35 days on the Camino Francés from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela, averaging 23 kilometers per day. These are the Camino de Santiago stages. Plus insider tips!

  • If you click on the link in the table, there are tips for the respective section of the route.
  • The kilometers are rounded – a few hundred meters does not matter.
  • The inputs under «Infrastructure» refer to the final destination of each stage.

The Camino de Santiago stages

DayStageDistanceDistance to Santiago
(from beginning of stage)
1Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Orisson 8 km805 km
2Orisson to Roncesvalles 18 km797 km
3Roncesvalles to Zubiri 22 km778 km
4Zubiri to Pamplona 20 km755 km
5Pamplona to Puente la Reina 24 km735 km
6Puente la Reina to Estella  24 km710 km
7Estella to Los Arcos 21 km687 km
8Los Arcos to Viana 18 km666 km
9Viana to Navarrete 22 km647 km
10Navarrete to Azofra 23 km625 km
11Azofra to Grañon 23 km601 km
12Grañon to Tosantos 20 km578 km
13Tosantos to San Juan de Ortega 19 km557 km
14San Juan de Ortega to Burgos 26 km537 km
15Burgos to Hontanas 30 km510 km
16Hontanas to San Nicolas 18 km478 km
17San Nicolas to Frómista 16 km460 km
18Frómista to Carrión de los Condes 19 km442 km
19Carrión de los Condes to Terradillos de Templarios 27 km422 km
20Terradillos de Templarios to Bercianos del Real Camino 23 km394 km
21Bercianos del Real Camino to Mansilla de las Mulas 26 km369 km
22Mansilla de las Mulas to León 19 km342 km
23León to Villavante 24 km324 km
24Villavante to Astorga 22 km292 km
25Astorga to Rabanal del Camino 20 km270 km
26Rabanal del Camino to Ponferrada 25 km242 km
27Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierco 24 km216 km
28Villafranca del Bierzo to La Faba 25 km191 km
29La Faba to Tricastela 25 km166 km
30Tricastela to Barbadelo 26 km139 km
31Barbadelo to Gonzar 25 km115 km
32Gonzar to Casanova 23 km88 km
33Casanova to Ribadiso 21 km65 km
34Ribadiso to O Pedrouzo 21 km43 km
35O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela22 km22 km

Day 1 – Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Orisson – 8 km

A beginner’s stage for those who are not experienced in hiking or rarely climb a mountain. Crossing the Pyrenees is doable (even in one go) but tiring. After all, from SJPP to Roncesvalles you climb over 1200 meters high.

Where to stay: There are three private hostels in Orisson.

Refugio Orisson with bar/restaurant. The dormitory bed is only available with half-board  for 42 euros. (We are still in France here, the prices are higher than in Spain)

Kayota Hostel – Dorm bed for 17 euros.

Auberge Borda — Dorm with half-board for 43 euros.

Note: Orisson has only a few beds. Be sure to reserve in advance! If there is no bed: don’t worry, the direct route to Roncesvalles is also possible! But make sure to take some food from SJPP with you or buy a sandwich in Orisson. There are no rest stops or services along the way between Orisson and Roncesvalles.

Infrastructure: In Orisson there is no infrastructure apart from the bar.

Day 2 – Orisson to Roncesvalles – 18 km

Today is the most strenuous day of the entire Camino de Santiago for many pilgrims. Untrained and often carrying much too heavy backpacks, the 600 meters ascent and 400 meters descent should not be underestimated. There are mountains to climb later on the Way of St. James – but by then you are much fitter. Nevertheless, in good weather (even in summer it can rain here) this stage is one of the most beautiful of the entire route: pure mountain beauty!

Important: There are no rest stops/services until you reach Roncesvalles. So be sure to bring some snacks with you. You can fill up the water bottle about halfway up at the Roland fountain.

