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Walk the full Camino Frances from St Jean to Santiago
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Highlights

  • Walking the full French Way from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.
  • Arriving at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela after a journey of 791 km.
  • Leon, Burgos and Pamplona - Northern Spain's most beguiling cities.
  • Enjoying wonderful camaraderie with your fellow pilgrims.
  • Varied landscapes including the dramatic Pyrenees, lush Galicia and immense plains.

Walk the full Camino Frances (Way of St James) - a journey for the spirit and soul that millions of travellers complete year after year. Setting off from St Jean Pied de Port in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and finishing in Santiago de Compostela, you will enjoy an incredible sense of achievement and build a wonderful camaraderie with your fellow pilgrims.

Take in varied landscapes, from the majestic Pyrenees to the lush green valleys of Galicia, to the immense plains of Sierra de Campos. And enjoy overnight stays in some of Northern Spain’s most beguiling cities including Burgos, Leon, Pamplona and Santiago. This walk is one sure to stay in your memory for a long time to come!

If you are considering the Camino please Download our Free Guide to walking the Camino.

The full Camino Frances (Way of St. James) from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela is made up of the following stages. Our standard daily itinerary is detailed on the right. This itinerary can be tailored to suit your plans.


Stage 1: St Jean Pied de Port to Logrono (Days 1-8)

Your journey starts in St Jean Pied de Port, which straddles the French and Spanish border. The Camino begins by crossing the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles, where your journey through Spain begins. Leaving Roncesvalles you cross mountain passes through beech and oak woods alongside the River Arga. The high mountains and deep valleys of the Pyrenees soon give way to the undulating plain that surrounds the fortress town of Pamplona.


Leaving Pamplona, the route to Estella passes through olive groves and small towns including Villamayor de Monjardin and Los Arcos. As you approach Logrono, the regional capital, you cross into the wine growing region of the Rioja. Logrono is a large town today of 120,000 but owes it's development to the Camino de Santiago and evidence of this is in the old town which is laid out along the line of the Camino.


Walking days: 7, Nights: 8, Total walking distance: 154km


Grade: Moderate to Strenuous


Stage 2: Logrono to Burgos (Days 9-14)

The first part of this stage is relatively easy and the landscape is filled with vineyards. As you head towards Santa Domingo, country roads dominate and you pass mountain ranges to the north and south. The Camino then takes you through farmland until you reach the Oca Mountains. Before reaching Burgos, you descend into the valley of the Pico river, and the spires of the magnificent Gothic cathedral come into view. A rest day in Burgos allows for exploration of this great city which was the capital of Old Castile for almost 500 years and home to El Cid in the 11th century.


Walking days: 5, Nights: 6, Total walking distance: 119km


Grade: Moderate


Stage 3: Burgos to Leon (Days 15-24)

Farmland dominates the landscape on the first part of this stage before the River Pisuerga brings you into Palencia and into the immense plains of the Tierra de Campos. You continue your journey past Carrion de los Condos to Leon.


Walking days: 9, Nights: 10, Total walking distance: 176km


Grade: Moderate


Stage 4: Leon to O’Cebreiro (Days 25-31)

Leaving Leon the countryside is characterised by broom, heather, oak trees and conifer plantations. The Camino continues towards Mount Irago before making your way down to the wealthy area of Bierzo. The final part of this stage is challenging as it involves a steep climb to O’Cebreiro in the course of only a few kilometres. However, it is well worth the effort as this little village is where you will spend the night. It has delightful little round stone huts with straw roofs, which, until recently were still inhabited.


Walking days: 7, Nights: 8, Total walking distance: 151km


Grade: Moderate


Stage 5: O’Cebreiro to Santiago de Compostela (Days 31-40)

The final, and most popular, stage of the Camino Frances passes through the Sierra of Ranadoiro and descends into the valley to Triacastela. You pass through many hamlets dotted along cultivated land, in the direction of the great river Mino, to Portomarin. Pine groves and Eucalyptus trees can be seen as you enter the farming region of Ulloa. As you enter the province of A Coruna the landscape changes as the woodlands begin to disappear and you will soon see the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in front of you.


Arriving at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is a magical experience at the end of your Camino. We allow an extra day in Santiago so you can attend the Pilgrim's Mass and explore the city.


