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The French Way - All the way - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela   •   The French Way - Last 100km - Sarria to Santiago de Compostela   •   The French Way - Last 100km Country Hotels - Sarria to Santiago de Compostela   •   To the End of the World - Camino Finisterre - Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre   •   The French Way - Stage 1 - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Pamplona   •   The French Way - Stage 2 - Pamplona to Burgos   •   The French Way - Stage 3 - Burgos to Leon   •   The French Way - Stage 4 - Leon to O Cebreiro   •   The French Way - Stage 5 - O Cebreiro to Santiago de Compostela   •   The French Way - Stages 2 to 5 - Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela   •   The French Way - Stages 3 to 5 - Burgos to Santiago de Compostela   •   The French Way - Stages 4 to 5 - Leon to Santiago de Compostela   •   The Portuguese Way - Tui to Santiago de Compostela

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Map of our walking Holidays in Spain - El Camino - Click here to find out more about Spain - El Camino We feature the complete Camino de Santiago route from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Finisterre – the End of the Earth in Galicia as well as the lesser known, but increasingly popular Camino de Portuguese Way.  We organize Camino journeys for the complete route as well as umpteen Camino combinations of the various in-between stages.  Our pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago range between solo walkers to church members participating in a much planned and fully escorted Pilgrimage and they come from far and wide across the globe.  With our deep knowledge of the routes and the efficient and reliable support in Spain, New Experience has the knowledge and expertise to provide an individually arranged Camino walk of a lifetime along a very special path.


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As happens so often in life, a chance meeting can lead to great things.  In 2003, two newly established travel companies made a chance encounter which led to New Experience Holidays featuring a walk along the Camino de Santiago from O Cebreiro to Santiago. As a destination planned for the near future, the enthusiasm of our local partner in Spain convinced us to give it priority and to feature it right away. It was a great decision and we now arrange walks along the Camino for more clients than to any other New Experience destination. Our team members have extensive knowledge of the Camino and having walked every step of the Way and escorted numerous group pilgrimages, Deborah has developed an excellent insight into the logistics of the route, the hotels, food and transportation as well as gaining special memories and experiences on a personal level.

The famous Camino de Santiago, also known as the St James’ Way and the French Way, is a wonderful five hundred mile trail across northern Spain which has been walked by pilgrims for over 1000 years. For most, the Camino ends at the magnificent Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – reputedly the final resting place of St. James the Apostle, although a further few days of walking takes the pilgrim to ‘the end of the earth’ at Finisterre with its downward pointing scallop shell signifying the actual ending and where pilgrims once burned their boots.  

Journeying in a westward direction, many aspects of Spain will be witnessed from the high mountains of the Pyrenees to the flat plains of the Meseta; vast Gothic Cathedrals and tiny ‘ermitas’; differing cultures from the colourful Basque lands to mystical Celtic Galicia. Walking the full route from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago in one go takes at least 35 days, but offers the ultimate Camino experience. However, time and practicality dictate that most can only manage one stage at a time taking several years to complete the full route.  For this reason we have divided the Camino into stages of 7-11 nights to offer flexibility, depending on time available and ease of access to/from start and end points.


Geography

The Camino Frances starts at St Jean Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees Atlantique department in France. From there it wends through the Spanish regions of Navarra, La Rioja, Castilla y Leon and Galicia. The north of Spain has a variety of high mountains, rolling hills and plains.

Culture

Spain is known for its culturally diverse heritage, having been influenced by many nations and peoples throughout its history. Spanish culture has its origins in the Iberian, Celtiberian, Latin, Visigothic, Roman Catholic, and Islamic cultures. The definition of a national Spanish culture has been characterized by tension between the centralized state (dominated in recent centuries by Castile) and numerous regions and minority peoples. In addition, the history of the nation and its Mediterranean and Atlantic environment have played strong roles in shaping its culture.

Further information about Spain - El Camino and walking holidays there.Further information about Spain - El Camino and our walking holidays there...

