Camino Frances

In 2012 134.979 pilgrims from all over the world walked the Camino France.  At least this is the number of pilgrims that collected their “compostela” at the pilgrims office in Santiago indicating that they walked this route. To earn the “Compostela” you need to have walked as a minimum the last 100km from Sarria.

Here are the most common starting points on the Camino Frances:

Camino Frances Stages

  1. St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles
  2. Roncesvalles to Larrasoaña
  3. Larrasoaña to Cizur Menor
  4. Cizur Menor to Puente la Reina
  5. Puente la Reina to Estella
  6. Estella to Los Arcos
  7. Los Arcos to Logroño
  8. Logroño to Nájera
  9. Nájera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada
  10. Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado
  11. Belorado to San Juan de Ortega
  12. San Juan de Ortega to Burgos
  13. Burgos to Hornillos del Camino
  14. Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz
  15. Castrojeriz to Frómista
  16. Frómista to Carrión de los Condes
  17. Carrión de los Condes to Terradillo de Templarios
  18. Terradillo de Templarios to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos
  19. Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to Mansilla de las Mulas
  20. Mansilla de las Mulas to León
  21. León to Villar de Mazarife (San Martin del Camino (Alt.))
  22. Villar de Mazarife to Astorga (or from San Martin del Camino (Alt.))
  23. Astorga to Rabanal del Camino
  24. Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca
  25. Molinaseca to Villafranca del Bierzo (Pereje (Alt.))
  26. Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro (Alt from Pereje)
  27. O Cebreiro to Triacastela
  28. Triacastela to Sarria
  29. Sarria to Portomarin
  30. Portomarin to Palas de Rei
  31. Palas de Rei to Ribadiso da Baixo
  32. Ribadiso da Baixo to Pedrouzo/Arca
  33. Pedrouzo/Arca to Santiago de Compostela

38 Replies to “Camino Frances”

  1. Thanks for the recommendation from Heather. I will add in Casa Pepe after Santiago in Sancta Maria en route to Finisterre. A wonderful family run hostel in a beautifully renovated traditional home w all mod cons, beautiful (not a word I usually use in this context) showers, wifi, wood fire, bar food. And Mar and Albergue de Pieros and absolute dream of a place (in Pieros) w vegetarian food. Never thought that I would love veggie food but after overdosing on pork since St Jean I was v. grateful. Also a meditation room. In Faba there is a very extraordinary place which I didnt stay in but would be v. curious to do so. Run by Marcel again veggie food.

  2. we arrived today–April 10th–and learned that Napoleon’s route is too dangerous for tomorrow. Too much snow. Has anyone taken this way I the past two days. Respond ASAP.

  3. I am planning to stay at Plum Village for a week or two, then i will hit hit the Camino. I plan on flying into Bordeaux, and Plum Village is next to Ste.Foy la Grande and Bergerac. I will be staying at the (upper hamlet) Thenac. Where would be the best place to start the Camino from there ?

    1. Doing the camino usually makes a pilgrim encounter the opposite of what he or she “prefers”..usually it is an encounter sharply with those things we prefer and we don’t prefer…we meet what we have not yet come to terms in our own lives prior to the Camino

  4. Can anyone speak to Albergue Ave Fenix de Familia Jato in Villafranca del Bierzo? I was plotting it on my map based on the Hospitalero Portrait of Jesús Arias Jato in Lydia Smith’s Camino Documentary, but when I did a Google search for the location, the comments there were about bedbugs, fleas, and rats and “send my worst enemy.” Pilgrims gave it 3.25/5 here with only one comment about “Atmosphere.” Any further comments?

    1. I stayed there. I liked it a lot. It did have a nice atmosphere, a shared meal, and nice for me, they had an all-women’s room. I did not experience any bed bugs there or rats or anything bad.

    1. Hi Alan,
      I am planning to leave SJPDP on the 15th but only walking as far as Orrison the 1st day. Perhaps we will meet along the Way. No pun intended! I will be one of the many Canadians.
      Buen Camino

  5. Hello all!

    I am beginning the Camino Frances at SJPP on the morning of June 22 (if all goes well up to that point). I’m walking at least 5 – 10 miles 3 or 4 days during the week and 12-14 miles on weekends. Sometime soon, I’ll start walking with my backpack on. I’m hoping this walking (and my time in prayer) will be enough preparation for a half-century man like myself.

    To all preparing: Buen Camino!

    1. That sounds like a terrific challenge for a half-century man, but God will no doubt see it through to the end! One of the most beautiful parts of the Camino that you will no doubt experience is that the time of walking and the time of praying start to blend together… as St. Francis put it, “There is no point in walking somewhere to preach if our walking is not our preaching.” Buen Camino to you, friend!

  6. Nice list and a useful tool.

    My favourite albergue on the Camino is in Belorado. I also loved Vega de Valcarce, Riego de Ambros, Reliegos, Villalcazar de Sirga, Boadilla En el Camino and Esprit de Chemin.

    I really did NOT like Tosantos, Hornillos, Estella municipal, Fonfria, and a liitle place in Ligonde.

  7. Hi! I anticipating walking the Camino next year. I want to start the Camino in Aire-Sur-Adour to St. Jean Pied de Port. At this stage it will only be me and it will be my first time. Therefore, I am looking at doing it through Any suggestions? Long term goal is eventually end up in Santiago.

