How to do the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona
The Camino de Santiago from Barcelona has a strong historical tradition, since, during the Middle Ages, many pilgrims who landed in this city, to head to Santiago de Compostela, following the Camino Catalan. The Camino de Santiago, from Barcelona to the tomb of Santiago the Apostle, has a distance of almost 1,200 kilometres.
Doing the Camino de Santiago, starting from the city of Barcelona, involves linking three itineraries. The first is the so-known as Camino de Barcelona, which is the one that unites the city with the Monastery of Montserrat.
From there, we continue along the route known as Camino Catalan (Camí Català). This route has two branches, both linking with the Camino Frances. Next, we will talk to you about both the Camino de Barcelona and the Camino Catalan.
But before you start, if you are looking to do fewer kilometres, you have the option to complete the last section of the Camino Frances, the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. Leave your details and details of the trip you would like to take and we will contact you.
Camino de Barcelona: heading to Santiago
Both the inhabitants of Barcelona, who want to start their pilgrimage to Compostela from their front door, and all those who wish to start their adventure from the city centre, should direct their steps, first of all, to the Monestir de Montserrat (Monastery of Montserrat).
The Camino de Barcelona has a distance of 56.7 kilometres, and can be divided into 2 or 3 stages, if done on foot. By bike, it is possible to complete it in a single day.
There are three itineraries along which you can complete the Camino from Barcelona to Montserrat. The difference in kilometres between each other is negligible, but not all are equally well signposted.
The Valle de Llobregat variant
One of them is the one that follows the Llobregat Valley. This route crosses towns such as Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Castellbisbal and Olesa de Montserrat. The signage on this itinerary is not very good, although the Generalitat de Catalunya plans to work on it.
The Collserola routes
The other two routes run along Mount Collserola. One of them begins in the Parque del Laberinto de Horta and follows the route of the GR-6, to Montserrat.
The other itinerary crosses the neighbourhoods of Vallcarca and Penitents; and sets course for Tibidabo, leaving it on the left. This section has the most historical references and is therefore considered the most traditional.
Both routes come together shortly before reaching the city of Sant Cugat del Valles, in Sant Medir and Sant Adjutori. Together they run near to Terrassa, where the Camino de Barcelona once again presents two variants.
One crosses the city of Terrassa. The other, following the path of the GR-6, avoids the city and goes to Les Fonts and Olesa de Montserrat. Both paths re-join at the foot of the Montserrat mountain, to enter the imposing Benedictine abbey together.
Camino Catalan: Going to Santiago from Barcelona
The Camino Catalan is the route that joins the Monastery of Montserrat in Barcelona with the Camino Frances to Santiago. This route has two variants.
One of them is known as the Camino Catalan Septentrional. This route joins the Camino Aragones (or Camino Frances to Santiago through Aragon) in Santa Cilia, passing through Huesca. From there, continues to Puente la Reina, where it links with the main route of the Camino Frances, which comes from Saint Jean Pied de Port.
The other variant is known as Camino Catalan through Zaragoza. This itinerary meets the Camino del Ebro, in the town of El Burgo de Ebro. From there, it continues to Logroño, where it links with the Camino Frances.
The initial kilometres on the Camino de Santiago Catalan are common in both variants. The fork in the road is located in Tárrega. Below we talk about the characteristics of each of the sections of the Camino Catalan.
From the Monastery of Montserrat in Barcelona to Tárrega
The 77.4 kilometres separating the Abbey of Montserrat in Tárrega are common for the Camino Catalan Septentrional and the Zaragoza variant. The route can be divided into 3 stages, if you pilgrimage on foot. The distribution would be as follows:
- Monasterio de Montserrat – Igualada (26,3 km)
- Igualada – La Panadella (22,5 km)
- La Panadella – Tárrega (28,6 km)
Bikegrims can complete this section of the Camino Catalan in a single day.
The Camino Catalan Septentrional
Pilgrims who want to do the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona, to link with the Camino Frances that comes from Somport (The Camino Aragones), must follow from Tárrega to Santa Cilia on the northern route of the Camino Catalan. This route has a distance of 243 kilometres.
The Camino Catalan Septentrional is well signposted. You should know that its final stages are the hardest, since they run very close to the Pyrenees and in them you will find few services.
You can complete the tour in 10 days. The distribution of stages for this section of the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona would be as follows:
- Tárrega – Linyola (23,9 km)
- Linyola – Algerri (29,5 km)
- Algerri – Tamarite de Litera (21,3 km)
- Tamarite de Litera – Monzón (21,2 km)
- Monzón – Berbegal (19,2 km)
- Berbegal – Pueyo de Fañanás (28,9 km)
- Pueyo de Fañanás – Huesca (18 km)
- Huesca – Bolea (21,6 km)
- Bolea – La Peña Estación (28,6 km)
- La Peña Estación – Santa Cilia (31 km)
In this section of the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona you can visit the incredible monastery of San Juan de la Peña, where the Holy Grail was located. You can also visit various Templar castles, such as Monzón and Loarre.
The union of the Camino Catalan and Camino Aragones
Santa Cilia is located in the second stage of the Camino Frances in Aragon. This stage concludes in Arrés, 6.4 km from the junction of the Camino Catalan and the Camino Aragones.
