Tips for the Camino de Santiago
It’s all settled. This year is now or never. You have finally decided to do the Camino de Santiago, and soak up all its magic. Now you only need information on the famous route, the key tips for doing the Camino de Santiago.
Great! You have reached the most practical and clearest blog related to the Camino de Santiago. We will provide you with all the information you need. Useful information and recommendations that will help you to live a unique experience, adapted to what you are looking for.
Here you will find a list of all the tips for the Camino de Santiago. Pay attention and don’t forget to read the related articles! We have a lot of information on the Camino de Santiago for you.
Advice about information on the Camino de Santiago
Let’s start at the beginning. Once you decide to go on a pilgrimage, you will hear a thousand and one pieces of advice on the Camino de Santiago. Both people who have done the pilgrimage and people who have never stepped foot on the Camino de Santiago.
Tip 1: Don’t listen to all that they tell you
In other articles of this blog on the Camino de Santiago, we have already told you. Recommendations are fantastic, but not all recommendations on the Camino de Santiago you will hear are correct. Also, not everyone lives the experience in the same manner.
This issue worries us so much in Santiago Ways that we have a whole article dedicated to this matter. See our guide on how to interpret advice on the Camino de Santiago, if you want to know in more detail what you’re up against.
Key advice for the pilgrim: It is wise to listen but it is wiser still to follow your heart.
Tip 2: Don’t believe all that you hear
The Camino de Santiago is full of myths and legends. Do not be confused by the information on the Camino de Santiago that is not sufficiently justified or that is relative.
There are many pilgrim routes. What happens in one, may not happen on another one. See things that you should not believe about the Camino de Santiago, to avoid falling into this kind of trick.
Key advice for the pilgrim: Try to contrast the information of the Camino de Santiago from different sources.
Advice to prepare your Camino de Santiago
As you have seen in the last article that we have recommended, improvising the decision to make the Camino de Santiago is possible. However, our advice will always be that you take some time to prepare your journey on the Camino Santiago.
Tip 3: It doesn’t matter how many days you have
No matter how many days you have free to make the Camino de Santiago, you can adapt the route to the days you have available. In this article on how long you need to do the Camino we recommend some routes depending on your holiday.
Key advice for the pilgrim: A long weekend is enough time to do any of the routes to Santiago that you can complete in 4 days, for example, the route from Sarria.
Tip 4: Autumn and spring are the best seasons
The Camino de Santiago can be done at any time of the year. However, you will not enjoy the same experience if you do it in winter, struggling with the cold, or if you do it in spring or autumn when temperatures are milder.
If you decide to embark on your adventure in winter, you may have to opt for a route that does not run at a high altitude and avoids snowfall. The Camino Primitivo and some of the last stages of the Camino Frances can be very hard.
In summer, the heat will make walking harder. However, the risk of rain is much lower.
Routes such as the Camino del Norte or the Camino Portugues coastal route are ideal for summer, as they run by the sea, so you can freshen up on the beaches. Given the high temperatures in southern Spain, the beginning of the Via de la Plata should be avoided during the hottest months.
Our advice is to do the Camino de Santiago in autumn or spring. These seasons provide beautiful landscapes laden with authentic explosions of colour. All the routes on the Camino de Santiago are especially beautiful at that time of the year.
Key advice for the pilgrim: On all the routes of the Camino de Santiago you will find beaches, pools or rivers where you can bathe.
Tip 5: There is no advice on which is the most beautiful Camino de Santiago
Surely you know that there are several pilgrim routes to get to Santiago de Compostela. The first thing you have to be clear about before you jump into the adventure is what route you are going to follow.
The choice of which Camino de Santiago you will do is very personal and it is very difficult to give recommendations. It depends, to a large extent, on your goals, the time you have, the place you want to start from, etc.
If you have not yet decided which way to Santiago you like most, read our manual on how to choose your route to Compostela. Depending on the experience you feel like living, you will one option better than another.
You can also read the article about the origin and tradition of pilgrim routes. In this publication, we will tell you about the history of the Camino and the origin of the different routes to Santiago.
Key advice for the pilgrim: Choose the route that best suits you and the experience you want to live. All the routes to Santiago have their charm and all are true pilgrimage routes.
Tip 6: It is advisable to train, but not vital
Doing the Camino can become a very demanding activity at a physical level. The ideal way to enjoy the experience, without injuries, is to train previously, but it is not essential. In this article, we give you some advice on how to get fit for the Camino de Santiago.
Key advice for the pilgrim: If you have not trained, do the shortest stages first and avoid hard climbs. Little by little, you will be able to increase the distance and the difficulty. The Camino Frances from Burgos is a good option for this. The Camino Portugues too.
Tip 7: Live the experience the way that you want
If you have read the previous article, about the history of the pilgrim routes, you will have seen that there is a lot of pressure about how a pilgrim should be. Avoid letting yourself be dragged along by them, design the trip to Santiago the way you like.