Alternative route: Shortly after the pass (1420 meters) there are two options. The official route is straight ahead. However, this is very steep and often impassable. More pleasant (and gentler on joints and feet) is the small detour that leads to the right on an asphalt road. After about an hour, at a modern chapel, turn left across a meadow to reach the monastery of Roncesvalles.

Where to stay: In the monastery of Roncesvalles, Dutch pilgrims have set up a nice hostel in the monastery rooms. Price: 14 euros 

Infrastructure and food: Roncesvalles actually only consists of the monastery and two restaurants. There is no grocery store of any kind (apart from a few vending machines in the hostel.) But you can get a pilgrim menu (Menu del Peregrino) in one of the restaurants for about 10 to 12 euros. The quality isn’t very good – but it fills the stomach.

Pilgrim’s Mass: A pilgrim’s mass is held every day in the abbey church (8 p.m. on weekdays, 6 p.m. on weekends.) Even if I’m not Catholic, I’m happy to take part in these traditions. After all, pilgrims have been received here since the 12th century.

Day 3 – Roncesvalles to Zubiri – 22 km

Today the road descends about 400 meters in altitude across meadows and through forests. Sometimes the descent is very steep. Many pilgrims complain of knee pain afterwards. In most cases, the pain disappears after a few days.

To avoid knee pain, you should take smaller steps on steep passages, roll off your feet and bend your knees slightly as you walk down. Hiking sticks also help to take the pressure off your knees.

Where to Stay: I recommend the municipal hostel in a former school. Price: 8 euros.

Infrastructure: Grocery stores, pharmacy, bar, restaurant.

Tip: Most of the pilgrims will spend the night in Zubiri. Personally, it is sometimes too crowded for me. If you have the strength/energy, you should walk another 5.5 km to the next village of Larrasoaña (after a break in one of the bars in Zubiri or by the river.) Larrasoaña is quieter, there are bars and food shops, and the municipal hostel is often wonderfully empty. Price: 9 euros

Day 4 – Zubiri to Pamplona – 20 km

A short stage for those who are still tired from breaking in their feet and bodies on the trail over the last few days. Take it easy in Pamplona, especially since it has a beautiful old town with historical sites and incredible pinxtos (tapas) bars! 

Where to stay: I’ve only stayed one night in Pamplona on my way (and in a hotel at that), because I’ve always preferred the small villages to the city. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the hostel Casa Paderborn, run by Pilgrim Friends from Paderborn, Germany. Price: 7 euros.

Infrastructure: Pamplona has a population of 160,000 and has everything your heart desires!

Day 5 – Pamplona to Puente la Reina – 24 km

Rested, the 24 km through beautiful landscape should be manageable. The Pyrenees have been conquered and for the next three weeks the Camino has only moderate inclines. One of these inclines comes just after Pamplona when the path goes up to the Alto del Perdón. Here is the famous metal pilgrim’s sculpture, which many probably already know from pictures. From the hill you have wonderful views back to the Pyrenees and of the path ahead.

Attention: The descent from the top of the pass is very rocky with some fist-sized pebbles. Take extra care. It’s easy to sprain your ankle here.

Alternative route: In the village of Muruzabal (about 5 km after the pass) it’s definitely worth taking a small 2 km detour to the Romanesque church of Santa Maria de Eunate, which probably dates back to the Knights Templar (there are signposts in the village). When it’s open, the octagonal room is a very spiritual, beautiful place. But otherwise the atmosphere here is very peaceful. I always walk past this little church.

Where to stay: At the beginning of the old town of Puente la Reina there is a church hostel with a beautiful inner courtyard on the left-hand side. Price: 7 euros.

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, doctor, bars, restaurants.

Day 6 – Puente la Reina to Estella – 24 km

Today the path goes through a beautiful landscape, including vineyards. Probably the most beautiful section is the way to the village of Cirauqui, which is enthroned on a small hill.

Accommodation: I recommend either the municipal hostel (6 euros) or the church hostel, which is donation-based.

