Bed Bugs on the Camino de Santiago

The Camino to Santiago might be a spiritual journey, but it’s not exempt from common earthly troubles like bed bugs. Who would have thought that such little creatures could be such a huge pain in the neck? In the past decade, bed bugs have infested some albergues along the Camino causing trouble not only to pilgrims but also hospitaleros. Although inconvenient, the problem is being handled and should not be a reason to give this one-of-a-kind journey. In fact, bed bugs are not exclusive to the Camino or the cheap albergues. You can equally come across them in a five-star hotel. Their widespread [...]

2017-04-09T12:07:25+00:00 April 9th, 2017|FAQs|2 Comments

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. 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 [...]

2017-03-27T12:25:07+00:00 March 27th, 2017|FAQs|1 Comment

How Much Does the Camino de Santiago Cost?

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.  For most of in Europe it is fairly quick and easy to get to and from any of the routes - not so from North America, (see travel page here), however the exchange rate between the US Dollar, Sterling and Euro currently makes walking the Camino cheaper than it has ever been for pilgrims from American and Britain. Day to Day Costs While Walking The most popular Camino routes are the Camino Frances and the Portuguese [...]

2017-03-13T13:05:58+00:00 March 13th, 2017|FAQs|31 Comments

Where Can I Get a Pilgrims Passport?

A pilgrim's passport is a must, (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. The passport often ends up being a treasured possession as it is a great reminder of all the places you have stopped and stayed overnight.  The stamps are all different and almost [...]

2017-04-21T15:24:05+00:00 May 20th, 2016|FAQs|36 Comments

What is a Pilgrim?

The first thing that comes to mind when I ask myself what is a pilgrim is Canterbury Tales and Chaucer’s partying crowd, or of Homer in the Odyssey. I associate the words pilgrim and pilgrimages as belonging to a bygone era. Going on a pilgrimage in the middle ages was often the only form of travel that was acceptable, therefore, those seeking adventure could legitimately travel across countries. It is said that the purpose of pilgrims was veneration, asking for heavenly help or to know God better.  This definition really only fits modern religions where there is one God and not many.  [...]

2017-04-06T07:18:58+00:00 May 6th, 2016|FAQs|0 Comments

Why Walk the Camino de Santiago

In 2004 I first walked the Camino Frances the main Camino de Santiago route; I first wrote this article in 2009 and thought it could do with some updating. I was a student at the time and I wanted to do something different during the summer, something interesting - I am not one for lying on a beach and prefer to be active. One of my college mates had walked from Holland to Santiago de Compostela a few years before and he kept going on about this "Camino de Santiago" - to me it sounded horrible, walking all day across Spain [...]

2016-11-27T14:51:28+00:00 April 18th, 2016|FAQs|11 Comments

How Long is the Camino de Santiago Distance?

One of the most common questions I am asked when I speak about the Camino is how long is the Camino de Santiago in kilometers and miles. Usually, I just answer by saying 780 kilometers – though if the person is very interested I will get into explaining that there are many different routes in Spain and lots of other Camino routes throughout Europe leading to and joining the main routes in France and Spain, so the distance is relevant to each Camino de Santiago route . Below is a list of the main routes that are walked and cycled in Spain [...]

2017-02-21T20:41:25+00:00 March 6th, 2016|FAQs|4 Comments

What is Food Like on the Camino de Santiago

Yes, what about food? A question which had not occurred to me before going to Spain and France to start my first Camino. I have had the pleasure of traveling in Spain and France on numerous occasions before and I love their food. Compared to the usual British cuisine I find it more tasty. All that said, the food along the Camino is was not what I had become used to or expected in Paris or Madrid. The Pilgrims Menu During the first two weeks, I ate out every night. In every town and village along the way you will see [...]

2017-04-17T15:59:18+00:00 March 1st, 2016|FAQs|2 Comments

How Fit do You Have To Be?

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. The year before my first Camino I was very ill.  I had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and was taking medication that I later found out [...]

2016-02-22T16:18:22+00:00 February 22nd, 2016|FAQs|Comments Off on How Fit do You Have To Be?

What is the 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. January and December: unless you are located the other side of the equator January and December are winter.  Winter in Spain can sometimes be fairly cold, in 2008 there were snow blizzards in what was the worst winter for 15 years – last year, (2015), there was again lots of snow on the hills after Leon, [...]

2017-04-17T15:58:41+00:00 January 18th, 2016|FAQs|57 Comments

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 intentions 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. Losing the weight was simply the result of walking as I ate pretty much anything I wanted, including ice cream every day - well it was hot. I had managed while on the Camino Frances, to forget about [...]

2016-01-05T15:29:28+00:00 January 3rd, 2016|FAQs|10 Comments

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. There are the "bag rustlers" - these are pilgrims that think it is a good idea to start in the dark anywhere from 4.30 onward. Personally this was never attractive for me. Sleeping in albergues demands [...]

2015-09-18T15:48:20+00:00 September 18th, 2015|FAQs|6 Comments

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. Why a Rest Day? It is fairly easy to walk 10km; if you are fit enough it is easy to walk 25 or 30 kilometres. However you body starts to feel the strain when you [...]

2015-09-14T10:29:02+00:00 September 14th, 2015|FAQs|2 Comments

I Walked the Camino de Santiago as a Vegan and you can too

In May and June, (2012), I walked along with my husband, the Camino de Santiago as a vegan as well as sugar and gluten free. I spent a good amount of time before leaving on the internet looking for information about being vegan on the Camino…but to no avail. So, I decided to keep notes of what I ate during our trip to help others with this challenge. Because I have a minor problem with wheat and other gluten products, I was also very conscious of the details of how I remained this way for 99% of my Camino. I have [...]

2015-05-18T06:53:33+00:00 May 16th, 2015|FAQs|4 Comments

Westward, to the World’s End

We have come to the end of the world, my shadow, my backpack, my blisters and I. For here at Cape Finisterre, this wind-whipped westernmost spit of Spain, European travellers once came timidly to stand at the end of all known lands and gaze at a horizon that held behind it horrors and mysteries beyond imagining. Here, in the Middle Ages, before the great Discoverers set sail into the unknown, their world ended. There's a light at the end of the world now, an automated tower that blips out a cautionary beam into the frequent fog that cossets the broken coastline [...]

2016-11-28T13:58:33+00:00 January 22nd, 2015|FAQs|Comments Off on Westward, to the World’s End