Scenery on the Camino Francés
Camino de Santiago

The Camino Francés walking stages – detailed itinerary

The Camino Francés is the most popular route of the Camino de Santiago network walked by thousands of pilgrims every year. The route starts in a small French town of St.Jean Pied de Port and goes across Spain to Santiago de Compostela. In this post, you’ll find a detailed day by day itinerary for the Camino Francés.

We have another post A detailed guide to the Camino Francés that contains detailed budget breakdown, tips, transport options to St.Jean Pied de Port etc. It might be helpful in your planning.

St.Jean Pied de Port

It’s a very lovely town where everything is about the Camino de Santiago. France is noticeably more expensive than Spain don’t worry if everything costs more than you expected once you’re out of France prices on the Camino Francés go to normal.

There are many places to stay in St.Jean including one municipal albergue that gets full quick in the season if you arrive after lunchtime your chances of getting a bed there are quite small.

Accommodation in St.Jean Pied de Port

Booking accommodation on the Camino. In the beginning, I didn’t book anything because I walk fast I always arrived early enough to get a bed but after a couple of weeks, I was pretty tired of this bed chase I started booking places. Remember, municipal albergues can’t be booked. Booking over the phone was complicated (though I speak Spanish fluently). You have to phone first to book, then a day before your booking phone again to confirm, they usually hold the booking till 3pm so if you’re arriving after 3pm you have to phone again that day to say you’re still coming. I ended up booking places through booking.com (if I could find anything suitable there) it was quick and easy. In this post, you can find links to the most accommodations on the Camino Francés that can be booked online.

French Way of St.James

  • Total distance – 770km
  • Number of days required – 30-33 days
  • Average cost – 30 Euro per person per day
  • Accommodation – albergues, hotels, guesthouses

Day 1. St.Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles

  • Distance – 25km
  • Time – 5h30min.*
  • Walking on asphalt – 14km
  • Walking on the road – 3km over the pass, a very quiet road, there were one or two cars
  • Ascent – 1400m
  • Descent – 650m
  • Difficulty level – 5 out of 5

*walking time only. I walk fast, I’d suggest adding 1-2 hours to my times.

Camino Frances stage 1 St.Jean to Roncesvalles
Elevation profile of day 1 on the Camino Francés. Stage from St.Jean to Roncesvalles

It’s a very tough walk especially considering that for the majority of people it’s their first day on the Camino. I’d strongly recommend for inexperienced walkers to book a bed in Albergue D’Ornisson which is about 8km from Roncesvalles. This way you can split the first day into two and walk half of the ascent on the first day and the rest of it and the descent on the second day. Unfortunately, Albergue D’Ornisson is the only place to stop and it’s not very big definitely book your bed in advance. There are a couple of places before it about 4-5km from Roncesvalles.

I’d strongly recommend starting walking early especially in summer, to finish ascent before it gets too hot and to get a bed in the Colegiata (albergue) in Roncesvalles. There are 200 beds here but there are always people who don’t get a spot. For this reason, it’s better to book this place in advance, you can do it via e-mail, there are 70 beds (every day) available for booking.

As I said the walk was challenging, the ascent starts right from St.Jean and finishes at 21km, the last 4km it’s a steep descent to Roncesvalles. There were a couple of places to refill water on the way and one food stall at about halfway. 

 Highlights

  • Stunning scenery; mountains, green hills, lookouts, patches of the forest if it wasn’t for the steep climb it would be a very pleasant walking day.
  • Albergue Colegiata in Roncesvalles a big and impressive old building.
  • Beautiful service at the church of the Colegiata at 6pm. 
Green mountains, gravel path and clouds - walking over the pass on the Camino Frances
The scenery on the way over Roncesvalles pass, the French Way of St.James

Challenges

  • A very long and sometimes quite steep ascent, 1400m over 21km
  • A very steep descent, 650m over 4km
Camino Francés stage 1. Stops between St.Jean to Roncesvalles
Stops on the way from St.Jean to Roncesvalles.

Accommodation on the Camino

Albergue La Colegiata

Despite its size (200 beds), the albergue is nice and comfortable. There are three big rooms with 70 beds each, every room has many cubicles with four beds and four lockers. The beds are big and comfortable, the facilities are good, everything is quite new and well placed. The rules here are strict, the lights go off at 10pm, after that time pilgrims are not allowed to be anywhere but in their beds. Albergue opens at 2pm but we could check-in at 12pm and had just to wait till 2pm to get inside. and Price 12€

Facilities of the pilgrims' albergue in Roncesvalles, Camino Frances
Facilities of the Albergue de peregrinos de Roncesvalles (La Colegiata)

Day 2. Roncesvalles to Zubiri

  • Distance – 22km
  • Time – 4h20min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 8km
  • Walking on the road – 500m
  • Ascent – 443m
  • Descent – 871m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Elevation profile of the stage 2 of the Camino Frances
Elevation profile stage 2. Roncesvalles – Zubiri.

We were woken up at 6am, the lights went on and the Gregorian Choir music started playing. Everything in the town was closed, no place to stop for coffee or breakfast we had to start walking in the dark, a headlamp here will be very useful. Today’s walk is much easier than the day before but still not very flat with many uphills and downhills. 

Some people keep walking past Zubiri to the next place about 5km away for me 22km was a good distance I felt that I needed some rest after the previous intense day. I decided to stop here despite arriving very early at 11.30. I found a nice private room with bathroom and wi-fi they let me check-in at 11.30 I was very happy to have the whole day to rest.

In case you decide to walk on some guide books and websites say there is a small albergue 4km from Zubiri Albergue Espeleku, in fact, this place doesn’t exist anymore, they turned the albergue to a holiday house. The next place to stop after Zubiri is Urdániz (5km) or Llarasona (6km) away. 

Highlights

  • Burgette a small town with a nice church
  • Espinal another small charming town; old houses, flowers, a church etc.  
  • Zubiri – a very peaceful place with the Medieval Bridge, a small square, and a couple of small streets. 

Challenges

  • Many short ascents but nothing compared to the previous day
  • A steep and quite long rocky descent just before Zubiri
Places to stop on the day 2, walk from Roncevalles to Zubiri
Stops on the route from Roncevalles to Zubiri

Accommodation on the Camino

The municipal albergue in Zubiri was closed (September 2019), many people couldn’t get a place to sleep in the town, as a result, they had to keep walking and some of them walked 10km extra before they could find anything available. Zubiri is a very small place if you walk in peak season make a reservation here. I stayed in a private room with attached bathroom at Pensión Amets, it is a nice, very quiet and clean.

