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Camino Frances Route Guide

Reach Santiago de Compostela walking the Camino Frances. You will discover the Pyrenees and the Northern Spain, reaching Santiago with other travellers like you.

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Camino Frances itinerary

Beauty abounds along the most popular route, the Camino Frances, a mainstay of pilgrims since the middle ages. Through the awe-inspiring Pyrenees, verdant green hills and Spanish plains, all dotted with charming towns and historic cities, this month-long trip runs the spectrum of what the Camino Santiago has to offer. 

Not only do inspiring landscapes await you but transcendent architecture as well, whether it’s the Romanesque six-arched bridge at Puenta La Reina, Burgos’ stunning UNESCO-designated gothic cathedral or Gaudi’s other-worldly Palacio Episcopal. Tap into your inner gourmand by partaking in the local wine and sangria in Pamplona, sampling Tapas in Logrono and dining on fresh seafood in Galicia.

At 772 km, from the French border town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago, this route can take up to 35 days. And sharing the way with quite a few fellow travellers, some inspired by Paulo Coelho’s The Pilgrimage, makes this is as much a social and cultural journey as it is spiritual.

Camino Frances route planner

  • The location: Camino Frances starts in St. John Pied de Port and concludes in Santiago de Compostela. It runs across Basque country into Galacia for a total of 772 km (480 miles), running through cities like Burgos and Leon.
 
  • Highest point: 4,925 ft (1,501 m)
 
  • Duration: 24 nights / 25 days, 772 km (480 miles)
 
  • Trail conditions: Camino Frances is very well trafficked, maintained and marked. While there are some mountainous areas, the trail is even most of the time. Quite a few towns and settlements dot the way making civilization accessible at almost any point along the way. It can get cold and rainy during the winter.  Poor visibility can also be a problem during the winter.
 
  • Difficulty rating: Moderate
 
  • Trekking requirements: The Camino Frances is one of the busier routes and most non-essentials are available for purchase. Therefore we suggest a 30-40 litre backpack at most, and bringing the bare essentials like a water bottle, first aid kit, toiletries, walking boots, and a couple changes of clothes including layers.

Pilgrim on Camino Frances
Pilgrim on Camino Frances

Camino Frances forum tips

Here some tips about how to walk the Camino Frances:

  1. Summer is very busy on the Camino Frances, on the roads as well as in the albergues which can fill up quickly.
  2. Be prepared for the erratic weather, especially in Galicia, so bring layers.
  3. Be prepared to deal with blisters and deal with them right away. They’re inevitable but manageable.
  4. Take earplugs. Albergues are essentially hostels and this is the best way to guarantee you’ll catch your Z’s.
  5. Pack a headlamp for getting around albergues in the evening.
  6. Albergues typically have laundry facilities, usually for a small fee, so take advantage as often as possible.

What is the distance between Saint-Jean and Pamplona?

There are 65 kilometers (41 miles) between Saint-Jean and Pamplona. This itinerary includes three stages of Camino Frances: 

  1. Saint-Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles (24.2 km / 15 miles) 
  2. Roncesvalles - Zubiri (21.4 km / 13 miles)
  3. Zubiri - Pamplona (20.4 km / 13 miles). 

These three stages are the first three of the Camino Frances and go through France and Spain.

What is the distance between Astorga and Santiago de Compostela?

There are 254 kilometers (158 miles) between Astorga and Santiago de Compostela. This itinerary includes eleven stages of Camino Frances: 

  1. Astorga - Foncebadon (25.8 km / 16 miles) 
  2. Foncebadon - Ponferrada (26.8 km / 17 miles) 
  3. Ponferrada - Villafranca (24.2 km / 15 miles) 
  4. Villafranca - O Cebreiro (27.8 km / 17 miles) 
  5. O Cebreiro - Tricastela (20.8 km / 13 miles) 
  6. Tricastela - Sarria (18.4 km / 11.5 miles)
  7. Sarria - Portomarin (22.2 km / 14 miles)
  8. Portomarin - Palas de Rei (24.8 km / 15 miles)
  9. Palas de Rei - Arzua (28.5 km / 18 miles)
  10. Arzua - Pedrouzo (19.3 km / 12 miles)
  11. Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela (19.4 km / 12 miles)

These eleven stages are the last ones of the Camino Frances.

