Travel Guide

The Camino de Santiago – all it’s essential know

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Strolling the Camino de Santiago is a superb expertise, the very best factor concerning the Camino is that anyone can do it, you don’t must be an skilled hiker or tremendous athlete to stroll it. Camino de Santiago has many alternative route choices from a brief 120 km stroll to the lengthy and difficult 800 km and even 1000 km routes relying on how a lot time you have got, what you need to see and the way far you’ll be able to stroll you’ll be able to select any of the present routes. I have to warn you the Camino could be addictive, many individuals come again repeatedly after finishing their first Camino route.

By the point of penning this put up we’ve walked six completely different Camino routes;

We’re not bragging, simply displaying you that now we have enough information and expertise to present advises relating to strolling the Camino.

Right here is out detailed video on the Camino de Santiago that features albergues, meals, route marking, the Compostela and extra.

What’s the Camino de Santiago?

Camino de Santiago or the Manner of Saint James is a pilgrimage path to Santiago de Compostela, a metropolis in Galicia (Spain), it’s believed that within the cathedral of Santiago the physique of apostle Saint James was buried. The custom of strolling the Camino goes again to the ninth century when Spanish king Alfonso II accomplished the primary ever pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela from Oviedo, these days this route is named the Camino Primitivo. The Camino de Santiago just isn’t a single route however a community of routes that begin in numerous cities, primarily in Spain (some in Portugal and France) and end in Santiago.

Camino de Santiago routes

As I discussed above the Camino de Santiago just isn’t a single route, as some individuals suppose referring to the most well-liked route – Camino Frances, however a community of routes. The truth is, you can begin strolling in direction of Santiago from wherever in Europe and it’ll be the Camino however exterior the established Camino routes it is going to be troublesome to seek out an infrastructure for pilgrims; lodging, route markings, and so on.

There are a number of established Camino routes, all of them begin in numerous cities and finish in Santiago de Compostela;

Camino Frances (the French Manner) – the most well-liked route, about 60% of all pilgrims select this Camino. It begins in Saint Jean Pied de Port, a French city close to the border with Spain. Whole distance 800 km. 

Camino Portugues (the Portuguese Manner) – the second standard route, it begins in Lisbon, Portugal however most individuals stroll it from Porto. Whole distance from Lisbon – 616 km, from Porto 260 km or 280 km, relying on the route you’re taking. There are two completely different routes from Porto; the Coastal route – (walked solely by 2,4% of the pilgrims) goes alongside the coast and the Central route (walked by 19% of the pilgrims) – goes inland.

Camino del Norte (The Northern Manner) – this route is rising in reputation (6%) and is an effective different to the French Manner when you’re searching for an extended route. It begins in Irún, a small Spanish city on the border with France. Whole distance is 825 km.

Camino Primitivo (the Authentic Manner) – one of many lesser walked Camino routes, about 5% of all pilgrims. It’s comparatively brief, 321 km nevertheless it’s thought-about to be one of many hardest routes as a consequence of many steep ascents and descents. The stroll begins in Oviedo, Spain.

Through de la Plata (the Silver Manner) – the longest established route of St.James, about 1000 km, one of many least walked routes, 3%. It’s not the very best path to stroll as the primary Camino, it has much less infrastructure, longer phases, and so on. It begins in Seville, Spain.

Camino Inglés (the English Manner) – a brief, 120 km stroll, from A Coruña/Ferrol, Spain. One of many least walked routes (3,5%) on the Camino. It’s in all probability the most suitable choice for many who simply need to get a style of the Camino earlier than embracing an extended stroll.  

There are extra Camino routes (principally from any kind of biggish Spanish metropolis you can begin strolling to Santiago); from Valencia – Camino de Levante; from Almería – Camino Mozárabe (joins with Through de la Plata after Merida); from Barcelona – Camino Catalán; from Madrid – Camino de Madrid – the final two be part of with the French Manner after about two weeks. All these routes mixed are walked by lower than 1% of the pilgrims a 12 months so you’ll be able to think about how little infrastructure they’ve.

