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.
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 Portuguese, Camino del Norte, Camino 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.
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