“Walker, there is no path to follow, you make the path by walking” … The famous poet Antonio Machado said in one of his works. 📜
Luckily, we… Yes, we have a way to show you!
A millenary path full of history, tradition and fellowship among the pilgrims, who come from all over the world to enjoy a unique journey through the marvellous landscapes of northern Spain.
An indescribable route where what really matters is not to reach the end of the journey but rather the gratifying experience you will have during it.
Prepare some boots, your backpack and a trekking stick which we are going to use…
THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO! 🚶🙏
WHAT IS THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO?
The Camino de Santiago dates back to the 9th century and is the most famous Catholic pilgrimage route in the world.
The main purpose of the route is to visit the tomb of the Apostle James in the imposing and majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, located in the city with the same name, which is also the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia.
It has the title of UNESCO World Heritage because it is the oldest and busiest itinerary in the old continent.
With a perfect combination of spirituality and adventure, it is visited every year by thousands of pilgrims of all ages (and physical conditions) because there are different routes to reach the destination with greater or lesser difficulty, thus being able to choose the one that best suits the needs of everyone.
4 WAYS TO PREPARE FOR THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO.
Next, we will tell you the steps to follow to prepare for your journey in the most effective and comprehensive way possible.
But before beginning you must know that the route in the trails is marked by the figure of the famous yellow scallop or Pilgrim’s Shell. We must look at the direction pointed by the conch’s stripes. In the same way, sometimes it is accompanied by a yellow arrow that indicates the way.
Traveler Tip: If you want to read an inspiring piece about the route before starting the trip, we recommend the book “The Pilgrim of Compostela (Diary of a Magician)” by Paulo Coelho.
CHOOSE THE ROUTE.
There are several routes to the Camino de Santiago that depart from different towns in Spain.
Pilgrims from the rest of Europe usually leave from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Prague, Portugal, France…
On this occasion, we will focus on recommending the most frequented and best suited roads.
Remember that, depending on the itinerary you choose, you can do it on foot, by bicycle or even on a horseback.
THE ROUTE OF SANTIAGO FRANCES.
This is the busiest route of all. As its name indicates, it starts in France, in the locality of Saint Jean Pied de Port or in the mountain pass of Somport, to reach Galicia by the well-known ascent of O Cebreiro crossing the Iberian Peninsula from east to west.
People who cannot travel to the French locality start the route in the locality of Roncesvalles (Navarra). Passing through the towns of La Rioja, Burgos, Palencia, León, Lugo and A Coruña.
Considered the road par excellence, it has a complete network of services, accommodation and signposting.
With an impressive artistic and beautiful landscape richness, it is an excellent choice if you are thinking of visiting the Camino de Santiago.
THE CAMINO TO SANTIAGO DEL NORTE.
This pilgrimage route runs along the Asturian-Galician coast, reaching Galician soil in Ribadeo.
It is a beautiful but demanding route through the Cantabrian mountain range that is less crowded due to the difficulty involved, but with a scenic beauty that has no rival.
Starting from Irún (Guipúzcoa), it passes through Oviedo, where it splits into two new paths. One of them connects with the Ancient route which is another of the best-known routes.
Known for being the route made by San Francisco de Asís in 1214, it is well signposted, but has a somewhat complicated weather and orography.
Although it is well worth the effort to admire the incredible greenery and solitary of the area!🌳
THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO PRIMITIVO.
This route is ideal for those who have limited time as it is the shortest of all.
With a demanding but very beautiful itinerary, it starts at the foot of the Cathedral of Oviedo following the route taken in the ninth century by what was considered the first pilgrim: the medieval King Alfonso II.
It was this same King who ordered the construction of the Cathedral of Santiago over the sepulchre of the saint.
This is the oldest route of all that runs through the most unknown interior of Galicia and Asturias. Without agglomerations or roads, its climate is somewhat inhospitable but its splendour and historical landscape supplements the hardness of the road.
Over the years it has gained greater fame and the network of hostels is increasing, benefiting all the travellers.
We recommend using it during the summer, in the absence of rain and snow, and we advise against using a bicycle due to the great orographic slopes.
Tip viajero: Keep in mind that, in the Asturian part, the direction of the route is signposted by the round part of the scallop. In Galicia, it is the stripes that mark the route.
THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO INGLÉS.
Pilgrims coming from the north and west of Europe they arrive by boat to the coast of A Coruña to then continue on foot by land towards Santiago de Compostela for many centuries.
Scots, English, Irish, Scandinavians… arrived in the port of A Coruña and travelled a road that, nowadays, is not very crowded, has good signposting, but few services.
THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO PORTUGUÉS.
From Portuguese lands, departing from Lisbon to Galicia through Tui, visiting Pontevedra and Padrón before reaching Santiago.
This long itinerary with a lot of charm is the second route in terms of number of visitors, partly due to the fact that it involves two countries in its route.
