Camino de Santiago – The Way of St. James

by / Wednesday, 15 January 2014 / Published in Pack, Popular

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Motivation makes the road… to Santiago.

The Camino de Santiago, an internationally renowned route (declared World Heritage Site), will be one of the most stunning experiences of your live. You will find yourself in a way you didn´t know, will make hundreds of friends and share more than you have ever done.

We want you to enjoy this trip and to discover your limits but we also want you to get to your destiny so you will be hosted in charming hotels/hostals in stead of in shelters (where available) so you can rest everyday and keep on the following one.

This trip is made for self- satisfaction and there´s nothing to be proved. However there is a document called the “Comspotela” that you will receive in Santiago, at the end of the route. A minimum distance of 200 km. must be covered to get it. Get your credential at the beginning of your tour to validate in the different hostels and parish churches, proving you have fulfilled the Pilgrim’s Route. You can get this document at the Association of Friends of the Road to Santiago found throughout Spain and abroad, in the Royal Collegiate Church of Roncesvalles and in the towns the pilgrim’s road goes through. If you do not have the document at the start of your trip, ask at the tourist office of the town or village where you are.

See the MOST POPULAR routes below with a brief journey plan, but remember you will receive a complete guide with the whole itinerary and all places to see and visit meanwhile when booking with us. You will be hosted in hotels/hostals in stead of shelters and we will arrange everything before you start the Road to Santiago as your plane tickets, transport, bike rental if needed, luggage transfer, pilgrim’s passport, etc…

Please check out our offers for the Camino in our offers section!

French Camino

This is the most popular route. It begins in the Pyrenees and goes through Roncesvalles (Navarre) and then continue on through the territories of La Rioja and Castile-León towards Galicia.Walking: This route has 39 stages. As not many people has 39 spare days they normally divide in 7 or 10 days tours and come back as many times as they need to finish it all. Another possibility is choosing your start point depending on the days you want to come and on the final stage (usually Santiago).Cycling: The French route is 755 km. long. No stages have been planned as it should be done based on your rhythm, resistance and physical condition. However we recommend you to make an average of 50 km. a day so you can visit the many places and monuments there are to see. It will take you around 14 days if so. You can also make a shorter route and take some days to recover and enjoy the places you are visiting. Don’t forget to take spare parts for your bike, some food as chocolates or fruits and some water. Please contact us for further info and we will send you a FREE, complete and personalized journey plan.

Map

Days 1 - 7

Our route starts in San Jean Pied de Port and goes through Orreaga/Roncesvalles, Zubiri/Roncesvalles, Pamplona, Puente La Reina, Estella and Los Arcos. This week we will pass from the great sceneries of Roncesvalles to the plain land of La Rioja, home of some of the best wines in Spain. Distance: 135 km.

Days 8 - 14

Leaving Los Arcos we move to Logroño, Nájera, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Belorado, San Juan de Ortega, Villafría and Burgos. You are moving to Castile – León and will finish this week in Burgos, where you will get to know one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the north of Spain. Distance: 144 km.

Days 15 - 21

From Burgos to Hornillos del Camino, Castrojeríz, Frómista, Carrión de los Condes, Calzadilla de la Cueza, Sahagún and El Burgo Ranero. Scenery is getting drier and drier but the beauty of the places you are passing through will make you forget it as soon as you get to the end of every stage. Distance: 140 km.

Days 22 - 28

Keep on to Mansilla de las mulas, León, Villadangos del Páramo, Hospital de Órbigo, Astorga, Rabanal del Camino and Ponferrada. This week you are visiting León among many other towns. This small and full of history city holds which is said the most beautiful cathedral in northern Spain. Don´t miss the windows inside it that when the sun comes in fills the place with different colours. Distance: 136 km.

Days 29 - 35

Go to Villafranca del Bierzo, Ambasmestas, O cebreiro, Triacastela, Sarria, Portomarín and Palas de Rei. We are back again in greener sceneries and entering Galicia where the “Camino” ends. Encourage yourself as Santiago is waiting for you. Distance: 134 km.

Days 36 - 39

Melide, Arzúa, O Pedrouzo, Santiago de Compostela. It is time to fulfil the age-old rituals of touching the columns on the “Pórtico de la Gloria”, knocking our head against the statue of master-craftsman Mateo, and embracing the bust of St. James, over the altar. Now the pilgrimage will definitely have been worthwhile. Although you will be happy because you got to the end you will fell grieved as well. Distance: 67 km.

