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Walking the Camino de Santiago: How to Plan Your Trip




Walking the Camino de Santiago is one of the most highly-sought pilgrimages in the history of humanity. Today, nearly 350,000 trekkers from around the world continue to complete the Camino each year—and for good reason.

El Camino de Santiago, or The Way of Saint James, invites countless pilgrims from all over Europe and the world to arrive in Santiago de Compostela, a city of nearly 100,000 residents in northwest Spain, 22 miles east of the Atlantic Ocean. 

The voyage—commonly known as El Camino, The Way, or the Camino—concludes at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, which houses the tomb of Saint James, one of the twelve apostles and the first martyr of Jesus Christ.

The Camino dates back to 800 AD. Technically, you can start your Camino anywhere on the European continent! However, the seven traditional Camino routes originate all over Spain and range from 71 to 621 miles. They’re each well-marked for pilgrims with gold-toned scallop shells set into blue-colored milestone markers and painted yellow arrows. 

One myth says that bygone pilgrims used seashells to drink water from the springs as they walked. The clergy would also give a shell to pilgrims upon their arrival at the Cathedral and completion of the Camino.
 

Why Walk the Camino de Santiago?

The Camino de Santiago is a fusion of travellers from around the world. Pilgrims are immersed in verdant sheep-speckled hillsides, eucalyptus forests, rolling corduroy farmlands, and expansive plains. Burning wood and fried-dough churros fill the early morning air, followed by the bright aroma of pineapple-coloured rapeseed and vanilla-citrus red poppies. Each night, walkers replenish with smooth red wine, buttery scallops, and sweet paprika-coated polbo á feira.
A walker on the Camino de Santiago
“The Camino is as much a cultural journey as it is a spiritual one, and that journey means something different to each person. For some, they are trying to get closer to God and want to bless Saint James at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. For others, it’s overcoming a challenge and making the best of it,” says Brittany Konsella, a guidebook author, blogger, and endurance athlete. She overcame a Flight-For-Life accident three months prior to walking the Camino with her family, which they’d planned before her hospitalisation. 

Brittany and her husband, Frank, joined their group in Sarria to walk the lattermost portion of the most prominent route, Camino Francés. “Our journey became spiritual for my whole family. We were glad I was alive and able to be on trip with them, let alone able to hike the entire route we’d planned,” Brittany says. 

The Camino also attracts folks across generations. “Doing adventure travel with people in their seventies and forties, you have to find the right mix. The Camino is not intimidating and there are bail-out options, if you need them. You can make it as hard or as easy as you want, based on the mileage you want to cover each day,” says Brittany.  

On a longer exploration, travel blogger Sherry Ott walked 450 miles from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela along the Camino Francés. She says, “The Camino’s draw and beauty is that your life simplifies to sleeping, eating, and walking. Everything narrows down to those three things and at a very slow pace.”

What’s a Compostela?

At the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, pilgrims can stop at the Pilgrim’s Reception Office to obtain a Compostela, a certificate of accomplishment. To qualify, pilgrims must have travelled at least 62 miles by foot or horseback, or biked at least 124 miles, from any starting point. 

Along the way, pilgrims must collect at least two certification stamps each day in their Credencial del Peregrino. The accredited passport for pilgrims serves as proof of their passage. The Pilgrim’s Reception Office also offers a Certificate of Distance, which shows the pilgrim’s certified distance, start point, and end date (€3).

Camino de Santiago: The Popular Routes

Camino de Santiago routes

The Camino de Santiago is not a singular route. A vast artery of treks splay across Europe, like the branches of an oak tree. They all eventually converge and reach Santiago de Compostela. Each course combines gravel paths, wooded tracks, single-wide rural roads, cobblestone streets, and paved thoroughfares. 

Though, the Camino de Santiago does have seven institutionalised thru-hikes. Each well-set route delivers substantial infrastructure for pilgrims. Walkers can take advantage of the restaurants’ menú del Peregrino (Pilgrim’s Menu), route markers, stamp bestowers, and albergues (pilgrim hostels), which support a trekker’s journey. 

As you brainstorm your Camino de Santiago trip, here are the most popular routes:
 

Camino del Norte

Camino del Norte route map



This 513-mile path is the northernmost route. Camino del Norte threads a lush area known as Green Spain, which parallels the Atlantic Ocean. This section skirts through the regions of Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia. The route starts in Irún, a city on the French border, and meanders up and down along the coastline. 

