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


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

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 […]

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 Long is the Camino de Santiago?

March 6th, 2016|FAQs|

One of the most common questions I am asked when I speak about the Camino is how long is the Camino de Santiago. Usually I just answer by saying 780 kilometres – though if the person is very interested I will get into explaining that there are many different routes in Spain and lots […]

What is Food Like on the Camino de Santiago

March 1st, 2016|FAQs|

Yes, what about food? A question which had not occurred to me before going to Spain and France to start my first Camino. I have had the pleasure of traveling in Spain and France on numerous occasions before and I love their food. Compared to the usual British cuisine I find it more tasty.

All that […]

How Fit do You Have To Be?

February 22nd, 2016|FAQs|

I think I am a terrible example of getting fit before walking the Camino de Santiago.  I walked only once for about 3 hours, with a rucksack, to see how I would be walking before going to Spain.  I did have some hill walking experience, though not a lot.  I would have walked in the […]

Comments Off on How Fit do You Have To Be?

What is the Best Time to Walk the Camino de Santiago

January 18th, 2016|FAQs|

Camino de Santiago in the WinterThis is one of the questions I get asked most frequently, what is the best time of year to walk the Camino de Santiago. Usually though people are asking about the Camino Frances to Santiago, and for […]

How Much Does the Camino de Santiago Cost?

January 11th, 2016|FAQs|

The main costs for any of the Camino de Santiago routes are your daily budget on the Camino and getting to and from your start and finish points.  For most of in Europe it is fairly quick and easy to get to and from any of the routes – not so from North America, (see

Did You Lose Weight on the Camino?

January 3rd, 2016|FAQs|

leslie in albergueI lost about 8kgs, about 18 lbs, over a four week period. So yes I did lose a lot of weight on the Camino. However losing weight was never one of my intentions for walking. I did not set out on the Camino to lose […]

A Typical Day on the Camino

September 18th, 2015|FAQs|

My typical day on the Camino de Santiago started about 6am. I was a mature student before hiking the on the Camino de Santiago for the first time; at that time I would have been doing well if I was awake before 9am, (I had got into student life and loved it). So six in the morning was initially […]

Planning Rest Days on the Camino de Santiago

September 14th, 2015|FAQs|

For most people walking the Camino de Santiago means a month walking across northern Spain covering about 800 km, (500 miles). So it is not surprising that most of us plan on a few rest days along the Camino. Below are some of the towns and villages that I suggest are good places to […]

I Walked the Camino de Santiago as a Vegan and you can too

May 16th, 2015|FAQs|

In May and June, (2012), I walked along with my husband, the Camino de Santiago as a vegan as well as sugar and gluten free. I spent a good amount of time before leaving on the internet looking for information about being vegan on the Camino…but to no avail. So, I decided to keep notes […]

Westward, to the World’s End

January 22nd, 2015|FAQs|

We have come to the end of the world, my shadow, my backpack, my blisters and I.

For here at Cape Finisterre, this wind-whipped westernmost spit of Spain, European travellers once came timidly to stand at the end of all known lands and gaze at a horizon that held behind it horrors and mysteries […]

Comments Off on Westward, to the World’s End

What About Medical Help & Health Care?

October 27th, 2014|FAQs|

Concerns about health care and medical help while on the Camino is one of my most common asked questions.  You can read some reports from pilgrims on the Camino here about their experience with the Spanish health care system.

For all those that reside within the twenty seven counties of the EU taking the […]

Comments Off on What About Medical Help & Health Care?

Preparing for the Camino Frances

January 7th, 2011|FAQs|

After quite a few years it looks like I am going to have the time this year to go back and walk a reasonable part of the Camino Frances.  The last time I walked was in 2005, I had also walked the route in 2004.

For the last few years work has been so busy that I dare not leave for the amount of time that I would want.  One of the problems of working for yourself.  Another problem of being self employed is not taking time off when it is needed, thinking that everything will fall apart if I am not watching it – all the time.  This nonsense thinking ended with me completely exhausted at the end of last year and wondering if this is the type of life that I really want.  The answer to that question is fairly obvious. […]