Imagine walking through charming landscapes, historic cities, and bewitching villages until you reach the stunning Santiago de Compostela. You’re not only going to do a pilgrimage where you will get to know different places, but also you will get to know people who will make your journey even more amazing, so lace up your boots and prepare yourself for one the most epic, life-changing journeys of your life.
This journey is considered to be a pilgrimage in which you will be following the footsteps of St James. The most popular route is Camino Francés, which starts in France at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees and it takes about five weeks to finish the walk. People usually choose shorter sections like the one from León to Santiago, which can be completed in 10 days.
No matter how far you want to hike, there’s one thing for sure, you will experience all the details that bond pilgrimage entail, like camaraderie, whether it comes from sharing personal stories over dinner or a discussion about remedies for blisters out on the trail.
A good reason for starting your journey from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is the astonishing landscape that you can appreciate by climbing up over the Pyrenees via Ronaldo’s Pass. Verdant pastures dotted with beautiful and traditional dark-red-and-white houses that rag the skyline of the Pyrenees peaks.
You will know that you just reached the top of the peak when you see a simple stone monument and a pile of old wooden crosses, then it will be a relief to know that the path is finally going down to the convent at Roncesvalles, in Spain. Through Pamplona and on into La Rioja, you will go to the regional capital, Logroño, where you can find not only the pilgrims hostels but also the pilgrims’ gate.
Once you reach the church of San Juan de Ortega, you will be heading to the beautiful city of Burgos, where it’s worth taking a day to explore the impressive Gothic cathedral and the riverside parks. The last challenge is the climb to O Cebreiro, a village that consists of unique stone hostels, bars, and shops. From now on, you will be going to Galicia, where you’re going to finish your journey.
A must-see is the impressive cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, climbing the steps to this place is such an unforgettable experience, as the bells toll, the pilgrimage begins and the statue of St James is looking to every single walker and biker.
Just for you to know
Many maps and books offer details about the Camino de Santiago, but we highly recommend The Road to Santiago Pilgrims Guide, which you can find at the Spanish Tourism Board. Also, we recommend you to do some training before going into this journey, and it’s important that you know that there are other official pilgrim trails to Santiago de Compostela; therefore, you can choose the one that is better for you.
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