There’s one “particular” route Camino Finisterre-Muxía, not like the opposite routes, it begins in Santiago de Compostela and goes to Finisterre and Muxía, two coastal cities in Galicia. Folks normally stroll it after finishing one of many different Camino routes. Whole distance from Santiago to Finisterre – 89 km and to Muxía – 86 km.

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

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

Greatest season to stroll the Camino de Santiago

Relying on the route you select, some routes are nice in summer time e.g. Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo – it’s good, heat, no rain; in some Caminos the warmth is insufferable e.g. Through de la Plata, and the Portuguese Camino (Lisbon half) – it’s scorching sizzling, dry with no shadow to cover. The busiest time for a lot of the routes are July and August we’ve by no means walked any Camino throughout these months as a result of we simply don’t prefer it when it’s too busy with too many individuals. In our expertise, the very best strolling months in sense of climate and individuals are; Could, June, September (not for Through de la Plata, it’s nonetheless too sizzling in September), and the first half of October.

We had nice climate in Could on the Portuguese Camino, okay climate in June on the Camino Primitivo (it was warmish however we received quite a lot of rain which wasn’t regular for June), good climate in October on the Camino del Norte and dangerous (wet and windy) climate in November on the Camino Finisterre. For Through de la Plata we’d recommend late March-April-beginning of Could – it’s heat, no rain and never too sizzling but.

As for strolling the Camino utterly off season November – February the French Manner might be the very best to stroll primarily as a result of there may be extra infrastructure (extra albergues) and a few of them are opened all 12 months round. On different routes e.g. Camino del Norte most albergues are closed for offseason and also you’ll have to remain in motels although it’ll be cheaper than in season.

Climate-wise winter just isn’t the very best time it may well rain quite a bit and it will get chilly (not all albergues have heating), within the mountains you will get snow and a few passes could be closed. If you’d like a really quiet Camino with no individuals – winter is an effective time in any other case attempt to do it between March and the start of November.

Fatima, Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Fatima, Portuguese Camino de Santiago from Lisbon

Execs and cons of strolling the Camino

We’ve learn and heard some individuals saying how a lot they didn’t just like the Camino, that it’s too busy, too sizzling, an excessive amount of strolling on the highway, too business and so on. however a lot of the occasions they didn’t even hassle of creating any analysis on the Camino de Santiago, they walked the French Manner, the busiest route in excessive season and after that made their conclusion concerning the Camino usually. We’ve accomplished various climbing (principally wild hikes) all around the world however strolling the Camino de Santiago was on our bucket checklist for fairly some time, now after strolling six Caminos, we’re nonetheless eager on strolling different routes. Listed here are our execs and cons for the Camino de Santiago.

Execs

Anyone can stroll the Camino, no particular coaching, health degree, and so on. required. For some it’ll be more difficult for some it’ll be simple nevertheless it’s completely doable. We’ve met many individuals of all ages 18 to 80 strolling the Camino.

It’s secure, you don’t stroll by way of the wild uninhabited areas, there are at all times individuals cities, villages on the best way.

It’s simple to plan, the route is marked, the infrastructure is there, no have to ebook something prematurely, to rearrange particular permits you simply arrive and begin strolling.

It’s not costly, you’ll be able to see many fascinating locations and sights with out spending some huge cash.

There are numerous completely different routes relying on what you need to see you’ll be able to select between strolling alongside the coast (Camino del Norte, Portuguese Camino Coastal Route, Camino Finisterre-Muxia), by way of the mountains (Camino Primitivo), previous cities and cities (Camino Frances, Portuguese Camino Central Route) or perhaps pasture fields and vineyards (Through de la Plata, Portuguese Camino from Lisbon).

It offers you a unique perspective so-called gradual journey when for a few weeks you progress solely with strolling pace, no vehicles or another motorized transport concerned.

You possibly can stroll as far and as quick as you need, no one limits you, you’ll be able to take your time and stroll 15km a day or attempt to go for a file and full it within the shortest time period.

Strolling or biking as a substitute of driving or utilizing buses reduces carbon footprint.

