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Saint Jean Pied de Port to Muxia & Finisterre

 

The route from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Muxia and Finisterre offers various terrain from the Pyrennes mountains in eastern Spain to the high Meseta to the mountains where the cool Atlantic air hits the western mountain range into the coastal area.

SJPDP is a lovely French town that is the starting point of the Camino Frances.  It leads you over the Pyrennes mountains in the southwest of France where you will cross into Spain at the font commemorated to Roland before descending into Roncesvalles. The French Road leads you through many important cities before you reach the big city of Burgos like Pamplona, Puente la Reina, Estella, Logrono, Najera, Santo Domingo, and Belorado. Once you leave Burgos you will find yourself in the Meseta and quiet countryside with fields of agriculture for as far as the eyes can see and walk through interesting towns like Castrojeriz, Boadilla, Fromista, Villacazar, Sahagun and Mansilla to mention a few. While the Meseta is known for its long days and flat terrain there are some steep but mostly soft rolling hills and lots of beauty along the way. You will pass through Leon which is former Roman military garrison and base for its VIIth Legion.  Leon is both historical and modern and home to over 130,000 people.  After leaving Leon and before reaching Santiago de Compostela you will encounter many rolling hills on the way to Hospital de Orbigo, Astorga, Castrillo de Polvarzares, Rabinal del Camino.  The terrain changes to some steep hills approaching Foncebadon, Ponferrada, Cacabelos, and Villafranca del Bierzo before heading up into the mountain range into O’Cebriero.  After descending the mountains and before reaching Santiago, Samos, Sarria, Portomarin, and Melide have their own traditions, historical significance and beauty. After acquiring your Compostela and leaving Santiago and heading west to the ocean you will find the route less travelled and be rewarded with the solitude.  It will take 5 days to walk to Finisterre and you can get your Finisterra certificate once you arrive.  Enjoy watching the sunset over the vast ocean and treat yourself to local seafood and cool beverages.

The route from Finisterre to Muxia can be walked in one long or two short days.  Muxia is a small fishing town that is well known for the church on the rocky shore and said to be where the remains of St. James first landed in Spain. The dynamic ocean waves as they hit the rocky shore are a sight to behold and the sunsets are breathtaking.  Spend a day or two exploring the island, resting, reflecting and of course acquiring your certificate.  

This route from SJPDP to Muxia can be done from 40 to 50 days depending on your desired daily average kilometres, rest days and sightseeing choices.  Buses to Santiago leave regularly every morning and afternoon.

Your first steps on the Camino start here

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