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, doctor, bar, restaurant.

Day 7 – Estella to Los Arcos – 21 km

A very nice day, away from the big roads in beautiful nature – and passes one of the most famous curiosities of the Way of St. James: the Irache wine fountain. The Monasterio de Irache, about 4 km outside of Estella, has existed since the 9th century and was an important stop for pilgrims. And wine has probably been produced here and served to pilgrims since the early days – a tradition that Bodega Irache continues to this day. In the winery there is a fountain where you can drink both wine and water. Of course it is frowned upon to fill your drinking bottle with wine – a few sips are enough for the experience!

Fill up with water! After Villamayor de Monjardin there is no water until Los Arcos for 12 km (about 3 hours walk). Especially in the hot summer you should fill up your bottle in Villamayor.

Where to stay: I recommend the Isaac Santiago public hostel on the outskirts of Los Arcos. Price: 6 euros.

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, doctor, bars, restaurants.

Day 8 – Los Arcos to Viana – 18 km

A short day through beautiful nature but with a steep descent that might strain the knees. The next place to stay after Viana is in the town of Logroño. Since Logroño is too big for me and, to be honest, I don’t like it much, I always sleep either before or after.

Where to stay: The church hostel with only 16 beds is in a small apartment next to the church of Santa Maria on the main square of the town. The friendly hospitaleros (hostel workers) prepare dinner and breakfast. All of this on a donation-basis (for behavior in donation-run hostels, see my text here).

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, doctor, bars, restaurants.

Day 9 – Viana to Navarrete – 22 km

Today the scenery is not very exhilarating. The first 10 km into Logroño in particular are boring – but not every section of the trail can shine with beauty. Logroño is ideal for a second breakfast in the square by the Cathedral of Santa Maria, which houses a small painting attributed to the Italian Renaissance genius Michelangelo.

Break tip: About 5.5 km outside of Logroño you will pass a park by a reservoir (Parque de la Grajera.) It’s a perfect spot to take a nice break under the trees and picnic areas.

Where to sleep: Municipal hostel in Navarette. Price: 7 euros.

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, doctor, bars, restaurants.

Day 10 – Navarrete to Azofra – 23 km

An easy day with little incline through a landscape of vineyards and grain fields.

Shortcut Option: About 4.5 km after Navarrete there is the possibility of a small shortcut. The official Camino de Santiago leads left toward the village of Ventosa. But if you continue straight on the road, you can bypass Ventosa and you will soon come across the Camino de Santiago again.

Where to stay: Good Community Hostel. Price: 10 euros.

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, bars, restaurants.

Day 11 – Azofra to Grañon – 23 km

Today we go through one of the most famous towns on the Camino de Santiago: Santo Domingo de Calzada. Founded by Saint Santo Domingo in the 11th century to provide for the needs of pilgrims, the community of 7000 people still survives off the St. James pilgrimage. The place also became famous because it is said that the «Chicken Miracle» happened here: Santiago saved a pilgrim from hanging and brought two roasted chickens back to life!

Curious: In honor of the miracle, a white rooster and a white hen are kept in the cathedral (and exchanged after 14 days), whose cackling is said to bring good luck. Unfortunately, you now have to pay to enter the cathedral.

Where to stay: In the 20 years that I have been walking the Camino de Santiago, the Camino has become increasingly commercial. Although this has improved the infrastructure of hostels, bars and shopping facilities, it has also damaged the «charm of simplicity». An exception is the church hostel at the stage destination in Grañon (entrance by the church tower). In the spirit of Christian charity, the hostel is run on a donation basis. The decor is simple, but everyone cooks and eats together, which creates a nice sense of community.

Infrastructure: Small grocery store, pharmacy, bars, restaurants.

Day 12 – Grañon to Tosantos – 20 km

I always find this route (and also the next day) somewhat unspectacular. I chose Tosantos as my place to stay because the route to Burgos can be divided into three pleasant stages – there is also a beautiful church hostel in Tosantos, where, like in Grañon, we cook and eat together. Devotions are often offered, but they are completely voluntary.

