Classic French Way - Last 100 km
The final stage of the most famous Camino is the "classic" route of 115km to Santiago - typically taken as a 5 or 6-day walk. You will be eligible for the "Compostela" certificate emitted by the Pilgrim Office in Santiago. Or try our Gentle Steps version
This is a most rewarding route - especially for those who are either new to the Camino or long distance walking. If you are looking for a Camino experience with short to medium daily walks, plenty of local support and services - then this is the Camino for you. You'll also be in the company of many walkers from all over the world. We take pride in our high level of personal service - making sure you feel confident and well supported before you set out.
This classic final stage of the Camino Frances is 115km from Sarria to Santiago - and typically taken as a 5 or 6-day walk averaging 10-12 miles a day (16-20km).
We can also tailor the route if you prefer to have shorter daily walks. Take a look at our Gentle Steps itineraries of between 4-8 miles per day (6-13 km).
You will receive the Compostela certificate of accomplishment, eligible to all those who complete the minimum 100 km to arrive in Santiago de Compostela.
The Way from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela is dotted with hamlets, villages and towns - all waiting to offer a warm welcome to travellers. You will stay in small, family-run Camino lodgings, always with private en-suite rooms. You can choose to stay in town or in the tranquil Galician countryside. Upgraded accommodation is available in some centres, by request.
Breakfasts and daily baggage transfers come as standard. B&B is recommended but we can include dinner if you prefer.
Before you leave home, you will get a Camino Travel pack which includes your credencial - aka pilgrim's passport. This is the all-important document to have stamped along the Way, recording your journey and qualifying you for the "Compostela".
Earn the Compostela Certificate by Completing Minimum 100km of the Camino de Santiago
In practice, this usually means walking from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela in 6 walking days / 7 nights, averaging 10-12 miles (16-20km) per day.
We highly recommend spending a second night in Santiago, so you're not under pressure to make it to Santiago and the main Pilgrim Mass in the Cathedral which takes place daily at noon. Take your time on the last day in the knowledge you'll be able to attend the main liturgical event without rushing.
Our popular 7-day itinerary starts at Sarria on the Camino Frances:-
1 . Sarria
2 . Portomarin
3 . Palas de Rei
4 . Melide
5 . Arzua
6 . Arca
7 . Santiago de Compostela
Or walk from Sarria over 10 days at a pace of 4-8 miles (8-13km) per day - see Gentle Steps
You can choose to walk a longer section of the French Way, starting from the scenic hilltop village of O Cebreiro in the Galician mountains of Os Ancares. You'll cover a total of 98 miles / 159km over 9 - 11 walking days, with the option to visit the Benedictine Monastery of Samos.
Our signature 10-day Galicia itinerary starts at O Cebreiro on the Camino Frances:-
1 . O Cebreiro
2 . Triacastela
3 . Samos
4 . Sarria
5 . Portomarin
6 . Palas de Rei
7 . Melide
8 . Arzua
9 . Arca
10. Santiago de Compostela
You can also earn your Compostela by walking the last 100 km of other Ways to Santiago such as the Camino Portugues from Tui, or the Via de la Plata from Ourense.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like us to create a different, personalised French Way itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests.
Earn The Compostela & Galician Gastronomy
To earn the Compostela, you will need to have walked at least the last 100km of the Camino. In practice, that usually means walking from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela (115kms). However, many choose to start their walk from the Sanctuary of O Cebreiro in the Galician mountains (159kms).
We provide you with the credencial document issued by the Cathedral of Santiago as part of your travel pack. You must have this stamped at the beginning of your journey and collect at least two more stamps each day. This is the way that you record your journey by distance and by route, in order receive the Compostela.
On arrival at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago, your credencial will be checked for compliance before issuing the final seal of the Cathedral of Santiago. Then your Compostela certificate is issued and inscribed with your name in Latin. You might like to buy the cardboard tube to protect it for the journey home.
Certificate of Distance
The Pilgrim's Reception Office also offers the new Certificate of Distance, which certifies the number of kilometers you have travelled, regardless of the starting point of his pilgrimage.
This new document details additional information such as the starting point of your pilgrimage and the total of miles you have covered. It is printed on a parchment paper and beautifully ornamented with a Latin phrasing and decoration from the Calixtino Codex.
You will be asked to donate a few Euros for both certificates.
This is an area that still preserves a traditional way of life. Galicia is the green corner of Spain and its lush meadows support many family-run dairy and beef farms. Galician cooking is simple and hearty, using mainly fresh local produce.
Those with a sweet tooth will love Tarta de Santiago, a type of almond cake dusted with sugar outlining the shape of the cross of Santiago. A gastronomic point - in Melide look out for the local speciality "Pulpo Gallego" - octopus - sprinkled with paprika and served with potatoes.
