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Camino de Santiago (Camino Frances)

The Camino de Santiago, commonly referred to as the Way, the Camino, the French Way, or the Camino Frances, is the most popular Camino route to Santiago de Compostela. The Camino Frances runs nearly 500 miles from St Jean Pied de Port on the France-Spain border to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.

Whether you’d like to walk a portion of the route, walk the final stage, or hike the entire Camino, you can find the perfect itinerary to fit your needs. Since 2008, Macs Adventure has helped thousands of happy walkers experience the outstanding scenery and unique culture on the Camino Frances. With our dedication to quality accommodation, seamless digital mapping, insider tips and luggage transfers, you only need to think about putting one foot in front of the other.

2021 was due to be a special year, a "Holy Year" on the Camino de Santiago. Due to the pandemic, the Vatican have decreed that 2022 will also be designated as part of the Holy Year, so we suggest booking early! Read more about the Holy Year on the blog.

You can choose from our popular itineraries below or download our free Guide to the Camino de Santiago for a ton of helpful Camino information and if you have any questions our team of Camino experts are on hand with help and advice. You can also find out more about post-pandemic travel from your home country to your chosen Camino route using our Travel Restrictions form, which will direct you towards the relevant official advice.

Discover Camino Frances

  • Download our Free Camino Guide
    Download our Free Camino Guide

    Thinking of walking the Camino de Santiago? There is so much information on this life-changing pilgrimage that sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. 

    Luckily it is Macs Adventure to the rescue! Simply download our Free 21-page Camino guide from the link below to read on your phone, tablet or good old printed page.  

    Download your Free Camino Guide

  • Essential Camino Frances Facts
    Essential Camino Frances Facts

    Length - The Camino stretches right across the north of Spain. It starts in France, in St Jean Pied de Port, and leads pilgrims all the way to Santiago de Compostela, 791km to the west. We have split it down into week long sections, should you not have the time to do it all at once. 

    The Way-marking is amazing - Even on the lesser known of the Camino treks, the way is marked by the scallop shell symbol and painted yellow arrows. Just when you think you haven't seen a symbol for a while, a little dab of yellow paint on a rock or tree will assure you that you are still walking the Camino de Santiago. 

    Toughest Section - The first day has attained legendary status for its difficulty, but in truth, it is not too bad. Walking over the Pyrenees from France to Spain is an amazing experience, rewarding you with outstanding views and a real sense of achievement. For more information, check out video below. 

    Weather - With it being such a long trip, it is hard to generalise about the weather on the Camino Frances. Generally, the north of Spain is cooler and does attract more rain than the south, so we would suggest always having light waterproofs in your daypack. Galicia, in particular, owes its verdant green to the amount of rain. You can keep an eye on the weather by using Accuweather's dedicated Spain page

    The Camino de Santiago has many names It can be The Way of St James, Camino Frances, The French Way or simply The Way. It can also be St James' Path, St James' Trail, Chemin de St Jacques or El Camino. Whichever name you wish to call it, it is still the same glorious pilgrimage across Spain. 

    To get your Compostela, you need to walk at least 100km - This means that many people start their trip from Sarria, almost exactly 100km from Santiago de Compostela. If you are biking, you need to bike at least 200km, so many people begin their cycling pilgrimage in Leon. 

  • Top Tips for the Camino de Santiago
    Top Tips for the Camino de Santiago

    Mass in Santiago de Compostela. Whether you have walked any of the Camino routes for religious reasons or not, going to the pilgrims mass in Santiago Cathedral is still a powerful and moving experience.  There are two masses every day, one at 1200 and one at 1930. Get there early as they do get very busy!

    The Pilgrims Menu. A great food tip is to look for places serving a Menu del Dia or Pilgrims Menu. These 3-course meals, with wine and water, only cost around €10-15 and are great value. However, in cities like Logroño or San Sebastian, it is definitely worth forgoing the Menu del Dia and eating with the locals. 

    Don't worry about packed lunches. On the Camino Francés, there are bars, restaurants and shops at regular intervals, so there will always be somewhere for you to eat on the route. Most of these places will also be happy to stamp your Pilgrims Passport and wish you a 'Buen Camino'.

