Information about the Camino de Santiago
In this post we want to bring together much of the information that our blog collects about the Camino de Santiago. In the following sections you will find information about the main questions that pilgrims are asked when they decide to do the Camino de Santiago.
The following blocks of information provide a brief response to pilgrim’s main enquiries. However, in most of them you will find links to other articles in our blog so that you can expand information about the Camino de Santiago. Read them in your own time and solve all your doubts!
What is the Camino de Santiago?
The Camino de Santiago is a network of roads, known as Jacobean routes. All the plots go to the Cathedral of Santiago, where the remains of the Apostle Santiago the Great are guarded.
Why do we do the Camino de Santiago?
The origin of the Camino de Santiago dates back to the 9th century, when the remains of Santiago the Apostle were discovered. His sanctification is related to many of the miracles that occurred around the saint during his evangelizing task in Spain and Portugal. You can find out more about their history in our post on the life of Santiago the Apostle.
With the discovery of the remains of his body, the king of Oviedo ordered the construction of a church to guard the holy tomb. He himself made the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Thus, a desire is established throughout Spain to follow in the footsteps of the monarch, to pay tribute to the Apostle.
From all corners of Spain, and from various points in Europe, Christians start to leave their homes to visit Santiago de Compostela. Many of them motivated by the desire to enjoy the grace and favours of the saint.
If you are one of those who want to make a pilgrimage and visit Compostela, we recommend you to do the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. Leave us your information, and details about when you would like to travel, and we will contact you to organize a wonderful experience.
However, the influx of pilgrims during the Middle Ages did not respond solely to religious reasons. The emergence of the Caminos de Santiago network also responded to political and social issues. If you want more information, you can consult this article in which we talk about the origin of pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.
However, today the motivations for doing the Camino de Santiago are very diverse, since the pilgrim routes are famous for many things. You can check out this article in which we list some of the main reasons for doing the Camino de Santiago, if you want to have more information.
Where does the Camino de Santiago go to?
The Camino de Santiago is formed by several routes, depending on the route you choose, the Camino de Santiago will pass through some towns or others. The only place on which it can be said that the Camino de Santiago definitely passes through is the Plaza del Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela.
If you want information on which places cross each of the routes of the Camino de Santiago you can consult the article that we dedicate to the principal sections on the Camino de Santiago. However, we warn you that it could be said that the Camino de Santiago goes everywhere. Anyone can walk from the door of their home to the tomb of Santiago the Apostle.
Where does the Camino de Santiago begin?
The Camino de Santiago can start from anywhere. However, each of the routes is assigned an official starting place. These would be:
- Camino Frances: Saint Jean Pied de Port (France)
- Camino del Norte: Irún
- Camino Primitivo: Oviedo
- Camino Ingles: Ferrol
- Camino Portugues Central: Lisbon
- Camino central Portugues Coastal route: Porto
- Vía de la Plata: Seville
How do you get to the start of the Camino de Santiago?
If you start any of the routes of the Camino de Santiago from their beginning, you will have no problem getting there. Most have good public transport links.
If you start your pilgrimage on some intermediate stage, it will depend on the locality. To get to the smaller villages, the most normal thing is that you have to travel to the nearest city and from there take some local transport.
How many ways can you do the Camino de Santiago?
Most commonly, pilgrims do the Camino de Santiago on foot. After these, the most common way is to do it by bike.
However, these are not the only two ways to complete the Camino de Santiago. There are also those who are encouraged to do it on horseback, by kayak or running. Some pose additional challenges with the aim of visualizing some social cause, as we tell you in the post about solidarity on the Camino de Santiago.
How do you do the Camino de Santiago?
The Camino de Santiago can be done freely or with the support of an agency specialized in the Camino. In the latter case, you can join an organized group or simply request that they plan and organize the tour for you. If you want information about the advantages of doing the Camino de Santiago with an agency, check the related article.
How long does it take to do the Camino?
Depending on the route you choose and the starting point you’ll take more or less days. You can stay 3 days or spend more than a month. Check out our article on how many days it takes to do the Camino de Santiago to get more detailed information.
When to do the Camino de Santiago?
The most recommended time to do the Camino de Santiago is from mid-May to the end of June. The main reason for this is that during those days the temperatures are warm, but not excessively hot.
However, every season of the year has its wonders. Depending on what you are looking for, the ideal time to make the Camino de Santiago may change. If you want more information about how the Camino de Santiago is in each of the seasons, click on the link.
Do you have to prepare for the Camino de Santiago? How do you do it?
It is advisable to prepare for the Camino de Santiago, both physically and mentally. In this post, you will find more information about how do you train for doing the Camino de Santiago.
However, if you haven’t had time to physically prepare to do the Camino de Santiago, there is an alternative. You can get your body used to travel long distances, planning the shortest stages, at first, and increasing the distance, progressively.
If you are not in very good physical condition, we recommend that you choose a simple route. Without a lot of slopes. In that sense, the Portuguese routes are the most recommended.
What do you take on the Camino de Santiago?
On the internet, you will find numerous lists of what to take to the Camino de Santiago. However, in this article we give you some recommendations on what to take so that you choose what you might adapt to your needs best.
In this article, you can check the list that we propose in Santiago Ways. However, since depending on the time when you do the Camino de Santiago you may need some things or others, we also advise you to expand information by consulting the article on what type of clothing to wear according to season.
