What to do and see on the Camino de Santiago
On the Camino de Santiago, as well as travelling kilometres and kilometres, there are many more plans to make and many things to see. Some pilgrims are limited to walking and resting, but others make the most of all the activities offered throughout the Camino de Santiago.
The reality is that on the Camino de Santiago it is difficult to get bored. That’s why we always tell people who are afraid to go on an adventure alone, that on the Camino de Santiago they will find endless things to do. If you plan to go alone, don’t forget to read our article on the subject.
Regardless of who accompanies you, if you are planning to do the Camino de Santiago, continue reading, because in this article we explain everything you can do and see on the Camino de Santiago during your routes and when you rest during the afternoons. Plans and activities for all kinds of pilgrims!
Plans and activities for the Camino de Santiago
The pilgrim’s routine largely marks many of the things that need to be done on the Camino de Santiago. Early starts, walking and eating are the basic activities of any pilgrim, but amongst everything, on the Camino de Santiago, many plans are intermingled that will help you enjoy the experience to the fullest.
See spectacular sunrises
If there is one thing that characterizes pilgrims, they get up very early, especially during the hottest times. One of the things you can do on the Camino de Santiago is to enjoy stunning sunrises every morning.
Some sunrises you will experience while starting to walk, seeing how little by little the colour of the landscape around you changes. Others will surprise you even having breakfast in a lost town on the Camino de Santiago, seeing how the quiet villages that dot the pilgrim route awaken is something that leaves you with a great spiritual calm.
Enjoy nutritious breakfasts in the company of…
Breakfasts on the Camino de Santiago are a special moment. Not only because it is one of the most important meals of the day, as we told you in our article on how to eat well during the pilgrimage to Compostela, but because they mark the beginning of a new day.
Even those people who in their daily life do not eat breakfast, on the Camino de Santiago enjoy especially this moment. In the mornings, pilgrims wake up, each at their own pace, and in the small towns, as there are not many services on offer, they gradually find themselves in the bar.
There between drowsy glances, they share their breakfast time. The conversation usually revolves around the stage ahead.
The best thing about that moment is that although it may seem routine, it’s not routine at all. Every day breakfast is shared with new people, pilgrims who you have not seen in days, and with whom you will share today’s stage, or even with locals.
Stretching and warming up the engine
After breakfast, stretching begins, helping us to face today’s stage. Many pilgrims do not pay attention to this important point, but we always advise doing some stretching exercises before you start walking or pedalling.
At a slow pace, in the early hours of the morning, pilgrims begin their journey. Gradually, they feel that the joints and muscles are warming up. Stiffness, if they suffer from it, gradually disappears. The machine is warmed and ready to enjoy the day to the fullest.
Chatting while walking
Meeting new people on the route is one of the classic things to do on the Camino de Santiago. If there’s one thing pilgrims value, it is a pleasant conversation as they walk.
Some are very deep, as we mentioned in our article “And why are you making a pilgrimage to Santiago?”. Others are asked between laughter and parties, accompanied in many cases by songs.
The stops in the small village taverns that you cross on your path are other special moments. At these times, some of the fellow travellers are left behind and new pilgrims join along.
Again, these are moments for sharing and reunions. You should not forget that the dynamics of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago is to separate and rediscover during stages.
Enjoy the sights that come your way
Among the many things to do on the Camino de Santiago is the enjoyment of its rich heritage. On your route, you will come across many places of interest (churches, bridges, castles, deposits, etc.) that will be the perfect excuse to stop and visit them.
It is true that many pilgrims think that doing the Camino is at odds with sightseeing, but nothing is further from reality. Others don’t stop to visit during the day because they are in a hurry to complete the stage to make sure they get a bed in public hostels.
We believe that not enjoying the sights that come your way or not stopping to discover the towns that cross the Camino is a real shame. For us, it is one of the best things you can do to make the most of your experience on the Camino de Santiago.
If you plan to do the Camino de Santiago in high season, we recommend that you book your accommodation, in advance, outside the public hostel network. That will not make you less of a pilgrim and will allow you to enjoy the day calmly. If you want, you can get in contact with us and we will look after it for you.
Another thing you can do on the Camino de Santiago is to practice languages. The pilgrim route is full of foreign pilgrims, especially during the summer months.
Foreign pilgrims will find the opportunity to practice their Spanish or learn a few words. Nationals will be able to practice their English with people from different countries.
Water activities on the Camino de Santiago
Those who choose inland routes can also enjoy this activity on the Camino de Santiago. Routes such as the Camino Frances, for example, are dotted with river beaches, pools and rivers where you can stop to take a dip. So now you know, don’t forget your swimsuit!