From Laredo, hikers can opt for an inland variation through Colindres or stroll across the beach and hop on a ferry to Santoña. Back on land, walkers can mosey across the sandy crescent of Playa de Trengandin, a 3.7-mile idyllic gold beach. The shore and whitewater is speckled with clumps of course black volcanic rock. Pilgrims can close their day in Güemes. 

Two stages later, pilgrims can visit the Cave of Altamira, outside of Santillana del Mar. The UNESCO World Heritage site spotlights a 886-foot long Palaeolithic cavern with paintings and engravings. Next, walkers can soak up a sunset in Comillas. The seaside town is home to El capricho de Gaudí, an oriental-inspired building with decorative sunflower tiles and a Persian minaret. 

Halfway through the trek, the southern horizon fills with striking, towering limestone peaks: The Picos de Europa, which have a silhouette of cheetah teeth. The range is surrounded by oak and beech groves in Picos de Europa National Park. The highest point is Torre de Cerredo, which is 8,690 feet above sea level. But the Naranjo de Bulnes—a 8,264-foot tower with a broad, flattish top—is the most iconic formation for travellers and mountaineers. 

As hikers venture from Colombres to the port town of Llanes, the Peña Tú Monument arrives. The archeological site boasts pictographs, petroglyphs and burial mounds from the Neolithic Age. Past Llanes, Playa Torimbia is a dreamy scallop-shell shaped beach that visitors can relish. 

Salt-kissed air refreshes hikers as they explore quaint oceanside villages before curving inland to Santiago de Compostela. Fewer amenities and pilgrims are to be met along this way. Meaning, the route is a good fit for experienced trekkers. Reserve 30-35 days to cover this undulating terrain. 
 

Camino Portugués

Also known as the Portuguese Way, this northbound route is the flattest—therefore, easiest—choice and the sole departure from Portugal. In entirety, this stretch is 383 miles and requires 25-27 days if hikers commence in Lisbon. From Porto, a variation exists along the coast. 
 

Camino Primitivo

The 200-mile Original Route rollercoasters due west through the Cantabrian mountains and northern Asturias region. The journey includes the Catedral de San Salvador de Oviedo, in Oviedo, and offers seclusion with few crowds yet adequate accommodations. Hikers experience rigorous ascents and descents and a fair amount of dirt and grass tracks. 

Plus, they can be immersed in nature during several longer days that are 16-19 miles. All considering, the Camino Primitivo is ideal for seasoned hikers. Set aside 12-15 days for this hike, which is the most ancient of the Camino de Santiago. 


Camino Inglés

The English Way launches from the port city of Ferrol and is the shortest traditional itinerary at 75 miles. (A second option leaves from A Coruña but is not long enough to earn your Compostela.) Not many distance-walkers choose this Camino, so you’re bound to have more solitude. Walkers cover this distance in six days.
 

Vía de la Plata

Boasting a total of 621 miles, the Silver Way is the most extensive distance of the Camino itineraries. This southernmost passage starts in Seville, and links up historic cities, art, and architecture. The stages—meaning, the suggested segment that pilgrims should cover each day—are longer, so it’s not usually an attractive choice for first-timers. It’s also the least-walked route of all. Reserve at least 40 days to check-off these miles. 
 

Camino Finisterre-Muxía

This leg is garnish for all of the Camino routes. Many travelers extend their walk from Santiago de Compostela westward to the seaside town Finisterre—which means end of the earth— against the Atlantic coast. The 71-mile iteration takes pilgrims north to the fishing village of Muxía then veers south to Finisterre and takes 3-5 days. At your endpoint, you can stroll 2 miles from town to the tip of the peninsula. There, the 1853 Faro de Fisterra (faro means lighthouse) stands over the rocky shore known as Costa de la Muerte, coast of death. If you go, be sure to take a portrait with the Camino mile-marker zero.  
 

Camino Francés (the French Way/French Route)

Camino de Frances route map
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims pursue the Camino Francés each year, making this 491-mile path the most popular and accomplished in the entire history of the Camino. The flow of walkers is consistent year-round, and solo travelers seamlessly pair up with new friends and hiking partners. 

