Pilgrim’s opinions and experiences on the Camino de Santiago

In this article we want to share with you some of the opinions and experiences that some of the pilgrims had, having completed the Camino de Santiago (Frances, Portugues and del Norte) with us.

The Camino de Santiago is a marvellous experience

The objective of this article is not to tell you about the opinion that pilgrims have about the services offered by Santiago Ways on the Camino de Santiago. If you’re interested in that topic, in particular, you can  check out all their reviews on Google. We are the top-rated agency!

The purpose of this blog post is to share with you some of the experiences and opinions of the pilgrims who have travelled with us on the Camino Frances, Portugues or del Norte. We will be very frank at this point and we will tell you both the good opinions and the bad ones.

The Camino de Santiago is a wonderful experience, but that does not prevent you from having bad experiences on the route. Here, at Santiago Ways we tell you everything! We are lovers of the Camino de Santiago, but we do not want to mislead anyone!

Opinions about the Camino Frances

The Camino de Santiago Frances is the most popular route and therefore, on which we accumulate more opinions and experiences every year. Below, we share with you some of the opinions and experiences of our pilgrims in the main points on the Camino de Santiago Frances.

Would you like to do the Camino de Santiago from Sarria? This route that crosses the green forests of Galicia offers many gastronomic options and the possibility to meet more pilgrims who are living the same experience. If you already know your dates, tell us more details about your plan and leave everything in our hands.



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    The complicated first stage on the Camino Frances

    The first stage of the Camino Frances is one of the most feared, this is why many pilgrims start this route from Roncesvalles.

    On this stage of the Camino Frances, we have many opinions. In particular, this pilgrim tells us that, from his point of view, the variant that runs through Valcarlos is very lonely and boring. According to him, it is worth the effort to take the so-called Napoleon Route:

    “You have two options from the first stage of Saint Jean-Roncesvalles: by Valcarlos or by Orisson (Napoleon’s route). We split the stage in two. The stretch between Orisson-Roncesvalles is much more interesting than going through Valcarlos. You find many more pilgrims and you do not walk next to the road”.

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    A beautiful tour, but be very careful on the descents

    On numerous occasions we have mentioned in our blog the importance of previously doing some good training and preparation for the Camino de Santiago. Especially if you are not used to walking and do not have good muscles, your joints can suffer with the ups and downs. That’s what this pilgrim tells us:

    “The stage organization and experiences on the Camino de Santiago have been excellent. You are very much in contact with nature, but you have to be careful with some descents. In my case, I found the Alto de Erro and The Monte del Perdon very difficult.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    A place to fulfil your dreams and lose your fears

    As we explained in the article on doing the Camino de Santiago alone, there are many people who dream of pilgrimage along the their route and yet never find who will accompany them to live the adventure.

    The Camino de Santiago is definitely a journey in which you can surprise yourself, facing your fears. The opinion of this pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago Frances illustrates it perfectly:

    “My life’s dream came true. I’ve been dreaming about it for years. I was afraid of the experience because I am 50 years old, I am not an athlete, I travel alone and I come from another country. In the end, I encouraged myself to do the stretch from León to Santiago, in 15 days.

    I guess having Santiago Ways helping to organize the trip gave me the security I needed. I was going alone, but I had a team that would be behind me, if I had needed them.

    They proposed stages to me according to my physical condition and that allowed me to enjoy to the fullest the beauty and peace that the Camino offers to pilgrims. I was able to fulfil one of my life’s dreams!”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    A really fun journey

    As we explained in one of our blog posts pilgrims can find multiple activities on the Camino de Santiago to have fun and relax. It’s not all about distances travelled. If you don’t believe us, look at how this group of friends describe their experiences on the Camino de Santiago:

    “We are a group of 8 friends. Every year, we have a group trip and this year we were encouraged to do the Camino. Within the group of friends there were different opinions on the idea of doing the Camino de Santiago, from Burgos to Sahagun. Now we can only say one thing, it’s the group trip we’ve had the most fun on. Wine, friends, nature, long talks…”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    There’s no age limit for doing the Camino

    The Camino de Santiago is a route that adapts to pilgrims and therefore, in Santiago Ways, we always say that there is no minimum or maximum age to make pilgrimage to Compostela. These elderly pilgrims share their opinions about the experience:

    “For years I had the illusion of doing the Camino de Santiago and, finally, with my retirement, I have been able to do it. I’ve had such a good time that next year I’ll repeat the experience. It doesn’t matter about being in great physical shape, or to be young, all you have to have is to have a desire to do it.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    “I went with my wife, from Sarria to Compostela, in 5 days. It was a pretty quiet trip. We would go out at 9.30am, stop along the way to snack and eat; and we finished the stage at about 6:30 p.m. Without great effort and enjoying beautiful forests”.