Day 3. Zubiri to Pamplona

  • Distance – 22km
  • Time – 4h
  • Walking on asphalt – 11km
  • Walking on the road – 1,5km
  • Ascent – 405m
  • Descent – 491m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Elevation profile of stage 2
Elevation profile stage 3. Zubiri to Pamplona

It was the easiest day out of three with many small ups and downs in the beginning but in general nothing challenging. My main problem was finding an open place to have coffee or breakfast, the first one I got was at 9km.

Many pilgrims continue walking on past Pamplona I was thinking about doing it as well but when I arrived in the city I really liked it and decided rather stay here. I arrived early, get a bed in the municipal albergue and the rest of the day just walked around the city and ate a lot of pintxos. 

Highlights

  • The Historical center of Pamplona is truly beautiful; the Cathedral, the Citadel of Pamplona, Museum of Navarra, Plaza del Castillo and so on. 
  • Eating pintxos and drinking local wine is a must here, there are many inviting bars in the center.
The historical center of Pamplona, French Camino de Santiago
Beautiful Historical center of Pamplona, a nice stop on the Camino Frances

Challenges

  • Many hills mostly at the beginning of the day
Where to stop on the way from Zubiri to Pamplona
Stops on the route from Zubiri to Pamplona

Accommodation on the Camino

Municipal albergue Jesús y María

Another massive albergue on the Camino Francés, 112 beds. There are three halls with bunk beds on the ground floor and a big room on the top floor. The place is neat and clean but when there are that many people there is always a queue to showers, washing machines or toilets. They sell Credentials at the reception. The albergue opens at 12pm. Price 9€.

Facilities of the pilgrim's albergue in Pamplona
Facilities of the Albergue de peregrinos de Pamplona

Day 4. Pamplona – Puente La Reina

  • Distance – 24km
  • Time – 4h40min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 13km
  • Walking on the road – 500m
  • Ascent – 477m
  • Descent – 567m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Profile of ascents and descents on the Camino Frances, day 4
Elevation profile stage 4. Pamplona to Puente la Reina

The day went quite quick probably because I was woken up at 5am and started walking before 6, as a result, I arrived at Puente la Reina before 11am which wasn’t bad because the town is very pretty. Most of the day the Camino goes through wheat and sunflower fields I believe in summer it looks really beautiful but in September it was just bare land with dried sunflowers. 

Highlights

El Alto del Perdón the famous sculpture group representing pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago. It’s probably one of the most famous photo spots on the French Camino.

A couple of nice towns with beautiful churches on the way.

Puente de la Reina and its atmospherical Church of Santiago which is definitely a must-see here. It’s probably one of my favorite cathedrals on the Camino Francés. There are more sights to see in the town; the Old Bridge, Plaza de Mena, a couple of other churches built in the Middle Ages. Walking along Calle Mayor (Main Street), pay attention to the wooden gates, they are used to cut off the streets for the bull run during the festival.  

Monument to pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, Alto del Perdon, Camino Frances
Probably the most famous monument on the Camino Francés and definitely the most photographed one.

Challenges

  • A long ascent to the Alto del Perdón with a subsequent steep and rocky descents
  • No shade to hide, in summer it’s better to start walking earlier.
Food and accommodation on the stage 4 of the Camino
Stops on the way from Pamplona to Puente la Reina. Stage 4 of the Camino Frances

Accommodation on the Camino

Municipal albergue Padres Reparadores

The cheapest albergue on the Camino Frances so far. The place is nice with good facilities, clean, a big garden, friendly hosts, just outside the center, about 5min. walk. Opens at 12pm. Price 5€.

Municipal albergue Padres Reparadores, facilities
Facilities of the Municipal albergue in Puente la Reina

Day 5. Puente La Reina to Estella

  • Distance – 21,5km
  • Time – 4 hours
  • Walking on asphalt – 4,5km
  • Walking on the road – 500m
  • Ascent – 483m
  • Descent – 437m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Camino Frances elevation profile stage 5
Elevation profile Camino Francés stage 5. Puente la Reina to Estella

It was a very quiet day with not many people on the way, mostly walking through the fields and hills, past a couple of villages.

Highlights

The Historical center of Estella; the church of Santo Sepulcro, the Convent of Santo Domingo, the Carcel Bridge, Plaza de los Fueros with the street market where you can buy some local specialties like cheese, chorizo, etc. Don’t be lazy the town is beautiful it’s worth spending some time exploring it, go to the square drink a glass of wine, eat a couple of tapas.

Challenges

  • Some slight ascents and descents but in general an easy walking day.
Places to stop during stage 5 of the French Way of St.James
Stops on the Camino Frances between Puente la Reina and Estella, stage 5

Accommodation on the Camino

Municipal albergue de Estella

A nice and big albergue with good facilities, located close to the center, on the Camino route. A big albergue with good facilities, a nice garden, very social. Opens at 12pm (off-season opens at 2pm). Price 6€.

Pilgrims' albergue of Estella, facilities
Facilities of the municipal albergue of Estella

Day 6. Estella to Los Arcos

  • Distance – 22km
  • Time – 4h16min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 5km
  • Walking on the road – 0km
  • Ascent – 435m
  • Descent – 414m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 3
ELevation profile stage 6 of the Camino Frances
Elevation profile French Way, stage 6 Estella to Los Arcos

Leaving early today was quite a drawback because famous wine fountains are just a couple of kilometers outside Estella I arrived there still in the dark I managed not to miss the fountain (like some people who I met on the way that day) but to be honest drinking wine at 7am it’s not a great idea, especially considering that you still have about 20km to go. I did have a sip of it.

Highlights

  • Wine fountain (tap) at about 3km from Estella at Bodegas Irache; one tap is with wine and another one with water.
  • Rolling fields of wheat and vineyards. I walked the Camino Francés in September just before the harvest there was so much grape everywhere it was truly beautiful. 

Challenges

  • Nothing in particular just slight ups and downs all the way
Stops on the way from Estella to Los Arcos, Camino, stage 6
Stage 6 of the Camino Frances, stops on the route between Estella and Los Arcos

Accommodation on the Camino

Municipal albergue Isaac Santiago

I stayed in a private room at Pensión Mavi I did it at least once a week if I could find a good private place. It’s just so nice to be the only person in the room and to have your own bathroom. I had a quick look at the municipal albergue, it looked fine but I’d say a bit overcrowded and dilapidated. It opens at 12pm. Price 6€.

