Camino de Santiago Routes
The Camino de Santiago is a unique journey and there are many historic Camino de Santiago routes, all taking pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. Embarking on this walk, you will get your pilgrim passport before you begin and collect stamps along the way to receive your Compostela at the end.
Walking the Camino de Santiago Routes is both a cultural and physical adventure. You will walk between 18km and 25km on average per day and we can help you plan the best possible options for your walk or cycle.
Most Popular Camino De Santiago Routes
The Camino Frances is the most popular of the Camino de Santiago routes. This is the version of the route you may have seen in the Hollywood movie ‘The Way’ or the more recent BBC documentary called ‘The Pilgrimage’.
The Camino Portugues has increased in popularity over time. This route also finishes in Santiago where you can claim your pilgrim certificate. The other routes that lead you to the historic centre of Santiago include the Camino Ingles, the Camino del Norte, the Camino Primitivo, and the Via de la Plata.
Often pilgrims will choose to finish their Camino de Santiago by walking the Camino Finisterre, which is the only route that begins in Santiago and takes you towards the Galician coast at Cape Finisterre, also known as the ‘end of the world’.
People choose to walk the Camino for many different reasons, such as spiritual reasons or adventure or meeting like-minded people. Whether you want to escape from routine, take some time to reflect on your goals, or simply enjoy the Northern Spanish culture, the Camino de Santiago is for everyone. Along the way, take time to speak with other pilgrims, take in the historic sites and enjoy delicious tapas along the Camino routes.
The Distances Of The Camino De Santiago Routes
The distances of the Camino de Santiago routes vary from one guidebook to the next. Here are the official Camino distances in kilometres from start to finish:
Which Camino De Santiago Route Should I Choose?
The path of the Camino de Santiago is chosen based on a number of factors. The most common factors are ease of access, weather, environment, and the amount of traffic. The first portion of the Camino Frances can be very mountainous, while the majority of the Portuguese Coastal Way is by the sea, and the final sections of both the Camino Frances and the Camino Portugues are well-traveled. Some pilgrims want to walk the entire Camino from beginning to end, and some pilgrims prefer to walk it in sections of a week or two.
The Camino Frances or French Way to Santiago de Compostela is the most well-known road and the richest in history. It begins in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees and crosses about 770km (about five weeks on foot) to Santiago de Compostela. It is the most recommended Camino de Santiago for pilgrims walking the Camino for the first time or for those walking with children. Since the apostle’s tomb was discovered in the 9th century, this path has been active, and the current course was developed in the 11th century. It is a milestone in history, architecture and sociology. If you have only 1 week, and you want to see Santiago, we recommend the Camino Frances last 110km, 1 week starting from Sarria.
The Camino Portugues or Portuguese Way promises a quieter and flatter experience for walkers and cyclists. The route takes you along northern Portugal’s Atlantic coast, past quaint seaside towns and picturesque beaches, before encountering the typical Spanish road to the end of Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino Finisterre or Finisterre Way is the Camino de Santiago that leads you in reverse, from the small fishing ports of Fisterra and Muxía on the dramatic coast of Galicia to Santiago. This is a perfect Camino if you want to continue your journey and experience the ‘real Galicia’ and spectacular scenery. You will need four to six additional days to Fisterra or Muxía. Finisterre you will meet the cliffs, lighthouse with a strong end-of-the-world. Muxia’s impressive Mary church perched on a rocky seashore commemorates the arrival of the Virgin Mary on a stone boat.
Camino del Norte
The Camino del Norte or Northern Way is the third most popular Camino de Santiago Route. It runs along Spain’s North Coast. This is the second-longest path to Santiago de Compostela (800km). This Camino provides amazing stretches of beaches and cliffs that draw more pilgrims each year. It provides a variety of landscapes, country lanes, Mountainous trails and Coastal path. The section after Santander is one of the quietest Camino. Top sights: San Sebastián, Bilbao, Santander, Gijón and Ribadeo.
Via de la Plata
The Via de la Plata is the longest Camino (1000km), it begins in Seville and finishes in Santiago de Compostela. This Camino during the middle ages was used by pilgrims from the South of Spain and North Africa. It is a more quiet choice than the Camino Frances or the Camino Portugues. This path weaves through a beautiful area known for its forests and lakes with many Roman ruins and UNESCO World Heritages. From the picturesque Ourense, renowned for its hot springs, the road gets hillier with pine and oak forests. The final leg leads north through common Galician farmland villages and hamlets.
The Camino Ingles or English Way was one of the main Camino de Santiago Routes for pilgrims from the British Isles and Scandinavians who sailed to the northern Spanish coast and walked to Santiago de Compostela overland. Nowadays, there are 2 ways: The Original Camino Ingles starting in Ferrol that allows getting your Pilgrim Certificate Ferrol and the so-called Celtic Camino Starting in A Coruna. For the first few days, you walk along the coast with wonderful sea views, then it follows a path inland, past ancient chapels and churches and green, tree-lined pathways to the city of Santiago.
The first pilgrimage to the Apostle’s tomb, that of King Alfonso II of Asturias in the 9th century followed. A very scenic yet challenging walk, the Camino Primitivo or Original Way, starts in Oviedo and travels for about 328km in a south-westerly direction towards Santiago. It has fewer amenities along the way and the route has a lot of steep ascents, so we recommend it to those that have some experience and look for a quieter Camino Experience. The Route, however, is wonderful as it takes you from mountainous Asturias to lush Galicia across beautiful valleys, mountains, and scenic viewpoints. The last 100km of the Camino Primitivo starts in the Roman city of Lugo, which is still completely surrounded by 2000 years old Roman walls and towers. This final section is not particularly difficult, but it is still more remote than its counterparts in Galicia, meets the Camino Frances, on the second walking day, in Melide, and continues for the next 50 kilometers to Santiago.
Handpicked Accommodations on Our Camino de Santiago Routes
With all of our Camino tours, your accommodation is booked in handpicked hotels, your luggage is transferred each day and you will receive all of your walking notes and maps in advance.
Travel light on the Camino with our Camino Luggage transfers. Leave your bag at reception by 8 am and it will be delivered to your next accommodation by 4 pm that same day. Simple! This service is available on all our Camino de Santiago Routes.
If you would like to learn more about the Camino de Santiago routes, including the history, trails and travel planning, you can download our Camino Beginners Guide. If you are in the planning stages, you can download our free 6 month Camino fitness guide.
Camino Ways Route Planner
For over 1000 years, pilgrims from all over the world have walked the Camino Ways across Europe in their quest for spirituality. Making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, they encountered a variety of people, cultures and beliefs, leading to friendship and new experiences. This continues today with the Camino de Santiago being the most well known and well-loved walk in the world. More than just a walk, the Camino de Santiago is an unforgettable and unique journey for the body, mind, and soul.
Stay up-to-date and get the latest Camino Travel News and Information with CaminoWays.