Travel Guide

Camino de Santiago routes – which one to decide on?

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The Camino de Santiago will not be a single route like many individuals assume referring to the favored Camino Frances. It’s a community of pilgrimage routes that begin elsewhere throughout Europe and end in Santiago de Compostela. In reality, you can begin strolling to Santiago from anyplace in Europe. The primary disadvantage of strolling a non-established route is that there can be much less or no infrastructure for pilgrims (route marking, albergues, and so forth.). Will probably be tougher and difficult to stroll.

The favored routes are effectively marked, have sufficient infrastructure for pilgrims, and don’t require very thorough planning – you simply select a route and comply with yellow arrows all the best way to Santiago. Strolling one of many well-established routes doesn’t essentially imply that there can be many individuals, you’ll be able to select one of many less-popular Caminos de Santiago and benefit from the tranquility of the stroll. 

As of February 2022 we’ve accomplished all 7 well-established Camino routes: Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Ingles, Camino Finisterre-Muxia, and Through de la Plata. We’re planning to stroll extra Camino routes in 2022. We wish to begin our Camino yr with the Portuguese Camino that we’re going to stroll the second time in Might however this time with our daughter who can be Eight months then.

A map showing different Camino routes in Spain
Totally different pilgrimage routes of the Camino de Santiago

On this publish, we talk about seven primary Camino de Santiago routes and 5 lesser-known routes (there are way more routes, however these 5 are well-marked and have extra infrastructure). Out of those 12 routes so far we’ve walked seven; Camino Portugues (from Lisbon), Camino Primitivo, Camino del Norte,  Camino Finisterre-Muxía, Through de la Plata (214 km from Seville to Mérida), Camino Inglés, and Camino Francés. We’re planning to proceed our Camino journey and full extra routes.

Totally different routes of the Camino de Santiago

Nicely-established Camino routes Lesser-known Camino routes
Camino Francés Camino de Madrid
Camino Portuguese Camino Catalán
Camino del Norte Camino Mozárabe
Camino Primitivo Camino de Levante
Camino Inglés Camino de Invierno
Camino Finisterre-Muxía Camino de Gran Canaria
Vía de la Plata
Nicely-established and lesser-known Camino de Santiago routes

There are seven well-established routes of St.James; Camino Frances (the French Method), Camino Portugués (the Portuguese Method), Camino del Norte (the Northern Method), Camino Primitivo (the Authentic Method), Through de la Plata (the Silver Method), Camino Inglés (the English Method) and Camino Finisterre-Muxía. 

The well-established Camino routes

Lengthy-distance routes Center-distance routes Brief-distance routes
Camino Portuguese from Lisbon – 616 km Camino Portuguese from Porto – 260 km Camino Inglés – 110 km
Camino Francés – 790 km Camino Primitivo – 321 km Camino Finisterre – 118 km
Camino del Norte – 825 km
Vía de la Plata – 1000 km
Nicely-known Camino de Santiago routes organized based on their distances
A pilgrim's day on the Camino YouTube thumbnail
Our quick video is a couple of day of a pilgrim’s life on any route of the Camino de Santiago

The primary Camino routes based on their recognition*

The variety of pilgrims on totally different Camino routes based on the data from the Pilgrim’s Receptions Workplace in Santiago de Compostela. The numbers are usually not 100% correct as a result of they register solely pilgrims who acquired their Compostelas on the Pilgim’s Workplace. There are all the time individuals who don’t acquired for his or her Compostelas e.g. we acquired our first Compostelas solely after finishing our sixth Camino.

I present the numbers are for 2 totally different years 2019 and 2021 to offer you an thought about how busy the Ccamino routes have been earlier than the pandemic. In 2019 in whole 347 578 pilgrims arrived in Santiago de Compostela after finishing one of many Camino routes. In 2021 the full variety of 178 912 pilgrims arrived in Santiago which is a half of the pre-pandemic years. The recognition of the Camino routes was a little bit bit affected by the restrictions as effectively.

Camino route In 2019 In 2021
Camino Francés 54,5% – 189 937 pilgrims 54,8% – 98 090 pilgrims
Camino Portuguese (Central + Coastal routes) 27% – 94 649 pilgrims
Central route: 20,5 % – 72 357
Coastal route: 5,6% – 22 929
23,5% – 42 189 pilgrims
Central route: 19,1 % – 34 247
Coastal route: 4,4% – 7 942
Camino del Norte 5,5% – 19 019 pilgrims 5,3% – 9 595 pilgrims
Camino Ingles 4,5% – 15 780 pilgrims 6,1% – 10 980 pilgrims
Camino Primitivo 4,5% – 15 715 pilgrims 5,6% – 10 143 pilgrims
Through de la Plata 2,6% – 9 201 pilgrims 2,2% – 4 046 pilgrims
Numbers of pilgrims on totally different Camino de Santiago routes in 2019 and 2021

The Pilgrim’s Reception Workplace in Santiago doesn’t have actual numbers for the Camino Finisterre-Muxía. Folks normally stroll this route after ending one of many different (longer) Camino routes. After finishing the Camino Finisterre they don’t go to the Pilgrim’s workplace to get their Compostela.

Camino routes organized by distances

  • Through de la Plata – 1000km
  • Camino del Norte – 825km
  • Camino Francés – 790km
  • Camino Portugués from Lisbon – 616km
  • Camino Primitivo – 321km
  • Camino Portugues from Porto* – 260km (Central Route), 280km (Coastal Route)
  • Camino Inglés – 120km
  • Camino Finisterre-Muxía – 115km

*I made a decision so as to add the route from Lisbon as a separate Camino as a result of the vast majority of pilgrims begin strolling the Portuguese Method from Porto.

