Hike the Camino De Santiago in Spain

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People hiking the Caminoo de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago trail is a vast network of Catholic pilgrimage paths that stretches throughout Europe and connects at St. James in Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. It’s a 500 mile trip through some of Europe’s stunning scenery. The Camino de Santiago is one of the most iconic hiking trails in the world, thanks to its long stretch of delicious food, gorgeous historical monuments, and companionship. Pilgrims used these routes to reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which is made up of a huge network of roads and walkways.

Since the ninth century, pilgrims have walked the road, and the pilgrimage has grown in popularity. Many people walk, bike, or ride their horses along the Camino de Santiago. People walk by themselves, with a companion, or in groups. Regardless of how one approaches the Camino, there is always a strong sense of community, as the hikers greet each other by saying, “Buen Camino!” which means, good journey as they pass each other. For many, the journey is a terrific place for self-development and a form of meditation. There are many paths to choose from, all of which weave together like tree branches and are identified with the scallop shell emblem. The Camino Frances, which runs from Saint-Jean-Pied-du-Port at the foot of the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, is the most popular route. Three major French roadways feed this route, such as the Voie de Tours, Voie de Vezelay, and Voie du Puy.  

The Camino Ingles, the Via de la Plata, and the Camino Portugues from Oporto are some of the lesser-known Spanish routes. Despite being the sole Camino de Santiago, the Camino Frances is the most popular hiking path, mainly because of the scenery and good infrastructure. With over 60% of hikers following it, this trek begins in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, on the French side of the Pyrenees, and passes through mountains, farmland, and luscious slopes. This route has a well-established Albergue system and a wide range of culinary options. From start to end, this walk takes 30 days and covers around 500 miles.

There is also the Camino de Norte, which is a popular path. The Camino de Norte begins in the border city of Irun and winds its way through Bilbao, Santander, and Oviedo before ending at the beautiful north coast of Spain. Dramatic coastal cliffs, steep mountains, and fishing communities can all be found on this walk. The average hiker will take roughly 35 days to complete this astronomically massive trail across rugged terrains.

Although the Camino has traditionally been a religious pilgrimage, it is now walked by individuals of all ages and backgrounds for a variety of reasons. Some walk the Camino to learn about the culture and history of the paths, while others do so to test their fitness and mental health reasons. For centuries, the Camino has fostered priceless cultural interactions, and it is now more than a pilgrimage. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that draws thousands of people from all around the world. If one chooses a route and travels at least 100 kilometers, they will earn a Compostela, a Latin certificate certifying the pilgrimage’s completion.