Enjoy the local gastronomy
Each town on the Camino de Santiago will have its typical food or sweet, so you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to try its traditional gastronomy. After all, the Camino de Santiago is also known for being a gastronomic route.
At this point, we recommend that you read our article on tapas routes in Galicia. It is the perfect plan to guide your steps along the last kilometres of the Camino de Santiago.
If you are a wine lover, one of the best plans to make on the Camino de Santiago is to visit wineries and taste wines. The Camino Frances is especially famous for being an important wine route that crosses two of the most important wine-producing regions of Spain: La Rioja and Ribera del Duero.
However, on other routes, such as the Camino Portugues, you will also be able to do many wine-related activities. If you want to know more about this topic, you can consult our article on wine on the Camino de Santiago.
Join in with the plans of the locals in the villages along the Camino de Santiago
At the end of the stage, you will be able to join in the local life of the village where you finish the route. A good practice is to consult the cultural agenda that you will find on the website of some localities. If you don’t have them, keep your eyes open when you enter the locality, if there is an activity planned during the afternoon, it will be announced.
You never know what the locals are doing that afternoon. They may have a yoga class in the park, a concert, or the patron saint’s festivities.
The villages and hamlets on the Camino are very lively places, especially during high season. However, if there is nothing scheduled for the afternoon, you can always stroll around the village and do some urban tourism or visit one of its museums or churches.
Move to other points away from the Camino
On some stages, you will find places of interest that are tens of kilometres away. Detouring to visit is not feasible, but you can always take a taxi or public transport to get there and take advantage of the area to visit the place. We recommend that you ask at your accommodation or the tourist office what sights are nearby and how to get there.
Another of the classic plans of the Camino de Santiago during the quiet afternoons in which there is not much to do is to play. Board games and riddles energize many of the pilgrims’ quieter hours.
Going out to terraces and dining
It is true that pilgrims do not usually stay overnight, but that does not mean that going out to dinner and having a few drinks is not one of the activities that take place on the Camino de Santiago. In fact, dinner, along with breakfast, is one of the most important meals of the day.
What to see on the Camino de Santiago
We have mentioned it above, one of the main activities of the Camino de Santiago is to see and visit its heritage, either during the stage or at the end of it. Explaining everything to see on the Camino de Santiago in a single article would be almost impossible to do.
For this reason, in Santiago Ways, we have several articles dedicated to each of the routes. Below is a list where you will find what to see in each of the main routes on the Camino de Santiago:
What to visit on the Camino Francés to Santiago
The Camino Frances is one of the paths where you’ll find more things to see. Some of the most outstanding are Puente de la Reina, the archaeological sites of Atapuerca, the Cathedrals of Burgos and León, etc.
What to see on the Camino del Norte
On the Northern route along the Coast not only will you find places to see, but you can also visit countless beaches. So many that in our blog we had to dedicate two articles: the first section and from Gijón to Ribadeo.
Places of interest on the Camino Inglés
On the Camino Ingles you will find many churches and country houses to visit. It is a very rural route, but with a lot of Galician heritage.
What to see on the Camino de Santiago Portugues
The Camino de Santiago Portugues has two routes, both with many attractions. In the related article, you will find information about both of them.
The Heritage of the Vía de la Plata
On the Vía de la Plata you can enjoy its rich heritage, both Arabic and Roman. One of the stretches of this pilgrimage route is the Camino Mozarabe, as its name suggests, this is where the greatest Mudejar influence is concentrated.
What to see on the Camino to Finisterre
The route to the End of the World is not a proper Camino de Santiago but is within pilgrim tradition. It is a route full of magic and even older than the Camino itself.
Places of interest on the Camino de los Faros
The Camino de los Faros is not included within the network of pilgrim routes, but since it runs through Galicia, many pilgrims are encouraged to travel on it. Without a doubt, the main attraction of this route are the lighthouses themselves.
On the Camino de Santiago there is much more to do
As you can see, the pilgrimage to Compostela is an intense journey that can be squeezed as much as you want. There is no excuse to get bored not even for a single moment along the Camino de Santiago, there are so many activities to do and things to see.
In this article, we have told you only some of the most common, but on the Camino de Santiago, there are many more things to do. For today, we’ll leave it here because we don’t want to go any further and get too heavy.
To say goodbye, just to remind you that if you are going to do the Camino de Santiago, you can count on the help of a specialized agency to help you organize the tour. In this article, we explain what it means to hire the services of an agency.
If you prefer, you can also contact us directly through the form, comments and on our Facebook. Our team will resolve all your doubts!