Municipal albergue Isaac Santiago, Los Arcos, facilities
Facilities of the municipal albergue Isaac Santiago in Los Arcos

Day 7. Los Arcos to Logroño

  • Distance – 28km
  • Time – 5h
  • Walking on asphalt – 11km
  • Walking on the road – 2km
  • Ascent – 488m
  • Descent – 553
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Elevation profile walk from Los Arcos to Logroño, French Way of St.James
Elevation profile Camino Frances, stage 7, Los Arcos to Logroño

The entire day was through the fields and over the hills with many short but sometimes steep ascents and descents. 

Logroño is a big city and usually finding accommodation in big places is easy but if you arrive here on the weekend and don’t want to stay in the municipal albergue I’d recommend booking a place. Logroño is a very popular place for Spanish people from all over the area to come for the weekend to celebrate Birthdays, weddings, bachelor parties, etc. It’s a very nice vibe in the city but it gets crazy busy.

Some people prefer to stop in Viana which is 18km first because it’s a shorter walk and second because Viana is a smaller town. Considering that the next day I felt a bit tired and walked only 12km to Navarrete I could have stopped in Viana and instead of having 28km and 12km days I’d had 18km and 22km.

Highlights

Olive tree plantations and vineyards – picturesque scenery and very sweet grapes.

Viana – a beautiful town with a beautiful cathedral, cobblestone streets, many restaurants, a good place to stop for lunch.

Just before Logroño, the Camino enters La Rioja the wine country of Spain and its smallest region.

The historical center of Logroño; the Cathedral, several churches, Calle de San Juan (San Juan street) with hundreds of pintxo bars. I tried some delicious pintxos here. Logroño is famous for its pintxos I’d recommend skipping dinner and going out for pintxos and wine.

Vineyards, La Rioja, Camino Francés
Grape harvest in Rioja. Walking the Camino Francés in September

Challenges

  • Long walking day, the longest on this Camino so far.
  • Many ascents and descents in the first half of the day
  • Last 5km of walking on asphalt which is always tough on your feet especially after walking more than 20km.
Stops on the Camino, Los Arcos - Logroño, stage 7, Camino Francés
Stops on the way from Los Arcos to Logroño, stage 7

Accommodation on the Camino

Hostel Entresueños

The municipal albergue was still closed when I arrived in Logroño but there was already a long queue of pilgrims, I didn’t feel like waiting and went to a private albergue instead. I stayed at Hostel Entresueños, it’s a nice and clean place, with a great location, next to the cathedral, the facilities are good. They have private rooms as well but it was fully booked I got a dorm bed.

As for the Municipal albergue, it’s quite big, there are many beds, the facilities are good, it’s located in the center, on the Camino. Opens at 1pm (at 3pm in winter). Price 7€.

Municipal albergue of logroño facilities
Facilities of the municipal albergue in Logroño

Day 8. Logroño – Navarrete

  • Distance – 12km
  • Time – 2h30min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 8,5km
  • Walking on the road – 300m
  • Ascent – 194m
  • Descent – 90m
  • Difficulty level – 1 out of 5
Camino Frances stage 8, elevation profile
Elevation profile stage 8 Logroño to Navarrete

I decided to take “a day off” so I walked to the next town and checked into a hotel. Not sure if it was wine and pintxos from the previous night or I just was a bit tired after one week of walking but I felt like I needed some rest.  I must admit it was the right decision. If you have time, I recommend having a short walking day every once in a while and if you can afford to stay in private just to chill out a bit.

The Camino goes through Logroño for about 3km after that it turns into the fields there are many water taps along the route but no places to stop for coffee or breakfast (everything in the city was closed at 7am). Navarrete was the first place to stop for breakfast.

Highlights

  • Navarrete a small quiet town I really enjoyed staying here after bustling Logroño, it’s a perfect stop for a relaxing day on the Camino.

Challenges

  • Quite a bit of walking on asphalt.
  • Not many places to stop for breakfast.

Accommodation in Navarrete

| Municipal albergue | Albergue El Cántaro | Hostal A La Sombra Del Laurel | Posada Ignatius | Hotel San Camilo |

I stayed in a private room again just because I finished very early and didn’t feel like sitting outside and waiting for the municipal albergue to open. I was lucky to get the last private room at Hostal Villa de Navarrete, a very nice place, right in the Camino, close to the supermarket and restaurants, clean and comfortable.

As for the municipal albergue, it looked modern and neat, it’s not very big, there are 6-8 beds in every room. Opens at 1.30pm. Price 7€.

Municipal albergue of Navarrete facilities
Facilities of the municipal albergue of Navarrete

Day 9. Navarrete to Azafra

  • Distance – 23km
  • Time – 4h
  • Walking on asphalt – 7,5km
  • Walking on the road – 500m
  • Ascent – 354m
  • Descent – 316m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Elevation profile stage 9 Camino Frances
Elevation profile stage 9 Navarrete to Ventosa

The next couple of days the Camino goes through La Rioja the main wine region of Spain. It’s a very pleasant area for walking; vineyards, farms, green hills etc.

Highlights

  • Walking through vineyards most of the day, there are some wineries on the way that probably do wine tasting but everything was still closed when I walked there in the morning
  • Nájera a beautiful town; cobblestone streets, the Cathedral, the old bridge etc.

Challenges

  • A couple of slight ascents and descents
Stops on the route between Navarrete and Ventosa, French Camino de Santiago
Places to stop between Navarrete and Ventosa, stage 9 of the Camino Francés

Accommodation on the way

Municipal albergue of Azofra

The town itself is not too impressive compared to Navarrete or Nájera but the albergue is quite nice, there are many small rooms with two beds each you have more privacy here. This albergue accepts bookings and backpacks delivery. Opens at 12.30pm. Price 10€. Phone for booking +34 941 379 325

Municipal albergue of Azofra facilities
Facilities of the municipal albergue of Azofra

Day 10. Azofra to Grañon

  • Distance – 22km
  • Time – 4h
  • Walking on asphalt – 5,5km
  • Walking on the road – 0km
  • Ascent – 400m
  • Descent – 234m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Elevation profile stage 10 of the Camino Francés
Elevation profile stage 10 Azofra to Grañon

It was the first rainy and cold day on the Camino due to that I didn’t enjoy it that much. The first place to stop is a strange town of Cirueña. It looks like a ghost town despite most of the buildings are new and there is a huge golf estate in the town. Luckily I had breakfast in Azofra because I didn’t feel like stopping here. 

The second half of the walk from Santo Domingo was almost all the way on the gravel path next to the road.

Highlights

  • A couple of kilometers after Grañon the Camino exits La Rija and enters Castile and León.
  • The historical center of Santo Domingo de la Calzada unfortunately many buildings were under renovation.

