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[8 days] French Way (Sarria – Santiago) Santiago de Compostela, Galicia Region

  • Trip Type: Self-Guided
  • Group Size: Min 1, Max 12
  • Departure Date: Flexible
  • Bookable From: April - mid-October
  • Duration: Weeklong (7-9 days)
  • Physical Rating: Average

This 8-day Camino trip from Sarria will take you through fairytale-like forests, quaint Galician hamlets, open countryside, and historical towns to end at Plaza Obradorio in front of the spectacular Cathedral of Santiago in the medieval city of Santiago de Compostela. 

The French Way is the perfect trip for novice Camino walkers as it is the most popular and best-signposted route and has a great range of services (cafes, restaurants, etc.) along the trail. It is also recommended for those looking to meet other pilgrims and enjoy the social aspect of the Camino. This trip is also great for traveling post-Covid, since it’s self-guided and out in the open air. Please note that the route is called the French Way because it was primarily used by French pilgrims in the middle ages to walk to Santiago; this specific part of the trail resides only in Spain.

As part of this trip, you’ll find featured 7 nights in comfortable locally-owned 2-3 star hotels or rural guesthouses with breakfast and luggage transport between accommodation. Around-the-clock emergency assistance is also included which adds confidence to the detailed walking notes that cover landmarks, distances, and things to see over the course of your walk.

Alongside the sense of achievement and numerous chances to taste the local Galician food, this walking trip entitles you to receive the pilgrim’s certificate of completion or ‘Compostela’.

Highlights:

  • Quaint hamlets and villages, as well as fairytale-like forests
  • San Xoán Church, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
  • Pass through the village of Portomarin
  • Eat regional delicacies like the Melide octopus and Arzua cheese
  • Monte do Gozo viewpoint
  • Visit the Medieval Quarter of Santiago Compostela
  • Collecting stamps along the way in the pilgrim passport provided
  • Collecting the Compostela (the certificate of completion that certifies you finished the Camino de Santiago walk with a minimum of 100kms on foot or 200kms on a bicycle)

🌤️ Seasonal Notes: You can walk the Camino from April to mid-October. The best months are during the Mid-Season in April, May, June, and September as the weather is mild, ideal for walking and it is less busy than the High Season summer months of July and August. For details about weather including average temperatures, rainfall, sunshine hours, etc. please click on this link: Weather – Galicia region.

📋 Itinerary

This itinerary is customizable. Contact Yūgen Earthside for more information.

Day 1: Sarria [Spain] (arrival day)
Day 2: Sarria – Portomarín (22.2km | 13.8 miles)
Day 3: Portomarín – Palas de Rei (25km | 15.5 miles)
Day 4: Palas de Rei – Ribadiso (25.7km | 16 miles)
Day 5: Ribadiso – O Pedrouzo (21.7km | 13.5 miles)
Day 6: O Pedrouzo – Santiago (20.2km | 12.5 miles)
Day 7: Free Day in Santiago de Compostela
Day 8: Santiago de Compostela (departure day)

🌱 Sustainability

🌱 We pioneer slow travel by focusing on low-carbon impact activities like hiking and cycling.

🌎 Our trips take travelers off the beaten path in regions of northern Spain, northern Portugal, and west of Ireland.

↔️ Our hiking trips help with tourism dispersal by taking travelers to less crowded areas and rural communities along several Camino trails, some of them almost 800kms (~500 mils) in length.

🌲 We emphasize to guests to respect the flora and fauna along the trails.

💧 We encourage the use of reusable water bottles.

🗑️ We encourage clients to adhere to the Leave No Trace policy and to keep all trails clean of plastic and any other type of rubbish.

🚗 We only offer walking and cycling tours only and promote taking public transport when needed.

🏡 Travelers stay in quality, locally operated hotels, rural houses, and guesthouses.

🍴 We provide recommendations on local/organic restaurants along the trail. Advice is available for vegans/vegetarians.

🐘 We commit to respecting all animals on the trail. Hikers will regularly encounter cows, sheep, goats, and horses which they can interact with. However, clients are not encouraged to feed animals to avoid impacting their diet and intake amounts.

