Most popular Camino Routes and starting points

Popular routes along the Camino

Most popular Camino Routes and starting points

The latest Camino statistics from the Pilgrims Office in Santiago are out, giving us a very interesting insight into the Camino de Santiago. An impressive 277.854 people 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. Here are the Most popular Camino Routes and starting points.

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.

Let’s take a closer look at the Most popular Camino Routes and starting points.

Most popular Camino routes

  1. French Way, Camino Frances, remains the most popular Camino route with 176.075 (63.37%) pilgrims.
  2. The Camino Portugues, Portuguese Way stays as the second favourite, with 49.538 (17.83%) pilgrims choosing this route in 2016.
  3. Northern Way, Camino del Norte, is the third most popular route with 17.289 (6.22%) of pilgrims making it all the way to Santiago.
  4. Original Way, Camino Primitivo, was the chosen route for 12.089 (4.35%) pilgrims.
  5. English Way, Camino Ingles, is increasing in popularity with 9.703 (3.49%) Compostelas issued for pilgrims following in the footsteps of British and Irish pilgrims.
  6. Via de la Plata accounted for 9.067 (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 71.766 (25.83%) pilgrims starting their journey in 2016.
  • Saint Jean Pied de Port, the starting point of the Camino Frances, was chosen by 33.656 Camino pilgrims or 12.11% of the total.
  • Porto (Camino Portugues and Portuguese Coastal Way) was the starting point for 17.726 (6.38%).
  • Tui (Camino Portugues) was the starting point for 15.158 (5.46%) pilgrims.
  • León was chosen by 12.022 (4.33%) pilgrims.
  • O Cebreiro was the starting point for 9.856 (3.55%).
  • 9.478 (3.41%) pilgrims started their journey in the town of Ferrol on the English Way.
  • Ponferrada was the starting point for 8.195 (2.95%) pilgrims.
  • Oviedo was the starting point for 7.227 (2.60%) pilgrims.
  • Valença do Minho, on the Portuguese Way, was the starting place for 6.773 (2.44%) of all pilgrims.
  • 6.746 (2.43%) of pilgrims chose to start their Camino journey from Roncesvalles.

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

We hope that you enjoyed the Most popular Camino Routes and starting points. For more information about the Camino de Santiago routes or to book your Camino trip, contact our travel specialists



  1. By Rodolfo Enrile

    If I choose to start in Leon, and finish in Sarria, on the Camino Frances, can i qualify to get a certificate?

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