A pilgrim’s 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 pilgrim’s passport can be obtained from most hostels. The favorite places to start the Camino France are St Jean, Roncesvalles, Pamplona and Leon. In St Jean Pied de Port at the pilgrim’s 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 pilgrim’s office. Roncesvalles is centered 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 until 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 seems 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 weeks then.
I love hiking. 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.