Travel Guide

Many routes of the Camino de Santiago – select the fitting one

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The Camino de Santiago just isn’t a single route like many individuals suppose referring to the favored Camino Frances. It’s a community of pilgrimage routes that begin in other places throughout Europe and end in Santiago de Compostela. Actually, you can begin strolling to Santiago from anyplace in Europe. The principle downside of strolling a non-established route is that there will probably be much less or no infrastructure for pilgrims (route marking, albergues, and many others.). Will probably be tougher and difficult to stroll. The established routes are properly 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 way in which to Santiago. Strolling one of many well-established routes doesn’t essentially imply that there will probably be many individuals, you’ll be able to select one of many less-popular Caminos and benefit from the tranquility of the stroll. 

On this put up, we focus on seven predominant 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.

Camino de Santiago routes

Effectively-established Camino routes

  1. Camino Francés
  2. Camino Portugués
  3. Camino del Norte
  4. Camino Primitivo
  5. Camino Inglés
  6. Vía de la Plata
  7. Camino Finisterre-Muxía

Lesser-known Camino routes

  1. Camino de Madrid
  2. Camino Catalán
  3. Camino Mozárabe
  4. Camino de Levante
  5. Camino de Invierno
  6. Camino de Gran Canaria

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

The well-established Camino routes

Lengthy-distance routes

1. Camino Portugués from Lisbon – 616km

2. Camino Francés – 790km

3. Camino del Norte – 825km

4. Vía de la Plata – 1000km

Center-distance routes

1. Camino Portugués from Porto – 260km

2. Camino Primitivo – 321km

Brief-distance routes

1. Camino Inglés – 110km

2. Camino Finisterre – 118km

The principle Camino routes organized by their reputation*

*In keeping with the knowledge for 2019 from the Pilgrim’s Workplace in Santiago

  • Camino Francés  – walked by 186 199 pilgrims (56,8% of all pilgrims who arrived in Santiago that 12 months)
  • Camino Portuguese  (Coastal and Central routes) – 81 663 pilgrims (25%)
  • Camino Finisterre-Muxía – 25 000 pilgrims**
  • Camino del Norte  – 19 040 pilgrims (5,8%)
  • Camino Primitivo  – 15 038 pilgrims (4,6%)
  • Camino Inglés  – 14 150 pilgrims (4,3%)
  • Vía de la Plata  – 9 127 pilgrims (2,8%)

**Observe! The Pilgrim’s Reception Workplace in Santiago doesn’t have numbers for the Camino Finisterre-Muxía. Individuals who stroll this route don’t report back to the Workplace, they stroll this route after finishing one of many different (longer) Camino routes. In keeping with the Public albergue in Finisterre (that grants Finisterranas, a certificates for finishing the Camino Finisterre), in 2019 over 25 000 pilgrims arrived in Finisterre. Nearly all of folks stroll this route after finishing one of many longer Camino de Santiago routes.

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 Approach from Porto.

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 elements 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 points of interest 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 very best Camino for you?

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

Why is it good to stroll a unique (different) Camino route?

Doing any out of doors exercise with 1000’s of different folks takes away an enormous adventurous a part of it (a minimum of for us). 

The extra pilgrims stroll off the crushed path Camino routes the higher it’s for the local people. It helps to distribute tourism earnings all through the nation. It additionally encourages individuals who stay in much less touristy areas to turn out to be entrepreneurs; open an albergue, a hostel, a restaurant, a laundry, and many others. Because of this, it provides folks a chance to earn cash within the place they stay as an alternative of shifting to an even bigger metropolis looking for a job. It’s fairly an enormous downside in Spain, many villages and small cities are mainly deserted as a result of individuals are compelled to maneuver to greater locations resulting from an absence of jobs. 

You get to know locations that you’d by no means consider going to otherwise you didn’t even know existed, a few of these locations are superb.  

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 based mostly on the primary a part of it from Seville to Mérida.

