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Camino Francés

French Way | Camino de Santiago

The French Way or Camino Frances starts in the South of France, St Jean Pied the Port, and stretches across the North of Spain, finishing in Santiago de Compostela.

  • Most famous route for the Camino de Santiago, so it can be quite crowded during the summer season.
  • Featured in many documentaries, books, and the movie ´The Way´.
  • You will get the most pilgrimage experience, and find many pilgrims to share stories along the way.
  • Beautiful green and floral scenery through unique towns in France and Spain.
  • It has many facilities and services for pilgrims, with plenty of restaurants and pilgrim hostels (albergues).
  • Main cities & towns:France: St Jean Pied de Port.Spain: Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga, O Cebreiro, Santiago de Compostela.

 

Total distance: 764kms

Weather

  • Summer - warm (between 20° to 25°June-Aug)
  • Fall - cool (between 13° to 23° Sep-Nov)
  • Winter - cold and rainy (average 10°)
  • Spring - warmer (average 13° to 18° March-May)

Suitable for cycling: Yes

History of French Pilgrimage

In the Middle Age, the Camino Frances or Camino Francés became the main pilgrimage route for those who wanted to go to Santiago to see St James’ grave, moved by their Christian faith. It's also the most popular way to complete the Pilgrim passport to get the compostela. The French route became more popular and important until it was declared the most famous route worldwide, and the most important at an economic and social level. There are a lot of written references to the French Way since 1135. In Códice Calixtino on its Libro V we can find cultural, religious and touristic information about each of the stretches that separate St James’ grave from the main European capital cities of that time.

About the Camino Frances route

Nowadays, the Camino Francés is the most famous worldwide routes to Santiago and the most walked (in 2016 268,000 pilgrims coming from all over the world reached Santiago) It also has the best infrastructures because of its economic potential. It goes through all Northern Galicia, it has 760 kilometers (472.30 miles) and it is divided into 31 stages. The first one starts in a French village called Saint Jean Pied de Port. Since the 11th century, pilgrims arrive in Galicia through Northern Spain.

After 1993, Year of St James, this way increasingly became more popular amongst tourists. It was then declared the Frist European Itinerary of Cultural Interest by the European Council and UNESCO World Heritage. In 2004, the Camino Francés was awarded the Premio Principe de Asturias de la Concordia, because if its diversity and multiple culture exchange, and the development of European Christian roots.

Why choosing the French Way

Since it´s the most popular route, it has the best signposting and the biggest amount of pilgrim hostels (albergues) and services, although in summer it can get quite overcrowded. Knowing this, pilgrims must be quick to book their Camino Francés during the months of June to August.

It is by far one of the most incredible and amazing pilgrimage experiences, as it involves a unique variety of personal, religious and spiritual challenges. The scenery is stunning, with numerous Roman and Gothic style castles, temples, churches, cathedrals and monasteries; and wild nature, from green forests to charming rivers. You can also visit some medieval and Celtic sightings along the way.

Camino Frances Stages

StagePathKmInfo
Stage 1
Saint Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles24,2
Stage 2
Roncesvalles - Zubiri21,4
Stage 3
Zubiri - Pamplona20,4
Stage 4
Pamplona - Puente de la Reina23,9
Stage 5
Puente de la Reina - Estella21,6
Stage 6
Estella - Los Arcos21,3
Stage 7
Los Arcos - Logroño27,6
Stage 8
Logroño-Nájera26,2
Stage 9
Nájera - Santo Domingo de La Calzada20,7
Stage 10
Santo Domingo de La Calzada - Belorado22
Stage 11
Belorado - San Juan de Ortega23,9
Stage 12
San Juan de Ortega - Burgos25,8
Stage 13
Burgos - Hornillos del Camino21
Stage 14
Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz19,9
Stage 15
Castrojeriz - Frómista18,8
Stage 16
Frómista - Carrión de los Condes18,8
Stage 17
Carrión de los Condes - Terradillos de los templarios26,3
Stage 18
Terradillos de los templarios - Bercianos del Real Camino23,2
Stage 19
Bercianos del Real Camino - Mansilla de las Mulas26,3
Stage 20
Mansilla de las Mulas - León18,5
Stage 21
León - San Martín del Camino24,6
Stage 22
San Martín del Camino - Astorga23,7
Stage 23
Astorga - Foncebadón25,8
Stage 24
Foncebadón - Ponferrada26,8
Stage 25
Ponferrada - Villafranca24,2
Stage 26
Villafranca - O Cebreiro27,8
Stage 27
O Cebreiro - Triacastela20,8
Stage 28
Triacastela - Sarria18,4
Stage 29
Sarria - Portomarín22,2
Stage 30
Portomarín - Palas de Rei24,8
Stage 31
Palas de Rei - Arzúa28,5
Stage 32
Arzúa - Pedrouzo19,3
Stage 33
Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela19,4
Show more

