Blog Archives

Why Walk the Camino Frances

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 a beach and prefer to be active. One of my college mates had walked from Holland to Santiago de Compostela a few years before

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How Long is the Camino de Santiago?

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 of other Camino routes throughout Europe leading to and joining the main routes in France and Spain. Below is a list of the main routes that

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What is Food Like on the Camino de Santiago

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 said, the food along the Camino is was not what I had become used to or expected in Paris or Madrid. The Pilgrims Menu

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How Fit do You Have To Be?

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 Wicklow hills about twice per month in the two years previous to my first Camino, that was it in total. The year before my first

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What is the Best Time to Walk the Camino de Santiago

This 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 that reason that is the route this post refers to. January and December: unless you are located the other side of the equator January and December are winter.  Winter in Spain can sometimes be fairly cold, in 2008 there were snow blizzards in

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How Much Does the Camino de Santiago Cost?

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 travel page here), however the exchange rate between the US Dollar, Sterling and Euro currently makes walking the Camino cheaper than it has ever been for pilgrims from

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Did You Lose Weight on the Camino?

I 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 weight and I must admit that it never entered into my mind at any time while I was there. Losing the weight was simply the result of walking as I ate pretty much anything I wanted,

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A Typical Day on the Camino

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 shocking, however, I easily got used to the early morning. There are the “bag rustlers” – these are pilgrims that think it is a good

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Planning Rest Days on the Camino de Santiago

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 stop for a day and be a tourist instead of a pilgrim. Why a Rest Day? It is fairly easy to walk 10km; if you are

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

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 of what I ate during our trip to help others with this challenge. Because I have a minor problem with wheat and other gluten products,

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Where Can I Get a Pilgrims Passport?

A pilgrims 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 a spaces for sellos (stamps), this proves that you have walked that day and are entitled to stay in an Albergue (pilgrims only hostels), if there is space, they are valid for walkers and cyclist. The passport often ends up being a treasured possession

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Westward, to the World’s End

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 beyond imagining. Here, in the Middle Ages, before the great Discoverers set sail into the unknown, their world ended. There’s a light at the end of

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What About Medical Help & Health Care?

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 E111 card is a must, the card is also known as the European Health Card.  The card is issued from your own country of residence and

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Preparing for the Camino Frances

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

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How Much Does A Pilgrims Passport Cost

A pilgrims passport is the identification that is used along the various Caminos to prove that you are a pilgrim and that you have walked and stayed in the places along the way.  It is just a simple card with enough space to collect stamps from various hostels and albergues. There are only a few places that can issue a pilgrims passport that will be accepted for the compostela.  Most home Confraternities can issue them, apart from that they must be

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