Travel Guide

Camino de Santiago FAQ and solutions

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For many individuals waking the Camino de Santiago is a lifetime experience. Many begin getting ready for it a few years prematurely. We regularly get questions from our readers relating to the Camino. On this publish, we put collectively essentially the most FAQ and solutions to them primarily based on our Camino experience. In case you don’t discover a solution to your query be happy to depart a remark. We’ll be completely happy to help with it. 

Is there a couple of Camino de Santiago route?

Sure, there are a lot of Camino de Santiago routes throughout Europe. They begin elsewhere and all end in Santiago de Compostela besides the Camino Finisterre which begins in Santiago. I’d spotlight 7 hottest Camino routes: Camino Frances, Camino Portugues, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Ingles, Camino Finisterre, and By way of de la Plata. All routes are totally different in size, panorama, recognition, and amenities. The Camino Frances is essentially the most well-known route walked by most pilgrims. It begins in St.Jeams Pied de Port in Frances. We have now an in depth publish on totally different routes of the Camino de Santiago the place yow will discover loads of data on every route.

Route marking on the Camino de Santiago
A yellow scallop and arrow marking the Camino de Santiago route

Which route is the most effective for first-timers?

That is in all probability one of the FAQs that we get from our readers. Many individuals stroll the French Method as the primary Camino however it’s not essentially the most suitable choice. To begin with, as a result of it will get very busy, public albergues are full, many individuals on the route particularly the final 100 km. The French Camino is kind of lengthy (should you stroll the entire means) – 820 km.

We’d suggest beginning with the Portuguese Camino from Porto (flat, average distances, lovely surroundings, good infrastructure), the Camino Primitivo (should you’re a match particular person, it’s fairly quick however there are a lot of ups and downs), or the Camino Ingles (the shortest route, a very good one simply to get a style of the Camino). Don’t get me unsuitable I’m not making an attempt to persuade you to not stroll the Camino Frances or the Camino del Norte I simply suppose there are different good choices to contemplate. 

How lengthy does it take to stroll the Camino?

Relying on the route you select, your strolling tempo, every day distances, and so on. it could actually take something between four days e.g. the Camino Inglés to 40+ days e.g. the By way of de la Plata. The simple approach to calculate how lengthy it’ll take so that you can stroll a Camino is to divide the overall distance of the chosen route by the common distance you may comfortably stroll in a day. Let’s say you’re going to stroll Camino Frances which is about 800 km should you stroll a mean of 25 km a day it’ll take you 32 days to finish it.

What number of hours a day do you stroll on the Camino?

Every day distances on the Camino de Santiago are between 20 km and 25 km. The common strolling velocity of an grownup is 5 km/three mi per hour. In case you stroll at that tempo it’ll take you four to five hours of strolling per day. Add to that point 1 – 2 hours of relaxation, lunch, and so on. General anticipate to spend 6 – 7 hours on the Camino a day together with breaks. After all, there are individuals who can stroll a lot quicker than 5 km per hour in addition to those that stroll slower (particularly contemplating that you just stroll with a backpack). To know your private time strive strolling at some point 20 km with a backpack at a snug tempo. Having a GPS watch is kind of helpful. It offers you your common tempo, precise strolling time, resting time, and plenty of different insights. 

How tough is the Camino de Santiago?

The Camino is kind of tough as a result of it’s an extended stroll (not all routes however most of them). When you have by no means achieved a multi-day trek or a long-distance stroll earlier than it’ll be fairly difficult to stroll the Camino particularly the primary week or two. To make your Camino simpler our principal recommendation is to hearken to your physique. In case you really feel drained then relaxation don’t push your self too laborious. Moderately skip a stage or two by taking a bus or a practice than exhausting your self. Take your time even should you want eight hours to stroll 20 km. 

The Camino will not be solely bodily tough it’s psychologically demanding as nicely. To stay out of your backpack for a number of weeks transferring every single day from place to position, sleeping in dormitories with different pilgrims, and never having a lot privateness are a number of the challenges. If at any level you are feeling overwhelmed discover a good non-public place and keep there for a few days and relaxation. One among my Camino suggestions is to remain no less than as soon as per week in a non-public room. It at all times helps me when begin feeling burned out.  

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the end of the Camino routes
Obradoiro sq. and the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the top of the Camino de Santiago

Do it’s important to be very match to stroll the Camino?

Not, you don’t need to be a really match particular person anyone can turn into a pilgrim and stroll the Camino. In case you’re match it’s nice the Camino will probably be simpler for you. You in all probability don’t want to organize for it. In case you’re not in the most effective form and don’t hike/stroll frequently then it’s higher to begin coaching for the Camino. Endurance is essential right here. You need to have the ability to stroll every single day no less than 10-15 km/6-9 mi for a few weeks or a month (relying on the chosen Camino route). 

The place to begin strolling the Camino?

