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The Whole Camino Frances

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769.8km
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36 days
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Starting From
€3323
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The Camino Frances is a pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port in France over the Pyrenees and across the north of Spain to Santiago de Compostela and the tomb of St James. Passing through famous Spanish towns and cities such as Pamplona, Burgos, Leon and Ponferrada, you have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the unique culture of this region. The walk will have you traversing varying landscape from the mountainous region of the Pyrenees, to the flat plateau of Northern Spain and the undulating hilly landscape of Galicia. To complete the full French Way you do need to have a reasonable level of fitness and also over a month free to give you the time to walk and incorporate a few rest days along the way. We can assist with booking this trip for all budgets. So do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to find out more about completing the full Camino Frances and to get a personalised quote and itinerary.

Highlights

Natural Landscape

The Camino Frances stretches from St Jean Pied de Port in France over the Pyrenees and across the north of Spain, covering just under 800kms.  Naturally with such a long distance being covered there is a wide variety of terrain on the Camino Frances. Starting in the Pyrenees mountains, sweeping views from atop soaring peaks to dense forest rich in wildlife take you down to the region of Navarra where the landscape becomes more hill like as you encounter the Ebo River that provides sustenance to the La Rioja wine region.  Moving on into the largest region of the Camino Frances you encounter Castilla Y Lyon which takes in the large and flat Castilian Plateau before ascending into the mountains of Leon. Gently descending from the Leon mountains you enter the green and hilly region of Galicia and the end goal perched on a hill top, Santiago de Compostela.

Built Heritage

The Camino Frances has been walked for centuries and thus along the route you will find a plethora of architectural feats and fine examples of buildings from throughout the ages. A true highlight is the numerous religious buildings, churches, cathedrals, convents and monasteries that are sprinkled along the route. Many are still in use today as religious buildings others have been taken over and are now either use by the administrative departments or have been transformed into hotels.  Religious buildings are the only built heritage that you will find along the Way, crossing Roman Bridges will become the norm as you pass through not only major towns and cities but also along quite back roads and sleepy villages. Going further back in time you can also bear witness to celtic ruins as well as the archaeological site of Atapuerca where the oldest human fossils in Europe where discovered.

Gastronomy and Wine

With the Camino Frances covering such a wide variety of regions it is not surprising then that the gastronomy and wine along the Way is a highlight.  Local regional dishes are the backbone of the gastronomy of the Camino Frances, from hearty vegetable soups to succulent meat dishes and fresh fish dishes and no meal complete with out being finished off with sweet treats.  The epitome of the sweet treats on the Camino is of course the Tarta de Santiago.

Saint Jean Pied De Port to Santiago De Compostela
Camino Frances
From €3323
Preferred Month & Year
Number of people
Additional Information / Request

Services

Included in this package
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack
  • 24/7 Customer Service
Add-On
  • Premium Accommodation
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Additional Night
  • Dinners
  • Day Tours Available
Not included
  • Flights/trains
  • Insurance
  • Drinks/Lunch

Itinerary

Day 1

SAINT JEAN PIED DE PORT (Arrival)

You’ll be booked into a hotel in the heart of the small town. The rooms are en-suite.


Day 2
24.3km

SAINT JEAN PIED DE PORT
to
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 past country houses and then, later, through Alpine-style meadows, before weaving its way alongside leafy beech woods towards the Spanish border and the descent into Roncesvalles. 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 in Roncesvalles. NOTE: If you would like to walk at a more relaxed pace, we can arrange an alternative route (though not as rewarding) that splits this walking day into two stages (12km and 14km), staying overnight in the village of Valcarlos. Here you will be staying in a two-star hotel. This is route through Valcarols is no the usual Camino 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 1st November until the 31st 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
21.4km

RONCESVALLES
to
ZUBIRI

The Camino crosses two beautiful mountain passes and continues on through beech and oak 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
21.3km

ZUBIRI
to
PAMPLONA

The Camino runs along the River Arga, at the foot of a group of hills covered in beech, oak and Scots pine. As we approach Pamplona, the landscape shows more signs of civilisation, with its reforested conifers and farmlands.


Day 5
23km

PAMPLONA
to
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”.


Day 6
21.6km

PUENTE LA REINA
to
ESTELLA

The Camino to Estella is very uneven and quite agricultural. Small towns and villages are dotted amongst cereal fields, vineyards and olive trees.


