Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Total distance: 11.5km RIGHT ROUTE to Valcarlos
Total ascent: 527m
Total descent: -337m
Total distance: 5.1km LEFT ROUTE to Honto
Total ascent: 354m
Total descent: -32m

Between here and Roncesvalles there are two routes. The (lower) RIGHT route goes through Valcarlos, and the (higher) LEFT route goes through Orisson. If you're walking in winter it's important to ask in the Pilgrims Office about weather conditions. Both routes are difficult in snow or high winds and the LEFT route is OFFICIALLY CLOSED from the beginning of November until the end of March (ignoring this may lead to legal sanctions). Remember that in mountainous areas such as this, weather conditions can change very quickly.

Leaving Saint-Jean walk down rue de la Citadelle, under the arch of Porte d'Espagne and up rue d'Espagne, continuing straight under another arch and up a hill for about 100m until you reach a junction with a small sign on a lamppost indicating where the two routes divide.

RIGHT ROUTE VIA VALCARLOS *** TOTAL LENGTH 23.5km *** TOTAL ASCENT 1,530m, DESCENT -758m

Turn right on to Chemin de Mayorga and continue straight until you come to the main road which you follow to the left. After about 600m turn right on to a small road, clearly signposted Valcarlos / Luzaide and Roncevaux (French for Roncesvalles).

6.8km to the Spanish border, marked by a gaudy shopping centre and petrol station. Walk towards the petrol station and continue straight.

1.6km to Arnéguy, shops, cafés and restaurants. The Camino crosses the river into France again and continues on a minor road through the village of Ondarrola, where it crosses the river again back into Spain.

Valcarlos

Total distance to Roncesvalles: 12.0km
Total ascent: 998m
Total descent: -421m

Follow the main road for 2.4km until the Camino veers left on to a minor road and passes through the village of Gañecoleta before rejoining the main road after 1.7km. It then follows the main road for another 2.3km before veering left on to a lane. From there it's 4.1km of wooded, mountainous terrain to the top at Ibañeta (apart from one place where the Camino briefly meets the road again). Off-road parts of this route may be difficult in snow, in which case it's advisable to stick to the road. From the peak it's 1.4km down to Roncesvalles.

LEFT ROUTE VIA ORISSON. *** TOTAL LENGTH 24.7km *** TOTAL ASCENT 1,465m, DESCENT -695m

Honto

Total distance to Orisson: 2.3km
Total ascent: 304m
Total descent: -12m

Orisson

Total distance to Borda: 0.6km
Total ascent: 58m
Total descent: -17m

Borda

Total distance to Roncesvalles: 16.1km
Total ascent: 722m
Total descent: -634m

3.8km after Orisson at a place called Pic d'Hostatéguy you'll pass the statue of La Vierge du Chemin with (weather permitting) panoramic views of the western Pyrenees. From there it's another 8.9km to the highest point at altitude 1427m, after which it's another 4.2km down to Roncesvalles.

Welcome to Spain and Navarra!

There are two options when descending into Roncesvalles, the most popular route to the left is quite a steep descent through the forest, while the route to the right is slightly longer, descending more gently along an unpaved road via the church at Puerto de Ibañeta.

LEFT AND RIGHT ROUTE REJOIN IN RONCESVALLES

Roncesvalles

Total distance to Burguete: 2.8km
Total ascent: 4m
Total descent: -53m

Burguete

Total distance to Espinal: 3.4km
Total ascent: 54m
Total descent: -73m

The Camino takes an abrupt right turn at the red Santander sign.

Espinal

Total distance to Zubiri: 15.0km
Total ascent: 314m
Total descent: -655m

5.2km to Viskarret, new café before the village and the traditional Bar Juan on main square with its amazing tortillas. Shop on your left at the end of the village.

1.9km to Linzoain, after that 7.8km to Zubiri with a steep descent into the valley of the river Arre.

The Camino continues straight along the riverbank and doesn't go through Zubiri which is on the other side of the bridge.

Zubiri

Total distance to Larrasoaña: 5.3km
Total ascent: 117m
Total descent: -153m

The Camino bypasses Larrasoaña. If you want to visit the village turn right to cross the bridge.

Larrasoaña

Total distance to Zuriain: 3.7km
Total ascent: 92m
Total descent: -115m

Zuriain

Total distance to Zabaldika: 3.1km
Total ascent: 51m
Total descent: -58m

Zabaldika

Total distance to Villava: 3.5km
Total ascent: 85m
Total descent: -120m

Villava

Total distance to Pamplona: 4.5km
Total ascent: 53m
Total descent: -32m

It's suburban streets from here to Pamplona. The Camino turns right shortly before a roundabout with a fountain in the middle and crosses a main road and turns right again. The 'zig-zag' footbridge over the river is the quickest way to Casa Paderborn, otherwise continue straight along the riverbank to Puente de la Magdalena.

