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.

Desde Logroño

From Logroño to Santiago de Compostela you will travel a distance of just over 600 kilometres, for which you will need approximately 27 days. The stages of the French Route from the capital of La Rioja are characterized by plains surrounded by fields of crops and famous vineyards. With a notable orographic change in the Montes de Oca, already in the vicinity of Burgos.

Desde Burgos

From Burgos you will go on pilgrimage for 22 days, a total of 488 kilometres until you reach Santiago de Compostela. This is one of the most authentic stretches, which still preserves the purest essence of the Jacobean route. A path for reflection that invites you to lose yourself in the vast plains of cereal fields and solitary landscapes of the Castilian steppe.

From León

León is the perfect city to start the French Way if you have 15 days, in which you will cover 308 kilometres. A fascinating journey through beautiful landscapes such as the Montes de León and the green valley of El Bierzo. With each step you will discover small medieval villages, Templar castles, imposing monuments and cathedrals, until you get into the most authentic rural Galicia.

From O Cebreiro

The small and unique village of O Cebreiro, on the border of Galicia and Castilla y León, is one of the favourite places for pilgrims to start the French Way. From here you can cover the entire Galician section of this Jacobean route in just 9 days, adding up to a total of 150 kilometres until you reach the Cathedral of Santiago.

The stages are characterized by their shady paths, which run through centuries-old forests, small villages and green pastures that show the idiosyncrasy and unique culture of the inhabitants of this Autonomous Community.

Desde Sarria

The town of Sarria is the busiest place for pilgrims wishing to make the last stretch of the French Way. From this point, you will walk the last 100 kilometres of the French Way, the minimum distance to obtain the Compostela. You will only need one week to complete it.

Sarria is loved and hated in equal parts, and it is from here that the number of pilgrims increases considerably in the summer months. You will find all kinds of services, accommodation, laundries, bars, restaurants, as well as shops and souvenir shops. In short, the atmosphere you will find in these stages is much more lively than in any other part of the French Way.

The perfect route for those who are doing the Camino de Santiago for the first time. It is ideal to meet people and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Galician countryside.

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Stages of the French Way of Santiago