The Different Saint James Pilgrimage Routes

The Saint James Pilgrimage is one of the most popular pilgrimage routes. This is because the route and the final destination are very prestigious. The final destination of the route is the resting place of the apostle, Saint James in Santiago De Compostela in Spain. This pilgrimage route has been in existence for hundreds of years. People who wish to go on a pilgrimage often end up going on a Saint James Pilgrimage because aside from the fact that that the experience will be rewarding, they will also be able to experience the European countryside on foot. They also like the Saint James Pilgrimage because it is challenging. At present, there are a lot of pilgrimage routes being used. Here are some of the most popular ones.

The French Way
This is by far, the most popular pilgrimage route. This pilgrimage route starts at Saint Jean Pied de Port in France. Pilgrims start on the foot of the Pyrenees on the French side. Pilgrims walk from town to town over the Pyrenees until it reaches the Spanish side of the Pyrenees in Roncesvalles. The pilgrimage route also goes through major cities like Pamplona, Burgos and Leon. The major reason behind the popularity of the French Way of the pilgrimage is the fact that it is the least challenging. The only challenge is the distance but it is achievable. This means old people or those who are not physically fit will find the French Way ideal. The French Way is also the route that has a lot of guides and coordinators. Joining a group for the French Way is pretty easy.

The Aragonese Way
This is a very unique kind of pilgrimage route. This is because it pretty much follows the same route as the River Aragon. This route became very popular during the time of the old kingdom of Aragon. At the height of the kingdom’s power, many pilgrims opted to pass by the kingdom in order to ensure their safety on the road. This route starts in the Pyrenees and comes down the Somport pass. Pilgrims then make their way down to area where the old kingdom of Aragon is located. The route passes through various towns and provinces like Naverre, Jaca and Puente La Reina. On the final stages, it merges with the French Way.

The Northern Way
This is a very challenging trek and should only be tackled by young pilgrims. The pilgrimage route starts from Irun in France and it pretty much follows the coastline of northern Spain. From Irun, pilgrims make their way to Galicia, proceed on to Santiago and then finally merge with the French Way. This route was started during the old times when pilgrims followed the old Roman road called the Via Agrippa. Some people call this route the Coastal Route.

When going on a pilgrimage, one should make sure that their routes have adequate shelters on every stage. Picking the right route should be dependent on one’s health. This is why it is very important that people get a coordinator for their pilgrimage.

Leslie loves hill walking and writing his routes on the web.  He has been running the main Camino de Santiago and Walking in Scotland site since 2006. To know detailed information about the French Way, click the Way to St. James.