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French Way

El Camino by excellence

El Camino French 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)



To begin with, we will have a tough but very rewarding stage. Remember that in winter time the main route is cut off and we must take the Camino parallel by Valcarlos. Today we will go from France to Spain ascending about 1250 meters and then descending about 500 meters and arriving at Roncesvalles, gate of the Camino French in Spain.

Today on our way out we will find the famous sign "SANTIAGO 790" that tells us the distance to Santiago. Remember that this sign says the distance by road :). We will walk along a beautiful path that will take us through towns full of local stories and legends. We will enjoy all the time a camino Mainly of earth which at times will be transformed into stone slabs. Upon reaching Zubiri we will be able to rest our feet in the Arga river, which will take us to Pamplona tomorrow.

Today we will arrive in Pamplona and we have different options. We can rest before arriving in 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 shelter. We can also stop past Pamplona in Zizur Menor. We recommend stopping in Pamplona and thus taking the opportunity to visit all that this city has to offer to the pilgrim. From the culture of the famous San Fermín, its gastronomy and how not to stroll through its old town.

Today a quiet but long climb awaits us to Alto del Perdón. Famous place for the sculpture of pilgrims on foot and on horseback that is located at its top. And the famous phrase that says: ¨Where meets the Camino of the wind with that of the stars¨. Let's remember that if the climb seemed hard to us, the descent is a stone crust in which there are two caminos. 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 caminos of land 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 today want to walk a little more, they have the option of continuing to Villamayor de Monjardín or Luquin. Both towns will offer us more tranquility than Estella.

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

Today we leave the Foral Community of Navarra behind to enter La Rioja, famous for the denomination of origin of its red wines. We will rest in its capital and we can visit the city and enjoy  of 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. Despite this, it will be a quiet stage that in some sections 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 have accustomed us. The day will be worth it since in Santo Domingo de la Calzada we can enjoy its cathedral, its parador and stroll through the streets of this old town. If we see ourselves with strength, we can extend the day to rest in the wonderful donation shelter in Grañón.

Today we will leave La Rioja and enter Castilian Leonese lands. It is a quiet stage with few slopes. We will visit different towns 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 into two parts or two days if we want. The first part to Villafranca de Montes de Oca will take us through caminos land hand in hand with the national highway. From then on we will enter the forests where we can enjoy the tranquility and serenity that from time to time come in handy to disconnect from the crowds that we sometimes find in the Camino.

Today we will pass through the famous Atapuerca site. For pilgrims who prefer to walk along the path and forget about the routes through the city, before arriving in Burgos we can take a detour camino a little longer that will take us by the hand of the river to the famous Cathedral of Burgos, a must.

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

Today we will walk through the plateau that will offer us landscapes worthy of wallpaper. It is convenient for pilgrims who decide to do these stages in summer to get up at dawn in order to reach our destination avoiding the hours when the sun can hit the hardest.

Today we will continue on the plateau, therefore long caminos of land, solitary and with high exposure to the sun. Today we will have a "small" climb to the Alto de Mostelares, famous for so many photos of it in the Camino and by the monument that there is when arriving above. From there we can enjoy the Plateau that we left behind.

Today we will have our well-deserved rest. There 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 Poblacion de Campos by a variant that will take us to Villovieco and following the river approaching Villalcázar de Sirga, where we will find 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 through an immense straight, which will take us to Terradillo de los Templarios.

In today's stage we will meet the pilgrims who come from the Camino from 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 highlight of the entire stage. In it we can enjoy its magnificent Cathedral and its stained glass windows. Your visit is highly recommended.

Today we will have to decide between the two variants that arise: The Camino historical that goes through Villadangos del Páramo or the variant that takes us through Villar de Mazarife. The latter will lengthen our camino in about 4 km.

Today we will recover the essence of Camino and we will leave behind the long hours on the road. We will pass to a more mountainous landscape than we are used to on the plateau. Also when we arrive in Astorga we will discover the famous architectural work of Antonio Gaudí. The Episcopal Palace, which was never used for this purpose, will surprise with its very different forms. Highly recommended both your visit and 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 home in order to leave all our worries and regrets there and from now on walk free to Santiago. We must be careful both going down and going up as both can be a real danger to our ankles.

