Which is the easier route to walk the Camino de Santiago?

happy pilgrim young woman on the train path road walking backpack

We are not going to lie – walking the Camino de Santiago is always a challenge, and not always for fitness reasons! When you immerse yourself in a pilgrimage, you know that several variables will determine your experience and your path.

So when we get this question – and we get it a lot! – we must answer with another one: What does “easy” mean to you?

We’ve come up with 3 different answers in hopes they allow you to choose a route for yourself. Of course, you can always contact us directly and our Camino planners will help you with your choice!

Easy = the most popular? Choose the Camino Francés

The Camino Francés is the most popular and well-established route. It traditionally starts in St. Jean Pied de Port in France before traversing the Pyrenees and continuing through the La Rioja wine region and along the rolling hills of northern Spain and ending after approximately 780 kilometers (485 miles) in Santiago de Compostela. You can choose to walk it in full or to start from any other point.

As such, it offers a well-marked trail, numerous services, and a well-developed infrastructure along the way. You’ll be able to find the full range of accommodations, from hostels to five-star hotels, as well as cities and towns prepared and ready to welcome pilgrims.

In this case, popularity makes this route easier and more accessible for first-time pilgrims or those looking for a less strenuous experience.

Easy = less challenging fitness level? Choose the Camino del Norte

The Camino del Norte follows the northern coast of Spain, crossing some of the most spectacular scenery on Spain’s coast. It passes through superb cities such as San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander and Oviedo. Ultimately, this Camino joins the Camino Primitivo Route in Oviedo, which continues on to Santiago de Compostela.

It’s worth mentioning that even on the Camino del Norte, there will still be sections with inclines and declines, as the landscape varies throughout the journey. However, the overall profile tends to be less challenging in terms of elevation compared to routes like the Camino Francés, which crosses several mountain ranges.

In this route you’ll find scenic coastal views, beautiful beaches, and charming seaside towns. While there are still some hilly sections, the overall elevation changes are generally less pronounced compared to other routes. This will allow you to experience a smoother walking experience, while discovering the north coast of Spain and enjoying the culture and gastronomy of this regions.

pilgrims on the camino del norte looking at san martin beach

Easy = shorter? Choose Camino Inglés

While it may not be as popular as some other routes, the Camino Inglés offers a unique and rewarding experience for pilgrims seeking a peaceful and quieter… and also for those short in time!

This route was popularized by pilgrims from countries as far away as Scandinavia, England, Scotland, and Ireland would have traveled from their homes to ports and then sailed to the coast of Galicia. For that reason, this walk links up perfectly with Celtic Caminos in the UK and Ireland.

One of the notable aspects of the Camino Inglés is its shorter distance compared to other routes. It spans approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Ferrol, making it an ideal choice for those with limited time or who prefer a shorter pilgrimage. Of course, a shorter distance also means fewer stages. So if you’re looking for a more relaxed pace, this route might be ideal for you.

Along the way, you’ll encounter some beautiful towns like the historical Betanzos, and discover Galicia’s gastronomy.

Camino Ingles - Ferrol at sun set

Easy = peaceful? Choose Camino Primitivo… or walk in winter!

If you’re looking for some introspection, you might find that the easier for you is to walk a peaceful route with less pilgrims and maybe smaller villages. The Camino Primitivo is then the perfect fit for you!

Alternatively, you can choose to walk any other Camino during winter. Walking during winter can be daunting, but it’s also a beautiful experience, and a very different way to approach the Camino de Santiago.

It’s your turn!

Choosing a Camino route can seem daunting, but don’t let that stop you. We’ve been advising pilgrims for over 15 years and know all the Ways in detail. If you have any question or you need tips and tricks to plan the perfect Camino for you, let us help!

Ask for a quote today and begin planning the trip of a lifetime!

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