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Image by Juan Gomez

Camino de Santiago

El Camino de Santiago or “The Way of Saint James,” is the ancient pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of Jesus’ apostle Saint James is said to rest. There are many routes originating within continental Europe, the most famous and established being the Camino Frances, which starts in Saint Jean Pied de Port in France. According to the official pilgrim's office, roughly 54% of the pilgrims walk this 790 km (about 500 miles) Camino Frances route.  Other routes like the Camino Portugues, Camino Norte, Camino Ingles, among others have been gaining attention as well. 

To learn more about the history of the Camino, click here

Modern day Camino de Santiago ("Camino")

Why walk with us?

Many books and blogs have been written, several movies, documentaries, and podcasts have been inspired by the Camino.  ​Less than one-third of pilgrims walk for religious or spiritual reasons. Some walk it as a physical or mental challenge, a bucket list item or an adventure, or as a cultural experience.  One common unifying motivation is the opportunity to disconnect from daily life and reconnect with nature and with oneself.  Most pilgrims walk solo and find serendipitous company along the way. 

Intentionally or not, pilgrims are walking in between realms- the dying past and the emerging to-be, the material world and the intangible world, the false self and the true self. It is no surprise that walking the Camino changes a person.  The more intentional and conscious one is, the greater and often more difficult the change.   

At a certain point, a pilgrim realizes that the Camino is about people and the tender stories that connects us together.  Each pilgrim, each human and non-human encounter, teaches us about ourselves and invites us to bare naked our humanity and the pains we carry around in order to see the common thread that weaves us together.   One may meet oneself embodied in another pilgrim- a past, present, or a future mirror; one may find a parent figure- an ideal or quite the opposite. In any case, the Camino invites us into deep inquiry about our perceptions, our ideals, our pains, our true selves.  It invites us to risk our wounds, as a genuine way of healing oneself and in the process healing others we meet. 

The "Camino blues" maybe attributed to missing the simplicity of the Camino daily life and missing the genuine human connections.  However, the "Camino blues" is a deeper manifestation of an unfinished ceremony or marking.  The Camino awakens parts of oneself and the person that started the walk is not the same person that ends.  To go back to one's old life is akin to putting the new self into the dark closet, denying them to be fully and wholly alive.   After walking the Camino, most pilgrims wake up to find that the best way to live is to walk towards what is next in life.

Camino Frances and Finisterre-Muxia Route Stages in 37 days

Route Map: Camino Frances. Saint Jean Pied de Port, France to Finisterre, Galicia, Spain

Depending on the season and how much time an individual has to walk the Camino, planning maybe needed.  During the winter season, usually between October 15th until March 31st, most of the albergues and restaurants (mostly) serving pilgrims are closed.  This would require a little bit more planning or booking a place the day before or the morning of your walk.  Between April to September, chances of finding accommodations is not an issue during non-winter seasons. 

Day 1.  St.Jean-Pied-de-Port  to  Roncesvalles

Day 2.  Roncesvalles  to  Zubiri Stage  

Day 3.  Zubiri  to  Pamplona

Day 4.  Pamplona  to  Puente  La  Reina

Day 5.  Puente  La  Reina  to  Estella

Day 6.  Estella  to  Los  Arcos

Day 7.  Los  Arcos  to  Logroño

Day 8.  Logroño  to  Navarrete

Day 9.  Navarrete  to  Azofra

Day 10.  Azofra  to  Grañón

Day 11.  Grañón  to  Villafranca  Montes  de  Oca

Day 12.  Villafranca  Montes  de  Oca  to  Cardeñuela Riopico

Day 13.  Cardeñuela  Riopico  to  Tardajos  through  Burgos

Day 14.  Tardajos  to  Castrojeriz

Day 15.  Castrojeriz  to  Frómista

Day 16.  Frómista  to  Carrión  de  los  Condes

Day 17.  Carrión  de  los  Condes  to  Terradillos  de los  Templarios

Day 18.  Terradillos  de  los  Templarios  to  Bercianos del  Real  Camino

Day 19.  Bercianos  del  Real  Camino  to  Mansilla  de las  Mulas

Day 20.  Mansilla  de  las  Mulas  to  León

Day 21.  León  to  Villar  de  Mazarife

Day 22.  Villar  de  Mazarife  to  Astorga

Day 23.  Astorga  to  Foncebadón

Day 24.  Foncebadón  to  Ponferrada

Day 25.  Ponferrada  to  Villafranca  del  Bierzo

Day 26.  Villafranca  del  Bierzo  to  O  Cebreiro

Day 27.  O  Cebreiro  to  Triacastela

Day 28.  Triacastela  to  Sarria  

Day 29.  Sarria  to  Portomarín

Day 30.  Portomarín  to  Palas  de  Rei

Day 31.  Palas  de  Rei  to  Arzúa

Day 32.  Arzúa  to  O  Pedrouzo

Day 33. O  Pedrouzo  to  Santiago  de  Compostela

Day 34. Santiago de Compostela to Negreira

Day 35. Negreira to Olveiroa

Day 36. Olveiroa to Finisterre

Day 37. Finisterre to Muxia​

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