Pamplona

Total distance to Cizur Menor: 4.9km
Total ascent: 69m
Total descent: -66m

If you get lost leaving Pamplona head for the Ciudadela fortress at the corner of Avenida del Ejército and Avenida del Pio XII. The path beside the park, with the fortress to your left, is the Camino. It's clearly marked. Several cafés around here are open early.

Cizur Menor

Total distance to Zariquiegui: 5.9km
Total ascent: 197m
Total descent: -32m

Zariquiegui

Total distance to Uterga: 5.8km
Total ascent: 144m
Total descent: -273m

Steep descent on loose gravel which must be tackled with care.

Uterga

Total distance to Muruzábal: 2.7km
Total ascent: 11m
Total descent: -57m

Muruzábal

Total distance to Obanos: 1.5km
Total ascent: 24m
Total descent: -46m

From Muruzábal you can make a short detour to visit the historic church in Eunate, it's signposted from the Camino. From Eunate you can rejoin the Camino in Obanos, adding approximately 3km to your Camino.

Obanos

Total distance to Puente la Reina: 2.7km
Total ascent: 8m
Total descent: -75m

There are two routes to get to Puente la Reina. Leaving Obanos you'll come to steps going down left which lead to a slightly meandering (and slightly longer) path to Puente. Alternatively, if you choose to continue straight ahead you can follow a path parallel to the road passing Albergue Jakue.

Puente la Reina

Total distance to Mañeru: 4.9km
Total ascent: 166m
Total descent: -63m

There is a surprisingly steep 100m climb before arriving in...

Mañeru

Total distance to Cirauqui: 2.7km
Total ascent: 66m
Total descent: -27m

Cirauqui

Total distance to Lorca: 5.6km
Total ascent: 147m
Total descent: -173m

Lorca

Total distance to Villatuerta: 4.5km
Total ascent: 41m
Total descent: -82m

Villatuerta

Total distance to Estella: 4.1km
Total ascent: 74m
Total descent: -73m

Estella

Total distance to Ayegui: 1.5km
Total ascent: 65m
Total descent: -2m

To leave Estella continue past the Municipal Albergue on Calle la Rua, then straight until you come to a roundabout where you continue straight towards another roundabout where there is an Avia petrol station. After this the Camino continues uphill on a footpath. You can also continue walking along the road, Calle de Carlos VII, which rejoins the Camino after 500m, on this road is a small Decathlon (outdoor shop) and several large supermarkets.

Ayegui

Total distance: 7.4km RIGHT ROUTE to Villamayor de Monjardín
Total ascent: 286m
Total descent: -115m
Total distance: 8.1km LEFT ROUTE to Luquín
Total ascent: 313m
Total descent: -215m

In summer 2021 there was a short temporary detour through Ayegui which doesn't make much difference distance-wise.

The Camino splits shortly after Bodegas Irache. Distances for left and right routes are Ayegui to Los Arcos.

RIGHT ROUTE 19.4km

5.7 km to Azqueta. Nice café, open from 07:00. Vending machines.

Friendly guest house La Perla Negra, on the Camino on the left, 45€ person, evening meal and breakfast included. Tel 627 114 797

Villamayor de Monjardín

Total distance to Los Arcos: 12.0km
Total ascent: 86m
Total descent: -306m

12km through open country with very little shade to Los Arcos.

LEFT ROUTE 18.8km

The left route passes through beautiful forested countryside and the village of Luquín.

Luquín

Total distance to Los Arcos: 10.8km
Total ascent: 97m
Total descent: -243m

10.8km to Los Arcos, very little shade.

RIGHT AND LEFT ROUTES REJOIN BEFORE LOS ARCOS

Los Arcos

Total distance to Sansol: 7.0km
Total ascent: 92m
Total descent: -53m

Sansol

Total distance to Torres del Río: 0.7km
Total ascent: 19m
Total descent: -42m

Torres del Río

Total distance to Viana: 10.5km
Total ascent: 284m
Total descent: -278m

Viana

Total distance to Logroño: 9.2km
Total ascent: 101m
Total descent: -196m

Entering La Rioja (although if you stray a little to your right you can pass through a tiny corner of the Basque Country)

Logroño

Total distance to Navarrete: 12.7km
Total ascent: 227m
Total descent: -96m

Supermarkets and fruit and veg market on the Camino on the way out of town (not open at the crack of dawn). Mostly concrete walking surfaces to Navarrete!

6.3km café La Parada del Peregrino. Watch out for squirrels begging for (and possibly stealing) food, and rabbits.

Navarrete

Total distance to Ventosa: 6.9km
Total ascent: 159m
Total descent: -38m

The Camino follows the road for a while before swinging away to the left shortly after the Ermita de Santa María de Jesús.

A sign-posted alternative route allows you to bypass Ventosa and shorten the way by 500m.

Ventosa

Total distance to Nájera: 8.9km
Total ascent: 70m
Total descent: -199m

After passing under a main road don't miss the left turn towards Nájera (unless you actually want to visit Huércanos - not recommended).

