The Way of St James - Spain
By Alison Raju
Guidebook to walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrim route, or Way of St James. A 778km trek through northern Spain from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela and onto Finisterre on the Galician coast. The camino usually takes between 4 and 5 weeks to hike. Guide to the Frances route, with maps and accommodation details.
SeasonsThe main season for this section of the Camino route is from May, in time to arrive at Santiago on 25th July. This can mean very hot weather!
CentresCentres passed through include Roncesvalles, Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, Astorga, Sarria, Santiago de Compostela, Finisterre.
DifficultyThe Way of St James is not technically difficult. A long walk in what can be difficult hot, dry conditions.
Must SeeArriving at Santiago de Compostela, crossing the Pyrenees, the cameraderie of the people you meet on the way, the architecture, history and ever-changing landscape.
This guidebook is an essential companion to walking the Way of St James. The Camino de Santiago is a thousand year old pilgrim road from Le Puy-en-Valey in central France to Santiago de Compostela cathedral in northwest Spain and finally on to Finisterre on the Galician coast. Many who walk the route, known as the Camino Frances, are not experienced walkers, but with this guidebook, all the information a pilgrim needs to tackle the challenge is at hand.
Ancient pathways, medieval churches, castles, towering mountains, and following in the footsteps of history over 1500km in France and Spain. It's a daunting distance, and this second-part guide to the pilgrimage as it travels through Spain covers the final 778kms of the route. It is further divided into sections: Saint-Jean-de-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles (over the Pyrenees), Roncesvalles to Burgos, Burgos to Léon, Léon to Sarria and Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. A further section from Santiago to "the ends of the Earth" at Finisterre on the Atlantic coast is also included.
This guide is the ideal companion to the Spanish section of the Pilgrim Way to Santiago. The walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago can be completed in four to five weeks by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and who also likes to visit the varied places of interest along the way. It can also be undertaken in sections by those who lack the time to do it all in one go or who would just like to cover certain stretches. As well as the route description, the guide also includes stage maps, information on accommodation, access and where to get your pilgrim stamp in the towns and villages. A thorough introduction informs on the long history of the Way of St James, and advises on what to take with you, and how to manage a long-distance trail.
- The French section of the route is covered in Cicerone’s companion volume The Way of Saint James France: Le Puy to the Pyrenees.
- The other Spanish Camino routes, such as the Camino del Norte, Camino Ingles and Camino Primitivo are alternative routes from the Pyrenees to Santiago, and are available in Cicerone's The Northern Caminos guidebook.
- Or if you prefer to cycle the Pilgrim Road to Santiago de Compostela, Cicerone also has The Way of St James Cyclist Guide.
Topography, economy and language
Before you go
Planning your schedule
There and Back
Using this guide
Saint-Jean-de-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles
Roncesvalles to Burgos
Burgos to León
León to Sarria
Sarria to Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre
A. Camino Aragonés
B. Summary of St James's and other Pilgrim References
C. Suggestions for Further Reading
D. Useful Addresses
F. Index of Maps
G: Summary of Route
H: Index of Principal Place Names
Michelin 1,400.000 (1cm:4km) Orange series
sheets: 441 North West Spain, 442 Northern Spain.
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Alison Raju is a former teacher of French, German and Spanish to adults and is the author of three other guides published by Cicerone Press: 'Way of Saint James (Camino de Santiago): Pyrenees - Santiago - Finisterre', 'Vía de la Plata (Seville to Santiago)' and 'The Pilgrim Road to Nidaros (Way of St. Olav): Oslo - Trondheim'.View Articles and Books by Alison Raju