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French Way

The Path par excellence

The French Way can be started anywhere in Europe. Its ramifications are very wide. But the two most common places to start are:

Saint Jean de Pied de Port (France)



Today to start we will have a tough but very rewarding stage. Remember that in winter the main route is cut and we must take the parallel road through Valcarlos. Today we will pass from France to Spain ascending about 1250 meters and then descend about 500 meters and thus reach Roncesvalles. Puerta del Camino Trances in Spain.

Today at our departure we will find the famous sign that tells us the distance that remains to Santiago. Remember that this sign says the distance by road :). We will walk along a beautiful path that will take us through villages full of local stories and legends. We will enjoy all the time of a mainly dirt road which at times will be transformed into stone slabs. Upon reaching Zubiri we can rest our feet on the Arga river. Which will take us tomorrow to Pamplona.

Today we will arrive in Pamplona and we have different options. We can rest before arriving at Pamplona in Zabaldika and thus live with the sisters who run the shelter. Or we can rest before entering Pamplona at the Trinidad de Arre hostel. We can also rest past Pamplona in Zizur Menor. We recommend stopping in Pamplona and thus take advantage to visit all that this city has to offer the pilgrim. From the culture of the famous San Fermin, its cuisine and how not to walk through its old town.

Today we expect a quiet but at the same time long climb to Alto del Perdón. Famous place for the sculpture of pilgrims on foot and on horseback that is at its height. And the famous phrase that says: "Where the Way of the wind meets that of the stars". Recall that if the climb seemed hard, the descent is a stone block in which there are two roads. One for cyclists and one for pilgrims on foot. Let's take the descent calmly, since then we only have a quiet walk through fields and dirt roads that will take us to our destination Puente la Reina.

Today we will notice that we are leaving the Pyrenees to get closer to Rioja lands. Where we will see more landscapes full of vineyards and olive trees. For those who want to walk a little more today they have the option of continuing to Villamayor de Monjardín or Luquin. Both villages will offer us more peace of mind than Estella.

In today's stage we will arrive at the old capital of the Kingdom of Navarra. It is a stage that passes completely devoid of any type of shadow or cover for the pilgrim. So if it is a rainy or sunny day we must be careful. Those who wish may continue to Torres del Rio to have Logroño closer

Today we leave aside the Community of Navarra to enter La Rioja. Famous for the designation of origin of its red wines. We will rest in its capital where we can enjoy visiting the city and its gastronomy visiting its famous Laurel Street.

Today we will have the first stage in which we will have to do a few more kilometers. In spite of this, it will be a quiet stage that at times will pass near the highway. In summer we must be careful with hydration.

In today's stage we will approach one of those magical cities of the Camino. We will walk through cereal fields that change the landscape to which the vineyards had accustomed us. The day will be worth it since in Santo Domingo de la Calzada we can enjoy its cathedral, its hostel and stroll through the streets of this old town. If we see ourselves with strength we can extend the day to be able to rest in the wonderful donation shelter of Grañón.

Today we will leave La Rioja and go into Castellano Leonesas lands. It is a quiet stage with few slopes. We will visit different villages that will take us to what was once one of the castles of the famous Cid Campeador.

Today we will have a stage that we can divide as in two parts or two days if we wanted to. The first departure to Villafranca de Montes de Oca will take us on dirt roads by the hand of the national highway. From then on we will enter the forests where we can enjoy the tranquility and serenity that occasionally come in handy to disconnect from the agglomerations that sometimes we find on the Camino.

Today we will pass through the famous site of Atapuerca. For pilgrims who prefer to walk along the path and forget about the routes through the city, today before arriving Burgos we can deviate along a slightly longer path that will take us from the hand of the river to the famous Burgos Cathedral. Mandatory visit

We will leave Burgos quickly to leave the big city and enter the land landscapes of Castilla. Welcome to the famous Plateau ... Let's remember in summer to go well covered and with good water to avoid heat stroke.

Today we will walk on the plateau that will offer us landscapes worthy of any wallpaper. It is convenient for pilgrims who decide to do these stages in summer to get up at dawn so that they can reach our destination avoiding the hours where the sun can hit harder.

Today we will continue along the plateau, therefore long dirt roads, lonely and with high sun exposure. Today we will have a "small" climb to the Alto de Mostelares. Famous for so many photos of him on the Camino and for the monument that comes up. From there we can enjoy the Plateau we leave behind.

Today we will have our deserved rest. They are already many days walking and a short stage is appreciated. We will follow the typical stage of the plateau being able to deviate in Population of Campos by a variant that will take us to Villovieco to follow the river approaching Villalcázar de Sirga. Where we will meet the main route.