Walking days: 7, Nights: 8, Total walking distance: 153km


Grade: Moderate


Extensions and tailor-made itineraries

We can tailor-make your Camino to exactly meet your needs. Adding or reducing the number of nights and rest days. Contact our specialists to start planning your Camino.


Purists might want to consider adding the extension to Finisterre in order to finish their Camino on the beach.

Accommodation

Our Camino tours include high-quality hotels and inns close to the route of the Camino. You will always have a private room and en-suite (attached) bathroom.
In Sarria and Santiago, you will stay in 3-star hotels; the other nights will be in a mixture of rural hotels and hostels all with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo travellers to start on any day. You will need to pay a supplement for a single room (which is available on the Included tab of this tour).


We do not arrange for solo walkers to room together but one of the
joys of the Camino is the many people you meet so you will rarely walk
alone.


Meals

A light continental breakfast is included each morning, which can sometimes just be coffee, bread and orange juice.
Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Each night will have evening meals available; you can get a pilgrims menu for about 10 Euros which includes 3 courses, wine and water!

Availability

You can start your Camino anytime between March and Mid November.


San Fermín Festival in Pamplona


Please be aware that should you wish to travel during the San Fermín Festival in Pamplona, then accommodation at this specific location is normally very difficult to secure and the hotels may charge a premium. We will always do our best to make arrangements for you, however, at busy times a supplement may be payable for transfers or superior accommodation.


Specific dates for 2018 are: 6th to the 13th of July


Time of Year

The Camino is best enjoyed from February to Mid November. You can start on any day that suits you, subject to availability.


April, May, June, September and October are the most popular months for walking the Camino. July and August can be very hot.


Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 19-28km so you will be walking for between 5 and 8 hours each day. The trail consists of a mixture of dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The Camino is very easy to follow. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows and a yellow shell on a blue background. The detailed travel pack we supply includes a detailed guidebook including maps, a detailed information pack for planning and preparing for your Camino, detailed instructions of how to find your overnight accommodation and everything you need for your Camino.


Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfers are included (max 20kg per person). Your main bag will
be transferred each day between your overnight accommodation so that
you only need to walk with a day pack.


Pilgrim Passport

The Pilgrim Passport is issued by the Church of St James, you will find this in your pack waiting for you at your first hotel. Alternatively, you can obtain one at the start of your walk in the Pilgrims’ Office or the local church in town. You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants and hotels along the way. At the end of the walk in Santiago, you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have walked the last 100km).


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to St Jean Pied de Port

The best place to fly into to get to St Jean is Biarritz airport. You can get here easily from the London and Manchester with Ryanair or if you are travelling internationally it is often a good idea to fly into Paris and either take the train down to Bayonne with SNCF, or to take an internal flight with Air France or Easyjet to get to Biarritz.
From Biarritz, you simply take the bus from outside the airport to Bayonne rail station (20 mins) and then from there take the mountain railway up to St Jean (1.5 hours) which you can book in advance with SNCF.


Getting home from Santiago

You can fly directly from Santiago back to the UK with Ryanair who fly direct to Stansted and Easyjet who fly direct to Gatwick.


Another good point to connect through to travel internationally is Paris. You can fly from Santiago to Paris with Vueling or from Madrid with Ryanair

Included

  • 39 Nights accommodation in small rural hotels and hostels, twin/double rooms with en-suite W/C.
  • Baggage Transfers
  • A detailed information pack including route notes, maps and local information.
  • Camino guide book with maps.
  • Emergency support from our local and UK offices.

Excluded

  • Travel to St. Jean Pied de Port / from Santiago
  • Lunches, snacks or drinks.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.

Extras

  • Additional nights’ accommodation.
  • Single supplement.

Below you will answers to our FAQ's. If you are considering the Camino please download our Free Guide to the Camino. You will also find numerous Camino articles on our blog.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino is extremely popular. Numbers can rise by up to 100,000 people. We will always try and accommodate late booking requests.

How fit do I need to be?

The average daily distance of our Camino tours are between 20 and 25 kilometers and you can expect to walk for between five and eight hours each day. You should do as much walking as possible prior to your walk as this will simply add to your enjoyment.

Can I walk with my bags?