It will depend on a number of elements. How far do you wish to stroll? Do you wish to full all the route or solely part of it? Do you wish to get the Compostela for finishing the Camino or not? 

It’s not obligatory to complete all the Camino in a single go. You can begin strolling from wherever on the route. If you wish to full the Camino however don’t have one month for strolling you may select one of many shorter Camino routes e.g. Camino Primitivo, Portuguese Camino from Porto, Camino Inglés, or Camino Finisterre. If you wish to full one of many longer routes e.g. Camino Francés, Camino del Norte, By way of de la Plata however can’t do it in a single go you may break it down into components and stroll it over a number of months and even years (many locals do it that means). If you wish to get the Compostela certificates for finishing the Camino de Santiago you could stroll no less than the final 100 km (200 km for cyclists) Santiago de Compostela on any route. Most pilgrims stroll the final 100 km on the Camino Frances ranging from Sarria.

What’s the Compostela?

The Compostela is a certificates confirming that you just’ve accomplished the Camino de Santiago. It’s granted to any pilgrim that walked no less than the final 100 km to Santiago de Compostela on any Camino route. The required minimal for cyclists is 200 km. You will get your Compostela on the Pilgrim’s Reception Workplace in Santiago. The Compostela is free it has your title and date. If you would like you will get one other certificates the Certificates of Distance, which is a fancier model of the Compostela. It prices three Euros.

What’s the Credential?

The Credential or a Pilgrim’s Passport is a doc (a small paperback ebook) together with your title and another particulars. You gather stamps into your Credential. You will get stamps in any respect albergues, most resorts and guesthouses, and plenty of eating places on the Camino. The Credential confirms that you just’re a pilgrim. You want it for staying in public albergues the place solely pilgrims are allowed. You will get your Credential at church buildings and cathedrals on the Camino, at some albergues, pilgrim’s workplaces, or on the regional Camino affiliation in your nation.

Camino associations in numerous nations:

Alya's Credential and Compostela
My Compostela and Credential for the Camino Frances

Baggage switch on the Camino

It’s potential to stroll the Camino de Santiago with a daypack and organize our baggage transferred for each stage. There are a number of corporations that provide the service. Correos, a Spanish publish workplace provides baggage switch on the Camino Frances, Camino del Norte, Camino Portuguese (the Spanish half), Camino Primitivo, Camino Finisterre, and Camino Sanabres. The value is 5-7 Euros per backpack/suitcase per stage. You need to use it for all the route or just for the hardest components e.g. St.Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles stage on the Camino Frances. For the Portuguese Camino from Porto, you should use Camino Facil.

Is the Camino de Santiago a spiritual stroll?

For a lot of pilgrims (however not for everyone) the Camino has a religious part. Folks do stroll for spiritual causes, however there are a lot of who stroll for different causes; they love strolling, they want time to replicate on their lives, they like the thought of gradual touring, wish to strive one thing new, wish to problem themselves, and so on. Whichever reason you’ve it’s a adequate reason if it made you resolve to stroll the Camino.  

Is it protected to stroll the Camino for a solo feminine pilgrim?

One other ceaselessly requested query on our weblog. I’ve walked alone solely the French Camino and I didn’t have any bother. The remainder of the Camino routes I’ve walked with my husband. I traveled quite a bit round Spain earlier than (as a solo twenty-something feminine traveler) and in my experience, I by no means had any downside. You do get consideration should you’re alone however should you don’t look you’ll be left alone.

I’ve heard of 1 lady that was bothered by a person on the Camino San Salvador from Leon to Oviedo. That route will not be very talked-about, there are only a few pilgrims strolling it. I can suggest should you’re a solo feminine pilgrim slightly select one of many extra common Camino routes or discover a companion. On each Camino, we noticed many feminine pilgrims strolling solo and no person complained about being bothered. 

Strolling the Camino with out talking any Spanish

To begin with, don’t fear you’ll be superb even should you don’t know a phrase in Spanish. On some routes, there are extra foreigners than Spanish individuals. English is usually spoken amongst pilgrims, we met some that have been even complaining that they needed to follow their Spanish however didn’t actually get many possibilities as all people round speaks English. You positively will have the ability to talk with fellow pilgrims in English. German and French are the second and third spoken languages on the Camino. In case you don’t communicate English it’ll be straightforward to search out fellow German or French pilgrims.

As for albergues and eating places in Spain, in lots of non-public albergues individuals communicate some English, they’ll have the ability to inform you how a lot, when, the place, all the fundamental stuff. In public albergues, English will not be that frequent however there’s at all times any individual round who speaks Spanish and English and can have the ability to translate. Google translate works fairly nicely with English-Spanish you may set up it in your cellphone and use it each time you want it. As an additional assist, you may take a Camino Lingo – English – Spanish Phrases and Phrases ebook with you on the Camino.