A bridge on Camino Frances
A bridge on Camino Frances
Symbol on Camino Frances
Symbol on Camino Frances

Stages of Camino Frances

Saint-Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles
24.2 km (15 miles)
Roncesvalles - Zubiri
21.4 km (13 miles)
Zubiri - Pamplona
20.4 km (13 miles)
Pamplona - Puenta de la Reina
23.9 km (15 miles)
Puenta de la Reina - Estella
21.6 km (13 miles)
Estella - Los Arcos
21.3 km (13 miles)
Los Arcos - Logrono
27.6 (17 miles)
Logrono - Najera
26.2 km (16 miles)
Najera - Santo Domingo de La Calzada
20.7 km (13 miles)
Santo Domingo de La Calzada - Belorado
22.0 km (14 miles)
Belorado - San Juan de Ortega
23.9 km (15 miles)
San Juan de Ortega - Burgos
25.8 km (16 miles)
Burgos - Hornillos del Camino
21.0 km (13 miles)
Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz
19.9 km (12 miles)
Castrojeriz - Fromista
24.7 km (15 miles)
Fromista - Carrion de los Condes
18.8 km (12 miles)
Carrion de los Condes - Terradillos de los Templarios
26.3 km (16 miles)
Terradillos de los Templarios - Bercianos del Real Camino
23.2 km (14 miles)
Bercianos del Real Camino - Mansilla de las Mulas
26.3 km (16 miles)
Mansilla de las Mulas - Leon
18.5 km (11.5 miles)
Leon - San Martin del Camino
24.6 km (15 miles)
San Martin del Camino - Astorga
23.7 km (15 miles)
Astorga - Foncebadon
25.8 km (16 miles)
Foncebadon - Ponferrada
26.8 km (17 miles)
Ponferrada - Villafranca
24.2 km (15 miles)
Villafranca - O Cebreiro
27.8 km (17 miles)
O Cebreiro - Tricastela
20.8 km (13 miles)
Tricastela - Sarria
18.4 km (11.5 miles)
Sarria - Portomarin
22.2 km (14 miles)
Portomarin - Palas de Rei
24.8 km (15 miles)
Palas de Rei - Arzua
28.5 km (18 miles)
Arzua - Pedrouzo
19.3 km (12 miles)
Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela
19.4 (12 miles)

Camino Frances weather

Spain in summer can be very warm. In the area where Camino Frances is, the temperature is around 27 °C (80° F) between June and August. The chances of rain are really low (aside from Sarria).

During Fall, temperature changes. The average temperature in September is 23°C (73°F), while in November is 13°C (55°F). In autumn, chances of rain are higher, too (especially in Sarria).  Winter is the cold season: the average temperature is between 9°C (48°F) and 10°C (50°F) and it rains a lot. 

Temperatures get warmer in March, April and May (spring). In March, the average temperature is 13°C (55°F), while in May is 18°C (64°F). The chance of rain is 50% in this season.

JANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC
Average °C10 °C10 °C13 °C14 °C18 °C21 °C26 °C27 °C23 °C17 °C13 °C9 °C
Average °F50 °F50 °F55 °F57 °F64 °F70 °F79 °F81 °F73 °F62 °F55 °F48 °F
Average High °C10 °C11 °C14 °C15 °C21 °C28 °C31 °C31 °C25 °C19 °C17 °C10 °C
Average High °F50 °F52 °F57 °F59 °F70 °F82 °F88 °F88 °F77 °F66 °F63 °F50 °F
Average Low °C2 °C2 °C3 °C4 °C7 °C10 °C12 °C11 °C12 °C7 °C4 °C3 °C
Average Low °F36 °F36 °F37 °F39 °F45 °F50 °F54 °F52 °F54 °F45 °F39 °F37 °F
Rainfall >1 mm days13 days12 days11 days12 days11 days3 days2 days2 days7 days12 days13 days13 days

Camino Frances tours & reviews

Camino de Santiago Information

  • How can I get to Camino de Santiago?

    This, of course, depends on the route you’re taking. Flying to the city closest to the trailhead is certainly preferable if you’re coming in from Australia, USA and the UK. However, UK travellers may travel by bus or rail to the towns of Ferrol, Oviedo and St. Jean Pied de Port. Learn more.
  • When should I walk the Camino de Santiago?

    The absence of extreme weather changes in the area makes Camino de Santiago’s routes walkable year-round. Though June through September may be its busiest months, more than one thousand people still make the hike during the cold winter months of December, January and February. Learn more.
  • What permits, visas, vaccinations and insurance do I need?

    Though a permit isn’t necessary, you must obtain your Credencial del Peregrino or Pilgrim Passport at the start of your trip and get it stamped along the way. The stamps are proof that you walked the 100 kms necessary to obtain the completion certificate in Santiago de Compostela. Learn more.
  • Do I need a guide to walk?

