Reasons why people do the Camino de Santiago
More and more people are pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. The reasons for making the Camino de Santiago today are very diverse. We publish another article in our blog to explain why people started to do the Camino de Santiago, Some of these motivations are preserved today, but new ones have also emerged.
If you got here for simple curiosity or because you want to know if the reason you are going to do the Camino de Santiago is valid, do not hesitate, continue reading. We will tell you, in detail, all the reasons why pilgrims go to Santiago de Compostela.
But before you read on, if you are ready to make a pilgrimage and you are interested in doing the Camino de Santiago from Sarria, leave us more information and while you continue to delve into your reasons, we’ll help you organize this trip to make it an unforgettable experience.
Doing the Camino de Santiago for religious reasons
Doing the Camino de Santiago because of Christian faith is one of the first reasons why pilgrims went to Santiago. The reasons for visiting the tomb of a martyr, such as Santiago the Elder, are diverse. Now, we’ll tell you some of them.
Pay respect at the tomb of Santiago the Apostle
For many Christians, the simple fact of visiting the remains of Santiago the Apostle is a sufficient reason to travel to Compostela. Even for people who are not believers, visiting the tomb of the saint is a good reason to do the Camino de Santiago.
As we commented in the article that we mentioned at the beginning of this post, the act of pilgrimage is not associated with any religion. The legend of Santiago the Apostle is great enough for people of other faiths to walk on pilgrimage to his tomb.
The Camino de Santiago as a vow
A vow is a name given to the offering dedicated to God or to a saint. Many people promise to Santiago to do this or that if the saint grants them a wish. Petitions can be very diverse, from passing an exam, finding a job, a sick family member recovering, etc.
One of the reasons why people decide to do the Camino de Santiago is to ask for the grace of the Apostle. Others make the vow from home and then pilgrimage to Santiago to thank the Saint who has granted it.
The people who decide to do the Camino de Santiago for religious reasons usually perform the pilgrimage as a vow of humility or detachment. It is really wonderful to see the tenacity, perseverance and loyalty of many of these people.
Witness a miracle
Another reason to do the Camino de Santiago is the belief that the pilgrim route is full of miracles. Many people walk it in the hope of witnessing one. That is why it is common to hear the question: “Have you witnessed the miracle yet?”
Doing the Camino de Santiago for spiritual reasons
No one will doubt that the Camino de Santiago is a spiritual journey, an adventure within each pilgrim. At this point, we do not refer to religious aspects, but to issues of balance and psychological well-being.
Some people decide to do the Camino de Santiago as an adventure of introspection, as a journey of self-knowledge and meditation. The motives that lead people to make this decision can be varied. Here are some of the reasons that lead pilgrims to start a spiritual journey.
A journey to know yourself
Many people feel that they don’t know themselves. That the frenetic pace of society doesn’t allow us to listen to ourselves. Given the enormous sense of loss that these feelings generate, some people decide to do the Camino de Santiago in order to able to find themselves.
On the Camino we learn many things, such as the little material importance in our lives. They help people find the path they had lost.
The spiritual peace that can be found on the pilgrim route is another reason that leads many people to do the Camino de Santiago. On the tour, people who need to make some important decisions find the silence necessary to reflect, meditate and listen to themselves.
They come to the Camino de Santiago with a clear question they wish to answer. This practice is so common that even some pilgrims do the Camino de Santiago several times. Returning to the pilgrim route every time that they have to take a vital decision.
Disconnect from work and technology
This is one of the most recent motivations to do the Camino de Santiago. Disconnecting from work and technology is very difficult for many people who complete the trip to Santiago.
The pilgrims’ own routine helps them to switch off from work and forget the mobile and social networks for many hours. Some even dare to leave the device at home during their experience on the route.
Disconnecting is one of the reasons to do the Camino de Santiago that we have heard most lately. So one day we would encourage you to write a specific article about how to disconnect from tech devices while you are on pilgrimage.