For those who don’t have sufficient time to finish one of many routes you’ll be able to stroll the final 100 km to Santiago on any Camino. 100 km is the required minimal for getting the Compostela.

Camino routes and surroundings

Sea, seashores, coast; Camino del Norte, Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino, Camino Finisterre-Muxía, Camino Inglés (starting).

Mountains, hills; Camino Primitivo, some components of the Camino del Norte (Asturia, Cantabria), the start of the Camino Frances.

Fields, plains; Camino Portuguese from Lisbon, the Central Route of the Camino Portuguese from Porto, Vía de la Plata, Camino Francés.

Forest; Camino Finisterre-Muxía, Camino Inglés, the Galician a part of all Camino routes.

Historic cities and cities; pilgrims can see cultural sights and monuments on all Camin routes. Camino Francés, Camino Portuguese from Porto, and Camino del Norte have extra historic cities and cities.

How to decide on the perfect route for you?

Which Camino route is the perfect? is likely one of the most continuously requested Camino questions we get. It is dependent upon a number of points.

  1. Resolve how far you wish to stroll – quick, center, or long-distance route. You all the time can begin a route not from its official starting however from the purpose on the route that fits you the perfect.
  2. Select the perfect route for the month you wish to stroll – not too scorching, not an excessive amount of rain.
  3. Decide what you wish to see; coast, seaside, forest, mountains, historic cities.
  4. Resolve if you wish to stroll a busy and really social Camino route or reasonably have a solitary stroll.

Seven well-established Camino routes

As I already talked about we’ve walked all seven “common” routes; Camino Portugués from Lisbon, Camino Primitivo, Camino del Norte, Camino Finisterre-Muxía, Camino Inglés, Camino Francés and part of Through de la Plata (214 km from Seville to Merida). We give our private opinion on these seven Camino routes. We haven’t completed the Vía de la Plata our ideas on that route are primarily based on the primary a part of it from Seville to Mérida.

A map with different Camino de Santiago routes through Portugal and Spain
Map of the principle routes of the Camino de Santiago; Camino Frances, Portuguese Camino, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Through de la Plata, Camino Ingles, and Camino Finisterre

Camino Francés (the French Method)

  • Distance – 790km
  • Days required – 28-35
  • Start line – Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (France)
  • Areas –  Navarra, La Rioja, Castilla y León, Galicia.
  • It may be mixed with – Camino Primitivo (from León), Camino Finisterre-Muxia (from Santiago de Compostela)

Primary cities and cities on the route

There are a lot of historic cities and cities on this route; Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga, Ponferrada, Melide, Santiago de Compostela . You probably have sufficient time I’d positively suggest spending a few days in a few of them there may be a lot to see there.

Greatest strolling months

This route may be walked all yr spherical, there are lots of albergues that keep open all yr. A benefit of strolling the Camino Francés offseason is that there can be not many individuals. As for the climate, Might-June and September-October are most likely the perfect strolling months. It will get highly regarded and really busy in July and August. Within the final years, September (particularly the start of the month) has develop into a very talked-about month for strolling the French Method.

We choose strolling any Camino earlier than the height season, in spring. Many albergues do the entire cleansing and sanitization earlier than the start of the brand new season which implies your probabilities of getting mattress bugs are a lot smaller than on the finish of the season.

Camino Frances route map
French Camino de Santiago from St.Jean Pied de Port, plus connection path to Oviedo (to affix the Camino Primitivo)

The French Method was established as a pilgrimage route within the 11th century. This Camino route was described intimately in Codex Calixtinus – a 12th-century “guidebook” devoted to the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Later the route misplaced its recognition till the 19th century when it was rediscovered and used as the principle pilgrimage solution to Santiago. Within the second half of the 20th century, the Camino Francés reached its recognition. These days about 186 000 pilgrims stroll this route yearly. Many individuals don’t stroll the entire route however the final 100km from Sarria.

The Camino Francés is the busiest Camino route. For many individuals the Camino de Santiago = Camino Francés. The recognition of this route was the principle reason we didn’t wish to stroll it however in the long run, I made a decision to do the French Method to have the ability to examine it with different Camino routes. I walked it in September and there have been many individuals. For 90% of all pilgrims I met, it was their first Camino de Santiago. For me, it was my seventh Camino route and overcrowdedness did hassle me a bit to start with. It is perhaps Camino to stroll for individuals who don’t wish to stroll alone however couldn’t discover anyone to stroll with. There are a lot of individuals who do the French Camino alone it’ll be simple to discover a firm.

The French Camino out of all routes has the perfect infrastructure and probably the most albergues. A few of the albergues are open all yr spherical which implies this route may be accomplished offseason, in winter months. Some individuals assume that this route is the perfect to stroll as a primary Camino de Santiago and it’s true however different routes comparable to Camino Portuguese from Porto or Camino Ingles are appropriate for first-time pilgrims as effectively. 

It’s doable to mix the French Camino with the Camino Primitivo. There’s a cut up in León; one route continues west in direction of Santiago, the second route goes north to Oviedo (the start of the Camino Primitivo) following the Camino de San Salvador. The Camino de San Salvador is about 130 km. It’s identified to be fairly difficult because of a number of steep ascents and descents on the route. There are only a few pilgrims who take this route.

