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Unforgettable Cities on the Camino de Santiago – The French Method.

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On this put up, we talk about among the most unbelievable cities and cities on the Camino de Santiago the French Method. These are all nice stops for relaxation days throughout your Camino Francés pilgrimage by means of northern Spain. The Camino de Santiago is a community of pilgrimage routes that begin in other places throughout Europe and end on the tomb of the Apostle St.James in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

mountain scenery with a horse between St Jean pied de Port and Roncesvallesmountain scenery with a horse between St Jean pied de Port and Roncesvalles
Mountain surroundings on the Camino Frances within the Pyrenees between the cities St Jean Pied de Port and Roncesvalles.

This isn’t only a lengthy hike, it’s a pilgrimage adopted by hundreds of thousands for the reason that Center Ages. The Camino will problem you on a wide ranging journey, filling your pilgrim passport with stamps whereas slowly making your method to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The Camino de Santiago routes every supply a singular cultural and religious expertise and you can begin strolling to Santiago from wherever in Europe. There are seven foremost routes of the Camino de Santiago; Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, By way of de la Plata, Camino Ingles, and Camino Finisterre. These Camino routes have nice infrastructure for pilgrims and are well-marked, making it simple to comply with the Method of St James. 

Additionally,  see Our Favourite Cities on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.

The Camino Francés

The Camino Francés begins within the small French city of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, close to the Spanish border. That is the preferred of all of the Camino de Santiago routes. Additionally known as the Authentic Method of Saint James, this Camino de Santiago route from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela is a stroll of 790 km/490 mi.  This excellent pilgrimage route passes by means of tiny villages, small cities, and unreal historic cities. Alongside the best way uncover museums, cathedrals, necessary landmarks, and UNESCO World Heritage Websites. The French Route is walked by hundreds of pilgrims yearly crossing a number of areas in Northern Spain; Navarre, La Rioja, Castille and Leon, and Galicia. The most well-liked of the Camino routes takes round 30 days to stroll the just about 800 km distance of the whole route. Most individuals who stroll the Camino Frances don’t full your entire route however solely stroll the final 100 km from Sarria to Santiago. Listed here are a few of our favourite villages, cities, and cities on the French Route of the Camino de Santiago.

beautiful town St Jean de pied de Port on the Camino Frances.beautiful town St Jean de pied de Port on the Camino Frances.
St Jean de Pied de Port is the primary of many lovely cities on the Camino Frances.

Saint Jean Pied de Port (SJPDP)

St Jean Pied de Port is a small city on the French facet of the Pyrenees the place many begin their pilgrimage alongside the Camino de Santiago. Hundreds of individuals arrive yearly at this small village within the French Basque area to start out their journey on the Camino de Santiago. The primary day on the Camino for many is called one of many hardest on the entire Camino. The climb begins proper from St.Jean and finishes 21 km/13 mi later, the final 4 km/2,4 mi is a steep descent to Roncesvalles. Though referred to as the French Camino, this gorgeous southern French city with its slim whitewashed homes and steep cobbled streets is the one city in France the place the vast majority of pilgrims spend an evening, earlier than strolling the remainder of the best way in Spain. This iconic city is nestled on the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains alongside the scenic River Nive. This winding river working by means of the city is crossed by a number of footbridges. A fantastic city with medieval attraction the place every thing is concerning the Camino.

France is noticeably dearer than Spain don’t fear if every thing prices greater than you anticipated, it ought to get higher! Costs in St Jean Pied de Port are principally larger than costs on the remainder of the Camino going by means of Spain.  SJPDP is a really small city, and there are not any direct transportation choices from giant cities in France or Spain. See our detailed information on find out how to get to Saint Jean de Pied de Port.

Issues to do in St Jean Pied de Port

See the Gate of St. James (Porte St Jacques) on the high of the hilltop village that welcomes pilgrims who began their pilgrimage earlier than SJPDP

Don’t miss the views of the outdated homes with balconies overlooking the Nive from rue de la Citadelle crosses the river over a bridge.

Go to pilgrim mass on the lovely Notre Dame Gothic Church.

Go to the Seventeenth-century citadel overlooking the city.