Today we will walk through the Bierzo region, the cradle of Botillo and with a long history of Roman settlements. The stage will run on asphalt and dirt tracks, in summer it is convenient to go prepared for the heat.

One of the classic stages of Camino de Santiago French. Today we will end with the famous climb to O Cebreiro, the highest ascent in the Camino French on the peninsula. In the village of O Cebreiro we can learn the story of the parish priest Elias Valiña, promoter of this way of pointing out the Camino and is buried in O Cebreiro.

Today we will walk through the mountains of this Galician land that welcomes us. We will continue for caminos of land advancing and climbing until we reach Alto do Poio, which gives us a good steep slope to reach its peak where we can rest if we want to and spend the night in the shelters that are there. 

In today's stage we will finally walk entirely through Galician lands. We have two caminos to get to Sarria. One through the Monastery of Samos, somewhat longer (about 7 km) and if not we can go through the towns of A Balsa, San Xil, Montan ... until we also reach Sarria, where the famous 100 km mandatory to get the Compostela begins. .

Today we will walk through the typical rural Galicia, surrounded by small villages, forests and that Celtic magic that this land offers 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 highway to the city of Melide, where we will be able to enjoy the famous local octopus in one of the two pulperias that are among the most famous in the country. In Melide we will be joined by our colleagues from Camino Primitive and in Arzua we will meet in turn with the pilgrims of the Camino from North.

We only have 40 km left for our long-awaited destination. Today we will follow the national road to spend the night in O Pedrouzo. This will allow us to arrive the next day in Santiago for the Pilgrim's Mass.

Today we only have to enjoy the climb to Monte do Gozo. If we want we can get away from the Camino to enjoy the sculpture of the Pilgrim. And descend from there to the Obradoiro square where we will find a million emotions after this long Camino.

Points of interest

guide, camino Santiago, Compostela, pilgrim, camino French, camino portuguese track camino de santiago, info camino de santiago

Roncesvalles Collegiate Church

The collegiate church of Santa María is the most luxurious cathedral in Roncesvalles and the best Navarrese example of Gothic, not only French, but of the purest of l'Île de France. It houses a beautiful image of the Virgin from the XNUMXth century.

Pamplona Cathedral

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santa María la Real, located in the city of Pamplona, ​​seat of the Archdiocese of Pamplona and Tudela, is a unique ecclesiastical architectural complex, as it is the most complete cathedral complex preserved in Spain. It presents the usual buildings in other cathedrals such as the church, cloister and sacristies, but it also preserves the ciliary, refectory, chapter house and bedroom, which are more typical of the common life to which its chapter was subject and which throughout the centuries they have been demolished in other Spanish cathedrals. The rooms that make up it were built in different periods and styles, today some of the Romanesque rooms are preserved, but predominantly those built in the Gothic style (including the church and cloister) from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. The west facade, in neoclassical style, was built at the end of the XNUMXth century

guide, camino Santiago, Compostela, pilgrim, camino French, camino portuguese track camino de santiago, info camino de santiago
guide, camino Santiago, Compostela, pilgrim, camino French, camino portuguese track camino de santiago, info camino de santiago

Romanesque bridge of Puente de la Reina

The Romanesque bridge of Puente la Reina is one of the most interesting examples of civil architecture in the Camino de Santiago in Navarra. The Jacobean route that enters through Orreaga / Roncesvalles and the Tolosa route from Somport converge there.

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 surprising stories to travelers who are captivated by its 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.

guide, camino Santiago, Compostela, pilgrim, camino French, camino portuguese track camino de santiago, info camino de santiago
guide, camino Santiago, Compostela, pilgrim, camino French, camino portuguese track camino de santiago, info camino de santiago

Leon Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa María de Regla de León is a temple of Catholic worship, episcopal headquarters of the diocese of León, Spain, consecrated under the invocation of the Virgin Mary. It was the first monument declared in Spain by the Royal Order of August 28, 1844 (confirmed by the Royal Order on September 24, 1845).

Begun in the XNUMXth century, it is one of the great works of the Gothic style, with French influence. Known with the nickname of Pulchra leonina, which means 'Beautiful Leon', it is in 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.

guide, camino Santiago, Compostela, pilgrim, camino French, camino portuguese track camino de santiago, info camino de santiago
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