Things we favored concerning the Camino Frances

  • It’s low-cost to stroll the French Camino. There are a lot of public albergues and albergues for donation alongside the route you could find one for each night time.
  • This route goes by way of some wonderful Spanish cities comparable to Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, and Astorga.
  • It’s a really social Camino each day you get to know new individuals by the tip of the stroll just about all people on the route.

What we didn’t like

It’s a really busy route within the peak season individuals begin chasing for beds to ensure they get one once they arrive. It’s not a giant downside for those who finish your day in a giant metropolis there are many hostels and resorts however for those who’re strolling to a small place I’d suggest reserving a mattress upfront.

The surroundings, the a part of strolling by way of the well-known Meseta (plains and fields with nothing) was not my favourite. It’s simply not my sort of surroundings, I choose mountains, forests or the coast. I do know some individuals actually get pleasure from this half.

Problem stage

Realizing that for many individuals it’ll be their first Camino de Santiago I’d say Four out of 5. It’s a protracted route, the space of 790km is already a giant problem. For those who stroll in summer season it will get highly regarded within the Meseta and there’s no shade to cover it’s a must to begin your day actually early at 5.30-6.00 am. There are some days with steep and lengthy ascents and descents which is usually a downside for some pilgrims.

Surroundings overview

The center part of the Camino from Burgos to Astorga is thru the Meseta with wheat fields dominating the panorama. For days you stroll by way of plains with occasional timber and villages. There are only a few rivers, lakes, or massive water our bodies on this route. My favourite half was the start of the Camino from St.Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona (over the Pyrenees) with lovely mountain views and luxurious inexperienced forest. I actually favored the a part of the route from Astorga to O Cebreiro for a similar reason; mountains, forest, small villages. General I’ve discovered the surroundings on this route a bit monotonous.

The pilgrims monument on the French Route of the Camino de Santiago
The pilgrims’ monument on the preferred Camino de Santiago route – Camino Frances

Camino Portugués (the Portuguese Method)

  • Distance – from Lisbon – 616km, from Porto (Coastal Route) – 280km, from Porto (Central Route) – 260km.
  • Days required – from Lisbon – 25-27, Coastal Route from Porto – 12-14, Central Route from Porto – 11-13.
  • Start line – Lisbon or Porto.
  • Areas – Portugal;  Estremadura, Ribatejo, Beira, Douro Litoral and Minho. Spain; Galicia.  
  • It may be mixed with – Camino Finisterre-Muxia (from Santiago).

Primary cities and cities on the route

Portugal – Lisbon, Santarém, Fátima (various route by way of Fatima), Coimbra, Porto, Barcelos (Central Route), Ponte de Lima (Central Route), Viana do Castelo (Coastal Route), Caminha (Coastal Route). Spain – Vigo (Coastal Route), Tui (Central Route), Pontevedra, Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

One of the best time for strolling this Camino route is between the tip of April and July and September-October. In July and September, it may be fairly scorching on the Lisbon-Porto stretch. August is okay for those who begin strolling from Porto. For those who stroll from Lisbon it’ll be highly regarded, the route goes by way of the fields and plains with no shade. We walked the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon in Might and had superb climate; heat, even scorching some days, no rain, the surroundings was lovely with many wildflowers and timber in blossom. 

Portuguese Camino de Santiago route map
Portuguese Camino de Santiago route map from Lisbon. Coastal and Central routes from Porto

The route was established between the 10th and the 11th centuries. It follows the previous Roman roads from Portugal to Northern Spain. Between the 12th and the 14th centuries, St.James was a patron saint of Portugal. These instances many church buildings have been inbuilt his title and lots of pilgrims from Portugal walked to Santiago de Compostela. These days the Portuguese Method is the second hottest Camino de Santiago route.   

The Camino Portuguese begins from the Sé Cathedral in Lisbon however as I already talked about most individuals stroll from Porto. We walked from Lisbon and that a part of the Camino positively has much less infrastructure; the route is marked effectively however there are usually not many albergues (particularly public) on the stretch between Lisbon and Porto which implies you find yourself paying extra for lodging. It’s doable to mix the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon with the Camino de Fátima. Each routes go the identical means from Lisbon until Santarem the place they cut up. From Fátima it’s one other two days to get again to the principle Camino route. The Fatima route is about 20km longer. For those who determine to stroll by way of Fátima you’ll stroll for Four days not on the principle Portuguese Camino route.

From Porto, there are two routes; the Central (authentic) route and the Coastal (new) route. Each routes merge in Redondela, each have albergues and route markers. The Coastal Route is 280km, the Central Route – 260km. Most pilgrims stroll the Central Route, solely about 20% of people that stroll the Portuguese Camino comply with the Coastal Method. Its recognition grows yearly. After Porto on the Central Route you received’t see the ocean, the Coastal Route goes alongside the coast all the best way until Redondela.

There may be one other route possibility on the Portuguese Camino – the Religious Method (Variante Espiritual). From Pontevedra, it goes in direction of the coast and joins once more with the principle Portuguese route in Padrón. This fashion is 1 day longer than the usual route, it entails two strolling days and someday on a ship.

Things we favored concerning the Portuguese Camino

  • We walked in spring the fields have been lined in flowers
  • Lovely sea surroundings on the Coastal Route
  • Fascinating historic cities on the Central Route
  • Not too many individuals (only a few from Lisbon to Porto)

What we didn’t like

  • Our primary dislike is for the Lisbon-Porto half; not sufficient albergues on the route, lengthy distances between them.

