The French Way

From Saint Jean Pied de Port, France, to Santiago de Compostela 31 Sections. 773 kilometres. 

From Somport (Aragón) to Santiago de Compostela. 33 Sections. 937 kilometres.

In Spain, the French Way starts in Roncesvalles, you leave from Navarre, or in Somport if you depart from Aragón. This is the most well-known and tradition-steeped route to Santiago de Compostela to the point that it has become a cultural, artistic and sociological landmark attracting 7 out of 10 pilgrims coming to the Santiago de Compostela.   

This way has been active since the 9th century, the date when the tomb of the Apostle Saint James is said to have been discovered, and the current course was established by the end of the 11th century. The French Road aroused interest in Medieval Europe to the extent that, already by 1135 the renowned Codex Calixtinus became a pioneering travel guide for pilgrims, offering information about all the routes, churches, and local inhabitants and detailed notes on this itinerary that starts in France.  
 
The border between Spain and France is the great meeting place for pilgrims from all across Europe. Three routes bring walkers to Roncesvalles: Paris-Tours, Vezelay-Limoges and Le Puy-Conques. The fourth one, Arles-Toulouse, crosses the border though Somport. From that moment onwards, the usual estimate is a month of travel on foot, with thirty different stops or “sections” to reach Santiago de Compostela.  
 
From Puente de la Reina (Navarre) where pilgrims coming from Saint Jean Pied de Port meet, after crossing Roncesvalles and going through Pamplona, those coming from Somport through the province of Saragossa and Huesca, the French Route passes through such significant sites as Estella, Logroño, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Burgos, León, Astorga, Ponferrada or Villafranca del Bierzo.   

The county of El Bierzo opens the gateway to Galicia through the inspiring mountain hamlet of O Cebreiro. From this point, a week of walking though enchanted greenery will lead pilgrims to the Praza do Obradoiro and the attainment of the Compostela Certificate. 

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Sections

Section 1. Saint Jean Pied de Port -Orreaga/ Roncesvalles (25’5 km)
Section 1 from Somport: Somport-Jaca (31 km)
Section 2. Orreaga/Roncesvalles - Zubiri (21’5 km)
Section 2 from Somport: Jaca-Arrés (25 km)
Section 3. Zubiri - Pamplona/Iruña (20’5 km)
Section 3 from Somport: Arrés-Ruesta (28 km)
Section 4. Pamplona/Iruña - Puente la Reina/Gares (24 km)
Section 4 from Somport: Ruesta-Sangüesa (22 km)
Section 5. Puente la Reina/Gares - Estella/Lizarra (22 km)
Section 5 from somport: Sangüesa-Monreal (27 km)
Section 6. Estella/Lizarra - Torres del Río (29 km)
Section 6 from Somport: Monreal-Puente la Reina (31 km)
Section 7. Torres del Río - Logroño (20 km)
Section 8. Logroño - Nájera (29’5 km)
Section 9. Nájera - Santo Domingo de la Calzada (21 km)
Section 10. Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Belorado (22’5 km)
Section 11. Belorado - Agés (27’5 km)
Section 12. Agés – Burgos (23 km)
Section 13. Burgos - Hontanas (31 km)
Section 14. Hontanas - Boadilla del Camino (28’5 km)
Section 15. Boadilla del Camino - Carrión de los Condes (24’5 km)
Section 16. Carrión de los Condes - Terradillos de los Templarios (26’5 km)
Section 17. Terradillos de los Templarios - El Burgo Ranero (30’5 km)
Section 18. El Burgo Ranero - León (37 km)
Section 19. León - San Martín del Camino (26 km)
Section 20. San Martín del Camino - Astorga (24 km)
Section 21. Astorga - Foncebadón (26 km)
Section 22. Foncebadón - Ponferrada (27 km)
Section 23. Ponferrada - Villafranca del Bierzo (24 km)
Section 24. Villafranca del Bierzo - O Cebreiro (28’5 km)
Section 25. O Cebreiro - Triacastela (21 km)
Section 26. Triacastela - Sarria (19 km / 24’5 km)
Section 27. Sarria - Portomarín (23 km)
Section 28. Portomarín - Palas de Rei (24 km)
Section 29. Palas de Rei - Arzúa (28 km)
Section 30. Arzúa - Pedrouzo (19 km)
Section 31. Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela (20 km)

How to get to the starting point?

Please continue reading for information on how to arrive at the most important starting points for the Camino Francés or French Way.

- SAINT JEAN PIED DE PORT

How to get to Saint Jean Pied de Port by train: The only direct train reaching Saint Jean Pied de Port leaves from Bayonne, France, and takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.


