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Pilgrimage Walk the Saint James Way: from Leon to Santiago di Compostela

 15 days / 14 nights / 13 walking days

(it is possible to shorten the route and walk only the last 100 km: from Sarria to Santiago)  

Sure this last stretch of the ‘Camino Francès’ will leave unforgettable memories. After the famous bridge  ‘Puente de Orbigo’ (Hospital de Orbigo), the route crosses two regions, la Maragataria till ’Cruz de Yerro’  (cross of Yerro) situated at an altitude of 1500m a.s.l., and ‘Bierzo’. Then you enter Galizia, in the enchanting O Cebreiro. At the end the route crosses the green landscape of Galizia till it reaches the impressive Basilica of Santiago de Compostela.












Day 1

Individual arrival at Leon

Leon is one of the most important towns of the Camino Francés and a lively university town. Leon has a nice old town centre with a beautiful Cathedral. Also the San Marcos Monastery is worth visiting. It was a resting point along the Way of Saint James. 


Day 2

From Leon to Hospital de Orbigo

Today a long walking day. To evitate the suburb of Leon it is better to start by taking the local bus, which departs 3 times an hour from the Plaza Santo Domingo till Virgen del Camino. Two itineraries are then possible from here: the Camino Real that follows the main road, or the Calzada de los Peregrinos further to the south. In either case we have to cross the Paramo, literally 'the desert', to reach Hospital and the famous Puente de Orbigo.

Distance 36 km; walking time: about 9 hrs; altitude departure: 822m – altitude arrival 819m


Day 3


From Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga

A section that is one of transition from the implacable Meseta (time for open spaces and meditation) to the Montes of Leon. The meseta had beautiful small towns. This stretch is short enough to allow you to enjoy Astorga on arrival. Astorga, with its Gothic cathedral, Gaudi palace and Roman mosaics, is a fascinating city. 

Distance 17,8 km; walking time 4hrs 30; altitude departure: 819m– altitude arrival 869m


Day 4


From Astorga to Rabanal del Camino

With the Meseta behind you, the landscape is more mountainous – not vertiginous peaks but large hills, with rounded crests. Nonetheless, the isolated nature of the countryside, and the stone houses, are redolent of mountain places. At 1149m, Rabanal del Camino will allow you to recharge batteries before tomorrow's long section. Just after Astorga you can stop at Castrillo de los Polvazares, a historical monument.

Distance 20.6 km; walking time 5 hours; altitude departure: 869m – altitude arrival: 1149m


Day 5

From Rabanal to Ponferrada

The route soon leaves the village and climbs gradually among the mountains. You are in the heart of the countryside, the air is fresh and morale is high. At 1504m, the Cruz de Ferro is the highest point of the route in Spain, and the view is wonderful. However, no time to delay, as you can see Ponferrada is away to the west below, and there is still a long way to go. You tumble down to Acebo and Molinaseca, two superb villages with their wooden balconies. Then across the Bierzo plain and finally you arrive at Ponferrada and its beautiful templar castle. 

Distance 32.7 km; walking time 8 hrs 15; altitude departure: 1149m and altitude arrival: 543m


Day 6


From Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo

Today the route wanders across the river plain of the Bierzo as far as Cacabelos (483m), then Villafranca, 'the Frankish town', charming nestling against the foot of the mountain at the confluence of the rivers Burbia and Valcarce. You can visit the monastery (11th century) and the churches of S.Juan (12th century) and of S.Francesco (1213).

Distance 22.5 km; walking time 6 hrs 15;altitude departure 543m and altitude arrival 511m


Day 7

From Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro

Another beautiful walking day through the mountains as you will pass from Castille to Galicia. Leaving Villafranca to avoid the motorway that accompanies the normal route, you can take a path that climbs through broom to the village of Pradela (940m) and then redescends to Trabadelo (600m) to rejoin the main route. Several possible variants bring you to El Cebreiro, a enchanting town with wonderful views of the Galician countryside. The town has always been an important point of pilgrimage.  

Distance 30 km;  walking time 8 hrs; altitude departure:511m – altitude arrival:1300m


Day 8

From O Cebreiro to Triacastela

After El Cebreiro the route meanders over ridges with spettacular views over green Galicia (highpoint at Alto del Poyo 1337m). You pass an bronze giant struggling with the elements and then descend into the valley with its landscape that has the look of the Pays Basque.

Distance 21 km; walking time 5hrs 15; altitude departure:1300m – altitude arrival:665m


Day 9

From Triacastela to Sarria

There are two possible route today: one predominately follows roads via Samos (532m) and its impressive monastery, whilst the second, shorter route meanders across the pretty Galician countryside. Sarria is a modern town with a well preserved old town centre.

Distance 17.5 km; walking time 4 hrs 30;altitude departure:665m – altitude arrival:420m


Day 10

From Sarria to Portomarin

Tracks and paths take you through hamlets and villages to Portomarin, a village reconstructed higher upon the slopes after the original in the valley had to make way for a lake created with the construction of a dam. 

Distance 22.5 km; walking time 5hrs 45; altitude departure:420m – altitude arrival:550m


Day 11

From Portomarin to Palas de Rei

The route after Hospital de la Cruz follows a charming path that meanders through woods, hedges and prairies, dotted with the very distinctive local granaries ('horreos'), and crucifixes which remind you that you are in Celtic country. 

Distance 24.5 km, walking time 6hrs 30;altitude departure:550m – altitude arrival:565m


Day 12

From Palas de Rei to Arzua

Almost without realising it the route is losing altitude as it approaches the sea and lots of greenery and forests of eucalyptus. Half way, Melide (454m) marks the meeting point of the Camino Frances and the northern most variant of the Camino del Norte. 

Distance 29.4 km; walking time 7hrs 30; altitude departure:565m – altitude arrival:389m


Day 13

From Arzua to Lavacolla

Today the last long stage, so that tomorrow you have enough time left to visit Santiago. In Lavacolla is situated the airport of Santiago de Compostela.

Distance 28.8 km; walking time 7hrs 30; altitude departure:389m – altitude arrival:320m


Day 14

From Lavacolla to Santiago

This short section will bring you to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the Camino finishes at the tomb of St.James. 

Distance 10.1 km, walking time 2 hrs 45; altitude departure: 320m – altitude arrival:264m


Day 15







This walking tour includes:

  • 6 or 14 overnight stays with breakfast ** / *** star hotels (on request it is possibile to upgrade some **)

  • 5 or 13 dinners (the last evening in Santiago only breakfast)

  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel

  • information on the tour

  • road book


This tour doesn't includes:

  • the trip to and from Leon / Sarria 

  • the drinks during dinner

  • lunches

  • entrance fees

  • cancellation insurance



every day from Eastern till 1 November

Level 3/4

The daily itineraries pass through moderately mountainous country and hill terrain. On some days the amount of ascent and descent is quite considerable. Daily walking distances are between 15 and 36 km (with an average of 3 – 4 kms walking an hour). This route requires a certain amount of experience and familiarity with mountain terrain. A good level of fitness for walking is necessary.  


In Castiglia:  continental climate: hot and dry in the Summer, cold in the Winter. During Autumn and Springtime it can be cold in the mountainous areas.  

In Galizia : Oceanic climate: mild and humid.

Prices p.p. 2020

Leon to Santiago

In double room      € 1.254,00

In single room      € 1.433,00

travelling alone    € 1.819,00

From Sarria to Santiago

In double room      € 563,00 

In single room    € 657,00

Travelling alone    € 814,00

on request

extra nights


From 1 person



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