Problem stage 

Four out of 5 for the route from Lisbon to Porto because of lengthy stretches by way of nothing and lengthy distances between albergues. Three out of 5 for the half from Porto to Santiago, simple stroll with no hills or mountains to beat, many albergues and services on the best way, comparatively quick distance – 260-280km. The primary problem for us right here was the strolling floor, strolling on asphalt and cobblestones, each are exhausting in your ft if it wasn’t for that we’d price it as a simple 2 out of 5.

Surroundings overview

Countryside with many crop fields and vineyards and a few historic cities on the half between Lisbon and Porto, the Central Route from Porto has the same surroundings. The Coastal Route from Porto is all concerning the sea; seashores, coast, fishermen’s villages, and so forth.

Scenery on the Coastal Portuguese Camino route
The surroundings on the primary day of the Portuguese Camino from Porto following the Senda Litoral

Camino del Norte (the Northern Method)

  • Distance – 825km
  • Days required – 30-35
  • Start line – Irún
  • Areas; the Basque Nation, Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia
  • It may be mixed with – Camino Primitivo (from Gijon) and Camino Finisterre-Muxia from Santiago.

Primary cities and cities on the route

San Sebastián, Guernica, Bilbao, Portugalete, Castro Urdiales, Santander, Santillana del Mar, Comillas, Llanes, Gijón, Avilés, Ribadeo (Coastal Route), Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

June to September is an efficient time for this route, July and August is the busiest time, many vacationers in seaside cities, and probably the most pilgrims on the Camino however a benefit of strolling throughout these two months is that each one public albergues are open for that interval. We walked this route in October and more often than not had superb climate; heat and dry.

Camino del Norte route map
Camino del Norte route map from Irun to Santiago de Compostela. Plus cut up to Oviedo the place it joins with the Primitive Method

The Camino del Norte is likely one of the oldest Camino routes, it was a preferred route within the Center centuries through the Moorish invasion as different routes, situated extra to the south, weren’t secure as a result of Moorish troops progressing to the north of Spain. These days this route is gaining recognition as various to the overcrowded Camino Francés.

The Northern Method is the second-longest route on this group. It’s our favourite route. We’re massive followers of the ocean and actually loved the stroll, particularly the primary half of it by way of the Basque Nation and Cantabria. The route presents spectacular coastal surroundings, we discovered it’s a nice various to the French Method; the space is about the identical, 800km vs 825km, the route is much less crowded, it follows the coast (the French Method goes all the best way inland), goes by way of historic cities and cities with many fascinating sights.

Camino del Norte is taken into account to be harder than Camino Frances due to a number of ascents and descents on the best way however it doesn’t have any mountain passes just like the French route. The route is well-marked all the best way and has a number of various route splits.

It’s doable to mix Camino del Norte with Camino Primitivo, the route splits simply earlier than Gijón, it’s two strolling days to Oviedo the place the Primitive Camino begins. The path to Oviedo is well-marked and has albergues for pilgrims like some other Camino. The Camino del Norte merges with the Camino Frances in Arzua, 40km earlier than Santiago de Compostela.

Things we like concerning the Camino del Norte

  • Lovely sea surroundings
  • Nice meals (particularly within the Basque Nation)
  • A number of fascinating historic cities and cities
  • Not too many pilgrims

What we disliked

  • Many public albergues within the Basque Nation are opened solely in July and August, exterior this era pilgrims need to pay extra and keep in non-public albergues.

Problem stage

Four out of 5; lengthy route, many ascends and descends on the best way, a few phases with lengthy distances between cities, albergues, locations to cease for meals, and so forth.

Surroundings overview

About 60% of the stroll is alongside the coast; lovely sea surroundings, seashores, inexperienced hills, cozy cities, and a little bit little bit of forest, largely in Galicia. Strolling this route we frequently regretted not having sufficient time to discover some components of the Camino, we’d like to remain longer than only one night time in a number of locations on the best way, a lot of them are actually on our bucket record to go to.

A beautiful coastal scenery in Asturias on the Camino del Norte route
The gorgeous surroundings on the Camino del Norte, some of the lovely Camino de Santiago routes

Camino Primitivo (the Authentic Method)

  • Distance – 321km
  • Days required – 12-15
  • Start line – Oviedo
  • Areas – Asturias, Galicia
  • It may be mixed with – Camino Finisterre-Muxia (from Santiago)

Primary cities and cities on the route

There are only a few cities and large cities on this Camino; Oviedo, Lugo, Melide, Santiago de Compostela

Greatest strolling months

June – August are the warmest months with the least rainfalls however as a result of a lot of the route goes over the mountains the climate there may be fairly unpredictable, we walked this Camino in June and acquired plenty of rain. 

The Camino Primitivo or the Authentic Method was the primary Camino ever walked, based on the historic manuscripts Spanish king Alfonso II walked from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela within the ninth century.

Camino Primitivo de Santiago route map
The Primitive Method of Camino de Santiago route map.

It’s usually named the hardest Camino because of the truth that the route goes by way of the mountains in Asturias. It’s partly true the Authentic Method does have many ascends and descends (some are fairly lengthy and steep) however the whole distance of the route is sort of quick, for us, the Northern Method was tougher. The Primitive Method might be the closest to the wild hike Camino, more often than not you stroll on the strolling path by way of the forest or over the mountains, previous small villages and cities (however not as many as on the opposite routes). There may be not a lot strolling on the street or on the asphalt which is nice as a result of the asphalt could be very exhausting in your ft however you probably have any knee points it is perhaps tough to finish this route because of many ups and downs.