“You’re not just experiencing Spain. You’re experiencing and learning about all kinds of cultures on the Camino Francés, because you meet and walk with so many people from Europe everyday, it’s unbelievable. The trail is a melting pot,” says Sherry.

Plentiful accommodations and historic sites make this route supportive for pilgrims as they cross the northern, inland regions of Spain. Reserve at least 28 days for this trek if you wish to walk its entirety. 
 

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Pamplona

The French Way starts in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, with a challenging 4,600-foot ascent through the Pyrenees mountains. The range stretches 270 miles between France and Spain with a 11,169-foot high point: Aneto Peak. The Pyrenees is also the location of the autonomous region Andorra. Hikers are surrounded by steep, emerald hillsides dotted with mountain pines. It’s a good idea to grab a (pre-booked) bed in Roncesvalles, on the Spanish side. 

Hikers brace themselves for a lofty, rocky section above Zuzubiri, before the trail levels out in the Basin of Pamplona. Here, they reach the inaugural major city: Pamplona, the stomping ground of the famous San Fermin (The Running of the Bulls) festival. Pilgrims can stroll through the narrow streets past towering pastel buildings with elegant metal terraces. The medieval walls are chock-full of restaurants serving Basque country cuisine including pintxos (tapas) bars, steaming bowls of marmitako, and coal-grilled cod. 
 

Pamplona to Logroño

The next stage delivers crimson poppies, wheat and sunflower fields, and El Alto del Perdón. The iconic metal sculpture shows 12 multi-century pilgrims on horseback and on foot. Later, 1.5 miles southwest of Estella, you’ll pass a wine fountain, a complimentary nectar to support pilgrims. The fountain is constructed in the stone wall of the 130-year-old Bodegas Irache winery. (A second tap provides water.) 

Beyond the vineyards, olive trees, and cobblestone streets of Viana, the next major city is Logroño. The large town has a bustling vibe. Visitors can catch a bird’s-eye view from the bell tower of the Church of San Bartolomé. Be sure to stop beneath the jaw-dropping towers of Catedral de Santa María de la Redonda, where you can see a small painting completed by Michelangelo. 

Catedral de Santa María de la Redonda


Logroño to Ponferrada

You’ll pass a sun-relieving pine forest before reaching Agés and the acclaimed city of Burgos. There, you can visit another architectural gem: the Gothic cathedral of Burgos with elaborate soaring spires above the city. For the next two weeks, the Meseta plains stretch into the horizon. Some pilgrims have a distaste for the Meseta’s monotonous topography while others love the wide open space. 

“The Meseta is known as a boring, flat section that gets a really bad rap. The distances between villages are much longer, so the days tend to be harder in that sense. There are not many trees. But, I grew up in the Midwest, and the Meseta struck me. I developed a love for it. It was meditative from the sounds and smells to watching farmers in the fields,” says Sherry.  

Next, the historic city of León is a top choice for many travellers to start their Camino, with a 13-day, 188-mile walk to reach Santiago de Compostela. Travellers, especially those with tighter schedules, can also join Explore Worldwide on an 8-day, 97-mile walk to reach Santiago de Compostela from León. The tour includes vehicle support and the top highlights on this segment of the El Camino walk. At this point, walkers can experience a taste of the Meseta before reaching Astorga, the grounds of the imposing storybook Palace of Gaudí. There, the Meseta fades into a landscape that’s more uneven, forested, and receives more rain.

After passing through Foncebadón, you’ll reach Monte Irago--one of the highest points of the entire Camino de Santiago--which is marked with an iron cross. Then, take your time on the rock-strewn, arduous 3,608-foot descent into Ponferrada. The city possesses the Templars Castle, which was built for pilgrims in 1,178 AD. Today, travellers can tour the castle adjacent to the Sil River.


Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela

The next leg delivers one of the tougher days on the Way. Hikers embrace a 2,300-foot uphill to O Cebreiro, where they’re rewarded with a vista of layered ridgelines as they reach the tiny, wind-battered settlement set high above a patchwork of green valleys. The village is famed for its traditional architecture, called pallozas: circular, thatch-roofed, stone-walled homes, which still stand. Many pilgrims, like Brittany and Frank, opt for a 5-day trek that starts in Sarria, which is four stages after Ponferrada. 

