The French Way from Roncesvalles to Santiago, 39 days/ 38 nights

The most traditional Camino for a life-changing experience and a complete pilgrim adventure

2500.00 €

This is the most traditional Way of the Camino de Santiago and is perfect for those that are looking for a complete pilgrim experience. The route starts out in Roncesvalles and then continues across the north of Spain  and is perfect for discovering local customs, food and wine, meeting other pilgrims and enjoying the unique atmosphere.
'The Camino'  will take you through breathtaking scenery and nature, as well as leading you to historic monuments and lively cities such as Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, Leon, Astorga, Ponferrada and Santiago. A life-changing experience for many, the essence of the Camino de Santiago is about enjoying the journey and not just the destination.
 There is approximately one rest day every week.


- ITINERARY -


1st day: ARRIVAL IN RONCESVALLES.
2nd day: RONCESVALLES - ZUBIRI (22 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
3rd day: ZUBIRI - PAMPLONA (20 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
4th day: PAMPLONA
5th day: PAMPLONA - PUENTE LA REINA (24 km - 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
6th day: PUENTE LA REINA - ESTELLA (23 km - 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
7th day: ESTELLA - LOS ARCOS (22 km - 6h30 - difficulty 2/3)
8th day: LOS ARCOS - LOGROÑO (28 km - 8h - difficulty 1/3)
9th day: LOGROÑO - NAJERA (29.7 km - 8:15h -difficulty 2/3)
10th day: NAJERA - SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA (22 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
11th day: SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA - BELORADO (23 km - 7h - difficulty 1/3)
12th day: BELORADO - SAN JUAN ORTEGA (24 km - 7h15 - difficulty 2/3)
13th day: S JUAN - BURGOS (27 km - 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
14th day: BURGOS
15th day: BURGOS - HORNILLOS DEL CAMINO (21.4 km - 5h30 - difficulty 1/3)
16th day: HORNILLOS DEL CAMINO - CASTROJERIZ (20 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3)
17th day: CASTROJERIZ - FROMISTA (25 km - 6h30 - difficulty 1/3)
18th day: FROMISTA - CARRION DE LOS CONDES (19 km -5h - difficulty 1/3)
19th day: CARRION DE LOS CONDES - MORATINOS (29 km - 4h45 - difficulty 1/3)
20th day: MORATINOS - BERCIANOS DEL CAMINO (20 km 4h difficulty 1/3)
21st day: BERCIANOS - MANSILLA DE LAS MULLAS (26 km - 6h30 - difficulty 1/3)
22nd day: MANSILLA DE LAS MULLAS - LEON (18 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3)
23rd day: LEON
24th day: LEON - SAN MARTIN DEL CAMINO or VILLAR DE MAZARIFE (21.3 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3)
25th day: SAN MARTIN OR VILLAR - ASTORGA (22 km/ 29 km 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
26th day: ASTORGA - RABANAL DEL CAMINO (19 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3).
27th day: RABANAL DEL CAMINO - MOLINASECA (25 km - 6 h - difficulty 2/3)
28th day: MOLINASECA - CACABELOS (22.5 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
29th day: CACABELOS - AMBASMESTAS (23.9 km -4h30 - difficulty 1/3)
30th day: AMBASMESTAS - CEBREIRO (13.7 km 4 h 15 - difficulty 2/3)
31st day: O CEBREIRO - TRIACASTELA (21.7 km - 5h30 - difficulty 2/3)
32nd day: TRIACASTELA - SARRIA (via San Xil 18.4 Km /via Samos 20.5 km - 5h30 - difficulty 1/3 or 2/3)
33rd day: SARRIA
34th day: SARRIA - PORTOMARIN (23 Km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
35th day: PORTOMARIN - PALAS DE REI (25.6 Km - 6h15 - difficulty 2/3)
36th day: PALAS DE REI - ARZUA (29.5 Km - 7h - difficulty 2/3)
37th day: ARZUA - RUA (18.5 Km -5h - difficulty 1/3)
38th day: RUA - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (18.5 km - 4h30 - difficulty 1/3)
39th day: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