Where to stay: San Francisco Church hostel. Price: donation

Infrastructure: There is only one bar here. In Belorado (5 km before) there are groceries, a pharmacy, bars and restaurants.

Day 13 – Tosantos to San Juan de Ortega – 19 km

Another boring day. The 12 kilometer stretch after Villafranca Montes de Oca over the mountains is particularly desolate.

Fill up with water: In the 12 kilometers before Villafranca there is no water and no where to eat. But right at the entrance to San Juan de Ortega there is a bar where you can stuff yourself again.

Where to stay: The monastery of San Juan de Ortega was founded about 1000 years ago by the saint of the same name to feed the pilgrims. In the Renaissance cloister there is now an inn. Price: 10 euros

Infrastructure: There are two restaurants/bars.

Tip: If you are still fit, you should walk about 4 km further to the village of Agés. This would make the march to Burgos the next day a little shorter, because it requires a lot of stamina. But I like staying in San Juan because of its history.

Day 14 – San Juan de Ortega to Burgos – 26 km

This day has two faces. The first part leads through beautiful countryside and cute little villages. However, the last 11 km of the official route passes through the industrial outskirts of Burgos and around the airport. This requires perseverance, especially in the heat of summer. Some hiking guides describe an alternative route from the motorway junction (after about 15 km), which turns left and finally leads along a river into Burgos. I haven’t gone that alternative yet though.

Burgos: With 160,000 inhabitants, Burgos is actually too big and noisy for me. But the next town with a hostel is 11 km after Burgos – that may be a bit too far for some! So if you’re going to stay in one of the most historic towns along the way, do some sightseeing. The cathedral is the most important sight – after all, the building is the most important example of a Gothic sacred building in Spain next to the cathedrals of León and Toledo.

Picnic tip: There are green strips and parks on both sides of the river on the edge of the old town where you can relax and have a picnic.

Where to stay: The municipal hostel is huge and austere with 150 beds. I prefer the church hostel Casa Emaús, which only has about 20 beds. Price: 5 euros.

Infrastructure: In Burgos you can find everything.

Day 15 – Burgos to Hontanas – 30 km

For me, the next few days are among the most beautiful of the entire Camino Frances. Because now we enter the Meseta, the high plateau of Spain which has an average height of 600 to 900 meters. This vast area, which is only occasionally broken up by smaller valleys, has a magical power. The apparent monotony certainly makes it easier to concentrate on oneself – which is the essence of a pilgrim. There are a few horror stories circulating in various forums about the “boringness” of the Meseta, which is why some pilgrims skip this section and take a bus from Burgos to León route. In my opinion this is a mistake. Enjoy the Meseta!

Preparation: There is hardly any shade in the Meseta. This means that you have to pay special attention to sun protection in summer. A long-brimmed hat, long-sleeved clothing and sunscreen are really a must here. There are enough villages for stocking up on food and water.

Where to stay: The village of Hontanas has dedicated itself entirely to the pilgrimage. Its location in a small valley with old stone houses make the village one of the most beautiful in the entire Meseta. That’s why I like to stay here (in the good municipal hostel in the center). Price: 6 euros.

Infrastructure: Groceries, bars, restaurants.

Day 16 – Hontanas to San Nicolas – 18 km

A glorious Meseta day, perhaps one of the most beautiful! About 10 kilometers after the town of Castrojeriz is probably the most unusual hostel on the entire Camino Francés: the small church of San Nicolas. It’s a few kilometers away from the next town, so you sleep in the middle of the wheat fields of the Meseta. The hostel building was part of an 11th-century pilgrims› hospital and has been restored by the Italian Confraternity of Saint James, who also run the hostel. Inside there are only 12 beds, a large dining table and a small chapel in which an old medieval ritual takes place: before the communal dinner, the pilgrims› feet are washed (after they have hopefully taken a shower). Participation is voluntary.