Challenges

  • A couple of ascents and descents throughout the day.
Stops on the Camino; Azofra to Grañon
Stops on the route between Azofra and Grañon

Accommodation on the way

In Grañon stay anywhere but in La Casa de las Sonrisas. I stayed there and was terribly bitten by bedbugs, it was my worst bedbug experience ever. I read some comments on Camino forums and many people complain about the same. A couple of days later when I stayed in a municipal albergue the hospitalero looked at my bites I asked if by any chance I didn’t stay at La Casa de Las Sonrisas in Grañon which made me think bedbugs in that albergue are permanent residents. 

There is another albergue for donation Albergue parroquial San Juan Bautista but it’s a very basic place, more like an old-times albergue with mattresses on the floor, no wi-fi etc. People say it’s a very interesting experience if you’re up for that. Otherwise, stay at one of the private places.

Day 11. Grañon to Villafranca Montes de Oca

  • Distance – 28km
  • Time – 4h45min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 7km
  • Walking on the road – 0km
  • Ascent – 488m
  • Descent – 234m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Camino Francés elevation profile stage 11
Elevation profile Grañon to Villafranca, stage 11, Camino Francés

It wasn’t the most impressive day on the route, long stretches of walking along the road. Many towns to stop on the way but all are pretty small with one bar and a couple of albergues not much else.

Highlights

  • Sunflower fields though it was September and flowers were dried out but in summer it must look impressive. 

Challenges

  • Monotonous parts of walking along the road.
Stops on the route between Grañon and Villafranca, stage 11
Stops on the Camino between Grañon and Villafranca

Accommodation on the way

Albergue San Antón Abad

The municipal albergue in Villafranca is currently closed, most pilgrims including myself stay at albergue San Antón Abad. It’s a big place with a couple of rooms, some have normal beds (12 Euro), some bunk beds (10 Euro). The facilities are fine but bathrooms and a kitchen could be bigger considering the number of people staying here. The second half of the building is a nice hotel you can get a private room here but it’s significantly more expensive. Opens at 11am. Price 10-12€.

Amenities of the private albergue in Villafranca
Facilities of Albergue San Antón Abad, Villafranca

Day 12. Villafranca Montes de Oca to Cardeñuela Riopico

  • Distance – 24,5km
  • Time – 4h20min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 4,6km
  • Walking on the road – 3km 
  • Ascent – 413m
  • Descent – 456m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Ascents and descents stages 12 Camino Francés
Elevation profile stage 12 from Villafranca to Cardeñuela

I really enjoyed this day the first half was through the forest very nice and quiet. The second half through the fields with many small villages on the way. The first place to stop for coffee or breakfast is 12km after that there will be plenty of places.

Highlights

  • First 13km of walking through the forest
  • A beautiful monastery and church of San Juan de Ortega
  • Nice villages; San Juan de Ortega, Agés, Atapuerta

Challenges

  • 250m ascent right at the exit of Villafranca Montes de Oca. The first 4km of the route is up. 
  • Several smallish ascents and descents throughout the day
Stops on the Camino Frances, stage 12
Stops on the route between Villafranca and Cardeñuela

Accommodation on the Camino

Municipal albergue of Cardeñuela

A very small place, two rooms with 3 bunk beds each, on the second floor of a bar, not many facilities; beds, showers, a table, and a couch. You can get food at the bar. Opens at 12pm. Price 5€.

Municipal albergue of Cardeñuela facilitis
Facilities of the Municipal albergue of Cardeñuela

Day 13. Cardeñuela Riopico to Tardajos

  • Distance – 27,5km (including 2km of walking around Burgos)
  • Time – 5h.
  • Walking on asphalt – 20km
  • Walking on the road – the first 5km if you take the route through Villafría
  • Ascent – 103m
  • Descent – 193m. It was a very flat walk (like everywhere in the Meseta), no elevation profile needed.
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5

I left early in the morning in the dark with an idea to spend some time in Burgos and continue walking to Tardajos. Walking in the dark I missed the split that is about 2,5km from Cardeñuela, just before the airport. The left route goes away from the road, it follows the river almost all the way to the city. The right route continues along the road for 5km and then goes through the industrial area of Burgos. I definitely recommend taking the river route through Castañeres. You can mark it on Google.maps to make sure you won’t miss the turn. Distance to Burgos on both routes is more or less the same.

Two route options on the Camino Frances on the way to Burgos
The split on the Camino after Orbaneja, the red route goes to Burgos following the road and past the industrial area, the right route goes along the river

It was the worst day on the Camino so far, first 5km walking on the road which wasn’t busy at all but considering that you start in the dark it’s still quite unpleasant, after that there were about 8km of walking through the industrial area of Burgos. The Historical center of Burgos is very beautiful, the cathedral, the square, many churches, the castle, etc. I was thinking of stopping in Burgos but 13km felt too short to stop there. I did spend an hour or so walking around the city. The cathedral of Burgos is not to miss here.

Note! In Burgos on the way to the center, the route marking is not very clear if you don’t see signs just follow Calle Vitoria and sooner or later you’ll see the arrows and shells again. To walk out of the city after that there was a gravel road through the fields all the way to Tardajos.

Highlights

The beautiful historical center of Burgos; the cathedral is stunning from outside and inside, I definitely recommend visiting it.

The famous Meseta a long stretch of plains that starts from Burgos some pilgrims like it some don’t but it’s one of the most recognizable sceneries on the Camino Francés. For the next two weeks (basically till Astorga) the scenery will stay pretty much the same.

The Meseta, Camino Frances, Spain
Wheat and sunflower fields, the Meseta, Camino Frances

Challenges

  • 5km of walking on the road (if you don’t take the alternative river route).
  • 8km of walking through the industrial area of Burgos (again if follow the main route).
  • 20km of walking of asphalt. I think on the river route there will be less asphalt.
Stops on the route, stage 13 Camino Frances
Stops on the route between Cardeñuela and Tardajos, stage 13

Accommodation on the Camino

Albergue La Casa de Beli

I stayed at the private albergue La Casa de Beli because I arrived in Tardajos just after 1pm and the municipal albergue opened only at 3pm I didn’t feel like waiting, plus the price difference was only 2 Euro. La Fabrica was a nice place, clean, comfortable, nice yard, good restaurant though there is no kitchen but I just asked for a plate and a knife and made sandwiches and cut some salad. They have private rooms as well. Opens at 12pm. Price 10€.

