Route map of the Camino de Santiago
The map of the Camino de Santiago encompasses a set of routes that run throughout Europe to make their way to Spain, until reaching the Cathedral of Compostela, where the remains of Santiago the Apostle are guarded. On the map of the Camino de Santiago shown below, you can see some of the main routes that run through Spain and Europe.
However, the number of pilgrim routes could be considered to be almost infinite, and, therefore it would be impossible to collect all of them on the same map. Currently, those routes on which have been worked to signal properly are therefore considered official, and are called Camino de Santiago.
In order to clarify where each of the pilgrim paths run, in Santiago Ways we have decided to elaborate this article with a map showing the Camino de Santiago and its different routes. Given the high number of possible itineraries, we will focus exclusively on the most popular ones. Not without reference to other alternative routes, which enjoy less fame, but also have historical tradition.
Map of the Camino Frances to Santiago
As cannot be otherwise, the first route we will talk about is the Camino Frances. This is the most well-known and only route that has been catalogued as a World Heritage Site, by UNESCO.
The map of the Camino Frances shown below reflects the route that starts from Saint Jean Pied de Port, in France, to cross to Roncesvalles, in Spain. From there, it runs through the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula to Santiago de Compostela.
As you can see on the map at the beginning, this is the gateway path of most of the pilgrim paths coming from Europe. It also combines many of the paths that run through the Iberian Peninsula, especially the final section that connect Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.
If you feel like doing the Camino de Santiago from Sarria, we will help you make it happen. Tell us details about the trip you want to take and leave the rest in our hands.
Of the routes that cross Spain, towards the Cathedral of Santiago, the only ones that do not join the Camino Frances in its final stages are: the Camino Ingles, the Camino Sanabres (a variant of the Via de la Plata) and the Camino de Finisterre, if performed in reverse. No wonder, then, that it is the busiest route.
The path of the French route
El Camino Frances is 763,5 km long. In our guide to the Camino Frances, this route is divided into 33 stages. Its route, from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela, crosses 8 Spanish provinces and several major cities in Spain.
Profile of the French route
The Camino Frances is not the most difficult route, but it is also not the easiest. Some of its stages run above 1,000 metres of altitude, facing various mountain passes. The most feared are the passage from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles and the climbs to Foncebadón and O Cebreiro.
As you can see the profile map of the Camino de Santiago Francés, this route has both stages with steep slopes and sections of plain. These are especially present in the stages that run through Castile.
Map of the Camino de Santiago Portugues
The second most popular pilgrim route is the Camino Portugues. As you can see in the general map of the Camino de Santiago, which we mentioned at the beginning of the post, two paths run through Portugal.
One is known as the Camino Central Portugues and the other is called the Camino Portugues Coastal Route. If you want to delve into the features and sights of these two paths, you can consult the article we dedicate to the Portuguese routes.
Map of the Camino Central Portugues
Of the two routes that run through the Portuguese country, the Camino Central Portugues has the most historical tradition. This route starts from Lisbon, crossing half of the country from South to North. Finally, it enters Spain over the Tui International Bridge.
The section from Tui is the most popular. This is partly because, as shown on the map, the Camino Portugues Coastal Route meets the Central in Redondela.
The path of the Central route
The Central Route faces 618.9 kilometres of travel. In our guide to the Camino Central Portugues you will see that the route is divided into 28 stages.
On the map above you can see the main towns that cross this route of the Camino de Santiago. The part between Santarem and Coimbra is especially beautiful.
As seen on the map, this route passes through Oporto, from where the Camino Portugues Coastal Route begins. This allows us to begin the pilgrimage along the Central Route and make the last stages along the Coastal Route.
Profile of the Camino Central Portugues
This route has no major slopes, nor crosses mountain passes. Along with the Camino Portugues Coastal Route, it is considered one of the easiest pilgrim itineraries.
Map of the Camino Portugues Coastal Route
The Camino Portugues Coastal Route departs from Porto. From there, it travels through northern Portugal, bordering the Atlantic coast, to enter Spain by A Guarda.
The path of the Coastal route
The Costa Route has 265 kilometres of travel. In our guide to the Camino Portugues Coastal Route, this section is divided into 12 stages. Of these, 8 are made by the itinerary on the Coastal Route and 4 along the Central Route.
Profile of the Camino Portugues Coastal Route
As mentioned above, this layout is also characterized by being one of the simplest. It should be noted that it is one of the most advisable routes for doing the Camino de Santiago by bike.
As you can see on the profile map of this route of the Camino de Santiago, many of its stages run at sea level. That is why it is one of the most recommended routes to make a pilgrimage in summer.
