21 October 2021

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The Road to Santiago. All the roads


We are sure you know what it is. The Road to SantiagoBut did you know that there is more than one way? Did you know that each one starts in a different place? In this post we tell you everything you need to know about the different types of El Camino de Santiago.



All the paths of El Camino de Santiago


In the year 820 approximately the discovery of the tomb of Santiago el Mayor, an event that will mean the creation of a tradition with thousands of years of antiquity and is that the Camino de Santiago. This route has been and continues to be one of the oldest pilgrimage routes in Europe.


The final destination, the Cathedral of Santiago, was erected from a modest church in 899 and since then thousands of people from all over the world have come to venerate the sacred remains of the apostle. But did you know that the Camino de Santiago has many routes? Yes, nowadays there are several ways to get to the city of Santiago de Compostela and from our Eco-hotel we are going to tell you all the routes so that, wherever you are, you know how to get there. Are you ready?


  • The Primitive Way: this route goes back to the first known Way, a route followed by Alfonso II the Chaste in the 9th century to visit the discovered tomb of the apostle Santiago. It has 13 stages, starting the itinerary in Oviedo.


  • The English Way: this road is named after the pilgrims who came from northern Europe. Countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Iceland or Norway among others were the ones that would give rise to the so-called English Way, as they arrived by boat to Galicia. The ports of Ferrol or A Coruña were the busiest at that time, creating two alternative routes: the first starting in A Coruña and the second in Ferrol, the latter being the longer route. During the journey both roads join in the town of Bruma and continue together until they reach Compostela.


  • The Portuguese Way: this road begins to have importance after the independence of Portugal, for him there are ancient routes such as the Via XIX of the first century AD which was one of the most important Roman roads in his time. The route begins in Tui although at present there are other variants of the Portuguese Way such as the Coastal Way. As a relevant fact, the Portuguese Way is the second most important after the French Way.


  • The Portuguese Way along the coast: another variant of the previous one, the difference lies in the fact that this Way has its starting point in Porto and runs very close to the sea.


  • The Northern Way: this route is known because the ancient European kings of the Middle Ages used it to reach Santiago. It is as old as the French Way but its importance diminished after the Reconquest. The route starts in Irún and is one of the longest routes, second only to the Vía de la Plata.


  • The Winter Way: nowadays it is a minority Way that is used, as its name indicates, in winter. It starts from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela being a variant of the French Way. This route has the particularity that it avoids the peaks of Cebreiro so that in winter it becomes a more affordable route.


  • The Sanabrés Road: the starting point of this road is in Granja de la Moreruela, the destination chosen by the Cistercian Order to create the first monastery in the Iberian Peninsula.


  • Vía de la Plata: this route to Compostela is the most important from the south of the Peninsula. The itinerary has its origin in several Roman roads that were used by the Arabs for the conquest and, later after the Reconquest, the pilgrims also used them to go to the tomb of the apostle. The route begins in Seville and passes through four communities: Andalusia, Extremadura, Castile and Leon and Galicia. In summer it is not advisable to do it, because in the sections of Andalusia and Extremadura the temperatures are extremely high.


  • The Aragonese Way: this route is a branch that joins the French Way, it starts from Somport and joins the town of Puente la Reina in Navarra. From that point the rest of the route is linked to the French Way to Santiago.


  • The Inland Basque Way: this Way, like the previous one, serves as a link with the French Way, starting in Irún and joining the French Way in Santo Domingo de la Calzada or in Burgos.



The French Way


The French Way is the best known itinerary worldwide and the busiest compared to the other routes mentioned. It was described in the year 1153 in the Codex Calixtinus and the stages that make it up are also detailed in the Codex Calixtinus. In 2004 it received the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord for being an "exponent for the coexistence of people and cultures and the development of the European roots of Christianity".


The French Route joins Saint Jean de Pied de Port (Donibane Garazi) with Santiago de Compostela and is composed of 31 stages that cover the entire north of the Peninsula. It is undoubtedly the best signposted route to Santiago and has a large number of hostels and hotels for the pilgrim to rest, in fact, in its passage through Palencia you will find our Eco-Hotel Doña Mayor.



The French Way in Palencia


The French Way in Palencia runs through the province from east to west from Burgos to León. The route consists of about 70 kilometers through the lands of Palencia and of these kilometers there are another 36 that are made by pilgrims who go by bicycle.


The French Way through Palencia has been catalogued as "First European Cultural Itinerary" as well as "World Heritage". In itself the route is not very difficult and it is a fairly flat road without slopes: you can discover the wonderful Tierra de Campos or the green banks of the river Carrión and the river Pisuerga. The Canal de Castilla is another great tourist attraction that you can enjoy if you do the French Way in Palencia.


Backpack Camino de Santiago


Following the Jacobean path along the French Way in Palencia you will arrive to Frómista and it is right here where you will find our Eco-Hotel Doña Mayor, an accommodation in the heart of the French Way totally ecological and whose motto is "the essence of the rural". When you arrive at this stage of the itinerary do not forget to stay here, you will rest as if you were at home. Try our 0 kilometer gastronomy, freshly squeezed juices, fresh fruit and seasonal products. It is the ideal hotel to make a stop in Palencia, a moment of relaxation and enjoyment that will allow you to discover Frómista, a lively town that has much to offer.


In our Eco-hotel in Palencia we also have services for cyclists, perfect for pilgrims on the French Way on two wheels.


Don't forget to visit us, pilgrim!



The Forgotten Road


The Forgotten Way is one of the oldest routes to the tomb of the apostle Santiago and joins Bilbao with Villafranca del Bierzo and then links up with the French Way or the Winter Way.


This Camino Olvidado or Camino de la Montaña or Camino Viejo in its route also passes through Palencia, specifically through Aguilar de Campoo in stage 8 and goes straight to Cervera de Pisuerga. Our Eco-Hotel in Frómista is only half an hour away from Aguilar de Campoo.


Nowadays this Way is known by very few people and some associations are recovering the use of this pilgrimage route.


In our Eco-hotel we love the Camino de Santiago and we have also created other posts for you to travel in the best possible way in this important pilgrimage, from what to carry in your backpack on the Camino from Santiago to Roncesvalles. Camino de Santiago from RoncesvallesDon't miss them!