Nájera

Total distance to Azofra: 6.6km
Total ascent: 129m
Total descent: -74m

Azofra

Total distance to Cirueña: 9.3km
Total ascent: 231m
Total descent: -37m

Cirueña

Total distance to Santo Domingo de la Calzada: 5.5km
Total ascent: 39m
Total descent: -135m

Extreme care is necessary when crossing the main roads in Santo Domingo!

Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Total distance to Grañón: 6.8km
Total ascent: 109m
Total descent: -23m

Grañón

Total distance to Redecilla del Camino: 3.9km
Total ascent: 74m
Total descent: -64m

Entering Castilla y León. The border is marked by a 'megalith' which is rumoured to have appeared in the dead of night during a violent thunder storm. Local Albergue owners are rumoured to offer it a blood sacrifice every new year's day in the hope of plentiful big spending pilgrims and possibly a sequel to The Way.

The main road here can be busy with fast traffic.

Redecilla del Camino

Total distance to Castildelgado: 1.6km
Total ascent: 28m
Total descent: 0m

Castildelgado

Total distance to Viloria de la Rioja: 2.1km
Total ascent: 46m
Total descent: -17m

It is not advisable to walk along the side of the very busy main road.

Viloria de la Rioja

Total distance to Villamayor del Río: 3.5km
Total ascent: 49m
Total descent: -61m

3.5km to Villamayor del Río

Belorado

Total distance to Tosantos: 4.6km
Total ascent: 66m
Total descent: -12m

Tosantos

Total distance to Villambistia: 2.0km
Total ascent: 45m
Total descent: -6m

Villambistia

Total distance to Espinosa del Camino: 1.6km
Total ascent: 44m
Total descent: -6m

Espinosa del Camino

Total distance to Villafranca Montes de Oca: 3.5km
Total ascent: 72m
Total descent: -25m

Villafranca Montes de Oca

Total distance to San Juan de Ortega: 12.0km
Total ascent: 251m
Total descent: -195m

Ascent 214m over 3.1km

San Juan de Ortega

Total distance to Agés: 3.7km
Total ascent: 22m
Total descent: -58m

There are two routes from here to Burgos. The alternative one is waymarked but little-used and devoid of pilgrim accommodation. It passes through the following villages: Santovenia de Oca, Zalduendo, Ibeas de Juarros, Castrillo del Val, San Medel, Castañares and then to Burgos. Parts of it are along the side of a main road.

Agés

Total distance to Atapuerca: 2.4km
Total ascent: 6m
Total descent: -19m

Atapuerca

Total distance to Cardeñuela Ríopico: 6.1km
Total ascent: 125m
Total descent: -154m

Cardeñuela Ríopico

Total distance to Orbaneja Ríopico: 2.0km
Total ascent: 3m
Total descent: -16m

Orbaneja Ríopico

Total distance: 11.9km RIGHT ROUTE to Burgos
Total ascent: 43m
Total descent: -82m
Total distance: 12.2km LEFT ROUTE to Burgos
Total ascent: 71m
Total descent: -110m

There are two routes when entering Burgos. They divide after Orbaneja, after crossing over a motorway where you'll see houses and recycling containers on the left. The right route (10.9km from where they divide) has little shade and passes through Villafría (cafés) and an seemingly endless industrial zone. The left route (11.1km from where they divide) follows the perimeter fence of the airport to a village called Castañares (cafés) and a major road which you can cross at the pedestrian crossing to your left (out of order in August 2022, care required). Continue straight through a small park with a children's playground to your left and a basketball court to your right, straight along a small road which crosses a stream and swings right at the entrance to a factory. Continue until you cross a footbridge over a river. Now turn right and follow the path between the river and the road, turning left to pass under the road. Now you can follow the river for a pleasant, shady walk all the way to the city. There's a beach where you can swim (although the water is freezing). This route passes through a little-frequented nature reserve and some people may feel uncomfortable on their own.

Burgos

Total distance to Tardajos: 10.9km
Total ascent: 35m
Total descent: -77m

Finding your way out of Burgos can be a bit complicated. Exiting the municipal albergue turn right and follow the Camino past the cathedral along Calle Fernán de González for 550m until you come to the city wall. Pass through the arch and turn left down the steps and straight on to Calle Emperador as far as Calle Villalon, where you turn left. This will bring you to the river which you cross on a footbridge (Puente Malotos) straight in front of you. After the footbridge you'll see a statue of Santo Domingo and the entrance to a park at the corner of Paseo de los Comendadores. You can either walk through the park or veer right on to Avenida de José Maria Vilacián Rebollo and then straight on to Calle de Villadiego, then veer right on to Calle de Benito Pérez Galdós (sign pointing to Los Guindales). From there follow the yellow arrows.