Infrastructure: There is nothing here – but that’s why they cook for you 🙂

Day 17 – San Nicolas to Fromista – 16 km

In the next two days there are only a few kilometers to walk. This is because after Carrión de los Condes it is 17 km to the nearest hostel. If the route were divided up differently, that would mean a 30+ kilometer stage in one day.

From San Nicolas the path continues on dirt roads through the wide fields of the Meseta. The highlight is the 4 km along a canal just before the town of Frómista.

Tip: The most important Romanesque church along the Way of St. James is in Frómista. Be sure to marvel at the many gargoyles and figures on the roof frieze of the church. The interior is also worth seeing.

Where to stay: Nice municipal hostel on the Plaza San Martin next to the church. Price: 12 euros.

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, doctor, bars, restaurants.

Day 18 – Fromista to Carrión de los Condes – 19 km

This stage is quite boring. The official Way goes almost entirely over a gravel road beside the busy main road. You can get there quickly and comfortably, but it’s monotonous. The villages along the way are not really inspiring either.

Alternative more pleasant route: At the end of the town of Población de Campos (4 km after Frómista), an alternative route turns right, which runs along a small river and after about 11 km meets the main route again in Villalcázar de Sirga.

Where to stay: I have always stayed at the Santa Clara Hostel in a former monastery with a beautiful inner courtyard (price: 7 euros). I’ve also heard good things about the church hostel Santa Maria (price: 10 euros) and the hostel Espíritu Santo (price: 6 euros).

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, doctor, bars, restaurants, outdoor equipment shop.

Tip: If your equipment is showing signs of wear and tear and you need any replacement items, there is a shop with outdoor/pilgrim accessories on the main street by the church.

Day 19 – Carrión de los Condes to Terradillos de Templarios – 27 km

The next 17 km to Carrión is one of the most famous sections of the Way of St. James. On this shadeless, almost dead-straight former Roman road, Hape Kerkeling had a divine experience that he describes in his book “I’m off, then.” (Which he subsequently got a lot of ridicule for.) Whether one really encounters God here is an open question, but one thing is for sure: this section is always a bit exhausting. You don’t pass a single village over four hours – but then in Calzadilla de la Cueza a wonderful bar awaits thirsty pilgrims.

Many people are terrified of this section, based on the fact that this section has already been talked about in real horror scenarios beforehand. Don’t let the fear and hype get to you. It really isn’t that bad. In summer, however, it is important to start out early in the morning to avoid the midday heat. Bring plenty of sunscreen and water!

Where to stay: There are no public hostels here. But the private hostel Jacques de Molay offers nice rooms, a courtyard and pilgrim menus. Price: 12 euros.

Infrastructure: Groceries, bar, restaurant.

Day 20 – Terradillos de Templarios to Bercianos del Real Camino – 23 km

Another stage through the vastness of the Meseta: flat and easy. The largest town is Sahagún (13 km), which is good for a lunch break because there are plenty of bars and supermarkets.

Alternative route: At the Calzada del Coto junction (4 km after Sahagún), there is an alternative route to the right via an old Roman road, which meets the main route again in Reliegos. This path is used less because of an 18 km long section without infrastructure. I usually take the main route because I like to stay in the church hostel in Bercianos.

Where to stay: In the simple church inn at the end of the village which a strong sense of Christian community. Meals are cooked and eaten together. A very nice mood. Price: donation.

Infrastructure: Groceries, bars, restaurants.

Day 21 – Bercianos del Real Camino to Mansilla de las Mulas – 26 km

Another typical Meseta day with no climbs on good trails. Easy going!

Where to stay: City Hostel with a beautiful inner courtyard. Price: 5 euros.

Infrastructure: Groceries, pharmacy, doctor, bars, restaurants.