Albergue la Casa de Beli, Tardajos facilities
Facilities of the private albergue La Casa de Beli, Tardajos

Day 14. Tardajos to Castrojeriz

  • Distance – 30km
  • Time – 5h.10min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 8,5km
  • Walking on the road – 7km very few cars
  • Ascent – 331m
  • Descent – 335m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Elevation profile Tardajos to Castrojeriz Camino de Santiago
Elevation profile stage 14 Tardajos to Castrojeriz

It was a nice walking day mostly through the fields and over the hill with not many towns to stop on the way, make sure you carry enough water.

Highlights

  • A couple of nice town on the way; Sambol, Hontanas
  • Beautiful ruins of San Anton Monastery 4km before Castrojeriz, there is an albergue next to it for donation but it has very basic facilities (no electricity, no hot water).

Challenges

  • Quite a long walking day with few places to stop in between.
Stops on the Camino stage Tardajos Castrojeriz
Stops on the way from Tardajos to Castrojeriz

Accommodation on the route

Municipal albergue San Esteban

A typical municipal albergue with one big room, many beds, basic kitchen (no stove) and a couple of showers and toilets. It looked a little bit dilapidated at first sight and I even though of going to a different place but it wasn’t bad at all. Opens at 12.30pm (2.30 off-season). Price 5€.

Municipal albergue Castrojeriz facilities
Facilities of the municipal albergue in Castrojeriz

Day 15. Castrojeriz to Frómista

  • Distance – 25km
  • Time – 4h.33min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 3km
  • Walking on the road – 1km, very few cars
  • Ascent – 268m
  • Descent – 281m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
ELevation profile stage 15 French Way of St.James
Elevation profile stage 15 of the Camino Francés, walk from Castrojeriz to Fromista

You start noticing that you’re walking through the Meseta, flat open space with wheat fields. I think in spring it might be different, green fields and flowers but in fall it looked a bit sad. 

Highlights

  • Can’t recall anything specific maybe a small river a couple of kilometers before Frómista.
  • A couple of nice churches in Frómista 

Challenges

  • A steep ascent right in the beginning of the day, about 220m up
  • Not many places to stop, only two villages on the way with one bar and a couple of albergues each.
Places to stop on the Camino, stage 15
Stops on the way from Castrojeriz to Frómista, Camino Francés day 15

Accommodation on the Camino

Albergue Luz de Frómista

The municipal albergue in Frómista costs 10,50€ and the reviews were not that great, it doesn’t have a kitchen just a microwave I decided to stay in a private albergue. I stayed at Albergue Luz de Frómista, a very nice place with great hosts, comfortable, clean with all you need for a nice stay. The place is very popular it’s usually booked if you want to stay here it’s better to book in advance. Opens at 12pm. Price 10€.

Facilities of the private albergue Luz de Frómista
Albergue Luz de Frómista facilities

Day 16. Frómista to Carrión de los Condes

  • Distance – 20km
  • Time – 3h.30min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 10km
  • Walking on the road – 6km along the road
  • Ascent – 110m
  • Descent – 74m
  • Difficulty level – 1 out of 5

There is a split at Población de Campos, about 3km from Frómista; the right route goes through the countryside, the left route continues along the road. The countryside route is 1km longer. Both routes join the first time at Villarmentero de Campos, after about 6km and the second time after about 10km at Villalcázar de Sirga.

Route split on the Camino Francess stage 16
The split on the Camino between Frómista and Carrion de los Condes

Highlights

  • A nice walk next to the river and through the fields on the alternative route
  • Carrión de los Condes; Monastery Santa Clara, Church of St.Maria del Camino, Contemporary Art Museum etc.

Challenges

  • Last 6km of walking along the road
Stops on the Camino Francés, stage 16
Places to stop on the way from Frómista to Carrión de los Condes

Accommodation on the Camino

Albergue parroquial Santa María

A nice albergue with good facilities and a good location. Though it’s a parish albergue, nuns don’t come here often it’s run by volunteers sometimes it’s students, sometimes people from Friends of Camino Association. Some guide books say the nuns make communal dinner every night it’s not true they hardly ever cook dinner for pilgrims. Opens at 12pm. Price 5€.

Albergue parroquial Santa María, Carrión de los Condes facilities
Facilities of the parish albergue Santa María, Carrión de las Condes

Day 17. Carrión de los Condes to Terradillos de los Templarios

  • Distance – 26km
  • Time – 4h.45min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 8km
  • Walking on the road – 4km
  • Ascent – 216m
  • Descent – 158m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5

It was probably the day with the most monotonous scenery, luckily I met a very nice couple of Norway and the first 17km went pretty quick. 

Highlights

  • The main highlight was a restaurant at 17km with cold drinks and some food.

Challenges

  • For the first 17km there are no towns on the Camino, make sure to take enough water. In season there is a food truck at about 8km and a small bar Oasis at 10km.
  • A long and tiring day of walking through the plains with nothing around.
Stops on the Camino between Carrión de los Condes and Terradillos de los Templarios
Stops on the route from Carrión de los Condes to Terradillos de los Templarios

Accommodation on the route

Albergue Los Templarios

There is no municipal albergue in Terradillos de los Templarios there are two private albergues. I stayed at Albergue Los Templarios in a private room with an attached bathroom for 28 Euro. It was really nice, comfortable and clean. They have dorm beds as well, for 10 Euro. There is no kitchen but you can get food at the restaurant it wasn’t too expensive.

Amenities of the private albergue Los Templarios, Camino Francés
Facilities of private albergue Los Templarios, Terradillos de los Templarios, Camino Fancés

Day 18. Terradillos de los Templarios to Bercianos del Real Camino

  • Distance – 24km
  • Time – 4h.
  • Walking on asphalt – 4km
  • Walking on the road – 500m
  • Ascent – 193m
  • Descent – 254m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

At 6,8km there is a split, one route continues along the road (it’s a little bit shorter), another one goes through the fields for about 3,5km both routes merge in Sahagún.

At 19km there is another split the left route (the Official route) goes through Bercianos, the right route (the Roman road) goes through Calzada del Coto both routes join the next day in Mansilla de las Mulas. The alternative route follows the Roman road Via Trajana. I took the Original route (like most pilgrims). Some of my friends took the Alternative route and they liked it but some people were complaining that there was a lot of walking on cobblestones that hurt their feet. The distance on both routes to Mansilla de las Mulas is about the same.

A split on the Camino Frances after Sahagún
The split on the Camino after Sahagún; the red route is the official route, the blue route is the alternative route on the Old Roman road

From Sahagún the Camino (the Original route) goes along the road (gravel path) all the way to Bercianos.

Highlights

  • Sahagun; Church of San Tirso and Church of San Lorenzo.

