Routes and stages on the Camino de Santiago
Taking into account that more and more people are interested in completing the Camino de Santiago in any of its versions and that on too many occasions doubts and dilemmas are raised on which of all possible routes to take, from Santiago Ways we have decided to shine a little light to make everything easier.
Precisely, it is part of our vocation to do so and we want to remind you that it is possible to book any of these routes throughout the year. We will answer the most frequently asked questions about the Camino de Santiago!
What is the Camino de Santiago?
The Camino de Santiago is a route of medieval origin that arose from the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle Santiago in the early Middle Ages. Since then, the city of Santiago de Compostela, where his remains are found, became a city of pilgrimage and one of the capitals of Catholicism.
At first, there was only the alternative of the so-called ‘Camino Primitivo‘, a rugged route that crossed mountains and tested the faith of the believers. It was with the progressive advance of the Reconquista when the radius possible for new routes began to expand.
This increased its importance as a commercial route and contributed to dynamize the whole area, making new routes appear, such as the Camino Portugues or the Camino from Finisterre, which constitutes today a network that shares the same spirit.
Today, the Camino de Santiago is a route that symbolizes personal effort, adventure and a deep connection with nature and the cultural heritage of Europe.
Types of routes and stages on the Camino de Santiago
Camino de Santiago Frances
The Camino Frances de Santiago crosses the north of the Iberian Peninsula starting its pilgrimage in the French locality of Saint Jean Pied de Port, in the area of Aquitaine. It is a picturesque village from which we can leave to finish arriving in Santiago de Compostela or to Pamplona, depending on the time we have available to us.
Along the route of 760 kilometres and 33 stages, about 25 kilometres each, we can visit places as emblematic as Pamplona, Burgos, León, Ponferrada or Astorga. It is a path of medium difficulty and, of course, it is a great alternative in terms of its well-bestowed infrastructure. That has made this path the most recommended option.
Camino de Santiago Portugues
The Camino Portugues de Santiago is gaining popularity thanks to the efforts of the Portuguese administration in its promotion and mainly in infrastructure. It has a length of 620 kilometres divided into 25 stages ranging between 15 and 32 kilometres.
It is a suitable path for any age and any experience due to the ease of its profile. Indeed, it has hardly any climbs and between the cities and corners through which we pass the Vega del Tajo, the city of Coimbra or Lisbon: Two pearls of the neighbouring country.
Camino de Santiago Portugues coastal route
The Camino Portugues coastal route usually starts its pilgrimage from the city of Oporto. As its name suggests, it makes its journey alongside the Atlantic coast. It is more than 200 kilometres long and divided into 14 stages that are made through forests, cultivated fields and cities of incomparable beauty.
Camino de Santiago del Norte
The Camino del Norte or Coast Route is one of the oldest routes that exist. It goes through all of the peninsula from the east to the west across the Cantabrian coast. There are about 824 kilometres between Irun and Santiago de Compostela. It is divided into 34 stages of approximately 25 kilometres.
Camino de Santiago from Finisterre
The Camino de Santiago from Finisterre makes its voyage “backwards”, i.e. from the east to the west. It can be done starting from Finisterre to Santiago or from Santiago to Finisterre continuing the route. It has a length of 87 kilometres divided into 8 stages. It has a medium difficulty, so it is suitable for practically anyone.
Camino de Santiago Ingles
The name of this road comes from being the one taken by the pilgrims from the British Isles, mainly English and Irish. The Camino Ingles begins its pilgrimage in Ferrol and has a total length of 96 kilometres spread over 7 stages. It is a fairly easy route, although it is highly conditioned by asphalt roads.
Camino Primitivo de Santiago
This road, known as the Camino Primitivo, can be started from Lugo or Oviedo. It is considered the oldest route that sinks its roots in the times when the peninsula was under Arab occupation. As the Reconquista was advancing, alternative routes could be opened that were not so hard or so demanding.
It has a length of 313 kilometres of which 255 kilometres are considered as the real Camino Primitivo. It has 13 or 14 stages according to personal preferences of about 20 or 25 km each.
Camino de Santiago Lebaniego
This road starts from Santander and is actually a kind of compliment to the Camino de Santiago that ends at the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana. The Camino Lebaniego has a length of 155 kilometres divided into 10 stages of about 20 kilometres on average.
The Way of Lighthouses
The Way of Lighthouses runs a total distance of 145 kilometres. It is distributed in a total of 8 stages that go around the Costa da Morte in Galicia. The views and experience are incomparable. Pass through Fisterra, Punta Nariga or Laxe, spots where you feel a great connection with the environment.
