35 – 45 Day Independent Itinerary on the Camino Frances, from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela
This itinerary covers the entire final 790 kilometers / 490 miles of the Camino Frances route, beginning in St. Jean Pied de Port – last town in France – hiking across the mighty Pyrenees into Spain, and all the way to the Apostle’s resting place in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Only offered on a custom basis, with daily stages tailored to your available dates and walking ability, for a minimum of 3 people.
Typically ranging from 35 to 45 days (including at least 4 rest days)
St. Jean Pied de Port – various public transport options: by taxi from Pamplona or Bilbao (Spain) or Biarritz and Bordeaux (France); or train from Biarritz. For further details on getting to and from our trip start points, please see our FAQ’S page.
C. Average “standard” stages range from 19 – 27 km daily. For most people this would be about 5 to 6 hours of walking. Shorter stages on many days can be arranged.
We use the best available lodgings in each overnight stop in rural areas (usually 2* – 3* hotels or equivalent inns). In larger towns we usually use quality 3* – 4* properties with plenty of charm and character.
Start any day between March 1 and October 30
St. Jean Pied de Port – a lovely little town in France’s Basque country, nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees, with a marvelous pilgrim’s atmosphere, it`s the perfect place to start your journey.
The Pyrenees – Europe’s 2nd major mountain range, after the Alps, you’ll cross at one of the lower passes near the Atlantic ocean, but still a respectable 1600 meters, where swirling mists and flocks of sheep are often your main companions. When the fog lifts wonderful views abound.
Pamplona – the walled fortress city of Pamplona (Iruña in Basque language), ancient capital of the kingdom of Navarre (claimed as part of a “Basque homeland” nowadays by the Basque separatist-terrorist-nationalist groups such as ETA). Pamplona was the end of the second stage in Aymery Picaud’s guide. In modern times, the city has become world famous thanks to Ernest Hemmingway’s having written about its Running of the Bulls in its annual San Fermin Festival. It’s a great place to eat and drink the fine local wine!
La Rioja – Spain’s most famous wine-producing region, this area is also famed for the quality of its vegetables and fruit in general, resulting in a rich and varied culinary tradition sure to please every palate. Small hills and valleys create a constantly changing and pleasant walking environment.
Burgos – a former capital of Spain during the Christian reconquest of Iberia from the Moors, among its many wonderful historic sights, its amazing Gothic cathedral is perhaps Spain’s most impressive. This quintessential Castilian city is also the birthplace of Rodrigo Diez de Vivar, otherwise known as “El Cid”, possibly Spain’s most famous warrior.
León – home to some of Europe’s greatest masterpieces of Gothic art and a wonderful pilgrim’s atmosphere, its old quarter is perfect for strolling and enjoying tapas and the excellent local wine.
Astorga – crossroads of the Via de la Plata and Camino de Santiago, the city’s illustrious patrimony includes numerous Roman ruins, a Gothic cathedral and Catalán architect Antonio Gaudí’s Neo-Gothic Bishop’s Palace.
Villafranca del Bierzo – considered the “gateway to Galicia”, the last major town before the Way begins the arduous ascent to cross the Leon-Galicia border, it has a wealth of historic buildings, including several churches, a castle, a monastery, a convent and plenty of noble homes.
O’Cebreiro – the 1st village the Camino Frances in Galicia, an emblematic hilltop stone village with curious pre-Roman thatch-roofed dwellings called pallozas. The chapel is the site of one of the Camino’s most famous legends.
The unique energy and camaraderie of the “pilgrimage” – every day you’ll share the trail with fellow pilgrims from around the world, and inevitably, the traveller soon finds herself imbued with the unique and magical spirit of the “Camino “.
Santiago de Compostela – one of the world’s great historic cities, its ancient granite-clad old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to Galicia’s regional government, one of Europe’s oldest universities and the magnificent cathedral that has drawn millions over the centuries like a magnet, it virtually buzzes with a unique energy and is a fascinating place to explore.
We will create a custom itinerary for you, with daily stages tailored to your available dates and walking ability, for a minimum of 3 people. Please use our custom trip booking form to contact us and request further details.