Scenery on the Original Way of Camino de Santiago
Inexperienced Asturian mountains, the surroundings on the Camino Primitivo

Cons

It’s not your conventional wild hike, there will probably be different individuals, vehicles, cities, and noises alongside the route. You simply have to know that the Camino wasn’t created as a climbing route, it was and it’s a pilgrimage, not an out of doors exercise. If you wish to do a wild hike (removed from infrastructure, cities, individuals) there are many routes on the planet, together with Spain, the place you’ll be able to enterprise into the wild.

It’s busy and business however these primarily confer with the French Manner we didn’t discover these on another Caminos however even on the French Camino is you stroll barely offseason it gained’t be that loopy and overcrowded.

It will get monotonous typically however not as a result of the surroundings is boring simply because you do the identical routine day-after-day; stand up, pack your stuff, begin strolling, cease for lunch, proceed strolling, arrive on the albergue, bathe, unpack your stuff, go to mattress and day-after-day like this. You do get uninterested in this routine nevertheless it’s not the Camino’s fault.

Generally you stroll alongside the highway, on some routes much less (e.g. Camino Primitivo), on some routes extra (e.g. Camino Frances) nevertheless it’s not all the best way and the roads are normally not busy highways, reasonably secondary nation roads.

Camino dictionary

Pilgrim – an individual who walks or cycles any of the Camino de Santiago routes.

Credential – a printed ebook or spreadsheet with pilgrim’s knowledge (title, nation, delivery date) and empty areas for stamps that pilgrims get at each albergue they keep. The Credential is obligatory to have if you wish to keep in public (municipal) albergues and to get the Compostela on the finish of the Camino.

Credential with stamps, Camino del Norte
Our Credentials with stamps of various albergues on the Camino del Norte

Albergue – a hostel for pilgrims normally with bunk beds and shared services (rest room, bathe, kitchen, and so on.). There are private and non-private albergues, the general public albergues are solely for pilgrims with Credential, within the personal albergues anyone can keep.

Compostela – a certificates confirming {that a} pilgrim has accomplished the Camino de Santiago. Any person who has walked greater than 100 km or cycled greater than 200 km on any of the Camino routes and has a Credential with stamps from albergues can get the Compostela. It may be obtained on the pilgrim’s workplace in Santiago de Compostela without cost. 

Certificates of distance – just like the Compostela nevertheless it has extra particulars your title, the Camino you accomplished, when and from the place you began. You will get it on the pilgrim’s workplace as nicely along with the Compostela, it prices Three Euro.

Camino de Santiago value

Strolling the Camino just isn’t costly reasonably low cost, nevertheless it is determined by how a lot of your consolation you’ll be able to sacrifice. The most affordable strategy to stroll the Camino is;

    • to remain primarily in public (municipal) albergues
    • to not cease on the best way for espresso, cool drinks, and so on.
  • to not exit for beer or drinks

When you stick to those guidelines your Camino finances will probably be as little as 15 Euro per individual per day. Simply bear in mind don’t sacrifice an excessive amount of to save lots of extra, attempt to make your stroll pleasing.

The finances breakdown for the Camino de Santiago

Lodging. Often, pilgrims keep in albergues, their value varies from 5-6 Euro pp. for public albergues to 10-12 Euro pp. for personal albergues. I’d recommend to finances eight Euro per individual per day for lodging; typically public albergues will be full by the point you arrive, typically there are not any public albergues in a city so that you’ll have to change staying in private and non-private albergues on the best way. Inns – relying on the world and season you’ll pay between 25 and 50 Euro for a personal double room. In response to our expertise, the common value is about 30 Euro.

Procuring. The most affordable method of consuming is shopping for meals in supermarkets and cooking your individual meals. A lot of the albergues have a kitchen with at the least microwave, some utensils, and cutlery. To purchase groceries for 2 or three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) prices about 10 Euro per individual, relying on what you purchase and the place small outlets are normally dearer than huge supermarkets.

