The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James is a network of pilgrims’ ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth.
The Camino Francés (or French Way) is the most popular of all the Camino routes to Santiago de Compostela. The popular starting point of this pilgrimage is the town of St Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees and it finishes about 780 km later in Santiago de Compostela. Most people take 4-5 weeks to walk or about two weeks to cycle this route.
My first experience of the Camino Francés was in 2011 when I walked from Sarria to Santiago. It was an eye-opener for me as I hadn’t been to Spain before nor had I experienced the Spanish culture. Walking 100 kilometres was a huge achievement also at that time as I had no preparation done nor had I the same appreciation of what the Camino was before I left for Spain. You can read about my first experience in Spain in my conversation with Maria over on SpanishforCamino.com.
Ever since I have been going back year on year and walking for a few weeks. You can read how I got on by clicking any the following links:
- In 2012, I walked from Astorga to Sarria
- In 2013, I met a huge Camino family and walked from Logrono to Leon
- In 2014, I walked from St Jean Pied de Port to Belorado in the La Rioja region
- The following year, my Camino took me from Belorado to Molinaseca.
- In 2016, I walked from Santiago to Finisterre, approx 90km.
- In 2017, I walked the meseta tableau from Burgos to Astorga.
- In 2018, I took my first steps along the Camino Portuguese Coastal Route when I walked from A Guarda to Santiago with my brother
- Later in 2018, I walked from Puente la Reina to Burgos.
- In May 2019, I completed the Celtic Camino when my brother and I walked from A Coruna to Finisterre.