The French Way - All the way - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino -  The French Way - All the way - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Larger Image

The famous Camino de Santiago, also known as the St James’ Way and the French Way, is a wonderful five hundred mile trail across northern Spain which has been walked by pilgrims for over 1000 years. For most, the Camino ends at the magnificent Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – reputedly the final resting place of St. James the Apostle, although a further few days of walking takes the pilgrim to ‘the end of the earth’ at Finisterre with its downward pointing scallop shell signifying the actual ending and where pilgrims once burned their boots.  Journeying in a westward direction, many aspects of Spain will be witnessed from the high mountains of the Pyrenees to the flat plains of the Meseta; vast Gothic Cathedrals and tiny ‘ermitas’; differing cultures from the colourful Basque lands to mystical Celtic Galicia. Walking the full route from St Jean Pied-de-Port in France to Santiago in one go takes at least 35 days, but offers the ultimate Camino experience. However, time and practicality dictate that most can only manage one stage at a time taking several years to complete the full route.  For this reason we have divided the Camino into stages of 7-11 nights to offer flexibility, depending on time available and ease of access to/from start and end points.  

  Walking holiday in Spain - El Camino -  The French Way - All the way - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Full DetailsVIEW FULL DETAILS   Send us an enquiry about this holiday SEND US AN ENQUIRY

Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Last 100km - Sarria to Santiago de Compostela

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino -  The French Way - Last 100km - Sarria to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Larger Image Do you wish to complete a lifelong ambition in walking part of the St James’ Way (el Camino) but have concerns about your ability to do so? This special version of the final week of the Camino walking into Santiago could be the trek for you! Here we offer a 7 night holiday during which you complete the final 100km of the St James’ Way - all you need to walk to become an official Pilgrim in Santiago and qualifying for a Pilgrim Certificate.  The days are shorter than the full version of this trek leaving you plenty of time to complete each day at your own pace and still have time to explore your destination before dinner.

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Last 100km Country Hotels - Sarria to Santiago de Compostela

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino -  The French Way - Last 100km Country Hotels - Sarria to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Larger Image Here we offer a 7 night holiday during which you complete the final 100km of the St James’ Way - all you need to walk to become an official Pilgrim in Santiago and to qualify for a Pilgrim Certificate.  For this Country House itinerary we have chosen unique and stylish accommodations just a short distance away from the Camino route in tranquil locations. These hotels are mainly located in a farming area and offer a more relaxing environment to the busier towns where most pilgrim accommodation is located.

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

To the End of the World - Camino Finisterre - Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre

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Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino -  To the End of the World - Camino Finisterre - Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre - Click Here For Larger Image Most pilgrims end their journey in Santiago, with few continuing onwards to the actual ending of the Camino bracing the sea air and experiencing true Galicia as the last steps are taken walking to the End of the World.  In terms of ancient pilgrimage, this final and atmospheric section of the Camino led Celts, Romans and other ancient settlers to worship the sun from a point where the earth finished and they could go no further.  Nearby, and an additional deviation, is Muxia closely associated with James the Apostle’s arrival in Spain.  It is surprising therefore, that this is the quietest section of all the Camino.

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Stage 1 - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Pamplona

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stage 1 - St Jean Pied-de-Port to Pamplona - Click Here For Larger Image For those with little time to spare who wish to start at the beginning  and hope or plan to return to walk further, this section is a superb introduction to walking the Camino and passes through delightful mountain and pastoral landscapes from the high Pyrenees to the lower hills surrounding Pamplona.

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Stage 2 - Pamplona to Burgos

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stage 2 - Pamplona to Burgos - Click Here For Larger Image Wandering through the world famous wine lands of Rioja sets the scene for the stage of the Camino between the walled city of Pamplona, famous for its bull running Fiesta de San Fermin, and the bustling city of Burgos with its majestic Gothic Cathedral. Most of the route between these two cities follows rural paths which link hill top villages set amongst the vineyards and is a much favored section by many Pilgrims.  This may because of the promise of the Fuente de Irache where delicious Rioja wine flows freely and constantly enabling Pilgrims to drink to their hearts content! Logrono, is the wine capital of Rioja where eating, drinking and merrymaking can continue in one of the many Bodegas lining the narrow streets. 

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Stage 3 - Burgos to Leon

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stage 3 - Burgos to Leon - Click Here For Larger Image The Meseta, so often condemned as the most boring and uninteresting stage of the Camino, can actually be one of the most atmospheric and soulful stages.  The endless flat plains, providing the bread basket of Spain, merges with vast skies filled with soaring vultures and eagles and a hint of distant mountains to be traversed before reaching Santiago. It is a hot, harsh route to follow during the heat of summer whilst in winter strong winds sting the face of Pilgrims bracing the cold. However, the emptiness and peace during softer months can lift the spirits on high as miles are quickly covered underfoot.