Day 7
21.9km

ESTELLA
to
LOS ARCOS

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


Day 8
28km

LOS ARCOS
to
LOGRONO

Today we leave Navarra and journey into Rioja. Expect a pleasant hike into 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. An option to split into two days 17km /10km days, with a stop over in Viana. Here you will be staying at a charming 2* hotel


Day 9
28.8km

LOGRONO
to
NAJERA

This first day is an easy stage through landscape dominated by vineyards. After 12km, you will pass Navarrete, a town built in the 12th century by the “Knights of the Holy Sepulchre”. Here you will have a chance to stop for some refreshments and to visit the fabulous Baroque Church of “La Ascension”. Finally, arriving in Najera in the afternoon, you can enjoy the panoramic views from this hill-top town.


Day 10
21.1km

NAJERA
to
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA

Country roads dominate this stage, which runs through the Cantabrian mountain range to the north, and the La Demanda mountain range to the south. Enjoy a shorter walking day with great views. There is the possibility to visit the Monastery of “Valvanera” deep in the middle of the “Sierra de la Demanda”. Later today, you will arrive in Santo Domingo de la Calzada; another great milestone on the road to Santiago.


Day 11
21.6km

SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA
to
BELORADO

After a brief walk through a wooded area, the Camino takes us through crop fields, interspersed with small brooks and oak woods. This landscape warns us of the approaching mountain range and, indeed, we can soon see the Oca Mountains looming on the horizon. This afternoon, you will have the chance to relax in the lovely main square of Belorado. On the route, don’t miss the Altarpiece in the 16th century church of San Juan Bautista, in Granon.


Day 12
23.9km

BELORADO
to
SAN JUAN DE ORTEGA

Until you get to Villafranca Montes de Oca (14km), this stage is similar to the previous one. However, as you go deeper into the woods, you will soon discover the beautiful Oca Mountains. In St Juan de Ortega, have a look at the Gothic Mausoleum.


Day 13
25km

SAN JUAN DE ORTEGA
to
BURGOS

After a quiet sojourn in the mountains you will make your way down into the valley of the Pico River. Here, the tranquil landscapes disappear, making way for the roads and buildings that characterise Burgos and its outskirts.


Day 14
21.3km

BURGOS
to
HORNILLOS DEL CAMINO

From Burgos you will go through the crop fields that are typical of the region. You will pass through some small woods of Holm oak and conifers, which serve as a memory of the time when one of the largest forests in Europe existed on these lands.


Day 15
19.4km

HORNILLOS DEL CAMINO
to
CASTROJERIZ

You will resume your walk towards Castrojeriz. Upwards to another plateau and then descending towards the valley of the River Bol. Today is a pleasant day spent between pasture and crop fields.


Day 16
25.1km

CASTROJERIZ
to
FROMISTA

After Castrojeriz, situated on the hillside between the valleys of the rivers Odrilla and Pisuerga, is Alto Mosterales – the highest point of the Meseta, and the last plains of the Burgos Region. The river Pisuerga brings you into the province of Palencia and on into the “Tierra de Campo”. Don’t miss Boadilla and its 14th-century church “La Asuncion”, reputed for its Gothic pillory and beautifully carved baptismal font.


Day 17
18.9km

FROMISTA
to
CARRION DE LOS CONDES

Although this stage of the Camino passes through areas that have been heavily influenced by man, we follow the charming banks of the river Uciesa, under the shade of the trees. Today, the Camino takes a relatively straight trajectory. Numerous rest areas have been set out along the path. Passing Villalcazar de Sirga, you will come across a good example of a Campos village; few houses and inhabitants, but an impressive church full of treasures.


Day 18
17.1km

CARRION DE LOS CONDES
to
CALZADILLA DE LA CUEZA

For 13km you will follow the historical “Aquitana Camino” (another famous Camino to Santiago which begins in Bayonne, France) through isolated countryside, passing popular woods and crossing over several irrigation channels.


Day 19
22.3km

CALZADILLA DE LA CUEZA
to
SAHAGUN

Expect hilly terrain as you cross some “cuezas”, or little valleys. This part of the Camino leaves the road and heads through oak woods, before coming back to familiar cereal fields and crossing the river Valderaduey on your way to the countryside of Leon. In Sahagun, the church of San Lorenzo is certainly worth a look.


Day 20
17.1km

SAHAGUN
to
EL BURGO RANERO

In Sahagun, you will leave “Tierra del Campo” behind, moving on through the cereal and grain-covered plateaux of Leon.


Day 21
19.1km

EL BURGO RANERO
to
MANSILLA DE LAS MULAS

Going down from the plateau towards the capital of the province, Leon, you pass the pretty village of Reliegos. On the Camino you will have the chance to take the “Via Traiana”; another camino to Santiago that originates in Bordeaux.