Consuming out. It’s dearer than cooking. Standard Menú del Día (a set meal; bread, starter, principal dish, wine/beer/cool drink, espresso or dessert) prices 10 Euro; breakfast (espresso and croissant or toast with jam and butter) – Three Euro; English breakfast (eggs, bacon, bread and low) – 5 Euro; bocadillo (baguette with jam or cheese) – 2-Three Euro; dinner10-15 Euro; a cup of espresso – between 11,5 Euro.

Laundry. To make your pack lighter, carry fewer garments, wash it extra typically. Many albergues have washing and drying machines that are fairly helpful when you’re too drained to scrub by hand or your stuff is simply too soiled and wishes a correct wash. Washing normally prices 3-Four Euro per load, drying2-Four Euro. The machines are normally huge, a few of them can match as much as 15kg when you’re a bunch of individuals you’ll be able to break up the price. Most albergues have particular washing basins as nicely when you don’t need to spend more money on laundry you’ll be able to wash by hand. Some locations have spin dryers that you should utilize without cost to dry your garments. We normally did huge machine laundry as soon as per week and washed small stuff (socks, underwear, T-shirts) each day by palms.

Transport. Spanish cities and cities are nicely related with one another, there are normally completely different choices of getting round e.g. native finances flights, trains and buses, relying in your vacation spot and time you’ll be able to select probably the most handy and finances choice. Funds flights – when you purchase in superior it may cost lower than a bus experience simply keep in mind that normally solely hand baggage is included on this value. For a prepare experience e.g. from Santiago to Barcelona you’ll pay from 30 Euro (financial system class), the bus will value between 30-35 Euro. To get from Santiago to Madrid by prepare will value between 30 and 40 Euro. Observe! Often, it’s cheaper to purchase tickets on-line there are sometimes particular reductions for each trains and buses. 

Backpack supply service. Relying on the space it’ll value between 4 and 5 Euro per day per backpack.

Camino de Santiago one week value, per individual

    • Lodging – eight Euro x 7 days = 56 Euro per week, per individual
    • Procuring – 10 Euro x 7 days = 70 Euro
    • Consuming out (optionally available, you should purchase all meals in supermarkets) – 10 Euro x 7 days = 70 Euro
    • Laundry – 6 Euro, will be divided between 2 or extra individuals
  • Different – 10 Euro, in case it’s essential purchase plasters or medication

Whole; 212 Euro pp. per week or 30 Euro pp. per day, plus transport to get to and again. For a cushty stroll, we’d recommend to finances 30-32 Euro pp. per day together with consuming Menus, going out for a drink however nonetheless staying in albergues. When you lower off on consuming out you are able to do it beneath 147 Euro pp. per week or 20 Euro pp. per day.

Suggestions for strolling the Camino

The golden rule of the Camino – don’t chase guidebooks and different individuals’s itinerary, stroll your individual tempo, don’t push your self too arduous particularly to start with, give your physique time to regulate and to get used to strolling. At first persist with strolling 20-25 km a day common, when you’re uncomfortable with these distances to chop it all the way down to 15km a day, benefit from the stroll, don’t rush. It’s higher to reach in Santiago a few days later however wholesome than to reach faster, however with an damage.

If you wish to stroll the Camino however don’t have sufficient time to do it in a single go, break up it and do it over months or years. Many individuals do it this manner, they begin the stroll, go so far as they will (or have time) and subsequent time begin from the place they stopped and so forth and so forth until they attain Santiago.

Don’t pack your backpack too heavy, take solely important issues. After the primary day on the Camino, many individuals rethink their baggage and depart some stuff in albergues or simply throw it away. For males goal for a 6kg backpack, for girls – 5kg, it’s not too heavy however you continue to can pack all the mandatory stuff.

Be sure to have good strolling footwear that you’re comfy in, don’t put on model new footwear even when they’re superb you’ll very probably get blisters.

Don’t depart your valuables unattended e.g. in albergues, eating places, and so on., at all times take it with when you exit or lock within the locker (if it’s accessible). It’s fairly helpful to have a pouch or a small foldable backpack to place your cash, telephone, digital camera in.