Go to the the Saint Jean Pied de Port Pilgrim Workplace. They will reply any questions you might have on the Camino, register right here, and choose up an up to date Albergue record for the whole route.

pilgrims at a public albergue in Saint Jean Pied de Portpilgrims at a public albergue in Saint Jean Pied de Port
Pilgrims outdoors a public albergue within the city Saint Jean Pied de Port in France initially of the Camino Frances.

Excursions in St Jean Pied de Port

Lodging in St.Jean Pied de Port

There are numerous locations to remain in St.Jean together with one municipal albergue that will get full shortly within the season when you arrive after lunchtime your probabilities of getting a mattress there are fairly small.


Pamplona with its Gothic-style church buildings is likely one of the most lovely cities on the Camino Frances. That is the primary metropolis alongside the Camino coming from St Jean Pied de Port and is likely one of the standard beginning factors on the Camino de Santiago as a consequence of its ease of entry. The town is a improbable place to stroll from bar to bar and eat the scrumptious miniature delicacies, pintxos. Pamplona is the capital of Navarre province in northern Spain and is finest identified for the Operating of the Bulls (Feast of San Fermín). Throughout this competition bulls are led by means of the town streets by daring runners, that is one loopy celebration lasting for per week. The working of the bulls is an enormous celebration with greater than 1,000,000 folks visiting the town from July 6 to 14. Many pilgrims favor to not go to the town on these dates.

walking streets of Pamplonawalking streets of Pamplona
Exploring the colourful Pamplona on foot.

Pamplona is an costly metropolis in comparison with the remainder of Spain, significantly lodging being expensive. Through the week of the San Fermín lodging may be very exhausting to seek out and costs could be as much as 5 instances their regular value.

The Historic middle of Pamplona is spectacular. Some highlights to not miss are the Cathedral, the Citadel of Pamplona, the Museum of Navarra, and the Plaza del Castillo. 

Issues to Do in Pamplona

The Pamplona Cathedral (Santa María de la Asunción) is a Fifteenth-century Roman Catholic church inbuilt French Gothic structure fashion. The cathedral is an excellent, historic attraction with a lot of variation, artwork, historical past, and beautiful Gothic and Romanesque structure. The primary couple of holiday makers within the morning can go as much as the bell tower for spectacular views of the town. 

The Museum of Navarra is the artwork museum of the town. The museum is housed in an outdated pilgrims’ hospital with a formidable assortment of Roman and medieval artwork.

Plaza del Castillo is the primary sq. of the city in typical Spanish Renaissance fashion, housing outside seating of surrounding eating places and cafes. That is an superior spot to have a espresso. Ernest Hemingway is claimed to have spent loads of time right here writing in Café Iruña. 

Excursions in Pamplona

Non-public Metropolis Tour Pamplona

Locations to remain in Pamplona

El Alto del Perdón – Between Pamplona and Puente de la Reina

12 km from Pamplona on high of a troublesome 2.5 km climb you’ll attain one of the crucial well-known landmarks on the Camino El Alto del Perdón.

El Alto del Perdón is the sculpture group representing pilgrims strolling the Camino de Santiago. It’s in all probability one of the crucial standard photograph spots on the Camino Frances. 

El Alto del Perdón Statue of  pilgrims walking the Camino-Frances through timeEl Alto del Perdón Statue of  pilgrims walking the Camino-Frances through time
El Alto del Perdón is a statue of a gaggle of pilgrims at varied phases on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage by means of time.

The pilgrim sculpture made by Vincent Galbete was erected in 1996 and is likely one of the nice symbols of the Camino de Santiago. There’s a Spanish inscription on the statue  “Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas” that means “the place the trail of the wind crosses that of the celebrities”.

The sculpture shows a historical past of pilgrims and the pilgrimage at varied phases in time from the Center Ages as much as the current day. The statue consists of twelve pilgrims, the primary pilgrim originally of the Camino seems to be looking for the route, adopted by a gaggle of three pilgrims indicating the rise in reputation of the Camino. Subsequent is a gaggle on horseback symbolizing the medieval period of retailers on the Camino. A solitary pilgrim is subsequent, symbolizing a decline within the reputation of the pilgrimage in the direction of the mid-twentieth century. On the finish of the procession are two modern-day pilgrims symbolizing the renewed reputation of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage within the late twentieth century.

Puente de la Reina

Puente de la Reina is a small medieval city positioned between Pamplona and Estella on the Method of St James. The city is finest identified for its picturesque medieval bridge, atmospherical church, and charming streets. This pleasant little city is a good vacation spot for meals and wine lovers and a great place to style standard native dishes similar to cod with pil-pil sauce, roast lamb, blood pudding, and Navarra-style piquillo peppers.

