With over 1000 years of history, the Way of St. James is one of the classic long distance walks. This historical route along almost 1000 kilometres from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela offers unique cultural, scenic and nature experiences. Since the Holy Year of 2010 the Way of St. James has gained even more in popularity and attracts more and more people from very different backgrounds, faiths and generations. It does not matter what the reason might be for setting out on the path to Santiago de Compostela - in the end you are confident that you have had a quite special experience.
The Rother walking guide describes in a total of 42 stages the whole of the Camino francés from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port via Roncesvalles, as well as the Aragon route from the Somport pass via Jaca to Santiago de Compostela, including possible secondary routes and the extension to Finisterre or Muxía. Thus the Way of St. James leads through a wealth of diverse landscapes, continuously interrupted by culturally and historically interesting places like Roncesvalles, Pamplona, Puente la Reina, San Juan de Ortega, Burgos or Leon, to name but a few. The natural experience dominates at first with the Pyrenean mountains, then the Rioja region characterised by vineyards, followed by the endless barren wastes of the Castillian plateau. But finally, it is the greenery of Galicia that rewards you for all your efforts and deprivations of the long journey, before you reach the climactic destination of Santiago de Compostela. If you still have time, then continuing to the coast, to Finisterre and Muxía, is highly recommended.
Detailed maps, precise descriptions of the individual stages including easy-to-read height profiles, as well as comprehensive details of the infrastructure along the way such as medical services, shopping opportunities or banks, make your planning of the walk easier, especially for deviations from the stages described in this guide. Detailed information is also given about the location and standard of accommodation in the pilgrim hostels along the way, graded accordingly with one to three St. James shells. General tips on planning the route and equipment at the start of the book make this walking guide into a compact and practical guide. Special mention is also made of historical and scenic delights, as well as regional peculiarities, local fiestas and culinary specialities. A selection of representative photos provide insights into the diversity of landscape and culture experienced along the Way of St. James.