A guide to the Camino de Santiago

You might have heard lots of people talking about doing the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Also known as St. James’s Way the ‘camino’ is the name of the routes that head towards the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Many people follow the routes as a retreat for spiritual growth, but others do it to admire the beauty of the landscapes or as a physical challenge.

The journey can be made by foot, cycling or horseback riding. No matter which one you choose, make sure you find as much information as possible so that the level of difficulty is the appropriate one for you. If you are someone that seldom exercises, you probably don’t want to take on the most challenging, longest route! you take all the precautions to have a fantastic experience and you take with you all the things that you will need throughout the way.

What are the Camino de Santiago routes?

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There are twelve main routes:

  1. Camino Francés: 940 km
  2. Camino del Norte: 815 km
  3. Camino Portugués: 119 km
  4. Camino Inglés: 155 km
  5. Camino Primitivo: 321 km
  6. Vía de la Plata: 705 km
  7. Camino Catalán por San Juan de la Peña: 325 km
  8. Camino de San Salvador: 122 km
  9. Camino Vasco: 203 km
  10. Camino Sanabrés: 368 km
  11. Camino Baztanés: 109 km
  12. Epílogo a Fisterra y Muxia: 151 km.

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What season is best to do the Camino de Santiago?

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If you can choose the time of the year, we’d definitely recommend you to do it during spring or autumn. May, June and September are perfect months to do it, as it’s not very cold, nor overwhelmingly warm either. Another good thing about choosing these months is that there are less people, which can make it more spiritual being on your own. Bear in mind that 75% of visitors go during July and August!

Accommodation for the Camino de Santiago

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Throughout the Camino de Santiago, you will find several hostels, some of which are free to stay at, though you should leave an optional contribution. These places have all the basics that you will need (bathroom, kitchen, beds, etc) and you can’t book them in advance: the available places are given to people as they arrive, giving preference to those on foot.

What to pack for the Camino de Santiago?

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Remember that whether you do the camino by foot or bike, you’ll have to carry your stuff the whole way! Make sure you take comfortable but practical clothes. Here is a quick list from Camino Adventures for what you should take on the camino:

  • Two pairs of shorts, one for night other for day
  • 1 T-shirt
  • 1 shirt (light weight, quick drying)
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • Sleeping bag
  • 2 pairs underwear
  • Rain gear or poncho
  • Fleece
  • Sandals for evenings
  • Pain-killers
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Needle and thread – when you get a blister this will help. Thread the needle and run through the blister, leave a bit of thread inside to drain the blister.
  • Toiletries
  • Towel
  • Mobile & charger
  • Camera & charger
  • Earplugs (for the nights)
  • Small torch or use your phone
  • Swiss army knife

Are you planning on doing it this year? Have you already done it? Share your experience with us! Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment.

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