Camino Primitivo may be walked as part of Camino Francés or Camino del Norte each have connecting routes to Oviedo. This route merges with the Camino Frances in Melide, 52km earlier than Santiago.

Things we favored concerning the Camino Primitivo

  • “Wild Camino” with plenty of strolling on the footpath, trails, by way of distant areas, only a few cities, no industrial areas and busy roads on the best way.
  • Public albergues that may be discovered on the finish of each strolling stage, you’ll be able to simply full the entire route staying solely in public albergues, which makes the stroll cheaper.
  • The Camino goes by way of off the crushed observe areas with few vacationers moreover the pilgrims.
  • Locals are very pleasant and hospitable they’re not sick of hundreds of vacationers passing by each day.

What we disliked

  • We have been very unfortunate with the climate even supposing we walked the Camino in summer season (June), we had plenty of rain and dirt on the paths it was our solely dislike. In any other case, it’s an awesome Camino to stroll with good services and gorgeous surroundings.  

Problem stage 

Four out of 5, many steep ascends and descends however the route is comparatively quick in addition to the strolling phases.

Surroundings overview

Lovely mountain and forest surroundings, the path goes by way of some distant areas of Asturias, with no cities or massive cities on the best way.

Embalse de Salime, a stunning emerald lake on the Camino Primitivo
Embalse de Salime, one of many highlights of the Camino Primitivo, the primary Camino de Santiago route

Camino Inglés (the English Method)

  • Distance – 116 km from Ferrol, 74 km from A Coruña
  • Days required – 4-6
  • Start line – Ferrol or A Coruña
  • Areas – Galicia
  • It may be mixed with – Camino Finisterre-Muxia (from Santiago)

Primary cities and cities on the route

A Coruña or Ferrol (relying on the place you begin) and Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

June – September, the start of October, the second half of Might, although in our experience it could possibly rain any time in Galicia.

English Way of Camino de Santiago route map
The English Camino de Santiago route map from A Coruna/Ferrol.

The historical past of this route goes again to the 12th century when pilgrims from England and a few Northern European international locations arrived in A Coruña by boat and continued on foot to Santiago de Compostela. These days most pilgrims begin in Ferrol, the principle reason is the space, from A Coruña to Santiago is barely 74 km (in comparison with 116 km from Ferrol) which is 26 km too quick to have the ability to get the Compostela – a certificates {that a} pilgrim can get in Santiago after strolling greater than 100 km to Santiago de Compostela on any Camino route.

The Camino Inglés might be the perfect Camino for individuals who simply wish to get a style of the stroll with out embracing a protracted journey. It’s simple to mix this route with a traditional (non-walking) seaside or sightseeing vacation and discover out if the Camino is your cup of tea or not, after finishing the English Method you’ll be able to determine if you wish to spend your subsequent vacation strolling. There are not any massive cities or cities on the best way extra of countryside surroundings and forest – conventional Galician panorama.

We haven’t walked from A Coruña however some sources say the route from there may be not marked very effectively. Word! For those who begin strolling from A Coruña you received’t have the ability to get the Compostela for this Camino as a result of the full distance is underneath 100 km. The Camino from Ferrol has correct marking and good infrastructure. 

Things we favored concerning the Camino Ingles

  • A brief Camino route, it may be executed as part of a vacation or over a protracted weekend.
  • The English Method is an ideal possibility for first-time pilgrims, it provides a good suggestion about strolling the Camino. After finishing it you’ll be able to determine whether or not you prefer it or not earlier than planning to stroll one of many longer routes.
  • It’s a quiet route with not too many individuals.
  • There are not any massive cities or industrial areas on the best way extra of the countryside surroundings and forest.

What we disliked

  • The primary dislike was the strolling floor on this route, plenty of strolling on asphalt.

Problem stage

Although the Camino Inglés is a brief route I’d give it Three out of 5 because of a number of ascents and descents on the best way.

Surroundings overview

A typical Galician surroundings, a combination of pasture fields and luxurious inexperienced forest with a little bit little bit of sea surroundings and a few seashores to start with. Some components e.g. on the final day to Santiago have been really lovely.

Pontedeume, a beach town on the English Way of Santiago
Pontedeume, a small city on the Camino Ingles, the shortest Camino de Santiago route

Through de la Plata (the Silver Route)

  • Distance – 1000 km
  • Days required – 40-50
  • Start line – Seville
  • Areas – Andalucía, Extremadura, Castilla y León, Galicia
  • It may be mixed with – the Camino Frances (from Astorga)

Primary cities and cities on the route

Regardless of the size there are usually not many massive cities and cities on this route; Seville, Itálica, Mérida, Cáceres, Salamanca, Zamora, Ourense, Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

April-Might, when it’s heat however not too scorching but. In autumn it actually cools down solely in October. Strolling Through de la Plata between July and September will not be a good suggestion, the temperature in Andalucía and Extremadura in August reaches 40C°-45C°, it’s very dry and scorching.

Via de la Plata, the longest Camino de Santiago route
Through de la Plata route map. The longest well-established Camino de Santiago route

The Through de la Plata or the Silver Method follows an previous Roman street that headed to the mines in Northern Spain. Later the route was used for a lot of different functions e.g. transferring inventory from south to north in summer season, buying and selling, migratory, and so forth. It was used as a pilgrimage path to Santiago between the 10th and the 12th centuries, later only a few pilgrims walked it. These days the route has good services and sufficient infrastructure although it’s nonetheless walked by solely 3% of pilgrims yearly.