Main routes of the Camino de Santiago
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 Approach)

  • 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)

Important cities and cities

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

Finest strolling months

This route may be walked all 12 months spherical, there are various albergues that keep open all 12 months. A benefit of strolling the Camino Francés offseason is that there will probably be not many individuals. As for the climate, Might-June and September-October are most likely the very best strolling months. It will get extremely popular and really busy in July and August. Within the final years, September (particularly the start of the month) has turn out to be a very fashionable month for strolling the French Approach.

We favor 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 hitch the Camino Primitivo)

The French Approach was established as a pilgrimage route within the 11th century. The route was described intimately in Codex Calixtinus – a 12th-century “guidebook” devoted to the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Later the route misplaced its reputation till the 19th century when it was rediscovered and used as the principle pilgrimage option to Santiago. Solely within the second half of the 20th century, the Camino Francés gained its actual reputation. 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 need to stroll it however ultimately, I made a decision to do the French Approach to have the ability to evaluate 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 at first. It could be a great Camino to stroll for individuals who don’t need to stroll alone however couldn’t discover anyone to stroll with. There are various individuals who do the French Camino alone it’ll be straightforward to discover a firm.

The French Camino out of all routes has the very best infrastructure and probably the most albergues. A few of the albergues are open all 12 months spherical which implies this route may be accomplished offseason, in winter months. Some folks suppose that this route is the very best 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-times newbies as properly. 

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

Likes

  • It’s low cost to stroll the French Camino. There are various public albergues and albergues for donation alongside the route you will discover one for each evening.
  • This route goes by some superb Spanish cities comparable to Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, and Astorga.
  • It’s a really social Camino on daily basis you get to know new folks by the top of the stroll just about all people on the route.

Dislikes

It’s a really busy route within the peak season folks begin chasing for beds to ensure they get one after they arrive. It’s not an enormous downside in case you finish your day in an enormous metropolis there are many hostels and lodges however in case you’re strolling to a small place I’d suggest reserving a mattress prematurely.

The surroundings, the a part of strolling by the well-known Meseta (plains and fields with nothing) was not my favourite. It’s simply not my type of surroundings, I favor mountains, forest or coast. I do know some folks actually take pleasure in this half.

Issue degree

Figuring out 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 gap of 790km is already an enormous problem. When you stroll in summer season it will get extremely popular within the Meseta and there’s no shade to cover you need to begin your day actually early at 5.30-6.00am. 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 plains with occasional timber and villages. There are only a few rivers, lakes, or any large 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 stunning mountain views and plush inexperienced forest. I actually appreciated the a part of the route from Astorga to O Cebreiro for a similar reason; mountains, forest, small villages. Total 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 Approach)

  • 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).

Important cities and cities

Portugal – Lisbon, Santarém, Fátima (different route by 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.

Finest strolling months

Between the top of April and July, and September-October. In July and September, it may be fairly scorching on the Lisbon-Porto stretch. August is okay in case you begin strolling from Porto. When you stroll from Lisbon it’ll be extremely popular, the route goes by 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 stunning 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 occasions many church buildings have been in-built his title and lots of pilgrims from Portugal walked to Santiago de Compostela. These days the Portuguese Approach is the second hottest Camino de Santiago route.   

Camino Portugués begins from 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 properly however there should not many albergues (particularly public) on the stretch between Lisbon and Porto which implies you find yourself paying extra for lodging. It’s attainable to mix the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon with the Camino de Fátima. Each routes go the identical approach 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. When you determine to stroll by Fátima you’ll stroll for Four days not on the principle Portuguese Camino route.

From Porto, there are two routes; the Central (unique) 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 Approach. Its reputation grows yearly. After Porto on the Central Route you received’t see the ocean, the Coastal Route goes alongside the coast all the way in which until Redondela.

There’s one other route choice on the Portuguese Camino – Sendero Litoral (the Literal Approach). From Pontevedra, it goes in direction of the ocean and joins once more with the principle Camino route in Padrón. This fashion is 1 day longer than the unique route, it includes two strolling days and in the future on a ship.

