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 as it is a great reminder of all the places you have stopped and stayed over night. The stamps are all different and almost all bars and cafes will have one also.
If you are walking from St Jean or very early on any of the Camino routes you need to have one stamp per day. If you are walking the last 100km, (from Sarria 112km), or cycling the last 200km, (Ponferrada 205km), you will need 2 stamps per day if you want the compostela when you reach Santiago de Compostela.
USA pilgrims can join American Pilgrims on the Camino here. However you do not have to be a member to request a credential from them and they also provide the document for free or a donation. See here. The donations help you – they award grants that help make pilgrims’ lifes easier on the Camino, from help upgrade hostels, training volunteers to work in the albergues, and providing fund to enable local group to start. More info here.
The Irish Society of St James are the Irish association that provide credentials. You can order online here and the cost is 10 Euro, you do not require membership. The Irish Society are friendly and organize Camino information events around Ireland.
The Canadian Company of Pilgrims supply passports in Canada, see here. Unfortunately they don’t have an online ordering system as yet. The cost is 5 dollars and that includes membership.
The Confraternity of St James in the UK are not easy to deal with. In all exchanges I have had with them they are rather curt, a huge contrast to an albergue they run in Rabanal which is extremely friendly. You can order a pilgrims passport from them only if you are a member, and they do state that they prefer you are a member before asking for their pilgrim record. You can see the detail here – there is no mention of cost. It appears that membership is by donation with the minimum being 5 pounds.
The Confraternity of St James in South Africa provide credentials only to members, however due to visa restrictions it is worthwhile becoming a member as they provide a letter to enable the visa. They have good information on their site regarding this process. Membership is R40 and the passport is R70 – see this page.
The Australian Friend of the Camino will send you a pilgrims credential for free if you are a member, you can order online.
Non English Camino Pilgrim Associations
If you are living in mainland Europe or further afield these website can help:
Du Quebec a Compostelle for French Canadians
Sankt Jakobs Bruderschaft Österreich – Austria
Polski Klub Camino de Santiago – Poland
Association Belge des Amis de Saint Jacques de Compostelle – Belgium French
Collect Your Pilgrims Passport in Spain
Where can I get a pilgrims passports in Spain is a question I am asked a lot. Pilgrim’s passports are also issued in various albergues. In St Jean Pied de Port is where most passports are issued. Pamplona main albergue issue the passports, also the pilgrims office beside the albergue in Roncesvalles. All the main cities, Burgos, Leon, issue the passports, as for the small albergues in between – sorry but I don’t know – if anyone else does let me know and I will post the information here. Below is a table of all the places where you will be able to buy or donate for a Pilgrim’s Passport for the Camino Frances:
For the Camino Madrid – Association of Friends of the Road to Santiago de Madrid
It is likely that I have missed some places, if you would like to add to the list please email me Leslie using the email address email@example.com – in addition if you know of places on the other routes I am happy to add those also.
|Saint Jean Pied de port||Pilgrims Office|
|Roncesvallles||In the monastery|
|Larrasoana||Albergue Municipal de Pilgrims|
|Pamplona||University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) – they are open 24/7 – enter by the front and ask for pilgrims office – you can also have your passport stamped here.|
|Puente la Reina||Municipal Albergue|
|Santo domingo de la Calzada||Albergue de pilgrims de la Cofradía del Santo|
|Burgos||Albergue de peregrinos (Asociación de amigos del Camino de Burgos)|
|Carrión de los Condes||Oficina del peregrino (Monasterio de San Zoilo).|
|Rabanal del Camino||Albergue Nuestra Señora del Pilar|
|Molinaseca||Albergue de peregrinos (Alfredo)|
|Villafranca del Bierzo||Albergue de peregrinos AVE FÉNIX (Jato)|
|O Cebreiro||Albergue de peregrinos a Santuario|
|Samos||Albergue del Monasterio|
|Sabria||Albergue de peregrinos|
|Sarria||Church of Santa Mariña, Rua de Maior|
|Sarria||Monastery of the Magdalena, Avenida de la Merced|
|Portomarín||Albergue de peregrinos|