The Way of Saint James routes stretch for hundreds of miles across Europe creating a marvellous trail connection linking villages, towns and cities. There are many beautiful places on the Way of Saint James, and it’s really difficult to choose the best one. For this reason, we want to share with you five of our favorite places to inspire you on your next trip to the Camino. Let’s go there!
St Jean Pied de Port on the Camino Frances
Saint Jean Pied de Port is a starting point on the Camino de Santiago for many pilgrims, as it is the last French town before entering Spain along the Camino Frances. It’s located at the foot of the Pyrenees, on the border between France and Spain.
St Jean is a beautiful walled town of cobbled streets and traditional townhouses in red and white, crowned by a 17th century citadel fort, from where you can take in fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the mighty Pyrenees, the first stage of the pilgrims’ journey.
O Cebreiro on the Camino Frances
Also on the Camino Frances, pilgrims reach this peculiar and charming village. O Cebreiro is located in the municipality of Piedrafita del Cebrero, in the province of Lugo in Galicia.
In its architecture, the pallozas and the church of Santa María (pre-Romanesque, from the 9th century), which guards a Romanesque chalice, dating from the 12th century, stand out.
One of the pallozas hosts the museum, where visitors can step inside one of these unique dwellings vernacular in the region which are built of slate or granite stone with conical thatched roofs; as well as admiring a display of traditional furniture.
Muxia on the Finisterre Camino
After reaching Cape Fisterra on the Camino to Fisterra pilgrims can continue along the magnificent Atlantic coast to the fishing village of Muxia, small in size but with plenty of character.
Pilgrims have flocked to this tiny village by the Atlantic Ocean to pay reverence to its Virxe da Barca at the sanctuary but also its ‘magic’ stones, believed to cure ailments and even predict events. This is a region of stunning coastal landscapes as well as fascinating legends and myths, where pagan beliefs often mix with Catholic tradition.
Puente la Reina
The medieval town of Puente La Reina also referred to as the “bridge of the Queen” or the “crossroads of the ways”, is between Pamplona and Estella on the Way of St. James pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.
The highlight of Puente La Reina is the six-arched Romanesque bridge sitting over River Arga. It was built by Queen Muniadona, wife of King Sancho III, who also named the town after herself. Other architectural wonders include the Church of the Crucifix and the Church of Santiago that are located on the Pilgrim’s trail. Travellers and pilgrims who are seeking a quiet shelter will find Puente La Reina an ideal destination.
Sarria is the last section of the Camino Frances. Pilgrims often walk the final hundred kilometres from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. The city is renowned for its artistic heritage, Gothic structures, recreational activities and gastronomy.
Besides the famous landmarks, Sarria has a quiet ambience that provides pilgrims with a chance to relish their spiritual tour in peace. When you stop over, visit the Convent of a Madalena, Ponte de Áspera, a Roman-style bridge from the 12th century and the Church of Saint Mariña.
These are just some of our favorite places on the Camino de Santiago, because the list is endless. The Camino is full of towns, cities and villages that will leave you speechless.
In addition, we encourage you to share with us your experience traveling the Camino de Santiago on these social networks by tagging us or including the hashtag #alberguesdelcamino in your post. We look forward to your photos!