THE FRENCH WAY BY CAR: FROM RONCESVALLES TO SANTIAGO (700Kms)

This trip is the perfect option for you, if you are passionate about the French Way but cannot walk it. We present you an itinerary designed so that you pass by the main points of the French Way in the Iberian Peninsula, with detailed information on the places of obligatory visit, so that, like the people who make this journey walking, you do not lose detail of anything.

Each day is designed with information to make stops in the star towns of the journey. *As an optional service we inform you that you can request an extra night in the stage you want, if you are interested in learning more about a specific area.

Arrival in Roncesvalles

Roncesvalles (Orreaga) has historically been considered the first stop on the Iberian Peninsula for pilgrims on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago. Located in a beautiful enclave at the foot of the port of Ibañeza, it has also been a passageway for Celts, Barbarians, Goths and even King Charlemagne. An example of its great importance on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago is its pilgrims’ hospital, which has now been converted into a collegiate church. You will be able to see the Priory House, the Library Museum, the church dedicated to Santa María de Roncesvalles, the chapel of San Agustín and that of the Holy Spirit.

In spite of its great importance in the Way of Saint James and in the history of the Iberian Peninsula, Roncesvalles has only 30 inhabitants, something that gives it a special charm and mysticism.

Roncesvalles – Logroño

DificultadTiempo estimadoDistancia146 Km

For this first day we propose you to drive from Roncesvalles to Logroño, crossing Navarre to enter the capital of La Rioja. During this journey you will discover the scenic, natural and cultural value of this area. You will be able to see how the landscape will change from the most Pyrenean Navarre to the vineyards of La Rioja.

In order to live a complete experience of the French Way and at the same time enjoy the visit to charming villages, we recommend you to stop at the following points:

-Zubiri is a small Navarrese village where you will be able to appreciate the typical constructions of the area. Located in a privileged natural environment, its most identifying monument is the bridge of La Rabia, Romanesque style dating from the twelfth century.

-Pamplona (Iruña) is a city that still conserves its medieval defensive walls, which have been declared National Monument. Inside, the Cathedral of Santa Maria is perhaps its most dazzling artistic building. This city offers you an endless number of cultural, gastronomic and leisure plans.

-Puente la Reina (Gares) is a small medieval town that will allow you to discover religious constructions resulting from the Jacobean influence, such as the church of the Crucifix, that of Santiago or that of San Pedro. However, the Roman bridge, to which it owes its name, will impress you the most.

-Estella (Lizarra) is a village bathed by the river Ega that sinks its birth in the cultural convergence of the Way of Saint James and the Jewish quarter. Curious is its spring of salty water, considered of therapeutic properties. We recommend you to visit monuments such as the Palace of the Kings of Navarre or the Church of San Pedro de la Rúa.

-Los Arcos consists of several important monuments, both civil and religious. You can make a journey through history, strolling along its main street, with its emblazoned houses, and visiting the ruins of its medieval castle or the Roman vestiges that are still preserved.

-Viana this small town preserves a large part of the 13th century wall and an endless number of monuments. It stands out above all for its rich gastronomy.

Once in Logroño, you should get lost in the streets of the historic centre and visit, among other important buildings, the Cathedral of Santa María la Redonda and its town halls. You cannot miss visiting one of the most emblematic places of the city: the Modern Café; and strolling around the Calle del Laurel, also known as the Route of the Elephants because of the possibilities of leaving the “trumpet” within its walls. For the wine lovers, it is a must to visit the wine cellars in Ruavieja.

Logroño – Burgos

DificultadTiempo estimadoDistancia133 Km

During today’s tour, you will leave La Rioja to enter the region of Castilla y León. We recommend that you take the N-120, so that you can stop at the star towns along this route:

-Nájera is a very historic city where you can find countless monuments, such as the Alcázar, the Royal Chapel of the Holy Cross, or the Monastery of Santa María la Real de Nájera. For those more interested in the history and culture of the place, it will be essential to visit the Historical Archaeological Museum Najerillense.