The Price Includes:
- 38 nights in handpicked hotels and inns, all with en-suite accommodation, on a bed and breakfast basis.
- Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel (1 x max. 20kg bag per person)
- Travel insurance
- Credencial (Pilgrim's passport)
- Tips and maps
- 24/7 telephone assistance (English-speaking)

The Price does not include:
- Lunches
- Single room supplement: € 750
- Dinners supplement:€ 7050
- Superior category accommodations supplement: € 600
- Single room superior accommodations supplement: € 850
- Superior accommodations dinners supplement: € 800


PRICE PER PERSON BASED ON DOUBLE ROOM

DAILY DEPARTURES


DAY-TO-DAY ITINERARY
 


1st day: ARRIVAL IN RONCESVALLES.
Fill in your pilgrim’s passport (La Credencial) and don't miss the chance to visit the Collegiate Church.

2nd day: RONCESVALLES - ZUBIRI (22 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
From Roncesvalles, the route continues through beech and oak woods before reaching Espinal taking in two mountain passes: Alto de Mezquiriz and Alto de Erro. The trail then descends towards the town of Zubiri and its medieval “Puente de la Rabia” (Rabies Bridge) over the River Arga.

3rd day: ZUBIRI - PAMPLONA (20 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
Today, the Camino follows the river Arga to the hamlet of Larrasoaña, which was an important stop for pilgrims in Medieval times. The second half of the day gets busier, as you approach the bustling city of Pamplona.

4th day: PAMPLONA
Although it is famous for its Saint Fermin bull-running festival, there are many other attractions to visit in Pamplona, such as exploring the city’s medieval streets, visiting the cathedral, tasting some of the local food and wine, or, for Hemingway fans, sampling a coffee in one of the writer’s favourite haunts in the Plaza del Castillo main square.

5th day: PAMPLONA - PUENTE LA REINA (24 km - 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
As you leave Pamplona behind you, you will start your ascent towards the “Alto del Perdón” (Hill of Forgiveness). Get your picture taken with the photogenic pilgrim sculpture at the top and enjoy the views of Pamplona and the valley beyond. From there, you will begin your descent towards Puente la Reina with its medieval alleys and impressive 11th century bridge over the River Arga.

6th day: PUENTE LA REINA - ESTELLA (23 km - 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
The route to Estella is very uneven and quite agricultural. Small towns and villages are dotted amongst cereal fields, vineyards and olive trees. Perched on a hilltop, Cirauqui is a pretty little village with winding medieval streets where you will find one of the best preserved stretches of Roman road.

7th day: ESTELLA - LOS ARCOS (22 km - 6h30 - difficulty 2/3)
Today’s stage moves towards the Rioja region with its olive trees, cereal fields and, most importantly, its vineyards. From Villamayor do Monjardin to Los Arcos, you will cover 12 km without coming across a single village. Ensure that you have plenty of water and use sun protection.

8th day: LOS ARCOS - LOGROÑO (28 km - 8h - difficulty 1/3)
It’s time to leave Navarre and move into La Rioja. Expect a pleasant hike through undulating countryside. On this route, you will pass the little town of Viana before coming to the town of Logroño, capital of the world-famous wine-producing region of La Rioja.
This stage can be split into two, staying overnight in the village of Viana (17km + 10km).

9th day: LOGROÑO - NAJERA (29.7 km - 8:15h -difficulty 2/3)
Today is an easy stage through a vineyard-dominated landscape. You will come to the village of Navarrete after 12 km and will have a chance to stop for some refreshments and visit the fabulous Baroque church of La Ascension. You will reach Najera in the afternoon, where you can enjoy panoramic views from this hill-top town.
This stage can be split into two, staying overnight in the village of Navarrete (12km + 17km)

10th day: NAJERA - SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA (22 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
Country roads dominate this stage, which runs through the Cantabrian mountain range to the north, and the La Demanda mountain range to the south, perfect for enjoying a shorter walking day with great views. Later today, you will arrive in Santo Domingo de la Calzada; another milestone on the road to Santiago.