This route will not be advisable to stroll as the primary Camino as a result of distance, fewer services on the best way, lengthy phases. For planning this stroll it’s essential to remember seasons. It’s very essential to hold sufficient water and use solar safety (sunscreen and hat) on Through de la Plata. By now we’ve walked solely 214 km on this route from Seville to Mérida, we’re planning to complete this Camino in 2021.  

The route splits after Zamora; one goes to Astorga the place it merges with the French Camino one other continues to Santiago by way of Ourense (this half is also called Camino Sanabrés).

Things we favored concerning the Through de la Plata

  • Strolling floor, in comparison with another routes, on the Through de la Plata there may be not a lot asphalt or street strolling.
  • Some spectacular Roman ruins on the route, e.g. Italica, Mérida, and so forth.
  • Although the cities on the route are far aside in each place we stopped we might discover an ATM and a store/grocery store.
  • No strolling by way of industrial or city areas of huge cities, more often than not very peaceable countryside and fields.

What we disliked

  • Lengthy phases with nothing in between, no cities or villages, no even locations to refill water, you stroll common 20-25 km by way of the fields with nowhere to cease.
  • Public albergues are dearer on the Silver Route in comparison with the opposite Caminos, common value 10€ per individual vs ordinary 6€-7€.

Problem stage

I’d say 5 out of 5, a really lengthy route mixed with lengthy phases and little infrastructure in between, plus climate situations for those who stroll this Camino in summer season it’s extremely scorching.

Surroundings overview

Numerous strolling by way of the fields, previous vineyards and olive tree plantations with some fascinating Roman ruins on the best way. In spring the realm is roofed in wildflowers.

A typical scenery on the Via de la Plata; fields, gravel road, wildflowers
Spring is the perfect time for strolling the Through de la Plata, one of many longest Camino routes

Camino Finisterre-Muxía

  • Distance – Santiago-Finisterre – 89km, Santiago-Muxía – 86km, Santiago-Muxía-Finisterre – 115km.
  • Days required – 3-5
  • Start line – Santiago de Compostela.
  • Ending level – Finisterre or Muxía
  • Areas – Galicia
  • It may be walked as an extension after finishing some other Camin route

Primary cities and cities on the Camino route

There are not any cities between the start and the tip of the Camino; Santiago de Compostela, Finisterre and/or Muxía

Greatest strolling months

June to September. We walked this Camino in November and acquired plenty of rain and stormy wind on the best way to Finisterre.

Camino Finisterre from Santiago de Compostela
Camino Finisterre-Muxia route map.

The title Finisterre comes from the Latin “finis terrae” which implies “finish of the earth”, the origin of pilgrimage to Cape Finisterre goes again to pre-Christian instances when individuals believed it was the sting of the world.

The Camino Finisterre is normally walked as an extension after finishing one of many different Camino routes however it may be walked as a separate Camino as effectively. It may be possibility for individuals who are usually not certain if they need/will have the ability to stroll an extended route of the Camino de Santiago, some type of Camino take a look at drive. The Camino Finisterre-Muxía is the one Camino de Santiago route that begins in Santiago de Compostela. There are two ending factors; Finisterre and Muxía, each are small sea cities at two capes. It’s doable to stroll to each of them the Camino route connects two cities, it’s probably the most scenic a part of the route by the best way. After finishing this Camino you may get the Finisterrana and Muxiana certificates. There are a lot of albergues, eating places, and cafes on the route, even in peak season you received’t have an issue discovering a spot to sleep.  

Things we favored concerning the Camino Finisterre

  • Lovely sea surroundings at Finisterre and Muxía
  • Relaxed vibe perhaps it feels that means as a result of most individuals who stroll this route have already completed one Camino and are fairly chilled.

What we disliked

  • Our primary dislike was an excessive amount of rain and robust wind we acquired on the route however I have to say we walked it in November, not the perfect time of the yr.
  • Only a few supermarkets and outlets on the best way which makes it tough to make your personal meals.

Problem stage

2 out of 5 – quick route, frequent locations to cease for meals, many albergues, well-marked, some ups and downs on the best way, one fairly steep and lengthy ascent on the primary day (if it wasn’t for that I’d give it 1 out of 5).

Surroundings overview

Forest and fields a lot of the means, lovely sea views on the stretch between Finisterre and Muxía and at each capes.

The Muxia lighthouse, the end of the Camino route
A lighthouse at Muxia, one of many ending factors of the Camino Finisterre-Muxia, a pilgrimage to the tip of the world

Lesser-known Camino de Santiago routes

We haven’t walked any of the next routes however contemplating strolling them sooner or later. On the Camino Frances, I met a few pilgrims that рфв began their Camino in Le Puy, France. Now the Camino de Le Puy is excessive on my record.

Camino de Le Puy

  • Distance – 730km
  • Days required – 28-32
  • Start line – Le Puy, France
  • Ending level – St.Jean Pied de Port from the place the route continues on the Camino Frances.

Primary cities and cities

To be sincere I’m not a giant skilled on France. In contrast to Spain that I’ve traveled extensively in France, I’ve been solely to Paris. It’s tough to guage which cities on this route are essential however I’ll strive. The Camino goes by way of Le Puy, Figeac, Moissac  Conques, Cahors.