Likes

  • We walked in spring the fields have been coated 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)

Dislikes

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

Issue degree 

Four out of 5 for the route from Lisbon to Porto resulting from lengthy stretches by nothing and lengthy distances between albergues. Three out of 5 for the half from Porto to Santiago, straightforward stroll with no hills or mountains to overcome, many albergues and amenities on the way in which, comparatively brief distance – 260-280km. The principle problem for us right here was the strolling floor, strolling on asphalt and cobblestones, each are arduous in your toes if it wasn’t for that we’d price is as a straightforward 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 in regards to the sea; seashores, coast, fishermen villages and many others.

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

Camino del Norte (the Northern Approach)

  • 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.

Important cities and cities

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

Finest 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 Approach

Camino del Norte is without doubt one of the oldest Camino routes, it was a preferred route within the Center centuries throughout the Moorish invasion as different routes, situated extra to the south, weren’t protected as a result of Moorish troops progressing to the north of Spain. These days this route is gaining reputation as a great different to the overcrowded Camino Francés.

The Northern Approach is the second-longest route on this group and our longest Camino thus far. We’re large followers of the ocean and actually loved the stroll, particularly the primary half of it by the Basque Nation and Cantabria. The route provides spectacular coastal surroundings, we discovered it’s a nice different to the French Approach; the gap is about the identical, 800km vs 825km, the route is much less crowded, it follows the coast (the French Approach goes all the way in which inland), goes by historic cities and cities with many fascinating sights. Camino del Norte is taken into account to be more durable than Camino Frances due to a number of ascents and descents on the way in which but it surely doesn’t have any mountain passes just like the French route. The route is well-marked all the way in which and has a number of different route splits.

It’s attainable 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 every other Camino. The Camino del Norte merges with the Camino Frances in Arzua, 40km earlier than Santiago de Compostela.

Likes

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

Dislikes

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

Issue degree

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

Surroundings overview

About 60% of the stroll is alongside the coast; stunning sea surroundings, seashores, inexperienced hills, cozy cities, and just a little little bit of forest, principally in Galicia. Strolling this route we frequently regretted not having sufficient time to discover some elements of the Camino, we’d like to remain longer than only one evening in a number of locations on the way in which, lots of them at the moment are on our bucket listing to go to.

A beautiful coastal scenery in Asturias on the Camino del Norte route
The beautiful surroundings on the Camino del Norte, probably the most stunning Camino de Santiago routes

Camino Primitivo (the Authentic Approach)

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

Important cities and cities

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

Finest strolling months

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

Camino Primitivo or the Authentic Approach was the primary Camino ever walked, in accordance with 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 Approach of Camino de Santiago route map.

It’s usually named the hardest Camino resulting from the truth that the route goes by the mountains in Asturias. It’s partly true the Authentic Approach does have many ascends and descends (some are fairly lengthy and steep) however the complete distance of the route is sort of brief, for us, the Northern Approach was tougher. The Primitive Approach might be the closest to the wild hike Camino, more often than not you stroll on the strolling path by the forest or over the mountains, previous small villages and city (however not as many as on the opposite routes). There’s not a lot strolling on the highway or on the asphalt which is nice as a result of the asphalt could be very arduous in your toes however in case you have any knee points it could be troublesome to finish this route resulting from 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.

Likes

  • “Wild Camino” with quite a lot of strolling on the footpath, trails, by distant areas, only a few cities, no industrial areas and busy roads on the way in which.
  • 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 off the crushed observe areas with few vacationers apart from the pilgrims.
  • Locals are very pleasant and hospitable they’re not sick of 1000’s of vacationers passing by on daily basis.

Dislikes

  • We have been very unfortunate with the climate even though we walked the Camino in summer season (June), we had quite a lot of rain and dirt on the paths it was our solely dislike. In any other case, it’s an amazing Camino to stroll with good amenities and beautiful surroundings.  

Issue degree 

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

Surroundings overview

Lovely mountain and forest surroundings, the path goes by some distant areas of Asturias, no cities or large cities on the way in which.

