The French Way – The Last 100km
If you are looking for the classic Camino experience, this tour is for you! The section covers the last 100kkm of the French Way, the famous Camino Frances and the most famous of all the Camino de Santiago routes, featuring in many documentaries, books and movies. Walking from Sarria to Santiago means you will receive your Pilgrim Certificate on arrival in Santiago. Meet like-minded pilgrims, discover local traditions, and sample gastronomic delights, all while strolling through lush, verdant Galician countryside.
Distance: 112km | Difficulty: Not So Gentle
An Introduction to the Basque Country
Beginning in Sarria, there is time to explore the town centre where you will find churches, chapels, monasteries and seven pilgrim hospitals. The main street, Rua Maior has a wonderful ambience and is a great place to enjoy a drink or bit to eat in one of the surrounding cafes.
The First Stretch of the Camino
On your arrival you have plenty of time to explore Sarria and its pretty town centre, home to churches, chapels, monasteries and seven pilgrim hospitals. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat in one of the bars or cafes, before tucking in for the night. When you awake fully refreshed, the next day is spent strolling through peaceful villages and pretty hamlets along quiet roads shaded by towering oak trees.
Along the way you can see traditional granaries, and you’ll have the chance to explore the Romanesque church in Barbadelo before finding your accommodation in Portomarin in the Spanish province of Lugo. The town was constructed and built next to a Roman bridge which crossed the Minho River, and features the castle-style church of San Juan of Portomarin.
Castles, Churches + River Crossings
On the next section of your trip you will cross the river Minho – the longest in Galicia, and take a tranquil walk to Palas de Rei. There are several places of interest to see on route including the beautiful Romanesque Churches of Santa Maria and Eirexe, the latter with a sculpture of Daniel with animals and the Pilgrim Santiago.
Don’t leave the town without visiting The Church of San Salvador de Vilar de Donas, enjoying some delicious local tapas, and if you still feel energetic you could hike to beautiful Castillo de Pambre.
The next day’s trail continues downhill, passing through delightful Casanova and Leboreiro villages. The ideal place to take a break is in the bustling market town of Melide, with its historical and heritage landscape, traditional Galician cuisine and local festivals.
This is the best place to try one of the regions classic dishes – octopus, in one of the town’s authentic ‘pulperias’. Continue your journey towards the medieval hamlet of Ribadiso and Arzua, famous for its local cheese.
Chapels, Hamlets + Country Roads
As you set off from Arzua, today’s Camino will take you by lush, tranquil scenery, crossing streams and passing through sleepy villages. Scallop shell signs will point you to beautiful chapels to visit, along with a statue of Santiago on route before arriving in Amenal, where you will spend the night.
The Last 16km
This is the final stretch of The French Way! The first point of interest is in Lavacolla, where pilgrims would wash themselves in the river in preparation for arrival into Santiago de Compostela. But, it is at the Mount of Joy – Monte do Gozo, where you will catch the first glimpses of the cathedral spires.
If you start off on your journey early enough, you should make the 12pm pilgrim mass at the cathedral, giving you ample time to explore the city in the afternoon. Highlights of Santiago include the Museum Cathedral, Praza do Obradoiro – the grand square in front of the cathedral, and Santiago’s famous food market – Mercado de Abastos.
When you’ve exhausted all the sights, relax in a tapas bar with a glass of wine, and soak up the atmosphere of this incredible city, and start planning your return visit.
A choice of hand-picked accommodation throughout your journey, which ranges from standard, family-run character hotels of up to 3-stars, chosen for their warm hospitality along the Camino trail, or pretty ‘Casa Rurales’. Alternatively, if you are seeking a touch of luxury – a place to pamper yourself after a long day of exploring, we have a range of luxurious 4 and 5-star accommodations, boutique hotels and Paradores. Breakfast is included daily. Itineraries can be custom made to suit you, your fitness, time available and budget. You will be provided with a walking guide and or notes and maps. A 24/7 support number is given in case of emergency. Luggage transfers are provided as part of the hiking package which means your luggage will be moved each day to the next hotel on your itinerary.
Our Europe brochure has a wide variety of exciting experiences. Whether it is a self-guided hiking + cycling trip, taking a barge + cycling cruise, enjoying a food + wine experience in Sardinia, or spending days absorbing the culture of classical cities.
Follow in the footsteps of famous writers on a self-drive walking holiday in the UK; follow the last 100kms of the Portuguese Coastal Way to Santiago de Compostela along the stunning Atlantic Coast or explore a section of the Via Francigena in Tuscany walking from Lucca to Siena.
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