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