Tardajos

Total distance to Rabé de las Calzadas: 1.8km
Total ascent: 16m
Total descent: -12m

Rabé de las Calzadas

Total distance to Hornillos del Camino: 7.7km
Total ascent: 104m
Total descent: -112m

Hornillos del Camino

Total distance to San Bol: 5.7km
Total ascent: 127m
Total descent: -51m

San Bol

Total distance to Hontanas: 4.7km
Total ascent: 38m
Total descent: -66m

Hontanas

Total distance to San Antón: 5.9km
Total ascent: 24m
Total descent: -88m

For several kilometres after Hontanas the Camino runs parallel to a quite country road. In bad weather walking the road is an easier option.

San Antón

Total distance to Castrojeriz: 3.3km
Total ascent: 37m
Total descent: -9m

Castrojeriz

Total distance to Itero del Castillo: 9.1km
Total ascent: 156m
Total descent: -204m

In case you were expecting the Meseta to be flat, there's a massive hill starting 2.5km after Castrojeriz.

Ermita de San Nicolás is in open country 1.2km from the village of Itero del Castillo which is not on the Camino.

Itero del Castillo

Total distance to Itero de la Vega: 1.9km
Total ascent: 10m
Total descent: -5m

Entering the Province of Palencia

Itero de la Vega

Total distance to Boadilla del Camino: 8.1km
Total ascent: 65m
Total descent: -55m

Boadilla del Camino

Total distance to Frómista: 5.7km
Total ascent: 23m
Total descent: -25m

Frómista

Total distance to Población de Campos: 3.4km
Total ascent: 11m
Total descent: -11m

Just before Población on the left is the Romanesque Ermita de San Miguel with a nice shady wooded area.

Población de Campos

Total distance: 10.9km RIGHT ROUTE to Villalcázar de Sirga
Total ascent: 63m
Total descent: -39m
Total distance: 5.7km LEFT ROUTE to Villarmentero de Campos
Total ascent: 22m
Total descent: -10m

After Población, just before crossing a small bridge, the Camino divides to rejoin in Villalcázar de Sirga.

RIGHT ROUTE 10.9km

4.2km to Villovieco, café. After Villovieco the Camino crosses the río Ucieza and continues alongside it for 5km until a bridge with a large house over to the left, here you turn left and follow the paved road for 1.7km to Villalcázar. This route is a quieter and more pleasant option than the left route.

LEFT ROUTE 9.7km

This route goes along the side of a road.

3.6km Revenga de Campos. Café. Then 2.1km to Villarmentero.

Villarmentero de Campos

Total distance to Villalcázar de Sirga: 4.0km
Total ascent: 19m
Total descent: -7m

4km to Villalcázar de Sirga

RIGHT AND LEFT ROUTES REJOIN IN VILLALCAZAR

Villalcázar de Sirga

Total distance to Carrión de los Condes: 5.5km
Total ascent: 53m
Total descent: -21m

Carrión de los Condes

Total distance to Calzadilla de la Cueza: 17.2km
Total ascent: 69m
Total descent: -48m

You should not leave Carrión without enough food and water for a long walk.

Calzadilla de la Cueza

Total distance to Lédigos: 5.9km
Total ascent: 54m
Total descent: -34m

Take care crossing the main road here, traffic is infrequent but fast.

Lédigos

Total distance to Terradillos de Templarios: 3.0km
Total ascent: 15m
Total descent: -10m

The Camino goes through open country after Lédigos however there is an older route to the right, which goes along the side of the road and has some shade.

Terradillos de Templarios

Total distance to Moratinos: 3.1km
Total ascent: 21m
Total descent: -40m

Moratinos

Total distance to San Nicolás del Real Camino: 2.6km
Total ascent: 19m
Total descent: -35m

San Nicolás del Real Camino

Total distance to Sahagún: 7.1km
Total ascent: 63m
Total descent: -74m

Entering the Province of León

Sahagún

Total distance: 5.0km RIGHT ROUTE to Calzada del Coto
Total ascent: 33m
Total descent: -42m
Total distance: 10.2km LEFT ROUTE to Bercianos del Real Camino
Total ascent: 62m
Total descent: -33m

The Camino de Madrid joins the Camino Francés in Sahagún.

4.5km after Sahagún, at a road junction near a motorway just before Calzada del Coto. Here the Camino divides and continues on two separate paths until Reliegos. Much overpainting of arrows at this junction. The right route was a Roman Road whereas the left route is the original Camino Francés.

RIGHT ROUTE 30.9km TO RELIEGOS

From where the two routes divide it is 500m to Calzada del Coto.

Calzada del Coto

Total distance to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos: 8.5km
Total ascent: 79m
Total descent: -11m

Calzadilla de los Hermanillos

Total distance to Reliegos: 17.4km
Total ascent: 53m
Total descent: -122m

17.4km to Reliegos or 24km to Mansilla via an alternative route which branches right after 16.5km (signpost often vandalised). Don't set off without adequate supplies for a long day's walking. There is no possibility to stock up on the way. The route runs entirely through open countryside parallel to the León - Madrid railway line. It is however possible to cross over to the left route in several places. You should not cross the railway line unless you want to join the other route.

LEFT ROUTE 30.3km TO RELIEGOS.

