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
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Trail community is great! Some areas could use some trail maintenance and can be busy. Still, an amazing and addictive experience.

I walked the Camino Frances in the fall of 2015, taking seven weeks. I plan to do it again in the spring of 2019. There were good days and some not-so-good days but every day had good parts to look back on.

This trail ended up being day 4, 5, and 6. It was absolutely a long and daunting hike. We had such a wonderful time together. I might be losing a toenail but it will be fine. I'm beside myself with how much training I did for this hike and put almost 60 something miles into breaking in a new pair of boots and still had a foot issue. if you decide to walk the Camino I highly recommend doing four to six mile day hikes to prepare yourself.

This is our third day on the Camino and I was under the impression it would be very hard to to the elevation. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it wasn't as bad as I thought, yesterday was much harder. The hotel we are staying at tonight has an in-house masseuse. my wife and I are getting 15 minute lower body massages.

Did this in 2014. It changed my life and continues to do so. Would recommend anyone to do this trek alone in its entirely. It's gifts are endless and keep on giving for years after.

Today is our second day on the Camino. It is more challenging than yesterday. My feet are killing me. We are excited amd having a blast

Today is our first day on the Camino and is also the longest hike I've ever done. It was very challenging just because of the distance. My feet are killing me but the hotel we're staying at has a foot massage chair and worth the 2 Euros. We were invited by our sweet friends to the Camino as a marriage retreat. we are excited to see how far we can push ourselves physically and mentally.

Really easy and nice walk through oak forest. And partly along a quite road

Started in Roncesvalles, stopped in Bizkarreta-Gerendiain for lunch and made it to Zubiri. Pretty easy hike but you need endurance. Some elevation gains. The downhill portion at the end was a little tricky with the uneven footing (like walking on rails). Took about 6.5 hours in total with the stops. Completed today in mid-October, so the weather was absolutely gorgeous (45 F at start to 65 F at finish). Lots of shade provided and sweet views of cattle, sheep, horses, mountains and towns. A bunch of towns available for the first 8 miles if you need to rest.

The Camino is the hardest and best thing I have ever done.

I will never forget my camino, as it teaches you so many lessons. I loved how brutally honest it was... I knew I would be tested as soon as I left St. Jean Pied de Port, to climb my way up the Pyrenees Mountains. I knew it would not be physically easy, but that gave me a challenge to which I was dedicated. I was pretty confident physically, but mentally or spiritually is where I really needed the camino. Walking for that long gives you a lot of time to think about who you are and what you really want, but my pilgrimage is still not over even after I reached Santiago. I still need to walk, wander, and learn, but if there is any advice I can give you it is to always remember it is your choice whether or not to take the next step. (June 11 2018- July 5th 2018)

Books are written on this 1000 year old trail in Spain and Europe. Borrow a guide. Not wilderness, but a life pilgrimage.

Awesome experience, we did the last 100 + Km from Sarria

hiking
2 months ago

Worth every challenge along The Way. Highly recommended for anyone who’s eager to get in touch with oneself, friends you just haven’t met before and beautiful scenery in North Spain.

Trip of a lifetime.

backpacking
2 months ago

2017. End of June - July. Walked the camino with daughter. It was wonderful! Strenuous, hot, foggy, rain, perfect weather. Will do again!

Such an amazing experience! Great way to begin long distance hiking.

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!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

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
Sunday, October 29, 2017

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

hiking
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Best thing I have ever done for myself.

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