The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage walked by thousands every year. While the traditional routes – like the full Camino Francés – can cover hundreds of kilometers, shorter options are available for those who may have limited time or physical capabilities but still want to embark on this fantastic experience.
Why Would Anyone Choose a Shorter Camino?
Don’t believe those who say you have to walk hundreds of kilometers to get the “real” Camino feeling. Many people choose a short Camino or even just walk some stages each year, and they can still experience the amazing benefits and life-changing emotions.
Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of different reasons to choose a shorter Camino. These are some of the most relevant:
- Time constraints: This one is by far the most popular. The truth is not everyone has the luxury of being able to embark on a long pilgrimage journey. A shorter Camino allows individuals with limited time to still experience the essence of the Camino de Santiago, completing it in a more manageable period.
- Physical limitations: Walking long distances might be challenging for some individuals due to physical constraints. Opting for a shorter route ensures that the pilgrimage remains accessible to people of varying fitness levels and abilities.
- Variety or preference: Many people would choose a shorter Camino if it’s their second or third time walking it. This way they’ll get to see new scenery, discover other cities or even meet new people.
- Adding the Camino to any other type of European holiday: Some people would like to add the Camino experience to a longer European stay. By walking for a few days they can get to enjoy the Camino de Santiago without having to give up other experiences or destinations.
- Sense of achievement: Completing any section of the Camino is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Even a shorter route provides a profound sense of achievement and can ignite a desire to explore more sections in the future.
So, What Are The Best Options to Walk a Short Camino?
Choose a few stages
First of all, you can always choose to walk a few stages of any traditional route – with or without reaching Santiago. This is a great option if you’re looking to discover a specific region of Spain, France or Portugal by foot.
And did you know that this option doesn’t mean you won’t get your Compostela? The Camino can be undertaken in stages of any length, and it is actually pretty common for pilgrims to walk through consecutive stages over many years in order to reach Santiago de Compostela.
The only requirement is that the stages are completed in proper chronological and geographical order. You’ll also need a stamp with the date at the completion point of each stage and again at the same point when you resume their pilgrimage.
The Camino Inglés historically served as a route for pilgrims from northern Europe, particularly from England and Ireland, who arrived by boat in the ports of Ferrol or A Coruña. The distance of the Camino Inglés can vary depending on the starting point. From Ferrol you’ll walk 121 kilometers and will be able to ask for your Compostela upon arrival. From A Coruña, the route is “only” 75 kilometers – and thus not enough for a Compostela. If you’d like to be eligible, people have to provide evidence to the Pilgrim Office proving that you have walked 25 km in your home country.
Either way, this option will take you through charming coastal towns, scenic landscapes, and historical sites, ultimately leading to the final destination of Santiago de Compostela.
Camino Finisterre is a different way to walk the Camino, so to speak. It is traditionally walked as an extra to any other route – departing from Santiago and reaching the end of the world: Finisterre. The Camino passes remote, hilly villages and finishes at the steep cliffs of Spain’s western-most point. Beautiful scenery and amazing legends and history will compliment your walk.
Would You Like To Walk With Us?
Every year Follow the Camino helps hundreds of pilgrims to discover the joys of the Camino. Whether you are looking for a full-lenght Camino or just a few days of pilgrimage – we can create the ideal itinerary for you!
We’d love to send you a free quote and itinerary! Start planning your next Camino with us and let us know what you are thinking of.