For the left route continue straight at the road junction where the right route goes right, then veer right on to an unpaved road. Many parts of this route are gravel path along the side of a quiet road (The so-called Senda).

Bercianos del Real Camino

Total distance to El Burgo Ranero: 7.2km
Total ascent: 35m
Total descent: -12m

El Burgo Ranero

Total distance to Reliegos: 13.2km
Total ascent: 30m
Total descent: -89m

12.9km to Reliegos.

RIGHT AND LEFT ROUTES REJOIN IN RELIEGOS

Reliegos

Total distance to Mansilla de las Mulas: 5.8km
Total ascent: 11m
Total descent: -30m

Mansilla de las Mulas

Total distance to Puente Villarente: 6.0km
Total ascent: 16m
Total descent: -12m

It's no longer necessary to cross the road bridge over the river Porma before Puente de Villarente, the long-awaited footbridge is now in operation.

Puente Villarente

Total distance to Arcahueja: 4.3km
Total ascent: 52m
Total descent: -4m

Arcahueja

Total distance to León: 8.1km
Total ascent: 101m
Total descent: -109m

It's mostly suburban from here to León.

In the city of León, as well as the usual yellow arrows the Camino is marked by metal shells set into the ground.

León

Total distance to La Virgen del Camino: 7.2km
Total ascent: 104m
Total descent: -40m

The official Camino winds its crooked way around the tourist attractions of León. Don't worry if you end up lost! The easiest way to find your way out is to find the river and walk upstream until you come to the footbridge, Puente San Marcos, which is just beside the magnificent Hostal de San Marcos. Cross the river here on the pedestrian bridge and follow the yellow arrows out of town.

Several cafés do breakfast in Trobajo del Camino south of the river. There are also several supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries and banks along the Camino (however they don't open until about 09:00).

La Virgen del Camino

Total distance: 13.1km RIGHT ROUTE to Villadangos del Páramo
Total ascent: 86m
Total descent: -101m
Total distance: 3.9km LEFT ROUTE to Oncina de la Valdoncina
Total ascent: 51m
Total descent: -83m

Cross the main road at the church and turn right. 350m further on the Camino divides (There is a lot of confusing signposting at this junction). The right route runs along the side of a busy main road. The left route passes through open countryside. The two routes rejoin in Hospital de Órbigo. The right route follows the Roman road and is considered the original Camino.

RIGHT ROUTE 25km

4.2km to Valverde de la Virgin.

1.2km to San Miguel del Camino, shop, cafés.

Villadangos del Páramo

Total distance to San Martín del Camino: 4.4km
Total ascent: 6m
Total descent: -30m

San Martín del Camino

Total distance to Hospital de Órbigo: 7.1km
Total ascent: 5m
Total descent: -53m

7.2km to Hospital de Órbigo

LEFT ROUTE 27.6km

1.6km from where the Caminos divide to Fresno del Camino, café.

Oncina de la Valdoncina

Total distance to Villar de Mazarife: 9.9km
Total ascent: 53m
Total descent: -64m

5.6km to Chozas de Abajo, café about 250m off the Camino to the left. Then 4.4km toVillar de Mazarife

Villar de Mazarife

Total distance to Villavante: 9.4km
Total ascent: 2m
Total descent: -33m

Villavente can be bypassed by continuing straight on the road.

Villavante

Total distance to Hospital de Órbigo: 4.0km
Total ascent: 4m
Total descent: -19m

RIGHT AND LEFT ROUTES REJOIN IN HOSPITAL

Hospital de Órbigo

Total distance to Villares de Órbigo: 2.8km
Total ascent: 13m
Total descent: -6m

At then end of the village the Camino turns right. A little-frequented alternative continues straight at this point. It is 2km shorter than the more popular route but it mostly follows a busy main road where there are no villages (or anything really) until where it rejoins the main route in San Justo de la Vega.

Villares de Órbigo

Total distance to Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias: 2.5km
Total ascent: 49m
Total descent: -29m

Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias

Total distance to Astorga: 11.8km
Total ascent: 171m
Total descent: -150m

5km to David's refreshment stand.

2.7km to San Justo de la Vega.

San Justo de la Vega, cafés, bakery and further on on the right a shop and a pharmacy, all on the Camino. Café Bar Oasis is a friendly place and claims to have the best tortilla in the world (it just might be true!)

4km to Astorga.

Astorga

Total distance to Valdeviejas: 2.3km
Total ascent: 12m
Total descent: -23m

Leaving town is a bit confusing so pay close attention to the waymarkings. Following the Camino through town, with the cathedral main façade to you right veer left down Calle Leopoldo Panero and then at the end turn right. Continue straight across a road junction on to Calle de San Pedro (past the unusual modern Iglesia de San Pedro) until you arrive at the main road called Avenida Madrid-Coruña, which you cross on the pedestrian crossing to the right before continuing on to Calle de los Mártires. Follow this and it's straight all the way out of town.

