Soak up the true spirit of the Camino on the French Way.
When most people think of the Camino, they’re often thinking of the Camino Frances, or the French Way. This path runs some 780 km (485 miles) from the town of St Jean Pied de Port, on the French side of the Pyrenees, to Santiago de Compostela. This route is responsible for the modern revival of the Camino thanks to a priest named Father Elias Valina. Hailing from the Galician village of O Cebreiro – a unique mountain village along the route – Father Valina walked the entirety of the trail in the 1980s and marked it out using the now-synonymous symbol of a yellow scallop shell on blue background.
As a result of his efforts, pilgrims from all faiths have steadily been returning to the trail and if it weren’t for the Camino, many of the rural townships dotted along the Way would no longer exist. More than an individual experience, the Camino has brought new life to Spain’s old villages, with the trail of pilgrims supporting the local communities both economically and emotionally. The locals are overwhelmingly hospitable and generous with visiting pilgrims and the pilgrims, in turn, are respectful of local culture and history.