Whether you are religious or not, El Camino de Santiago is well known to be one of the greatest and most enjoyable adventures you could ever experience in Spain. Have you ever considered to pack up and set off?

Here’s a few things you should know!

Its name, El Camino de Santiago, means “The Way of Saint James,” and it refers to the different routes taken by pilgrims to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. According to the Catholic tradition, the Cathedral hosts the remains of St. James the Apostle, one of the twelve original disciples of Christ. Included in UNESCO‘s heritage list, this journey has existed for over 1000 years as a Christian pilgrimage but nowadays it attracts thousands of people of all faiths.

How long does it take?  The lenght of the pilgrmage depends on many variables, such as the route (there are more than 12 main routes possible!) or the travel mode.  The most famous itenerary, which is also known as the Camino francés, commonly takes about 30 walking days and it begins in St. Jean Pied de Port in France. If you don’t have so much time, it would be a good idea to start in Ponferrada or Sarria, which are only 10 and 5 days to Santiago.

How do I prepare for it? – The Camino involves long and tiring walks, so it is important to have all the equipment you need: don’t forget your documents, a proper clothing, the most essential medicaments and any other tools you may need during your journey. Also, be sure that you are comfortable with your footwear and your pack: this will make your Camino much more enjoyable!

How much does it cost? – One of the good aspects of the Camino is that it does not have to be expensive. There are a lot of options for accomodations and meals: you will find hostels, hotels and cafes along the way. Furthermore, in some public albergues it is possible to buy and cook your own food each day, saving a lot of money and challenging your cooking skills!

Why leaving for the Camino? – Apart from the spiritual reasons, you will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover the Spanish culture and eventually fall in love with it. Every corner on the Camino hides a piece of art or culture: old buildings, cathedrals, bridges, monuments and every sort of towns are waiting for you. Also, this incredible experience will lead you to discover the beautiful landscapes of Spain, from the peaks of Pyrenees to the plains of Castile-Leone, with other friendly people of all ages and from all over the world, which will make this journey a highly rewarding and unforgettable experience.

What are you waiting for? Start planning your Camino de Santiago trip!

Giovanni Nuccio