In case you’re planning to stroll the Portuguese Camino it’s even simpler. In Portugal, we have been shocked by how many individuals spoke English. It’s positively simpler to speak with locals in English in Portugal than in Spain.

The Camino is an effective reason to study some Spanish, individuals prefer it when even should you don’t communicate fluently however you attempt to communicate their language, plus Spanish is the second most spoken language (as a local language) on this planet, it is perhaps fairly helpful in your subsequent journeys. There are numerous on-line assets for studying Spanish, Duolingo is likely one of the hottest.

What’s the lodging like on the Camino?

Most pilgrims who stroll the Camino keep in albergues, the most cost effective lodging possibility. Albergue is a hostel for pilgrims with dormitories and shared amenities. Albergues might be public (municipal) and personal. Public albergues are normally run by native authorities, volunteers, or church buildings. They’re solely for pilgrims who stroll or cycle the Camino. You pay between 5 and eight Euros per particular person to remain in a public albergues. Personal albergues are much like hostels. Anyone can keep there although pilgrims are normally predominant. There are resorts and guesthouses alongside the Camino. The value is 10-15 Euros per particular person. In case you choose having extra privateness and higher amenities you may keep in non-public rooms in resorts. For extra data on lodging learn our publish on the albergues on the Camino de Santiago.

A dormitory room in a public albergue on the Camino.
A dormitory room in a public albergue on the Camino de Santiago. Lodging on the Camino is likely one of the FAQ

Is there wi-fi on the Camino? 

The vast majority of non-public albergues have wi-fi except it’s in the course of nowhere. Many public albergues, particularly these which might be in larger cities or cities, have wi-fi as nicely. On our final Camino, we didn’t purchase a SIM card, we have been planning to purchase one however each time we reached a city or a metropolis every little thing was closed as a result of a public vacation, Sunday or lunchtime, in the long run, we by no means obtained round it. We had Web entry each (or nearly each) day.

Is there cellphone reception?

We had Web nearly every single day if not within the albergue then at bars, eating places, or cafes alongside the way in which. In case you’re planning to work on-line we’d counsel shopping for an area SIM card as a backup. One more reason to purchase an area SIM card is to have the ability to cellphone albergues if you wish to ebook a spot or discover out if locations are open. The most affordable one to purchase is Lycamobile. A 28-day bundle prices 15-20 Euros, it consists of 35Gb information, limitless native calls, and 100 SMS. You should buy it at some supermarkets and grocery shops.

Do I would like a sleeping bag?

Sure, you do want a sleeping bag should you’re planning to remain in albergues particularly public ones. In summer season (July, August) as a substitute of a sleeping bag, you may take a silk liner, it’s normally fairly scorching. Most albergues have blankets however with no cowl. It’s a lot nicer to place it over your sleeping bag or liner. We at all times pack small summer season sleeping baggage although once we walked the Camino in October and November we used each our sleeping baggage and blankets generally it was very chilly (not all albergues have heating).

Are you able to camp on the Camino?

It’s fairly tough to search out designated campsites on the route there will not be many and infrequently they’re far methods from the Camino route. On this web site, yow will discover campsites for various Camino routes. Staying at campsites usually is costlier than staying in public albergues. From a monetary perspective, it’s probably not value carrying tenting gear. It’s unlawful to wild camp in most autonomic communities in Spain particularly on seashores, in squares, parks, and so on. In case you get caught you’ll pay a superb that may be something between 60 Euros and 600 Euros.

We met some individuals carrying a tent and tenting gear. On the finish out of 30 days, they walked they managed to camp solely a few instances. You find yourself strolling with a heavy backpack full of tenting gear. It’ll make your stroll harder. We noticed only a few campsites on the Camino routes we’ve accomplished to date. There have been a few campsites on the Camino del Norte and on the Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino. 

It is perhaps value carrying a tent should you’re going to stroll one of many off-the-beaten-track routes with only a few locations to remain e.g. the Camino Sanabrés.

Alya looking at the river from the bridge on the Camino
Me having fun with the surroundings on the Camino de Santiago

Can I stroll the Camino with my canine?

Surprisingly it’s one of the frequent questions that we get. Sure, it’s potential although you may need powerful instances discovering dog-friendly lodging alongside the Camino. We did meet a number of individuals strolling with their canine and all of them confirmed that discovering pet-friendly lodging was usually fairly problematic. Some individuals carried a small tent for his or her canine to sleep in when there was no different possibility. So far as I do know, public albergues don’t permit canine. Some non-public locations would possibly permit canine.

Another factor to contemplate is transportation except you’re driving with your personal automotive. Canine will not be allowed on long-distance buses. Solely small canine in carriers are allowed on trains. I don’t wish to discourage you utterly from taking your canine on the Camino however I’d counsel doing correct analysis earlier than beginning the stroll. There’s a firm that provides packages for pilgrims with a canine that embrace pet-friendly lodging for each stage. Their web site is in Spanish however you should use Google to translate it to English.

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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