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Camino Statistics: Most popular in 2016

The latest Camino statistics from the Pilgrims Office in Santiago are out, giving us a very interesting insights into the Camino de Santiago in 2016. An impressive 278, 232 individuals received their Compostela certificates in 2016. The Camino statistics reveal the top nationalities on the Camino, the most popular routes taken and the starting points that people chose.camino-statistics-2016-camino-de-santiago-caminoways

The statistics review the number of Compostela certificates, hence taking into account only those pilgrims finishing in Santiago and completing at least 100kms walking (or 200km by bike). They don’t account for pilgrims who do not finish in Santiago.

The statistics reveal that the vast majority of people chose to walk the Camino with 91% of all pilgrims walking the routes. The remaining 8% cycled the Camino. There is a great gender on the Camino with 48% women and 52% men.

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular routes and the favourite starting Camino points in 2016.

Most popular Camino routes

1-French Way, Camino Frances, remains the most popular Camino route with 176,332 (63.38%) pilgrims.

2-The Camino Portugues, Portuguese Way stays as the second favourite, with 52,193 (18.76%) pilgrims choosing this route in 2016.

3-Northern Way, Camino del Norte, is the third most popular route with 17,313 (6.22%) of pilgrims making it all the way to Santiago.

4-Original Way, Camino Primitivo, was the chosen route for 12,098 (4.35%) pilgrims.

5-English Way, Camino Ingles, is increasing in popularity with 9,711 (3.49%) Compostelas issued for pilgrims following in the footsteps of British and Irish pilgrims.

6-Via de la Plata accounted for 9,083 (3.26%) of the total of pilgrims to Santiago.

Favourite Camino starting points

  • Sarria on the Camino Frances remains the most popular Camino starting point with 71,862 (25.83%) pilgrims starting their journey in 2016.
  • Saint Jean Pied de Port, starting point of the Camino Frances, was chosen by 33,720 Camino pilgrims or 12.12% of the total.
  • Porto (Camino Portugues and Portuguese Coastal Way) was the starting point for 17,745 (6.38%).
  • Tui (Camino Portugues) was the starting point for 15,168 (5.45%) pilgrims.
  • León was chosen by 12, 038 (4.33%) pilgrims.
  • O Cebreiro was the starting point for 9,874 (3.55%).
  • 9,486 (3.41%) pilgrims started their journey in the town of Ferrol on the English Way.
  • Ponferrada was the starting point for 8,210 (2.95%) pilgrims.
  • Oviedo was the starting point for 7,235 (2.60%) pilgrims.
  • Valença do Minho, on the Portuguese Way, was the starting place for 6,781 (2.44%) of all pilgrims.
  • 6,753 (2.43%) of pilgrims chose to start their Camino journey from Roncesvalles.

We’ll have some more interesting Camino statistics coming soon.

For more information about the Camino de Santiago routes or to book your Camino trip, contact our travel specialists


Writer at
Lisa hails from the west of Ireland and has spent some time living on the slopes in Canada where she discovered her love of hiking, walking and all things outdoors. Lisa is a digital diva and active member of an International poetry network.
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6 Responses to “Camino Statistics: Most popular in 2016”


Hi Mary, you could walk from Ponferrada to Santiago in 10-12 days.


That’s correct Philip, those are the top starting points for the French Way but many other pilgrims start in other towns along the way that might not make the top list.


That’s right Trevor, the statistics from the Pilgrims Office only take into account those finishing in Santiago AND receiving the Compostela. In reality the number of pilgrims is much higher since many do not finish in Santiago and many might not qualify for the Compostela (for instance if walking from Coruna or shorter distances).

Philip Robinson

a querry on the stats. out of 278,232 you mention that 176,332 go the French Way. but when I add up Saria, St Jean, Leon, O Cebreiro, Ponferrada and Roncevalles I get 142,457. there is 33,875 pilgrim number missing. Does that mean that the start elsewhere on the Camino Frances? Thany you

Trevor Ockenden

WHilst I find this article interesting and gives one a sense of how many pilgrims get to Santiago I for one have now done two parts of caminos and met many people in the same situation where they do not get to Santiago. Therefore I must assume that the actual numbers of pilgrims that are walking, say more than one week must be many times these numbers. It would be interesting to get more statistics fro a broader field. Thank you anyway, this article was interesting in and of itself.

Mary Dolan

How far does Ponferrda take Lisa?

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