It should be noted that in today's stage we will not have services during the first 10 km. Besides that we will walk along a straight line that will seem endless which will take us to Terradillo de los Templarios.
In today's stage we will meet the pilgrims who come from the Camino de Madrid. After Sahagun we will have two options that will take us to Mansilla de las Mules.
We can walk hand in hand with the local road or turn off through Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. In Mansilla de las Mulas we will have everything you need to rest on the banks of the Esla river.
Today we will arrive in the city of León. The most remarkable of the whole stage. In it we can enjoy its magnificent Cathedral and its stained glass windows. Totally recommended your visit.
Today we will have to decide between the two variants that are presented to us. The historic road that goes through Villadangos del Páramo or the variant that takes us through Villar de Mazarife. The latter will lengthen our path by about 4 kilometers.
Today we will recover the essence of the Camino and leave behind the long hours of the road. We will pass to a more mountainous landscape than we are used to on the plateau. Also when arriving at Astorga we will discover the famous architectural work of Antoni Gaudi. The Episcopal Palace, which was never used for this purpose, will surprise us with its very different forms. Highly recommended your visit and that of the Cathedral.
Finally we will leave behind the Castilian plateau to enter the mountains of León. We will have a small ascent from El Ganso to Rabanal del Camino. Normally this day usually ends here, but we consider it better to continue to Foncebadón so that the next day we can reach Ponferrada.
Today we will arrive at the famous Cruz de Ferro. Where tradition dictates that we must leave the stone that we bring from our house in order to leave there all our worries, our sorrows and from now on walk free to Santiago. We must be careful both in the descent and in the climb since both can be a real danger to our ankles.
Today we will walk through the region of Bierzo, cradle of Botillo and with a long history of Roman settlements. The stage will pass by asphalt and dirt track, in summer it is convenient to be prepared for the heat.
One of the classic stages of the Camino de Santiago Francés. Today we will end with the famous ascent to O Cebreiro. The biggest ascent on the French Way in the peninsula. In the village of O Cebreiro we can know the history of the pastor Elias Valiña. Which was the promoter of this way of pointing the Way and is buried in O Cebreiro.
Today we will walk through the mountains of this Galician land that welcomes us. We will continue along dirt roads moving up and up until we reach Alto do Poio. Which gives us a good slope to reach its peak where we can rest if we wanted to and spend the night in the shelters there if they find.
In today's stage we will finally walk entirely through Galician lands. We have two roads to reach Sarria. One by the Monastery of Samos somewhat longer (about 7 km) and if we can not walk through the villages of A Balsa, San Xil, Montan ... until we also reach Sarria. Where the famous 100 km mandatory begin to be able to get the Compostela.
Today we will walk through the typical rural Galicia. Surrounded by small villages, forests and that Celtic magic that this land gives us. We will arrive at the modern city of Portomarín. Since the old one lies buried under the waters of the Belesar reservoir.
Today we will follow a stage very similar to yesterday. We expect long sections of asphalt that go hand in hand with the road.
Today we will have a strong mileage that will take us following the national road to the city of Melide. Where we can enjoy the famous Melide octopus in one of the two pulperias that are among the most famous in the country. In Melide our companions of the Primitive Way will join us and in Arzua we will meet the pilgrims of the Northern Way
We only have 40 km left for our coveted destination. Today we will follow the national road to spend the night in O Pedrouzo. Which will allow us to arrive the next day to Santiago for the Pilgrim's Mass.
Today we can only enjoy the climb to Monte do Gozo. If we want we can get off the Camino a bit to enjoy the Pilgrim's sculpture. And descend from there to the Plaza del Obradoiro where we will meet a million emotions after this long road.

Points of interest

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Roncesvalles Collegiate Church

The collegiate church of Santa María is the most luxurious factory in Roncesvalles and the best Navarre example of Gothic, not only French, but also the purest of l'Île de France. It welcomes a beautiful image of the Virgin of the fourteenth century.

Pamplona Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santa María la Real, located in the city of Pamplona, ​​home of the Archdiocese of Pamplona and Tudela, is a unique ecclesiastical architectural complex, as it is the most complete cathedral complex that is preserved in Spain. It presents the usual buildings in other cathedrals such as church, cloister and sacristies, but also retains the ciliary, refectory, chapter house and bedroom, which are more typical of the common life to which his council was subject and that throughout the centuries they have been demolished in other Spanish cathedrals.The rooms that make it up were built in different eras and styles, keeping today some of the Romanesque dependencies, but predominantly those built in Gothic style (among them the church and the cloister ) from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. The western facade, in neoclassical style, was built at the end of the 18th century.
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guide, santiago road, compostela, pilgrim, french road, portuguese road, santiago road track, santiago road info

Romanesque bridge of Puente de la Reina

The Romanesque bridge of Puente la Reina is one of the most interesting examples of civil architecture on the Camino de Santiago in Navarra. It includes the Jacobean route that enters through Orreaga / Roncesvalles and the Tolosana of Somport. It is a meeting point for pilgrims who have woven thousands of stories and legends over the centuries. The waters of the Arga River, which runs under the imposing archway of the centenary bridge, whisper the most amazing stories to travelers who are captivated by their murmur.

Burgos cathedral

The Holy Cathedral Church Basilica Metropolitana de Santa María is a cathedral temple of Catholic worship dedicated to the Virgin Mary, in the Spanish city of Burgos.

Its construction began in the year 1221, following French gothic patterns. It had very important modifications in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: the needles of the main facade, the Condestable chapel and the dome of the cruise, elements of the flamboyant Gothic that give the temple its unmistakable profile. The last important works (the sacristy or the chapel of Santa Tecla) belong to the eighteenth century, a century in which the Gothic covers of the main facade were also modified. The construction and subsequent remodeling were done with limestone extracted from the quarries of the towns of Hontoria de la Cantera and Cubillo del Campo.

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guide, santiago road, compostela, pilgrim, french road, portuguese road, santiago road track, santiago road info

Leon Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa María de Regla de León is a temple of Catholic worship, episcopal seat of the diocese of León, Spain, consecrated under the invocation of the Virgin Mary. It was the first monument declared in Spain by Royal Order of 28 of August of 1844 (confirmed by Royal Order on 24 of September of 1845). Started in the thirteenth century, it is one of the great works of the Gothic style, of French influence. Known with the nickname of Pulchra leonina, which means 'Bella Leonesa', it is located on the Camino de Santiago.

O Cebreiro Pallozas

Palloza (also known as pallouza and pallaza) is a traditional construction of the Spanish peninsular northwest, mainly of the Ancares leoneses and La Cabrera, and other points of El Bierzo (León), some areas of Lugo, and the valleys of Furniella and of Ibias in Asturias. Its origin is pre-Roman, presumably Celtic. The pallozas have similarities with the round houses of the Iron Age of Great Britain or with the buildings of the military culture
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