Historically the most important and certainly the most travelled route to Santiago, el Camino del Frances, the Frenchman’s route, is steeped in history from start to finish.

A journey into the Spanish interior, untouched by mass tourism, here you will experience the real Spain. This is a journey of contrasts starting in the high mountains of Navarra across the arid plains of the Meseta and finishing in lush green hills of Galicia. All along the way you’ll discover beautiful religious architecture from the humblest parish church to the magnificent cathedrals of Burgos, Leon and of course Santiago de Compostela, all dedicated to the glory of St James.

This could also be called the Ruta del Vino, crossing the wine regions of Navarra, La Rioja, up and coming Bierzo and finishing in Galicia, home to the fantastic whites of Alabariño.

  • Tour Highlights:
  • The ‘Way of St James’, steeped in history
  • Monumental Cathedral cities; Burgos, Leon, Santiago
  • Across six major wine producing regions
  • Lofty mountains, arid plains, lush green hills
  • Rich gastronomic heritage
  • Las Médulas – dramatic red-rock landscape
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£1050 p/p

* Indicative mid-season price for 9 nights (including car hire – flights not included) in our suggested hotels.

Full details (PDF)

Day 1 & 2 – Navarra

  • Gateway to the Camino de Santiago
  • Excellent local wines, not available at home
  • ‘Garden of Spain’, peppers, artichokes, asparagus
  • Fairytale castles at Olite and Artajona
  • Bull runs & pintxos in Pamplona
  • High rocky mountains & rolling green valleys
Accommodation options

Day 3 & 4 – La Rioja Wine Region

  • Spain’s most prestigious vineyards
  • Riojan & Basque cuisine – excellent local ingredients
  • Stunning modern architecture alongside prehistoric remains among the vines
  • Medieval Laguardia and Labastida
  • Dinastia Vivanco museum of wine culture
Accommodation options

Day 5 – Burgos

  • Essential stop on the Camino de Santiago
  • Truly awesome cathedral, recently restored
  • Bustling old town; lively bars & restaurants
  • Spain’s best lamb & delicious black pudding
  • Atapuerca & the Museum of Human Evolution
Accommodation options

Day 6 & 7 – León & El Bierzo

  • Historic crossroads; Camino de Santiago and the Via de Plata
  • Santa Maria in Leon – beautiful stained glass
  • Tapas in ‘the wet zone’ in Leon old-town
  • Las Medulas, undulating red rock formations
  • El Bierzo, lost in time, steeped in history
Accommodation options

Day 8 & 9 – Santiago de Compostela, Galicia

  • Journey’s end, for centuries Europe’s most important pilgrim destination
  • World heritage city centred around the magnificent Cathedral, said to house the bones of St James
  • Guided walking tour, there’s so much to discover
  • Lively bar scene, great tapas and young Ribeiro wine, or if you prefer, a drop of Albariño
Accommodation options

The itinerary includes the following:

  • Accommodation in our listed hotels – 2 sharing 1 std. double ensuite, B&B
  • Economy 4dr car hire
  • or ferry crossings with Brittany Ferries (car + 2 berth interior cabin)
  • Guide book to Northern Spain
  • Personal Travel App including highlights, weather forecast and restaurant suggestions for all areas en-route
  • Instructions to find all accommodation


Not included:

  • Flights – but we are able to advise
  • One-way car hire charges, where applicable (see your quote email)
  • The following car hire extras – these can be added at pick-up point
    • extra driver
    • child seats
    • GPS
  • Garage parking where applicable (mostly city stops) – please ask us about parking charges

Getting there

A point-to-point itinerary, this route is best enjoyed flying in to the Basque Country and back from Galicia – or vice versa – the best options are:

  • Connections from-to:
    • From Stansted:  Santiago or Santander with Ryanair
    • From Gatwick: Bilbao with Vueling-Easyjet / Santiago with B.A. or Vueling
    • From Dublin: Bilbao with Aer Lingus or Santander with Ryanair, return from Vigo with Ryanair or Santiago with Aer Lingus
  • Ferry: if you wish to bring your own car, classic car or motorbike we can include the ferry crossings as part of the package – See our Camino del Norte – Out and back NC7 (single port of entry and return – interleaving the stages).


Getting around

For passengers travelling by air we will include a hire car as part of the package. Normally we include a 4 door economy class car but please let us know if you would like something different.

For those coming on the ferry you will use your own vehicle but in either case we will provide full instructions to arrive at each hotel, complete with GPS, as well as a map of the area

AITO reviews

Self-drive with pre-booked accommodation in interesting hotels. They included a converted farmhouse, a former monastery and a 19th century hotel built in the style of a castle. People were very friendly & helpful.

Client 2018

Casas Cantabricas. Very helpful over the phone & responded quickly to email enquiries. Expert knowledge of the area. Provided a personalised travel app with included local information, maps & the weather at each destination.

Client 2018

All accommodation excellent – second to none!

Client 2014

Map, guide and supplementary information excellent. This made it possible to plan the tour in detail and maximise the time to the full.

Client 2014

Our trip to Spain was superb!!!! All the accommodation was wonderful. Loved it all.
Thanks so much, everything was perfect and I am recommending you left right and centre to all my friends in New Zealand. Thanks for all the great planning.

Client 2014

Had a wonderful Camino, thank you. Please keep us posted about future opportunities as we intend to return to Spain.

Client 2014

Camino de Santiago tour in images

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