Camino Overview

Santiago de Compostela is the destination for all the Camino routes; you can walk or even cycle these walking paths. Most pilgrims walk and plan and organize everything themselves. This is where we can help – we are not a tour company – but we pass on our experience of walking, how hard it was, what walking gear we needed and how fit we had to be before setting out – see all the frequently asked questions.

Where to Start Exploring

These pages are intended to help you plan your pilgrimage, (or walking holiday), and hopefully keep you in contact with other pilgrims after you have gone back to your daily life.  The best place to start on the site is the Camino Routes page as there are quite a few routes.  Once you decide on your hiking route you can start to plan.

The Directory lists other websites and a full list of Confraternity of St James sites where you can sometimes get a pilgrims passport before you go, Camino Guide Books for a list of good books, Packing lists for essential advice about feet, good boots and how little to pack, Albergues (hostels) - explains what they are and provides a full list, Travel - how to get there and back often a bit of a challenge, and Photos to give you a bit of a taster of Spain.

The  history page introduces you to some of the legends and there are few pages listing the major cities along the French Way. I hope this is enough to get you interested and started.

Forum Pages

We have a vibrant community on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela Forum where there are sections for the Camino Frances, the Via de la Plata, the Camino PortugueseCamino del NorteCamino Ingles, a forum on Religion and Spirituality, what equipment should you use and take, and a new sections on the pilgrimage to Rome, the forum covers every question you would ever need to know on any of the hiking routes.

FAQ on the Camino is a new addition. I expect it will never be finished as I keep getting sent questions that I would never have thought of. If you have any other questions on the Way of St James, just go to the forum and post them there.

Walking the Camino de Santiago is for everyone, young, old, fit, unfit, religious or otherwise. One of the surprising observations I had was that people I thought would drop didn't - and most of the people I saw with problems were younger people - perhaps trying to push their walking too fast. One great bit of advice I got was - slow down - a Frenchman I met kept telling me this - I listened after a while and traveled as far, but with much less pain and strain.

I have a request of pilgrims walking or cycling the Camino de Santiago. Keeping this site up to date is a must, a few pilgrims email me information on new hostels and I add them to the list. My request is this - if you can send me by email or post any information you collect along the way about new Albergues - Refugios - Hostels, or anything else you think should be included for information for other pilgrims. Scan and email would be easiest or email me and I will send you my postal address here in Ireland.

Get used to the sound - Buen Camino - it can be a beautiful journey.


Map of the Camino de Santiago

In 1985 2,491 pilgrims completed the Camino. In 1995 there was 19,821, then in 2005 there was 93,921. These are only the pilgrims that asked for and received a Compostela, therefore many more completed the routes. Figures complements of the Office de Acogida al Peregrino. More Camino maps


If you have an interest in long distance walking holidays another site that may be of interest is the West Highland Way Route - this is a 7/8 day long distance hiking route from Glasgow into the Highlands of Scotland.  And lastly this is my current work in progress, Leslie Gilmour - where I write about other walking routes

Camino Blog

How Walking the Camino de Santiago changed my Life

July 22nd, 2016|Camino Thoughts|

Leslie Anna 13km from SantiagoI first walked the Camino de Santiago in 2004 on the Camino Frances route.  I found it quite difficult back then to find information before I went so I had little idea what lay ahead.  In hindsight that was […]

Blister Prevention for the Camino de Santiago

July 15th, 2016|Camino Articles|

What’s the most common injury experienced on the Camino de Santiago? Without doubt, foot blisters!

  • They’re painful.
  • They’re frustrating.
  • They take precious time, effort and skill to look after.
  • They make you walk differently and that can stir up other aches and pains.
  • They can get infected, and wind you up in hospital!

Blisters have the potential to spoil your Camino […]

Transitioning from Camino Life to Real Life

July 1st, 2016|Camino Thoughts|

After a couple Camino’s and seeing dozens of pilgrims having a hard time with the Camino Blues, I think it is worth a writing an article about.  I am certainly no professional, but someone who has experienced the transition back to “The Real World” after the Camino twice.