-Santo Domingo de la Calzada is a place that dates back to the 12th century. Thanks to the Xacobean route, this town, like so many others, experienced a very important economic, artistic and cultural development throughout the Middle Ages. In this small town you can wander through streets full of history, marvel at the remains of its walls dating from the twelfth and fourteenth centuries and admire its Cathedral, a perfect example of pro-Gothic art in our country. As a curiosity, inside the Cathedral there is a henhouse in which live a rooster and a hen, as a symbol of commemoration of the miracle of the hanged pilgrim.

-Belorado is a medieval town that had its greatest splendour in the Middle and Modern Ages. An example of this is its abundant civil and religious architecture. It will be worth visiting the Castle, the church of Santa María, the remains of the church of San Nicolás de Bari, the old Jewish quarter, or the Caves of San Caprasio, among others.

-Atapuerca is the home of archaeological treasures in our country. We recommend you to visit the Atapuerca sites, one of the most important sites in the world, which allowed the human being to reconsider its origin as a species. Atapuerca was declared World Heritage in 1997.

Your end of today’s stage is reached in Burgos. If you have never been to this city before, you will be surprised by its tourist attractions, unique in the national panorama. It will be worth taking a walk through its elegant streets, strolls and endless green areas; contemplating its Gothic Cathedral World Heritage Site and enjoying its exquisite gastronomy. The city is also known internationally for its Museum of Human Evolution, the only one in the world specialized in this matter, and the sites of Atapuerca, located just 10 kilometers from the capital.

Burgos – León

DificultadTiempo estimadoDistancia156 Km

This day will be marked by the plains and fields typical of the Castilian landscape. On your way, you will visit villages with an important heritage and other very small ones, with very few inhabitants, which will show you the reality of this area.

-Castrojeriz is a small monumental village located at the foot of a hill. Following the route by its Real street, you will be able to visit the main monuments of the town, like its Collegiate, the church of Santo Domingo, or the church of San Juán. On the outskirts of the town you can see imposing medieval monuments such as the convents of Santa Clara, San Antón and San Francisco. It will also be impressive to see the ruins of its Roman castle, located at the top of the hill.

-In Frómista you will find one of the best examples of Spanish Romanesque, the church of San Martín. Also worthy of special mention are the churches of San Pedro and Santa María del Castillo, where you can visit the best examples of altarpieces from all over Castile. The church of San Pedro houses the Parish Museum and next to it the Historical Ethnographic Museum. For its part, the church of Santa María del Castillo, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1944, presents inside the project VESTiGiA-Leyenda del Camino, a multimedia project about stories, miracles and legends of the Camino de Santiago.

-Carrión de los Condes is a small town with a medieval past, with vestiges of ancient walls, churches, palaces, convents and hospitals. You will be surprised by the large number of monuments that this small city has, especially in terms of civil architecture, conserving countless architectural houses of different families, such as the Gothic Palace, the House of the Marquis of Santillana or the House of the corner balcony, among many others.

-Sahagún has a great historical and monumental heritage. This small town belongs to the Federation of Cluniacense Places. You can not go without visiting the Church of San Lorenzo or San Tirso, the Sanctuary of the Pilgrim and the Ruins of the Royal Monastery of San Benito, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.

*It is also interesting to make stops in small towns along the route such as: Terradillos de los Templarios, El Burgo ranero or Mansilla de las Mulas; to get to know the reality of this area.

Once in León, you will fall in love with this city when you come across some of the most spectacular monuments in Spain. You will have the opportunity to be dazzled by the imposing façade of its cathedral, which stands out from the rest of the buildings in the old town; and to admire the stained-glass windows inside, which are considered the most beautiful in Europe. The Romanesque frescoes of the Collegiate Church of San Isidoro, known as the Sistine Romanesque chapel, and the most important façade of the plateresque, the Hospital de San Marcos, also stand out. And of course, if you are passionate about modernism, you can’t miss Gaudí’s Casa de Botines. León is also a perfect city to combine culture and gastronomy. Between the Wet and Romantic Quarter, you will find the perfect balance to combine visits to its rich architectural and cultural heritage with moments of “tapas” and rest.