We’d recommend shopping for a neighborhood SIM card which you can have Web entry and make a telephone name when wanted e.g. to ebook an albergue. You should purchase a Vodafone SIM card in Spain with 2Gb knowledge, 200 minutes native calls and SMS legitimate for 30 days for 15 Euro. We used it fairly a bit and it was simply sufficient. Many albergues have wi-fi so that you don’t have to make use of your cell knowledge on a regular basis.

Spain like most European international locations makes use of Europlug (kind C retailers) be sure you have the proper adapter for charging your units.

We drank faucet water in all places in Spain and Portugal and by no means had any points however we met some individuals from the French Manner that received sick from the faucet water someplace across the meseta (flat plains in central Spain). When you have a delicate abdomen you’ll be able to carry LifeStraw and use it to filter faucet water it’s significantly better (cheaper and environmental friendlier) than shopping for a plastic bottle of water day-after-day.

Most supermarkets and outlets in Spain are closed on Sundays if it’s essential purchase one thing do it on Saturday, it’s not possible you’ll discover something opened on Sundays particularly in smaller cities and cities.

It’s potential to rearrange backpack supply on the Camino if, for some reason you don’t stroll along with your backpack it may be delivered day-after-day from albergue to albergue, there are a number of firms that provide this service, together with Spanish put up workplace (Correos). Worth is between 4-5 Euro per backpack. Observe! The supply normally will be organized between personal albergues, public albergues don’t settle for backpacks.

Sunrise, Coastal Route of Camino Portugues
Dawn, Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago

Journey insurance coverage for the Camino

Strolling like another outside exercise includes a danger of getting an damage or dropping a number of the gear. It’s at all times beneficial to have journey insurance coverage whenever you go away. The Camino de Santiago just isn’t an exclusion although it’s not a excessive altitude hike by way of distant areas it’s nonetheless a bodily difficult expertise and accidents are fairly frequent. Be sure it is possible for you to to get medical help any time you want. It’s fairly helpful to have insurance coverage in case of a gear or gadget break/loss you’ll be able to at all times declare it again. It makes the stroll much less annoying when you recognize you’re coated in case of any unpredictable emergencies. 

Journey Insurance coverage for Mountain climbing Diving Backpacking and extra

Planning the Camino de Santiago stroll 

These easy steps will show you how to in planning and making ready for the stroll.

Select the route you need to stroll. Don’t be afraid to decide on an off the crushed monitor route, base your selection on what you’d prefer to see and expertise.  

Be sure the time you have got accessible is the good season to stroll the route (not too sizzling, not too chilly or wet, and so on.).

Ebook your airplane, prepare or bus ticket, and lodge (beneficial to do when you’re planning to stroll in peak season – June – August).

Purchase journey insurance coverage that covers the interval of the stroll.

When you suppose it’s essential to begin coaching (stroll extra, do a few hikes, and so on.)

Examine packing suggestions and be sure you have all of the necessities e.g. footwear, backpack, a sleeping bag. Don’t depart looking for these until the final second, you’ll want a while to get used to new climbing boots.

Get the Credential in your nation or verify when you’ll have the option to get it at the place to begin of your Camino route; some albergues, cathedrals or pilgrim data places of work promote them.

Make a listing of belongings you need to see or locations you need to cease to be sure you gained’t miss one thing on the best way.

Make a draft of your strolling itinerary (phases) based mostly on locations you need to keep, albergues, distances. You don’t have to stay to it nevertheless it’s good to have some kind of a strolling plan.

Get an excellent ebook/audiobook for studying/listening you’ll have time for that on the Camino.

When you have got the whole lot prepared pack your backpack and attempt to stroll with it for a few kilometers. If it feels to heavy rethink your baggage and depart pointless stuff dwelling.

Don’t begin stressing out per week or so earlier than your flight since you haven’t accomplished this or that, be sure all of the necessities (principal gear, paperwork) are prepared the remaining will type out on the best way, how the pilgrims say “The Camino supplies”.

Packing ideas for the Camino

You will discover packing ideas for the Camino de Santiago for various seasons for women and men on this put up ↓↓↓. There’s a bonus – downloadable PDF packing guidelines for the Camino.