Sentimental breakups, deaths, layoffs, etc. These are all processes that have brought grief. On one of the stages, or once the process is over, many people decide to do the Camino de Santiago as part of their emotional recovery.
Reconnect with your emotions
Emotional education is a relatively new phenomenon. Reconnecting with emotions is another common reason to do the Camino de Santiago.
Many people become aware that they have their sensitivity totally blocked. If there’s anything worse than suffering emotionally, it’s not feeling anything. How many people take decades without shedding a tear, be it in happiness, sadness or emotion?
Feeling vulnerable, experiencing the excitement that is shared on the pilgrim route, living in situations of authentic solidarity between pilgrims or the arrival in Santiago de Compostela, allows them to feel alive again. They say that everyone cries at least once on the Camino de Santiago.
Doing the Camino de Santiago as a tourist
Other people, away from the mysticism that surrounds the Camino de Santiago, are looking for is a different way of sightseeing. The simple fact of travelling on foot, by bike or on horseback, already makes it different. Much more in touch with everything around them.
To the above, we must add that the Camino de Santiago is a journey that hides endless wonders to enjoy. Now we explain what the people who decide to do the Camino de Santiago are looking for tourist reasons.
One of the main reasons why people decide to do the Camino de Santiago is culture. You shouldn’t forget that the Camino Frances has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Important efforts have been made to disseminate the pilgrimage to Compostela. As we told you in the article that we recommended in the introduction.
Both on the Camino Frances and on other pilgrim routes, it’s possible to find constructions of great value and of enormous artistic beauty. Making the way allows you to enjoy a journey through the different architectural currents (Romanesque, Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, etc.) that have flooded the pilgrim path over time.
Visiting Santiago de Compostela is, without a doubt, one of the greatest reasons to do the Camino de Santiago. The Cathedral of Santiago does not look the same lying from the floor of the Plaza del Obradoiro, after having walked dozens of kilometres, that if you only visit the capital of Compostela.
What seduces some of the pilgrims who complete the Camino is its landscape and nature. More and more people flee the package holidays or the classic sun and beach holidays and seek active tourism during their free days.
The different paths to Santiago have considerable scenic beauty. But especially the roads that run through the north of Spain. The Camino del Norte, the Camino Primitivo or the Camino Ingles, Along with the Camino Frances, they cross so-called green Spain. An ideal place to enjoy this type of tourism.
Gastronomic tourism is also on an upward trend. Many lovers of good cuisine visit the pilgrim route for this reason.
The pace of the pilgrim route allows them to taste each of the traditional dishes of the different localities they cross. The north of Spain is one of the best areas to eat meats and seafood. Its gastronomy attracts hundreds of tourists each year. Padrón peppers, Melide-style octopus or the classic seafood from Santiago are just some of the delicacies enjoyed by the pilgrims. In addition, travelling kilometres gives you an appetite, so, gastronomic tourism and pilgrimage to Compostela is a perfect combination.
Lovers of good wine also fix their eyes on the Camino de Santiago. Together with the gastronomic tourism, the oenological, every year moves thousands of tourists around the world.
All routes pass through important wine-growing regions routes of wine on the Camino de Santiago. The Camino Portugues counts on, for example, with the crops of the River Tejo.
The routes that run through Spain cross two of the main wine regions of the country: Ribera del Duero and La Rioja. And, of course, there are also Galician wines.
Doing low cost tourism
Other reasons to do the Camino de Santiago is to enjoy a holiday without spending a lot of money. Depending on how you do the tour, the trip can be very cheap. At least, you spend nothing on transport.
Pilgrimage to share your time
Pilgrimage has a strong social component. The kilometres of travel are the perfect opportunity to share with other people experiences and concerns.
Many people pilgrimage to Santiago to enjoy the company of other pilgrims. Now we will tell you what the pilgrims who come to the Camino de Santiago are looking for regarding social reasons.
