WALK THE CAMINO

Camino de Santiago - The French Way

This is the iconic Camino de Santiago route extending for some 480 miles / 770 kms from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Filled with a thousand years of pilgrimage culture, the Camino attracts both spiritual and secular travellers by virtue of it's religious heritage, personal challenge, the famous camaraderie of the Way and wonderfully varied landscapes. It's an experience that will live with you forever.

This epic Camino journey usually begins in the French Pyreneen border town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. From here the Way of St James crosses the majestic Pyrenees mountains - providing a thrilling start to your journey. Typically walkers will take 5 to 8 weeks to walk the Camino Frances in its entirety - going at their own pace with the odd rest day to give body and soul valuable respite.

Our Camino team will gladly share their advice and experience, in order to plan the best route possible to suit your needs and expectations. There is no right way or wrong way to walk the Camino - only Your Way. You can complete the route of a period of years, or choose to tackle a shorter section before taking on the entire route in one go.

Many people choose to spend a week or two on the final section through Galicia.

People come to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago for many reasons - many seek spiritual enlightenment, many more for adventure, freedom and the camaraderie of the road. There are many positive aspects of the Way that makes this experience special.

Europe's Most Famous & Ancient Pilgrimage Route

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela was proclaimed the first European Cultural itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987 as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Camino is one of the major themes of medieval history in Europe.

The French or "Frances" route from the French-Spanish border has been followed by pilgrims to Santiago for more than one thousand years. Christians made their way along a wide network of footpaths, from Scandinavia, Britain, the Mediterranean and beyond, following many different Camino routes. For the northern europeans, St Jean Pied de Port was the key point to cross the mighty Pyrenees into Spain. This international web of paths played a fundamental role in facilitating cultural development in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Around the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, one of the great masterpieces of Romanesque art, the city of Santiago de Compostela boasts a magnificent old town worthy of one of Christianity's greatest holy cities.

Brimming with Camino Culture, History and Monuments

The Camino de Santiago has preserved the most complete material record in the form of ecclesiastical and secular buildings, its settlements both large and small and it's antique civil engineering structures. Some 1,800 buildings along the route, both religious and secular, are of great historic interest. The entire Camino Frances brims with culture, history and monuments.

There is no comparable Christian pilgrimage route of such extent and continuity anywhere in Europe. Although interest in the other major Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem and Rome, are developing, these are only recognizable in a rather fragmented fashion.

The three major Camino cities of Pamplona, Leon and Burgos are spread at equal intervals along the road to Santiago de Compostela. But there are many more small hamlets, villages and towns peppered in between to ejoy exploring.

Many Festivals, both religious and secular take place through the year and you may be lucky enough to encounter one of these on your journey.

We will be happy to create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests.From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees, the Camino covers 800 kilometers heading west across the North of Spain. Typically our clients spend between 5 and 8 weeks walking the full Camino.

You can take as little or as much time as you need to complete the entire Camino de Santiago. We have the experience to help you judge the right pace to ensure your Camino itinerary is a good fit. We want to ensure your experience a memorable one for the right reasons. You should feel confident before setting out that the pace is manageable for you and not overly demanding.

 

Walk At Your Own Pace

We believe that you should 'Walk the Way, your Way'. If you cannot manage to take on the full route in one go, don't worry. Some people decide to break the Camino into short sections, returning over a period of 2-3 years in order to complete the full Way. If you are new to long distance walking or short of time, just spend a week or two on one section. Sometimes our clients choose a highlights tour and transfer between sections.

Contact us and we will create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs, interests, budget, timescale and walking capabiities.

We are regularly requested to organise the popular Galician section of the route that covers the final stages of the Camino de Santiago (approx. 115 kms / 73 miles), which makes you eligible for the Compostela pilgrim's certificate.

The Full Camino Frances - 480 miles / 770 kms

Starting from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees, the Camino Frances covers some 770 kilometers heading west across the North of Spain. Typically our itineraries range from 35 to 50 nights - we can tailor to suit you whether you have a fixed time limit or the leisure to enjoy slow travel and take your time.

The Full Camino In Stages

Many of our clients elect to complete the entire Camino Frances, in managable sections over a longer period of time. We are delighted to welcome our clients back annually, ready to plan their next stage of this incredible journey. Or even embark on a new Camino.

Each stage of the Camino has a character of it's own and varied terrain.

Although you will not receive the Compostela certificate unless you walk 100kms to Santiago de Compostela, you can now receive the beautifully designed "Certificate of Distance", which is inscribed and printed on parchment.

The following sections are divided for ease of transport connections along the Camino. However, you can begin at any point of your choosing.

Stage 1: St Jean Pied de Port - Pamplona   90kms / 56 miles

Stage 2: Pamplona - Logrono   95 kms / 59 miles

Stage 3: Logrono - Burgos   122kms / 76 miles

Stage 4: Burgos - Leon   179 kms / 110 miles

Stage 5: Leon - Ponferrada  105 kms / 65 miles

Stage 6: Ponferrada - Sarria  91 kms / 56 miles

Stage 7: Sarria - Santiago de Compostela   115 kms / 72 miles

Extension to Finisterre

If you don't want to finish in Santiago, why not take contine your journey to Cape Finisterre on the Atlantic Ocean, known to the Romans as the "End of the World". Take a couple of days off, recharge your battery, then set off to reach the 0.0km marker at the "End of the World".