Via de la Plata
The route of the Via de la Plata has its origin in the Roman roads that the faithful began to use to facilitate their pilgrimage to the city of Santiago. It travels from Ourense to Santiago for a total of 111 kilometres divided into 8 stages.
How do you organize your Camino de Santiago?
We want to give you a series of tips that can help you to better organize your route on the Camino de Santiago. Some of them have to do with the equipment you have to carry, others with the time of year and others, simply with the route that is best for you. We hope that they will help you to have one of the best experiences of your life.
1.- Think about which route you wish to choose
Not all routes on the Camino de Santiago are the same. There are some simple ones and others that are especially complicated. The main factor that has to do with this is the question of the profile of each of the routes.
However, in Santiago Ways, you can find this information about each route and each stage to make it easier for you to collect all the information. There are also other conditions, for example, the climate.
Some sections of the route pass through mountain areas that, if you have never done so, we advise you to visit. It is better an alternative closer to the coast or just change your planned date. It also has a lot to do with the infrastructure issue. If you do not have much experience it is better to choose a section that is well signposted and has good infrastructure.
2.- When to do it
In Santiago Ways, we check on each section of the road with information regarding its climatology and the conditions for each season. Spring and autumn are times when there may be more weather instability.
The winter can be very cold on some routes and yet the summer is a good moment because the weather is fresh and stable. Basically, everything is a matter of taste, so we recommend you visit our website and the section you have chosen in particular.
3.- Decide if you want to do the Camino de Santiago by bike or on foot
Most pilgrims make the Camino de Santiago on foot. However, if you want to do the bike route you must have had good preparation and understand, for example, that you must give way to the pilgrims who are walking.
4.- Adjust the times according to your condition
Measure the time you can manage and choose a route based on this. It will help you to make your effort more easily and get to your goal easier. Yes, the time it takes to do every section of the road depends on yourself.
5.- What do you need to bring with you?
A good rucksack, a raincoat and a windcheater, good underwear, as well as socks and comfortable footwear, are essential. However, other elements such as a cap, sunscreen, slippers for showers, toiletries, personal documents and, of course, your pilgrim’s credentials, are fundamental.
Which is the Camino de Santiago more…
We will now talk about the different routes of the Camino de Santiago, evaluating their most outstanding feature within all possible categories. That way you can better adjust the final decision to your own tastes.
The most beautiful
Most pilgrims vouch that the most beautiful route is the Camino Frances de Santiago. It is not surprising, considering its length and the number of beautiful places it passes through.
Without any doubt, the hardest Camino de Santiago is the Camino Primitivo. Most of the route between Oviedo and Lugo is made through mountains whose paths are steep. Of course, it is not advisable to do it for your first time.
The shortest Camino de Santiago is the one starting in Sarria if what we are talking about are full stretches of a particular route, but at the same time, you can get the “Compostela”. It has 111 kilometres. Of course, there are even shorter sections but we cannot consider them as complete routes.
The longest route is the Camino Mozarabe that starts from Almería. It’s 1400 kilometres long.
The most original
It could be said that the most original Camino de Santiago is the one that departs from Ferrol (the English) or the one that starts from Finisterre, precisely by starting in the opposite direction to all the others and being able to be done in either direction.
Where can I get my Pilgrim’s credential for the Camino de Santiago?
To do this, you must have travelled at least 100 kilometres on foot or 200 kilometres by bike. The credential can be obtained in person in the Pilgrim’s Reception Office or in the pilgrim associations that the Cathedral of Santiago has authorized or in brotherhoods of Santiago the Apostle.
The Camino de Santiago with Santiago Ways
Routes of the Camino de Santiago
- Camino de Santiago Frances
- Camino de Santiago Portugues
- Camino de Santiago Portugues coastal route
- Camino de Santiago del Norte
- Camino de Santiago de Finisterre
- Camino de Santiago Ingles
- Camino de Santiago Primitivo
- Camino Lebaniego
- The Way of Lighthouses
- The Via de la Plata
Here you can see all the stages of the Camino de Santiago.
In Santiago Ways, we will advise you on which route of the Camino de Santiago is the best fit for you.
Other ways to complete The Camino de Santiago
- The Camino de Santiago in an organized group
- The Camino de Santiago with a dog
- The Camino de Santiago on bike
- The Camino de Santiago as a couple
- The Camino de Santiago at Easter