    While you don’t need a guide to hike any of the Camino de Santiago routes, having one will reduce the burden of planning. Going on a guided hike would give you the benefits of having experienced trip planners arrange things like accommodation, food, luggage transport and airport transfers. Learn more.
  • What should I pack and what equipment do I need?

    Along the way, you'll be able to stop in towns to refuel. Carrying a day pack of your personal essentials, change of clothes, a two-litre water bottle, a first aid kit, and your passport and Pilgrim Passport will suffice. Invest in a good pair of hiking shoes and walking poles. Learn more.
  • How do I prepare for Camino de Santiago?

    Do your research to choose the best route for your skill level and study the rules and etiquette on the trail. Purchase and read a guidebook for your chosen route. Finally, train for several months prior and push yourself to hike farther every day until you’re fit to do 26- to 29-kilometre days. Learn more.

Camino de Santiago Routes & Maps

  • Camino Portugues

    The Portuguese Way, the second most popular route, starts in either Lisbon or Porto and takes hikers from Portugal to Spain. Considerably longer, the Lisbon hike starts at the Lisbon Cathedral and passes through Caldas da Rainha, the Alcobaca Monastery and Porto before crossing several rivers on its way north to Spain.

    Distance: 610 km (380 mi)
    Average duration: 21-30 days 
    Average difficulty/success rate: The Portuguese Way is relatively moderate. Minor elevation gains work to your advantage, though concrete and cobblestone roads, which it has its fair share of, can put a strain on the walk. The success rate is high.
     
    Read more
  • Camino Primitivo

    A few ups and downs, rocky or muddy sections and the frequency of the paved roads make Camino Primitivo one of Camino de Santiago’s most challenging routes. It is, however, worth tackling, if only for the challenge and for the fact that it’s the oldest one. You will be rewarded with breathtaking views.

    Distance: 321 km (199 mi)
    Average duration: 12-15 days
    Average difficulty/success rate: Camino Primitivo has its fair share of challenging climbs and descents as well as paved sections, making it a difficult route. Still, if you take your time, the success rate is high.
     
    Read more
  • Camino de Finisterre

    Once you’ve reached Camino de Santiago, you might continue on to the “end of the world”. Cape Finisterrae is one of Europe’s westernmost points, thus the name. Adding 90 kilometres to the trip along an ancient route, perhaps even another 29 to Muxia, might just be an epic way to wrap up the journey.

    Distance: 90 km (55 mi), 117 km (73 mi) to Muxia
    Average duration: 2-4 days
    Average difficulty/success rate: Because it’s a shorter hike and offers spectacular views, the road to Finisterrae is a moderate route to take on. The success rate is certainly high, even if fewer people traverse it, choosing to end their trip at the cathedral.
     
    Read more
  • Camino Frances

    Is it a wonder why the French Way is favoured by most Camino de Santiago pilgrims? It’s not just the most traditional route, with a lot of history surrounding it. It also boasts lush landscapes, charming towns and great infrastructure along the way, taking travellers through the beautiful Iberian Peninsula for a month. 

    Distance: 772 km (480 mi)
    Average duration: 4 weeks
    Average difficulty/success rate: Due to the excellent infrastructure and facilities along the way, not only is Camino Frances an enjoyable hike, it’s also a fairly moderate hike. So long as you take a couple of days to rest along the way, you are guaranteed to make it to the end.
    Read more
  • Camino del Norte

    For 827 kilometres, Camino del Norte stretches from the town of Irun in Basque Country to Santiago de Compostela, following Spain’s northern coastline. It’s not only the longest route in the network, it is also the least travelled and has fewer facilities, making it ideal for thru-hikers who prefer solitude and a challenge.

    Distance: 827 km (514 mi)
    Average duration: 36 nights
    Average difficulty/success rate: A little more than a month and a more rigid schedule could be challenging for less experienced hikers. The success rate is generally good, so long as you train beforehand and can tackle more than 21 miles a day.
  • Camino Inglés

    A favourite among hikers arriving from the British Isles and northern Europe, the English Way starts from the City of Ferrol and runs straight south to Camino de Santiago. Though short, it does boast longer sections and major elevation changes, making it a challenge for the more casual walkers.

    Distance: 119 km (74 mi)
    Average duration: 6 nights
    Average difficulty/success rate: This ranks as medium to high in difficulty, though chances of completing are very good because of its short distance.
     
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