Camino Frances (Camino de Santiago)

  • Galician Mountains in the Distance, Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Fresco Tours
  • Pigeon Loft, Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Fresco Tours
  • Outside Pamplona, Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Baltasar G S
  • Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Fresco Tours
  • Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Fresco Tours
  • Camino Frances - © By Flickr user CompostelaVirtual
  • Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Freecat
  • Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Fresco Tours
  • Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Jule_Berlin
  • Camino Frances Route Marker and Rest Stop - © By Flickr user Fresco Tours
  • Camino Frances, Leon - © By Flickr user CompostelaVirtual
  • Canal, Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Jule_Berlin
  • Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Juanpol
  • Puenta de la Reina - © By Flickr user Aherrero

Key information: Camino Frances (Camino de Santiago)

  • The best known and most populous of the routes across northern Spain leading to the Catholic pilgrimage site at Santiago de Compostela. The French route, which is fed at the Pyrennees by the paths that lead in across France and Switzerland.
  • 780km trek of spiritual significance back to prehistory passes through the Roja, Burgos, and Leon before crossing the mountains to Santiago.
  • Stay in villages and towns along the way. Examine a plethora of cultural gems.
  • End up in the great pilgrim city of Santiago deeply spiritual for some, moving and thought-provoking for all.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating92
  • Beauty31
  • Natural interest15
  • Human interest16
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points2
  • Total rating92
  • Note: Neg: crowded

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 1 month - 1 day
  • Maximum Altitude: n/a
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
Camino Frances - © By Flickr user Juanpol


The Camino Frances is the most commonly-walked of the Santiago trails, and the one most people would mean when referring to the Camino de Santiago.

The route originally most popular with Medieval (and earlier it was a Roman trade route and important, also, to the pagan religions whose scallop shell fertility symbol remains the symbol of the walk today) pilgrims passing through France (including those coming from Germany, Switzerland and the Low Countries), its start-point is, officially, at St Jean Pied-du-Port on the French side of the border, or Roncesvalles on the Spanish.

This is a walk of some 780km though pilgrims are, in fact, only required to complete the last 100km on foot which passes through the hills of the Basque, on down to Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, the hot flat plain of the meseta the towns of the Rioja, Astorga and the Galician hills. This route generally presents no problems in terms of difficulty; the main challenge is simply its length.

Allow a month to walk its length, and tack on time for rest stops and cultural sightseeing; the routes spiritual importance, and its importance in the political development of Europe the protection of pilgrims on this road was one of the primary drivers behind the expulsion of the Moors from northern Spain have left it scattered, even outside the great cities, with architectural and archaeological gems that validate leisurely exploration. For a suggested itinerary, try here


See Route below for extensive further information.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.


We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Outside Pamplona, Camino Frances - ©By Flickr user Baltasar G S

share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Camino Frances - ©By Flickr user Fresco Tours...

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