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    “We are a group of 23 people of a “certain age”. We have just finished the Camino de Santiago, from Sarria to Santiago. Santiago Ways adapted the stages so that we did not have to walk more than 15 km a day. A wonderful experience. We completed the tour without any problem.”

    Opinions and experiences of the Camino Frances

    “To celebrate my 60th birthday, I walked 100 kilometres, for 10 days. No pain and no blisters. The Pilgrim’s Mass and seeing the Botafumeiro was very exciting. I’m going to go back to another route.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    Our daughters want to return

    Every year more families choose the Camino de Santiago as a holiday destination, both families with babies and families with teenagers. That is the case of this family that we helped to organize the last kilometres on the Camino Frances. The experiences of their daughters on the Camino de Santiago have now made it the family’s favourite destination:

    “We did the Camino Frances, from Sarria, with our 8 and 10-year-old daughters. The experience has been great for the whole family, but for them especially. So much so, that now they only ask us to do the Camino Portugues next. The family already has its destination for next year”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    Rainy days are very tough

    If the opinions of the pilgrims who have made the Camino de Santiago coincide on anything, it is that rainy days are hard. In this article we give you some tips on what to do if it rains on the Camino de Santiago, but read first how these pilgrims managed the situation:

    “Everything was great. The organization of the trip Santiago Ways had made had been perfect, until the last day, it began to rain. I didn’t want to walk in the rain any longer, so I called the company contact number and took a taxi to the next town, where I waited for it to stop. The amazing thing is that I didn’t even get charged for the cab!”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    “We are three veteran ladies. All three of us are already grandmothers and we’re not made for these activities. When it started raining and hail falling, we thought what the hell were we doing there. We took refuge in a coffee shop and when the sun came up we continued. When we arrived in Santiago we realized that the cold we experienced was worth it”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    For those pilgrims who decide to cycle the Camino de Santiago, the rain is even more uncomfortable, as we told you guide with the best advice for doing the Camino de Santiago by bike. We could tell you many experiences of pilgrims who complete the Camino de Santiago by bike, but we have chosen this one because we find this very illustrative:

    “Some companions and I have just finished the Camino de Santiago from Logrono by bike. Everything went well until we had a day of rain and wind, one of them skidded. His bike broke down and we couldn’t keep going forward. We were out in the open and that was starting to turn into a nightmare. Luckily, Santiago Ways provided us with an effective rescue.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    Finding accommodation can be an adventure on the Camino Frances

    We always advise pilgrims to book their accommodation in advance on the Camino Frances, especially if you plan to do so in spring orsummer. Where to sleep is always a tricky topic on the Camino Frances and if you don’t believe us, look at the opinions of these pilgrims:

    “The last 100 km of the Camino Frances are a race to find a bed. The hostels are full of tourists (who are not pilgrims). Some even arrive by car to get to the hostels early. This time, we decided to book with Santiago Ways to avoid all that inconvenience.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    “This is the second time we have done the Camino. The first time was in 2015. I remember staying at the San Rafael hostel and it was infested with bedbugs. We had so many bites that when we arrived in Burgos we had to ask for treatment. That is why, on this occasion we have decided to choose Santiago Ways to manage our accommodation. That night was horrible!”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    Everyone has their own tastes

    The section of the Camino Frances that crosses the Castile plateau is known for being the psychological test on the pilgrimage. Its endless plains and fields of cereal crops are not a landscape that all pilgrims like.

    The section of the Camino Frances that crosses the Castile plateau is known for being the psychological test on the pilgrimage.

    Some pilgrims live and enjoy these stages very much and to us that landscape of cereal fields, seems to have a special appeal. However, as this pilgrim tells us, not everyone sees it with the same eyes:

    “The stretch from Leon to Ponferrada disappointed me a lot. Most are made along dirt tracks, without any shade and with little variety in the landscape. I was disappointed. The Camino de Santiago has more beautiful pieces.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Frances

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino de Santiago Portugues

    The Camino Portugues Central Route is the second most popular route, therefore it also concentrates a large volume of opinions and experiences that come to us every year. Here are some of them.

    A very special energy

    All the routes on the Camino de Santiago have a special energy, but if there is one that concentrates, in a special way, comments in this way is the Camino Portugues Central Route. We do not know very well why this is the case, but these are some of the opinions that have come to us from the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago Portugues:

    “I went with some friends and we had a unique experience. The Camino Portugues has a very special energy. The people of Portugal and the pilgrims we met on the Camino, taught us many things. In addition, the gastronomy and architecture is wonderful”.