The wines, cheeses and seafood are all renowned Galician specialities. Unlike the red wine-producing rest of Spain, Galicia's climate is better suited to whites. Albariño is a straw-coloured wine with a distinct peach flavour that's now highly respected outside Spain and the perfect companion to fish and seafood.
Other 100km Compostela Routes
- Camino Portugues from Tui - 100km
- Via de la Plata from Ourense - 100km
- Horseback on the Camino Frances, Camino Portugues or Camino Primitivo - 100km
- Camino by bike - 200km
Food & Drink
For any traveller on the Camino, nourishment and refreshment is an important part of the daily routine. There are many places to enjoy good local dishes to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. We also aim to cater for those with particular dietary needs.
Where available we always order a full breakfast spread for our clients. But it does vary between establishments. Whether you have a light or substantial offering, you can always top up mid-morning at cafe bars along the route. The Spanish habit is to have breakfast between 10 and 11 when cafes and bars fill with locals having their "desayuno".
Lunches on the Camino are often taken as picnics, and most places have local shops selling items of fresh local produce to purchased each morning before you set out on the trail. Certain lodgings will offer pre-ordered packed lunches. Or check your guide and plan to stop off in a cafe-bar or restaurant on the Way.
Spanish people tend to have dinner from 9 pm. But on the Camino, dinner is usually served from 8 pm — so do take advantage of the habitual afternoon "merienda" to keep you going, once you have arrived at your daily destination. That could be cold beer "cerveza" and tapas or coffee and cake.
Hydration is essential — carry between 1.5 and 3l of drinking water, depending on the season, temperatures and distance you plan to cover. Keep a sugary and salty snack handy in your pocket or daypack - this will give you that little extra burst of energy to keep you going.
Mid morning/afternoon snacks known as "merienda" are the perfect way to sustain yourself on the Way. Especially if you are not used to the later meal times which are the norm across Spain. It is customary for Spanish people to have a mid-morning stop for breakfast and late afternoon for a bite to keep them going until the traditional late dinner.
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. Our team visit all our accommodations annually, so we know them all personally.
Typical lodgings include a variety of family-run guest houses, historic homes, but mainly one to three-star equivalent pensions, hostals and hotels which all offer private en-suite facilities.
Accommodation on the Camino is geared towards the needs of walkers rather than traditional holidaymakers. Many hoteliers have many years experience on the Camino and have grown up in their area, their establishments passing down through the generations, even the small places catering for a large volume of pilgrims throughout the year.
When you receive your Camino quotation we include links to visit the hotels' websites and get a feel for their quality. Most itineraries will have a range in the standard of accommodation, which is part of the Camino experience - and determined by availability when you book.
Upgraded hotels are available for roughly 30% of the Camino.
All our accommodations, the owners & staff are well known to us. Wherever possible we select small, comfortable, family-run establishments located on or very near to the Camino.
Most itineraries will have a range in the standard of accommodation, which is part of the Camino experience - and determined by availability when you book.
These establishments are used almost exclusively by travellers on the Camino and geared to meet the requirements of Camino travellers.
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, either provided by the hotelier or by local taxi.
If you are looking for a generally higher standard of hotel & dining we recommend you look at our Via de la Plata Last 100km, which features some lovely converted country mansions. And we also recommend our Rioja Gastronomical Camino.
We recommend booking on a Bed and Breakfast basis.
We encourage you to explore and try local eateries in the immediate vicinity which offer a wider range of dishes. It's also a great way to soak up the local atmosphere, rubbing shoulders with travellers and local people.
Half Board accommodation is available in most of our lodgings, including breakfast and dinner consisting of a set 3-course menu in the hotel restaurant.
Past experience shows that half board dining choices can become repetitive, with set menus featuring similar dishes along the route. You will be glad of more choice and the freedom to decide where, what and how much you wish to eat and spend each evening.
You can still enjoy the in-house dinner service without booking half board in advance.
The choice is yours.
We quote all our journeys with bag transfers as standard.
We heartily recommend that you book your main piece of luggage to be transferred between accommodations. It helps your enjoyment of the Way and keeps additional stress off your back and joints.
We work with dedicated professional companies who do this essential work day in, day out. The system works very well, with bags picked up between 8 and 8:30 am and delivered to the next hotel between 2 and 4 pm. All you have to worry about is carrying a day sack with your essential items.
If you do wish to carry your own bag that is fine with us. But you can always call us and request to add on the service if you change your mind.
Getting To & From The Camino
Fly into Santiago de Compostela, Vigo, A Coruna which are the local airports. Intercontinental flights into Madrid or Barcelona then transfer by rail, bus or internal flights.
