Nature on the St James Way
Pilgrims in Roncesvalles
Pilgrims in Palencia
The route of the St James Way is another way of experiencing a whole world of contrasting landscapes. This is a journey of a different kind, which will take us across the north of Spain over mountains, through forests, and along coastal roads. If you want to know how it feels to be completely at one with nature, set out on the road to Santiago de Compostela.
Every year, thousands of people from all over the world decide to take the St James Way. This is a thrilling adventure which combines companionship, personal challenge, sport, culture and nature. All along the route you'll discover not only cathedrals, monasteries and monuments, but also natural areas with picture-perfect landscapes. On foot, on horseback or by bicycle, the journey through Spain to Santiago de Compostela is an incredible experience which everyone is always eager to repeat. The first step is to decide which route you are going to take, as the St James Way – declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1993 – is made up of a network of different roads. The itinerary is perfectly signposted, and can be done in stages. As you continue along the route, you'll begin to notice that every day is different, among other reasons because of the wide variety of landscapes which appear before your eyes. In these natural surroundings, you'll feel yourself unwind as you enjoy exchanging impressions with people from different countries on the paths and in the hostels.
One attraction after another
All along the Way you will find nature reserves, amazing landscapes and areas of exceptional ecological value, such as the peaks of the Pyrenees and the fertile valleys of the Ebro River in Navarre and Aragon; the vineyards in La Rioja; or the cliffs, beaches and rivers along the coast of the Basque Country and Cantabria, to mention just a few. The landscapes of Asturias feature pastures and mountain passes, while in Castile-León you'll find wide plains and spaces such as the Sierra de la Demanda mountain range, or, if you make a little detour (29 kilometres from Ponferrada), Las Médulas, a World Heritage Site.
Once in Galicia, you'll find green pastures and mountain areas such as the Ancares and O Courel. Sometimes it's even worth making a stop on your journey and turning a little way off the path to explore such singular places as Señorío de Bértiz in Navarre, the Picos de Europa mountains in Asturias or the caves of Ojo Guareña in Burgos.
Do something different, and sign up for the St James Way. As well as discovering Spain's countryside in a very special way, you'll live a unique experience that will stay with you forever.