Day 22 – Mansilla de las Mulas to León – 19 km

As expected, the march into León with its 120,000 inhabitants is not very nice – but no comparison to the 11 km of industrial area outside Burgos.

Tip: To me, Leon is the most beautiful big city on the Camino. It has a number of interesting sights: the cathedral, basilica of San Isidoro, monastery of San Marco. Those who leave early on this day have the afternoon free for sightseeing (and relaxing in one of the many cafés).

Where to stay: There are many accommodation options. If you need some distance from the hustle and bustle of pilgrims and would like to share a double room with a pilgrim friend, you will also find inexpensive guest houses or pensions here. I usually sleep in the somewhat notorious public albergue in the Benedictine convent. Price: 6 euros.

Infrastructure: It’s a big city that has everything!

Day 23 – León to Villavante – 24 km

I never really liked the next few sections up to Hospital de Órbigo. I can’t say why because the landscape is like the days before.

Alternative route: After the (horrible) village Virgen del Camino (about 8 km after León), there are two alternative routes. The official camino goes straight at the end of the village and leads mostly along the main road. The alternative branches off to the left, is marked throughout and is much more scenic and, above all, quieter. Just after the modern church, pay close attention to the markings on the ground.

Where to stay: In the cozy, private hostel Santa Lucia (price: 12 euros). The Pension Molino Galochas is located in a beautiful old mill just outside the village. Prices are manageable at 40 euros for a single room and 55 euros for a double room. The hostess also prepares a very tasty dinner.

Infrastructure: Grocery store, bar.

Day 24 – Villavante to Astorga – 22 km

Hills slowly reappear again. The small mountain chain, which you will then cross in the next few days, is already visible on the horizon. The highlight of the day is the town of Hospital de Órbigo with its impressive medieval bridge. After the village, the path leads over field paths through beautiful countryside to Astorga.

Where to stay: Right at the beginning of the old town (after you have fought your way up a small incline) you will find the large central Albergue de Peregrinos Sierva e Maria. Price: 7 euros.

Tip: If you have problems with your equipment or need new shoes, you will find everything you need in the pilgrim shop on Plaza Santocildes (recognizable by the large backpack in front of the door).

Infrastructure: In Astorga there are all important facilities.

Day 25 – Astorga to Rabanal del Camino – 20 km

After 10 days in the Meseta plateau we (finally) go up a few mountains again. You quickly leave Astorga behind and find yourself in the solitude of the Montes de León mountain range. The end of the day is the beautiful tiny village of Rabanal del Camino, which has welcomed pilgrims since the beginning of the way several hundred years ago.

Where to stay: The Albergue Gaucelmo run by English volunteers is beautiful. Price: donation.

Infrastructure: Groceries, bars, restaurants.

Day 26 – Rabanal del Camino to Ponferrada – 25 km

Today is a steep climb up to the highest point of the Spanish Way of St. James, Cruz de Ferro – the Iron Cross. It has been a tradition since the Middle Ages (or maybe even longer) to place a stone from home here. It’s poignant to see all the pilgrim memorabilia at the foot of the cross. After Cruz de Ferro, it’s a steep descent for about 18 km to the town of Molinaseca. There are hardly any cars on the small country road, which you occasionally cross, so you usually have the beautiful views to yourself. It’s relatively flat from Molinaseca to Ponferrada.

Where to stay: San Nicolas de Flüe church hostel named after the Swiss national saint, on the edge of the old town. Price: donation.

Infrastructure: In Ponferrada there are all important facilities.

Day 27 – Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo – 24 km

The walk out of Ponferrada is pretty boring. Up until Camponaraya (10 km) the way continues over a small asphalt road through an agricultural area. After about 7 km in Fuentesnuevas, right at the entrance to the village, there is a bar (La Ermita) where you can muster up fresh  motivation with a cup of coffee. After the boring roadside town of Camponaraya, it’s 7 km to Cacabelos through more beautiful landscape.