León – Ponferrada

DificultadTiempo estimadoDistancia140 Km

Today you carry out the last day in Castilian territory, before entering Galicia at last. As highlights of this stage, you will pass through:

-Astorga: the French Way and the Silver Route come together in this historic city. The years of cultural crossroads, from its pre-Roman and Roman beginnings to its medieval and later splendour, have made Astorga one of the most important points of artistic and cultural interest in our country. This small city has a large number of monuments that must be visited, among others, the rich legacy of Roman times, the Cathedral of Santa María, the Episcopal Palace (Gaudí’s Palace), the Roads Museum, the modernist building Casa Granell, and countless churches, monasteries and museums. On the gastronomic level, you can stop to taste its famous “Cocido Maragato”.

-Rabbanal del Camino offers you the possibility of visiting the hermitages of Bendito Cristo de la Vera Cruz and San José. As a civil building, the Casa de las Cuatro Esquinas stands out, a famous place because according to history it was the place where King Felipe II spent the night during his pilgrimage to Santiago. Finally, and among other things, in the highest part of the village, you can visit the parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, a Romanesque temple from the 12th century, declared of Cultural Interest in 1982, which is a perfect example of Leonese Romanesque style.

-Molinaseca is one of the most beautiful villages on this Way, in fact, it has been declared a Historic Site of Cultural Interest because of the good state of conservation of its stone houses, which still have a great medieval aspect. As main monuments to emphasize, we recommend you to visit the bridge of the entrance and the Neoclassical parish of San Nicolás de Bari.

Once you arrive in Ponferrada, this emblematic and historic city will welcome you. This stop offers you the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy moments of leisure, and the rich gastronomy of Bierzo. You can not go without trying a good botillo (botelo) accompanied by a wine from Bierzo. You can enjoy all this and more by strolling through the historic Barrio del Temple, where you will also have the opportunity to have a drink and get to know the city’s leisure and nightlife.

Ponferrada – Portomarín

DificultadTiempo estimadoDistancia132 Km

In this stage you will enter Galicia, crossing the protected natural space of Ancares-Courel through the province of Lugo. No doubt you will marvel at the beautiful natural environment of the Lugo mountain.

As the star towns of the day, they will stand out:

-Villafranca del Bierzo is a monument in itself. We recommend you to lose yourself strolling through its narrow streets, where you will find shields and samples of traditional Bierzo architecture, with its characteristic slate roofs and wooden corridors. You can take advantage of this stop to eat and continue enjoying the rich gastronomy of Bierzo: botillos, sausages, empanada and trout; all accompanied by its rich wines. This gastronomic walk will be obligatory to make it through the Calle del Agua.

-For centuries, O Cebreiro has been considered the gateway to Galicia from Castile. In it, you will enjoy a magical day in an environment of great tradition and mysticism, cradle of legends, mysteries and miracles. You can visit several pallozas of pre-Roman origin, one of them converted into an Ethnographic Museum, free of charge. You must also visit the church of Santa Maria, the oldest church in operation of the Jacobean Route.

-Saria is a place of which remains of ancient occupation from the prehistoric era are preserved. It was during Roman times, when Sarria was consolidated as an important population in the network of Roman cities, as it was the point of union between Lucus Augusti (present-day Lugo) and Castro Dactonio (Monforte de Lemos). Its long history makes it a town with a lot of heritage to visit.

Finally, you reach the end of your stage, Portomarín. This town, born at the foot of the Miño river, is a place as beautiful as it is peculiar. It is a village that had to be relocated from its original enclave to a higher point in the valley, due to the construction of the Belesar reservoir on the river Miño that caused the flooding of the old enclave of the village. If you have a day with good lighting, you can see the remains of the old Portomarín at the bottom of the river. In this small and crowded village you will have the opportunity to enjoy the local gastronomy and a very pilgrim atmosphere.

