Beautiful and unique gifts for pilgrims-to-be and memorabilia for pilgrims already finished with the Camino.
Buying presents can be challenging especially for pilgrims. Many Camino de Santiago pilgrims learn while walking that they need very little in life. They live out of a backpack for several weeks. They stick to a routine of the Camino, wake up, eat, walk, and sleep.
Thus material things are no longer as important as before.
However, there are practical gifts for hikers that can make the Camino more comfortable. Plus, as you may know, it is highly advisable not to carry more than 10% of one’s body weight in your backpack. To travel with as little as possible, pilgrims are hesitant to purchase gifts for friends and family or souvenirs while walking the Camino de Santiago.
However, would you still like to surprise your favorite pilgrim? Then this list of top 13 things for Camino de Santiago pilgrim is the best place to start when shopping around.
I picked small and big pragmatic gifts and memorabilia, which are suitable for soon-to-be pilgrims and veteran pilgrims.
1. Camino T-Shirt
This list kicks off one of the most pragmatic gifts you can ever give, a t-shirt. Although it’s a simple t-shirt in the Camino colors, blue and yellow, the unique scallop shell motif makes it very special to any pilgrim. It’s tightly linked with the Camino de Santiago, and the ever-present scallop shell symbol leads The Way. Wearing this t-shirt, pilgrims can proudly show off their love for the Camino.
This Camino t-shirt is a cotton-poly mixture, which is comfortable to wear. It can be bought only online and ships worldwide for pilgrims everywhere. (There are a lot more here on Amazon)
2. Camino de Santiago guide book
This is the best option, especially for first time walkers. A Camino guidebook that includes up-to-date route and albergue information (which proves to be useful for repeated walkers as well), interesting historical facts and myths, points of interest, and must-see places.
This is a thoughtful and affordable gift, which the pilgrim can read in advance. There are also various kindle versions weighing virtually nothing. See the full list here.
3. A Road to Santiago
A Road to Santiago is a unique service. This commemorative map is custom made, which means that there are no two same maps in the world. All and any items can be moved, changed or replaced. You can also add your own photos to the map to make it even more personal. That’s pretty special, right?
4. Plasters/ Bandaid
You may think very little of these dull brown sticky substances on fabric things. But for pilgrims, these represent rescue in the dark times.
Just imagine walking daily for 30+ days. Your feet will get tired, beaten, and prone to blisters. Plasters are little, thoughtful gifts that you can quickly get in any drugstore. Really cheap but great to have on the Camino.
5. Mini sewing kit
Would you have thought that a sewing kit might be something useful for pilgrims? Well, it is!
Do not expect pilgrims to do much sewing on the road, although occasional tears happen. Have you ever had a blister? Needle and thread are then your best friends, especially if you have another few hundred miles ahead of you.
The Camino busy season is usually in summer or early autumn. But, don’t be fooled as this is northern Spain and it will rain. A lightweight poncho is a versatile gift because it can be worn over a backpack.
It’s easy to get out of the backpack and to put on quickly, and thus makes a good gift for any pilgrim. Trust me when I say it will feel like a blessing when the torrential downpour starts. Look for a poncho with the right weight that keeps the pilgrim and the backpack dry. I have also compared poncho or rain jacket.
A simple notebook can be the perfect gift for writers, scrapbookers, scribblers, or avid note-takers. This is a great looking one designed for the Camino.
You can give it to pilgrims just going on the Camino along with a reliable pen, so they can properly document their travels. Or you can gift a returning pilgrim with one and maybe some stationary.
Look for ones that have a cute Camino motive on them such as this one.
8. Customizable necklace
Every pilgrim deserves a personalized gift, so why not make it a handmade necklace made out of high-quality metal? Get it here.
9. Gift card
Boots or hiking shoes, a backpack, or a summer sleeping bag are items that are a definite must on the road. They may be a bit expensive as a gift, so what about a sleeping bag liner, hiking socks, or hiking sock liners?
I can’t stress enough how important are high-quality, well-fitting items that will last 4-6 weeks of daily walking.
The ideal one depends on the wearer, making picking and choosing slightly difficult. Here’s where I would suggest giving the pilgrim an Amazon gift card. They can choose the most suitable and best fitting items.
10. Pilgrim’s passport (also known as a credential)
If your pilgrim is on the less organized side, getting him or her the pilgrim’s passport will cross one thing off their list.
You can think of it as a loyalty program in a shop. But instead of collecting points for skinny lattes, you receive a stamp every day. (More often if you wish)
It is required if you want to stay in albergues, and oftentimes it becomes a treasured possession. The pilgrim’s passport can be ordered online in several pilgrim associations and confraternities. Check your region: https://www.caminoadventures.com/where-can-i-get-a-pilgrims-passport
It’s beautiful, unisex, and decorated with a Camino scallop shell. A leather bracelet made to last. Simple, yet eye-catching. Get it here.
Northern Spain is well-known for its delicious cuisine. No wonder many pilgrims miss the delicious food! For those who feel at home in the kitchen, surprise them with the Camino de Santiago cookbook. You will also be thankful for this gift when you taste the recipes. Everyone wins!
13. Spanish phrase book and dictionary
If Spanish is not the pilgrim’s first language, learning some in advance is highly recommended, even if it means only learning a few polite phrases.
You might hear some Basque and Galician in northern Spain, but most of the Spaniards speak Spanish.
- Good morning – Buenos días.
- Hello, my name is John – Hola, me llamo Juan.
- Please – Por favor.
- Thank you – Gracias.
I hope this gives you some Camino de Santiago gift ideas for new and old peregrinos! Let me know if you have any further suggestions!
What other things should pilgrims take on the Camino? See the full packing list suggestions.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.