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 Approach)

  • 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)

Important cities and cities

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

Finest strolling months

June – September, the start of October, the second half of Might, although in our experience it may 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 boats and continued on foot to Santiago de Compostela. These days most pilgrims begin in Ferrol, the principle reason is the gap, from A Coruña to Santiago is just 74 km (in comparison with 116 km from Ferrol) which is 26 km too brief 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.

Camino Inglés might be the very best Camino for individuals who simply need to get a style of the stroll with out embracing a protracted journey. It’s straightforward to mix this route with a standard (non-walking) seaside or sightseeing vacation and discover out if the Camino is your cup of tea or not, after finishing the English Approach you’ll be able to determine if you wish to spend your subsequent vacation strolling. There aren’t any large cities or cities on the way in which 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 properly. Observe! When you begin strolling from A Coruña you received’t be capable to get the Compostela for this Camino as a result of the whole distance is below 100 km. The Camino from Ferrol has correct marking and good infrastructure. 

Likes

  • A brief Camino route, it may be accomplished as part of a vacation or over a protracted weekend.
  • The English Approach is an ideal choice 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 aren’t any large cities or industrial areas on the way in which extra of the countryside surroundings and forest.

Dislikes

  • The principle dislike was the strolling floor on this route, quite a lot of strolling on asphalt.

Issue degree

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

Surroundings overview

A typical Galician surroundings, a combination of pasture fields and plush inexperienced forest with just a little little bit of sea surroundings and a few seashores at first. Some elements e.g. on the final day to Santiago have been actually stunning.

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)

Important cities and cities

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

Finest 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 just isn’t 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

Through de la Plata or the Silver Approach follows on previous Roman highway that headed to the mines in Northern Spain. Later the route was used for a lot of different functions e.g. shifting inventory from south to north in summer season, buying and selling, migratory, and many others. 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 amenities and sufficient infrastructure although it’s nonetheless walked by solely 3% of pilgrims yearly.

This route just isn’t beneficial to stroll as the primary Camino as a result of distance, fewer amenities on the way in which, 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 Ourense (this half is also referred to as Camino Sanabrés).

Likes

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

Dislikes

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

Issue degree

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

Surroundings overview

A number of strolling by the fields, previous vineyards and olive tree plantations with some fascinating Roman ruins on the way in which. In spring the world is roofed in wildflowers.

A typical scenery on the Via de la Plata; fields, gravel road, wildflowers
Spring is the very best time for strolling the Through de la Plata, one the 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 every other Camin route

Important cities and cities

There aren’t any cities between the start and the top of the Camino; Santiago de Compostela, Finisterre and/or Muxía

Finest strolling months

June to September. We walked this Camino in November and received quite a lot of rain and stormy wind on the way in which 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 occasions when folks believed it was the sting of the world.

Camino Finisterre is often walked as an extension after finishing one of many different Camino routes however it may be walked as a separate Camino as properly. It may be a great choice for individuals who should not positive if they need/will be capable to stroll an extended route of the Camino de Santiago, some type of Camino test-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 attainable 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 way in which. After finishing this Camino you may get the Finisterrana and Muxiana certificates. There are various albergues, eating places, and cafes on the route, even in peak season you received’t have an issue discovering a spot to sleep.  

Likes

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

Dislikes

  • Our predominant dislike was an excessive amount of rain and robust wind we received on the route however I have to say we walked it in November, not the very best time of the 12 months.
  • Only a few supermarkets and outlets on the way in which which makes it troublesome to make your personal meals.

Issue degree

2 out of 5 – brief route, frequent locations to cease for meals, many albergues, well-marked, some ups and downs on the way in which, 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 many of the approach, stunning 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 top 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 listing.

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.

Important cities and cities

To be sincere I’m not an enormous professional on France. Not like with Spain that I’ve traveled extensively in France I’ve been solely to Paris. It’s troublesome to evaluate which cities on this route are essential however Ii’ll attempt. The Camino goes by Le Puy, Figeac, Moissac  Conques, Cahors.

Finest strolling months

Summer time months, June to August is the very best time for strolling this Camino although it may possibly get busy it’s higher to e book lodging prematurely. Might and September are good months for strolling; the climate is good and there are fewer folks on the route.

