What The Camino Pilgrims Are Saying – Overall Camino Experience
Pilgrims spoke about their overall experience walking the Camino de Santiago, from the struggles to the joy and a sense of accomplishment. Each Camino experience is unique and each story has the potential to inspire another traveller on their journey.
This is part of a series. Make sure to come back and check out the other articles in this series once they are linked and ready: Solo Camino Experience, Camino Cycling Experience, Camino Group Experience.
“A most enjoyable Camino experience and one which I will remember with pride and affection. Everything worked out well for us and the weather didn’t cause us any serious problems. Most of the Camino is through wooded or shaded areas and so we were sheltered from the extremes of heat and rain. We met quite a number of people on our way and shared many pleasant chats during our many stops for rest and refreshments. The highlight for me was the Pilgrims Mass in the Cathedral of Santiago and the thrill of seeing the Botafumeiro being hoisted up and then swinging from side to side in ever-increasing heights until it almost touched the roof!” – Seamus, Ireland
“I travel a lot but this was hands down my most memorable trip. Santiago de Compostela has indescribable magic. My intention was to work out and see new frontiers but the Camino had something else in mind for me. I learned a great deal more about myself and came back home transformed and with a sense of peace, happiness and well-being. My journey along the Portugues route was super comfortable and CaminoWays was excellent in preparing my hotel stays. The top-rated Parador Hotels along the way were a treat for my tired body. I highly recommend walking the Camino, it was the best trip of my life!” Alma, USA
“To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, we walked from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre in early July. When we arrived in Santiago de Compostela, I remarked to my husband that a lot of people were limping. By the weekend it was me who was limping into the cathedral, but after a wonderful five days walking with Caminoways, I had no regrets. Only on the first day did we take food with us and subsequently, we realised that there were bars and cafes all along the route and it was nicer to eat freshly prepared local food. We did carry water but it’s not really necessary as fountains and cafes were readily available. This was a very special experience and I look forward to walking again.” – Catherine, UK
“I walked the route from Lucca to Colle di Val d’Elsa for 5 days in September with 2 friends. The signs on the route were marked very well. The first day of walking from Lucca to Altopascio was mostly on roads with traffic, the least interesting day. Day 2 to San Miniato (29 km) was quite a challenge due to the heat, but the route was beautiful and mainly flat through rural areas, ending with a 3 km climb to San Miniato – what a stunning town with amazing views.
“I enjoyed day 3 to Gambassi Terme the most. It was 24 km through vineyards, olive groves and farms. I walked mainly on my own this day and I felt safe all the way. Gambassi Terme was another beautiful town that did not have many tourists. Day 4 and 5 were both short distances (14 km per day) through stunning environments and quite hilly. This was the first hiking trip I did and it is as if another world has opened up for me. I loved it! It was nice to have a challenge every day, with a bit of figuring out the route along the way – a different way of exploring a new area.” – Pretzel, South Africa
“Just a few words of thanks and appreciation upon our return home to Iceland after touring the Portuguese Coastal Route from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. We would never be able to find the appropriate words to describe the wonderful experience we had. The scenery is beautiful and so is the exercise and peace of mind you gain when you walk all by yourself tens of kilometres every day. We feel fortunate that we chose you to plan our trip and the whole tour was an experience which will be valued and never forgotten.” – Thorunn, Iceland
“My husband and I walked the last part from Sarria to Santiago. We are 68 years old and did have our luggage transferred. There were days that we felt very energized and thought we could have walked further, but it was also very nice to settle into whichever town where we were staying and enjoy the town, its charm and great food. We really loved all of it and met so many wonderful people and it is a trip that we will not soon forget. CaminoWays did a fantastic job setting things up for us and they were always just a phone call away if we had any issues, which we did not.” – Frances, USA
“Enjoyed every step of the way. Wouldn’t change a thing. Can’t wait to do another Camino! We walked from Sarria to Santiago and loved everything about it. Enjoyed the peacefulness, yet had a lot of fun with friends too, making it our favourite holiday yet! Would not be interested in a regular sun holiday again!” – Ann, Ireland
“I returned from my 10-day walk from Seville along the Via de la Plata and just wanted to say that I thought it was excellent. The route was really interesting with lots of variety to keep your attention, there was easy walking along the mainly dirt roads and trails, and the waymarking was so good it would have been difficult to get lost. It was a great trip and a great experience, and I hope to get back to do more someday!” – Colin, Canada
“A fulfilling challenge and a wonderful holiday. My husband and I walked 135 km of the Portuguese route over 6 days. We had not done as much preparation as we would have liked but had no problem completing each day. We took our time, admired the lush countryside, got a good insight into the lifestyle of the local people, chatted to fellow Camino travellers, relaxed over coffees and lunch and celebrated each evening with dinner and wine. What could be better!” – Mary, Ireland