Valdeviejas

Total distance to Murias de Rechivaldo: 2.1km
Total ascent: 19m
Total descent: 0m

Murias de Rechivaldo

Total distance to Santa Catalina de Somoza: 4.5km
Total ascent: 100m
Total descent: 0m

Castrillo de los Polvazares is not on the 'official' Camino. To get there from Murias follow the road rather than the Camino for 1.7km. The village itself is to the right of the road across a bridge at a place where there's a small carpark. Castrillo has several popular restaurants and is a good place to try Cocido Maragato and other local specialities - although the restaurants, not being pilgrim establishments, keep normal hours. Architecturally Castrillo de los Polvazares is considered the jewel among Maragato villages and is well worth a visit.

Santa Catalina de Somoza

Total distance to El Ganso: 4.2km
Total ascent: 39m
Total descent: -8m

El Ganso

Total distance to Rabanal del Camino: 6.8km
Total ascent: 152m
Total descent: -14m

The climb to Cruz de Ferro begins in earnest after El Ganso, however, the ascent is mostly pretty gradual.

Rabanal del Camino

Total distance to Foncebadón: 5.4km
Total ascent: 280m
Total descent: -7m

Foncebadón

Total distance to Manjarín: 4.3km
Total ascent: 81m
Total descent: -76m

If there's snow on the mountains you can walk on the road all the way to Molinaseca.

1.9km after Foncebadón you will come to the Cruz de Ferro.

Manjarín

Total distance to El Acebo: 7.0km
Total ascent: 106m
Total descent: -403m

After the highest point you will descend 930m over 11.7km between here and Molinaseca. The path may be slippery in places, especially in winter. It is possible to follow the road all the way.

El Acebo

Total distance to Riego de Ambrós: 3.3km
Total ascent: 10m
Total descent: -223m

Riego de Ambrós

Total distance to Molinaseca: 4.5km
Total ascent: 26m
Total descent: -369m

There is a long, steep descent into Molinaseca. An easier alternative if you don't like descents or in poor weather, is to walk along the (quiet) road.

Molinaseca

Total distance to Ponferrada: 7.9km
Total ascent: 103m
Total descent: -167m

From here, unfortunately, you'll be walking on hard surfaces most of the way to Las Herrerías.

From Molinaseca walk along the footpath beside the main road towards Ponferrada.

2.8km after Molinaseca the Camino divides. From here there are two options to enter Ponferrada. Either continue on the main road for 4km, or veer left on to a minor road to follow a longer 'official' Camino through a series of meanders for 5.1km.

Ponferrada

Total distance to Columbrianos: 4.2km
Total ascent: 46m
Total descent: -35m

Getting out of Ponferrada is a little complicated, follow the Camino to the castle and then turn right. The Camino leads you through the historic centre before crossing the river into the new part of town where it turns right to follow the river north for 1.4km until it turns left away from the river at a roundabout shortly after the Museo de la Energia / Energy Museum.

Columbrianos

Total distance to Camponaraya: 4.5km
Total ascent: 9m
Total descent: -39m

Camponaraya

Total distance to Cacabelos: 5.9km
Total ascent: 54m
Total descent: -61m

The Camino in Camponaraya runs along a busy road the length of the village and out the other end, then at the gates of a factory it veers up to the left beside a picnic area.

Cacabelos

Total distance to Pieros: 2.2km
Total ascent: 64m
Total descent: -10m

Pieros

Total distance to Valtuille de Arriba: 1.9km
Total ascent: 45m
Total descent: -28m

Valtuille de Arriba

Total distance to Villafranca del Bierzo: 4.9km
Total ascent: 68m
Total descent: -127m

Villafranca del Bierzo

Total distance to Pereje: 4.8km
Total ascent: 113m
Total descent: -70m

Shortly after crossing the bridge in Villafranca the Camino divides. The main (easiest and shortest) route continues straight ahead and follows the road along the flat valley floor beside the Río Valcarce. Passing through the village of Pereje.

THE ALTERNATIVE ROUTE (does not go through Pereje)

This (more scenic, hillier and longer) route goes up a narrow, steep street by Peluquería Ana / Hairdresser. (It may not be signposted due to vandalism.) It passes through beautiful mountainous countryside before rejoining the main route in Trabadelo. It has a steep 410m ascent and corresponding descent. Yellow arrows are scarce at times. Once at the top follow the unpaved road, at two points you will come to junctions where yellow arrows urge you to go right towards the village of Pradela, which is 600m off the Camino, where there is a café and an albergue.

Private (10, 6€, March to November) Albergue Lamas, in the village of Pradela close to the aternative route. Laundry facilities. Communal evening meal. Breakfast. Café / restaurant. Tel 677 569 764 Open 11:00

On the descend towards Trabadelo along a minor road, in a left-hand curve there's a marked track branching right, follow this. The route crosses the road twice before arriving in Trabadelo. This alternative route is a bit of an adventure but much more beautiful than the main valley route and worth the slog (in good weather and visibility).