Greatest strolling months

Summer time months, June to August is the perfect time for strolling this Camino although it could possibly get busy it’s higher to e book lodging upfront. Might and September are good months for strolling; the climate is sweet and there are fewer individuals on the route.

This Camino is the preferred pilgrimage route in France. The route is well-marked all the best way from Le Puy to St.Jean Pied de Port. From what I’ve heard from different pilgrims there are fewer public albergues and lodging is total dearer than on the Camino routes in Spain. The start and the tip of the route supply lovely mountainous surroundings. The center half is thru the fields and hills. A lot of the pilgrims who stroll this route are French-speaking. It’ll assist rather a lot for those who can converse some primary French. The language barrier is likely one of the causes I haven’t walked in France that a lot. I attempt to steak to Spain and Portugal the place I can perceive locals and speak to them.

Off the crushed observe Camino routes in Spain

Camino de Santiago lesser-known routes
Lesser-known Camino de Santiago Routes; Camino de Madrid, Camino Catalán, Camino Mozárabe, Camino de Levante, Camino de Invierno, Camino de Gran Canaria. Plus Camino Francés and Through de la Plata.

Camino de Madrid

  • Distance – 685km; from Madrid to Sahagún (the place it joins with the Camino Francés) – 321km, from Sahagún to Santiago de Compostela (on the French Camino) – 364km
  • Days required – 26-30 days; 12-14 days from Madrid to Sahagún and 14-16 days from Sahagún to Santiago de Compostela.
  • Start line – Madrid
  • Areas – Comunidad Madrid, Castilla y León, Galicia

Primary cities and cities

Madrid, Segovia, Valladolid (quick detour from the Camino), León, Astorga, Ponferrada, Melide, Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

The second half of April – starting of June and September-October, although in September it may be nonetheless fairly scorching round Madrid. Summer time months July and August are usually not the perfect time to stroll this Camino, it will get scorching, between 35C° and 40C°.

Camino de Madrid is a comparatively new Camino route, it begins in Madrid and goes up north to Sahagún the place it joins with Camino Francés. In accordance with the guidebooks and web sites on this route, there may be little or no strolling on the street or on the asphalt, largely strolling trails. Only a few pilgrims stroll this Camino, on the half Madrid – Sahagún you received’t see many individuals however from Sahagún the place it joins with the French Method there can be many pilgrims. Regardless of the small variety of pilgrims on this route, there are a number of municipal and personal albergues and hostels on the best way, the route is well-marked. 

Camino Catalán

  • Distance – about 1147km (there are a number of route choices from Montserrat, all roughly the identical distance); 471km from Montserrat to Puente la Reina (joins with Camino Frances), from Puente la Reina to Santiago de Compostela (on the French Method) – 676km.
  • Days required – 45-47 days; 17-20 days from Montserrat to Puente la Reina, 26-29 days from Puente la Reina to Santiago de Compostela. 
  • Start line – Montserrat monastery (one of many beginning factors)
  • Areas – Catalonia, Aragon, Navarra, La Rioja, Castilla y León, Galicia.

Primary cities and cities

Zaragoza (Camino del Ebro), Huesca, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga, Ponferrada, Melide, Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

The second half of April – June, and September-October – heat however not too scorching, not a lot rain.

The Camino Catalán just like the Camino de Madrid joins the French Camino after about two weeks and continues to Santiago following the preferred Camino route. On the half from Barcelona, you will note only a few individuals however as soon as you might be on the Camino Frances there can be many pilgrims.

This Camino route has a number of choices, the principle cut up is at Tarrega (earlier than Lleida); one route goes by way of Huesca to Santa Cilia de Jaca the place it joins the Camino Aragonés – another route of the French Camino which fits to Puente la Reina the place it merges with the principle Camino Francés route. One other route goes previous Lleida to Fuentes de Ebro the place it joins the Camino del Ebro, the route continues previous Zaragoza to Logroño the place it joins the French Method. Each routes have markers, there are not any/only a few conventional albergues on the Camino Catalán a part of the route however there are a number of lodging choices on the best way that supply reductions for pilgrims. 

Montserrat monastery, Camino Catalán of Santiago
Montserrat monastery – the start of the Camino Catalán, off the crushed route of Camino de Santiago

Camino Mozárabe

  • Distance – 1200km from Granada to Santiago, 1400km from Almería to Santiago, 406km from Granada to Mérida (the place it joins with Through de la Plata), 600km from Almería to Mérida, 800km from Mérida to Santiago de Compostela.
  • Days required – from Granada to Mérida – 15-17 days (plus 30-33 days to Santiago), from Almería to Mérida – 23-25 days (plus 30-33 days to Santiago).
  • Start line – Almería or Granada
  • Areas – Andalucía, Extremadura, Castilla y León, Galicia

Primary cities and cities

Almería, Granadana, Córdoba, Mérida, Cáceres, Salamanca, Zamora, Ourense, Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

Spring (April-June) and fall (finish of September-October).

This route was established (marked) as an official Camino route solely in 1999, it’s a brand new Camino with nearly no infrastructure for pilgrims, no albergues, solely pensions and resorts, pilgrims can in a single day in sports activities complexes, colleges, church buildings and so forth. like within the old-times. It’s not a simple route with lengthy stretches between cities, only a few individuals, sleeping association varies from each day from a resort room to a mattress in a sports activities corridor. The route is well-marked. Camino Mozárabe will not be advisable to stroll for a first-time pilgrim. 