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Stage 4 - Leon to O Cebreiro

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stage 4 - Leon to O Cebreiro - Click Here For Larger Image Along this stretch the Pilgrim is faced with the major challenge of crossing the Cordillera Cantabria at over 1500m. Departing culturally rich Leon, the Camino winds its way over mountain and moorland with the weather contrasting between sun and snow, wind and rain.  Nestling between the mountains is the Bierzo Valley where milder weather and easier walking provides a welcome break from the higher paths. Fresh, locally produced white wines quench the thirst after a long day in the mountains.  

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Stage 5 - O Cebreiro to Santiago de Compostela

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stage 5 - O Cebreiro to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Larger Image The final stage of the Camino and one which is walked by more Pilgrims than the rest of the route passes entirely through Galicia – a land with Celtic origins and weather!  Green and lush, warm and moist, Galicia is a verdant part of Spain with its own language of Galega.  Many characteristics of Galicia resemble Wales, Ireland and Brittany as Celtic influences come through in their language, music and lifestyle. Farming is the main occupation and most houses cultivate even the smallest parcel of land around their homes. Grain is stored in ‘horreos’ which rise like tombs through the mist creating a mysterious scene.

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Stages 2 to 5 - Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stages 2 to 5 - Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Larger Image Pamplona is an ideal starting point for those who wish to eliminate the more challenging start of crossing the Pyrenees. It is also an easier access point than St Jean. Wandering through the world famous wine lands of Rioja sets the scene for the start point of the Camino in the walled city of Pamplona, famous for its bull running Fiesta de San Fermin.  From here you will follow rural paths which link hill top villages set amongst the vineyards to Burgos with its imposing Gothic Cathedral.  This is a much favoured stage of the Camino possibly due to the promise of the Fuente de Irache where delicious Rioja wine flows freely and constantly enabling Pilgrims to drink to their hearts content! Logrono is the wine capital of Rioja where eating, drinking and merrymaking can continue in one of the many Bodegas lining the narrow streets. 

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Stages 3 to 5 - Burgos to Santiago de Compostela

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stages 3 to 5 - Burgos to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Larger Image With easy access from Madrid, Burgos makes an excellent start point to walk part of the Camino.  It is a large, cosmopolitan city with endless historical buildings to explore as well as its vast Gothic Cathedral dating back to the 13th century and designated a UNESCO Heritage Building. The walk to Santiago starts with easy days crossing the Meseta, so often condemned as the most boring and uninteresting stage of the Camino, but which can actually be one of the most atmospheric and soulful stages.  The endless flat plains merge with vast skies filled with soaring vultures and eagles and a hint of distant mountains to be traversed before reaching Santiago. It is a hot, harsh route to follow during the heat of summer whilst in winter strong winds sting the face of Pilgrims bracing the cold. However, the emptiness and peace during softer months can lift the spirits on high as miles are quickly covered underfoot.

  Walking holiday in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stages 3 to 5 - Burgos to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Full DetailsVIEW FULL DETAILS   Send us an enquiry about this holiday SEND US AN ENQUIRY

Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The French Way - Stages 4 to 5 - Leon to Santiago de Compostela

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stages 4 to 5 - Leon to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Larger Image Along this stretch the Pilgrim is faced with the major challenge of crossing the Cordillera Cantabria at over 1500m. Time should be allowed to visit at least one or two of Leon’s stunning historical buildings especially the Cathedral complete with its superb stained glass windows. Departing culturally rich Leon, the Camino winds its way over mountain and moorland with the weather contrasting  between sun and snow, wind and rain.  Nestling between the mountains is the Bierzo Valley where milder weather and easier walking provides a welcome break from the higher paths. Fresh, locally produced white wines quench the thirst after a long day in the mountains.

  Walking holiday in Spain - El Camino - The French Way - Stages 4 to 5 - Leon to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Full DetailsVIEW FULL DETAILS   Send us an enquiry about this holiday SEND US AN ENQUIRY

Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

The Portuguese Way - Tui to Santiago de Compostela

Walking holidays in Spain - El Camino - The Portuguese Way - Tui to Santiago de Compostela - Click Here For Larger Image There are many pilgrim paths meandering through Europe and they all lead to the entrancing and inspiring city of Santiago de Compostela. The most well-trodden route is the Camino Frances from St Jean in France to Santiago, but this route gets busier each year. However, there exists a far quieter but intensely spiritual route, which still has close connections to the life and work of St James as he travelled from Padron to his final resting place in Santiago.  Journeying through these landscapes that border the Atlantic Ocean today can still return the pilgrim to ancient times, and indeed you will encounter sections of the original pilgrim route with shrines, ancient stone crosses and chapels along the way.

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays   

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