Pereje

Total distance to Trabadelo: 4.4km
Total ascent: 85m
Total descent: -48m

Trabadelo

Total distance to La Portela de Valcarce: 4.1km
Total ascent: 92m
Total descent: -65m

La Portela de Valcarce

Total distance to Ambasmestas: 1.1km
Total ascent: 27m
Total descent: -15m

Ambasmestas

Total distance to Vega de Valcarce: 1.4km
Total ascent: 34m
Total descent: -17m

Vega de Valcarce

Total distance to Ruitelán: 2.5km
Total ascent: 47m
Total descent: -22m

Ruitelán

Total distance to Las Herrerías: 1.2km
Total ascent: 33m
Total descent: -21m

Las Herrerías

Total distance to La Faba: 3.5km
Total ascent: 272m
Total descent: -34m

The climb to O Cebreiro begins here. In the next 8.2km the Camino ascends 619m.

La Faba

Total distance to Laguna de Castilla: 2.3km
Total ascent: 231m
Total descent: -5m

Laguna de Castilla

Total distance to O Cebreiro: 2.4km
Total ascent: 163m
Total descent: -26m

Welcome to Galicia, Province of Lugo

There are few municipal albergues in Galicia however, in their place are Xunta albergues. These are funded directly by the Government of Galicia (the Xunta). They always have kitchens but for reasons which will not be speculated upon here, their kitchens are rarely usable. ie. The cooker doesn't work, there are no utensils, etc. For this reason Xunta albergues which have unusable kitchens (which is most of them) are listed here as having no kitchen.

O Cebreiro

Total distance to Liñares: 3.3km
Total ascent: 97m
Total descent: -159m

Leaving O Cebreiro walk to the left of the Xunta albergue and through the forest on a good path. Ignore signposting urging you to walk along the road!

Liñares

Total distance to Hospital da Condesa: 2.5km
Total ascent: 93m
Total descent: -73m

Shortly after Liñares you will come to Alto de San Roque with its famous statue of the pilgrim struggling forward against a headwind.

Hospital da Condesa

Total distance to Alto do Poio: 2.7km
Total ascent: 152m
Total descent: -56m

Alto do Poio

Total distance to Fonfría: 3.4km
Total ascent: 27m
Total descent: -62m

Fonfría

Total distance to Fillobal: 5.4km
Total ascent: 20m
Total descent: -347m

2.5km to Biduedo, café

Fillobal

Total distance to Triacastela: 3.5km
Total ascent: 9m
Total descent: -301m

Triacastela

Total distance: 2.0km RIGHT ROUTE to A Balsa
Total ascent: 64m
Total descent: -9m
Total distance: 4.0km LEFT ROUTE to San Cristovo do Real
Total ascent: 51m
Total descent: -111m

At the end of the main street in Triacastela the Camino goes in two opposite directions. The right route goes through Calvor and on to Sarria. The left route goes through Samos. The two routes rejoin in Aguiada shortly before Sarria.

RIGHT ROUTE 13.6km TO AGUIADA

A Balsa

Total distance to Calvor: 11.1km
Total ascent: 238m
Total descent: -444m

8.1km to Furela, café Bar Franco does good food, especially empanadas and Caldo Galego (see under O Cebreiro) although only in cold weather.

1.72km to Pintín, café

Calvor

Total distance to Sarria: 5.0km
Total ascent: 35m
Total descent: -117m

520m to Aguiada

LEFT ROUTE 19.8km TO AGUIADA

Follow the road for 4km as far as San Cristovo do Real where the Camino branches to the right.

San Cristovo do Real

Total distance to Samos: 6.1km
Total ascent: 196m
Total descent: -260m

1.75km to Renche, café.

Samos

Total distance to Sarria: 14.3km
Total ascent: 284m
Total descent: -389m

After Samos the Camino follows the main road for 2.5km until it branches right at a restaurant called Mesón Pontenova. This route passes through beautiful countryside and the localities (you can hardly call them villages) of Pascais, Gorolfe, Veiga, Sivil and Perros.

7.9km from Samos to Sivil, café.

RIGHT AND LEFT ROUTES REJOIN IN AGUIADA, 4.5km BEFORE SARRIA

Once in Sarria there's a temporary (for several years now) detour where a bridge over the Río Sarria is being reconstructed.

Sarria

Total distance to Vilei - Barbadelo: 4.4km
Total ascent: 174m
Total descent: -65m

Vilei - Barbadelo

Total distance to Molino de Marzán: 3.1km
Total ascent: 76m
Total descent: -36m

1.7km to Café Serra.

Molino de Marzán

Total distance to Morgade: 4.6km
Total ascent: 114m
Total descent: -57m

1.6km to Peruscallo, café.

2.5km to A Brea, café.

Morgade

Total distance to Ferreiros: 1.1km
Total ascent: 17m
Total descent: -13m

Ferreiros

Total distance to Mercadoiro: 3.8km
Total ascent: 49m
Total descent: -163m

900m to 100km from Santiago waymarker.

300m A Pena, café. Shortly after A Pena, As Rozas, café in a farm yard.