Map of the Camino del Norte
The Camino de Santiago del Norte, also known as Camino de la Costa, is the third most popular route. This route starts from Irun and borders the coast of the Cantabrian Sea before reaching the city of Compostela.
This route has several branches that connect it to the Camino Primitivo. In its final stages, in the beautiful town of Arzúa, the Camino del Norte joins with the Camino Frances.
The route on the Camino del Norte
The Camino del Norte has a distance of 833.1 km. It is the second longest pilgrim route, after the Via de la Plata.
We recommend dividing the route into 34 stages. You can find out more about its distribution in this article on the Camino del Norte.
From Irun to Compostela, the Camino del Norte crosses 6 provinces in Spain and numerous villages. Many of them with a strong marine essence and connection.
Much of the route allows you to enjoy the incredible beaches of the Cantabrian Sea. If you want, you can check out our article on the beaches along the Camino del Norte to find out more.
Profile map of the Camino del Norte to Santiago
The Camino del Norte is considered the second most difficult pilgrim route, after the Camino Primitivo. As you can see on the profile map of this route of the Camino de Santiago, its route presents steep slopes.
You should also consider that some stages are quite long, considered the unevenness that the day presents. This is because the infrastructure on this route is less than that of the previous ones and, therefore, sometimes it is necessary to complete stages of more than 30 kilometres to find a place to sleep.
Map of the Camino Primitivo
The Camino Primitivo, known as the first pilgrim route, is the fourth most popular. The itinerary starts from Oviedo Cathedral.
The fact that this route presents several branches with the Camino del Norte, has led some theorists of the Camino de Santiago to indicate that this route should be considered a variant of the Northern Route. This is why it is sometimes called the Interior Route of the Camino del Norte.
This route allows you to link Oviedo with León, through the Camino del Salvador. However, the most common thing and what marks tradition is to make the journey from León to Oviedo.
The route on the Camino Primitivo
The Camino Primitivo is 316,2 km long. On the way, it crosses 3 provinces of Spain and various localities in the interior.
We recommend dividing this route into 14 stages. Of these, the last three are made following the Camino Frances. The junction point between one path and the other is in Melide.
Profile map of the Camino del Norte
The Camino Primitivo is the most demanding route of all that run through the Iberian Peninsula. As you can see on the profile map, this route of the Camino de Santiago has frequent slopes. The most feared stretch is that he faces the climb to the Palo Mountain pass.
This fact, and that it is the pilgrim route with the least asphalt, makes it one of the least recommended itineraries for cycling. However, that does not mean that it is impossible, only that it poses a major challenge. If you want to know more about the difficulties that this route entails for bikers, you can consultour blog post which we dedicate to the Camino Primitivo by bike.
Other routes on the Camino de Santiago
So as not to not overextend in this article, we have provided you with the map of the four most popular routes of the Camino de Santiago. However, we do not want to say goodbye without reference to other pilgrim paths, which without being so busy, are just as beautiful.
Some of them are reflected in the general map of the Camino de Santiago that we showed you at the beginning of the article. Below we provide links to other articles on our blog so you can learn more about each of the routes.
La Via de la Plata
La Via de la Plata is the longest path. As you can see on the map of the Camino de Santiago, this route crosses Spain from South to North and presents various branches.
In the south, you can follow the Camino Mozarabe or the route that departs from Seville. After crossing the centre of the Iberian Peninsula, the path is redivided. A branch goes towards Astorga, where it joins the Camino Frances, and the other to Ourense, shaping what is known as the Camino Sanabres.
The Camino de Finisterre
As you can see on the map of the Camino de Santiago there a route that joins Compostela with Cape Finisterre, on the Galician coast. It is a particularly magical route as it pre-dates the Camino de Santiago, as we told you in the article about the history of the route to the End of the World.
Most pilgrims heading to Finisterre do so after completing one of the routes of the Camino de Santiago. However, this route can be made in reverse or complement the Camino de los Faros. In which case, you can request the Compostela when you arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago.
In addition to the previous official routes, there are other routes that, without being routes of the Camino de Santiago, have a relationship with pilgrim tradition. Some of them are: the Camino de Ucles, the Camino Lebaniego and the Camino del Salvador, which, as we mentioned earlier, joins the Cathedral of León with that of Oviedo.
We hope that the map of the Camino de Santiago that we have provided you in this article, as well as the different maps of the pilgrim routes, will help you choose which route you will follow during your pilgrimage to Compostela. Of course, don’t forget to consider the least popular routes in your choice.
Finally, we would like to remind you that in Santiago Ways we can help you organize your trip to the Camino de Santiago, on any of the routes of the Camino de Santiago. Call us, leave us a comment on our blog, or write to us on our Facebook and we will contact you to provide you with all the information you need.