Of all of the routes leading to Santiago, The French Way or Camino Frances route is by far the most popular. In this guide, we outline some of the most asked questions about this incredible trail.
What is required to achieve a Compostela?
Firstly and most commonly asked, in order to achieve your Compostela (certificate of completion), you must walk at least 100km of any Camino route. Luckily, our tours cover the last 160km of the Camino Frances including those starting in Sarria just over 100km from Santiago (the most popular start point of any Camino trail)!
In addition, we also offer much shorter itinerary options for those just looking to sample what makes the Camino so special.
The French Way begins in French side of the Pyrenees before crossing the border into the north of Spain. The entire route, ending in Santiago, is approximately 800km in length. The final 160km, starting in O Cebreiro, is ideal for a walking holiday – it includes woodland, laneways, tracks through villages and small rural roads. It really is a walker’s paradise!
At the end of your journey in Santiago, you can see the wonderful Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and experience everything that this special city has to offer.
It’s also a wonderful place to meet and celebrate with new friends made along the trail. There’s nothing better than sharing stories and adventures with fellow pilgrims over a glass of wine and some traditional Tarta de Santiago or the wide variety of other delicious Galician food!
How Long Does It Take To Walk The French Way?
The entire 800km route can be completed in four to five weeks depending on the distance walked per day (and planning rest days are also advisable for a walk of this length). Our tours range between 4 and 13 days in length with itineraries of 8, 9 or 10 days available from O Cebreiro or 6, 7 or 8 days from Sarria.
The average distance walked each day will completely depend on whether you’re doing a gentle, moderate or challenging tour – it’s up to you how easy or how challenging you’d like to make it based on average walking distances per day!
The Scallop Symbol
The scallop is the world-recognised symbol for the Camino de Santiago. Many people walk the Finisterre route, 70km beyond Santiago, and collect a scallop shell from the ocean there.
Before America was discovered, Finisterre was believed to have been the end of the world – ‘Finisterre’ translates to that.
The scallop is purely symbolic nowadays, but in days gone by it was used to scoop up water and food in lieu of any utensils.
What People Are Saying
The Camino has glowing reviews – take a look at some of the comments below!
“Great hike filled with surprises”
“One of the most amazing weeks of my life”
“Can’t Wait to do it Again”
“Experience of a Lifetime”
We hope that you found this guide helpful. If you’re interested in a self-guided hiking tour on The French Way, check out our Camino Frances walking tours.