Challenges

  • Not many places to stop on the way, between Sahagún to Bercianos for 10km there is nothing just fields.
Stops on the Camino Francés stage 18
Stops on the Camino between Terradillos de los Templarios and Bercianos del Camino Real, stage 18

Accommodation on the Camino

Albergue La Perala

I again stayed at the private albegue La Perala. It’s a very nice and comfortable place with many rooms both private (single – 28 Euro, double – 38 Euro) and dormitories (10 Euro). The dormitories have only four single beds each and an attached bathroom is you’re four people together it’ll be like a private room.

Private albergue La Perala, Bercianos, stage 18 facilities
Facilities of Albergue La Perala, Bercianos del Real Camino

Day 19. Bercianos del Real Camino to Mansilla de las Mulas

  • Distance – 27km
  • Time – 4h30min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 2,5km
  • Walking on the road – 500m
  • Ascent – 141mm
  • Descent – 194m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

Most of the day the Camino just followed the road though it wasn’t busy at all hardly any car mostly cyclists.

Highlights

  • Beautiful sunrise, actually in the Meseta every day if it’s not cloudy you can see the sunrise, don’t forget to look back from time to time. 
  • Mansilla de las Mulas – a nice town with a beautiful church and a couple of restaurants.

Challenges

  • Not many places to stop on the way
Stops on the route Bercianos del Real Camino and Mancillas de las Mula
Stops on the Camino between Bercianos del Real Camino and Mancillas de las Mulas, stage 19

Accommodation on the way

Municipal albergue of Mansilla de las Mulas

The albergue is fine, it looks a little bit dilapidated it has all you need including a fully equipped kitchen. The location is great as well, right on the Camino, next to two restaurants, a supermarket is just 5min. walk. The hosts are quite fun and entertaining, at night they took out a guitar, there was music and singing, it was one of the best evenings on the Camino. It opens at 12pm. Price 5 Euro.

Mansilla de las Mulas municipal albergue facilities, stage 19 Camino Frances
Facilities of the Municipal albergue of Mansilla de las Mulas

Day 20. Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon

  • Distance – 19km
  • Time – 3h30min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 7km
  • Walking on the road – 600m
  • Ascent – 164mm
  • Descent – 140m
  • Difficulty level – 1 out of 5
Elevation profile stage 20 of the Camino Francés
Elevation profile stage 20, walk from Mansilla de los Mulos to León. Mostly flat surface with one hill at the end

The day was better than I expected there wasn’t a lot of walking through industrial areas, next to the road etc. like it usually is when you approach a big city. At 3,8km there is a split, the right route continues along the road (not recommended), the left route goes through the fields and small towns. The day was short and easy with a couple of ups and downs. You walk about 4km through León before you reach the historical center. 

From León, it’s possible to walk to Oviedo following the Camino del Salvador (4-6 days) and from Oviedo continue to Santiago on the Camino Primitivo

Highlights

The historical center of León; the Cathedral, the Basilica of San Isidoro, La Plaza Mayor, La Plaza San Martín, several churches. If you happened to be in León in September-October don’t miss the Organ Festival in the Cathedral, the concerts take place several times a week at 9pm.

A Pilgrims’ Mass takes place every day in the Basilica of San Isidoro at 7pm. at the end of it, you can get a blessing and a stamp.

Going out for tapas is another must-do activity in León, El Barrio Húmedo and El Barrio Romántico in the center are famous for their tapas bars. 

Challenges

  • Short parts of walking next to the road
  • Walking through the outskirts of Leon (nothing bad or ugly)
Stops on the Camino, stage 20 Mansilla de los Mulos to León
Stops on the route from Mansilla de los Mulos to León, stage 20

Accommodation on the route

Albergue Muralla Leonesa

I stayed in a private albergue Albergue Muralla Leonesa in León. It was good and clean, small rooms, bedding, a kitchen. The good thing about this place is that you can come in and out any time you want, the entrance door has a code.

Albergue Muralla Leonesa facilities, stage 20 of the Camino Francés
Facilities of the private albergue Muralla Leonesa, León

Day 21. León to Villar de Mazarife

  • Distance – 21km
  • Time – 3h45min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 12,5km
  • Walking on the road – 3km (very few cars)
  • Ascent – 276mm
  • Descent – 232m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

The beginning of the day (walking out of Leon) wasn’t as bad as I thought, it took quite a while to walk out of the city but it wasn’t really an industrial area more residential areas. At 8km after the church of Virgen del Camino, there is a split (well-marked); the right route (the Official route) goes along the road to San Martín del Camino. The left route (the alternative route) goes through the countryside and fields to Villar de Mazarife. The scenic route is 5km longer (over two days), both routes merge the next day at Hospital de Órbigo. I don’t like walking next to the road if there is an option I always take an alternative route.

Split on the Camino Francés after León
Split on the Camino at La Virgen del Camino, 7km from León

Highlights

  • Church of Virgen del Camino

Challenges

  • The first 8km walking through the populated area of the city
Stops along the Camino, stage 21 León to Villar de Mazarife
Places to stop on the way from León to Villar de Mazarife

Accommodation on the Camino

Albergue de Jesús

The place is fine, not super cozy or comfortable but has all the necessary facilities. Opens at 12pm. Price 7 Euro.

Private albergue de Jesús, Villar de Mazarife facilities
Facilities of Albergue de Jesús, Villar de Mazarife

Day 22. Villar de Mazarife to Astorga

  • Distance – 31km
  • Time – 5h45min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 7km
  • Walking on the road – 0km
  • Ascent – 293mm
  • Descent – 329m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Elevation profile stage 22 Camino Frances
Elevation profile stage 22 Villar de Mazarife to Astorga

A long walking day through the fields and hills from now on the Meseta part is over, the Camino is entering green and rainy Galicia, from Astorga on there will be more mountains and forest. Two very nice stops along the route helped to make this day less tiring and more fun though, to be honest by the end of it I was quite tired.

Highlights

This day was full of highlights and unexpected meetings.

Hospital de Órbigo – a beautiful little town with cobblestone streets, old houses and an impressive Medieval bridge Puente del Paso Honroso.

Villares de Orbigo – it would be just another small village on the way if it wasn’t 22nd of September. The village celebrated the First day of harvest as a part of the celebration they invite pilgrims who walk through the village for breakfast in the Pilgrim’s House. Unexpected moments like these become some of the brightest memories of the Camino.