Puente La Reina BridgePuente La Reina Bridge
The beautiful medieval Puente la Reina bridge.

Issues to do in Punta la Reina

See the Puente la Reina Bridge – the attractive six-arched Romanesque bridge sitting over River Arga is a must-see for guests.

Go to the atmospheric Church of Santa Maria – this lovely Fifteenth-century is one in every of our favourite church buildings on the French Camino and is house to a number of historic artistic endeavors.

Stroll on Calle Mayor (Foremost Avenue), and have a look at the wood gates used to chop off the streets for the bull run throughout the competition.

Discover the Roman Villa, an fascinating historical damage positioned outdoors of the city.

Benefit from the native delicacies.

Go to the Puente la Reina Museum.

Locations to remain in Puente de La Reina


The charming metropolis, of Logroño, is positioned within the north of Spain, close to the Sierra de Cantabria mountains. With its vibrant pintxo scene, the capital of the world-famous wine area of La Rioja is a improbable metropolis to go to. Wine costs are good, this can be a great spot to purchase a pleasant classic Rioja wine. The fascinating and historic outdated city is full of buildings from all kinds of architectural eras. Go to the attractive Santiago Cathedral devoted to Saint James.

wedding at Santiago Cathedral in Logronowedding at Santiago Cathedral in Logrono
A marriage on the lovely Santiago Cathedral in Logrono.

Issues to do in Logrono

Stroll across the Outdated City of Logroño, the colourful environment, lovely streets, and well-preserved medieval structure make exploring the historic quarter an important expertise.

Go Tapas crawling in Calle Laurel (Laurel Avenue). For a tremendous gastronomic expertise stroll from bar to bar within the well-known Calle Laurel tasting the superb tapas, and pintxos and tasting some wonderful riojas.

Go to one of many many native wineries or wine bars on this well-known wine vacation spot.

Attend mass on the iconic Santiago Cathedral devoted to St. James. 

Go meals procuring on the Mercado de San Blas, (the Laurel Market), a vibrant meals market with loads of meats, cheeses, and different gastronomic delights. 

Excursions in Logrono

Locations to remain in Logrono

Logroño is a extremely popular place for Spanish folks to benefit from the weekend and will get very busy. It’s higher to e-book lodging right here if you don’t want to remain in one of many pilgrim hostels.

Locations to remain in Logroño


The town of Burgos positioned on the French Method is a improbable place to take a relaxation day throughout your pilgrimage. That is additionally one of the crucial standard beginning locations on the Camino Frances. Burgos, the provincial capital of Castilla y León dates again to the ninth century. A terrific metropolis to go to and discover on foot, with a a pedestrian-friendly historic middle full of medieval structure. If you happen to miss some objects in your backpack Burgos has quite a lot of grocery shops, sporting items shops, pharmacies, and different necessary providers.

The Catedral de Santa María (Burgos Cathedral)The Catedral de Santa María (Burgos Cathedral)
The Catedral de Santa María (Burgos Cathedral) devoted to the Virgin Mary, is a masterpiece to not miss when exploring this lovely metropolis.

Issues to do in Burgos

The Burgos cathedral is a real masterpiece to not miss when visiting the town. This French Gothic construction is a Unesco World Heritage Website. The Catedral de Santa María (Burgos Cathedral) is devoted to the Virgin Mary. The breathtakingly lovely cathedral, with its well-known Gothic twin towers, is called one of the crucial lovely cathedrals in Europe. 

Plaza Mayor (Burgos Foremost Sq.), the primary city sq. is one of essentially the most bustling elements of city. It is a extremely popular spot for pilgrims to sit down within the solar outdoors cafés and eateries having fun with a espresso or one thing to eat. 

Arca de Santa María is one in every of 12 medieval gates that when ringed the town. This lovely construction with its ornate sculptures supplies a spectacular entrance to this picturesque metropolis.

