Books and films about the Camino de Santiago
There are many books, paintings, films and documentaries based on the Camino de Santiago that serve as inspiration. It is not surprising that there are so many works related to the Camino since it is a unique journey, whose experience has been the seed and the muse of much artistic creation.
The contact with nature that surrounds the Camino de Santiago, characterized by changing landscapes, as well as the time to be with oneself and the deep conversations between pilgrims have inspired writers as well as painters and film directors.
If you are thinking of doing the Camino de Santiago, in this article we suggest some artistic works that serve to inspire you. As we told you in our article on how to prepare for the Camino de Santiago, early preparation is not only physical, but also mental and spiritual.
Books based on the Camino de Santiago
Below you will find a list of books based on the Camino de Santiago and the experience of the pilgrims. Choose yours and start your journey!
The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho
The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho is perhaps one of the best-known books about the Camino de Santiago. This literary work chronicles the adventures of the author himself when he ventured to complete the Camino de Santiago.
The book, in addition to providing a good reflection on the need to find the path of life, allows us to learn a little more about the life of this famous writer. Without a doubt, a book that will seduce all people who seek to reflect on the existence and meaning of life.
If inspiration has already done its thing, and you feel like making a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, we invite you to do the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. Tell us more details about the trip you want to take and we will happily arrange it for you!
El Alma de las piedras by Paloma Sánchez Garnica
If you are one of those people who are interested in the origin and history of the Camino de Santiago, you will like the book El Alma de las piedras (The Soul of the Stones) by Paloma Sánchez Garnica. A very different work from the previous one, with a plot centred on suspense.
The book begins by setting itself in the years when the tomb of Santiago the Apostle was discovered. Then take a leap in time and we go forward to two centuries later. A time when Mabilia discovers a strange mark on a stone that, together with her friend Arno, will lead her on a series of adventures in search of the truth.
Its pages mix fiction with some historical data. Before reading it, we recommend that you consult our articles on the history of the life of the Apostle James and on the history of the Camino de Santiago. That way you can separate fiction from reality.
La Estrella peregrina by Ángeles de Irisarri
La Estrella peregrina (The Pilgrim Star) by Ángeles de Irisarri is another historical style novel based on the Camino de Santiago during the Middle Ages. In this case, it reflects the experience of the nobility of the time.
The author manages to reflect very well the medieval society and customs. The story stars the Countess of French Brittany, who decides to walk to Santiago to ask the apostle to grow up her daughter, who is a dwarf. On the tour the illustrious and all her entourage will have to face various adventures.
Mi sombra en el Camino by Fernando Fraga López
Another book based on the Camino de Santiago and totally different from the previous two is My Shadow on the Camino, by Fernando Fraga López. Its author, professor of drawing at the School of Architecture of A Coruña, collects his experience on the Camino Frances through drawings.
Un noruego en el Camino de Santiago by Jason
As with the previous book, A Norwegian on the Camino has a strong graphical component. Its author, Jason, decided to take the Camino Frances to Compostela. During his trip he devoted himself to recording all the anecdotes that caught his attention on the Camino and in his encounters with other pilgrims.
The result is a very well-crafted comic that gathers a chronicle of the route, about its incredible landscapes and the wonderful new friends that he made on the tour. Not forgetting subjects as uncomfortable as foot pain or bad situations that pilgrims sometimes suffer.
Compostela y su ángel by Gonzalo Torrente Ballester
Another work born of the literary inspiration on the Camino de Santiago is Compostela and its angel, by Gonzalo Torrente Ballester. This book, much older than the previous ones, has a greater spiritual component.
One of the most complete works on the Camino de Santiago, which includes a reflection on what is the figure of the pilgrim, as well as the evolution of the city of Santiago de Compostela. All this is written in a historical way but without forgetting certain humorous touches.
Bueno, me largo by Hape Kerkeling
I’m off then is another of the books based on the Camino de Santiago that has achieved high sales, more than 3,000,000. Its author, Hape Kerkeling, manages to create a literary work full of humour, but without abandoning the Christian and spiritual essence of the Camino de Santiago.
Iacobus by Matilde Asensi
The last of the books based on the Camino de Santiago that we want to recommend is that of Matilde Asensi: Iacobus. The protagonist of this novel is a monk in the Order of the Hospital, who at the request of Pope John XXII, decides to investigate the death of the previous Pope.
The great deductive skills of Galcerán de Born, the protagonist, lead him to uncover the plot. Not without first discovering all the hidden power of the famous Templar order. A magnificent book if you are interested in finding out more about the role played by the Order of the Knights of the Temple on the Camino de Santiago.