Camino de Santiago mild packing checklist 2019 – all seasons

Lodging on the Camino

Hostels for pilgrims are referred to as albergues. They are often municipal (public) or personal. The municipal albergues are run by the municipality with the assistance of volunteers. Non-public albergues belong to an individual or group. In excessive season municipal albergues on the favored routes fill fairly fast if you wish to get a spot you have to be there earlier than 1 pm and wait within the queue. Even when you don’t get a spot there will probably be one or two personal albergues the place you’ll be able to keep for Four Euro extra.

There are albergues for a donation they are often personal or public, they don’t have a longtime value, pilgrims donate as a lot as they need or can. Observe! Many individuals reap the benefits of this and both don’t depart any donation or give 1 Euro, for that reason, there are fewer and fewer donation albergues on the Camino de Santiago. Donation albergues are just for pilgrims with Credential, can’t be booked, normally have the identical services as private and non-private albergues.

Municipal albergues

    • Worth is between 5 and 6 Euro per individual
    • Are solely for pilgrims (want a Credential to remain there)
    • Can’t be booked, first come first serve precept
    • Examine-in normally begins between 1 pm and three pm
    • Try by eight am subsequent morning
    • Don’t enable to remain for a couple of night time
    • Have disposable bedding included or for 1 Euro additional
    • Usually have a kitchen, typically with out utensils or cutlery 
  • Often, are fairly huge, can accommodate between 20-40 individuals common. There are some fairly small municipal albergues.

Non-public albergues

    • Worth between 10 and 12 Euro common
    • Not just for pilgrims, extra like hostels the place anyone can keep
    • Could be booked prematurely, many albergues are on reserving.com
    • Usually open for verify in from 1 pm
    • Try earlier than 9am-10am
    • Permit staying so long as you need
    • Often however not at all times have higher services than public albergues
    • Disposable bedding is included, some locations have regular sheets and bedding.
    • Often however not at all times have a kitchen. Some personal albergues have a bar and don’t have a kitchen they anticipate you’ll eat on the bar.
  • Usually are smaller than public albergues, which might accommodate 10-15 individuals. There are some large personal albergues as nicely.

The right way to discover albergues?

No want to fret about it, they are going to discover you. The way in which to municipal albergues is at all times marked, simply observe the arrows and really probably you’ll find yourself on the albergue. Most personal albergues have indications pointing their method (they need you to seek out them), some could be barely off the route however normally, they’re positioned fairly near the Camino. In excessive season (July, August) if you wish to keep in a particular personal albergue (as a result of it’s very good or any person beneficial it to you, and so on.) it’s higher to ebook it prematurely, some albergues will be present in reserving.com, some will be booked over the telephone.

Social life on the Camino

Completely different individuals have completely different experiences, when you’re searching for for tranquility and need to have a while for your self no one you’ll hassle or pursuit you. When you’d reasonably have an excellent chat on the best way or after in albergues you’ll discover individuals to speak to. We noticed individuals strolling alone and holding to themselves, individuals forming teams and spending on a regular basis collectively, and so on.

Scenery on the Northern Way of Camino de Santiago
The surroundings on the Camino del Norte

Coaching for the Camino stroll

Anyone can stroll the Camino, it’s not like climbing Mt.Everest or working a marathon however it may be difficult even for comparatively match individuals; lengthy distances, strolling with a backpack, sleeping in a unique mattress (normally bunk mattress) each night time, packing and unpacking a backpack day-after-day, utilizing shared services (bathe, rest room). A few of these challenges require bodily coaching, some psychological preparation.

When you’re an energetic individual and go working, go to the gymnasium, do climbing it isn’t essential to do any particular coaching for the Camino, simply be sure your footwear are comfy and also you wore them fairly a bit. The one factor we’d recommend to do is to pack your backpack as for the Camino and go for a stroll or hike with it to ensure it’s not too heavy and you’re comfy strolling with it.

If bodily exercising just isn’t part of your each day routine it’s higher to begin coaching a while beforehand. Begin with a simple 5km stroll a few occasions per week (with no backpack), then improve your distance to 10km. When you have an opportunity go for a 2-3-day hike to see how comfy you’re strolling with a backpack for a few days.

