Create your own journey; Experience the best of Northern Spain at your own pace
Camino De Santiago: French Way
(León - Santiago)
- 313 Km
- 14 nights
- DifficultyiNOTE: nowhere, in any Camino, will steep cliffs be found next to path!
1: Very easy. Flat and without significant gradients. Good and normally wide paths.
2: Easy. Slightly hilly. Good and normally wide paths.
3: Medium. Hilly, possibly with longer distances between service facilities/cities. Good, sometimes narrow paths.
4: Medium/Hard. Longer, steeper climbs, perhaps with few servicefacilities/cities. Good, sometimes narrow paths.
5: Hard. Long gradient(s), possibly few facilities. Very hilly. Good, sometimes narrow paths.
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Iconic pilgrimage from León to Santiago. A real classic!
The pilgrimage from León to Santiago de Compostela is a unique spiritual experience spanning approximately 300 kilometers, with a manageable difficulty level of 3 out of 5. Starting this journey in the historic city of León adds depth and authenticity to your Camino de Santiago trip. This route is ideal for those who want to meaningfully explore the Camino without covering excessively long distances.
The journey begins in the majestic city of León, renowned for its Gothic cathedral and rich medieval heritage. Throughout this journey, pilgrims immerse themselves in varied landscapes, from rolling hills to charming villages. The route is dotted with picturesque towns where walkers can rest and enjoy local hospitality. Discover historical monuments such as centuries-old Romanesque churches and medieval castles, which tell vivid stories of past eras.
The stretch from León is characterized by its scenic beauty and tranquil atmosphere. As you approach Santiago de Compostela, the excitement builds. The final city, with its cobblestone streets and ancient buildings, provides the perfect backdrop to conclude this transformative pilgrimage.Click Request quote [on the right-hand column] to get in touch with Spain is More for a personalized offer.
Our journey begins in León. The next day, you'll take a bus to Hospital de Órbigo. This decision was made for two reasons: 1) To keep the trip within two weeks, accommodating those who have limited time. 2) To bypass the less interesting exit out of León. If you wish to walk from León to Hospital de Órbigo, let us know, and we will include it in your offer. Remember, this will require adding an extra night to your trip.
What Spain is More Offers
✔ Daily departures throughout the year.
✔ Carefully selected hotels, always with a private bathroom.
✔ Personalized digital guide from Spain is More
✔ Stage customization: Yes, always.
✔ Excursion to Finisterre.
✔ Monastery of Samos.
✔ Roman Wall in Lugo. An extra night in Sarria will be needed.
✔ Spend a day in Ribera Sacra to see the vineyards and enjoy a beautiful cruise on the Sil River. An extra night in Sarria will be needed.
✔ The atmosphere in the city of Santiago.
- 14 nights in a double room - always with private bath/toilet.
- 14 x breakfast.
- Transport from León to Hospital de Orbigo.
- Spain-is-More-Digital- Travel Guidebook: Detailed guide with various recommendations, itineraries, hotel addresses, etc. Printed copies can be purchased (30 euros per copy).
- Pilgrims passport/Credencial
- Guided Tour to Finisterre.
- 24/7 emergency telephone number.
- Some short local bus or taxi journeys, e.g. from airport to bus or train station in the same city.
- Personalise your Camino: Extended stays, divide stages, transportation to startingpoint from anywhere in the world and back. Please ask us, we will be happy to assist you.
- Train from Madrid to León or any other local transport to starting point.
- Baggage Transport on the pilgrim route can be purchased. If you buy a luggage service your bag / suitcase will be transported from hotel to hotel on the scheduled days of hiking. Price 100 €/unit of max 15 kg.
- Extension of stay
- Printed guide. If you prefer the printed guide, it can be purchased for 30 euros per specimen. (You can add it when you buy the trip).
- Cancellation insurance: available in the trip confirmation process. (can be added when ordering).