There are many ways to pilgrimage. In fact, in this article, we explained to you how to do the Camino de Santiago without getting tired. Read it, if you’re interested in this option.
Key advice for the pilgrim: There are as many ways to visit the Apostle’s tomb as there are pilgrims on the routes. Let no one tell you what is and what is not authentic!
Tip 8: Be careful if you are carrying your backpack
Within the planning and design of your trip on the Camino de Santiago, you will have to decide whether to carry your pilgrim backpack on the route or not. If you decide not to do it, it’s legit.
If you are surprised by this idea, read this blog post about why you should contract a backpack transfer service, so that you understand better. Our advice is to do the Camino de Santiago travelling light, both baggage and emotions.
If you are going to carry your backpack during the tour, prepare it a few weeks in advance. In this publication of our blog of the Camino de Santiago, we make some recommendations on loading your backpack for the Camino de Santiago.
Key advice for the pilgrim: If you have a few days to do the Camino de Santiago it’s better not to carry a backpack, so you can move faster. In case you do carry it, beware of the “Just in cases”!
Advice for you to enjoy your Camino de Santiago
Once you are on the Camino de Santiago, you can enjoy the experience more or less. Here are some recommendations for you to enjoy the pilgrim route to the fullest.
Tip 9: Don’t hurry, take your time.
On many Camino routes, especially on the Camino Frances, there are meaningless races to complete the stage. This type of practice will make you enjoy your experience much less and that you could easily end up getting injured.
Make frequent stops and don’t walk above your pace. Our advice is always that the wonder of the Camino is on the way, not in Santiago.
Key advice for the pilgrim: Avoid waking up early. Walking during the night makes no sense, you miss the best of the tour, the scenery.
Tip 10: Enjoy the gastronomy and good wine
The routes on the Camino are surrounded by excellent gastronomy and regions with good wine. Enjoying these delights is not expensive, if your pocket can afford it, we advise you to practice gastronomic tourism and wine.
Key advice for the pilgrim: The shellfish dinner in Santiago de Compostela is a classic. Avoid those that are closer to the cathedral, so the price will be cheaper.
Tip 11: Knowledge will help you enjoy the Camino
Knowing what places to go through and if they have places of interest will allow you to enjoy much more of the tour. Pilgrimage is not at odds with sightseeing. Our advice is to take advantage of the Camino de Santiago to discover places that you would not otherwise visit.
Key advice for the pilgrim: The history of the Camino de Santiago is very beautiful. It’s full of myths and legends. We recommend that you find out about the origin of pilgrim tradition, starting with the life of Santiago the Apostle.
Advice about expectations on the Camino de Santiago
Whenever you make a trip you generate expectations about what you will find at your destination. The Camino de Santiago is no exception. Here are some recommendations on what you can expect from the Camino de Santiago.
Tip 12: Think about why you are doing it
There are endless reasons that can lead you to want to undertake this exciting adventure. They’re all valid. If you want to delve into this topic, you can check our article “Motivations for making a pilgrimage to Compostela”.
Key advice for the pilgrim: The Camino de Santiago has a religious origin, but today it is much more than that. It is a cultural, sporting, spiritual experience, etc. Enjoying all its wealth is the main motivation for the majority of pilgrims.
Tip 13: If your objective is to make friends, walk
You can do the Camino by bike or walking. If you go alone and you are looking to make friends, our advice is to do the Camino de Santiago on foot. The bike experience is wonderful, but you interact less.
Key advice for the pilgrim: The Camino Frances is the most popular route, so it is the pilgrim itinerary on which you will find it easier to make new friends.
Tip 14: Take advantage of the experience
Key advice for the pilgrim: The Camino de Santiago can change your life or not. We cannot assure you that whoever returns is another person, but it is very difficult to finish the Camino de Santiago and not learn anything on the route.
Advice for the end of the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago does not end with the arrival at the tomb of Santiago the Apostle. In this pilgrim’s practical guide, we go further and give you some advice to apply once you have finished the route.
Tip 15: Take your time in the Plaza del Obradoiro
Your arrival in Santiago de Compostela is surrounded by many traditions. Some of them are to hug the saint or apply for the Compostela. It’s great that you follow them, but take your time when you step on the Plaza del Obradoiro, there are very emotional moments to come.
Key advice for the pilgrim: Lie down on the ground and look towards the Cathedral of Santiago. It looks different from down there.
Tip 16: Reflect on the experience
The Camino de Santiago leaves numerous impressions on the pilgrim. In this article on how the Camino changes you, We’ll tell you about some of them. Think about whether there’s anything that has changed in you after the experience.
Key advice for the pilgrim: If you like to write, take a diary with you. It’s the best way to be able to get a lot out of the experience once you come home.
For today we say goodbye, we hope that our guide on tips for the Camino de Santiago will be useful. If you decide to travel to Santiago with a specialized agency on the road, do not hesitate to call us, we would be delighted to make a pilgrimage with you.