The French Way from León to Santiago, 16 days/15 nights

Live your pilgrim adventure walking the last 186 mi (300 km) of the French Camino

1000.00 €

This is one of the most demanded itineraries of the Camino de Santiago and is perfect for those that are looking to live fully the Way  . This itinerary covers the last 300 km of the French Way. 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, from the vast open spaces of the Meseta, the rugged mountains of Léon to the peaceful hills of rural Galicia. You could visit  historic monuments and lively cities such as Leon, Astorga, Ponferrada and Santiago.
For many, the essence of the Camino de Santiago is about enjoying the journey and not just the destination.

DAILY DEPARTURES

- ITINERARY -


1st day: ARRIVAL IN LEON
2nd day: LEON - SAN MARTIN DEL CAMINO or VILLAR DE MAZARIFE (26/21 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3)
3rd day: SAN MARTIN OR VILLAR - ASTORGA (22 km/ 29 km 6h15 - difficulty 1/3)
4th day: ASTORGA - RABANAL DEL CAMINO (19 km - 5h - difficulty 1/3).
5th day: RABANAL DEL CAMINO - MOLINASECA (25 km - 6 h - difficulty 2/3)
6th day: MOLINASECA - CACABELOS (22.5 km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
7th day: CACABELOS - AMBASMESTAS (23,9 km -6h15 - difficulty 2/3)
8th day: AMBASMESTAS - CEBREIRO (13,7 - 4h15 - difficulty 3/3 )
9th day: CEBREIRO - TRIACASTELA (21,7 km - 6h30 - difficulty 2/3)
10th day: TRIACASTELA - SARRIA (via San Xil 18.4 Km /via Samos 20.5 km - 5h30 - difficulty 1/3 or 2/3)
11th day: SARRIA - PORTOMARIN (23 Km - 6h - difficulty 1/3)
12th day: PORTOMARIN - PALAS DE REI (25.6 Km - 6h15 - difficulty 2/3)
13th day: PALAS DE REI - ARZUA (29.5 Km - 7h - difficulty 2/3)
14th day: ARZUA - RUA (18.5 Km -5h - difficulty 1/3)
15th day: RUA - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (18.5 km - 4h30 - difficulty 1/3)
16th day: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

The Price Includes:
- 14 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: € 300
- Dinners supplement:€ 340
- Superior category accommodations supplement: € 300
- Superior category dinners supplement: € 400
- Superior category single room supplement: € 600


PRICE PER PERSON BASED ON DOUBLE ROOM


DY - BY - DAY


1st day: ARRIVAL IN LEON .
Fill in your pilgrim’s passport (La Credencial) and discover the old quarter of Leon, that 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.

2nd day: LEON - SAN MARTIN DEL CAMINO or VILLAR DE MAZARIFE (26/21 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.

3rd 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.

4th 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.

5th 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.

6th 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.

7th 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.

8th 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.

9th 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.

10th 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.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.

11th 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.


12th 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).

3th 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).

14th 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.

15th 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.

16th 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.

End of the itinerary



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