5 or 6 walking days

The most popular stretch is the one starting at Sarria and ending in Santiago. It is around 110 km., distance enough to get the "Compostela" or "diploma" at the end of the route. It can be walked in 5 or 6 days (most of the people walks it in 6 days). Many pilgrims, when they get to Santiago, they stay for one more day to visit the wonderful town they are in. Some others stay a little longer and they also visit Finisterre (see the other routes in this webpage to find out more about it). If you want to know stages and prices for this route see our offers section and contact us to get a FREE personalized proposal.

Northern Camino

This one started to be used by pilgrims to avoid going into Muslims area in the medium Age. Scenery is stunning as most of the route is along the coast. Getting to Oviedo you can follow the French route or keep on through the northern route. It begins in Hondarribia and goes through the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and finally Galicia.Walking: This route has 39 stages. As not many people has 39 spare days they normally divide in 7 or 10 days tours and come back as many times as they need to finish it all. Another possibility is choosing your start point depending on the days you want to come and on the final stage (usually Santiago).Cycling: The Northern route is 784,4 km. No stages have been planned as it should be done based on your rhythm, resistance and physical condition. However we recommend you to make an average of 50 km. a day so you can visit the many places and monuments there are to see. It will take you around 14 days if so. You can also make a shorter route and take some days to recover and enjoy the places you are visiting. Don’t forget to take spare parts for your bike, some food as chocolates or fruits and some water. Please contact us for further info and we will send you a FREE, complete and personalized journey plan.

Map

Days 1 - 7

Our route starts in Hondarribia and goes through San Sebastián, Zarautz, Deba, Markina, Gernika, Bilbao and Portugalete. This week we will pass all through the Basque Country with spectacular views of the coast of Biscay. Distance: 152 km.

Days 8 - 14

Leaving Portugalete os we move to El Haya de Ontón, Castrourdiales, El Pontarrón de Guriezo, Colindres, Güemes, Santander and Santillana del Mar. You are moving to Cantabria where you will walk in the coast and in the valleys of Cantabria. Blue and green will be the colours of the week. Distance: 133 km.

Days 15 - 21

From Santillana del mar to Comillas, San Vicente de la Barquera, Bustio, Piñeres, Leces, La Isla and Sebrayo. This week we move to Asturias and sceneries are still stunning. Don´t forget to try the cider at the end of any stage, which is poured in a traditional way. Distance: 125 km.

Days 22 - 28

Keep on to Gijón, Avilés, Soto de Luiña, Almuña, Piñera, A Caridá and Tol. This week you are visiting Gijón among many other towns and will go to the end of Asturias. Galicia is pretty close. Distance: 171 km.

Days 29 - 35

Go to Ribadeo, Villanova de Lourenzá, Mondoñedo, Gontán (Abadín), Vilalba, Baamonde and Miraz (Friol). We are leaving the coast to get into the province of A Coruña but sceneries are beautiful and green. Distance: 123 km.

Days 36 - 39

Sobrado, Arzúa, O Pedrouzo and Santiago de Compostela are the last stages in this awsome experience that will change your life. It is time to fulfil the age-old rituals of touching the columns on the “Pórtico de la Gloria”, knocking our head against the statue of master-craftsman Mateo, and embracing the bust of St. James, over the altar. Now the pilgrimage will definitely have been worthwhile. Although you will be happy because you got to the end you will fell grieved as well. Distance: 80,4 km.

5 or 6 walking days

Though most of the people wants to get to Santiago and get the "Compostela" or "diploma" that proves you have walked the Camino (you have to walk the last 100 km. or cycle the last 200km.), this route is slightly different as first time pilgrims usually choose the French Camino. When people chooses this one it is not so important to get to Santiago as the whole route is awesome because of the sceneries you pass through walking beside the coast line. It is also true that normally people walks around 6 days and then stay a little longer in northern Spain discovering the area they reach.