Tip: Cacabelos is a great place to stop before heading another 8 km to Villafranca. Right at the entrance to the village you will find the beautiful café/restaurant Moncloa de San Lázaro and at the end of Cacabelos you can relax on a beach by the river in summer.

Shortcut: The day always feels a bit tough up to this point, so I always take a shortcut to Cacabelos. After the village of Pieros (about 1.5 km after Cacabelos) the official road turns right. I continue to walk along the road (next to a dirt track). At the bottom of the valley, the Camino turns right into a field path. From here the path is well marked again.

Where to stay: There are many hostels in Villafranca del Bierzo, as this is where most pilgrims stay. One of the most famous hostels of the entire trail is right at the beginning of town: hostel Father Jato’s Ave Fenix hostel. Not everything is sparkling clean here, but it is authentic. Jato opened his hostel a few decades ago, when the Camino wasn’t as commercialized as it is today. Price: 6 euros.

Infrastructure: In Villafranca there are all important facilities.

Day 28 – Villafranca del Bierzo to La Faba – 25 km

From the town of Villafranca del Bierzo to the small hamlet of Las Herrerías, the camino runs along a road on asphalt for hours, making it one of the most terrifying sections. But after the ugly part, you reenter the hills and Galicia shows its most beautiful side. Some of the small hamlets with their livestock remind me of Alpine meadows. 

Alternative route: After you cross the bridge heading out of Villafranca del Bierzo, an alternative route branches off to the right (approx. plus 4 km). This «Camino Duro» – the «difficult path» – is steep at first, but then leads through a beautiful, quiet landscape. Best of all, you skip 8 km along the loud, dangerous road. Contrary to its name, the path is not actually too strenuous and is easily manageable.

Where to stay: After the steep (but beautiful) ascent to the village of La Faba, there is a beautiful hostel on the right at the beginning of the village, which is looked after by German volunteers. Price: 8 euros.

Infrastructure: Small grocery store, bar.

Day 29 – La Faba to Tricastela – 25 km

This hiking day is wonderful. The path goes along quiet, dirt side roads through the Galician mountains. From La Faba there is a 5 km long climb, which is easy to manage. Then comes the highlight of the day: the town of O Cebreiro with its round stone houses. Be sure to visit the church, which dates back to the 11th century, when there was already pilgrim accommodation in the town. O Cebreiro is very touristy and so it is good to continue walking through rural Galicia to Tricastela (about 21 km). It’s about 600 meters down to Tricastela. Hopefully by now the knees are strong enough without pain going downhill!

Where to stay: In the official hostel at the entrance to the village on the left. Price: 8 euros.

Infrastructure: Tricastela is completely geared towards pilgrims and their needs. There are several bars, restaurants, supermarkets, a pharmacy and doctor.

Day 30 – Tricastela to Barbadelo – 26 km

From Tricastela to Sarria there are two alternative routes. The main path branches off to the right and to the left there’s the alternative route that goes via the monastery of Samos. Both ways are scenically beautiful – even if the route to Samos runs next to the road for the first few kilometers. I usually take the variant via Samos because I associate good memories with overnight stays in the very simple hostel in the monastery. However, the paths are of different lengths:

• Tricastela – Samos – Sarria: 25 km

• Tricastela – San Xil – Sarria: 19 km

The famous last 100 km, which you need for the pilgrimage certificate, starts from Sarria (see my text here). From here there are a lot of pilgrims in summer. This changes the mood on the way, in the hostels and villages. Pilgrims who have walked all the way from the Pyrenees are often bothered by the sudden noise and crowds of the last 100km. The only thing that helps is to practice composure.

Where to stay: In the official Albergue de Peregrinos de Barbadelo. Price: 8 euros.

Infrastructure: There are no shops in the hamlet of Barbadelo. Next to the hostel is the Casa de Carmen, which offers dinner (menu around 12 euros, only open from Easter to around October). Otherwise you would have to bring food from Sarria.