Camino De Santiago: French Way
(León - Santiago)From990 Euro/pers.Single room supplement: 325 Euro
León - Santiago de CompostelaDetailed itinerary (view all days )Day 1.- Arrival in León
The old Roman regional capital is one of the main towns on the “French Way” – the original pilgrimage route. In the year 910, León became the capital of the kingdom we know today as Spain. Its medieval importance is reflected in monuments such as its breathtaking cathedral, where several ancient kings and queens are buried. In addition to its proud display of the San Marcos and San Isidro figures, León is also full of tapas bars and appealing plazas from which to observe travelers and their sore feet. In León you will encounter a genuine, authentic Spain, and yet there is much more to come on your journey.Day 2.- León + Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga14 Km
The suburbs of León stand in complete contrast to its stunning city center. Instead of trekking through miles of industrial estates and flat plains, pilgrims are shuttled via a bus to Astorga. From here, the most pleasing part of the route begins. Another option is to stop at Hospital de Orbigo, 14 km (8 mi) from Astorga, where a gorgeous roman bridge creates a magnificent start to your pilgrimage. Astorga stands as an important town on the route and boasts interesting sites such as Gaudi’s Bishops Palace and a glorious cathedral.Day 3.- Astorga - Rabanal del Camino 21 Km
A few kilometers after Astorga the landscape begins to change and becomes more mountainous. Before arriving to today´s destination you will pass through more beautiful, charming towns such as Castillo de los Polvazares that truly deserve a visit. Rabanal is a welcoming town with a great deal of pilgrim ambiance.
Distance: 21 KmDay 4.- Rabanal de Camino - Molinaseca 27 Km
This stage through the mountains is unforgettable because you'll reach the famous Iron Cross (Cruz de Ferro) where pilgrims traditionally leave a stones representing a burden or desire and carried from their home towns at the base of the cross. Next, along the way to Molinaseca, the wondrous natural scenery is marked by a few villages. Molinaseca is crammed with charming restaurants frequented by pilgrims and locals alike, all enjoying the city’s picturesque streets and cozy cafés.
Distance: 27 KmDay 5.- Molinaseca - Villafranca del Bierzo 29 Km
Today you pass through Ponferrada, the city with a famous 12th-century Templar castle, Castillo de los Templarios, at the town center. Ponferrada is a large mining city with a population of over 60.000 and an important stop on the Camino. As you leave, you´ll pass through Cacabelos, a small medieval stop for pilgrims, today home for a large number of wine-cellars (bodegas). Then, it’s on to Villafranca del Bierzo, often known as the “other” or “little” Santiago. Notice the 12th century Romanesque Church of Santiago and its north entrance, Door of Forgiveness. Villafranca del Bierzo is one of the most pleasant Camino towns found in the middle of Bierzo, which has established itself as one of Spain’s greatest wine regions.
Distance: 29 KmDay 6.- Villafranca del Bierzo - O Cebreiro 28 Km
Today, in the region bordering Galicia, you'll walk along ancient paths shaded by birches, oaks, chestnuts and poplars up to the emblematic mountaintop village of O’Cebreiro. There is a lovely 12th century Romanesque church with a fascinating legend, and curious old straw-roofed dwellings called Pallozas. This path offers some of the most panoramic views, but is also one of the toughest stages. Often shrouded in mist, the small stone village is extremely charming. If you arrive on a clear day, the views are dazzling!
Its possible to split this stage in two.
Distance: 28 KmDay 7.- O Cebreiro - Tricastela 21 Km
After a lot of uphill on one of the highest points of the trip, O Cebreiro, today will mostly be downhill. Once again, you´ll have many splendid views of the surrounding countryside. Today you'll also begin to notice stone granaries called "horreos". Also, the weather will change a bit, due to the winds and rain from the Atlantic Ocean. Although none of the castles still exist today, the name Triacastela, meaning "three castles," carries on. Limestone used to build the Cathedral de Santiago came from quarries near Triacastela.
