French Camino: León - Santiago


191 miles


17 days




León - Santiago

  • Free Changes
  • 24/7 support

From: $ 1,995

Travel back in time as you journey through Northern Spain walking the Camino de Santiago. Our Leon Camino is ideal for the adventurous spirit who enjoys learning about the history and culture of a place, while experiencing the best of Spain's local cuisine, staying in exclusive accommodations and finding those secret places that only local experts know about. We have carefully chosen this unique journey to allow you to be immersed in a thousand-year-old tradition that has the power to transform the spirit and leave you with a memorable experience.

We have conscientiously crafted an itinerary for the Leon Camino tour that focuses on the history of this ancient pilgrim route while also including unique experiences only available with luxury travel. You will travel through the hilltop towns of Castilla and Leon and across the ancient meadowlands of Galicia. Explore medieval monasteries, see ancient Roman artifacts and even visit a local chocolate factory. This trip allows travelers the freedom to live and become a part of a thousand-year-old story.

Starting in Leon, you will tour the best that the camino has to offer in Astorga and neighboring regions. Visit the Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) where traditionally pilgrims deposit a rock brought from their place of origin. Marvel at the scenery as you climb up to O Cebreiro, the starting point of the Camino in the Galicia region, as you make your way to the Samos monastery following the French camino route for 100 miles to Santiago.

  • TOUR TYPE: Self-guided
  • DATES AVAILABLE: Year-round
  • ACTIVITY: Walking tour
  • ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotels, Bed & Breakfast & Rural Houses / private hostels
Rural house on el camino

You will stay at hotels in the Leon region to ensure you get a well deserved rest. On the camino you will stay at unique B&B, rural houses and comfortable small hotels, all with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms.

croquetas de jamon

This region is famous for its meats and hearty stews, that also find their way into croquettes. Be sure to try cocido maragato, a three course feast with garbanzo beans and meat to die for.

pilgrim on the trail to O Cebreiro
On the trail

You will be walking on average 15 miles/day (max. 20) for 15 consecutive days. This hike is rated as hard as you will be walking about 190 miles in total. Pilgrims of different ages walk the Camino but it is important that you are used to walking and in good physical condition before you attempt this route.


Day 1: Arrive in León
Arrive in Leon to start our tour. Leon was founded more than 2,000 years ago on a Roman legion’s camp. Since then, many civilizations have left their mark on the city. Visit its impressive Gothic cathedral, built in the 13th century, that resembles Notre Dame of Paris. The cathedral has 20,000 sq. ft. of stained glass windows, the largest in Europe. Tour the different neighborhoods and try the delicious local staples while you enjoy a relaxing evening.

Meals: None. Overnight: Leon.

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Day 2: León - Villar de Mazarife (14 mi walk)

Your Camino walk starts today. After a short urban walk as you leave Leon, you will be traversing pastures and cultivated fields on a fairly flat stage through the Spanish plains.

Meals: B. Overnight: Villar de Mazarife.


Day 3: Villar de Mazarife - Astorga (19 mi walk)

On this day you will make your way to Astorga, a town famous for its Cathedral and the Episcopal palace built by Gaudi, the architect of the famed Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Mostly flat stage as well until the end where you will encounter a bit of a hilly terrain.

Meals: B. Overnight: Astorga.

Day 4: Astorga - Rabanal del Camino (13 mi walk)

You'll finally leave behind the ample flatlands of the Meseta in Spain an initiate a slow climb to the Leon Mountains until you arrive in Rabanal del Camino, a welcoming small town.

Meals: B. Overnight: Rabanal del Camino.


Day 5: Rabanal del Camino - Molinaseca (15 mi walk)

Your ascent becomes more pronounced as you reach the Iron Cross (Cruz de Fierro), located over 3000 ft over sea level. At the foot of the cross, there is a pile of rocks made up of all rocks that pilgrim bring with them from their hometown as a symbol of their journey. After Foncebadón, you'll cross over the Leon mountains and start your descent towards Molinaseca.

