Best of the French Way to Santiago de Compostela
Walk only the best of the French Way. Walk the full 775 km of the French Way from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in 30 days, with an average of 19 km per day (can be customized on request to your preferred average distance per day - see our proposal for Full French Way for ideas), staying in beautiful, peaceful and historical guest-houses on the Camino de Santiago or 2 to 5* hotels in town centers and skipping the least interesting stages.
This self-guided itinerary has shorter stages than recommended by the pilgrim office to ensure you won't overdo it and avoids the ugliest sections (usually entering and exiting the larger towns) so you will enjoy every single step of the way. It includes ensuite rooms in luxury accommodation, a John Brierley Guidebook so you won’t get lost, luggage transfers, breakfast (dinners on request) and the award-winning Ultreya Tours service. So, follow your dream of walking the entire French Way with reasonable distances each day and wonderful accommodation.
CAMINO FULL FRENCH WAY INCLUDES
• En-suite accommodation with breakfast in charming luxurious guest-houses & 2 to 4* hotels + 1 extraordinary hotel per stage (a Parador, a beautiful Pazo or a luxury 4* modern hotel)
• Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
• Private transfers to skip the less interesting stages
• Transfers to and from all hotels if needed
• Emergency support from our local team
• Transfers to and from the Camino and the hotels if they are not directly on the Camino and accessible by foot
• All taxes and gratuities for the hotels
• A detailed John Brierley guidebook per room
• A Pilgrim Kit per person including an official Pilgrim Passport (Credential)
• Walk between 10 km and 24 km per day
price & dates
Can be organized on request for any number of participants on the dates of your choice - except the second week of July (the San Fermin in Pamplona) where a supplement will be applied - subject to availability and price fluctuations.
If booking over 2 weeks on the French Way, we offer a flat rate of €105 per person per night to which you should add transfers and the following extras:
• Single room supplement: + €30 per night per person
• Private transfers: + €1,5 per kilometer skipped
• Add dinner: + €20 per night per person (€40 in luxury accommodation)
• Cycle the Meseta from Burgos to Astorga on a quality MTB: extra €10 per night per person + €350 for the week - includes all necessary equipment, a short meeting in Burgos to set the bike to your size, printed maps and roadside assistance.
• Extra night in the 5* Parador of Santiago: from + €250 per room (dinner not included - upgrade from + €110)
Pricing example for our 30 days 19 km per day average route for two people sharing a twin room with all transfers, luggage transfers nad breakfast
29 nights on the Camino: €3045 per person
A Total of 244 km skipped with different transfers: + €366 for the group
Total: €3228 per person
Contact us for further pricing details including extra activities, shorter walking days, travel insurance, stop-overs and day tours.
fact fileAccommodation Luxurious Manors & 2 to 5* HotelsTotal Walking Distance 530 kmDuration 30 days / 29 nightsStarts Saint-Jean-Pied-de-PortStops Pamplona, Logroño, Navarette, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Burgos, Carrion de los Condes, León, Astorga, Villafranca del Bierzo, O Cebreiro, Sarria, Portomarin and many moreEnds Santiago de Compostela
highlightsGet your Compostela and a Certificate of Distance of 775 kmSkip the least interesting stagesStay in wonderful accommodation everywhere along the Way.Discover the cuisine of 4 different Spanish regions
what to expect on this tour?
Expect to have a wonderful time and to experience the best the French Way have to offer! We designed this tour around personal experiences of the Camino Frances, client feedback and recommendations so your group can have the best experience possible along the Way. Enjoy the highest levels of comfort and experience North of Spain in a different Way.
Note: The stops, activities and distances detailed in the tour itinerary are subject to accommodation availability. Ask us for a final itinerary based on your dates and requirements! We will happily customize this itinerary by adapting the number of days and the distances to your specific interests and needs! Learn more about our Services here.
self-guided Tour with local emergency support
This tour does not have a guide so you will be walking at your own pace and making as much or little stops as you wish. The days have been shorten and private transfers have been added to ensure you are walking an average of 19 km a day (12 miles). As everyone will be walking in the same direction, take this opportunity to meet new people or introspect during your time alone.
Most people leave early in the morning to avoid the heat and to be able to indulge during the afternoon in a siesta, use the hotels facilities, visit the village and have a drink in a local terrace. But this is your Camino, you decide how you want to live it!