Earn the Compostela - Walk to Santiago In 1 Week

We are regularly requested to organise the popular walk covering the final stages in Galicia of the Camino de Santiago, which makes you eligible for the Compostela pilgrim's certificate. 

The final Galician section of the Camino is an all-time favourite. A region that still preserves a traditional way of life, the many wooded lanes in lush green Galicia have an enchanted quality, as you wind your way through valleys, ancient villages, and across stone bridges steeped in Camino history and legend.

 For further details about our walking tours of the Camino Frances, just get in touch. We will be happy to create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around you.

You'll find a range of places to suit all tastes and budgets. There's an abundance of small cafes, bars, restaurants and inns along the way. Here you encounter local dishes and wines - often of the variety that best sustains a weary, hungry traveller.

Many of our lodgings offer 3 course set menus with water, bread and often a glass of wine for just a few euros. These are advertised locally as "Pilgrim Menus" and available pretty much everywhere along the route. You'll notice that there are staple common dishes as well as regional recipes according to the season. The local bars and cafes also offer light snacks, seasonal plates of freshly prepared food and tapas - as well as refreshments in many places along the route.

Spanish Gastronomy

The larger towns and cities of the Camino have a variety of lively plazas with bars and restaurants, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy a wider range of Spanish gastronomy and a variety of local and world-famous Spanish wines.

You can choose to upgrade your accommodation standard, (available in a few selected places along the route), where you can enjoy a la carte menus and fine dining in the hotel restaurant.

Picnic Shopping

Local food shops, bakeries and grocers offer local produce, fruits and vegetables, cheeses and cured meats, fresh local baked good - all perfect to make your daily picnic for the daily walk. On certain days, Markets also make an appearance in most villages and towns

Local Wines

Spain has a great wine making culture. All of the regions you cross produce their own vinos (red and white), cervezas (light beer), and licores (strong spirits). For those looking for non alcoholic drinks have plenty of choices as well.

Gastronomic Experiences

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie, why don't you try our Gastronomic Camino in La Rioja? You'll enjoy special places to stay, excellent cuisine and outstanding wine tasting at local vineyards on the route. And a lovely long walk before your next meal...

We strive to offer our clients the best available experience of the Camino and accommodation plays an important part, together with the local food, culture and history. Most Camino itineraries will have a range of levels of accommodation.

Standard Accommodation

All our accommodations, the owners & staff well known to us. Wherever possible we select small, comfortable, family run establishments located on or very near go the Camino. Typical Camino lodgings include a variety of family run traditional guest houses, historic homes, but mainly one to three star pensions, hostals and hotels which offer private en-suite facilities.

Upgraded Accommodation

In the larger Camino centres we regularly work with the top-end establishments. There are also some opportunities to book upgraded Hotels in rural parts of the Camino.  Sometimes these upgrades require transfers away from the Camino route, which will be included. 

Meal Options 

We recommend that you book on a Bed and Breakfast basis. We encourage you to try local eateries offering a wider range of dishes, in the immediate vicinity. It's also a great time to soak up the local atmosphere, rubbing shoulders with travellers and the local people. Half board accommodation includes breakfast and dinner - usually a set 3 course menu in the hotel restaurant.

Baggage Transfers between Accommodation

We also recommend that you book your baggage transfers between accommodation. This excellent daily service is organised so that all you have to worry about is carrying a day sack with your essential items.

Booking Enquiry

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St Jean Pied de Port - gateway to the Camino

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Ponferrada's Knight's Templar Castle

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On The Way to Castrojeriz

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Leon's Pilgrim Hospital is now the Magnificent Parador Hotel

  • Date

    March to November

  • Cost

    Full Camino - 36 nights B&B with baggage transfer from £2530 pp sharing double / twin rooms. Individual week-long itineraries along the Camino Frances - 6 nights B&B with baggage transfers from £455 pp sharing double/twin

  • Accommodation

    1-3* Lodgings with private en suite rooms, either on or close to the Camino. Upgraded accommodation in around a third of locations. Special & upgrades places to stay by request. Off Camino upgrades include short transfers to and from the Camino.

  • Grade

    Moderate/Difficult

  • How To Get There

    Main Airports are Paris, Biarritz, Madrid, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Bilbao. We offer private transfers to and from the Camino. Rail and Bus connections also available.

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We enjoyed our holiday very much - it was a wonderful experience. Something completely different! The organisation of the holiday was spot-on. You really couldn't have done a better job. The whole thing was perfectly tailored to our needs. It's hard to express in an e-mail how good it all was.

Anne Corrigan, UK, walking the Camino Frances

We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and found the organisation excellent. We were also impressed by the friendliness and welcome we received everywhere. The information pack was useful and contained all the information we needed. So many, many thanks again for your kindness, efficiency and help in giving us such a good holiday.

Anne and Brian Harris, UK, walking the Camino Frances from Sarria to Santiago

We had an amazing time on the Camino... I would recommend this 6 day walk to anyone. All in all a memorable trip, and you guys did a great job in planning, arranging and organising it.

Chris and Davina, Australia, walking the Camino Frances from Sarria to Santiago