Meals: B. Overnight: Molinaseca.


Day 6: Molinaseca - Villafranca del Bierzo (20 mi walk)

After reaching Ponferrada close to your start o the stage and walking by its Templar Castle, you'll make your way to Villafranca, which lies inside a valley surrounded by mountains. There are no climbs today, mostly good dirt tracks and some asphalt roads. There is little shade on the route so take care and bring lots of water if you are traveling during summer.

Meals: B. Overnight: Villafranca del Bierzo.


Day 7: Villafranca del Bierzo - Herrerias de Valcarce (14 mi walk)

After reaching Ponferrada close to your start o the stage and walking by its Templar Castle, you'll make your way to Villafranca, which lies inside a valley surrounded by mountains. There are no climbs today, mostly good dirt tracks and some asphalt roads. There is little shade on the route so take care and bring lots of water if you are traveling during summer.

Meals: B. Overnight: Herrerias de Valcarce.


Day 8: Herrerias de Valcarce - O Cebreiro (6 mi walk)

Short day today to get some rest on those legs. The climb to O Cebreiro is too hard to try to tack on the previous stage, so you can take it easy today and admire the views and visit the great small town of O Cebreiro with their straw houses. O Cebreiro is where you will cross into Galicia, the region that Santiago de Compostela belongs to.

Meals: B. Overnight: O Cebreiro.


Day 9: O Cebreiro - Triacastela (13 mi)
O Cebreiro is where el Camino crosses into the Galicia region and where we will start our walk. We will see the impresive pallozas (straw-roofed houses) and visit the sanctuary of the Eucharistic miracle before we set out on our way to Triacastela. Today we start up high and will go through some up and downs until we will reach Alto de Poio, the highest peak of el camino in Galicia at 4380ft with amazing views. It's all downhill from there through forests and the river valley.

Meals: B. Overnight: Triacastela.


Day 10: Triacastela - Sarria (11 mi)
Today you will be walking along the Oribio valley, one of the most impressive landscapes of the French route, surrounded by the river and lush forests of chestnuts, poplars and oak trees. Halfway through the stage we will visit the benedictine monastery of Samos, the oldest inhabited monastery in Spain, with its impressive cloisters and murals. The day will end with dinner in Sarria, where many of the camino routes come together.

Meals: B. Overnight: Sarria.


Day 11: Sarria - Portomarín (14 mi)
Sarria is strategically placed just over the 100Km mark away from Santiago which is the minimum distance eligible for the completion certificate (Compostela). It is the ideal starting place for new Camino walkers. The day starts at one of the most beautiful oak groves in El Camino. Along the way, you will see Romanesque building remains, rustic crossings and a medieval bridge together with several historical sites like the church of Santiago de Barbadelo or the church of San Fiz de Reimondez. As you reach the end of the stage you will cross over the Miño river.

Meals: B. Overnight: Portomarín.


Day 12: Portomarín - Palas de Rei (16 mi)
Portomarín dates back to the Roman invasion of Spain and was an important stop along the route in the Middle Ages. You can visit its 13th century church and see the ancient roman bridge when the river runs low. This stage will take you through the region of Monterroso and Palas de Rei, crossing renowned villages like Gonzar, Castromaior (with its famous Castro) and Ligonde.

Meals: B. Overnight: Palas de Rei.


Day 13: Palas de Rei - Melide (10 mi)
Palas de Rei was the old residence of the visigoth king Witiza in the 8th century where you can visit the church of St. Tirso dating from the 12th century. We will set on foot for Melide today, an important town where both the Northern Camino and the Camino Primitivo merge with the French. For this reason, you'll find more pilgrims on the following stages until you arrive in Santiago.

Melide is famous for its pulpo a feira (octopus) and melindres (dessert), which we will enjoy!

Meals: B. Overnight: Melide.