How do you organize the route?
There are two ways to organize the Camino de Santiago. One is to do it yourself. If this is the case, you can check the article on the steps you need to take to organise your Camino de Santiago, you’ll find all the information you need there.
The other option is to hire an agency to arrange everything for you. If you want to, you can get in contact with us and we’ll give you all the information you need to know about organised journeys on the Camino de Santiago.
Where to sleep on the Camino de Santiago?
The accommodation on the Camino de Santiago is very diverse. You will find the network of public hostels are very economical, but which you cannot book in advance.
You will also find private hostels where you can book in advance. These are somewhat more expensive than the previous ones, but the infrastructures are more or less the same.
Of course, you will also find a wide range of private accommodation (hostels, hotels, country houses, etc.) that offer greater comfort and better services. The price varies depending on the quality in each of them.
In Santiago Ways, we always work with confirmed reservations, to ensure that pilgrims find everything ready at the end of each stage. Pre-booking is not mandatory, but if you don’t, in high season, especially in July and August, you risk having difficulty finding somewhere to sleep.
What do see on the Camino de Santiago?
The Camino de Santiago is famous for its historical heritage. Therefore, on many of the pilgrim routes you will find many places and monuments to visit. It would be impossible to list them all here.
In addition to the monuments and architecture, on the Camino de Santiago you can enjoy a beautiful landscape. The coastal routes also offer paradisiacal beaches for sea lovers.
How much does it cost?
The Camino de Santiago is free. Access to the routes is free and therefore you do not have to pay any kind of entrance.
The price of the Camino de Santiago is associated with the basic expenses: the journey to the beginning of the Camino, eating, sleeping, organizing, etc. Therefore, depending on the type of experience you want to live on the Camino de Santiago it can be cheaper or more expensive.
On our website, you can get information about the prices of the different routes of the Camino de Santiago with our travel agency. You can also check out our article on how to budget for the Camino de Santiago, if you want more detail.
Where does the Camino de Santiago end?
The Camino de Santiago officially ends in front of the Cathedral of Santiago, in the Plaza del Obradoiro. However, many pilgrims complete intermediate sections, concluding their pilgrimage at other points on the route. There are also the pilgrims who once they reach Santiago de Compostela, continue their pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago Finisterre or other routes.
How do you do the Camino de Santiago alone?
Not having anyone to accompany you to do the Camino de Santiago is not a problem. There are many people who decide to do the Camino de Santiago alone.
If this is the case, you have two options. One is to go on an adventure on your own. In that case we recommend that you consult our advice on doing the Camino de Santiago alone.
The other option is to go alone on the Camino de Santiago, but join an organized group. You can find out more about this topic in our blog post on alternatives to not going alone on the Camino de Santiago.
How do I get the Credential for the Camino de Santiago?
If you want to apply for the Compostela or use the network of public hostels you will need to get the credential for the Camino de Santiago (or pilgrim’s credential). You can get it in establishments authorized by the Cathedral of Santiago, through a travel agency specialized in the Camino de Santiago or ask for it in the first accommodation where you stay when you arrive at the Camino.
For more information on the use, cost and management associated with obtaining the credential of the Camino de Santiago, you can consult our article on the Pilgrim’s Credential. In addition to being helpful is a nice memory of the experience!
More information on the Camino de Santiago
Not all the doubts that trouble pilgrims are related to the route. Some of them are linked to the end of the Camino de Santiago. Below we provide you with information on topics related to your arrival in Santiago de Compostela.
What can you do in Santiago de Compostela?
When you arrive in Santiago de Compostela, the most common thing to do is visit the Cathedral de Santiago to embrace the apostle and request the Compostela. It is also common to attend the Pilgrim’s Mass, either on the day of arrival or the following day.
In addition to all of the above, pilgrims usually take 1 or 2 days to visit the city. In it, you will find many attractions. You can consult our guide to Santiago de Compostela for more information about them.
Where do you get the Compostela?
To get the Compostela (sometimes wrongly called Compostelana) you will have to go to the Santiago Pilgrims Office, located in Rúa Carretas, Nº.33. To be granted you must present your credentials from the Camino de Santiago and have travelled at least 100 kilometres, if you pilgrim on foot, or 200 km, if you go by bike.
What I can do after arriving in Santiago de Compostela?
Many pilgrims after their arrival in Santiago de Compostela set course for Cape Finisterre and Muxía. If you want to know more about this route you can consult the guide on the Camino de Finisterre.
Other people, albeit to a lesser extent, continue their pilgrimage on other routes along the Camino de Santiago, in a reverse direction. In that sense the most popular is the Camino Portugues.
More and more pilgrims are on their way to the Sanctuary of Fatima from the Cathedral of Santiago. You can learn more about doing the Camino de Santiago in reverse by clicking on the link.
The information about the Camino de Santiago that we have provided refers to the most common pilgrim’s questions. However, other questions may pass through your head that we haven’t resolved in this article.
If this is the case, we advise you to also consult our article on questions related to the Camino de Santiago. In it, we provide you with more information about the safety and hygiene on the Camino de Santiago, about the difficulty of the tour and how it is the experience you are going to have.
You can also leave us a comment with your enquiry and our team will be happy to help you to resolve it. Do not let doubts prevent you from living the magnificent experience of completing the Camino de Santiago!