San-Nicolas---Villal-Cazar-de-Sirga-14-shell-stones

A Pilgrims View of Santiago de Compostela

June 18th, 2016|Camino Thoughts|

It was where I was heading, as was everyone else on this pilgrimage across northern Spain. Each city was different, Leon is a pleasure, Burgos has a dreadful 9km walk through the industrial part of the city. Pamplona was too early to take much notice of, I was only walking a […]

Is It Safe Walking the Camino de Santiago Alone?

June 3rd, 2016|Camino Thoughts|

One of the most common questions I am asked – is it safe to walk the Camino de Santiago alone?  This became a question being asked more again recently when someone went missing on the Camino. However my opinion remains unchanged – yes, it is safe to walk the Camino de Santiago alone. I would […]

Blisters, Bedbugs and Backaches – Finding Clarity on the Camino

May 27th, 2016|Camino Articles|

In May 2012, I clicked SEND and put in play a turn of events and a journey that would change my life forever. In my sixth decade and in good health, I knew this was the time. With that SEND, I purchased my air ticket to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. While I […]

Where Can I Get a Pilgrims Passport?

May 20th, 2016|FAQs|

A pilgrim’s passport is a must, (also known as a credential), you must have one to stay in the municipal and parish Albergues, some of the private albergue do not require one.  The passport will have spaces for sellos (stamps), this proves that you have walked that day and are entitled to stay in an

Newbie Mistakes on The Camino de Santiago

May 12th, 2016|Camino Articles|

To be honest, I wanted to get your attention with the title of this blog post. I guess it worked if you are reading this now 🙂

santiago-786

Great. Now that we are here I would like to clear something up which is of high importance […]

What is a Pilgrim?

May 6th, 2016|FAQs|

The first thing that comes to mind when I ask myself what is a pilgrim is Canterbury Tales and Chaucer’s partying crowd, or of Homer in the Odyssey. I associate the words pilgrim and pilgrimages as belonging to a bygone era.  Going on a pilgrimage in the middle ages was often the only form of travel […]

How to Choose a Sleeping Bag or Liner for the Camino de Santiago

April 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|

There is much debate whether you need a sleeping bag or a liner during the summer on the Camino de Santiago.  Here I want to look at both side of that argument and help you how to choose a sleeping bag or liner; then which one and do you […]

Celebrate Your Retirement and Walk The Camino!

April 25th, 2016|Camino Articles|

This is a post from Des O’Dowd, thanks.

I retired on the 1st of September 2008 and I wanted to celebrate my new life and new freedom. The Camino de Santiago was the challenge and adventure I needed. So in late September, like children going on a school tour, myself and my fellow […]

Why Walk the Camino Frances

April 18th, 2016|FAQs|

In 2004 I first walked the Camino Frances the main Camino de Santiago route; I first wrote this article in 2009 and thought it could do with some updating.

I was a student at the time and I wanted to do something different during the summer, something interesting – I am not one for lying on […]

How to Choose Waterproofs

April 11th, 2016|Outdoor Gear|

The Basic Principles of Layering

WaterproofsThis is the third post in my series about walking gear for the Camino, the first was on choosing boots or walking shoes, the second on choosing a rucksack. This is a general article on waterproofs – the age […]

How to Choose a Rucksack for the Camino

March 24th, 2016|Outdoor Gear|

Best RucksackAfter choosing the best walking boots for your feet, a rucksack is the second most important piece of equipment you need for walking any of the Camino routes.  Bear in mind this humble backpack is going to hold all your belonging for […]

How to Choose the Best Walking Boots

March 20th, 2016|Outdoor Gear|

It’s important to have the right footwear for your level of hiking, more so if you are going on a walking holiday or a long distance walk like the Camino de Santiago, (and the right backpack and waterproofs). Different styles are more suitable for different levels than others. For instance, if you […]