Mercadoiro

Total distance to Vilacha: 3.1km
Total ascent: 22m
Total descent: -139m

1.7km from the albergue to A Parrocha, café

Vilacha

Total distance to Portomarín: 1.9km
Total ascent: 7m
Total descent: -84m

600m after Vilacha the Camino divides. The left route veers on to a narrow path between high stone walls. This path is steep and can be slippy, especially after rain. The right route (pre 2015) branches right and follows a quiet country road. These routes rejoin at the bridge just before Portomarín. The distances are more-or-less the same.

If you're not stopping in Portomarín and you don't feel like climbing all those steps you can turn left just after the bridge, walk along the road and rejoin the Camino where it crosses a bridge to the left.

Portomarín

Total distance to Gonzar: 7.9km
Total ascent: 243m
Total descent: -54m

Gonzar

Total distance to Castromaior: 1.0km
Total ascent: 42m
Total descent: 0m

Castromaior

Total distance to Hospital da Cruz: 2.8km
Total ascent: 106m
Total descent: -21m

The Camino route has recently been redirected away from the road for a short distance after Castromaior.

Hospital da Cruz

Total distance to Vendas de Narón: 1.6km
Total ascent: 33m
Total descent: -8m

Vendas de Narón

Total distance to Ligonde: 3.1km
Total ascent: 15m
Total descent: -98m

1.9km, café.

Ligonde

Total distance to Airexe de Ligonde: 0.9km
Total ascent: 22m
Total descent: -24m

Airexe de Ligonde

Total distance to Portos: 2.1km
Total ascent: 21m
Total descent: -70m

Portos

Total distance to Palas de Rei: 5.3km
Total ascent: 85m
Total descent: -102m

800m to Lestedo, café.

1.9km, café.

Palas de Rei

Total distance to Mato: 4.7km
Total ascent: 42m
Total descent: -184m

Mato

Total distance to Casanova: 1.3km
Total ascent: 66m
Total descent: -2m

Casanova

Total distance to Melide: 8.7km
Total ascent: 142m
Total descent: -181m

2km café.

750m cafés.

2.1km café.

Melide

Total distance to Boente: 5.8km
Total ascent: 82m
Total descent: -142m

This is the point where the Camino Primitivo (which starts in Oviedo) joins the Camino Francés.

4km café.

Boente

Total distance to Castañeda: 2.2km
Total ascent: 75m
Total descent: -58m

Castañeda

Total distance to Ribadiso: 3.0km
Total ascent: 52m
Total descent: -155m

Ribadiso

Total distance to Arzúa: 2.4km
Total ascent: 95m
Total descent: -5m

Arzúa

Total distance to Bebedeiro: 5.0km
Total ascent: 129m
Total descent: -122m

Arzúa is where the Camino del Norte joins the Camino Francés.

Bebedeiro

Total distance to As Quintas: 0.7km
Total ascent: 8m
Total descent: -3m

As Quintas

Total distance to Outeiro: 2.7km
Total ascent: 22m
Total descent: -84m

Outeiro

Total distance to Salceda: 3.6km
Total ascent: 72m
Total descent: -45m

Salceda

Total distance to Santa Irene: 3.8km
Total ascent: 88m
Total descent: -54m

You'll need to cross the main road several times between here and O Pedrouzo. Extreme caution is advised, this road can be very busy at times!

2.2km to A Brea, cafés

1.7km to O Empalme, cafés.

Santa Irene

Total distance to A Rúa: 2.6km
Total ascent: 21m
Total descent: -147m

If you're not going to Albergue Santa Irene you can avoid a short detour and crossing the main road again by continuing straight where the Camino goes left through a tunnel under the road.

A Rúa

Total distance to O Pedrouzo: 1.4km
Total ascent: 23m
Total descent: -15m

The official Camino passes through the outskirts of the town of O Pedrouzo, to get to the town centre, where the albergues and most business are, turn left on to the main road at a place where the Camino crosses it just after A Rúa. WARNING: lots of people miss this junction!

O Pedrouzo

Total distance to A Esquipa: 9.5km
Total ascent: 216m
Total descent: -203m

To get back to the Camino continue along O Pedrouzo's main street and turn right at the Casa do Concello.

There are cafés every couple of kilometres from here on.

A Esquipa

Total distance to Monte do Gozo: 5.5km
Total ascent: 116m
Total descent: -42m

Frequent cafés from here on. Café de Amancio in Vilamaior is nice.

Monte do Gozo

Total distance to San Lázaro: 2.4km
Total ascent: 23m
Total descent: -105m

It's urban jungle from here on. Lots of cafés, etc.

San Lázaro

Total distance to Santiago de Compostela: 2.3km
Total ascent: 30m
Total descent: -58m

Although treated as a separate place here, San Lázaro is really just a suburb of Santiago.

It's surprisingly easy to get lost on the way into Santiago. If in doubt aim for the cathedral.

Santiago de Compostela



Copyright © Gerald Kelly 2022. All text and photos.