Navigate the Camino de Santiago in Kayak
There are many ways to do pilgrimages to Compostela, although the most popular are to walk or on a bike, more and more pilgrims are encouraged to do the Camino de Santiago by kayak. Yes, you got it right. Reaching the tomb of Santiago the Apostle by kayaking on any of the routes of the Camino de Santiago.
With this original method, you can kayak through the multiple islands and islets of the Ria de Arousa. In addition, while kayaking you can paddle through spectacular landscapes, crossing clam and oyster farms.
The popularity that the Camino de Santiago has achieved during the last decades, not only as a pilgrimage route, but also as a sports route, has led more and more people to look for alternative ways to complete the Camino de Santiago. Two examples of this are the pilgrims who make the Camino de Santiago running or kayaking.
In fact, the Pilgrim’s Office recognizes the Camino de Santiago as a mode of pilgrimage and grants the Compostela to all those who have sailed 100 nautical miles. Of course, to do the Camino de Santiago by kayak or sailboat it is necessary that you walk the last section of the route, since it is impossible to access Santiago de Compostela by boat.
Before proceeding, if you are one of those who are interested in pilgrimage in a more traditional way, we recommend you to complete the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. It has 111 km of pleasant trails where, in addition, it manages to capture the essence of the Camino. Leave your details and we will contact you to organize this adventure.
Routes on the Camino de Santiago to do in kayak
Here’s what routes of the Camino de Santiago you can kayak. In some you will find a wide range of agencies that offer organized trips, where it is not necessary to have previous experience in handling a kayak.
La Ruta Traslatio in kayak
One of the most popular routes of the Camino de Santiago for kayaking is what is known as la Ruta Traslatio, the final stretch of the Variante Espiritual on the Camino Portugues. This route is also called the Ruta Maritima or the Arousa and River Ulla Sea Route.
It is a tour with a strong historical tradition. Thus, according to legend, this trace was followed by the disciples of Santiago the Apostle when they moved his body in a stone boat, from Jerusalem to Iria Flavia, a neighbourhood of Padron.
La Variante Espiritual begins in Pontevedra. From there some pilgrims continue along the Camino Portugues and others take this variant. Two stages later, the maritime route officially begins on the Camino de Santiago that can be completed by kayak, to Padrón.
This route of the Camino de Santiago is one that has the largest number of agencies that offer organized trips by kayak. Some agencies specialized on the Camino de Santiago by kayak combine the tour with sports activities such as snorkelling and walking.
If it is done with expert support, it is not necessary to have previous experience in handling the kayak. However, it is essential to know how to swim and be in good physical condition to cope with the route.
If you want to do the tour by yourself, it is essential to have previous experience in doing long-distance kayak routes. As well as with a good organization that allows to divide the route in stages and use the necessary equipment to complete that route.
What to see on the Camino de Santiago Sea Route
The tour takes place through the Ria de Arousa and the River Ulla. This route allows you to observe the clam and oyster farms close up, as well as enjoy the various islands and islets in the Ria de Arousa. Some of the most outstanding are: the Illa de Arousa, Isla Areoso, Isla Cortegada, Carril and Catoria.
In addition, during the journey you will have the opportunity to visit the Museo del Mar and various locations where you can seal the credential. All of the above surrounded by the climate and landscape that characterizes the area. Another attraction of this route is its gastronomy.
Certificate of accreditation
This sea route has its own certificate that accredits the pilgrimage along the estuary. This document is known as Traslatio.
This certificate is issued by the Pilgrim’s Office in Padron to all those who have completed a minimum of 40 nautical miles. To do this, it is necessary to seal the pilgrim’s credential, at least, in three different locations, between Pontevedra and Coruna.
Navigate the Camino Portugues Coastal Route in Kayak
The Camino Portugues Coastal Route is the route that runs along the Atlantic side of Portugal, from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. This route of the Camino de Santiago is also possible to complete by kayak.
However, only a few agencies offer such organized trips. To embark on the adventure of doing the Camino Portugues Coastal Route by kayak, on your own, you need to have experience in sailing and the necessary equipment.
When organizing the tour, you should study the sea conditions and the weather very well. Do not forget that you will be sailing by sea and that the conditions can be much more adverse than if you go along the estuary.
Camino del Norte in kayak
The Camino de Santiago del Norte is another of the coastal routes on the Camino de Santiago and is therefore also possible to do it by kayaking. However, this trip is only suitable for people with a lot of experience in this activity.
Given the characteristics of the Cantabrian Sea, it is advisable to make the tour in a period when the sea is calm. Generally, the end of spring, summer and early autumn is the best time.
Camino de los Faros in kayak
The Camino de los Faros is another route that can be done by kayak. Although this tour is not considered a pilgrim route, if you combine the kayak tour with a pilgrimage on foot or by bike, from Finisterre to Santiago, you can request the Compostela.
This route runs along the part of the Galician coast known as the Costa da Morte. The sea in this area of Galicia moves with great force and has taken countless lives, therefore, we recommend that you do not enter this adventure if it is not with a specialized agency or with kayaking professionals.
If you want to know more about the Camino de los Faros, you can read the article that we dedicate to this tour. We also recommend that you read the article that we dedicate to the Camino de Santiago in reverse, if you plan to continue your journey from Finisterre to Santiago.
We hope that the information we have provided in this article will be useful if you are planning to do the Camino de Santiago by kayak. In Santiago Ways we do not offer kayak trips on the Camino de Santiago but we can help you with the management of your accommodation and with the transfer of material, if you go on your own.
To contact us, you can call us, or use the form on our website. If you prefer, you can also contact our team through our official Facebook page.