Another very interesting encounter on the way, the famous David’s place; a great stop on the route about 5km before Astorga. David is a Spanish pilgrim who’s been living on the Camino for the last 7 years, he’s walked many different routes. He lives in a small house and every day puts food, fruit, water and cool drinks for pilgrims who walk by. It’s a donation place. The money that he gets from donations he uses to buy more food for pilgrims. David is an interesting person to talk to but even if you don’t feel like talking, it’s a great rest stop on the way in the middle of nowhere. There are chairs and benches with shadow to sit down and rest.

The historical center of Astorga; the Cathedral, the Gaudi Palace, the Plaza Mayor, Old Roman Walls, etc. The city is not big all the main sights are close to each other. 

My personal highlight staying at a spa hotel in Astorga, it was absolutely worth the money.

Plaza Mayor, Astorga, Camino Frances
Plaza Mayor, Astorga

Challenges

  • Long walking day, 31km
  • A couple of ascents in the second half of the day
Stage 22 stops on the route
Stops on the Camino between Villar de Mazarife and Astorga

Accommodation on the route

Hotel SPA Via de la Plata

I decided to spoil myself and stayed at Hotel SPA Via de la Plata, it was quite expensive but well worth the money. I really enjoyed the day in the hotel; a big room, a private bathroom with an amazing shower, a very comfortable bed, it was definitely the best sleep I had on the Camino. I paid 12 Euro extra for 1 hour in SPA; swimming pool, sauna, contrast shower, hydromassage, etc. The next day I felt very relaxed and well-rested.

There is a municipal albergue for 5 Euro in Astorga Albergue Siervas de María, it’s quite big, located in the center.

Albergue Siervas de María, Astorga, facilities
Facilities of the Municipal albergue Siervas de María, Astorga

Day 23. Astorga to Foncebadón

  • Distance – 26km
  • Time – 5h.
  • Walking on asphalt – 6,3km
  • Walking on the road – 800m (few cars)
  • Ascent – 642mm
  • Descent – 100m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Elevation profile stage Astorga to Foncebadón
Elevation profile Camino Francés stage 23, Astorga to Foncebadón

I decided to enjoy my hotel and sleep late (first time on the Camino), I already had an albergue booked so I didn’t have to worry about arriving in time to get a spot. I started walking only at 10.30. I did it a couple of times when I stayed in private I booked a place for the next night that I didn’t have to get up early and start walking and could enjoy a nice sleep.

It was a very nice walking day with beautiful scenery I was pleased to see different landscapes, some hills and a little bit of the forest, especially in the second half of the walk. Finally, I was out of the Meseta!

Highlights

  • Rabanal del Camino – a beautiful little village
  • Different scenery; green hills, forest, mountains.

Challenges

  • A long ascent in the second half of the walk, 600m up
Stops on the Camino, stage Astorga - Foncebadón
Stops on the route from Astorga to Foncebadón, stage 23

Accommodation on the route

Albergue El Convento de Foncebadón

I stayed at a private albergue Convento de Foncebadón. A comfortable, clean and not very big albergue with private rooms and dormitories with 3 bunk beds each and an attached bathroom. Opens at 12pm. Price 10 Euro.

Amenities of Albergue Convento de Foncebadón, stage 23 of the Camino Frances
Facilities of Albergue Convento de Foncebadón

Day 24. Foncebadón to Ponferrada

  • Distance – 27km
  • Time – 5h
  • Walking on asphalt – 7,5km
  • Walking on the road – 1,7km
  • Ascent – 308mm
  • Descent – 1186m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Elevation profile stage 24 of the Camino
Elevation profile stage Foncebadón to Ponferrada, Camino Francés

The first 17km till Molinaseca were absolutely spectacular, one of the best views on the route so far. Right in the beginning at about 2km from Foncebadón, you reach the Cruz de Ferro a symbolic place on the Camino Francés where people leave rocks, shells, letters, etc.

Highlights

  • El Cruz de Ferro
  • Spectacular mountain scenery during the first 10km
  • A couple of small beautiful towns; El Acebo, Riego de Ambrós, Molinaseca
  • The Historical center of Ponferrada; the castle, the
Molinaseca, French Way of St.James
Molinaseca a pretty little town on the Camino Francés

Challenges

  • Steep and sometimes rocky and slippery descent for 1100m
  • Walking on the asphalt for the last 5km
Stops between Foncebadón and Ponferrada, stage 24 of the Camino Francés
Stops on the route between Foncebadón and Ponferrada

Accommodation on the way

Albergue Guiana

I stayed at a private albergue again. Albergue Guiana is a nice place with many rooms with 3 bunk beds each and a bathroom. The location is good, close to the historical center, restaurants, and shops. It’s clean and comfortable. Opens at 12pm. Price 12 Euro.

Albergue Guiana, Ponferrada, facilities
Facilities of the private albergue Guiana, Ponferrada

Day 25. Ponferrada to Villafranca de Bierzo

  • Distance – 24km
  • Time – 4h30min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 18km
  • Walking on the road – 2km (on a gravel path along the road)
  • Ascent – 316m
  • Descent – 351m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Elevation profile stage 25 of the Camino Frances
Elevation profile stage Ponferrada – Villafranca del Bierzo

The beginning of the day was a little bit disappointing though walking out of Ponferrada wasn’t a big issue, it didn’t take long. Once out of the city the Camino went through suburbia areas, next to the road not really spectacular scenery compared to the previous two days but the second half was much better and more scenic.

Highlights

  • Beautiful vineyards for the last 10km.
  • Villafranca; the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria, the Convent of San Nicolás El Real, the Church of Santiago with its Puerta de Perdón (the Gate of Forgiveness) that get opened only in Holy Years.

Challenges

  • First 11km the Camino goes next to the road with the not very impressive scenery.
  • Walking surface, most of the day you walk on asphalt.
Stops on the Camino, stage 25 Ponferrada to Villafranca
Stops on the route between Ponferrada and Villafranca

Accommodation on the way

Hostel Venezia

In the second half of the Camino, I was a bit tired from getting up at 6am every day and being worried about finding a bed and decided to book places in advance for this reason I ended up staying mostly in private albergues or hotels. Hostel Venecia is a good albergue, it’s clean, cozy and comfortable. It’s a bit away from the town center if you want to go to the supermarket or restaurant you’ll have to walk 10-15min. The hostel is very small, two rooms with 3 bunk beds each, max 12 people, nice and quiet place. There are private rooms as well. Opens at 12pm. Price 11 Euro.