Burgos Cathedral

Gothic temple, dating from the 13th century, stands out for the impressive spiers of the towers

León Cathedral

Built in the 9th century by order of the monarch Alfonso IX, it was built on Roman vestiges. It is currently a reference center for the study of the Middle Ages in Spain.

Roman Bridge of Puente la Reina

Dating back to the 11th century, it gives the landscape of Gares a unique beauty.

Pallozas in O Cebreiro

They are unique constructions of this municipality designed to safeguard and to conserve foods during the long winters of the zone.

Walking: 33 Stages / 764 km

Stage 1

Etapa 1 Camino Francés
  • Length: 24,2 km (15 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 2

Etapa 2 Camino Francés
  • Length: 21,4 km (13, 3 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 3

Etapa 3 Camino Francés
  • Length: 20,4 km (12, 7 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 4

Etapa 4 Camino Francés
  • Length: 23,9 km (15 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 5

Etapa 5 Camino Francés
  • Length: 21,6 km (13,4 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 6

Etapa 6 Camino Francés
  • Length: 21,3 km (13,2 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 7

Etapa 7 Camino Francés
  • Length: 27,6 km (17 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 8

Etapa 8 Camino Francés
  • Length: 26,2 km (16,3 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 9

Etapa 9 Camino Francés
  • Length: 20,7  km (13 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 10

Etapa 10 Camino Francés
  • Length: 22,0 km (13,7 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 11

Etapa 11 Camino Francés
  • Length: 23,9 km (15 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 12

Etapa 12 Camino Francés
  • Length: 25,8 km (16 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 13

Etapa 13 Camino Francés
  • Length: 21,0 km (13 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 14

Etapa 14 Camino Francés
  • Length: 19,9 km (12 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 15

Etapa 15 Camino Francés
  • Length: 24,7 km (15 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 16

Etapa 16 Camino Francés
  • Length: 18,8 km (11,7 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 17

Etapa 17 Camino Francés
  • Length: 26,3 km (16 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 18

Etapa 18 Camino Francés
  • Length: 23,2 km (14 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 19

Etapa 19 Camino Francés
  • Length: 26,3 km (16 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 20

Etapa 20 Camino Francés
  • Length: 18,5 km (11,5 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 21

Etapa 21 Camino Francés
  • Length: 24,6 km (15,3 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 22

Etapa 22 Camino Francés
  • Length: 23,7 km (14,7 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 23

Etapa 23 Camino Francés
  • Length: 25,8 km (16 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 24

Etapa 24 Camino Francés
  • Length: 26,8 km (16,6 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 25

Etapa 25 Camino Francés
  • Length: 24,2 km (15 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 26

Etapa 26 Camino Francés
  • Length: 27,8 km (17 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 27

Etapa 27 Camino Francés
  • Length: 20,8 km (13 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 28

Etapa 28 Camino Francés
  • Length: 18,4 km (11,5 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 29

Etapa 29 Camino Francés
  • Length: 22,2 km (13,8 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 30

Etapa 30 Camino Francés
  • Length: 24,8 km (15,4 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 31

Etapa 31 Camino Francés
  • Length: 28,5 km (17,7 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 32

Etapa 32 Camino Francés
  • Length: 19,3 km (12 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Stage 33

Etapa 33 Camino Francés
  • Length: 19,4 km (12 miles)
  • Hardness: 

Cycling: 14 Stages / 741 km

StagesPathKmHardness
Stage 1Saint Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles24
Stage 2Roncesvalles - Pamplona42
Stage 3Pamplona - Estella42
Stage 4Estella - Logroño50
Stage 5Logroño - Santo Domingo de la Calzada49
Stage 6Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Burgos72
Stage 7Burgos - Carrión de los Condes87
Stage 8Carrión de los Condes - León50
Stage 9León - Astorga49
Stage 10Astorga - Ponferrada53
Stage 11Ponferrada - O Cebreiro55
Stage 12O Cebreiro - Portomarín62
Stage 13Portomarín - Arzúa67
Stage 14Arzúa - Santiago de Compostela39
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