Castillo de Burgos (Burgos Fort) Wanting over the town of Burgos, the ruins of the Burgos Fort is an historic cease, with beautiful views of the Burgos Cathedral and the entire metropolis

Excursions in Burgos

Locations to remain in Burgos


León is a vibrant college metropolis with a surprising outdated city. Wealthy in cultural, historic, and architectural heritage the capital of the Castile and Leon province is a pleasure to go to. Leon is legendary for its architectural treasures and wonderful tapas. We beloved strolling round on this wonderful metropolis. Leon has been an necessary cease on the Camino de Santiago for hundreds of years. Casa Botines, one in every of Gaudí’s solely works outdoors Catalonia is a must-see constructing and the custom of free tapas, nonetheless alive right here, makes a pub crawl on the pedestrian-friendly streets much more enjoyable. A number of the websites to not miss whereas exploring the town of Leon are the Cathedral, the Basilica of San Isidoro, La Plaza Mayor, and La Plaza San Martín.

pilgrim resting statue Leonpilgrim resting statue Leon
Properly-known monument of a Pilgrim resting positioned within the majestic Plaza de San Marcos, the work of the sculptor Martín Vázquez. It is a standard photograph spot.

Issues to do in Leon

Leon’s cathedral (Santa María de Regla de León Cathedral), is a masterpiece of the Gothic fashion of the mid-Thirteenth  century and crucial landmark within the metropolis. A lot of the constructing was constructed within the Thirteenth century, however some elements had been added afterward.  The cathedral is legendary for its spectacular stained glass home windows adorning the partitions. With 130 home windows, it’s thought-about by many to be the very best stained glass work on the planet.

Basilica de San Isidoro is a phenomenal Romanesque church with a wealthy historical past relationship again to the tenth century. In 1603 the church was rebuilt as a basilica and renamed San Isidoro in honor of St. Isidore. The Basilica homes a Royal Pantheon, an Oriental and Biblical Museum, and a collegiate library. Part of the collegiate was transformed right into a luxurious lodge.

La Plaza Mayor is the primary sq. of the town. With a improbable environment and surrounded by loads of outlets, bars, and eating places, that is the guts of the town.

Locations to remain in León


Astorga is a magical city positioned within the Castile and Leon area. Two pilgrim methods, the Camino Francés, and the Vía de la Plata (the silver approach) meet within the picturesque, genuine village. That is the junction of a number of Roman roads and there are many fascinating ruins and historic websites within the space. Astorga is understood for its medieval, walled Outdated City and the Episcopal Palace designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. The attractive Plaza Mayor de Astorga comes alive at night time and is the very best place to drink cafe con leche (or a beer) and watch fellow pilgrims and locals stroll by.

Plaza Mayor de Astorga, the main town square.Plaza Mayor de Astorga, the main town square.
Go to some bars and eating places across the lovely Plaza Mayor de Astorga, the primary city sq..

Issues to do in Astorga

Go to the spectacular Astorga Cathedral (La Catedral de Santa Maria de Astorga)  close to the outdated metropolis middle. Contained in the cathedral is a present store and a museum with quite a few non secular artifacts on show.

Don’t miss Gaudi´s spectacular Episcopal Palace. This modernist constructing designed within the neo-Gothic fashion was constructed within the late 1800’s is one in every of solely 3 buildings designed by Gaudi outdoors Catalonia. An Wonderful constructing from all angles it’s value strolling round this architectural marvel.

On the Astorga Chocolate Museum (Museo del Chocolate) you’ll be able to be taught concerning the historical past of the city´s chocolate trade and the way chocolate is made. A small, good museum. The show is extra fascinating when you perceive Spanish. 

Have a look at the spectacular metropolis partitions whereas taking a stroll in Parque del Melgar

Staying at a spa lodge in Astorga, was so well worth the cash when strolling the Camino and was improbable after strolling an extended 31 km day. Generally a break from loud night breathing in albergues whereas staying in personal rooms is a good suggestion.

Go to some good bars and eating places enjoyable on the lovely Plaza Mayor de Astorga, the primary city sq..

Places to remain in Astorga

O Cebreiro

O Cebreiro is a tiny mountain village positioned at an altitude of 1,300 meters, between the mountain ranges of O Courel and Os Ancares. The village is well-known for spherical stone homes with thatch roofs from the pre-Roman origin, referred to as ‘pallozas’. These had been nonetheless inhabited just lately and they’re solely present in Galicia. Strolling to O Cobreiro there are lots of good, small villages on the best way. The summer time months are the very best time to stroll the Camino, however when you discover you might be right here in winter, it snows in O Cereiro and the snow-covered roofs of the pallozas are one thing to see. With its cobbled streets, conventional buildings,  the Celtic environment, and spectacular mountain views it is likely one of the most lovely villages in Galicia.

