Every year, thousands of people decide to take on the Camino de Santiago.
These people have various different reasons for their decision, some are pilgrims, some are looking for a spiritual experience and some are simply looking for an adventure.
Regardless of their reasons, those who do walk the Camino will all agree that there truly is something special about taking the journey to the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela.
Of all of the Camino routes, the Camino Francés, or French Way, is the most famous and is also one of the busiest. People come from far and wide to walk this ancient road but what is it about the Camino Francés and the Camino in general that makes it so unique?
1. Beautiful scenery
With lush green grass, vineyards and sweeping views, the French Way is home to beautiful landscapes.
From the starting point in French Basque town, St Jean Pied de Port, walkers follow the path over the incredible Pyrenees mountains which offer countless picture perfect views.
As the path gets closer to Santiago, walkers pass by the scenic vineyards of La Rioja, the peaceful vastness of the Meseta the rustic charming town of O Cebreiro and the hilly verdant landscape of Galicia.
2. Fascinating culture
The French Way is the ideal Camino for those walkers who wish to soak up some culture.
The route is home to many fascinating and interesting sites such as ancient bridges, medieval castles and quaint towns and villages, all of which help to bring the Camino Francés alive.
Also, many of the towns and cities along this route have unique festivals dedicated to local saints and produce such as the running of the bulls in Pamplona, the harvest festival in La Rioja, the Encina festival in Ponferrada and the Ascensión and Saint James in Santiago as well as many many more.
3. Delicious Food
As the most popular Camino route, the French Way offers a truly fantastic selection of food in fact, the delicious local cuisine is often named as a highlight by many who complete the route.
There are so many local delicacies to savour while on the French Way and walkers truly are spoiled for choice!
Take a sip from the wine fountain in Irache, enjoy tasty cured meats in El Bierzo, indulge in tapas in Burgos or tuck into fresh seafood in Galicia.
4. Ancient Traditions
Walking the Camino is an ancient tradition undertaken by thousands of pilgrims since the Middle Ages. Because of this, certain traditions have formed, becoming an integral part of any Camino trip and bringing walkers closer to the past and its history.
For example, getting your pilgrim passport stamped in each town along the way, leaving a stone memento at the Iron Cross in the Mountains of León and making sure you claim your all-important ‘Compostela’ certificate in Santiago are all things that help make the Camino an even more enjoyable experience.
5. Friendly People
At any given time, there are people of all ages and nationalities walking the Camino, each one with a different story to tell.
Having such a great mix of individuals all joined in achieving the same goal means that walkers are bound to strike up some interesting conversations that will help to make their Camino unforgettable.
Similarly, the local people along the Camino Francés are known for their friendly and helpful nature so be sure to take the time to ask them some questions, you never know what you might learn!
6. Santiago de Compostela
As the final stop of all Camino journeys, Santiago de Compostela is a vibrant city that buzzes with a special charm.
Chilling in one of the city’s many cafés and bars or indulging in some tasty treats at the food market is the perfect way to relax after your long journey.
Santiago de Compostela is a city rich in history thanks to its UNESCO-listed old town, beautiful arched streets and historic university.
When and Price: CaminoWays.com organises Camino holidays all year round. A classic 7-day Camino de Santiago experience from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela starts at €565pp in high season (April to October).
Special: Book 2 months in advance to receive 5% off
Price includes: Accommodation (half board basis), luggage transfers from hotel to hotel and a holiday pack with practical information
Price does not include: Travel insurance, flights or airport transfers (optional).
Also available: Hotel upgrades, bike rental and airport transfers can be arranged, depending on availability.
Start planning your Camino trip today by logging onto www.caminoways.com or calling +353 (0)1-525-28-86.