When you don’t have time for coaching the very best you are able to do is to pack your backpack as mild as potential and begin the Camino with strolling brief days, no more than 15km. You’ll get into it because it goes, after per week or when you’re used to strolling you’ll be able to improve your distance as much as 25 km a day.

Route marking

All established Camino routes are nicely marked, we hardly ever had an issue discovering the best way, a few occasions in huge cities we misplaced the trek as a result of in some cities the route is marked with metallic scallop shells on sidewalks, however normally it’s very simple to observe. The Caminos are marked with yellow arrows and yellow scallop shells painted on sidewalks, tiles, partitions, poles, and so on. In Galicia, the route markers present the space left until the cathedral in Santiago.

Security on the Camino

We’ve walked 4 completely different Camino routes and by no means felt unsafe; strolling out of huge cities by way of so-called industrial areas, or strolling by way of the forest, or subject or alongside the seaside. Essentially the most disagreeable for me is strolling on or alongside the highway I simply don’t like once I hear a automobile and even worse a truck approaching from behind however even once we needed to stroll on the highway it by no means felt like a automobile will drive over us, individuals attempt to watch out and decelerate in the event that they see a pilgrim on the highway. The primary “hazard” on the Camino is theft, don’t depart your priceless stuff unattended wherever; albergues, eating places, picnic spots.

FAQ

Which Camino is the very best for the first-timer?

Many individuals stroll the French Manner as the primary Camino nevertheless it’s not essentially the most suitable choice. Initially, as a result of it will get very busy, public albergues are full, many individuals on the route particularly the final 100 or 200 km. Plus the French Camino is sort of lengthy (when you stroll the entire method) – 820km.

We’d suggest beginning with Portuguese Camino from Porto (flat, average distance, lovely surroundings, good infrastructure), Camino Primitivo (when you’re a match individual, it’s fairly brief however there are numerous ups and downs) or Camino Ingles (the shortest route, good one simply to get a style of the Camino). Don’t get me unsuitable it’s not that I’m attempting to persuade you to not stroll the French method I simply suppose there are different good choices to contemplate.

How lengthy does it take to stroll the Camino?

Relying on the route you select, your strolling tempo, each day distances, and so on. it may well take something between Four days e.g. Camino Inglés to 40+ days e.g. Through de la Plata. The simple strategy to calculate how lengthy every Camino will take you is to divide the whole distance by the common distance you’ll be able to comfortably stroll in a day. Let’s say you’re going to stroll Camino Frances about 800 km when you stroll a mean of 25 km a day it’ll take you 32 days to finish it.

The place do I begin strolling the Camino de Santiago?

It is determined by how far you need to stroll if you wish to full the entire route or solely part of it, if you wish to get the Compostela or not. It’s not obligatory to stroll the complete Camino you can begin from wherever on the route and end wherever as nicely (clearly most individuals need to end in Santiago).

If you wish to stroll a whole route however for some reason can’t stroll for a month or a few weeks select one of many shorter Camino routes e.g. Camino Primitivo, Portuguese Camino from Porto, Camino Inglés or Camino Finisterre. If you wish to full one of many longer routes e.g. Camino Francés, Camino del Norte, Through de la Plata however can’t do it directly you’ll be able to break it down into phases and stroll it over a number of months and even years (many locals do it that method). If you wish to get the Compostela certificates you should full at the least 100km on foot or 200km biking on any Camino routes and end the route in Santiago de Compostela.

Sanctuary O Barca, Muxia, Camino Finisterre-Muxia
Sanctuary O Barca, Camino Finisterre-Muxia

Is it secure to stroll the Camino as a solo feminine?

I’ve by no means walked the Camino solo (at all times with my husband) however I traveled quite a bit round Spain earlier than (as a solo twenty-something feminine traveler) and in my expertise, I by no means had any downside. You do get consideration when you’re alone however when you don’t look you’ll be left alone. We noticed many women and women on the Camino strolling solo and no one ever complained about being bothered or disturbed.