You have three options to deal with the crossroads. Two of them involve dealing with long-distance stages. You can propose a marathon stage that goes from La Peña Estación to Arrés, in which case you would do 37.4 km.
The other option is to stay overnight in Santa Cilia, to face, from there, the third stage of the Camino Aragones. In that case, the route would be 34.8 kilometres.
The third alternative and the one we recommend, is to have a day of transition. That is to say, reach Santa Cilia, spend the night there, and the next day do only the 6.4 kilometres that separate this town from Jaca.
The stages on the Camino de Santiago Aragonés
If you choose the option we recommend, the stage distibution on the Camino Aragones, from Santa Cilia to Puente la Reina, where the route of Aragon joins the Central Camino Frances, would be as follows:
- Santa Cilia – Arrés (6,4 km)
- Arrés – Ruesta (28,4 km)
- Ruesta – Sangüesa (22 km)
- Sangüesa – Monreal (27,2 km)
- Monreal – Puente la Reina (30,6 km)
To do the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona to Puente la Reina, following the stage distribution, which we recommend in this article, you will need a total of 21 days. By bike, you can complete the tour in 10 days or less, depending on your fitness.
From Puente la Reina, there are still 674.5 kilometres to reach the tomb of St James the Apostle. To complete the Camino Frances route, on foot, you will need approximately 29 more days. If you want, you can consult the stages on the Camino Frances, from Puente la Reina, in our guide.
The Camino Catalan through Zaragoza
If you decide to do the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona by taking the Camino Catalan that passes through Zaragoza, from Tárrega you should head to the city of Lleida, to link, in El Burgo de Ebro, with the Camino del Ebro. This variant of the Camino Catalan is 188.7 kilometres in length.
This section of the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona can be completed in 7 days, on foot. The stage distribution, from Tárrega to El Burgo de Ebro, would be as follows:
- Tárrega – El Palau d’Anglesola (23,1 km)
- El Palau d’Anglesola – Lleida (24,6 km)
- Lleida – Fraga (32,7 km)
- Fraga – Candasnos (26,4 km)
- Candasnos – Bujaraloz (20,6 km)
- Bujaraloz – Pina de Ebro (37,9 km)
- Pina de Ebro – El Burgo de Ebro (23,4 km)
The Camino de Santiago along the Ebro from Barcelona
This pilgrim route, as the name suggests, goes back to the course of the River Ebro from its mouth to Logroño. If you have been doing the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona, you will join the route on its tenth stage, the one that joins El Burgo de Ebro with the city of Zaragoza.
This section of the Camino de Santiago in Barcelona has a lot of pilgrim tradition, since this route was one of those that Santiago the Apostle travelled in his evangelizing work. In fact, the legend tells that it was in Zaragoza, in the place where, today, stands the Basilica of the Pilar, where the Virgin Mary appeared to the apostle.
The route is quite well signposted and is relatively simple as it does not face many unevenness. The biggest drawback of this section of the Camino de Santiago is the absence of practically any shade.
The stages on the Camino del Ebro
El Burgo de Ebro and the city of Logroño are separated by 205.6 km. The route can be divided into 8 stages, if done walking. The distribution would be as follows:
- El Burgo de Ebro – Zaragoza (18 km)
- Zaragoza – Alagón (28,7 km)
- Alagón – Gallur (21,2 km)
- Gallur – Tudela (36,3 km)
- Tudela – Alfaro (24,2 km)
- Alfaro – Calahorra (24,7 km)
- Calahorra – Alcanadre (20,2 km)
- Alcanadre – Logroño (32,3 km)
To complete the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona to Logroño, following the stage distribution, which we have recommended, you will also need 21 days. By bike you can do the tour in 10 days or less, depending on your fitness.
From Logroño, there are still 604.5 kilometres to reach the tomb of Santiago the Apostle. To complete the Camino Frances route, on foot, you will need approximately 26 more days. If you want you can consult the stages on the Camino Frances, from Logroño, in our guide.
The alternative route to do the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona
We have not commented on it so far, but there is a third alternative to link with the Camino Frances if you have been doing the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona. Arriving in the town of Gallur, by the variant of the Camino Catalan that links with the Camino del Ebro, you can go down the Camino Castellano-Aragonés, to Santo Domingo de Silos.
Once there, you can take the Via de la Lana, which comes from Alicante, through Cuenca, to link with the Camino de Santiago Frances in Burgos. This option, to complete the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona, is much more complex, since the section is not so well signposted. However, if you are looking for adventures and want to discover alternative routes, you may be interested.
Now you know all the possible routes you can follow to do the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona. Have you done any of the sections we have described? If so, we would love for you to tell us what your experience was like and if you found any difficulties on the tour.
If doing the Camino de Santiago from Barcelona is still an idea, and you are not familiar with that area of Spain, remember that, whether you want to do the whole route or if you just want to complete the Camino de Barcelona or any of the variants of the Camino Catalan, you can contact us to help you organize the trip. We will be happy to answer all your doubts!
To contact us, you can use the form on our web, leave us a comment on any of our blog post on the Camino de Santiago or write to us on Facebook. Our team will contact you as soon as possible.