Portuguese Camino

This Camino is not as popular as the french or northern Camino but also beautiful and of great importance, as it passes through the place where the disciples of the Apostle disembarked with his body in the year 42 or 44 AD. It is quite unpleasant at the beginning as it crosses several roads and pilgrims must be aware. Later on you will walk though lush forests, vineyards and small charming villages. It starts in Lisbon and passes through Coimbra, with its great UNESCO 13th century university, Oporto, Valença, Tui (entering Galicia) and ends in Santiago de Compostela.Walking: This route has 28 stages. As not many people has 28 spare days they normally divide in 7 or 10 days tours and come back as many times as they need to finish it all. Another possibility is choosing your start point depending on the days you want to come and on the final stage (usually Santiago).Cycling: No stages have been planned as it should be done based on your rhythm, resistance and physical condition. However we recommend you to make an average of 50 km. a day so you can visit the many places and monuments there are to see. It will take you around 12 - 14 days if so. You can also make a shorter route and take some days to recover and enjoy the places you are visiting. Don’t forget to take spare parts for your bike, some food as chocolates or fruits and some water. Please contact us for further info and we will send you a FREE, complete and personalized journey plan.

Map

Days 1 - 7

Our route starts in Lisbon and goes through Santa Iria de Azoia, Vila Franca de Xira, Azambuja, Santarém, Golegã, Tomar and Alvaiázere. This week you will discover the beautiful Lisbon and walk beside the Tejo river. Highlight the Moorish bastion of Santarém. Distance: 160 km.

Days 8 - 14

Leaving Alvaiázere you will move to Ansião, Condeixa a Nova, Coimbra, Mealhada, Agueda, Albergaria a Velha and Sao Joao da madeira. You are heading north west walking through farmlands, woodlands and forests before you get to Coimbra, the old capital of Portugal. After Coimbra you head the atlantic coast. Distance: 141 km.

Days 15 - 21

From Sao Joao da madeira move to Grijó, Porto, Fajozes, Arcos, Barcelos, Ponte de Lima and Rubiães. This week you are about to enter Spain, just in the next stage. From the atlantic coast to the green countryside of this country. Don’t forget to taste the internationally renowned Porto wine. Distance: 136 km.

Days 22 - 28

Keep on to Tui, O Porriño, Redondela, Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis, Padrón and Santiago de Compostela. This week you are entering Spain and great small charming villages with its awesome churches. You will also pass through the place where the disciples of the Apostle Santiago disembarked his body. Distance: 123 km.

5 or 6 walking days

What most of the people do is walking the last 6 stages of this Camino, starting in Tui and ending in Santiago de Compostela. This way they walk around 105 km. and get the "Compostela" or "diploma" that proves you have walked the Camino. Usually people stays one or two more days to visit Santiago and some others also go to Finisterre (see our other routes in this web page to get more info). If you want more information about this route, stages and prices please contact us and we will send you a FREE, complete and personalized proposal.

Extension to Finisterre

Many people when they finish their Camino keep on walking to Finisterre. The route takes 3 or 4 walking days depending on the route they choose. 85 km. in 3 days or 105km. in 4 days. Some others just book a one day excursion to Finisterre and visit it. Finisterre was believed to be the end of the world hundreds of years ago. In the Book III of the Codex Calistinus it says that the disciples of the Apostle tried to bury him in this place but the prefect of Duio didn't allow them. The views are stunning and the sunset cannot be missed in this place. If you want to book the one day excursion or want to walk to Finisterre please contact us and we will send you a FREE, complete and personalized proposal.

Map

Camino Primitivo

One of the shortest routes. Not so well traveled these days. The first known Camino. It is the route that the King Alfonso II "El Casto" took to visit the recently discovered tomb of the Apostle Santiago in the IXth century. It starts in Oviedo and ends in Santiago passing through the middle of Asturias to reach Galicia passing through Lugo and coming together with the French Camino at Melide. It is usually walked in 13 stages with a total distance of 321 km. If you want further info about this route, the stages, prices and so on please contact us to get a FREE, complete and personalized proposal.

Map

Vía de la plata

This is the longest route to Santiago. Though it takes you through some of Spain's most beautiful cities and villages, your travels will take you through some of the most hot and arid and terrain in Spain - hard to do it during the summer time! If you want a real challenge, this is a great route, but it is not recommended if this is your first attempt at the Camino de Santiago. The route splits into two at one point, where you can either join the final stretch of the Camino Frances, passing through Astorga, or following a different route, which takes you through Ourense. They are similar in length, around 1.000km. and walked in 40 stages.

Map

English Camino

The shortest camino, retracing the steps that the English would take. Pilgrims would take a boat from the British Isles to the north-west coast and would walk the final stretch.The English had it easy! Not a very popular route today as most think a five day trek is hardly worth it. However, if you question your own fitness and would like a dress rehearsal for the real thing, this is ideal. You can whether walk Ferrol - Santiago (121km.) making it a REAL Camino or A Coruña - Santiago (75km).

Map

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