Camino de Santiago Routes

There are eight main Camino de Santiago pilgrimage routes in Spain:

There are many more than this in Spain, but these are currently the most traveled.

On this map the long route marked in red is the Camino Frances.


Camino Frances / The French Way

The Camino Frances is the most popular of all the Camino Routes.  It traditional starts in St Jean Pied de Port and runs for 780km west to Santiago de Compostela.  It has the best supported infrastructure for pilgrims; I highly recommend this route for all first-time pilgrims.  Read more on the Camino Frances.

Via de la Plata / Silver Route

The Via de la Plata runs south to north starting in Seville, although it is possible to start the route in Granada.  The Silver Route is about 1000km and normally takes 6/7 weeks walking.  This route is becoming more popular as the infrastructure improves and as the Camino Frances becomes increasingly busy.

The Via de la Plata follows an old Roman Road all the way from Seville to Astorga where the route joins the Camino Frances.  There is an option after Montamarta to go west through Galicia towards Santiago de Compostela, however, currently there are few hostels on this route.

Northern Route / Road

The Northern Route has the advantage of traveling along the coast where there are opportunities to swim sometimes at the end of a days walking.  However, this would be considered the most challenging of the routes listed here due to the rough terrain and continuous climbs and descents.

The Northern Route is also considered more dangerous due to the unclear signposting and stretches along winding roads with little visibility.  However, it is said the level of satisfaction increases with the level of difficulty.

The Northern Route begins by crossing the Santiago Bridge into Irun, the start of this route has few pilgrims hostels.  The route is about 825km.

Portuguese Route / Road

The main Portuguese Route starts in Porto although there are many other Camino Routes in Portugal.  From Porto, it is sign posted all the way to Santiago.  This is one of the shorter Camino Routes at about 230km.

This route is well signposted and there are enough pilgrim hostels along the way.

Camino Ingles / The English Road

The Camino Ingles has two possible starting points; both are ports in Northern Spain: A Coruna and Ferrol.  From Ferrol to Santiago it is about 110km and from A Coruna only 75km – not enough to claim a Compostela in Santiago.  Both of these routes meet up near a village called Hospital de Bruma.

There are few pilgrims’ hostels on this short route and there has been much road building during the last few years.  This is not a route “to get away from it all” – if you want a short route perhaps consider the Camino Portuguese or just walk part of the Camino Frances as you can start and stop anywhere you wish.

The above are the main Camino routes in Spain.  However the Camino de Madrid is starting to become popular, the extension from Santiago to Finisterre has always been popular with those who have the time and the Camino Aragones is a quieter alternative to starting at St Jean.

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  1. J F F GrandsLieux! on February 7, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Hello Leslie,
    Congratulations for your site and blog.
    I’m looking for information about the camino before St Jean.
    Where can I find enough information to decide which is the best way to walk, say 30 days or more, before arriving to the Pyrenees and the Spanish border ?

    • Leslie on February 22, 2010 at 8:20 am

      Try the booklets from The Confraternity of St James in the UK – only place I know.

      Would love to read some info from you after your walk, some photos too???

  2. Cyprina Madrid on June 17, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    found your site and have enjoyed going through it. we noticed two routes to Santiago from Madrid. we have narrowed our routes to those two, focusing on the route through Ourense.. where can we get information on the two routes? Thank you.

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