💼 Most of the money stays in the local economy, spread throughout numerous villages and towns.

🎭 This trip highlights the Celtic heritage of the people of Galicia, folklore music with bagpipes, and the medieval 13th-century “tuna.” The "tuna" is a traditional group of university students who dress in 16th and 17th-century clothes, play guitars and other traditional instruments, and sing serenades in the streets. This trip also highlights culinary delicacies such as the octopus in Melide and the local cheese in Arzua.

  • Clear sustainable travel policy
  • Social / Environmental Impact
  • Tourism Dispersal
  • Behavioral Awareness Education
  • Small Group Travel
  • Listen to Community Feedback
  • Adhere to Strict Environmental Standards
  • Conserve Ecosystems/Preserve Biodiversity
  • No Animal-Harming Tourism
  • Local/Organic Restaurants
  • Focused on Minimizing Waste
  • Focused on Reusing Materials
  • Provide Local Employment
  • Fair Wages / Fair Trade
  • Ensures Good Working Conditions
  • Supports Local Businesses
  • Tours Benefit Local Community
  • Connect Travelers to Local Products
  • Engage with Local Communities
  • Stay with Local Communities
  • Act Mindfully of Local Health
  • Inclusive & Non-discriminatory Hiring
  • Provide Authentic Experiences

📌 Location

Use the Google map to orient yourself about where in the world this trip is. The location indicates the starting point for this trip.

A specific route map is included in the downloadable detailed itinerary.

🏷️ Pricing

🏷️ Prices vary based on two factors: a single room or double room occupancy, and between mid-season and high-season.
🏷️ Prices for this trip are listed in EUR with USD approximations. Payment will be for the amount in EUR.
🏷️ Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.
🏷️ See the full list of price inclusions and exclusions in the downloadable detailed itinerary.

  • Deposit

    20% of trip price

Mid Season (April, May, June, September & October)

  • Double room occupancy (excl. flights)

    USD an apprx. of price in EUR: 550 €

    $ 670
  • Single room occupancy (excl. flights)

    USD an apprx. of price in EUR: 760 €

    $ 920

High Season (July, August)

  • Double room occupancy (excl. flights)

    USD an apprx. of price in EUR: 575 €

    $ 695
  • Single room occupancy (excl. flights)

    USD an apprx. of price in EUR: 820 €

    $ 990

ℹ️ Other Info

📧 If you're ready to book this trip, or if you still have some questions, contact us to let us know!

💯 Book with confidence: To reserve your spot on a tour, a 20% deposit will be required. However, you can book with complete peace of mind as this deposit will be 100% refundable until 3 months prior to the trip start date. Alternatively, we offer free postponement of your trip to a later date, subject to availability.

A postponement is defined as “cancellation of accommodation and luggage transfers for your original trip start date and amendment to a new date in the future.”

If you amend your start date, there will be no additional charge provided the new start date is in the same price bracket as the original trip start date i.e. Mid-Season or High Season.

If you change your start date from a Mid-Season start date to a High Season start date, you will be required to pay the difference between the Mid -Season price and High Season price.

If you prefer not to set a new start date at the time of postponement and leave the new start date open, that is possible as long as you provide us 30 days advance notice of your new start date.

If you decide not to proceed with a ‘postponed’ trip and:

  • You have paid the full balance, we will refund any money paid with the exception of the deposit.
  • You have paid the deposit only, no refund is due.

📅 This trip is self-guided and has a variable start date, so you can plan a departure date for when it is safe to travel between April and mid-October.

⚕️ Be sure you have traveler's insurance.

😷 If you choose to travel before a vaccine is widely available, be sure to get a negative test result before arriving. You should also have both a mask and hand sanitizer with you at all times.

Special precautions:

Our accommodation providers adhere to the new Covid guidelines published by the Spanish Government for Tourism providers, to keep travelers safe. Measures include:

  • Rigorous cleaning and sanitization of guest rooms.
  • Frequent sanitization of high-contact points, such as door handles, TV remote controls, reception counters, and rooms, especially bathrooms.
  • Provision of hand sanitation.
  • Subject to availability: Infrared thermometers, face masks, and gloves for our guests.
  • The spacing of guests in the breakfast and common rooms in accordance with WHO and HSE guidelines.