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Central Route

    “My husband and I went from Baiona to Compostela by bike. The tour was not especially hard and the landscape was amazing. The evenings seemed to be shrouded in an air of magic.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Central Route

    I walked from Lisbon to Santarém. It was wonderful to walk along the River Tajo. I’ve done other routes before, but I especially enjoyed this one.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Central Route

    It’s better signposted than you would think

    The Camino Portugues Central Route, despite being the second most frequented route, has a deficient infrastructure in its early stages. However, the opinions of those pilgrims who did this route of the Camino de Santiago, doubt this statement:

    “Although in Portugal the services are not the same as in Galicia, I had no problems. I never got lost and had a lot of fun. I loved the visit to Lisbon.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Central Route

    The Camino Portugues Central Route, despite being the second most frequented route, has a deficient infrastructure in its early stages.

    “6 people from my family went together from Lisbon to Porto. We had been told that the route was not very well marked, but finding the signs was quite easy for us. We had no problem and the experience was wonderful.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Central Route

    Experiences on the Camino Portugués Coastal Route

    The Camino Portugues Coastal Route is one of the routes that has less historical tradition, however, it has become very popular over the last few years. Much of its success is due to the ease of the tour and the beautiful beaches that accompany the pilgrim for much of their trip.

    A perfect plan

    Doing the Camino Portugues Coastal Route is a perfect plan for summer, as it allows you to enjoy Jacobean culture, while enjoying the Atlantic. Some of the experiences that come to us from this route of the Camino de Santiago are:

    “I have just completed the Camino Portugues Coastal Route. Luckily I took some extra days, because it is worth stopping to enjoy one or two days on the beaches.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Coastal Route

    The sea, the kilometres walked, meeting up with other pilgrims… everything helped me to have an unforgettable experience and to find myself again. I’ll repeat the route!”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Coastal Route

    Be careful with places that try to take advantage

    Since the Middle Ages, the success experienced by the Camino de Santiago attracted scammers on its routes. This has not changed since then and, even nowadays, some pilgrims report price abuse. In this way, some of the experiences that come to us from this route of the Camino de Santiago are:

    “In Matosinhos we entered the Cafe Torrecao for a coffee. We were a big group. One of them got up to pay and was asked for 90 cents, but when they saw that he was with the group of pilgrims, they ended up charging him 2 euros. The waitress was very aggressive when asked about the price change. It is best to avoid shops that offer to put a stamp on the credential. They always have inflated prices for pilgrims.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Coastal Route

    Antes de peregrinar, siempre es bueno revisar vivencias y opiniones de otros viajeros.

    “We had already entered Galicia and decided to take a break and order a glass liqueur. We were served a commercial type. When we asked the waitress to bring us real liqueur, she was offended. We were charged 5 euros for each drink and the service was awful. They should take care of the pilgrim a little more!”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino Portugues Coastal Route

    Opinions about the Camino de Santiago del Norte

    After the Camino de Santiago Frances y del Portugues, la Ruta del Norte is the most frequented route. There are many opinions and experiences that come to us from the Camino de Santiago del Norte, most of them related to its stunning landscape and its people:

    “Doing the Camino de Santiago del Norte was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Walking with the Cantabrian Sea always in the background was wonderful.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino del Norte

    “I had heard some opinions about how hard the Camino de Santiago del Norte could be. And the truth is, they were right. Luckily, Santiago Ways helped me to organize short stages, that also allowed me to enjoy wonderful experiences with the people who live in the villages along the Camino del Norte”.

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino del Norte

    Para que tu experiencia realizando el Camino de Santiago sea la mejor, siempre vale la pena leer las experiencias de otros viajeros.

    “We went from Santander to Ribadesella. We had some great experiences and enjoyed the gastronomy of the area a lot.”

    Opinions and experiences on the Camino del Norte

    More opinions and experiences about the Camino de Santiago

    We could go much further by talking about opinions and experiences on the Camino de Santiago, but it is time to say goodbye. You can discover more pilgrim experiences in the post that we dedicate to the teachings of the Camino de Santiago.

    You can also share with us your opinions and experiences about the Camino de Santiago Frances, Portugues, del Norte orany other route, leaving us a comment. Our readers will be happy to know how your experience was.

    Before finishing, just to remind you that if you want to come to the Camino de Santiago, without having to worry about the organization of your trip and with the guarantee that everything goes according to plan, call us. As we said at the beginning of this article, we are the top-rated agency and that is only achieved by putting love and passion in everything we do.

    Buen Camino!