Transfers to the Camino available from airports by train bus or private transfers.
We do not sell flights but we can advise. We can arrange local transfers in Spain.
Listed below are some reviews from other customers who have already undertaken this tour with Walk the Camino.
- Review by Karen, USAThe Camino was beautiful and we were lucky enough to have nice weather all week. Did not enjoy the Pension Arenas. (WE HAVE DROPPED THIS HOTEL FOR 2018). All the other places were quite good. The Calixtino, Carlos 96, and Hotel O Pino were all wonderful; it would be hard to choose the best of the three. All three were very welcoming and helpful. Also, food was quite delicious at all three establishments. The Hotel O Pino was my favourite for food. Our dinner there in the evening was excellent and the breakfast was the best all week, with a wide variety for everyone.
- Review by AnonIt was wonderful and beyond expectations; helped, no doubt, by the lovely autumn weather we had every day until it rained when we got to Santiago!
Accommodation was excellent throughout. We particularly liked Casa Garcia in Gonzar. On the minus side our overnight in Melide was marred by incessant noise from the locals which went on all night and had a similar problem in Santiago, though to a lesser scale. Our bags were not at one hotel when we arrived which was particularly inconvenient after a long and tiring final day on the camino. They eventually arrived by taxi later that evening.
- Review by Ranall & Sherry, USAThe organisation was excellent. The best hotel was the monastery in Santiago. Sarria, Lestedo, Melide and Arzua were all very good. Our least favourite was the place in Portomarin, but it was still good. We would go back to any of them.
The breakfasts we ate were good, and some were really outstanding. However, we did not eat breakfast at Arca and Arzua because we wanted to get on the trail by 6 a.m. If we were doing it again at that time of year, we would probably eat breakfast two or three hours along the way.
Baggage Transfers worked very well. The Information Pack generally provided all the information. One very small point: we found the directions to the hotel Carlos 96 in Melide confusing. Perhaps they could be made clearer. We dealt with Caroline. She was wonderful. Thank you very much. The Camino exceeded our expectations in about every possible way.
- Review by Marlene, USAFantastic - very well organized. In general, to be fair, accommodations were very good.
Place in Portomarin is cleaned and employees are nice: however, breakfast is very, very limited. Not good to start a day walking with no proteins. I personally don’t eat any meat or cold cuts, but needed the proteins from an egg, etc. One place I won’t recommend is Salceda. Dinner was very good, breakfast was not. All other hotels were perfect, great service, great food and we made plenty friends for future visits.
The Seminary of St Martin in Santiago is perfectly located. Restaurant food very limited. We found out the Seminary does not run the restaurant. It was outsourced, but I found out that we did not need to eat anything fancy ( ha, ha, my sister did not like the food) I will be back there anytime. Loved the simple!
Baggage Transfers Perfect, perfect - timely to the T! Congratulations! Perfect service. The information pack was great.
Enjoy very much this beautiful experience. Next year, God willing, I’m planning to walk with my friend Anabel somewhere from Burgos, down another 125-140 km. We also want to take a tour in Ireland and Scotland via England where my sister in law lives. Let me know what you have. Thanks a million! Overall, all good. Blessings
- Review by Haejung, UKIt was more enjoyable than I expected. In overall, all hotels were satisfactory and provided foods were good. The reason I could not give 5 out of 5 is...
more detailed information especially regarding churches. The provided guidebook was useful but it contains the explanation on the route only.
Best hotel is definitely the Hospederia San Martin in Santiago. Location is perfect and building itself is stunning. Thank you for your support for travelling Camino.
- Review by JoannaI was very satisfied with the entire trip. You coordinated our group plans very efficiently and were very responsive to our needs and questions. Luggage transfer worked smoothly. We lost an item, which was quickly recovered and caught up with us at our next stop.
Generally, I found the accommodations to be pleasant and very clean. Cleanliness was noted in all lodgings during the walk. Breakfast was ample in most places. Dinner at Calixtino was quite good (grilled octopus) but breakfast was basically limited to toast.
- Review by Timothy, USAAll of the accommodations were very good. Organisation very good. The package I received before I left home included all of the details I needed for the trip. Plus the directions to each hotel in each town was a very nice added detail.
The Parador Dos Reis Catholicos was clearly the best. All other accommodations were very good. No problems or concerns with any of them.
A little more information regarding what to expect for breakfast would be nice for people travelling from the USA. I think Americans expect more than toast or roll and coffee for breakfast. So a little information as to what a usual Spanish breakfast includes might be helpful. And the bags were at every accommodation when we arrived.