Day 31 – Barbadelo to Gonzar – 25 km

Up to the small town of Portomarin (18 km) the route leads through rural country along dirt lanes and side roads. A very nice hike. Then it goes to Gonzar mainly along a path next to the road. Most pilgrims spend the night in Portomarin, which is situated on a reservoir and very idyllic. Personally, it gets too crowded for me in the high season, which is why I usually keep walking to Gonzar.

Where to stay: Official Albergue de Peregrinos de Gonzar. Price: 8 euros.

Infrastructure: Apart from a bar, which is only open during the season from Easter to around October, Gonzar has no infrastructure. Supermarkets, pharmacy, doctor are in Portomarin.

Day 32 – Gonzar to Casanova – 23 km

The Camino follows side roads through typical Galician farming villages. A nice hike. The only larger town along the way today is Palas de Rei with all services.

Where to stay: Official hostel in Casanova. Price: 8 euros.

Infrastructure: Apart from a bar in the high season, there is nothing in the small hamlet of Casanova. Stock up on snacks in Palas de Rei.

Day 33 – Casanova to Ribadiso – 21 km

Like the day before, today the path continues throughout rural farmland. However it passes through Melide, the largest town before Santiago.

Culinary tip: Melide is known for the Galician specialty pulpo, octopus. The (allegedly) best pulpería on the entire Camino de Santiago is the Pulpería Ezequiel not far from the main square, which the Camino goes directly past.

Where to stay: Normally, Galician public hostels are functional buildings without any charm. However, the public hostel in Ribadiso is an exception. It was built on the site of a historical pilgrim hostel from the Middle Ages (the bridge over the river was also built for pilgrims.) It’s composed of several stone houses surrounded by meadows directly on the river. In summer you can relax here and cool off in the water. It’s a wonderful hamlet. Price: 8 euros.

Infrastructure: In recent years, a few private hostels and bars have opened here, where you can also eat. Apart from a few vending machines, there are no other shops in Ribadiso.

Day 34 – Ribadiso to O Pedrouzo – 21 km

Unfortunately, the last two days before Santiago are not very inspiring. The main road is often not far away and in recent years bars, restaurants and hostels have sprung up in the villages, which are only geared towards the needs of pilgrims. There are huge crowds of pilgrims in the summer months, so it can feel like a pilgrim superhighway. In winter, on the other hand, the villages are almost deserted. The charmless village of O Pedrouzo was only chosen as a stage destination so that the last day after Santiago would not be too long.

Where to stay: Official Albergue de Peregrinos de Arca.  Price: 8 euros.

Infrastructure: In O Pedrouzo there are all important facilities.

Day 35 – O Pedrouzo to Santiago – 22 km

Last day – Woooooo! The closer you get to Santiago, the more unspectacular the path becomes, apart from the view from Monte de Gozo, where you see the cathedral for the first time. Now follow 5 km through the suburbs of Santiago, whose ugliness you hardly notice because of the anticipation of the end of the way.

Where to stay: As a pilgrimage destination and tourist stronghold, Santiago has a whole range of accommodation options to offer, from dingy pilgrim hostels to five-star hotels. The plethora of choice has one advantage above all: Outside the main season (July and August) the room prices are fair. You can also treat yourself to a hotel room in the center as a reward.

As a hostel, I recommend the Seminario Menor de Belvis, which is on the outskirts of the old town and where you can stay three days. Price: 14 euros.

Where not to stay: The largest official Galician hostel is on Monte de Gozo (price: 8 euros). Some pilgrims also stay overnight here after the end of their journey. However, this pilgrimage center is located 5 km from the city center. It doesn’t make sense to stay overnight here after your Camino – you are simply too far away from bars, restaurants and sights (especially since the bus only runs irregularly). In the city itself there are plenty of inexpensive alternatives!

For a list of excellent restaurants to treat yourself to in celebration of finishing your walk, see my text here

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