Doing the Camino de Santiago gluten-free
We are receiving more and more inquiries from celiac pilgrims who ask us if it is possible to do the Camino de Santiago gluten-free. Suffering from such intolerances should not stop you when embarking on the adventure.
There are many options to organize the Camino de Santiago without having to end up consuming gluten because you do not find gluten-free options.
As you know, the Camino de Santiago crosses numerous towns, some of them cities. Therefore, finding gluten-free food on the Camino de Santiago is not impossible.
Obviously, the range of available products in the cities will be much wider than in the small urban centres, but you will always find options to eat gluten-free on the Camino de Santiago.
The objective of Santiago Ways is to facilitate the journey to pilgrims and offer the best tips to do the Camino de Santiago. Below you can find a help guide to do your Camino de Santiago gluten-free.
Anyway, if you want to make a pilgrimage, we recommend the Camino de Santiago from Sarria, for its popularity and for the ease you will have to find gluten-free food on this stretch. If you need help with the organization of your trip, leave your details and we will contact you.
How to do the Camino de Santiago gluten-free
Here are some tips you can follow if you are gluten intolerant and you are going to do the Camino de Santiago. Depending on your degree of intolerance, as you should already know there are allergic people and those who are intolerant, so there will be some tips you can follow or not.
If you are one of those people who needs to have absolutely no contact with gluten, because you are highly allergic, you will find things much more complicated. However, there are always solutions. Here are some.
Have breakfast at your accommodation
If you decide to stay on the Camino de Santiago in hotels, you can include breakfast. However, book well in advance and request that they have gluten-free foods prepared for you.
Be sure to ask if a gluten-free menu is possible before booking. Also check what will help you, as some places do not make variations in their breakfast menu.
If the place where you are staying offers you a buffet breakfast, be sure to ask what it includes. Some buffets have a wide variety of products. In this way, it will be easy for you to organize a strong gluten-free breakfast that allows you to build up the energy necessary to face the stage on the Camino de Santiago.
However, to make sure you never get hungry, we recommend that you always carry a small bag of bread or gluten-free cookies with you. Thus, if the hotel does not have gluten-free bread, but you want to have a snack, you can ask them to prepare it with your own bread. It’s not ideal, but you avoid risking not having anything.
Take your products to the cafeteria
If breakfast is not included in your accommodation and you plan to go to a cafeteria for breakfast, we are sorry to tell you that gluten-free options you find on the Camino de Santiago will be very few. In that case, the best thing you can do is take your own products (bread, pastries, gluten-free cookies, etc.) with you and eat them together with a coffee or juice in the cafeteria.
In this way, you can enjoy breakfast with other pilgrims. As a rule, coffee bar waiters usually don’t put up any barriers to eating a product that you haven’t bought there, as long as you buy a minimum consumption, such as a coffee, an infusion, juice, etc.
Make your own breakfast before you leave
Another very economical option, if you stay in a hostel that has a kitchen, is to prepare your own breakfast before leaving. So you can control exactly what you eat and prepare a hearty breakfast to start the day.
If you have a very strong gluten allergy, we recommend that you use your own utensils. Take with you some film paper, serviettes, etc., so that you avoid touching the products you will consume in places where, perhaps other pilgrims, have been preparing gluten-contained foods. This way you’ll keep your breakfast from getting contaminated and you can make you feel bad.
Think that there are many pilgrims who make the Camino de Santiago looking to spend the minimum possible. Therefore, many of them choose to prepare their breakfast at the property before leaving in the morning.
To follow this strategy, all you have to do is be a little cautious, especially if you like to have breakfast of pastries, bread or cookies. Not in all the locations on the Camino de Santiago will you find places where you can buy gluten-free products.
Therefore, you must plan your tour well, and buy gluten-free products in those supermarkets that have that product line. You don’t have to take a shipment with you, but don’t wait for it to run out to buy it again.
Snacks are not usually a problem on the Camino de Santiago for gluten intolerant people. Fruit and nuts can be good snacks.
However, if in the middle of the morning you’d like to eat a sandwich, you can take it already prepared from your accommodation. Unless you’re going to stop in a big town or city that morning, where you might find a coffee shop or bakery that has products for celiacs.
Lunch is one of the meals that gives least problems when doing the Camino de Santiago gluten-free. Gluten-free dishes can be found in most restaurants. In some, you will find it indicated on the menu, but in others even if they do not indicate it, you can see among its ingredients that the dish does not have any gluten products.
Our recommendation is that you plan for lunch in the largest locations through which you go during the day’s stage. That way, you’ll have more opportunities to find a restaurant whose menu suits your needs.
Our advice is to dispense with pilgrims’ menus. In them you will find fewer options to choose from. Order “a la carte” and enjoy the local cuisine.
Dinner can be a problem when eating gluten-free on the Camino de Santiago. Many of the stages end in small urban centres where you won’t find a wide variety to choose from.
A good solution is to stay in hotels that offer you dinner, advising them, in advance, that you need a gluten-free menu. Another is to plan to end stages in locations that are not very small or prepare dinner in your accommodation, if you have a kitchen.
Gluten-free restaurants and supermarkets on the Camino de Santiago
To organize yourself better and have to face the fewest possible unforeseen events, you can create a list of gluten-free restaurants and supermarkets that you will find on any of the routes of the Camino de Santiago that you choose.
It is easy to find gluten-free food in Santiago but it is important to check if in the other towns you are going to go through, you can also buy suitable products for celiacs.
You can consult the characteristics of the different sections and their stages in this article that we dedicate to the various guides of the Camino de Santiago.
Once you know which route or section you will take, make a list with the gluten-free restaurants and supermarkets in the main locations of each stage. Write down opening times so you can plan what meals you can have at those locations.
With the list created, you can use Google maps or maps.me to locate each of the places. This way you will find it comfortable to check during the tour. It’s all about organization!
For today, we’re leaving it here. Not without first telling you that do not let being celiac prevent you from living the wonderful experience of doing the Camino de Santiago.
If you want to make the organization of your gluten-free Camino de Santiago much easier, you can contact us. We will take care of the organization of your pilgrimage.
In Santiago Ways, we can manage your accommodation on the tour, providing you with gluten-free breakfast and dinner; and a picnic for the day’s tour. It’s that simple, without so much planning and with everything ready each day!
To learn more about this service, you can contact us via the form on our website or by writing to us through our official Facebook page.
Do not forget to inform our team that you want to do the Camino de Santiago gluten-free, so that they design the trip according to your needs.