“The most popular version of the Camino is Camino Francés, and we did the short version. My dad is retired and he started before us with the rest of our group. Frank and I aren’t retired and didn’t have as much time to spend on the Camino,” says Brittany. The 72-mile journey from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela also fulfills the requisite distance to earn a Compostela. (The next town over is Portomarin, which is only 58 miles from the end of the Camino.)

The route winds through chestnut trees, farm fields, and delivers pilgrims to Melide, where pulpo (octopus) is a staple. Try the warm, traditional Galician dish pulpo a la gallega: the pulpo is cooked in a copper cauldron and mixed with smoked paprika and potatoes. The passage continues through villages, thick groves, and oscillating terrain. Lastly, reflect on your journey in Praza do Obradoiro, the main square of Santiago de Compostela, on the west side of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral.

Santiago de Compostela cathedral

How Many Miles is the Camino de Santiago?

Route Maximum mileage
Camino del Norte 513 miles
Camino Portugués 383 miles
Camino Primitivo 200 miles
Camino Inglés 75 miles
Vía de la Plata 621 miles
Camino Finisterre-Muxía 71 miles
Camino Francés 491 miles

Cycle and Horseback Ride

Earning a Compostela isn’t limited to foot-adventures: You can also ride a horse or bike! Explore Worldwide’s 8-day version for cyclists starts in León. If you go, don’t miss visiting the Catedral de León, a Gothic-style cathedral. The place of worship is dressed with three colourful stained-glass rose windows that total to 19,375-square-feet. Bikers cover 201 miles, which requires 18-32 miles of daily pedalling on paved and gravel roads. 

A bike next to a rest stop along the camino

Top Sights Along the Camino de Santiago


Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is revered as one of Spain’s most spectacular cities and the prized destination of the Camino de Santiago. Beyond being the resting place of St. James, the city’s Old Town, Zona Vella, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you stroll the streets and alleys, you’ll observe a diverse mix of students, pilgrims, and long-time residents. 

While you’re there, take a rooftop tour at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral for up-high views of the city. And, learn more about the Camino’s history at the Museo das Peregrinacións (Museum of Pilgrimage). 


O Cebreiro 

This quaint hamlet is situated on a ridge with captivating views of the drenched jade-colored hills. Until the 1960s, villagers lived in pallozas, round stone huts with angled thatched roofs. Visitors can tour a few of the remaining huts.


Cruz de Ferro

This famous iron cross, Cruz de Ferro, stands high above the crown of Monte Irago. At 5,019 feet, the site is also one of the highest altitudes of the entire Camino de Santiago. 


Wine Fountain

In 1991, the Bodegas Irache winery created the Wine Fountain with bottomless wine for pilgrims. The winery’s vineyards date back to the 12th century. Their gift of libations is a tribute to the Monastery of Irache, which was the first monastery to serve as a hospital for pilgrims.  


El Alto del Perdón

El Alto del Perdón—the hill of forgiveness—is a landmark summit for pilgrims. Bikers and hikers can catch their breath from the ascent and pose for photos alongside the long statue of pilgrims. The metal artwork represents travellers across the centuries, reflecting the timelessness of the Camino. In the distance, the Pyrenees can be seen. 

The installation’s engraved poetry reads: donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas. Meaning, ‘Where the path of the wind crosses that of the stars.’

Local events


Festas da Ascensión 

This annual festival in Santiago de Compostela is a prelude to the Feast of Saint James. The five-day event begins on the sixth Thursday after Easter, which usually falls at the end of May. Participants indulge in food markets and groove to live music. They can watch street performances, parades, and fireworks. The central location is Alameda Park but activities are held all over the city.   


San Fermín Festival

This internationally-renowned fiesta is held each year in Pamplona in honor of the city’s first bishop and patron saint, Saint Fermín. The festival sets-off with fireworks at noon on July 6, followed by the running of the bulls (encierro). Each day, the bulls are run through the streets to reach the bullring, where bullfights ensue. Other presentations include the comparsa, a parade with large puppets, and the Procession of Saint Fermín.  