COMMENT - THE LIGHT BREAKFAST IS VERY TYPICAL FOR SPANISH PEOPLE, WHO TEND TO STOP MID MORNING AND HAVE BREAKFAST - BETWEEN 10 & 11AM. OUT OF OUR 600 ACCOMMODATIONS, MOST PROVIDE A FULLER BREAKFAST, BUT THERE STILL MANY THAT STICK TO A LIGHTER OFFERING. WE DO ADVISE OUR CLIENTS OF THIS IN ADVANCE.
- Review by Susan, USAWe had a wonderful time. It was great spending 5 days with my college-age daughter with few distractions. Everything went off without a hitch! It was so comforting seeing our luggage waiting for us each day after a long hike. Everyone was expecting us and all were aware of my daughter being gluten-free. The hotel before/after the hike in Barcelona was in a great location...easy walking distance to many things. Our FAVORITE was Hotel O Pino!!! The meal we had there was one of the best of our trip....they were playing old Frank Sinatra in the dining room and the place was so quaint. Also, the breakfast was much more substantial than any other place we stayed....big thumbs up! Loved the guidebook and felt very comforted by all the contact information provided. Hoping I can talk my daughter into another section of the walk! If so, I will definitely be using your services again.
- Review by Joyce, USAIt was a wonderful experience. I have wonderful memories for walking the Camino. The support I received gave me the confidence that I could walk the Camino on my own as a 65 year old female and not worry about safety or logistics.
- Review by Greg, USAThe trip was excellent, 10/10 organisation. Best accommodation was Hosteria Calestino, fabulous hosts plus great food. All the rest were very good. Every breakfast was of a high standard. The Information Pack provided all the information we needed. The trip went well so no points to raise. We would definitely recommend Walk the Camino. We appreciated the support provided when one of our group left clothes behind. Thank you.
- Review by Elaine, UKExcellent service once again.
I was very glad I had upgraded to Hotel Ferramenteiro in Portomarin. A super hotel to welcome us after a hard day’s walk. Lovely views of the valley. We were very impressed with Hosteria Calixtino in Lestedo. Having previously stayed in Rectoral de Lestedo, it had a lot to live up to and certainly didn’t disappoint. We had a particularly warm welcome from our host, Isabel. We really enjoyed our stay in Hotel Capitol in Santiago. Very well positioned for access to the Cathedral and old city. Amazing breakfast here!
The Camino Travel packs are very informative. Maps to find accommodation particularly good. Finding the Pilgrims’ Office was a little confusing and we needed help from a local. Prompt baggage collections and cases waiting for us each day.
Thank you for the great organisation that helped our Camino run smoothly. A wonderful experience for my 15-year-old grandson. Thinking about the Portuguese Camino now.
- Review by Carl, ScotlandExcellently organised trip. Hotel Mar de Plata- very good, large rooms and good food Guest House El Padrino- great location, ultra modern but very tiny rooms. Breakfast off site but not really an issue. Hosteria Calestino- Clean but basic rooms with little sound insulation between- beware the snoring man! Food ok. No English whatsoever spoken. Hotel Carlos 96- our favourite. Great atmosphere, large rooms bit old fashioned but not good wifi, good food and friendly service. Great value for money. Pazo sta Maria- beautiful old building and grounds, lovely large rooms, very poor towels and not the happiest of staff. Restaurant food a bit of a let down and therefore pricey. Not worth the extra walk as it didn’t really live up to expectations. Pension Arca- great location and the loveliest of hosts, extremely clean. Bed a bit short, even for my wife who is just over 5’ ! Great value though. Hotel Monumento San Francisco- Excellent, beautiful building fabulous location and well worth the money.
Local cuisine is quite plain and not very varied. Less bread and more vegetables
Baggage Transfers- Perfect in all ways. Information Pack provide - Perfect
No improvements to suggest at all - brilliantly organised. Thank you for a great experience.
- Review by Jean, UK10 out of 10...thanks for organising everything. Had a great time.
- Review by Sally, Aly & Kathleen, ScotlandKathleen, Aly and I really loved it. We had the best time and met some great people. Absolutely everything was arranged extremely well with help just a phone call away the one time we needed it. All accommodation was good. Some places were excellent. Hosteria Calixtino was fantastic with great food and owners and staff could not have been nicer. Hotel Praza Quintana was also beautiful with a great location. Hotel Suiza in Arzua was good but decor a bit tired and location not great. The breakfasts were all adequate. However, the breakfast at Pension Berenguela Melide was fab.
Baggage transfers were spot on. I even left my sunglasses at the hotel in Saria and they were transferred to the next hotel for €3 - great. Information Pack provides all we needed. Can’t think of anything that needs improving. Just want to say how much we loved it.