To finish, we will briefly name some less known routes, but which are equally emblematic.
Vía de la Plata. (For Laza)
This route comes from Andalusia and Extremadura and lies on the ancient Roman roads, originally starting in the Cathedral of Seville. It has exuberant natural spaces and millenary bridges.
Route of the Sea of Arousa and Ulla River.
This route is an imitation of the route made by the boat with the remains of Santiago Apóstol. Coastal towns can be visited with fine sandy beaches and a marked marine landscape between the provinces of A Coruña and Pontevedra.
Road to Finisterre y Muxía.
Ahead of us is the only road that starts from Santiago and ends at Cabo de Finisterre: A mystical enclave considered to be the end of the known world where the sunsets are truly spectacular.
This route is becoming more and more consolidated and also has an inverse variant, i.e. from the coast to Santiago.
In the same way, many travellers, even following some of the routes mentioned above, do not consider their journey finished until they reach the “Coast of Death” and leave their worn out boots in front of the immensity of the ocean.
CHECK THE ACCOMMODATIONS IN ADVANCE.
Once you have decided which route you want to take, identify the lodgings where you will be staying. Depending on where you travel to and the month you choose to do so, the venues may be more or less overcrowded.
You have two types of alternatives, paid accommodation and public accommodation (at a lower cost).
Visit the website of the Public Network of Hostels on the Camino de Santiago managed by the S.A. de Xestión do Plan Xacobeo since 1993 and check which facilities are located along your route.
The public lodgings have common bedrooms, toilets, kitchen, living room, laundry rooms and adapted facilities.
Please note that in these hostels priority is given to people with physical limitations or who are walking the route, can only be used for one night and must be left before 08:00 the following morning.
Travel Tip: Also find out about the restaurants, grocery stores and supermarkets that are on your route so that you do not have problems when it comes to scheduling meals.
GET YOUR PILGRIM’S CARD.
This card has the name of the Credential. It is a personal document that proves that you have made the journey on foot, by bicycle or on horseback.
It contains a series of boxes where the stamps of the parishes, refuges and other establishments of the towns you visit along the way are stamped. Any stamp that has the name of the locality is valid. Remember that the date must also appear.
This Credential gives access to hostels. You can apply for it at the headquarters of the Bishoprics, some churches, Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago, associations etc..
The main purpose of collecting the stamps of the Camino is to obtain the document called La Compostela where it is stated that you have arrived in Santiago de Compostela. To obtain it, it is essential to have travelled the last 100 km on foot or on horseback, 200 km by bicycle.
This title can be found in the Pilgrim’s Reception Office, located very close to the Plaza del Do Obradoiro in Santiago.
THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO WITH YOUR PET.
Many people want to travel the Camino de Santiago with their pet, especially their dogs.
It is perfectly possible to travel some of the trails with your pet. The best thing is to choose an easy route and with good and varied services so that you can provide your pet with everything it needs in terms of food and accommodation.
It is recommended that you are accustomed to physical exercise and can spend several hours walking on soft ground, stones or road continuously. Be accustomed to all types of terrain before starting the trip.
Confirm that your hostel accepts pets in the room or that it has a place in the building designed for this purpose.
Galicia is a perfect destination for a great holiday. Whether you make the pilgrimage or not, don’t miss its impressive monuments and magnificent landscapes.
¡BOOK YOUR TRIP to Galician lands with us this year!
IF YOU RESERVE IN ADVANCE, you will get the BEST PRICES on flights, hotels and excursions.
Great rates await you to enjoy a few days of rest in a place full of magic and mysticism.
And don’t forget to at least walk a small stretch of the route to Santiago, so you can experience the feeling of fellowship that surrounds those who undertake it.
Have a nice trip!
Redactora. Especialista en viajes. Marketing de contenidos.
Si tuviera que definirme diría que soy una viajera incansable amante de la escritura.
Trotamundos desde los 18 años, estos últimos 10 años he combinado mi pasión por conocer el mundo con mi profesión de agente de viajes.
En este blog, trasmitiré mis conocimientos mediante completos posts con la intención de ayudarte a preparar tus vacaciones soñadas.
Plasmaré mis vivencias mediante útiles consejos y podrás consultarme todas las dudas que te surjan.
Recuerda: Más importante que el viaje en sí, es lo que queda en el espíritu del viajero. (Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo)
Editor. Travel specialist. Content Marketing
If I had to define myself, I would say that I am a tireless lover of writing.
Trotamundos since I was 18 years old, these last 10 years I have combined my passion to know the world with my profession as a travel agent.
In this blog, I will transmit my knowledge through complete posts with the intention of helping you prepare your dream vacation.
I will describe my experiences through useful tips and you can consult any doubts that may arise.
Remember: More important than the trip itself, is what remains in the spirit of the traveler. (Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo)