Navarra. Enjoy the pastoral scenes of olive trees, cereal fields and, most importantly, vineyards as you pass through. From Villamayor de Monjardin to Los Arcos, you will cover 12km without coming across a single village.

Day

8

28.1 km

LOS ARCOS LOGRONO

Today we leave Navarra and journey into Rioja. Expect a pleasant hike into the undulating countryside. On this route you will pass the stunning ruins of Clavijo Castle. Finally, we come to the town of Logrono, strategically situated on the border between Alava and Navarra.

If you would like to walk at a more relaxed pace, we can arrange to split this section into two days (17km on the first day, 10km on the second day), with a stop over in Viana. Here you will be staying at a charming 2-star hotel.

Day

9

km

LOGRONO SARRIA

Private transfer from Logrono to Sarria with stopover in Leon for lunch (not included) & 1 hour sightseeing

Day

10

21.9 km

SARRIA PORTOMARIN

Expect a peaceful walk in shady oak woods and pretty villages on quiet country roads. The village of Barbadelo (at an elevation of 580m) has a beautiful Romanesque church that is worth a visit. The next significant village is Ferreiros. When you arrive in Portomarin (an elevation of 550m) you can relax on one of the numerous terraces of the town’s main plaza.

Day

11

24.3 km

PORTOMARIN PALAS DE REI

From the village, the Camino crosses the river Minho and climbs uphill. On your way, you’ll be crossing Gonzar and passing the Romanesque Church of Santa María, Castromaior. The calm of the Galician Cemetery in Ligonde on a sunny day is a rest in itself. In Eirexe, the Romanesque portal of the church is a beauty, featuring a sculpture of Daniel, as well as a statue of Santiago de Peregrino. You will then arrive in Palas de Rei (at an elevation of 565m).

Day

12

29.1 km

PALAS DE REI ARZUA

Today, the Camino continues slightly downhill, passing the village of Casanova and the charming village of Leboreiro. At Melide (an elevation of 454m), stop in one of the many restaurants to try some local specialities. Later today, the Camino will follow a forest track and cross several streams bringing you to the village of Boente. Then, you’ll encounter the mediaeval village of Ribadiso, and finally Arzua (at an elevation of 389m). This small town has two churches that you can visit, Santa María and La Magdalena.

Day

13

17.9 km

ARZUA RUA

This shaded section of the Camino will pass through woods, along streams, and through sleepy villages. Take your time and visit the chapel of Santa Irena, with its unique statues of Santiago. The rest of the way to Rua-O Pino is on a quiet country road. Rua (at an elevation of 310m) is one of the less crowded stopping points before Santiago de Compostela.

Day

14

20.3 km

RUA SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

You’re nearly there! The next stage will be Lavacolla, where pilgrims traditionally washed in the river before reaching Santiago de Compostela. Tall eucalyptus trees line your way to Monte del Gozo, or Mount of Joy. From here, you can see your goal – the Cathedral of Santiago! After a descent to the city you’ll be able to witness this UNESCO World Heritage Site up-close. Marvel at the architecture and relish the wonderful atmosphere in this cultural and spiritual mecca, and contemplate all you’ve experienced on your amazing journey.

Day

15

km

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
If you wish to stay in the area, we recommend that you:
– Take your time and visit the magnificent historic centre of Santiago.
– Continue with us along the wild Camino Fisterra (Finisterre Way), and stay overnight at the hotel in the lighthouse!
– Or take a bus to Fisterra to visit the unspoilt sandy coves and beaches of the west coast. With very few tourists, you are guaranteed a very special experience. Buses depart from Santiago Bus Station at 9am and 10am. Buses return to Santiago at 4:45pm and 7pm. The journey takes 3 hours.

How to Get There

Getting to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France

It is best to fly into France (Biarritz or Paris) to start the Camino Frances.

Fly into Biarritz

A number of airlines from Ireland, the UK and across European capital citiesRyanair,EasyJet, Air France (via Orly) – fly into Biarritz Airport.

1 – Train to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz Airport is located just 3km from Biarritz. However, it is a much better option to go to the train station in the city of Bayonne (not Biarritz), just a few kilometres further away. Take the train from Biarritz Airport to Bayonne train station. The journey takes around. 15 minutes and will cost around €5. The bus stop to the train in Bayonne is in front of the airport terminal.

From there, there are direct trains from Bayonne to St-JeanPiedde Port (this journey lasts approximately 1 hour).

    Fly into Paris

    Virtually all airlines fly to Paris from Ireland, the UK and across European capital cities. From there, you can take a train into the centre of Paris and, from Paris Montparnasse, you can take a train to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (which travels via Bayonne).

      Getting home from Santiago de Compostela, Spain

      It is best to fly out from Santiago or Madrid once you have completed your Camino.

      Fly from Santiago

      Shuttle buses from Santiago city centre to the airport take 20 minutes, or you can request an airport transfer that will pick you up from your hotel.

        Fly from Madrid

        Travel to the centre of Madrid via a direct train from Santiago takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes. From there, it’s simple to catch a shuttle bus to Madrid Airport.

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