The Camino de Santiago routes on foot
All the routes of the Camino de Santiago can be made on foot. The stages of the Camino Frances are mostly done by pilgrims on foot, but that does not mean that it is the best Camino de Santiago on foot, simply that it is the most popular.
If you want to know the details of all the walking routes of the Camino de Santiago, you can check our guide on the Caminos de Santiago. Here, we leave you with a map of the Camino de Santiago:
Once you decide which stages you will do on foot on the Camino de Santiago, you can start preparing your trip with our practical guide for the pilgrim. Organizing the pilgrimage to Santiago on foot is not complicated, but requires some planning.
Recommendations for doing the Camino de Santiago on foot
In this article of our blog on the Camino de Santiago, we also want to share with you a very interesting manual from the Physiotherapists College of Galicia. In your guide to the Camino de Santiago on foot, we explain how to prepare for the walking tour and how to avoid injuries.
We have synthesized their best recommendations along with the advice given in their video about the Camino de Santiago on foot, some female pilgrims. At the end of the post we leave the link to both items, if you want to take a look.
Preparation to do the Santiago de Compostela pilgrim routes on foot
Wearing the right clothing and having adequate physical preparation are two of the most important keys to complete the Camino to Compostela successfully. Next, we talk about each one of them.
Clothing to wear while doing the Camino de Santiago on foot
Both in the video of the Camino de Santiago on foot, that we mentioned, and the AEFI coincide in stating that it is important to have the appropriate clothing for the season of the year. Pilgrimage on foot with clothing that is too heavy or too light can make you not enjoy the experience or end up with a heavy cold.
Here we share some recommendations on clothing. The following list is based on the opinions given by the pilgrims in their video of the Camino de Santiago on foot, as the Galician College of Physiotherapists of Galicia explains about clothing. You’ll see that some points don’t match up.
The backpack to use for the Camino de Santiago on foot
Have a suitable backpack to walk with. On this topic in our blog, we have an article that goes quite deep on how it should be the backpack that you use on the Camino de Santiago on foot. Check it if you want to know more.
The AEFI tells us that the backpack should not weigh more than 10 kg. However, we, as a travel agency specializing in the Camino de Santiago, always recommend that your weight does not exceed 10% of your body weight. Therefore, 10 kilos would be only valid for a person who weighs around 100kg.
Regarding clothing, the College of Physiotherapists stresses the importance of this being an insulation. In its video about the Camino de Santiago on foot, the pilgrims also agree that it is better to wear technical clothing.
Our article on what things to put in the backpack while doing the Camino, We talk more in detail about the best clothing materials. If you want more information, do not forget to consult us.
Footwear: shoes or boots
Footwear is another important point. There are different opinions about it.
In the video of doing the Camino on foot, our pilgrims tell us that mountain boots are a mistake, that it is much better to use sneakers. However, the AEFI points out that in the hot months it is better to wear summer boots.
The College of Physiotherapists believes that boots should be worn. They are based on that this type of footwear protects the ankles and gives better footing. On the contrary, the younger pilgrims point out that this type of footwear makes it easier to graze the ankles.
There is a point where we all agree, both the school and the pilgrims in their video, as we do. It is not advisable, in any way, to wear new footwear on the Camino. If you buy specific footwear to make the Camino de Santiago on foot, you should start using it daily at least a month earlier.
Specialised socks for the Camino de Santiago on foot
Walking on foot with ordinary socks can be a mistake, you end up paying expensively. The AEFI recommends the use of cotton and seamless socks.
Wearing socks that prevent the appearance of chafing and blistering will make you enjoy the experience much more. If you do not have specific socks, as the girls say in their video of the Camino de Santiago on foot, you can take a look at Decathlon. They bought them there and they were very good.
Other accessories to do a route on foot
Other accessories that are recommended to take to do the route on foot are:
- A cap, visor or hat to prevent sunstroke or similar
- A trekking cane or similar.
Physical preparation to do the Camino de Santiago on foot
Many people believe, including the young pilgrims in the video of the Camino de Santiago on foot, that it is not necessary to carry out physical preparation before starting the Camino. But we, as the AEFI guide says, consider that it is advisable to prepare the body.
If you are going to do any of the walking routes to Santiago de Compostela, and especially if there are many kilometres, you will subject your body to stress that it is not accustomed to. If you are going to do the last stage of the Camino de Santiago on foot, the effort will not be so great, but it is also advisable to train previously.
The AEFI facilitates the following recommendations to organize training that will allow you to complete your pilgrimage on foot with success:
- Three weeks before, go out each day to take a walk and gradually increase your walking distance.
- Load the backpack a week before and go for a walk with it. In this way you will be aware of the weight you carry, whether you can take it or if you want to empty the backpack a little.
- If you are not able to perform a small workout, you can start the route with small steps on foot and gradually increase the distance. As the young pilgrims say in their video, “It’s not a barrier!”
If you would like more information about how to organise your training routine for the Camino de Santiago on foot, You can check our article. In addition, we also delve into some of the recommendations in the AEFI manual to avoid injury.
Complete the stages on foot of the Camino de Santiago without problems
Not only pre-arranging the Camino is important to successfully complete the route. It is also necessary to prevent injury during travel. The AEFI and the video of the Camino de Santiago on foot of our pilgrims also give some recommendations about it.
Pay attention to your steps
It is important to pay attention to the technique you use when walking. In this sense, the AEFI gives the following recommendations:
- Stretch before starting to walk
- Start each stage smoothly and do not force your steps during the journey
- Take short and slow steps on the ascents
- Take long and fast steps on the descents
- Use the staff or similar on the ascents and descents.
If you are going to walk the northern route of the Camino de Santiago, for example, you will have to follow much more our recommendations at this point. The Camino del Norte is very nice to do on foot, but it is one of the roads with more unevenness, along with the Camino Primitivo.
Make regular stops
The AEFI recommends resting every 1 to 2 hours at least during the stages. However, according to their video on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago, the pilgrims preferred not to stop.
In relation to the stops, the College of Physiotherapists indicates that:
- Stops must last 10 minutes or more. Although they should not be overextended
- It is advisable to loosen your shoes and put your feet up
- In summer the stop must be done in a cool place
- It is convenient to take the time to eat and drink something.
If you are going to do the Camino Frances on foot, you will have no problem meeting these recommendations. The stages of the Camino Frances are full of services and infrastructure, do it on foot and not stop is almost impossible.
Other recommendations for doing the Camino on foot
Other recommendations to do the Camino de Santiago on foot, which refer to both the AEFI and the girls in their video are:
- Drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day
- Be cautious with drinking water from non-safe sources
- Pamper your feet. The AEFI recommends applying Vaseline, while the young pilgrims did very well with anti-blister cream. They also explain that at the end of each stage they used rosemary oil.
- Prevent muscular fatigue, taking a full day of rest, if necessary.
For today, we say goodbye. We hope that the article has been useful and practical. As always, we encourage you to do the Camino de Santiago. If you still have doubts about whether to launch yourself on the adventure or not, we leave you 10 reasons why you should live this great experience.
Remember, it doesn’t matter what your physical condition is. The walking routes on the Camino de Santiago are suitable for everyone. Call us If you have questions or want us to help you organize it.
Finally, we share with you the links that we promised at the beginning of this post. In the guide of the Camino de Santiago from the AEFI (in English from page 27), You will also find a list of the most frequent injuries among pilgrims and some recommendations for cyclists and people with disabilities.