Day 22
19.1km

MANSILLA DE LAS MULAS
to
LEON

You will continue alongside land that has been set aside for irrigated crop growing before seeing the first signs of industrial activity up ahead. From Portillo Hill you will be able to make out the beautiful city of Leon. The historic centre of Leon is well preserved and worth visiting. Over the course of time, Leon became the capital of the kingdom in the Middle Ages; a historic enclave on the pilgrim’s road to Santiago de Compostela. Don’t miss The Pulchra Leonina (the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of Spanish architecture) & the old Hospital de San Marcos.


Day 23
20.5km

LEON
to
VILLAR DE MAZARIFE

Leaving Leon, the urban area continues almost as far as Virgen del Camino (7km). From this point on, the route becomes more interesting as you follow the historical Camino along the Plateau of Leon.


Day 24
31.7km

VILLAR DE MAZARIFE
to
ASTORGA

You pass the famous "Puente de Orbigo" and leave behind the Plateau of Leon. The Leon Mountains can be seen up ahead and the end of this stage will bring you to Astorga, the capital of Maragateria. Not to miss in Astorga: Episcopal palace, the cathedral, and the city walls.


Day 25
19.7km

ASTORGA
to
Rabanal de Camino

We are now deep in the region as we gradually make our way up to the first foothills of the Leon Mountains. This part of the countryside is characterised by broom, oak trees and conifer plantations.


Day 26
31.4km

Rabanal de Camino
to
PONFERRADA

One of the most rewarding days. Enjoy the beautiful broom and heather surroundings as you ascent to “Mount Irago”. Witness the “Iron Cross” on the mountain pass before making your way downwards to the wealthy area of Bierzo NOTE: An option to split into two days 24km /8km. Accommodation is in a superb chalet hotel in Molinaseca.


Day 27
24.6km

PONFERRADA
to
VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO

Today you will cross the region of Bierzo, a sunken plain nestled within a ring of mountains. It is a fertile land, whose agreeable climate allows the cultivation of many types of fruit and vegetables. In Villafranca, don’t miss the garden of the “Iglesia de Santiago”. An option to split into two days, with a stop over in La Portela de Valcarce.


Day 28
28.5km

VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO
to
O CEBREIRO

Prepare for a challenging day with an ascent of 1000m. You will pass through the narrow valley of the river Valcace before tackling the ascent of O Cebreiro. Situated between the ranges of “Los Ancares” and “La Sierra do Courel”, this stage involves a steep climb in the course of only a few kilometers.


Day 29
20.7km

O CEBREIRO
to
TRIACASTELA

From O Cebreiro the trail passes through the “Sierra de Ranadoiro” (Ranadoiro Mountains) and, after crossing the Alto do Poio, it descends into the valley to the village of Triacastela.


Day 30
18km

TRIACASTELA
to
SARRIA

Of the two Camino options, the “San Xil” Camino offers scenery that will uplift your spirits and encourage you on your way. It has many “Corredoiras” (narrow forest routes) with paved pathways that cut through typical Galician oak woods. If you wish to visit Samos, you will pass through the narrow valley of the river Ouribio, mostly following the road.


Day 31
22km

SARRIA
to
PORTOMARIN

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


Day 32
24.2km

PORTOMARIN
to
PALAS DE REI

From the village, the Camino crosses the river Minho and climbs steadily 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 and animals, as well as a statue of Santiago de Peregrino. You will then arrive in Palas de Rei (565m).


Day 33
29.1km

PALAS DE REI
to
ARZUA

Today, the Camino continues slightly downhill, passing the village of Casanova and the charming village of Leboreiro. At Melide (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 with its church of Santiago. Then, you’ll encounter the medieval village of Ribadiso, and finally Arzua (389m). This small town has two churches that you can visit, Santa María and La Magdalena. NOTE: An option to split into two days 14km /14km


Day 34
17.6km

ARZUA
to
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 (310m) is one of the less crowded stopping points before Santiago de Compostela.


Day 35
20.5km

RUA
to
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. The tall eucalyptus trees line your way to Monte del Gozo (368m), or Mount of Joy. From here, you can see your goal – the Cathedral of Santiago! After a descent to the city (264m, population 80,000) 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.


Day 36

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 – Continue with us along the wild “Camino Fisterra” (Finisterre Way), and stay overnight at the 2* hotel in the light house! – or take a bus to Fisterra. (Bus to fisterra: 9am, 10am, bus back in Santiago 16:45 & 19:00. takes 3hours) – Visit the unspoilt sandy coves and beaches of the west coast. With very few tourists, you are guaranteed a very special experience.


The Whole Camino Frances Elevation

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