Distance: 21 KmDay 8.- Tricastela - Sarria 18 Km
The landscape begins to change as you begin the descent, perhaps a welcome relief after the last few days of hilly terrain. The route to Sarria give you the choice of two paths, one in a couple of hours allows a recommendable visit to the Benedictine Monastery of Samos, founded in the 6th century and one of the oldest in western Christendom. From here its a idyllic hike through the forrest to Sarria. The other route is a quicker way to reach the end.
Sarria itself is a town of about 13,000 residents and is the last place pilgrims with limited time can hike the minimum distance to the Cathedral de Santiago, 100 km, to receive their Certificate of Completion on the Camino. Because of this, Sarria is a major starting point for many pilgrims. You’ll notice an increased number of fellow pilgrims from here to Santiago.
Distance: 18 KmDay 9.- Sarria - Portomarín 23 Km
Galicia is one of the most beautiful regions in Spain, both in nature and glorious tradition. Today’s walk is one of the most attractive stages of the entire Pilgrim’s Way; traveling through authentic rural Spain and its verdant forests, grassy meadows, fertile orchards and simple stone-built hamlets.
Distance: 23 KmDay 10.- Portomarin - Palas de Rei 25 Km
The terrain becomes flatter, though still hilly. Optimism takes over in this magnificent, lush area. By now your goal feels achievable. The journey continues along farm tracks and quiet country roads through the lush Galician countryside to Palas de Rei. Palas de Rei is a small village of around 2,000, with an illustrious past, although nothing remains today as a reminder since the historic city was engulfed in 1960 with the water from the dam and lake that were built.
NOTE: the two stages between Portomarin and Arzúa can be divided into three stages with the following km. distribution: 17, 16 and 20 km.
Distance: 25 KmDay 11.- Palas de Rei - Arzúa 28 Km
Today's views will seem somewhat familiar. A typical day on the Camino de Santiago, through rolling green landscapes, dotted with cows, stone walls and tiny Romanesque churches. Take time to talk and learn about myriad of legends and stories that this route offers. Today´s stage can also be divided into an extra night in Melide.
NOTE: the two stages between Portomarin and Arzúa can be divided into three stages with the following km. distribution: 17, 16 and 20 km. Or we can just divide the long stange between Palas de Rei and Arzua in two stages.
Distance: 28 KmDay 12.- Arzúa - O Pedrouzo 20 Km
An exhilarating atmosphere unfolds as your journey's end draws closer. Pilgrims now feel the close joy of having reached their goal and they begin to revel in happiness and relief with the many companions they met along the way. Today’s walk is along natural pathways through tall groves of Eucalyptus that provide superb shade during your walk.
Distance: 20 KmDay 13.- O Pedrouzo/ A Rua - Santiago de Compostela 20 Km
Congratulations, you achieved an admirable goal, so it's time for a number of traditional pilgrimage rituals. First, be sure to get proof of this feat: the last stamp in your pilgrim passport.
Along with the rituals, enjoy the End Station of the Pilgrim Route, Santiago de Compostela, which offers a veritable cornucopia of attractions and one of the world’s most important cultural centers. This university town exudes charm and has a myriad of cozy streets offering ample opportunity to sample the many local delicacies.
The Cathedral is surrounded by a historic center which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, and its old town is incomparable to any other. Its monuments stand as true works of art in different architectural styles.
Distance: 20 KmDay 14.- Santiago de Compostela y Finisterre-daytrip
True pilgrims continues further and finish their journeys in Finisterre. The tour goes by bus with an English-speaking guide from Santiago to Finisterre in the morning and returns to Santiago in the late afternoon. Just off the stunning, rugged coastline and the fabled “Costa de la Muerte” (Death Coast), a reef filled with shipwrecks and tales of legends captures a raw, natural beauty. On the coast’s westernmost point is Finisterre – meaning the world’s end. Romans named this coast because it was literally the end of the known world. For many pilgrims this is the symbolic endpoint of the pilgrimage.
The evening is spent in Santiago de Compostela.Day 15.- Departure
Departure from Santiago.
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