Saint James Festival 

Santiago de Compostela’s largest event of the year is the Saint James Festival, also known as the Apostle Festival, which draws many Galicians as well as travelers. The two-week celebration includes Saint James Day on July 25. When Saint James Day falls on a Sunday, the year is holy and the celebration is extra special: Visitors are allowed to enter the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral through the Holy Door, which is only permitted during that time. Gatherings fill the city’s squares and Old Town. People can enjoy theatrics, live contemporary bands, and traditional dance performances. They can also attend High Mass, which includes a swinging of the famous Botafumeiro. 


León Cathedral International Organ Festival

The León Cathedral International Organ Festival attracts organists, ensembles, and musicians each September and October. Events range from symphony orchestras to solo singers, instrumentalists, and chamber groups. The concerts usually take place at the Santa María de León Cathedral several times a week. In 2013, a new organ was installed in the Cathedral, which features five keyboards and 4,334 pipes. 


Albariño Wine Festival

The Albariño Festival is the second oldest wine festival in the country and draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city of Cambados, each August. This stop is off route. But if you’re willing to add the jaunt, you can delight in wine tastings and seminars, as well as live music.  


Octopus Festival

Every August, the town of O Carballiño hosts one of the most acclaimed food festivals in Spain: the Octopus Festival. During the massive specialty cookout, more than 66,000 pounds of this sea creature is seasoned and served. The town sits 52 miles south of the pilgrim’s final stop in Santiago de Compostela. 


Fiestas de San Mateo

In the heartland of La Rioja province, the city of Logroño celebrates Fiestas de San Mateo, also known as the Wine Harvest Festival. Throughout the week, onlookers can watch grape-crushing ceremonies, fireworks, and bull runs while sipping libations. This event kicks-off on the Saturday before September 21. 

Camino de Santiago: The Best Time to Go

You can take a Camino de Santiago trip anytime of the year. The weather conditions will vary depending on the region, elevation, and season of your Camino.

In the winter, fewer albergues are open but hotels often offer economic off-season prices. Higher altitude sections, like the portion of the Camino Francés in the Pyrenees, receive snow and may even close. 

Climate chart showing best time to go to do the Camino de Santiago

July and August are the warmest months with average daily temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, and portions of the Camino offer no shade. You’ll experience less chance of rain or no precipitation at all. These two months usually hold the highest amount of foot traffic. 

The months of April, May, June, September, and October deliver cooler daily temperatures but there can also be rain and wind. 

“Galicia, where the Camino ends, is a very wet region and tends to be rainier in the fall compared to the summer. Also, other areas before Sarria were drier and my group had experienced better weather. We had one full day of rain, and it rained two other days for 1-2 hours. I was so wet, and my hiking shoes didn’t dry out,” says Brittany, who walked the Camino in mid-October. 

Alternatively, Sherry ventured the Camino at the end of April, and was able to witness the landscape flourish over five weeks. “I was walking in the middle of spring every day, so I could watch these environments change. When I started, the grape vines didn’t have leaves and all the little trees hadn’t blossomed. All the winery vines were lush and green by the end—and it got quite hot,” she says. In the spring, be prepared to see bright fields of sunflowers, wild lavender and orchids; as well as white, pink, and yellow daisies.

What to Pack for the Camino

Backpack

For the El Camino walk, bring a 30-50 litre backpack that’s lightweight and ergonomic. It’s nice to use a pack with a hipbelt and an internal or external hydration pocket. Look for one that has a back-length adjustment plus bottom, top, and front access. 

Hiking Boots or Trail Running Shoes

Hiking boots are a hefty choice for the Camino, which provide the foot and ankle support needed by some trekkers. Though, a portion of experienced long-distance walkers and backpackers prefer trail running footwear, which is lighter weight and breathable. “There’s always a big debate over whether you need hiking boots or if you can do the Camino in trail running shoes. I was really happy with trail running shoes, because they were lighter and for the majority of the days, they were perfect,” says Sherry. Brittany agrees: “You’re on a lot of pavement, so having extra cushion is nice, or else you can get heel bruises. I also recommend a Gore-Tex shoe with waterproofing.” Before you leave for your Camino de Santiago trip, be sure to break in your shoes. 

Socks 

Bring at least two pairs of socks, so that one pair can dry out if it gets drenched. Choose a wool-blend rather than cotton, which will help your feet stay warm even when the socks are wet. Be sure to select the fabric weight that’s best for you and the season you’ll be walking the Camino. 

