Camino de Santiago Blog

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.

Hiking Alternatives to the Camino de Santiago

12 Hiking Alternatives to the Camino de Santiago

The pandemic canceled many hikers’ plans to walking Camino, but you can still enjoy a new adventure walking one of the alternatives to the Camino de Santiago.

Porto

Two Weeks on the Camino de Santiago

A quick trip is not something you can expect from Camino de Santiago. With routes going up to several hundred kilometers, a pilgrimage typically lasts 4 to 6 weeks on foot.

If you don’t have the luxury to travel for extended periods, or if you’re unable (or don’t want) to walk long distances, you can still do the Camino.

Woman walking the Camino

Buen Camino‏ to the Camino Frances

The hotel attendant walked me down a very long, wide, immense stone hallway and showed me to my room. It was just what I needed! A small, cell-like room with a small bed, nightstand with no lamp, simple desk with a simple chair, high ceilings and a huge window on one of the stone walls. The bathroom had an old fashioned toilet with the water tank hanging from the ceiling with a chain to pull for flushing. The door was old and worn and shower curtain was flimsy, but I was grateful to have my own room and I was glad to have a refuge away from the teeming crowds on the streets outside.

Landscape in Spain on Camino

17 Best Camino de Santiago Blogs

There are many hundreds of Camino blogs started every year as pilgrims keep a diary of their planning, travel, and journey. This is the best of all these many blogs.

Two men sitting and resting

Camino Aragones

The Camino Aragon camino starts in Somport and joins the main French route at Puente la Reina.  I walked it in 2004 after I had walked the main French route, it was quiet and deserted, there was not many hostels but it was great; also it had a completely different feels to it compared to the Camino Frances.

Last night I got a mail from Jim at Wandering the World.  He has just arrived in Santiago and is heading back to Puenta la Raina to walk this route and asked for a list of Refugeos – Albergues.  I put it together, it could be out of date as it is three years since I walked this part.  I thought it might be an idea to share this.

Palas de Rei Spain

Palas de Rei

Palas de Rei was referred to as the Royal Palace in the first pilgrims’ guide from the 12th century, however, there is little in the …

Palas de Rei Read More »

Santiago Spain

Who was Santiago? Santiago Matamoros

Santiago is the patron saint of Spain and the reason for the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela.

Castrojeriz in the way of Saint James at Castilla

Inner and Outer Experiences of the Camino de Santiago

Since completing the Camino de Santiago I have read 2 books by individuals who have described their inner and outer experiences, their trials, their triumphs and their fellow pilgrims along the way. Although fairly interesting and at times amusing they write about their unique journey and whilst there are certain shared experiences, they are still their experiences and not mine.

Camino in winter

What is 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.

Line of pilgrims

A Million Steps by Kurt Koontz

It is not often that I find myself being judgmental of an author while reading his or her book, but with Kurt I was.  We are of similar ages, backgrounds, both of us had addiction issues and both of us left those behind many years ago – even though they are still something that defines us.  So, sorry Kurt, although I enjoyed reading the book, initially I was not going to write anything about it.  However, after my other half read the book I asked her what she thought and she really liked it.  So here I am getting over myself.

Camino stone

Camino de Santiago Frances Last Section – Part 3

This is the third post of three and it cover the last section of the French Way, the first is Walking the Camino Frances, and the second is the middle part of the Camino Frances. These are the last of the email compilations from Douglas and Christine Ball’s journey on the Camino Frances during 2015. The text below cover the last section of about 155 miles.

Ancient pilgrim

Middle Section of the Camino Frances

This is a continuation of the emails of Gordon and Christine Ball’s time on the Camino Frances during 2015. This section covers the middle stages of the Camino Frances. You can read the first part here – Walking the Camino Frances, and the next section the Last stages of the Camino Frances.

Douglas and Christine

Walking the Camino Frances

In 2015, two pilgrims to undertake the Camino Frances walk were Douglas and Christine Ball, from Gateshead in the north east of England. Here is their personal story of ‘Walking the Camino’.  (I have split this into three parts as it amounts to 20,000 words and would make for a very slow loading and long page). The next two post are the middle section of the Camino Frances and last part, the last section on the Camino Frances.

Des O'Dowd Camino

Celebrate Your Retirement and Walk The Camino!

I retired on the 1st of September 2008 and I wanted to celebrate my new life and new freedom. The Camino de Santiago was the challenge and adventure I needed. So in late September, like children going on a school tour, myself and my fellow retiree Pat McEvoy arrived in Dublin Airport with our rucksacks packed. We flew to Biarritz and two hours later were in the beautiful village of St. Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees. Our adventure had begun.

Village in Spain Camino

Camino Blues After Returning from the Camino

Meeting people from around the globe, facing the unexpected, experiencing physical and mental cleansing, laughter, meditation, natural beauty

Wild the book

Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found

I enjoyed reading Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed. I found the book gritty, ruthlessly honest and inspiring. All that from a book that at first glance is about walking the Pacific Crest Trail. It is, but the book is also about Cheryl’s life to that point.

Santiago

Newbie Mistakes & Advice for the Camino de Santiago

To be honest, I wanted to get your attention with the title of this blog post. I guess it worked if you are reading this now 🙂

Great. Now that we are here I would like to clear something up which is of high importance to me.

The word “mistake” in the blog title is not really right. I rather try to see things as experiences and experiments instead of mistakes. This gives more space and helps us to go out and try more things because we are not so afraid of failure.

Santiago arrow

Is It Safe Walking the Camino de Santiago Alone?

One of the most common questions I am asked – is it safe to walk the Camino de Santiago alone?  This became a question being asked more again recently when someone went missing on the Camino. However my opinion remains unchanged – yes, it is safe to walk the Camino de Santiago alone. I would think it safer than most local walking routes in most countries; safer than walking home from Dublin or any large city on a Friday or Saturday night.

Border crossing

Walking for Peace

I met Mony, one of the authors of Walking for Peace, at a conference about the Camino de Santiago in October 2015.  I found Mony an engaging person to chat with and discovered during one of our talks that she had written this book. Because of that, I bought and read the book.

Sahagun Spain

Sahagun

The Camino Madrid joins the Camino Frances from the south in Sahagun. Today Sahagun is a small dusty market centre on the Meseta, with a …

Sahagun Read More »

Navarrete Spain

Navarrete

Navarrete is a municipality in the Autonomous Community of La Rioja ( Spain ). It lies on the Camino Frances route. Because of the culture …

Navarrete Read More »

Najera Spain

Najera

Najera contains a population of 8,400 in a bustling market town that is increasing in size each year. The name is derived from the Arabic …

Najera Read More »

Los Arcos Spain

Los Arcos

Like many small rural towns, the population has nearly halved since 1960; from 2,057 to 1,182 in 2013. However, the town has all the facilities …

Los Arcos Read More »

Leon Spain

Leon

Leon’s status as a country town was cemented by the definitive settlement of Legio VII Gemina in the year 74, but it began as a …

Leon Read More »

Fromista Spain

Fromista

Fromista, population circa 800, comes at the end of the sixth stage in Picaud’s original pilgrims’s guide. It is believed the town was first inhabited …

Fromista Read More »

Hontanas Spain

Hontanas

Another small village that owes it continued existence to the Camino Frances, population 68. In 1999, Hontanas was declared an “Asset of Cultural Interest.” Its …

Hontanas Read More »

Scroll to Top