Yes, some people prefer to walk carrying their own bags as a true pilgrim would have. You can select the option for removing the baggage transfers in Step 2 of the Booking Engine.

When is the best time of year?

Although you can walk the Camino at any time of year we would recommend April/May/June and September/October when the weather is at its best for walking. July and August can be very hot and are busy.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support contact us and we will be more that happy to help.

Can I walk the Camino solo?

Yes, many of our guests travel solo. Although the nature of the Camino means that they soon join up with other pilgrims. There is a single room supplement payable for solo walkers.

Do you offer group trips?

No, we do not offer group trips as independent self-guided trips are a much better way to experience the Camino.

When can I start?

You can start on any day of your choosing, subject to availability.

Can I tailor-make my Camino tour?

Yes, although we find our standard itineraries are perfect for most walkers, we can add additional nights at any point of the Camino and tailor-make the trip to meet your needs.

What type of trails does the Camino follow?

A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is well marked and easy to follow.

Can I change my itinerary once I start walking?

Unfortunately we are unable to change your accommodation bookings and itinerary once you start walking as alternative accommodation is generally not available at such short notice.

Camino Support enabled me to focus on walking and just being

5

Knowing that I had a bed waiting for me everyday on the Camino enabled me to enjoy the walk each day. During the full Camino I was able to observe the gradual changes in geography and the ethnic favor of each area. Walking/eating alone I often had opportunity to talk with fellow pilgrims from all over the world - many friendships were formed. My 21 year old daughter completed the Camino at the same time; staying in hostels! She joined me at the beginning and end in the hotels. Perfect way to share this experience together, but also in our own way.

Fast Walker

Edmonton

Great trip!

5

Hard on the feet, but well worth the pain.

Franko

California

This Camino was an absolutely fabulous spiritual adventure!

4

Having the accommodations set took the stress out of the trip for me so that I could focus on the spirituality aspect of the trip and enjoy the journey As was so demonstrated, it is not the destination but the journey! Although as noted above the maps to the accommodations were not very good.My luggage was always there at my next stop! It provided enough of a challenge day after day and even though it was scheduled and took the freedom out of that part, it was well done. Many lessons are to be learned along the way. At times it was very emotional. And as i always said, you meet a lot of "new" old friends. It wasn't all beauty on the outside as there was a lot of walking along the road with cars passing by or in back alleys and roads, however that is where a lot of the inner journey would take place. There was a lot of wooded area mixed with some plains. I did see pictures of the Portugal Way and there was a lot of ocean scenery. I would probably choose that next and not repeat the French Way. All in all it was a fabulous adventure.

Pamea

USA

My Camino Legend Trip!

5

As a first time Camino Walker, I appreciated having my accommodations planned out and booked. In retrospect, I wish you had asked me a few more questions before committing me to only 12 miles (on average to day). Also the inflexibility of changes without big penalties was a turn off.

OmGirl

Kennett Square, PA

I would like to experience this walk again

5

Having good accommodation pre-booked and baggage transported ahead, makes for a stress free camino and allows for pleasant unhurried stops on the way.

AndyC

Johannesburg, South Africa

Great Camino

5

Enjoyed meeting up with good friends, meeting new friends on route. A wonderful experience.

Charl

Guildford

true

Adventure in style!

5

There is no better way to experience the Camino other than with the help of Macs Adventures! A truly 5-star trip from start to finish. I will recommend Macs and especially Sinead Cunningham to any and ALL who are interested. Best experience ever!

Marilize

Johannesburg

true

Best trip of my life

5

We thoroughly enjoyed the Camino Final Stage, 8 Days, Sarria to Santiago. Macsadventure was by our side the whole time. Booking the trip was easy, I emailed with a question and received a response the next business day, they sent follow up emails and all the trip materials were very detailed. I would without hesitation book my next trip through Macsadventure. In fact, we want to do another hiking trip next year!

Linda the adventurer

Michigan , USA

true

wonderful planning and expertise

5

wonderful,just wonderful ====very well organized,i had no worries---the trip was everything you told me about and more-----thanks so much for taking care of me. as we say in california,you da the bomb!!!!

davey,so unusual

carmel,california,usa

true

Full Camino - St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago

4.9 9

100.0

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