Hostal Venecia, Villafranca, facilities
Facilities of Hostal Venecia, Villafranca del Bierzo

Day 26. Villafranca de Bierzo to O Cebreiro

  • Distance – 28km
  • Time – 5h.
  • Walking on asphalt – 18km
  • Walking on the road – 16km along the road with very few cars
  • Ascent – 905m
  • Descent – 138m
  • Difficulty level – 4 out of 5
Elevation profile stage 26 of the Camino Frances
Elevation profile stage Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro

From Villafranca there are two different route options from Villafranca; the main route follows the road from time to time you get to walk on or next to the road, it’s easier with not many ups and downs, most pilgrims choose it. The second route Camino de la Montaña (the mountain route) goes over the mountains and has more ascents and descents, it’s about 1,5km longer as well. Both routes merge 10km later in Trabadelo. I took the main route since it’s walked by most people.

Split on the Camino after Villafranca
Two route options on the Camino Francés after Villafranca; the official route (red) and the mountain route (blue).

The day was quite long and tiring considering the last part to O Cebreiro which was the pure ascent to 700m over 6km. For some people, it might be very challenging stopping before O Cebreiro is an option. There are really many nice small villages on the way. You can split the day into two and walk 20km to Las Herrerias which is just before the ascent and the next day walk 9km to O Cebreiro or continue walking past it to the next place.

Highlights

  • Many small cozy villages on the way; Trabadelo, La Portela de Valcarce, Las Herrerías, La Faba etc.
  • Stunning views on the way from Las Herrerías up to O Cebreiro.
  • Beautiful sunset from the viewpoint in O Cebreiro. 
O Cebreiro view point, Camino Frances
Stunning view from O Cebreiro

Challenges

  • A lot of walking on the asphalt and along the road.
  • A very steep and long ascent for about 700m over the last 6km, the ascent starts at 21km after Las Herrerías.
Stops on the route between Villafranca del Bierzo and O Cebreiro
Stops on the Camino between Villafranca del Bierzo and O Cebreiro

Accommodation on the Camino

Casa Navarro

This time I stayed in a private room at Casa Navarro , a guest house in O Cebreiro. It’s a nice and small place right at the entrance to the village, clean and cozy. After the long ascent, I was very happy that I’d booked a private room because I was quite tired and could have a very good rest. I booked this place almost a week ahead there are not many places in O Cebreiro and they get full very quick.

There is a municipal albergue in O Cebreiro, many people say that there are too many beds too close to each. Opens at 1pm. Price 8 Euro.

Municipal albergue O Cebreiro facilities
Facilities of the municipal albergue of O Cebreiro

Day 27. O Cebreiro to Triacastela

  • Distance – 20km
  • Time – 4h.20min.
  • Walking on asphalt – 2km
  • Walking on the road – 0km
  • Ascent – 505m
  • Descent – 1263m
  • Difficulty level – 3 out of 5
Elevation profile stage 27 of the Camino Frances
Elevation profile of the walk from O Cebreiro to Triacastela

It was a very long and tiring day. At 22km after Triacastelo there is a split one route goes through Samos a small town with a beautiful monastery it’s the original route, the second route is 6km shorter and it goes through San Xil.

Highlights

  • Great views on the way down to Triacastela

Challenges

  • Several ascents and descents in the beginning
  • A long and steep descent to Triacastela
Stops on the Camino, stage 27
Stops on the way from O Cebreiro to Triacastela

Accommodation on the route

Municipal albergue of Triacastela

The albergue is located right at the entrance to the town, a bit far from shops and restaurants, the facilities are quite basic. Opens at 1pm. Price 8 Euro.

Municipal albergue of Triacastela, facilities
Facilities of the municipal albergue of Triacastela

Day 28. Triacastela to Sarria

  • Distance – 25,5km
  • Time – 5 hours
  • Walking on asphalt – 11km
  • Walking on the road – 6km, quiet road, not many cars
  • Ascent – 210m
  • Descent – 320m
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5

Another split on the Camino right at the exit from Triacastela; the right route goes to Sarria through San Xil, the left route goes through Samos. Both routes merge at Aguiada, about 5km before Sarria. The route through Samos is about 7km longer than through San Xil, 26km versus 19km. It would be an obvious easy choice (I mean the shorter route of course) if it wasn’t for the spectacular Monastery of Samos an active Benedictine monastery its history dates back to the 7th century though it was rebuilt quite a few times since then. I really wanted to see it and didn’t regret this decision, a 19-kilometer day sounded too short for me anyway.

Highlights

  • An incredible Galician forest from about 5km after Triacastela, a very peaceful walk with no towns, roads or people.
  • The Monastery of Samos – a beautiful and huge complex if you have the time it’s worth visiting the church.
Monastery of Samos, Spain
Impressive monastery of Samos, Camino Francés

Challenges 

Quite a long stretch in the beginning right after Triacastela along the road, about 4km but there were practically no cars.

Arriving in Sarria might be a bit challenging due to an overwhelming number of pilgrims there, Sarria is located just over 100km from Santiago which is the required walking minimum for getting the Compostela. There might be twice as many people on the Camino from Sarria on. Don’t worry there are many albergues, restaurants, and hotels on this part of the route.

Stops on the route stage 28 Camino Frances
Stops on the way from Triacastela to Sarria via Samos

Accommodation on the way

You can find the itinerary for the last 5 days from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela HERE.

Relevant posts

3 Comments

  1. I agree with your comments about booking rooms on the Camino. I like to know I have a bed for the night. I’m a fast enough walker that I can always beat the crowd. Also, I love the dark and quiet morning hours so I tend to start early (6:30 or 7:00). But with some planning you know the towns you want to visit; Gaudi built something here, beautiful Cathedral, Knights Templar Castle, etc. After a few days you know how far you want to walk, I liked 25-30 km. Then the plan just falls into place. I used booking(dot)com to plan most of the last two weeks or so. The only down side is I still get announcements for reduced prices at some of those towns.

  2. Phillip Boyle

    Hi – thanks for the fantastic info you are providing!

    One question – how much of the track is actually on roads (not sealed paths on the side, but actually along the road)? Same question for El Norte, as I’ve seen a few comments about that too.

    Deciding which of the two to do in May 2020. Both look exciting!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Philip! Thank you for the comment! Around 70km walking on the road on the Camino Frances (but most of the time very quiet roads with one or two cars driving every now and then), on the Camino del Norte it a little bit more but not too bad, there is one stage from Gigon and Aviles that is pretty bad along the highway. I personally enjoyed the Camino del Norte more because of the scenery, many days you walk along the coast next to the ocean. On the French Camino, 10 days of walking through the Meseta were a bit too long for me, I prefer mountains or the ocean over fields and plains but is my personal opinion.
      Buen Camino!

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