Camino Routes

Traditionally your pilgrimage to Santiago would have started from your home, nowadays, these nine routes to the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela have become the most popular Camino Ways.

Whether you travel for quality time with friends and family, to get away from everyday worries, or for personal fulfilment and enrichment, the memories you build on the Camino will stay with you forever.

Each route has its own unique history and spectacular sights. Explore the unique wonders that each route has to offer – take a look!

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Introduction to the Camino de Santiago

Although the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St James, has traditionally been a religious pilgrimage, many people choose it as a walking holiday for other reasons. Some walk The Way for fitness and as a personal goal in their journey to better physical health. Others choose to walk the Camino for the mental benefits of unplugging from their daily lives, allowing them time for peace and self-development. For many, it’s a chance to clear their heads or to feel a connection with nature.

While those travelling on the Camino for religious reasons are now in the minority, people walking the Camino are still known as pilgrims, or ‘peregrinos’. People walk in groups, alone, or with a partner. It’s also possible to travel the Camino by bicycle. The Camino is well known for its sense of community and sociable atmosphere. Pilgrims passing by will greet each other with a welcome of ‘Buen Camino!’, loosely translating as ‘Have a great experience on the Camino’ and so, conversations with strangers are easily started.

The Routes

The Camino de Santiago is not just one route, but a network of routes. Throughout the middle ages, thousands of pilgrims walked from their homes to make their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. This paved the way for many different routes across Europe, all coming together to arrive in the city surrounding the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

An exception to this is the Finisterre Way which begins in Santiago, walking towards the coast to Cape Finisterre or the ‘End of the World’ as it was known in ancient Roman times.

Which Camino de Santiago Route is right for me?

People choose their Camino de Santiago route based on various criteria. The most common being ease of access, weather, landscape and how busy it is. For example, section 1 of the Camino Frances can be quite mountainous, most of the Portuguese Coastal Way is close to the sea, and the last sections of the Camino Frances and Camino Portugues are well travelled. Some people want to walk the whole route from start to finish and others will do it in sections.

It can feel overwhelming to determine which route and sections are the most appropriate based on your personal preferences. Our Camino Experts at Follow the Camino can quickly help you to choose the best route for you. Below we have summarised each of the main routes. If you would like to find out more, please contact us here to discuss your Camino Tour.

Routes

Camino Routes

How long does it take to walk the Camino de Santiago?

Depending on the fitness of the pilgrim and the choice of route, the Camino can take anywhere between a few days and three months to walk. However, many people choose to segment the route by section, a concept originally created in 2006 by Umberto di Venosa, the founder of Follow the Camino. Distinct sections make the Camino more manageable and accessible to more people than ever.

The Last 100km of the Camino Frances and the Camino Ingles take about six days to walk for most people. The whole Camino Frances from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago takes 35 days to walk and the Via de la Plata takes 44 days to walk in its entirety from Seville.

Cycling the route is generally two or three times faster than walking, depending on terrain and fitness. At Follow the Camino, we offer a range of manageable route sections on all the Camino routes and will customise a Camino itinerary to suit your needs. We can also do short walking day tours to give you more time to rest and explore.

Weather on the Camino Routes

Check out what the weather is like on the different Camino de Santiago Routes on our handy Camino Weather Map:

How to choose the right Camino Route

A lot of first-time pilgrims find it hard to determine how to choose the best Camino de Santiago route for them. As you can probably read from above, there are so many choices to make and options to weigh. We recommend going some research and talking to the experts to make sure you choose the right Camino de Santiago route for you.

To find out which route might be best, you can call our Camino de Santiago Planning Experts on +353 1 687 2144 or fill out our form on the right-hand side of the page to get a free customised Camino itinerary.

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