How far is the Camino from St Jean to Santiago?

St Jean Pied de Port Camino Frances

The Camino Francés, the most popular among the various Camino routes, begins in the quaint French town of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port and culminates in the majestic Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This journey is not just a physical one, but a spiritual odyssey that brings insights and discoveries at every step. We often get asked ‘How far is the Camino from St Jean to Santiago?’

Understanding the Distance from St Jean to Santiago

The Full Camino Francés: St Jean to Santiago

The Full Camino Francés stretches approximately 790 kilometres (about 490 miles), a journey that spans diverse landscapes and cultural experiences. The route weaves through the Pyrenees in France, traverses the wine-rich region of La Rioja, and passes through the meseta, the vast Spanish plateau, before culminating in the lush Galician countryside, finally reaching Santiago de Compostela.

santiago, compostela, galicia

Segmenting the Journey

For many, the thought of walking nearly 800 kilometres can be daunting. However, the Camino is often segmented into smaller, more manageable sections. Pilgrims can choose to walk the entire route in one go, which typically takes about 30 to 35 days, or they can break it down into sections and complete it over several trips.

Walking the final 100km of the Camino Francés

The last 100km of the Camino Francés from Sarria to Santiago is perfect for anyone looking for the classic Camino experience and is achievable in just 7 days. It perfectly captures the essence of the Camino: meet fellow pilgrims, discover local traditions, and enjoy the unique atmosphere of it all, rewarding yourself with good food and local wine after your day’s walk. As you will be walking 100km, you will be eligible for the Compostela when you reach Santiago.

Cycling the last 200km from Ponferrada to Santiago

Many pilgrims prefer to cycle the Camino, especially if travelling with children. Cycling the last 200km of the Camino Frances from Ponferrada to Santiago is highly recommended and a great way to experience the magic of the classic Camino de Santiago route on two wheels. As you will be cycling 200km, you will be eligible for the Compostela once you reach Santiago – just make sure you remember to keep stamping your Pilgrim Passport en route.

Planning Your Journey

Time of Year

The best time to embark on this journey is generally between April and October, with the peak months being May, June, and September. Each month offers a unique perspective on the landscapes and local cultures along the various Camino routes. Here’s a month-by-month guide. July and August can be quite hot, particularly in the Meseta region, while the winter months may see some parts of the route, especially in the Pyrenees, become impassable due to snow. However, you can walk the Camino throughout the year.

Walking Alone Evgeniy Prokofiev

Accommodation Options

Accommodations along the Camino Francés range from traditional pilgrim hostels, known as albergues, to private guesthouses and hotels. It’s advisable to book your accommodations in advance, especially during the peak season, to ensure a comfortable journey.

Luggage Transfer

For those concerned about the physical challenge of carrying their luggage, there are services available that will transfer your bags from one hotel to the next. This allows you to walk or cycle with just a day pack, making the journey much more enjoyable. Contact us for more information on our luggage transfer options!

Physical Preparation


Preparing for the Camino involves not just mental readiness but also physical training. Start with shorter walks and gradually increase your distance. It’s important to train with the shoes and backpack you intend to use on the Camino to ensure comfort and to avoid blisters.

Health and Safety

Always carry a basic first aid kit and stay hydrated. The Camino is well-marked and relatively safe, but it’s wise to keep emergency contact numbers handy.

The Rewarding Experience

Cultural Richness

The Camino de Santiago offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultures of France, Portugal, Italy and Spain. You’ll encounter historical landmarks, taste local cuisines, and meet fellow pilgrims from all over the world.

Spiritual and Personal Growth

Many walk the Camino for spiritual reasons, while others seek personal growth and reflection. The journey provides ample time for introspection and often leads to profound personal insights and transformations.

The Compostela

Upon reaching Santiago and completing the journey, pilgrims receive the Compostela, a certificate of accomplishment. This not only marks the physical completion of the journey but symbolises the personal achievement of each pilgrim.

The journey from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela is more than a physical trek; it’s a voyage of discovery, culture, and personal growth. Whether you choose to walk the entire route at once or in segments, the Camino de Santiago promises an unforgettable adventure, a path where each step tells a story, and every mile brings a new revelation.

For more information about the Camino de Santiago routes or to book your Camino holiday, contact us.

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