With the launch of our Camino de Santiago tours – along the Camino Francés – we thought that it would be a good idea to run through the various routes one can walk on their way to Santiago.
The Camino was ranked #3 in Armchair Mountaineer’s top 5 long-distance walks in Europe.
Camino Francés (The French Way)
The Camino Francés is, by far, the most popular Camino route.
At almost 800km in length, the route begins in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and crosses the French-Spanish border at the Pyrenees. It then continues through the north of Spain as it makes its way towards Santiago.
The most popular part of the Camino Francés is the final 160km, from O Cebreiro to Santiago. This is the part of the route that our tours cover.
It takes in the hills of Galicia, historical towns and plenty of relaxing scenery.
Our Product Team has recently returned from hiking the Camino Francés – here’s what they have to say about the food:
My favourite meal was probably simple a good Spanish tortilla! With some ensalada mixta (mixed salad) and nice bread and I was happy. My favourite dessert was definitely the Tarta de Santiago – I could have had it every day (not saying I didn’t) without getting sick of it!
Tarta de Santiago is literally everywhere. It’s not even a dessert really it is just part of life – kinda like tea to an Irish person! It’s eaten at all times of the day, accompanied by a really strong café solo (or the tamer café con leche that most pilgrims go for!) and absolutely delicious.
Camino Portugués (The Portuguese Way)
Beginning in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, the Camino Portugués is the second most popular route, after the Camino Francés.
The route travels from Lisbon to Porto and on to the Portuguese-Spanish border town of Tui. From here, it continues on towards Santiago.
Camino del Norte (The Northern Way)
The Camino del Norte stays true to its name and runs across the northern coast of Spain. Due to its proximity to the coast, you can expect to come across many beaches and fishing villages.
This route is roughly 825km in length and joins up with the Camino Francés shortly before Santiago.
Via De La Plata
The Via De La Plata is the longest pilgrim route, at almost 1,000km long, and begins in Seville. It follows ancient Roman roads (‘Plata’ is derived from ‘Plata’, a Latin word meaning ‘wide road’).
Camino Inglés (The English Way)
The Camino Inglés is so-called as it was commonly used by the English as they disembarked from their boats and continued on foot. There are traditionally two starting points – in Ferrol and in A Coruna.
Unfortunately, the A Coruna route is too short to be able to claim a Compostela certificate as, at approx. 75km in length, is doesn’t exceed 100km.
However, this allows for the opportunity to complete the Celtic Camino which involves walking at least 25km on one of the official Camino routes in Ireland such as the Kerry Camino before travelling to A Coruna to complete the additional 75km and reach the minimum 100km distance.
Camino Primitivo (The Original Way)
The Camino Primitivo is considered to be the most challenging of the Camino routes, beginning in Oviedo. As not many people walk this route, pilgrims often find themselves in solitude.
However, the Camino Primitivo joins up with the Camino Francés for the final two days.
Camino de Finisterre (The Finisterre Way)
The Camino Finisterre continues past Santiago and to the coast. ‘Finisterre’ roughly translates to ‘land’s end’, and is traditionally where people collect a scallop shell as a sign of having completed it.
This route continues an extra 55km past Santiago.
Check out Pilgrimage Publications for more info.