A palloza in O Cebreiro is a stone house with thatch roofsA palloza in O Cebreiro is a stone house with thatch roofs
A palloza within the small city O Cebreiro, these spherical stone homes with thatch roofs are from pre-Roman instances.

Issues to do in O Cebreiro

Go to the Ethnographic Museum of O Cebreiro – Palloza de Xan López was transformed into an ethnographic museum (tradition museum). It is a good alternative to see an actual palloza inside.

Church of Santa María la Actual

The church constructed within the ninth century is the primary historic monument in O Cebreiro.  That is the oldest church that’s totally preserved on the French Camino. Inside there may be a picture of Santa María la Actual and a baptismal font from the twelfth century. The church homes the tomb of the parish priest Elías Valiña, a well-known promoter of the French Method.

Style the well-known Designation of Origin cheese of O Cebreiro.  This fatty, delicate paste cheese with a moldy rind and grainy look, is made out of pure, entire cow’s milk has a barely bitter style, and is within the form of a mushroom or chef’s hat.

See the Monument to the Pilgrim. This iconic statue was created by José María Acuña, and represents a pilgrim from the Center Ages preventing in opposition to the inclemency of the climate.

 Go to the Viewpoint of O Cebreiro. The picturesque village has a surprising viewpoint with nice views at sundown. 

Locations to remain in O Cebreiro

Santiago de Compostela

All of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage routes result in Santiago de Compostela the capital of the Galicia area within the northwest of Spain. The Biblical apostle St. James is regarded as buried inside the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela. Hundreds of pilgrims from throughout Europe stroll to the cathedral in Santiago Camino de Santiago. Plaza Obradoiro in entrance of the cathedral is the place the Camino pilgimage ends and this can be a very emotional expertise for a lot of. Seeing the enjoyment when pilgrims arrive is an expertise in itself. The town with many lovely outdated buildings, church buildings, squares, fountains, and parks is nice to discover on foot.  See our detailed information to the Greatest Issues To Do in Santiago de Compostela

Campbell and Alya at the Stingy Nomads, Campbell and Alya, at the the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela.Campbell and Alya at the Stingy Nomads, Campbell and Alya, at the the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela.
Stingy Nomads, Campbell and Alya, on the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela.

Issues to do in Santiago de Compostela

The Cathedral is the primary attraction of Santiago de Compostela it’s one thing to not miss. You are able to do a guided Cathedral and Museum tour to be taught extra about its historical past.

Attend Pilgrims Mass –  this can be a nice method to finish the unbelievable journey. Pilgrims Mass takes place 4 instances on daily basis. Perhaps you might be very fortunate and see the Botafumeiro Ceremony, throughout this ceremony, an enormous silver incense burner hooked up to the ceiling is swung by 6 specifically educated monks.

Proceed to Muxia and Finisterre, many pilgrims do that lovely stroll to “the top of the world” after ending their Camino in Santiago de Compostela. – Fisterra, Muxía, Ezaro, Ría de Muros, Pontemaceira & Costa da Morte: full-day tour

Discover this fascinating metropolis on foot is improbable in the summertime months, the vacationer workplace may be very useful and can provide you a map, with a guided tour you received´t miss the highlights of the town – Historic Heart Guided Tour with Official Information

The meals in Santiago is improbable. Go on a gastronomic tour with a neighborhood information to style the standard dishes Galicia has to supply. 

Locations to remain in Santiago de Compostela

Whether or not you wish to sleep on bunk beds or keep in a luxurious lodge, we’ve got some good suggestions after strolling 9 completely different routes to Santiago de Compostela. 

See our article for Greatest Locations to Keep in Santiago de Compostela for Pilgrims 

Finances | Santiago KM-0 |

Center value | Hospedería San Martín Pinario | This place is positioned proper subsequent to the Cathedral. There are particular rooms for pilgrims at Hospedaría, these rooms are rather more fundamental in comparison with the usual room and price much less. 

Excessive-end | Parador de Santiago – Hostal Reis Catolicos | You’ll be able to’t discover a place to remain nearer to the Cathedral and the historic middle than this lodge. It’s been an necessary a part of the Camino de Santiago for hundreds of years.

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