Films about the Camino de Santiago
The world of cinema also has audiovisual productions based on the Camino de Santiago. Some within the category of fiction and others in the world of documentary.
The Way by Emilio Estévez
The Way (“Camino”) is a 2010 North American production directed by Emilio Estévez. This is one of the best-known films based on the Camino de Santiago internationally. In fact, it has been a source of inspiration for many foreign pilgrims, who after seeing the film, set out to complete the Camino de Santiago.
The film focuses on the character of Tom Avery, an American father who receives the news of the death of his son, Daniel, in the French Pyrenees. On his journey he discovers that his son was doing the Camino de Santiago and decides to complete it on behalf of his late son.
If you do the Camino de Santiago, you’ll probably hear about this movie, sooner or later. So it’s best if you see it, or at least check out the trailer.
O Apóstolo by Fernando Cortizo
The Apostle was the first Spanish feature film made in a stop-motion technique. The film tells the story of an inmate who manages to escape from prison to try to get hold of a treasure hidden years ago in a Galician village.
Along the paths laden with fog and mystery that form the Camino de Santiago, the protagonist will meet sinister characters and live in his own flesh the most authentic and dark Galician folk mythology. Here’s the trailer for the movie:
Footprints by Juan Manuel Cotelo
This documentary is based on the experience of a group of foreign pilgrims recruited specifically to complete the Camino de Santiago in 40 days. It is a film that reflects, perhaps with an excess of drama, the challenges that pilgrims must face in their path.
El Camino de Santiago: a documentary from the air
If what attracts you are the landscapes on the Camino de Santiago, you cannot miss this documentary entitled The Camino de Santiago, by the Swiss production company MovieBiz Films, with Iván Hernández as the promoter.
This piece of cinema aims to explain to the world the experience of the pilgrim from a completely different perspective: from the air. An overview of the itinerary that most pilgrims who travel their routes cannot enjoy.
To achieve this creative mission, producer Ivan Hernandez and his team recorded endless aerial shots with a drone. The result is fantastic, a visual marvel that opens the doors to a world of landscapes and contrasts. Here’s the trailer to get an idea of what you’ll find in this documentary.
Peregrinos by Coline Serreau
This comedy, “Pilgrims”, by the French director Coline Serreau has as protagonists three brothers who are forced to make the Camino de Santiago to collect an inheritance. The story is slightly reminiscent of the legend of the pilgrim’s shadow of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
However, despite his touch of humour, the director does not leave out aspects as important as the depth of the experiences that are lived on the Camino de Santiago and his values. We recommend that you watch it because the ending is quite surprising.
Tres en el Camino by Laurence Boulting
Three on the Camino is a documentary that reflects the experience of three foreigners on the Camino de Santiago: A Dutchman, a Brazilian and a Japanese. The richness of this production is mainly in the theme, the rhythm and the photography do not seem too good to us.
Americano by Kevin Noland
This is not one of the best films about the Camino de Santiago but The American is very entertaining. Its protagonist, Chris McKinley, is an American who, after graduating, decides to travel to Spain.
His arrival coincides with the San Fermín festival in Pamplona, where he meets a beautiful girl who he falls in love with. The signage on the Camino de Santiago does not take long to capture your attention and from that moment the whole story takes on a new dimension. If you like a romantic comedy, this is your movie on the Camino de Santiago.
Al final del Camino by Roberto Santiago
At the end of the Camino is another romantic comedy set on Camino de Santiago. In this film you will find actors from the famous Spanish television series “Aquí no hay quien viva” (no-one lives here) such as Malena Alterio y Fernando Tejero.
Both are in charge of making a news report about a guru who makes a fortune solving couples in crisis while they complete the Camino de Santiago. The research that the protagonists develop triggers different comic situations that will make you approach the essence of pilgrimage in a burlesque tone.
As you can see there are many artistic expressions that have arisen from the experience lived by their own authors on the Camino de Santiago. We hope that the books and movies based on the Camino de Santiago that we have recommended will help you to be inspired by the adventure.
If you want to, you can also consult the blog post that we dedicate to photography on the Camino de Santiago. Or if you prefer, you can read the post we dedicate to vital lessons on the Camino de Santiago.
When you’ve finished with both articles you’ll be more than inspired to do the Camino de Santiago and who knows… you may also be able to exploit your creativity along the way.
Have you seen any of the films about the Camino de Santiago that we have recommended in this article? If so, what did you think? We look forward to seeing your review!