The ups and downs also bring with them many beautiful valleys, mountains and scenic viewpoints as the route brings you from the province of Asturias into Galicia near the River Navia. Along this route, the path runs through woodlands, crossing farmlands and small rural villages into the city of Lugo which is still completely surrounded by Roman walls and towers.
The last section meets the Camino Frances in Melide and follows the same route for the next 50km to Santiago. As this route starts in the south, it was known as the Mozarabic pilgrimage with pilgrims travelling from Moor-controlled Spain during the Middle Ages or by sea from other parts of the Mediterranean and North Africa. This route passes mainly through flat terrain with the temperature getting very hot during summer months. The first part of the Via de la Plata runs from Andalucia through the remote Extremadura region of Spain. While pilgrims do not encounter as many villages as they would on other Camino routes, this path weaves through a beautiful region noted for its forests and lakes with plenty of Roman ruins, especially in Merida, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The route ascends to a high plateau through oak woods and farmland towards the Renaissance city of Salamanca and and its 13th Century university before continuing through the plateau of the Castilla y Leon region with planted fields split by the red earth of the Camino path.
Passing close to the north-east corner of Portugal, the route becomes hillier with pine and oak woods as we enter the verdant province of Galicia and on to the picturesque city of Ourense known for its hot springs.
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The last leg stretches northwards through typical Galician farmland villages and hamlets. Although easier in terms of terrain than the French Way, there are stages of longer walking days on the Via de la Plata with less frequent facilities available. The route is just over km long and travels south west from Le Puy, a town in the Auvergne region of France with spectacular churches and monuments. The route can be hilly and has steep ascents throughout. The Camino Podiensis winds its way through peaceful countryside scenery inhabited mostly by dairy cattle and characterised by charming villages, woodland and old stone buildings.
The route passes through the vineyards of Armagnac and into the Gascony region where vineyards make way for pine trees as we approach the Pyrenees mountain range. Walking through the undulating countryside culminates in the beautiful medieval town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port where the French Way begins, taking pilgrims over the mountains into Spain and on to Santiago. Many pilgrims continue their journey onwards after reaching Santiago by way of this route which is much quieter and greener than others.
Historically, it was customary for pilgrims to collect a shell here as proof they had reached their destination. As a result of this, the scallop shell is now a common sign along all Camino routes, used on waymarkers and worn by many pilgrims. The town of Fisterra is situated on the rocky peninsula of Cape Fisterra with the Cape Finisterre Lighthouse as a beacon for those on the final coastal walk and about to complete their trip. Follow the Camino can also add an extension to the village of Muxia north of Finisterre which is featured in the film The Way and famed for its church built beside the rocky coastline.
The Camino Ingles, or English Way , is so called as it was one of the main routes for English pilgrims who sailed to the coast of northern Spain and travelled overland by foot to Santiago de Compostela. However, it was not only the English who used this route — pilgrims from Ireland, Scotland and even Scandinavia used this route as well.
Nowadays, it typically starts in A Coruna or Ferrol, with the Ferrol route being more popular as the distance is greater than km and allows pilgrims to recieve their certificate. This route begins in the sheltered port town of Ferrol on the north-west tip of Spain and tracks the shoreline southwards through Galicia, providing beaches and wonderful sea views for the first couple of days. The Camino Ingles then climbs inland into rolling farmland, past old chapels and churches and lush, tree-lined paths until reaching the city of Santiago.
As all the Camino routes have many variations and detours which continue to evolve over the years, distances vary from guidebook to guidebook. We have indicated below what the typical length of each route is from start to finish. Depending on the fitness of the pilgrim and the choice of route, the Camino can take anywhere between a few days and three months to walk.
However, many people choose to segment the route by section, a concept originally created in by Umberto di Venosa, the founder of Follow the Camino. Distinct sections make the Camino more manageable and accessible to more people than ever. The Last km of the Camino Frances and the Camino Ingles take about six days to walk for most people. Cycling the route is generally two or three times faster than walking, depending on terrain and fitness.
At Follow the Camino, we offer manageable weekly route sections on all the Camino routes or will customise a Camino trip to suit your needs. Check out what the weather is like on the different Camino de Santiago Routes below. As you can probably read from above, there are so many choices to make and options to weigh. We recommend that lots of research is done to make sure you choose the right Camino de Santiago route for you.
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Camino Ingles The Camino Ingles, or English Way , is so called as it was one of the main routes for English pilgrims who sailed to the coast of northern Spain and travelled overland by foot to Santiago de Compostela. What Distance is Each Camino Route?
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