Via Francigena

‘All roads lead to Rome’

During the Middle Ages, the Via Francigena was the most popular pilgrimage route to Rome. Its traditional starting point is Canterbury in England and it travels through France, Switzerland, and Italy.

The best-known route was formalised in the 10th Century by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sigeric the Serious, after being ordained a Cardinal by Pope John XV.

This route is more challenging  as it is not as well waymarked and doesn’t have as many facilities enroute, but it is not as busy as the Camino de Santiago and offers an entirely different pilgrim experience through multiple countries and ending in the Vatican itself.

The Via Francigena is a spectacular walking holiday. It offers you peaceful surroundings, a glimpse into life in Italy, stunning food and drinks, and an authentic adventure. We are here to help you every step of the way, helping you to plan a pilgrimage you will never forget.

Due to unprecedented demand, the Via Francigena has limited remaining availability for this year. Please allow for extra time to find accommodation.

Rome city centre

The first section of the Via Francigena consists of walking through the countryside and passing quiet villages. During this section, experience the quintessentially English south-east coast of England and the north-western coast and charming countryside of France. You cross on the ferry from Dover to Calais, a unique experience for pilgrimage routes in Europe.

Stage 1 of 16

activity

169.5km

8 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

july

Heading south through the northern region of France, Pas-de-Calais, the second section of the Via Francigena is rich in historical importance from both World War I and World War II. Take in the peaceful French countryside alongside the dense cultural history and simple lifestyle in the traditional French farming villages you find along the way.

Stage 2 of 16

activity

98.6km

7 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

july

Starting from

€1063

Travelling from Arras to Laon, the third section of the Via Francigena will take you through the famous region of the Somme. Much of the tranquil countryside and woodland were devastated by the World Wars, so you will have many opportunities to visit war memorials and cemeteries along the trails. This is a truly humbling part of the world to visit.

Stage 3 of 16

activity

136.5km

9 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

july

Starting from

€640

With only five days of walking, the short fourth section of Via Francigena takes you over rolling hills with stops at various villages throughout the Champagne region. At every stop, you will have the opportunity to try the local produce such as Reims ham, but most importantly the uniquely regional drink known the world over, Champagne.

Stage 4 of 16

activity

66.3km

5 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

july

The fifth section of Via Francigena features the Cathedral in Reims, the Canals of Chalons, and the Napoleon Museum in Brienne le Chateau. On this walk, you will take in the regional history and folklore of your surroundings, especially the rich Napoleonic history, alongside the fresh and delicious French cuisine of the countryside.

Stage 5 of 16

activity

165.9km

8 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

july

As you move closer to the border of Switzerland, this sixth section of the Via Francigena highlights the architectural heritage of this part of the country. Early in the tour, there is a chance to visit the Clairvaux Abbey, where Victor Hugo was inspired to write his most famous piece of literature, the novel Les Misérables.

Stage 6 of 16

activity

143.5km

12 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

july

Passing from France to Switzerland, this section of the Via Francigena will take you through Alpine villages and towns, where you will also have the opportunity to sample local wines and food typical of this mountainous region. Since this is a very scenic route, there are numerous photographic opportunities for everyone.

Stage 7 of 16

activity

138.8km

10 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

july

Travelling through Switzerland and alongside the shore of Lake Geneva, the eighth leg of the Via Francigena includes hiking through Alpine terrain. Some of the hiking highlights include the Bernese Alps, the ascension of the Pennine Alps, with the final stop at the gateway to Italy in the town of Bourg-St-Pierre.

Stage 8 of 16

activity

109.6km

8 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

july

Using the famous St Bernard Pass between Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa, section nine of the Via Francigena leaves Switzerland and enters Italy. This trek traverses the Aosta Valley, which is well-known for its spectacular scenery, outstanding food, and over twenty varieties of local wines. The tour ends in Vercelli, which is known as the European Rice Capital.

Stage 9 of 16

activity

184.3km

12 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

september

An easier, more relaxed walk than the previous leg, the tenth section of the Via Francigena visits the Church of San Croce in Mortara, which contains a cast of the footprint of Christ. The walk consists mostly of walking along roadsides, over bridges, and railways and across numerous dirt tracks around fields. Through quiet towns you pass through you’ll get a sense of the region.

Stage 10 of 16

activity

147.8km

9 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

september

For those seeking a more challenging trek through the Italian countryside than other walks, this stretch of the Via Francigena is the perfect fit. While enjoying the rolling hills, scenic woods, and weathered roads, you will be exposed to a rich cultural history that defines the north of Italy distinctly as well as delicious local cuisine and wines.

Stage 11 of 16

activity

173.9km

9 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

september

Starting from

€718

Beginning in Aulla, the twelfth section of Via Francigena features magnificent sights such as the Abbey of Peter and the Church of Michael, the Cathedral of St Francis, towers and castles, and an interesting archaeological site at Luni. Your destination, Lucca, is a famous Tuscan city with well-preserved Renaissance walls encircling its historic city centre.

Stage 12 of 16

activity

49.8km

6 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

september

Starting from

€1013

Stretching from Lucca to Siena, this portion of the Via Francigena takes you along roadsides, over various bridges, rolling hills, and numerous earth tracks. Throughout the entire walk, you will be surrounded by beautiful fields, lush woods and streams in the stunning Italian countryside. This is the quintessential essence of Tuscany in one walk.

Stage 13 of 16

activity

131km

8 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

september

Beginning in the city of Siena (with its stunning black-and-white striped cathedral a marvel), this section of Via Francigena visits the Castello Bibbiano in Buonconvento, the Palazzo Chigi in San Quirico d’Orcia, and Torre Alfina in your destination of Acquapendente. Rolling hills and valleys offer numerous opportunities to capture photos of the Italian countryside.

Stage 14 of 16

activity

114.4km

8 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

september

With five days and four nights to enjoy the Italian countryside, this tour allows you to experience traditional Italy at a leisurely pace. At every stop, you can enjoy the unique local wine, cuisine, and rich cultural practices of towns that may differ greatly over a matter of kilometres. After touring the countryside, the tour ends in Viterbo, home of the Papal Palace.

Stage 15 of 16

activity

58.1km

5 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

september

The final section of the Via Francigena takes you from the charming city of Viterbo through the Italian countryside to the urban outskirts of Rome and then into the very heart of Christianity. Standing in the Vatican City is truly the pinnacle of this adventure and an experience many pilgrims take with them through their whole lives.

Stage 16 of 16

activity

110.1km

7 days

Comfort

Easy

Easy

Challenge

Popular time

september

Starting from

€15178

Stretching from Canterbury, England to Rome, Italy this is easily the longest route we operate. Across four countries, dozens of beautiful towns, and 108 days this is a pilgrimage experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else. Follow in the footsteps of people who have walked this way since the Middle Ages and enjoy the ultimate walking holiday.

Stage 1 of 16

activity

2050.8km

101 days

Comfort

Moderate

Moderate

Challenge

Popular time

september

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