11th day: SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA - BELORADO (23 km - 7h - difficulty 1/3)
After a brief walk through a wooded area, the Camino takes us through crop fields, interspersed with small brooks and oak woods. This landscape warns us of the approaching mountain range and, indeed, you will soon see the Oca mountains looming on the horizon. This afternoon, you will have the chance to relax in the lovely main square of Belorado.

12th day: BELORADO - S. JUAN DE ORTEGA (24 km - 7h15 - difficulty 2/3)
This stage is similar to the previous one until you get to Villafranca Montes de Oca (14km). However, as you go deeper into the woods, you will soon discover the beautiful Oca mountains. In St Juan de Ortega, have a look at the Gothic mausoleum.

13th day: S. JUAN - BURGOS (27 km - 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
Today’s walk is mostly across mountainous terrain on the Sierra de Atapuerca with spectacular views of the Burgos region. You will pass the town of Atapuerca, known for its UNESCO World Heritage prehistoric caves where the earliest ever human remains have been discovered (3km off the Camino trail). As you begin to descend, you will reach the flat river valley taking you to the suburbs of the city of Burgos, home to one of Spain’s most beautiful cathedrals.

14th day: BURGOS
Burgos was the capital of the unified kingdom of Castile-Leon for five centuries and its Cathedral is a masterpiece of Spanish Gothic architecture (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). In addition to a visit to the historic quarter, go for a walk along the banks of the Duero and Arlanza rivers or discover the delicious and varied local cuisine in one of the city's restaurants.

15th day: BURGOS - HORNILLOS DEL CAMINO (21.4 km - 5h30 - difficulty 1/3)
From Burgos, the route goes through the crop fields that are typical of the region and then through some small Holm oak and conifer woods, which serve as a reminder of the time when one of the largest forests in Europe existed on these lands.

16th day: HORNILLOS DEL CAMINO - CASTROJERIZ (20 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3)
Today’s stage heads towards Castrojeriz, upwards to another plateau and then down towards the River Bol valley. A pleasant day spent between pasture and crop fields.

17th day: CASTROJERIZ - FROMISTA (25 km - 6h30 - difficulty 1/3)
After Castrojeriz, situated on the hillside between the valleys of the Odrilla and Pisuerga rivers, comes Alto Mosterales - the highest point on the Meseta, and the last plains in the Burgos region. The River Pisuerga brings you into the province of Palencia and on into the Tierra de Campo.

18th day: FROMISTA - CARRION DE LOS CONDES (19 km -5h - difficulty 1/3)
Before you start, take time out to visit the beautiful 11th century Church of St Martin in Fromista. Today’s route takes you along a track parallel to the road, but if you prefer, you can take a more scenic route at Población de Campos, via Villovieco, along the peaceful banks of the Ucieza river and rejoin the Camino at Villalcazar de Sirga.
The Camino from Carrion to Mansilla can also be divided into three different stages adding one more day: staying overnight in the village of Calzadilla de la Cueza- Sahagún - Burgo Ranero (17km + 22km + 19km)

19th day: CARRION DE LOS CONDES - MORATINOS (29 km - 4h45 - difficulty 1/3)
This stage includes 13km of the historical "Via Aquitania" (another famous route to Santiago which begins in Bayonne, France) taking in isolated countryside and poplar woods, crossing several irrigation channels.

20th day: MORATINOS - BERCIANOS DEL CAMINO (20 km 4h difficulty 1/3)
Expect hilly terrain as you cross some "cuezas", or little valleys. This part of the Camino leaves the road and heads through oak woods, before coming back to familiar cereal fields and crossing the River Valderaduey on route to the countryside of Leon. In Sahagun, the Church of St Lawrence is certainly worth a look.

