French Way

33 Etapas | 768 km

The route of Camino de Santiago par excellence

This is the most internationally recognised itinerary with the best historical tradition, where most of the medieval pilgrimage routes converge.

Un gran fenómeno social, cultural y religioso que acogió a lo largo de los siglos a grandes reyes, princesas, nobles, templarios, caballeros, pobres y devotos provenientes de toda la cristiandad para arrodillarse ante la tumba del Apóstol Santiago.

Our Trips to the French Way of Santiago

Information on the French Way

Why choose the French Way?

The French Way is the route of the Camino de Santiago par excellence. It is the most internationally recognized itinerary and with the greatest historical tradition, where most of the medieval pilgrimage routes converge. A road that is characterized not only by its contrasts and variety of landscapes, but also by its impressive wealth of monuments. A great social, cultural and religious phenomenon that welcomed over the centuries great kings, princesses, nobles, Templars, knights, poor and devotees from all over Christendom to kneel at the tomb of the Apostle St. James.

If you decide to do the French route, you will enjoy the green mountains of Navarre, the vineyards of La Rioja, the immense oceans of cereal fields of the Castilian steppe and the green valley of El Bierzo to end up immersing yourself in the most authentic and rural Galicia until you reach Santiago de Compostela. A route that will also give you the chance to visit impressive monuments, castles, bridges, as well as important Jacobean cities that were marked forever with the signs of the pilgrim.

What to see and do on the French Camino de Santiago?

  • Royal Collegiate Church of Roncesvalles
  • Romanesque Bridge of Puente La Reina
  • Monastery of Santa María la Real in Nájera
  • Burgos Cathedral
  • Church of San Martín de Frómista
  • Cathedral of León
  • Episcopal Palace of Astorga
  • Templar Castle of Ponferrada
  • Ethnographic group of O Cebreiro
  • Benedictine Monastery of Samos
  • Ruins of the ancient village of Portomarín
  • Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Where to start the French Route?

From Saint Jean Pied de Port or Roncesvalles

Nowadays the starting point of the French Way can be considered both Saint Jean Pied de Port and Roncesvalles, so both options are perfect if you want to do this complete route.

Saint Jean Pied de Port, situated on the border with France, is the second most popular starting point for pilgrims. It’s worth adding an extra day to your trip to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Pyrenees and cross the border in the footsteps of Napoleon Bonaparte himself. The main difficulty of this first stage are the slopes, we will accumulate no less than 1,258 meters of positive slope and 485 meters of negative slope, so it is necessary to have a good physical condition or take the variant by Valcarlos.

In Spanish territory, 24 kilometres from Saint Jean Pied de Port, we find the small village of Roncesvalles (Orreaga). It is one of the great landmarks of the Camino de Santiago and the starting point most used by pilgrims who make this French Camino de Santiago in its entirety. A magical town where time seems to have stopped, which preserves intact the pilgrim spirit and a deep magnetism.