The Camino francés

Publicado por Unknown , viernes, 6 de diciembre de 2013 3:09

The Camino Francés is the main spine route of the Camino de Santiago. It stretches of nearly 800 kilometres (500 miles) from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. It has had large numbers of pilgrims travelling to the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) for at least 800 years. It has had a major influence on European history since it was the protection of pilgrims which inspired European rulers to support the small northern Spanish kingdoms in their efforts to push back the Muslim invaders of Spain.
The Camino Francés can be divided into 3 main sections: the rolling hills of the Basque country, the hot, flat, empty central section of the "meseta", and the green hills of Galicia. The route includes the major cities of Pamplona, Burgos and León, the large towns of Logroño in the Rioja, Astorga, and Ponferrada, and hosts of interesting smaller places along the way. It is very varied scenically.
A typical journey on the Camino Francés would take a month allowing for one or two rest days. The path itself is usually fairly flat and wide, with a good surface, as we will see from the many pictures in this section. There are plenty of refugios (simple mixed hostels with basic facilities costing a few euros a night operated on a first come- first served basis) where you can meet other pilgrims, as well as a range of more expensive accommodation.
  • The division of the route of the Camino Francés into stages is purely arbitrary, though for most people it is constrained by the location of the refugios, whether they want to use the opportunities for sightseeing, particularly in the big cities, and whether they want rest days or half rest days. For example, there are no refugios between St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Roncesvalles, so you cannot do a lesser distance, and few people are inclined to do more! Pamplona, Burgos and Leon all have enough sights to fill several days if you have the time.