Camino de Santiago Blog

gift ideas for Camino de Santiago pilgrims

13 Gifts Ideas for Camino de Santiago Pilgrims

Beautiful and unique gifts for pilgrims-to-be and memorabilia for pilgrims already finished with the Camino.

Buying presents can be hard especially for pilgrims. Many peregrinos while walking realise that they need very little in life. They live off a backpack for several weeks and stick to a routine of the Camino — wake up, eat, walk, sleep.

Thus material things are no longer as important as before.

Camino family

What is a Camino Family?

I reflected in a previous story, that the Camino is a place where the magic happens, something I have not experienced anywhere else, there is a strange ‘need’ to return that I cannot explain, a longing for something…

The Meseta on the Camino de Santiago

Reasons to Walk the Camino de Santiago

You have to be fairly motivated to walk the Camino de Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in North West Spain – as it is 800km.  Usually 800km with your rucksack on your back containing everything you need for a month.  Sleeping in hostels with strangers, communal showers, and no privacy.

bridge puente la reina

Puente la Reina

The main Albergue in Puente la Reina is at the start of the town on the left-hand side, the Camino passes the front door. There …

Puente la Reina Read More »

Cirauqui Villamajor de Monjardin 26 Fuente de Irache

Transitioning from Camino Life to Real Life

After a couple Camino’s and seeing dozens of pilgrims having a hard time with the Camino Blues, I think it is worth a writing an article about.  I am certainly no professional, but someone who has experienced the transition back to “The Real World” after the Camino twice.

Meseta Camino

The Meseta on the Camino de Santiago Spain

‘Many people avoid the Meseta, catching the bus from Burgos to Leon’, I heard on my first day on the Camino de Santiago. I was shocked. I thought most people were keen to walk the full route, either in stages or as a single pilgrimage. Whilst setting out to walk and enjoy the whole 800km, the Meseta was the section I was looking forward to with anticipation. I became curious as to what my experience would be.

Inspirational Walking Quotes

My 65 Favorite Inspirational Walking Quotes

If you lack the inspiration to start walking or hiking, these inspirational walking quotes will get you from the couch and motivate you to be active.

Portomarin Spain

Portomarin

Portomarin developed along both sides of the River Mino, the town was of strategic importance and always garrisoned first by the Order of Santiago, then …

Portomarin Read More »

Sunset finesterre

Top Ten Things About Camino de Santiago

There are so many things that are great about the Camino de Santiago makes it difficult to reduce to my list of the top ten things to do and see.

Ponferrada on the Camino

Ponferrada

Ponferrada became a city in 1908 with a population of only 3,000 at that time. Today the population has grown to over 67,000 making it …

Ponferrada Read More »

Cruz de Ferro 

Cruz de Ferro: A Spiritual Experience

People who’ve already walked the Camino de Santiago know that there’s one thing that should absolutely not be missed — the Cruz de Ferro. Also known as the Iron Cross, it is set on a gently sloping hill that also happens to be the highest point of the French Way.

The views offered from up top are incredible indeed, and the legends behind it are enough to spark the imagination of any history buff who’s looking for their next adventure. But most of all, the respectful peace of this spot is spiritually uplifting even for the non-religious, and travelers who long to see something unique that reflects much of the Camino spirit should definitely make a stop here.

Snow on the Camino

Hiking the Camino de Santiago in Winter & Spring

The “Napoleon Way” from St. Jean was closed due to deep snow accumulation and continued snowing, so initially, we had to take the path that followed along the road all the way to Roncesvalles.

Belorado Spain

Belorado

Belorado with a population of just over 2,000 was a welcome resting place for me in 2004. I only walked 12km this day and rested …

Belorado Read More »

Camino Frances

Hiking the Camino Frances Again

I first heard about the Camino de Santiago from a friend whom I went on a yearly trek with. We had climbed the peaks Mt. Chirropo in Costa Rica, went to the depths of the earth together to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and hiked the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Camino Frances Route outside Pamplona

The Spiritual Aspects of the Camino de Santiago

This is a transcript of a talk I was asked to give at an information session on walking the Camino, presented in September 2016 and sponsored by the Albuquerque, New Mexico Chapter of The American Friends of the Camino.

The Way My Way book

The Way, My Way by Bill Bennett Book Review

I asked for book suggestions a few weeks back on the Camino Facebook page and on the weekly newsletter and The Way, My Way by Bill Bennett was suggested in both, so I bought it and read.

Viana

After the ravine known as “Barranco Mataburros” – the mule killer, you reach the plain where Viana can be seen in front of you. Viana …

Viana Read More »

Atop Dun Iona Scotland

Making Time for the Camino de Santiago

I have been thinking, dreaming, and planning for this for nearly 20 years. I first read about the pilgrimage to Santiago Compostela in a 14th century biography, The Book of Margery Kempe. Margery, a quirky English mystic, took several pilgrimages over the years, including Rome, and Jerusalem. The medieval and ancient concept of pilgrimage fascinated me.

Pyrenees near St Jean

Walking the Camino Frances in Our Retirement

If you can afford and plan to use hotel accommodation, restaurant meals, and luggage carried then this route report is not for you. In our five Caminos between 2006 and 2015, we stayed in albergues, cooked our own or shared meals and carried our own backpacks. Our last Camino we were 72 and 77 years old and it took us 44 days of walking compared with between 30 and 33 days earlier.

El Burgo Ranero

The earliest references to El Burgo Ranero is from 1126, there are a few interpretations of the town’s name: one is the town of frogs, …

El Burgo Ranero Read More »

Countryside Cizur Minor

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.

Cost of walking the Camino

How much does it Cost to Walk Camino de Santiago?

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.

food on the camino de santiago

What is Food Like on the Camino de Santiago

Yes, what about food? A question that had not occurred to me before going to Spain and France to start my first Camino.

sunrise on the camino de santiago

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.

Pilgrims on the Way of St James

How Fit do You have to be to Walk the Camino?

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.

Fiesta

Blister Prevention for the Camino de Santiago

What’s the most common injury experienced on the Camino de Santiago? Without a doubt, foot blisters!

They’re painful.
They’re frustrating.
They take precious time, effort and skill to look after.
They make you walk differently and that can stir up other aches and pains.
They can get infected, and wind you up in the hospital!

Blisters have the potential to spoil your Camino experience!

First aid kit

What About Medical Help & Health Care?

For all those that reside within the twenty-eight countries 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 entitles the holder to free emergency treatment.  If you are from outside of the EU I strongly suggest you have some travel insurance, often your healthcare provider can provide this at a lower cost than elsewhere.

Cross at Finisterre

Lessons Learned on the Camino de Santiago

Toward the end of my post a couple of weeks back on how the Camino changed my life, I got thinking about the lessons I learned while walking the Camino Frances.  The following are some thoughts on lessons I think I started to learn there.

Camino del Norte

How Long is the Camino de Santiago?

There are many different Camino de Santiago routes. The routes in Spain are the most popular with varying different lengths. The four main routes in France are becoming more popular.

Pilgrims passport

Where Can I Get a Pilgrims Passport?

A pilgrim’s passport is a must on any of the Camino de Santiago routes, (also known as a credential), you must have one to stay in the municipal and parish Albergues, some of the private albergues 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 Albergue, (pilgrims only hostels), if there is space, they are valid for walkers and cyclist.

Scroll to Top