SLEEP IN CHARMING LUXURIOUS MANORS & 2 TO 4* HISTORICAL HOTELS
We take particular pride in the quality of our accommodation. We regularly visit and rate all our providers to ensure you will only stay in the best accommodation along the Way according to your budget and needs.
On this tour, you will sleep in charming luxurious guest-houses near the Camino (transfers to and from the houses included each day) & 2 to 4* historical hotels in town centers plus 1 extraordinary hotel per stage. But please note, that, due to the increasing popularity of the French Way, our favorite hotels might already be fully booked on your dates so we will be reliant on availability. In this case, we will try our best to find the best accommodation available which provide a welcoming, safe and authentic experience.
Everyday, as you change accommodation, you will find your suitcase, left with your hotel receptionist in the morning, will travel with you to the next accommodation and you will have different facilities to enjoy including for example swimming pools and spas (during summer and in selected locations).
An easier Camino with shorter stages
Moderate to high levels of fitness are required for this tour due to its duration. We highly recommend training for long distance walks with the walking gear you will be using before heading out to walk the Full French Way. We have shorten the traditional stages to make the Camino more manageable and will help you skip the least interesting , extra resting days can be added and we will provide you with telephone numbers for local taxis if you need a lift.
We cannot promise it will be an easy walk but it will an experience to remember and cherish for the rest of your life. You will be walking along the wine-lands of La Rioja, the gold fields of the Tierra de Campos, across all the way into Santiago de Compostela and to the resting place of the Apostle Saint James.
TOTAL FREEDOM ON YOUR MEALS TO ENJOY REAL LOCAL FOOD
Because of the length of the journey and so you can enjoy a bit more variety or can join your new Camino friends for meals, we decided not to include dinner or lunch. Galicia, La Rioja and Castilla-y-León are proud to have a many Michelin star restaurants and are known world-wide for the quality of their products and their cooks' skills as well as unique dishes as Morcilla and pulpo a feira. So, expect mouth-watering dinners or tapas made out with fresh, local ingredients.
This said, we can include some special dinners or make reservations for you in selected restaurants on request.
Add extra days or activities for an unforgettable adventure
Why not take advantage of the fact you are in the Iberian peninsula to do some tourism and visit Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona or any Spanish city on your bucket list? Your closest arrival airport is Biarritz and your departure airport is Santiago de Compostela but you might want to opt for other airports to visit another region or add nights somewhere on your stopover towards the Camino like San Sebastian or Paris.
We can help you choose and book those extra nights before or after your tour and organize day tours around Galicia (Cies Islands, Oporto... ) or around Pamplona (San Sebastian, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Biarritz). Check out our selection of Day Tours in Galicia and European Stop-Overs or let your imagination run wild and let us know let us know how you would like to make this tour unique.
CAMINO FULL FRENCH WAY DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
This 29 nights route brings you along the 775 km of the Camino Frances - French Way from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French border of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela skipping the least interesting stages.
STAGE 1 - WALK 174 KM between Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Najera
From the Pyrenees towards Navarra and into la Rioja.
|1||Saint Jean||Transfer to Saint Jean from Biarritz by train (1h)|
|2||Saint Jean||Saint Jean||12||Walk to the Virgen of Orisson and transfer back Saint Jean|
|3||Virgin of Orisson||Burguete||15|
|6||Pamplona||Puente la Reina||19||Skip the first 5 km out of Pamplona|
|7||Puente la Reina||Estella||23|
|8||Irache||Torres del Rio||24||Skip first 3km to Irache|
|9||Torres del Rio||La Guardia||21||Walk 21 km to Logroño and transfer to La Guardia to visit the bodegas|
|10||Navarette||Najera||20||Taxi from La Guardia to Navarette|
• Cross a Mountain Chain and meet the Virgin of Biakorri on top of the Pyrenees with wonderful views onto the region
• Stay in peaceful Roncesvalles
• Discover the City of the Running of the Bulls and Hemingway’s favorite - Pamplona
• Climb to Alto del Perdon & walk across vineyards and beautiful countryside
• Go wine-tasting in a small winery in La Rioja (extra €15)
• Visit the Museo Vivanco de la Cultura del Vino in Logroño- said to be the best in the world! (extra €15)
STAGE 2 - WALK 198 KM FROM Najera to Villafranca do Bierzo
From the world-famous wine region of la Rioja to la Meseta of Castilla y Leon.