Will or not it’s troublesome to stroll the Camino if I don’t communicate Spanish?

There are extra foreigners on the Camino than Spanish individuals, English is usually spoken between pilgrims, we met some that have been even complaining that they needed to observe their Spanish however didn’t actually get many possibilities as everyone round speaks English. You undoubtedly will be capable of talk with fellow pilgrims in English.

As for albergues and eating places in Spain, in lots of personal albergues individuals communicate some English, they’ll be capable of inform you how a lot, when, the place and so on. fundamental stuff. In public albergues, English just isn’t that frequent however there may be at all times any person round who speaks some Spanish (English) and can be capable of translate.

In Portugal we have been shocked how many individuals spoke English it’s undoubtedly simpler to speak with locals in English in Portugal than in Spain. Google translator works fairly good with English-Spanish you’ll be able to set up it in your telephone and use it each time you want it.  Truly, the Camino is an effective reason to be taught some Spanish, individuals prefer it when even when you don’t communicate fluently however you attempt to communicate their language, plus Spanish is the second most spoken language (as a local language) on the planet, it could be fairly helpful on your subsequent journeys.

Is the Camino a spiritual stroll?

For some the Camino has a non secular part, however not for all. Folks do stroll for spiritual causes, however there are numerous who stroll for various causes; love strolling, have time as a result of they’re…, want a while off to consider…, like the concept of gradual touring, need to strive one thing new, need to problem themselves, and so on. and so on. Whichever reason you have got it’s an excellent reason if it made you resolve to stroll the Camino.  

What sort of individuals stroll the Camino de Santiago?

We’ve accomplished 4 completely different Caminos and may say very completely different individuals, it’s the beauty of it the Camino is for everyone; outdated, younger, match, not very match, wealthy, poor and so forth. We met individuals of various ages, from completely different international locations, with completely different jobs, everybody has his/her story or reason for strolling the Camino. Whoever you’re, in case you are prepared to stroll the Camino then it’s for you. For some, it’ll be a simple stroll, for others – an actual problem, however ultimately, everyone is united with the identical objective – to succeed in Santiago de Compostela.

Padrón, Portuguese Camino Central Route
Padrón, Central Route of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago

Is there wi-fi within the albergues? Is it price to purchase a SIM card?

Nearly all of personal albergues have wi-fi except it’s in the midst of nowhere. Many public albergues, particularly these which might be in larger cities or cities, have wi-fi as nicely. On our final Camino, we didn’t purchase a SIM card, we have been planning to purchase one however each time we reached a city or a metropolis the whole lot was closed as a consequence of a public vacation, Sunday or lunchtime, ultimately, we by no means received round to it. We had Web nearly day-after-day if not within the albergue then at bars, eating places or cafes on the best way. When you’re planning to work on-line we’d recommend shopping for a SIM card as a backup. Another excuse to purchase a neighborhood SIM card is to have the ability to telephone if you wish to ebook a spot or discover out if it’s opened and so on.

Do I want a sleeping bag?

Sure, you do. In summer time (July, August) as a substitute of a sleeping bag, you’ll be able to take a silk inside, it’s normally fairly sizzling. Most albergues have blankets however with out bedding, it’s a lot nicer to place it over your sleeping bag or inside. We at all times pack small summer time sleeping baggage although once we walked the Camino in October and November we used each our sleeping baggage and blankets typically it was very chilly (not all albergues have heating).

Is it price to hold a tent (tenting gear)?

We are saying No to this one. We met some individuals strolling with a tent, mattress, range out of 30 or 40 days they walked they managed to camp solely a few occasions. In Spain wild tenting is prohibited you should cover within the bush or attempt to discover established campsites, which value about the identical as albergues, not likely price from a monetary viewpoint. One other inconvenience is to hold quite a lot of additional stuff with, it’ll make your stroll tougher. We noticed only a few campsites on the Caminos we’ve accomplished, a pair on the Camino del Norte and on the Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino.

 

Camino de Santiago beneficial books and guidebooks

    • The Northern Caminos (Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Ingles, and Finisterre) by Dave Whitson. Paperback and Kindle.

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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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