How to get to Saint Jean Pied de Port by bus:
Companies such as Conda or Alsa have daily buses from Pamplona or San Sebastian to Saint Jean Pied de Port. There are also buses from Roncesvalles, where a shared taxi can be hired as another option to reach Saint Jean Pied de Port.

 
How to get to Saint Jean Pied de Port by plane: The closest airport to Saint Jean Pied de Port is Biarritz (7 Espl. de l'Europe, 64600 Anglet, France). Several airlines fly from here to various destinations in Europe. The trip from the terminal to Saint Jean Pied de Port is around 50 kilometres by road.

-SOMPORT :

How to get to Somport by train: There is a high-speed train from Madrid and Barcelona to Saragossa, while Huesca has direct connections to Madrid. There are regional daily trains from both cities to Jaca, with some trains running up to Canfranc. From here you need to take a bus or other road transportation means to get to Somport. All timetables and routes can be checked at Renfe (+34 943 61 67 08). 
 
How to get to Somport by bus: The company Alosa (+34 902 210 700) has buses to Jaca from Saragossa, Huesca and Pamplona. Jaca station (Av. Jacetania s/n) offers several daily buses to Somport, you can check the timetables at the Tourist Office (+34 974 360 098).

How to get to Somport by car: There are almost 500 kilometres from Madrid to Somport using the shortest route. This takes about 5 hours and 15 minutes along the highway A-2 and going through Saragossa and Huesca, up to the Somport port.

- LEÓN

How to get to León by train: León has been a traditional railway junction and has two railway stations with trains to cities like Madrid and Barcelona and towards Galicia and the north of Spain. All schedules and routes can be checked at Renfe.

How to get to León by bus: Bus company Alsa offers daily buses from León’s bus station (Av. Ingeniero Sáenz de Miera) to various Spanish cities

How to get to León by plane: León’s airport is located 6 kilometres away from the city and has direct flights to Barcelona with Air Nostrum. There are buses and taxis leading to the city centre.

-ASTORGA

How to get to Astorga by train: There are daily trains by Renfe from Madrid, Barcelona, Pamplona, Burgos, León or Ponferrada.

How to get to Astorga by bus: Daily coaches reach Astorga from various points across Spain, all operated by Alsa.


- PONFERRADA

How to get to Ponferrada by train: There are daily trains from Ponferrada to Madrid, Santiago de Compostela and neighbouring León operated by Renfe.

How to get to Ponferrada by bus: Daily coaches reach Ponferrada from various points across Spain, all operated by Alsa. If there are no direct connections, travelling to Madrid and then from there is an alternative option.

- SARRIA

Sarria, located in the Galician province of Lugo, is one of the most beloved departure points for pilgrims, as from here they can cover the 100 kilometres on foot needed to obtain the Compostela Certificate.

How to get to Sarria by train: This is one of the most comfortable options, as Renfe operates routes from Madrid and Barcelona. The train from Barcelona also goes through important cities such as Saragossa, Pamplona, Burgos and León, amongst others. In addition, there is a service linking Sarria with the city of Lugo, the provincial capital.

How to get to Sarria by bus: Companies such as Freire and Monbús reach Sarria from Santiago de Compostela and Lugo.
Confraternity Sites
Asociación Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Jaca
C/ Conde Aznar 9
Jaca (Huesca), 22700
master@jacajacobea.com

Jaca Jacobea Asociación Oscense de los Amigos del Camino de Santiago
C/ Valentín Gardeta, 34
Huesca, 22007
huescasantiago@hotmail.com

Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Zaragoza
C/ San Vicente de Paul 1
Zaragoza, 50001
peregrinosantiagozaragoza@yahoo.es


Asociación de los Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Estella
C/ La Rúa, 50 - Apto. de Correos, 20
Estella, 21004
amigos@caminodesantiagoestella.org

 
Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago
Rua Vieja, 3
Logroño, 26001
caminosantiago@caminosantiago.org

 
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Burgos
C/ Fernán Gonzalez, 28 - Apdo. de Correos 331
Burgos, 09003
asociacion@caminosantiagoburgos.com

 
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Mansilla de las Mulas
Plaza de San Martin, 1 - Iglesia de San Martín
Mansilla de las Mulas, 24210
jcachan@terra.es

 
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Palencia
Real Monasterio de San Zoilo
Carrión de los Condes, 34120
fromista@caminodesantiago.org
info@bibliotecajacobea.org

 
Asociación Amigos del Camino de Santiago de León "Pulchra Leonina"
Av. Independencia, 2 - 5º Izq.
24003 León,
987 260 530
caminosantiagoleon@gmail.com
 
 
 
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Astorga y Comarca
Plaza de San Francisco, 3
Astorga, 24700
asociacion@caminodesantiagoastorga.com