This Camino is the preferred pilgrimage route in France. The route is well-marked all the way in which from Le Puy to St.Jean Pied de Port. From what I’ve heard from different pilgrims there are much less public albergues and lodging is general dearer than on the Camino routes in Spain. The start and the top of the route provides stunning mountainous surroundings. The center half is thru the fields and hills. Many of the pilgrims who stroll this route are French-speaking. It’ll assist so much in case you can converse some fundamental French. The language barrier is without doubt 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 discuss 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

Important cities and cities

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

Finest 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 should not the very best 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 keeping with the guidebooks and web sites on this route, there may be little or no strolling on the highway or on the asphalt, principally 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 Approach there will probably 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 way in which, 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 Approach) – 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.

Important cities and cities

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

Finest strolling months

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

Camino Catalán like 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 folks however as soon as you’re on the Camino Frances there will probably be many pilgrims. The route has a number of choices, the principle cut up is at Tarrega (earlier than Lleida); one route goes by Huesca to Santa Cilia de Jaca the place it joins the Camino Aragonés – an alternate route of the French Camino which matches 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 Approach. Each routes have markers, there aren’t 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 way in which that provide 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

Important cities and cities

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

Finest 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 virtually no infrastructure for pilgrims, no albergues, solely pensions and lodges, pilgrims can in a single day in sports activities complexes, faculties, church buildings and many others. like within the old-times. It’s not a straightforward route with lengthy stretches between cities, only a few folks, sleeping association varies from day after day from a resort room to a mattress in a sports activities corridor. The route is well-marked. Camino Mozárabe just isn’t beneficial 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

Important cities and cities

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

Finest strolling months

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

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

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

Important cities and cities

Ponferrada, Chantada, Santiago de Compostela.

Finest strolling months

It was a winter route however the very best time to stroll it’s truly 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 Approach in winter to flee snow areas in O Cebreiro. The route was acknowledged because the official Camino route solely in 2015. Now it’s attainable to get the Compostela certificates after finishing this route like every other Camino. The route is marked however not so good as different Camino routes, there are various lodging choices like hostels and lodges 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 in its place and fewer crowded path to Santiago.

Plaza Obradoiro and the Cathedral at sunset
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the top 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

Finest strolling months

the local weather of the Canary Islands could be very delicate, even in winter it’s not chilly and it doesn’t rain so much, this route may be walked all 12 months spherical however the very best months are April-June and September-October, throughout peak season July and August some a part of the route could be fairly busy.

Camino de Gran Canaria is the one Camino that doesn’t end in Santiago de Compostela (besides Camino Finisterre that begins in Santiago). In 1965 Pope John XXIII gave to the town of Galdar (the top of the route) a papal bull to rejoice the Jacobean Holy 12 months. The bull provides to Galdar the identical privileges as Santiago de Compostela for that reason regardless of the Camino de Gran Canaria doesn’t begin or finish in Santiago it’s thought of 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 an effective way to various seaside vacation on the Canary Islands with some climbing. 

Different Camino de Santiago routes

Camino Aragonés (the Aragonese Approach) – begins on the go of Somport within the Pyrenees, on the Spanish-French border, goes by 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 a number of other different cities until Logroño the place it joins the French Approach. The route is much like Camino Catalán.

Camino de la Lana (the Wool Route) – it begins in Alicante, goes by 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 completely different locations in Spain, France, and different European international locations however they’ve little to no infrastructure. Spanish routes often 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 Approach, the Vézelay Route, the Le Puy Route, the Arles Approach. 

FAQ about Camino routes

What number of Camino de Santiago routes are?

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

Which Camino is the very best 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 every other route is okay. When you simply need to attempt it go for shorter routes e.g. Camino Inglés, Camino Finisterre, Camino Portugues from Porto.

Which Camino is the very best to stroll with a baby?

Out of 4 we’ve walked I’d say the Portuguese Camino from Porto is the very best for a household stroll; it’s comparatively brief, has good infrastructure, doesn’t contain quite a lot of strolling on the highway, distances between cities should not lengthy, has good transport system (you at all times 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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