Cruz

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.

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.

West Highland Way

West Highland Way

For those who are passionate about hiking, scenic nature walks are almost a form of meditation. You put one foot in front of the other, breathe in deeply, and let all the worries melt away as you take in the sights around you. Finding beautiful trails and walking the whole length of them is almost a thing of pride, and if there’s one trail that’s difficult to top, it’s the West Highland Way.

Scalop shell

The Meaning of the Scallop Shell on the Camino de Santiago

The scallop shell is one of the most iconic symbols of the Camino de Santiago, and no matter where you are on the road, you will see countless scallop shell symbols.

They are used today, together with the yellow arrows, to guide the pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostela. But you will see them on walls, churches, signposts, on pilgrims’ backpacks and on their bodies as tattoos or at their necks in the form of necklaces.

Rob Rob Way

Hiking the Rob Roy Way

There’s nothing more relaxing than getting the chance to take some time off, get away from it all, and immerse yourself in a great walking holiday, is there?

The Rob Roy Way was officially recognised only in 2012, but it offers an incredible route that people have been enjoying for centuries.

If you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, explore dozens of quaint little towns and villages, and make memories along the way, read on.

Leslie & Anna Camino

Finding Love on the Camino de Santiago

Love was the last thing I expected to find on the Camino de Santiago. But I did and twelve years later our son is nearly three years old. Therefore I thought this would be a good time for this post.
I set out expecting a journey with few people, and I expected those few to be a bit odd, or older religious types – well it was a pilgrimage, not your usual holiday. Expectations are interesting phenomena, I don’t know about you, but my expectations of future events are usually completely wrong.

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.

Cross

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.

Rain poncho

Poncho or Rain Jacket?

Preparing for rain when you’re about to embark on the Camino de Santiago may not seem like something you need to do all year round, but you’d be surprised.

Whilst it offers brilliant weather during most of the summer, there’s always the chance of rain – I have been caught in thunderstorms in July and August. That’s why deciding between a poncho and a rain jacket is really important if you want to stay dry and get the most out of your Camino.

Leslie and Anna

Training Plan for the Camino de Santiago

How fit do I have to be to walk the Camino de Santiago or what kind of training do I have to do?  This is one of the questions I am asked most often.

The answer depends on your Camino plan.

How long do you want to take?
Are you walking the whole way?

If you have a lot of time say 40 days or more you don’t need to have good fitness, you can risk getting fit as you walk, this is what most people do – however, this is not a good or advisable strategy for looking after your body, finishing, or reducing the inevitable pain that comes with walking every day and carrying a backpack, even though you will likely lose a lot of weight.

Spain hikers

Best Microfiber Towel for Hiking, Backpacking & Travel

Microfiber towels aren’t the most exciting subject to talk about, but they are nevertheless vital. If you are heading out on a hike or are going backpacking, you’re going to need a microfiber travel towel.

Towels such as these make life on the trail so much easier. These little pieces of fabric are quick to dry, quite small and usually quite affordable too.

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.

Ploy bag liner

Best Sleeping Bag Liners

A sleeping bag liner is designed to go inside your sleeping bag. The best sleeping bag liners can be used all year in different situations.  If it is very hot, you only need the liner and not a sleeping bag. In winter or where it is very cold, a sleeping bag liner helps keep your warmer and can save you having to wear your clothes while sleeping at night.

Hiking in woods

Best Starting Points for One Week on the Camino de Santiago

The Pilgrimage to Santiago is a one of a kind experience. While many would love to walk the entire way, it is not always easy to get away from our day-to-day duties and responsibilities for a whole month. So here following on from the post listing the best start points for two weeks on the Camino is the best start points for one week.

Rather than giving up the journey altogether, many pilgrims opt to undertake a shorter one-week version of the Camino.

When the time is limited, people want to make the most of the experience. Thus, the pressing question on the minds of to-be one-week pilgrims is that of the best starting point.

Where should you kick off your journey to get the best of the Camino de Santiago in a short period of seven days?

Leslie and bunk beds

Did You Lose Weight on the Camino?

I lost about 8kgs, about 18 lbs, over a four week period. So yes I did lose a lot of weight on the Camino.

However, losing weight was never one of my reasons for walking. I did not set out on the Camino to lose weight and I must admit that it never entered into my mind at any time while I was there.

Hiking shoe

Best Hiking Shoes for Backpacking

Depending on the terrain and the weather I like to have a good choice of hiking shoes, walking boots or trail running shoes for my many treks.  As I am generally a fair weather hiker I have good experience in buying lightweight hiking shoes that I use all summer long.

Hiking is a wonderful way of exploring the great outdoors, and as I live in a city it refreshes me every weekend when I get out onto a hill and get in a decent long hike.

If I am walking the Camino in summer I use hiking shoes, and I usually take along minimalist sandals to wear in the evenings.

House in the mountains

The Best Long Distance Hiking Routes in Scotland

There’s something about long-distance hikes that feels very soothing. Walking for days on end and not worrying about anything other than how to get from one place to the next has a very simple, relaxing charm to it, and hiking enthusiasts know all about how energizing it can be. If you decide to visit one of the countries with the most beautiful, untouched nature on top of it? Well, you’re in for a wonderful experience.

Scroll to Top