Get your Compostela without any problems

As you well know, the Compostela, the certificate that confirms you have completed the Camino de Santiago, can be requested whenever a minimum distance of 100 km. on foot or 200 km. by bike to Santiago de Compostela has been done. To do this, there are multiple options from where you can start your route to meet this requirement. Here are some of them:

  1. From Sarria, on the Camino Frances.
  2. From Tui, on the Camino Central Portugues.
  3. From Baiona, on the Camino Portugues Coastal Route.
  4. From Ferrol, on the Camino Ingles.
  5. From Vilalba, on the Camino del Norte.

What else should I consider to get the Compostela?

In addition to travelling the minimum number of kilometres from some point of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, you should keep in mind that it is essential to collect at least two stamps per day on your Pilgrim’s Credential, you’ll need to collect at authorized points on the route as you go. This is the only way to prove that you have completed the Camino de Santiago.

Pilgrims credential

In principle, your Credential must be filled with the seals of churches, hostels, monasteries, cathedrals and all places related to the Camino. However, you may not find them on many routes, so it can also be stamped in other institutions such as town halls, cafes, among others.

Compostela application process when you arrive in Santiago

Once you arrive in Santiago de Compostela, which is usually around noon, you should head to the Pilgrim’s Office, located in Rúa das Carretas, 33, to ask for your turn and then wait patiently for the time to go to the counter with your Credential and get your Compostela at last.

We know that, recently, the request for the Compostela has become a long process and with some difficulty, and that is why we want to give you some key advice about the step by step process you must follow to obtain it. Remember, first of all, that the most important thing is that you have already finished your Camino and have arrived in Santiago de Compostela after several days of effort and enjoyment.

Monument on the Camino de Santiago

What we must tell you is that, if you arrive at about 12 noon or 1.00 pm, there is sure to be many more pilgrims who have already got a turn before you and it is not certain that you will get one for the same day.

Most of the pilgrims who are already in the Pilgrims’ Office and have their turn have certainly made it by arriving very early in the morning. At 10.00 am, for example, you can even find that the first 150 or 200 turns have already been dealt with.

The turn machine

Before, the machine was in sight when you entered the Pilgrim’s Office. Now, you have to go to the yard, go down a few stairs and then go down again to the left, where you will see a waiting room where you will find the machine. You will identify it because it welcomes you with an image of the Cathedral of Santiago and the flags that indicate to you the different languages to choose from.

The printed turn

When you access the machine, you will need to choose the option ‘Get number’ and it will print a paper for you with the symbol of the Camino scallop shell, a number and a QR code.

Once you have the turn in your hands, you have two options. The first is to wait in the room and staying attentive to the screens where the table will be indicated for you to go to once it is your turn.

The second, scan the QR code on your mobile and go for a spin around Santiago until it is time to receive your Compostela. However, remember to update the browser constantly to return on time and make proper use of the shift. To scan the code, we would explain the following: from iPhone and some other smartphones, you can do it directly from the camera; If you can’t get it, you’ll need to use a special app to do so.

It is essential that you take into account the relevance of using the turns well. We explain it: every day, hundreds of pilgrims do not get their Compostela because they do not arrive in time to the Pilgrim’s Office and must wait until the next day. So, if you’ve got a turn, don’t waste it. Arrive on time at the right table or give your turn to some other pilgrim.

Using the turn

When you see on the screens or on your mobile that few numbers are left before reaching your turn number, locate the table to which you should go, and be careful that it is your turn to stop so that you do not make other pilgrims wait longer.

Remember that it is essential to bring your Pilgrim Credential properly marked and stamped so that the person who attends you in the Pilgrim’s Office can give you the Compostela.

What do I do if I can’t take a turn?

First of all, be patient with the workers who serve you at the entrance and at the tables of the Pilgrim’s Office. They do their job properly by attending all the pilgrims who get their turn.

If for a while, you have not made it to take your turn, it is best that you return the next day, much earlier, and request a turn that allows you to access your Compostela.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

And, of course, as we know that many pilgrims when they finish their Camino already have their return journeys organised (buses, flights, trains or own car), our key suggestion is that you do not schedule your return home for the same day you arrive in Santiago de Compostela.

IMPORTANT: although we would love to be able to do it for you, the Pilgrim’s Office does not allow the Compostela to be requested by third parties. It is also not possible to carry out the procedure by telephone or online. And while many of our pilgrims have tried, it is also not an option to ask for an appointment for the following day. 

If you book your Camino de Santiago with Santiago Ways, all you have to do is let us know that you want to enjoy one more night in Santiago de Compostela, and we will gladly book it for you. So then, in addition to taking advantage of another day in this beautiful city, you will be able to access without any inconvenience or setbacks to request your Compostela.

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