💭 Q: What are the accommodations like?
The standard of accommodation that we provide meets 2 and 3-star standards. All rooms are private with an ensuite bathroom and we use a combination of hotels, rural houses, and pensiones (guest houses).

Hotels are located in cities and large towns. In small towns and villages along the Camino, there are no hotels. The accommodation is in rural houses and pensiones. We do not provide any hostel/dorm accommodation.

💭 Q: Is this trip safe for female/LGBT+/minority/POC travelers?

Yes, this trip is safe for female, LGBT+, minority, and POC travelers. Further detailed advice for solo female travelers is provided in our Camino Information Pack (sent once the deposit is paid).

💭 Q: Can I walk it on my own?
Of course you can! Lots of pilgrims walk on their own, however, you are never alone as there are always other pilgrims along the way, particularly on the French and Portuguese Way. The best thing about walking the Camino alone is that you have the freedom to choose your start time, your pace, when to have breaks, and whether to walk alone or with other pilgrims you meet along the way.

💭 Q: How long should I go?
We have standard one and two-week trips. However, they can all be tailored to suit your walking ability, time available, and personal preferences. The pilgrimage to Santiago is not a race. It is a journey that you can do at your own pace. You will meet people who walk 8km a day and those who walk 40km. You will meet pilgrims walking from their hometown in Europe and others who have just started. The important thing to know is – it is YOUR Camino and there is no right or wrong way to do it.

💭 Q: What does the Physical Rating of "Average" mean? How hard is the Camino?
The Camino involves both physical and mental effort but anyone with prior preparation and determination can do it! If you are not doing any exercise at the moment, we recommend walking 3 - 4 times a week or doing some other form of regular exercise before your Camino.

If you plan to walk 100km (~62 miles), 6–8 weeks pre-training is ideal. If you plan to walk for 30 days continuously, 6 months of pre-training is recommended.

Walk in the shoes you will be using on the Camino, on a mix of surfaces to properly prepare yourself (tarmac and trail), and on both flat and hills/mountains. Don’t forget to stretch before and after training; this will help minimize cramps and muscle pain.

💭 Q: Is it well signposted?
The French Way is regarded as the best marked long-distance trail in the world. The way markings on all the Caminos in Galicia (Finisterre Way, Portuguese Way, and English Way) are excellent. The other Caminos - slightly less so and it can get a little confusing leaving cities on all Caminos, however with our route maps, walking notes, and basic navigation skills, you will find your way.

The Camino routes are marked with a combination of yellow arrows and scallop shell symbols leading you to Santiago. Markings are regularly found on tiles, painted on walls, lampposts, footpaths, pavements, trees, and even large stones!

💭 Q: Can it be walked at any age?
The great thing about the Camino is that there is no age limit! You will meet pilgrims of all ages from children to elderly people. When walking with children and for older people walking the Camino for the first time, we recommend you look carefully at the daily distances. We can alter all trips to cater for shorter walking days and recommend easier trails.

💭 Q: Do I need to speak Spanish?
There is not a lot of English spoken in Northern Spain so having some Spanish is useful and will enhance your experience. Learning basic phrases will help you interact with other pilgrims and locals along the way.

There are different languages spoken along the Camino including Basque, Spanish, Galego, Portuguese and each region has distinct traditions, culture, food, and drink. Having knowledge of these will set you apart from typical tourists and greatly enhance your Camino experience. Our Information Packs provide useful Spanish words/phrases and details of local culture, historic landmarks, and cuisine in each region you will walk through.

💭 Q: Is it possible to do this trip without flying?
Yes, for European clients including UK and Ireland. We provide detailed advice on how to get to the start point flight-free.

⌛ Duration: 8 days (5 walking days)
🍴 Meals: 7 breakfasts
⛺ Accommodation: Hotels, rural houses, and pensiones (guest houses)