NEW SECOND PRINTING: This two-volume set of guidebook and map book makes an indispensable companion to planning and walking the 784km Camino Frances pilgrim route from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The 2022 printing has completely updated accommodation listings and a beautiful, new cover image.
Divided into 6 sections, the guidebook includes an additional section from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre and Muxia on the Galician coast. Each section is broken down into detailed stages with easily customisable start and finish points due to the amount of accommodation available en route. Over 500 of these pilgrim lodgings are listed within this guidebook, including all public and private albergues, with contact details and a description of facilities available.
The accompanying map book offers detailed, stage-by-stage maps and profiles of the route as well as over 120 town and village maps that helps you find the exact location of accommodation and other sites important to pilgrims. The small size allows you to keep the map book in an accessible pocket for use throughout the day.
This two-part guidebook and map book provide an abundance of advice on planning and preparation, sample itineraries and detailed information that allows complete customisation of the Camino, making this an ideal guidebook for all pilgrims walking the Camino Frances.
Whether a pilgrim, a trekker, a traveler or a little of each, those embarking Europe’s epic pilgrimage trail are investing heavily for a profound, even life-changing experience. Just like sturdy shoes, you’ll need the right guidebook. Sandy Brown mixes a love of travel, a passion for detail, and the pilgrims’ thirst for meaning expertly in his guidebook. Well designed and uncanny in its ability to know what you need to know to succeed on this adventure, Sandy’s guidebook will be your trusted companion. It’ll be a constant resource to guide you through every challenge of the Camino: eating, sleeping, navigating, avoiding pitfalls, and getting the most out of the positive serendipity that carbonates the experience of the pilgrim who is equipped with good information and uses it. –
Rick Steves, travel writer, activist and television personality.
Hands down the best guide to The Camino de Santiago
I’m a seasoned pilgrim, I’ve read every camino guide I can get my hands on, and this one is by far the best. This compact guide contains an exhaustive listing of accommodations and services, precise maps, and on-the-ground directions. It also manages to give great historical and architectural information, and a ton of inspiring photos, while still being small enough to fit in my pocket. My favorite feature is the Stage Planning Tables in the back of the book that help you plan your camino based on your speed, including a place to write in your own stages. The book set sold here includes the guide, as well as a slimmer volume of only maps with markers for accommodations and services. You can choose to walk with both volumes, or just the guide, or go light and walk with just the maps book. I’ll be carrying the complete guide on my next camino, as Sandy’s historical insights and direct writing style are well worth the minimal weight they add to my pack. – Amazon Customer
An exquisitely written and beautifully illustrated guide to The Camino.
Cicerone’s The Camino de Santiago: Camino Francés is an exquisitely written and beautifully illustrated guide to The Camino. For the pilgrim, it provides an easy to follow step-by-step path to the trek across northern Spain full of maps, illustrations, beautiful photos of the countryside, and detailed descriptions of the historical sites. For those who are for now just dreaming of walking the Camino one day, this book will provide many enjoyable hours of learning, daydreaming, and planning for the trip to come. Author Sandy Brown is intimately familiar with the route, the history, the countryside, the cathedrals, and people of the Camino. He writes beautifully and knows his subject inside and out. His obvious love for the Camino is a clarion call to adventure and romance in the old world. — Bradley
I have practically every Camino book out there and this one beats them all. Love the extra removable map book. This is smaller than some of the guidebooks and is lighter. Plan to take the map book and laminate the pages after tearing them out so I can carry them if it rains. – Marine Vet (Amazon)
A beautiful new addition to Camino Francés guidebooks
Sandy Brown and Cicerone have added a beautiful new addition to their extensive line of guidebooks, this one for the Camino Frances. It combines practical information for the pilgrim–routes, lodging, essential services–with the historical and cultural. The guide is broken into two volumes, the larger one with all the route and historical/cultural detail and the smaller one which is just maps. The city maps are especially good, as are the elevation guides. Essential services in each location are marked with symbols, so the pilgrim can locate restaurants, water, ATMs, transit routes and all overnight services. The smaller volume is nicely sized to fit into your back pocket while you walk. Beautiful color photos round out the high-quality of this book. I recommend a good guidebook like this to anyone contemplating a pilgrimage. Dream, plan, prepare, savor! – Russ Eanes (Amazon)
Perfect Map and Town Descriptions
A guidebook worth its weight
Like many, it seems I’m always thinking about and planning my next camino and that includes searching for the right guidebook. Sandy Brown’s new guide to the Camino Francés, recently published by Cicerone, certainly ticks a lot of boxes.
I like the 2-book format: a guidebook and a separate map book. The main book contains useful information about planning including when to walk, logistics about travel and lodging, and possible itineraries. There’s a section about how to enhance your experience, including information about topography and climate, as well as tips about packing. The slimmer companion contains just maps and essential information for the daily walk. It’s the perfect size to slip into a pocket of your mochila.
There’s a lot of great information packed into the guide, which measures 5” by 7.” The combined weight of the two books is just over 18 ounces, and if you take off the lovely protective plastic cover you will save over an ounce. – Cathy L. Watkins (Amazon)
Auckland reviewer writes:
I have to hand from our Auckland public library a copy of Sandy Brown’s guide to the Camino de Santiago. It is full of wise words and advice. I like especially the advice to overnight partway through a stage (P28) to avoid competing with everyone for accommodation. Would you please pass on to Sandy Brown my congratulations and thanks for such a walker-friendly book. When I walked the route with a friend in 2013 we quickly realised the issue with Brierley book so we walked more than a page each day as we were marathon runners at the time and therefore fitter than almost anyone else on the Camino. Some days we came close to covering two pages in a single day!
So I’m feeling very positive about his Via Francigena books. The format he has adopted is similar to that of Alison Raju, whose guide book I used when I walked the VF in 2016. I didn’t like the Lightfoot guides because they were so filled with minutiae that I knew I wouldn’t see the scenery other than the ‘ditch on the right’, the ‘house with the red roof’, or whatever. I am currently supporting an Australian woman walking the VF and she is using the Lightfoot guides and finding them a chore. She’s also using SloWays so that is helping her. I am mentoring three New Zealanders who were planning to do the VF before the Covid pandemic scuttled their plans and I want them to have a really good guide book. I have asked the Auckland Council Library to buy the Parts 2 and 3 of Sandy Brown’s guide book for the VF and I know that they will do so. I’m looking forward to checking out these books.