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 the official one issued by the Cathedral in Santiago, these can be picked up at most hostels along the way.
The cost is only a few Euro, usually about 2 or 3, but have 5 just in case. The pilgrims passport can be obtained from most hostels. The favourite places to start the Camino France are St Jean, Roncesvalles, and Pamplona. In St Jean Pied de Port at the pilgrims office they spend all day handing out the passports during the busy times of June, July, and August – they will also give you more information here on hostels and the distances between them.
In Roncesvalles there is only one place to get the passport, again the pilgrims office. Roncesvalles is centred around the Camino Frances. In Pamplona you can collect a passport from the main municipal albergue and the University at the edge of the city on the way out – the Camino Frances passes right beside it.
Many people who do not have enough time to walk the whole Camino in one year will keep the same passport and use it again year after year untill they have finished their pilgrimage.
If you want the Compostela in Santiago de Compostela you will have to have your pilgrims passport as proof that you have walked at least the last 100km or if you are cycling have done the last 200km.
I still have both of my pilgrims passport from 2004 and 2005 – and hopefully my next one will be 2011…
Well it didn’t happen in 2011 and I can’t see it happening in 2012, it just seem to get harder to take a month off. Maybe I should start cycling and try it that way as it will only take about two week then.