|12||Belorado||San Juan de Ortega||24||Skip 24 km from Santo Domingo to Belorado|
|13||San Juan de Ortega||Burgos||16||Skip the last 10 km into Burgos|
|14||Burgos||Hornillos del Camino||20|
|15||Hornillos del Camino||Castrojeriz||20|
|17||Fromista||Carrión de los Condes||19||Skip 95 km from Carrión to Leon to spend the night in Leon|
|18||Leon||Rabanal||21||Skip 50 km to Astorga and start walking|
|19||Rabanal||Acebo||17||Skip 14km to spend the night in Ponferrada|
|20||Ponferrada||Villafranca do Bierzo||15||Skip the first 10 km out of Ponferrada|
• Walk across Medieval Rioja along the red earth trails and discover the beautiful villages of Navarrete and Najera,
• Discover Burgos the City of the Spanish Hero El Cid and home to a grandiose Cathedral
• Experience the flatness of the Meseta - a time for introspection and a time to strengthen your will.
• Walk through the endless green and gold fields of the Tierra de Campos
• Discover the ancient Roman city of Astorga with its beautiful Gothic Cathedral, a unusual Episcopal palace designed by Antonio Gaudí (mostly known for designing the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona)
• Cross two amazing mountain chains - the Mountains of Leon and of O Cebreiro
• Leave a symbolic token under the Cruz de Hierro, the Iron Cross next to Rabanal del Camino
• Visit on of the last remaining Templar Castles in Ponferrada and the location chosen by Paulo Coelho for one of the most memorable scenes from his book “The Pilgrimage”.
• Pass the Puerta del Perdón gate in Villafranca do Bierzo
STAGE 3 - WALK 158 KM between Villafranca do Bierzo TO Santiago
The last effort before Santiago.
|21||Villafranca do Bierzo||Las Herrerías||21|
|22||Las Herrerías||San Roque||12||Skip 17 km from passed O Cebreiro to the monastery of Samos|
|26||Lestedo||O Coto||15||Skip 3km to Furelos|
|29||O Pedrouzo||Santiago de Compostela||20|
|30||Santiago de Compostela|
• Have lunch in the timeless Celtic village of O Cebreiro, with stunning panoramic views of the valleys below from 1300 meters up, the ancient pallozas (circular pre-Roman stone dwellings built by the Celts of the region) and the rebuilt Romanesque church of St. Mary’s, site of a 14th century Eucharistic miracle
• Visit the Benedictine monastery of Samos, one of the wealthiest and most powerful monasteries of the peninsula in Medieval Times.
• Pass the iconic 100 km maker and reflect on the distance you have just accomplished
• Experience Galician Hospitality by staying in luxurious guest-houses
• Follow a trail that has been protected by the Knights of the Order of Santiago since 1184 and plan a detour near Arzúa to visit the Romanesque Church of Vilar de Donas, where the knights are buried (2,5 km away from the Camino).
• Marvel at Furelo’s medieval bridge in Melide, considered one of the jewels of the French Way’s civil architecture
• Treat yourself to “Pulpo a la Gallega” (Octopus) in the most famous Pulperia in Galicia
• Get your Compostela, the Certificate of Accomplishment in Santiago de Compostela
• Enter the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the Apostle Saint James rests.
Inquire now about our Caminos
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Step 1 After you have filled in our inquiry form and clicked 'Submit', a Camino Planner will get back to you with a personalized quote within 24h or contact you over the phone for further details
Step 2 Once you are satisfied with the Terms & Conditions of your tour, we will invoice you for a non-refundable 50% deposit of the total price to process the booking - we currently offer two modes of payment: bank transfers & credit card payments via a secured page of our website (we will add an extra 1,50% if paying with American Express - VISA & MasterCard free).
Step 3 Ultreya Tours Reservations Team will start booking your accommodation, meals, activities, guides and other services immediately after receiving the initial deposit and send you your hotel vouchers as soon as they are ready
Step 4 30 days before the departure, we will request the 50% remaining deposit and we will send your pilgrim kits directly to your first hotel along with printed versions of your vouchers, your scallop shells and guidebook
To make sure we constantly meet your expectations, we will regularly follow up with you and keep you updated throughout the whole process and until you come back home.
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