    Prepare for a wait in Santiago. If you go straight to the Pilgrims Office in Santiago to get your Compostela certificate, be prepared for a long wait.  Queues can be up to 2 hours long, so we would recommend either packing some comfortable shoes to change into, or go back the next morning when it is quieter. 

    Learn a little of the language. While you will get by without speaking the language, the locals will really appreciate it if you try. Even learning the pleasantries is a great start. For extra credit, try learning a few Galician words or if you are starting the Camino del Norte, learn a few words of Basque. 

  • Accommodation on the Camino - What to Expect
    Accommodation on the Camino - What to Expect

    Probably one of the most daunting prospects of planning any trip is finding the right places to stay! However, Macs Adventure takes this out of your hands when you book one of our Camino packages and book all your accommodation in advance for you, leaving you free to enjoy the walk! Here is what to expect from your accommodations on the way! 

    Variety - you can expect to be staying in a large variety of different types of accommodations on any of our Camino routes. This ranges from small family-run B&B's or "pensiones", to "casa rurales" which are refurbished country cottages,  to slightly larger hotels in the bigger cities and towns. Sometimes the smaller accomodations may be called "hostales" but please don't worry - this is not the typical bunk room you may expect in a hostel. You will always have your own private room and bathroom. We always aim to book you into the most personal and charming options available so that your experience is an authentic one. Staying in a variety of accommodation like this is all part of the experience, but it is important to keep this in mind to manage your expectations, as if you stay in a slightly fancier place one night, it may not always be the same the next night! 

    Air-Con? - generally, the smaller accommodations we use do not offer air-conditioning as they are in older buildings and of a more traditional style. Most of the time there will be some sort of fan in the room to cool you down during the hotter summer months!

    Breakfasts - again, the types of breakfast on offer at your accommodation vary hugely. One morning, you may find a true feast presented to you with everything from fresh pastries and bread to cooked eggs. Other mornings, you may find the selection slightly more limited with just bread and cheese on offer. Generally, when you have a long walking day ahead of you it's best not to fill up too much anyway, but you will soon become accustomed to the pilgrim way of life! 

    Upgrades - you may be surprised to learn that there are actually some very luxurious upgrade options available along the Camino which you may be tempted to upgrade to for a night or two! If this sounds like your idea of bliss, you may want even want to consider our Camino in Style tour which includes the finest boutique hotels and country manor houses (pazos). Otherwise, speak to us about perhaps upgrading for a couple of nights to one of the famous Paradores, a range of state-owned hotels which are usually very luxurious and housed in old historical buildings. There are Paradors in several locations across the Camino routes. 

  • Walking the Camino de Santiago

    The Camino de Santiago in Spain is the heart of the modern pilgrimage world, and every year, thousands take to its various paths to trek to Santiago de Compostela. A deep spiritual sense accompanies this walk, whether you are looking for it or not. People undertake pilgrimages for a multitude of reasons and it is meeting these fellow pilgrims, hearing their stories and sharing your adventure with them that makes a Camino tour a life-changing event.

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  • Everything you need to know about the Camino de Santiago.

    In this video, Rachel and Ewan talk through the main points of walking the Camino.  While there are more detailed videos on most of the points covered, this is a great place to start to give you a general overview of what walking the Camino Frances is going to be like.  

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  • What to pack for the Camino de Santiago

    One of the most important things people think about when walking the Camino is what to pack.  There are some essentials, but most people are trying to lighten their load and carry their backpacks with them as they go.  This is amazing, but with Macs Adventure, we transfer your luggage for you (which is not cheating!!) so you can pack whatever you like.  

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  • How to travel to the Camino de Santiago

    How do you get to Sarria?  How do you get back from Leon? There are so many start and endpoints on this massive spiritual journey, that we thought it would be helpful to make a video that told you exactly how to get to and from the various points along the route.  No longer need you wonder about getting from Biarritz to St Jean Pied de Port, it is all laid out here for you.  

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  • How many days to walk the Camino?

    With a walk that stretches all the way across the north of Spain, you might imagine that there is a lot of different itineraries on this route.  In this video we break down how many days it takes to walk the Camino de Santiago and all the different ways you can break it up. 

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