We recently conducted a survey of intrepid Camino fans to gain some insights on the pilgrims and culture surrounding the trail. Of course, the Camino has existed for thousands of years, but over time trends and views towards it have changed. According to the latest statistics from the Pilgrims Office, 327.378 pilgrims from nearly 200 different countries received their Compostela certificate in 2018. But why are all these happy pilgrims taking to the famous trails?
Top reasons people walk the Camino?
- 27.5% for spiritual reasons
- 18.1% are looking for a physical challenge
- 17% want to tick it off their bucket list
- 11.9% want to experience a new culture
- 9.2% walk the Camino for religious reasons
- 8.8% want to switch off from technology
There were some interesting ‘other’ reasons such as ‘to spend time with family’, ‘to celebrate my birthday’ and ‘I walked the route for charity’.
Who will you take on your next Camino?
The Camino has a different social focus for diverse groups of people. Our survey found that 27.7% plan to walk their next Camino alone. This feeds into the perception that you make new friends on the Camino, but it is also the perfect path for personal reflection. 25.2% will walk their next Camino with friends and 28.4% will walk with a spouse or partner. Some of the participants in the survey were planning to walk with grandparents or grandchildren. The Camino really is suitable for all ages!
Modern technology has changed the way that we navigate between places. From taxi apps, to google maps, to sat navs getting where you are going has never been easier. pilgrims on the Camino are little different. In fact, 66% of them forgo any maps or technology and just simply follow the arrows. 9.9% will use traditional paper maps and only 14.4% will use a GPS device.
How would you improve the Camino?
We asked an open-ended question to pilgrims this year. How would you improve the Camino. There were some really interesting answers. Here are some examples;
“Closer to Australia 😊”
Would you recommend the Camino to family or friends?
This was the last question we asked our faithful pilgrims. And ok, maybe they are a little biased but 99.8% answered yes and we’d tend to agree. There is definitely a Camino for everyone.
There were no surprises with the top routes this year. The Camino Frances topped the bill, followed by The Portuguese Coastal Camino and the Camino Portugues.
*This survey was conducted by Caminoways.com in July 2019 with a sample size of 1000 pilgrims.
Thank you to all of those who took part! The winners of the €100 vouchers are: Tony Everett, Larry Casin, Cheryl Meban, Jim Lee, Caroline Burrell. Congratulations!
For more information about any of our walking or cycling Camino tours, please contact the travel specialists.