    1. Just to give you an idea Godwin, I’ve encountered both blind and deaf people walking the Camino.You won’t get lost if you’re starting from SJPDP

  8. hi all, going to be leaving the uk for st jean on the 27th of august. I recently changed my guide book and read that if i didnt speak fluent spanish i would be in trouble and probably not complete the camino, it also said there was a good chance of being attacked by dogs, how close is this to the truth???

    1. I am also doing the Camino for the first time this year, but I have done extensive reading and been on many forums, and as far as I can tell as long as you have a few basic phrases in Spanish you’ll be ok, and a lot of people along the way will speak English and Spanish, and will be happy to help. As for being attacked by dogs, I haven’t seen much about that at all, just warnings to be alert in certain areas and not to approach stray animals.I’m starting out from St Jean on 28th August (after coming all the way from Australia!), perhaps I will see you there. In any case, I hope this information provides you with some comfort. Buen camino, safe travels!

      1. hi Nicola, thank you for the reply it has put my mind at rest, just a case of some bad reading and pre camino nerves. I was totally prepared to put my faith in god and fellow pilgrims and hearing your reply just helps bolster that belief. see you in St Jean, maybe and Buen Camino to you and all other travellers

  9. Hi Everyone, I am a 61 year old woman who is not a walker/hiker but I am very, very interested in doing this pilgrimage within the next two to three weeks. Am I being really crazy thinking this will be possible? I am basically in good health and I have done some long distance cycling in the past few years. Your thoughts please. Thanks, Elaine

    1. Hi Elaine have you started yet? I am beginning on Friday 18th, like you 60, not particularly a long distant walker, going to do ten days and see how it goes. Perhaps we may bump into each other. Celia

  10. Just completed the marvelous journey from SJPP to Santiago….quite the physical & mental challenge but a very unique experience…
    Several comments: Can anything be done about the lack of environmental respect peregrinos have regarding leaving toilet tissue on the trail…so unnecessary.?
    Is there any way to find out who unfortunately died or lost their lives on the Camino in tragic ways as one wonders if perhaps you had an encounter with them at some point?
    With the number of walkers increasing dramatically there is a safety concern as cyclists don’t use bells to warn you they are approaching. What are their etiquette rules?
    Walk the Camino….I certainly am glad I did.

  11. I just finished my second Camino Frances walk, ( first was in 2009, also Sept/Oct). The big difference is the number of pilgrims, this year the hostels in the first dozen stages were packed; if you weren’t at the hostel by 2, you ran a good chance of not getting a bed. As a result there were a lot of people rushing as fast as they could to get to their destination in time for a place. Also, in some of the very small towns, the number of pilgrims was simply overwhelming for the facilities available. The result was difficulty in getting a meal, groceries, access to the kitchen etc. In Zubiri I stayed at the Avellana Auberge ( priv), and the hospitalero told me they had been booked solid since early June, every single night, and that was a big hostel!
    As a result, it was not the same experience as 2009, when I did not ever worry about getting a bed. I don’t think things are going to change much going forward, the Camino has been “discovered” by many more people, and with the boomers retiring and looking for things to do, it will continue to be very busy. There is a need for more facilities to be built, particularly in the first stages before people start to spread out.
    I enjoyed the overall experience, but the sheer number of pilgrims and the resultant crowding got me down after a while…
    Advice: take a break from the crowded auberges regularly by checking into a hotel or pension, be prepared to get going by 7 and finish by before 2, that will give you 20 to 25 km a day and you will be in your auberge in time to get a bed. It also gives you time to explore the town and area and relax.
    There is a thread somewhere on the Frances forum that is about how the camino has changed, I read it before I left for Europe, and now that I am back and have completed the camino again, I would agree, it has changed since 2009, and not for the better.

  12. Three of us have only the first week in Jan. 2014 (starting our walk on the 2nd) available. We want to start in Sarria, ending in Santiago. Can anyone help us with any info on what is likely to be open? Two out three of us are septuagenariansa, but we fairly regularly walk 15 or more kilometers per day…

  13. I walked the Camino de Santiago Frances from SJPDP on May 10, 2013 and I arrived Santiago de Compostela on June 15, 2013. At the time I was walking, some of the arrows were being refreshed, but if you are watchful, you will not miss the trail. I suggest that you get a good guide book. I tied mine on the strap of my front back.

    I was a female solo walker with a lot of health issues, but I completed the walk a lot of prayers from people in my town.

    I am currently planning my next Camino that I hope to do in 2015 (solo) starting from Le Puy, Frances (aprox. 1,700km walk).

    God bless you.

  14. Hi myself and my Mum are planning on doing the section from France into Spain, as my mum has done the last 2 stages!

    I however have not done this before and trying to organise the trip for us.
    We want to do 7 days @20-25k a day. The second week in July. We are moderate walkers.

    Can someone please advise, where we should start and finish, any recommendations would be helpful. Apologies about the vagueness.

    Thank you in advance

  15. My husband and I will be starting in Pamplona and would like to ship a suitcase ahead to Santiago. We will arrive on a Sunday and will leave early for our first day of walking on Monday. What are our options for shipping a suitcase? Cheryl