Day 14: Melide - Arzúa (9 mi)
After enjoying the local food in Melide, we will make our way to Arzúa. The route is a mix of well conserved and repaired trails together with some more abrupt sections. You will cross the Iso river and reach the village of Ribadiso while walking through some of the most spectacular scenery in el Camino. We will make sure to try the renowned cheese varieties from this region (Arzúa-Ulloa). In March they hold a Cheese festival at the village dedicated to this local staple, famous enough to carry its own trademark.

Meals: B. Overnight: Arzúa.


Day 15: Arzúa - Rúa / O Pedrouzo (12 mi)
After our stay in Arzúa, where you can visit the Convent of Mary Magdalen and the parochial church of Santiago, we'll get our pilgrim passports stamped and head out to the town of O Pedrouzo. This stage takes you through quiet forest paths with eucalyptus groves between villages that are so small with houses so spread out that it is hard to tell where one village ends and the next one begins. The scenery is one of the most beautiful throughout el Camino. Towards the end of the stage, we will visit the chapel and fountain of St Irene, built in the Baroque style.

Meals: B. Overnight: O Pedrouzo.


Day 16: Rúa / O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela (13 mi)
Ready with anticipation as this is the final stage of the journey on the Camino, some pilgrims eager to reach their final goal in Santiago usually make it through this stage pretty fast. Other pilgrims, sad to see their wonderful time on the Camino coming to an end, choose to take it easy through the leaf covered paths. Monte de Gozo (Hill of Joy) is the first place from where you can see the spires in Santiago's Cathedral. After that, you will arrive in Santiago where you can visit the famous Obradoiro square, the Cathedral and have a chance to hug the apostle.

We will also collect our last stamp and with the completed credential, visit the Pilgrim's office to request your pilgrim certificate. Finally, we will enjoy our farewell dinner in Santiago.

Meals: B. Overnight: Santiago.


Day 17: Visit Santiago de Compostela
In the morning, take some time to tour Santiago's main landmarks. Find out about Santiago's rich cultural heritage and visit its famous monuments and squares. Your Camino adventure ends after breakfast. If you would like to extend your tour with other activities, let us know and we'll arrange them for you. Congratulations, you did it!

Meals: Breakfast.

  • Cathedral of Leon on el Camino de Santiago
  • iron cross - cruz de ferro at Foncebadon
  • episcopal palace Astorga
  • palloza straw roof house on o cebreiro
  • jamon iberico display and other specialties
  • angels at Gaudi Episcopal palace in Astorga
  • Samos monastery cloister with statue of Feijoo
  • samos monastery wall mural
  • chapel in Fonfria on el camino
  • Private accommodations (16 nights)
  • Breakfast (16)
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag, 44 lbs)
  • 24/7 Emergency support
  • Pilgrim's Credential, Maps & directions
  • VAT included
  • * Tour prices listed are per person, in double occupancy accommodations.
  • Click the OPTIONAL tab for individual supplement pricing and other optional services to add to your tour.
  • HALF-BOARD SUPPLEMENT(16 dinners): $607
  • TRANSFERS: Request a quote at checkout
  • AIRFARE: Request a quote at checkout

Our self-guided caminos include:

24/7 Support: We understand that setting out on your own to walk on a foreign country can seem like a challenge, specially when walking on a trail. No need to worry! We provide a local emergency number where you will be able to reach us 24/7.

Information packet: Our complete welcome packet includes your pilgrim credential, maps for the walk, directions to your hotels, instructions for your luggage transfers, and all the information you need for your camino.

Expert Service: As the U.S.-based Camino specialist, we know that you have specific expectations and concerns. Our team brings you unparalleled knowledge and a unique perspective on how to approach the trip and ensure you have a wonderful experience.

Flexibility: Our trips are not one-size fits all. We offer multiple add-ons to our self-guided tours, from dinner packages to airport or inter-city transfers and extra hotel nights. Just let us know. We're here to support you on your quest.