*Lugo. During this day or the following day, it is worth making a detour on the way to go to the ancient and historic city of Lugo. This is a very important stopover on the Primitive Way, where you can contemplate its Roman walls, declared World Heritage, and you will not be left indifferent.

Portomarín – Santiago de Compostela

DificultadTiempo estimadoDistancia132 Km

In this stage you will enter Galicia, crossing the protected natural space of Ancares-Courel through the province of Lugo. No doubt you will marvel at the beautiful natural environment of the Lugo mountain.

As the star towns of the day, they will stand out:

-Villafranca del Bierzo is a monument in itself. We recommend you to lose yourself strolling through its narrow streets, where you will find shields and samples of traditional Bierzo architecture, with its characteristic slate roofs and wooden corridors. You can take advantage of this stop to eat and continue enjoying the rich gastronomy of Bierzo: botillos, sausages, empanada and trout; all accompanied by its rich wines. This gastronomic walk will be obligatory to make it through the Calle del Agua.

-For centuries, O Cebreiro has been considered the gateway to Galicia from Castile. In it, you will enjoy a magical day in an environment of great tradition and mysticism, cradle of legends, mysteries and miracles. You can visit several pallozas of pre-Roman origin, one of them converted into an Ethnographic Museum, free of charge. You must also visit the church of Santa Maria, the oldest church in operation of the Jacobean Route.

-Sarria is a place of which remains of ancient occupation from the prehistoric era are preserved. It was during Roman times, when Sarria was consolidated as an important population in the network of Roman cities, as it was the point of union between Lucus Augusti (present-day Lugo) and Castro Dactonio (Monforte de Lemos). Its long history makes it a town with a lot of heritage to visit.

Finally, you reach the end of your stage, Portomarín. This town, born at the foot of the Miño river, is a place as beautiful as it is peculiar. It is a village that had to be relocated from its original enclave to a higher point in the valley, due to the construction of the Belesar reservoir on the river Miño that caused the flooding of the old enclave of the village. If you have a day with good lighting, you can see the remains of the old Portomarín at the bottom of the river. In this small and crowded village you will have the opportunity to enjoy the local gastronomy and a very pilgrim atmosphere.

*Lugo. During this day or the following day, it is worth making a detour on the way to go to the ancient and historic city of Lugo. This is a very important stopover on the Primitive Way, where you can contemplate its Roman walls, declared World Heritage, and you will not be left indifferent.

Santiago de Compostela

Today you will have all the time you want here, to continue enjoying the city. We hope you have enjoyed this experience, which may well be the first of many.

We encourage you to continue discovering the wonderful reality behind the Jacobean routes!

*After leaving the accommodation, end of service.

THIS TRIP INCLUDES

  • 8 days / 7 nights of accommodation
  • Credencial (Pilgrim’s passport)
  • Telephone assistance service 24/7
  • Travel assistance insurance
  • Breakfast included
  • Gift: T-shirt and “Vieira”
  • Single room supplement: 130 €/pax
  • Extra night in Santiago: 80 € double room / 60 € single room
  • 6 Dinner supplement: 160 €/pax

PRICE

  • 420 € pax double room

ACCOMMODATION

The accommodation will be in hostels, guesthouses and/or rural accommodations always in private room with its own bathroom.

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Hostales y/o pensionesDouble room 420€

* All accommodations are of the best quality, carefully selected after years of experience and approved by our customers.

H O T E L

Accommodation

The accommodation will be in hostels, guesthouses and/or rural accommodations always in private room with its own bathroom.

* All accommodations are of the best quality, carefully selected after years of experience and approved by our customers.

Accommodation

The accommodation will be in hostels, guesthouses and/or rural accommodations always in private room with its own bathroom.

* All accommodations are of the best quality, carefully selected after years of experience and approved by our customers.