The Camino Catalán (Cat: Camí de Sant Jaume) is the name of the Camino de Santiago route that takes pilgrims across Catalonia: from the Mediterranean coast at Barcelona to La Rioja. There, pilgrims can join the French Way and continue walking to Santiago de Compostela, in Atlantic Galicia.
In the Middle Ages, the main ways to Santiago followed the old Roman road network, connecting cities with important political and religious status, since they were the safest and most popular. It is believed that pilgrims walked to Santiago from Catalonia and further afield as far back as the XIII century, but there were many different routes.
This could be due to the fact that, during the first centuries of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, pilgrims traveling from Catalonia had to adapt to frequent changes in the border between the Muslim and the Franc-Catalonian areas, as the so-called ‘Reconquista’ hadn’t yet been finalized. This was an added difficulty to pilgrims and many chose to access the Iberian Peninsula via the Western side of the Pyrenees instead (along the French Way).
Divided into four walking stages, today’s Camino Catalán to Santiago starts in the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona and takes walkers across the Catalonian countryside and then West to Aragón before finishing in La Rioja. Along the way, travelers walk by towns, cities, and countryside with striking landscapes, such as Montserrat, the Ebro valley, and La Rioja region.