Gaiters 

If you’re walking the Camino during a rainy spell, pack gaiters to help you get through the mud, says Sherry. 

Rain Jacket or Poncho

Sherry and Brittany both recommend rain protective gear. Look for a versatile trekking and hiking shell that provides waterproof-breathable protection.  

Compeed

To help prevent and manage blisters, Sherry recommends Compeed blister cushions.

Walkers on the Camino

How to train for the Camino

Three months before Brittany left for her El Camino walk, she had a tragic accident. Her 3,500-pound Subaru Forester rolled over her at a remote trailhead. At 42 years old, she was covered in lacerations and shattered bones including a broken femur, sternum, and cervical vertebrae.  

As an endurance athlete, she was the first person to mountain bike all 750 miles of singletrack in the Crested Butte Gunnison Valley. She was also the 9th person to ski Colorado’s 54 14,000-foot peaks: She knows how to mentally and physically train for a goal. 

From ground zero, Brittany was able to prepare her body for the Camino--and so can you. Two months prior to her Camino de Santiago trip, she started with 2.5-4 mile hikes on flat, paved paths. She gradually increased her distances to 5-6 mile hikes on dirt singletrack. After a few weeks, she bumped up her mileage to 10-mile days. 

Brittany lives in Crested Butte, Colorado, so she was able to train on trails with vertical gain and loss. She typically chose hikes with 2,000-3,000 feet of ascent. Flatlanders can train their legs for climbs by walking with a weighted pack on a treadmill at various inclines. They can also use a steep or long set of stairs to do laps on. And, they can add box jumps to their routine. 

At the peak of Brittany’s training, she hiked 16 miles with 4,000 feet of climbing, one week before flying to Spain. “Getting your hikes to the 10-15 mile mark will put you in a better place for success and you’ll have more fun on the Camino. If you’re not trained well, it might be difficult and you might not be in the best mood,” says Brittany.  

You’ll also need to consider the terrain that you train on. Nearly every Camino route includes paved, cobblestone, packed dirt, and rocky ground. Most of the route elevation profiles feature a mix of level ground, uphills, and downhills including really steep segments. Practice walking on all of those types of surfaces to prepare your body for the Camino.

Budget: How Much Does it Cost to Walk the Camino de Santiago?

The cost of the El Camino walk greatly depends on the accommodations and restaurants that a pilgrim chooses. The trip duration and season also influence the expense. The price of the flight and ground transportation is contingent on the traveler’s departure location and where they start the Camino. Explore's 12-day trip (including 8 days of walking) starts at £1,399, excluding flights  

Budget £30 per day for restaurant fare and to stay in albergues. For a tighter budget, you could prepare your own food and avoid alcohol. If you prefer private, posher rooms and higher-scale dining, increase your budget to £45-£70 per day or more. 

In restaurants, Brittany and Frank always ordered off the Pilgrim’s Menu, which provides a discounted pre-set multi-course meal. “You’d choose an starter, salad, main course, desert and get your choice of water, wine, or a soft drink. We’d usually choose wine and pay extra for water. Those meals did not cost much. You could spend £9-£15,” says Brittany. 

They opted for overnight luxury, so their hotels were usually £112 per night. Comparatively, albergues are usually £8-£12, and moderate hotels are £22-£43 per night. Sherry stayed in albergues 75% of the time. Otherwise, she chose superior hotels; especially on her rest days, so that she could have dependable WiFi and privacy to recoup.  

Accommodations typically provide breakfast. 
Brittany posing at the Galicia sign along the Camino

Safety along the Camino de Santiago

As a woman and solo traveller, Sherry walked 450 miles and felt safe the entire time. “People were so nice. Bad things could happen, but even theft is rarely an issue on the Camino. Mainly because of the nature of the Camino and why everyone else is there doing it. It’s easy to be very comfortable in that environment as a solo traveller. You’re only alone if you want to be alone,” she says. 

Brittany took a few normal precautions as a traveller but likewise felt safe on the entire Camino. She says, “If anything, there’s only petty theft to worry about, like anywhere. I always have specific ways of keeping my passport and money on my body using a zippered pouch. We never carried purses and tucked our packs at our feet. I never felt unsafe or that there were people on the route who would hassle, hurt, or harm me in any way. Not once.”

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