21st day: BERCIANOS - MANSILLA DE LAS MULLAS (26 km - 6h30 - difficulty 1/3)
Today’s stage takes in the pretty village of Reliegos on your way to Leon and the chance to follow the “Via Traiana” (another route to Santiago, starting in Bordeaux, France).

22nd day: MANSILLA DE LAS MULLAS - LEON (18 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3)
This stage runs parallel to land that has been set aside for irrigated crops. Later, the first signs of industrial activity become visible. From Portillo Hill you will be able to make out the beautiful city of Leon.

23rd day: LEON
The old quarter of Leon is well worth visiting. Leon was the capital of the kingdom of Leon in the Middle Ages, and is a historic enclave on the pilgrim's route to Santiago de Compostela. The city’s Gothic Cathedral and the Romanesque Basilica of Saint Isidore are well worth a visit as is the "Barrio Húmedo" (Wet District) which is filled with bars and restaurants.

24th day: LEON - SAN MARTIN DEL CAMINO or VILLAR DE MAZARIFE (21.3 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3)
The route out of Leon takes you right through the city to the village of Virgen del Camino, where legend has it that the Virgin appeared to a shepherd in 1506, and asked him to build a shrine. This stage is quite exposed as you cross the barren plains.
There are two alternatives for this stage, either to Villar de Mazarife which is a longer more scenic route to Astorga or a shorter route to Villadangos which runs closer to the main road.

25th day: SAN MARTIN OR VILLAR - ASTORGA (22 km/ 29 km 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
Today’s journey follows the script of the previous day with the endless plains of the wilderness for company. When you reach Órbigo Hospital, the Camino gives us two alternatives. Instead of taking the path to the left, you can turn right along a marked path that runs across the fields. This is the pilgrim option which runs through two small villages and moves away from the heavy traffic.

26th day: ASTORGA - RABANAL DEL CAMINO (19 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3).
The first village we come to after leaving Astorga is Murias de Rechivaldo. The Camino starts a gradual and steady ascent to the intersection of Santa Catalina de Somoza before moving onto to El Ganso, after about an hour’s walk. It’s now time for the last steep slope of the day before we reach the end of the stage in Rabanal del Camino after hiking through an oak forest with its huge Pilgrim's Oak that provides a resting point for travellers.

27th day: RABANAL DEL CAMINO - MOLINASECA (25 km - 6 h - difficulty 2/3)
This stage is the highest on the entire route and is one of the most picturesque routes on the Way. The road out of Rabanal climbs to a mysterious landscape wrapped in clean mountain air. The Camino leads to the Iron Cross at an altitude of 1,500 metres, which is marked by a simple tall cross on a large wooden mast. The route continues onto El Acebo, another famous hamlet and essential stop on the Camino which welcomes us to the Bierzo region. Then it moves onto Riego de Ambrós and returns to the 21st century in Molinaseca.

28th day: MOLINASECA - CACABELOS (22.5 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
This is one of the most beautiful stages on the pilgrim route which ends in Ponferrada. Ponferrada is the last major urban area before Santiago. You will cross the Bierzo region, a sunken plain nestled within a ring of mountains before arriving in Ponferrada, where the Templar Castle is well worth a visit.

29th day: CACABELOS - AMBASMESTAS (23.9 km -4h30 - difficulty 1/3)
You will first cross the small village of Pieros to reach Villafranca del Bierzo, where you will be rewarded with a visit to the famous Puerta del Perdón (Door of Forgiveness) in the church of Saint James. The route moves onto the small village of Pereje and then Trabadelo, La Portela and Ambasmestas. Part of the route runs parallel to the road. Tomorrow will bring the ascent of O Cebreiro.

30th day: AMBASMESTAS - CEBREIRO (13.7 km 4 h 15 - difficulty 2/3)
The Camino runs parallel to the road and then goes through the villages of Ruitean and Las Herrerias. This is when the climb really begins, with a short but very difficult ascent. There are now only 150 kilometres to go before you reach Santiago.

