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Europe: About the Camino de Santiago

About the Camino

The Camino de Santiago ("Way of St. James") is a pilgrimage ending at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Santiago, Spain.  You need to hike at least 100km (62 miles) on the pilgrimage to get your Compostela certificate.

There are many Camino de Santiago routes.  You will walk an average of 20km/day hiking from village to village, spending the night in local guest houses or hotels with private rooms.  Your luggage is moved for you from lodge to lodge, so you just carry a day pack.

It is a very social experience with great culture.  Breakfast and dinner is enjoyed at the lodge where you are spending the night, and lunches are at one of the villages along the way.

The "French Way" is the most popular.  We are offering the 111km route from Sarria to Santiago.  It typically takes 6 days, but you can take more days.

We are also offering the "Portuguese Way" which runs north along the coast of Portugal for 123km. This route has options for a luxury lodge upgrade and also women-only groups.

We are offering these two routes in three different styles:

  1. Group departure with trekking guide
  2. Private trip with trekking guide
  3. Self-guided trek

The French Way has 3-star accommodations, the Portuguese Way as 3 and 4 star accommodations, and Santiago has 3, 4, and 5 star accommodations.

Note the full route on the French Way is 800km from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago and takes about 5 weeks to complete.

CAMINO PASSPORT / CERTIFICATE

This Camino passport (Credencial del Peregrino) will be proof that you have walked the 100km necessary to obtain your ‘Compostela’ or ‘Certificate’, the official documents testament to your journey.

Once in Santiago de Compostela, you must show your stamped Pilgrim Passport at the Pilgrims Office to apply for your Compostela certificate and any other pilgrim certificate you might want to receive.

You need to walk at least 100kms into Santiago to receive your Compostela certificate.  The pilgrim passport (credencial) needs to be stamped at least once a day

Language

The main language spoken in the area is Spanish and Portuguese.

Money

The local currency in Spain and Portugal is the Euro (€).

Telephone Calls

To dial internationally from Spain or Portugal, dial: 00 + area code + telephone number. Hotel receptionists will help you make calls.

When calling Switzerland, you must dial the country code of 34. When calling Portugal, you must dial the country code of 351.

Tri-band cell phones will work in most areas. You may also want to consider renting one or getting a global cell phone.

Electricity

Spain and Portugal use 220 volt current with a European plug.

Travel Alerts & Warnings

U.S. Department of State

AWR Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth
National Geographic Traveler