Camino de Levante

  • Distance – 1300km from Valencia to Santiago, 900km from Valencia to Zamora (the place it joins with Through de la Plata), 400km from Zamora to Santiago.
  • Days required – 50-55 days; 35-38 days from Valencia to Zamora, 15-17 days from Zamora to Santiago.
  • Start line – Valencia or Alicante
  • Areas – Comunidad Valencia, Castilla La Mancha, Comunidad Madrid, Castilla y León, Galicia

Primary cities and cities

Valencia/Alicante, Albacete, Toledo, Ávila, Zamora, Ourense, Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

The second half of April-June and mid-September-October, like with Through de la Plata and Camino Mozárabe it’s not advisable to stroll it throughout July, August, and the start of September.

Camino de Levante is one other very off-the-beaten-path Camino route with a handful of pilgrims yearly, lengthy solitary stretches by way of nothing, little infrastructure, and no albergues, solely pensions and hostels. It’s marked inferior to the opposite Caminos however the route is indicated more often than not. Not advisable to stroll as a primary Camino. For this Camino, it’s fairly essential to talk and perceive some Spanish a lot of the route goes by way of non-touristy components of Spain.

City of Arts and Science, Valencia, Camino de Levante, Camino de Santiago routes
Metropolis of Arts and Science, Valencia, the start of the Camino de Levante

Camino de Invierno (the Winter Method)

  • Distance – 275km
  • Days required – 10-13
  • Start line – Ponferrada
  • Areas – Galicia

Primary cities and cities

Ponferrada, Chantada, Santiago de Compostela.

Greatest strolling months

It was once a winter route however the perfect time to stroll it’s really spring – April-June and autumn – September-October. In July and August, it will get fairly scorching within the areas.

Camino de Invierno was utilized by pilgrims who walked the French Method in winter to flee snow areas in O Cebreiro. The route was acknowledged because the official Camino route solely in 2015. Now it’s doable to get the Compostela certificates after finishing this route like some other Camino. The route is marked however inferior to different Camino routes, there are lots of lodging choices like hostels and resorts however no albergues (just one non-public albergue on the route). This Camino may be walked as a separate route or mixed with the Camino Francés as a substitute and fewer crowded path to Santiago.

Plaza Obradoiro and the Cathedral at sunset
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the tip of all Camino de Santiago routes

Camino de Gran Canaria

  • Distance – 73km
  • Days required – 3-Four days
  • Start line – Playa del Inglés, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
  • Areas – the Canary Islands

Greatest strolling months

the local weather of the Canary Islands could be very gentle, even in winter it’s not chilly and it doesn’t rain rather a lot, this route may be walked all yr spherical however the perfect months are April-June and September-October, throughout peak season July and August some a part of the route is perhaps fairly busy.

Camino de Gran Canaria is the one Camino that doesn’t end in Santiago de Compostela (besides Camino Finisterre which begins in Santiago). In 1965 Pope John XXIII gave to the town of Galdar (the tip of the route) a papal bull to have fun the Jacobean Holy Yr. The bull provides to Galdar the identical privileges as Santiago de Compostela because of this regardless of the Camino de Gran Canaria doesn’t begin/finish in Santiago it’s thought-about to be one of many Camino de Santiago routes. It runs throughout the island and connects two island’s main church buildings devoted to Saint James. This Camino is a good way to numerous seaside holidays on the Canary Islands with some mountain climbing. 

Different Camino de Santiago routes

Camino Aragonés (the Aragonese Method) – begins on the go of Somport within the Pyrenees, on the Spanish-French border, goes by way of Aragón for 170km until the place it joins Camino Francés at Puente la Reina. Complete distance to Santiago 853km.

Camino del Ébro – begins in Tortosa, Catalonia, 15km away from the Mediterranean coast, goes for 338km previous Zaragoza and several other different cities until Logroño the place it joins the French Method. The route is just like Camino Catalán.

Camino de la Lana (the Wool Route) – it begins in Alicante, goes by way of Central Spain for 700km until Burgos the place it joins the French Route. Complete distance to Santiago – 1200km. After the primary 100km, the route intersects with Camino de Levante.

There are extra routes from totally different locations in Spain, France, and different European international locations however they’ve little to no infrastructure. Spanish routes normally after a few days or per week merge with different well-established Camino routes. There are a number of Camino de Santiago routes in France; the Paris and Excursions Method, the Vézelay Route, the Le Puy Route, the Arles Method. 

FAQ about Camino routes

What number of Camino de Santiago routes are?

There are a lot of routes from totally different cities and cities in Europe (Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy and so forth.). There are seven well-established Camino routes with good infrastructure and route marking and lots of routes which might be roughly marked however don’t have many albergues for pilgrims you might need to remain in a resort, hostels and so forth.

Which Camino is the perfect for a first-time pilgrim?

Any established Camino route with good infrastructure. I wouldn’t suggest strolling Through de la Plata as the primary Camino however some other route is okay. For those who simply wish to strive it go for shorter routes e.g. Camino Inglés, Camino Finisterre, Camino Portugues from Porto.

Which Camino is the perfect to stroll with a baby?

Out of 4 we’ve walked I’d say the Portuguese Camino from Porto is the perfect for a household stroll; it’s comparatively quick, has good infrastructure, doesn’t contain plenty of strolling on the street, distances between cities are usually not lengthy, has good transport system (you all the time can catch a bus or prepare if wanted). If we ever determine to stroll the Camino with a baby it’ll be Camino Portugues.

Camino de Santiago books and guidebooks

Camino de Santiago planning sources

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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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