Know people: make friends
The Camino, in spring or summer, is full of people from all over the world. Many pilgrims who do not have anyone to go with on holiday and decide to start this adventure alone, because they know that on the route, can make new friends.
Obviously, it is not only people who travel alone who have this motivation to do the Camino de Santiago. Couples, groups of friends and families also decide to do the Camino to discover similar people.
It is also said that many pilgrims go to the Camino de Santiago to flirt. More than one has been fortunate enough to fall in love on the journey and return home with the love of their life. In our article on 7 things that you should know about pilgrimage to Santiago We will reveal to you what this fact is.
Share family time
Another reason to do the Camino de Santiago that we usually find is to do something different with your family. Many of them, both with younger and older children, want to share time together. They do the Camino de Santiago fleeing from the traditional holidays and in order to share a unique experience.
Although the Camino de Santiago may seem like an experience only suitable for people who are in very good shape, there are many children who travel the pilgrim path. The route adapts to each person.
Those who need to do so without a lot of effort, find the infrastructure and services needed to achieve it. In this article, for example, we explain some tips for doing the Camino easily.
Travelling with your dog
Spending the holidays with your dog is another reason that leads some pilgrims to make the Camino de Santiago. Animal lovers hate to have to leave their pet during the holidays.
Many of them are always looking for destinations that they can share with their loyal partner. On this trip, they find the perfect opportunity for doing the Camino de Santiago with a dog, as much as them.
Another reason that motivates many people to visit the road is that, although mostly running through on Spanish soil, it is a very international experience. Some pilgrims who want to practice English or other languages, instead of travelling hundreds of kilometres, do the Camino de Santiago.
Doing the pilgrim route as a sport
Among these 5 reasons to make the Camino de Santiago, perhaps one of the most fashionable, in recent years, is sport. More and more people do the Camino for sporting purposes. We will tell you how this kind of pilgrim does this.
As a challenge
Some pilgrims who do the way seek to overcome themselves. The challenge can be to do the Camino de Santiago on bicycle, do the stages running, overcome a personal best, etc.
As an adventure sport
A rather incipient motivation is the practice of adventure sports during the tour. Many pilgrims combine stages kayaking, cycling or horseback riding and climbing activities. Even on routes such as the Camino Portugues coastal route, We’ve seen pilgrims swim stages.
The pilgrim route as a gymnasium
Faced with the growing fame of the Camino as a sporting activity, some pilgrims decide to do the Camino de Santiago to get in shape outdoors. The distance of the route contributes to strengthening their muscles and a large number of calories they consume, helps them to lose weight.
Other motives for doing the Camino de Santiago
Achieving the Compostela is another of the great motivations to do the Camino de Santiago. Therefore, many pilgrims, regardless of their religious motivation, wish to finish the tour in Santiago de Compostela.
You see that the list of motivations to complete the Camino de Santiago is quite extensive if we attend to its nuances. I’m sure the list could be a lot broader, but for now, we’re going to leave it here.
We do not want to say goodbye without clarifying that the reasons why people decide to do the Camino de Santiago are not exclusive from each other. We love to ask the pilgrims who travel with us: “Why do you do the Camino de Santiago?”
They always answer with several reasons. This is the nice thing about making the trip to Santiago on the pilgrim route, that each one can give it a different the meaning of why they want to enjoy it.
Now that you know the main reasons to do the Camino de Santiago, do you dare to do it? If your answer is “yes”, we congratulate you, it’s a wise decision. Call us and we will accompany you on your route.
Thanks for this blog; having done the Way of St. James, in 2018, I am returning to focus on more of the inner work the Camino can bring….your information is a good reminder there are as many reasons to do this as there are pilgrims.
Thank you very much for your kind words. We’re so happy to be part of your research for the Camino de Santiago. We love to be as useful as possible for our pilgrims.
Please have in mind we’re always here to help you organizing any route of the Camino de Santiago once you decide when to start walking along the Camino again.
Santiago Ways Team