Explore Camino de Santiago Frances - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the "Pilgrimage of Compostela" or the Way of Saint James is a network of pilgrims' paths travelled as a pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where legend has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups. The French Way (Camino Francés) and the Routes of Northern Spain are the courses which are listed in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

Camino de Santiago Frances Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Wonderful part of the Camino, true to the rating of moderate

A life changing religious and spiritual experience!

Life changing trek.

An outstanding one of a lifetime experience, we will do it again, so much emotions, met so many folks, fortunately we had a mini version of “The Way.” Amazing!!!..

The hills and rocks and heat in summer are all much more challenging than you might expect. The Camino Frances is also one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.

A life experience.

It’s been 2 years since we walked the Camino, and flash backs to the joy we experienced always pops into our heads. My how you enjoy experiences so much more when 3 out of 4 in our group would never have 40 years ago been around at our ages 67,68,&70 if it were not for those dedicated, skillful and confident medical doctors we have today. Thanks to all.

I, together with my grandson, hiked the Camino from St. Jean, France to Santiago in the Spring of 2016. His ability to converse in Spanish was very helpful, as we made numerous friends with Spanish hikers who did not speak English. For many, myself included, the walk carried rich religious connotations. Pilgrims have been walking the Camino by the hundreds of thousands for well over a thousand years, and numbers are only now approaching what they were in earlier centuries.

I have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, and this is an entirely different experience, being culturally oriented rather than nature oriented. Also, no need for a tent, sleeping gear other than a sleeping bag liner, or cooking gear. Once you obtain your Pilgrim's Passport, you can stay cheaply at numerous hostels (albergues) and purchase pilgrim meals. Many hikers who lack the five weeks needed, section hike the Camino over several years. This is easy to do, as the trail bisects numerous towns with public transit, and small villages have taxi service.

Suggestions:
- learn some simple Spanish phrases, like "where is the bathroom?"
- attend a meeting of Friends of the Camino if there is a chapter nearby.
- smaller the pack the better, as one tends to fill whatever size one uses. A full pack should not exceed 10 percent of body weight.
- get John Brierley's guide book, "A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago".

Buen Camino!

I just got home and I am stilling feeling a Camino glow! I loved the variety of terrain, walking in morning darkness, meeting kind people, viewing history on the spot, and the easy to follow trail. While it did not involve tent camping, I did carry a backpack with a sleeping bag, clothes and supplies and hiked for an average of 15 miles a day. As the terrain changed from mountains to mesas to forest we experienced hot days in the sun to cold rain while walking through clouds. I feel that this trail offers great opportunities for inner reflection as well as a practice step towards longer through hikes. Spain is beautiful and the Camino Frances is a great way to get introduced to this country.
I found the frequent coffee bars made it easy to hike without lugging a lot of food and water. The albergues (dorm-like hostels for pilgrims on the Camino) were easy to find and assured a place to shower and sleep each night. There are laundry sinks and clothes lines available at most hostel stops, some even have washers and dryers.
Medieval towns and villages dot the Camino map, where beautiful countryside is populated by cows, horses, and sheep which make an enchanted backdrop for this point-to-point hike.
Some walk days are long, flat, and hot while others (the Pyrenees Mountains, Rabanal, and O’Cebreiro) were steep and sometimes had long, rocky descents.
I loved this walk and will return...or try one of the other many Caminos there are in Europe...all leading to Santiago de Compostela.

backpacking
8 months ago

Cried, laughed, prayed! Hands down...favorite part of my life. Hard as hell but would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Bien Camino

Best thing I have ever done for myself.

Best and favorite experience of my entire life.

I recorded each day, so take a peek at my recordings if you're interested in seeing the daily routes. If a day is missing, it's because I didn't walk that day (I was sick for 75% of my walk, so had to take a couple days off!). Buen Camino!

It's unforgettable

Load More