Camino Francés, The French Way, is by far the most popular of all the routes of the Way of St. James, the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino Francés can be divided into 3 main sections:
• The rolling hills of the Basque country,
• The hot, flat central section of the meseta
• The green hills of Galicia.
It runs from St Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles on the Spanish side and then another 780km on to Santiago de Compostela through the major cities of Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos and Léon.
The pathway is marked with yellow arrows painted on walls, trees, and buildings all the way to Santiago.
Paths from the cities of Tours, Vézelay, and Le Puy-en-Velay meet at St Jean Pied de Port
. A fourth French route originates in Arles, in Provence, and crosses the French-Spanish border at a different point, between the Pyrenees towns of Somport and Canfranc.
This fourth route follows the Aragonese Way and joins the main Camino Francés route at Puente la Reina, south of Pamplona, in Navarre, about seven hundred kilometres from Santiago de Compostela.
A typical journey on the Camino Francés should take at least a month allowing for one or two rest days along the way. The path itself, with a few exceptions, is usually fairly flat and wide, with a good even surface.
We have documented the Camino Frances over 32 stages, starting at St Jean Pied de Port
, providing you with information as well as accommodation in each town & village along the way. This is just a suggested itinerary, you should feel free to start the Camino where ever you want. Although to qualify for a Compostela
you have to complete at least 100km if walking or 200km if you are on a bicycle.
It is also worth noting that each day you can walk as much or as little of the route that you feel comfortable with. Due to the numbers of pilgrims walking on the Camino you are permitted to stay in an albergue for one night only unless you are injured or in need of a rest.
The icons displayed on the maps for each stage indicate the services and facilities you will find at each stop:
: Albergues, municipal & private
: Hotels, Hostals, Pensions, Casa Rural
: Tourist Information
: Chemist / Pharmacy
: Internet Access
There are plenty of albergues
, pilgrim hostels, & refugios along the way where you get the opportunity to meet other pilgrims. You will also find a range of more expensive accommodation such as private albergues, pensiónes and hotels along the way.
We list as many of these as we can, and you will soon be able to download a full list of these, translated into different languages.
If you know of any other albergues, hotels, pensions etc that are not on the list contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
Alternatively get in touch via our contact form