31st day: O CEBREIRO - TRIACASTELA (21.7 km - 5h30 - difficulty 2/3)
You are now in Galicia, and O Cebreiro offers us one of the most beautiful landscapes on the Way, as a place of great tradition and mysticism , with its emblematic Romanesque church of Santa María de O Cebreiro. Then you will start the climb towards the Alto de San Roque and later to the Alto de O Poio (1,335 m), which is the highest point in Galicia on the French Route, offering spectacular views. After crossing the Alto do Poio, the descent to the hamlet of Triacastela begins.

32nd day: TRIACASTELA - SARRIA (via San Xil 18.4 Km /via Samos 20.5 km - 5h30 - difficulty 1/3 or 2/3)
From Triacastela, there are two ways to reach Sarria, via San XiI or via Samos, (the latter crosses Samos, with its beautiful Benedictine monastery but is more dangerous). The path to San Xil is well signposted and runs through a mainly hilly landscape. The route branches off at the end of Triacastela to the right. Initially, you will be walking on a road, but this soon changes into forest bridleways. The next village is Fonte dos Lameiros , with its large pilgrim shell monument, and then after some undulating hills, you will reach San Xil, before continuing onto Sarria through different villages.

33rd day: SARRIA
Sarria is the main town between Ponferrada and Santiago de Compostela. The Romanesque Church of Our Saviour, with its Gothic façade, and the convent of Magdalena are well worth a visit, as are the Rua Maior main street and the ancient medieval castle tower.

34th day: SARRIA - PORTOMARIN (23 Km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
Expect a peaceful walk in shady oak woods through pretty villages on quiet country roads. The village of Barbadelo (580m) has a beautiful Romanesque church that is worth a visit. The village of Ferreiros is also on route. When you arrive in Portomarin, you can chill out at one of the numerous outdoor cafés in the main square.

35th day: PORTOMARIN - PALAS DE REI (25.6 Km - 6h15 - difficulty 2/3)
The day starts by crossing over the Belesar dam footbridge, followed by a gradual climb ending in the village of Ligonde. This stage runs mainly along andaderos (paths), next to the road, or in some cases along paved trails. There are many signs indicating that we are on a pilgrim route, including the famous "cruceiros" (crucifixes). Check out the Cruceiro of Lameiros and the Monastery of Our Saviour of Vilar de Donas (2 km detour off the Camino).


36th day: PALAS DE REI - ARZUA (29.5 Km - 7h - difficulty 2/3)
On this stage, you will move into the province of Corunna, where you will find expanses of eucalyptus and pine trees and numerous medieval bridges, such as those in Leboreiro and Furelos, as well as one of the most idyllic locations on the Camino in Ribadiso do Baixo near Arzua. Melide, which is famous for its octopus, is an obligatory stop for pilgrims and lovers of good food, whilst Arzua is famous for its designation of origin cheese
This long walking day can be split into two with an overnight stay in Melide (15km + 14km).

37th day: ARZUA - RUA (18.5 Km -5h - difficulty 1/3)
Today’s route is a nice and easy walk over gentle slopes and through woodland, alternating with stretches near the road, which we will have to cross on occasions, before ending in Rua (500 m before the village of Pedrouzo). Don't miss the beautiful sculpture of Saint James the Pilgrim in the Church of the same name in Boente.

38th day: RUA - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (18.5 Km - 4h30 - difficulty 1/3)
The last stage on your Camino de Santiago. The proximity of your goal will bring mixed feelings. On one hand, you will be eager to reach the desired end of the journey, yet on the downside, the feeling that comes to every pilgrim is that the journey is over. A stage of anxiety and joy, where distance does not matter, because you are “already there”. The route today is flat, except for the climb to San Marcos, from Lavacolla, passing Monte do Gozo and down to Santiago de Compostela. The entire city of Santiago de Compostela is magical, but especially its Cathedral, which deserves a special visit.

39th day: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
After breakfast, go to exchange your pilgrim’s passport, if you haven’t already done it. Alternatively, we suggest you visit the cathedral and the surrounding areas or attend a pilgrim mass.
 



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