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Pilgrims favourite Camino routes in 2019

There are many Camino de Santiago routes, all taking pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, but which one should you take? and where should you start? Each year, the Pilgrims Office in Santiago de Compostela, records the number of Compostela certificates issued to pilgrims after completing their unique journey. This gives us a great insight into the pilgrims’ favourite Camino routes and here are the latest numbers!

In 2019, a record number of 347.578 pilgrims from 190 different countries received their Compostela certificate and these are their favourite Camino routes:

Pilgrim favourite Camino routes Camino de Santiago CaminoWays

The pilgrims favourite Camino routes

Camino Francés – 189.937 (54.65%)

Camino Portugués – 72.357 (20.82%)

Coastal Camino Portugués – 22.292 (6.41%)

Camino del Norte – 19.019 (5.47%)

Camino Inglés – 15.780 (4.54%)

Camino Primitivo – 15.715 (4.52%)

Vía de la Plata – 9.201 (2.65%)

Fisterra-Muxía – 1.548 (0.45%)

Camino de Invierno – 1.035 (0.3%)

Favourite Camino starting points

These are the top starting points for Camino pilgrims, with Sarria still the favourite, followed by Porto (with 27.924 starting their Camino Portugues in this city and an additional 11.421 starting their Camino Portugues Coastal route also there).

Sarria – 96.124 (27.66%)

St Jean Pied de Port – 33.197 (9.55%)

Porto – 27.924 (8.03%)

Tui – 22.814 (6.56%)

Ferrol – 15.097 (4.34%)

Porto (Coastal) – 11.421 (3.29%)

León – 10.505 (3.02%)

Valenca do Minho -10.490 (3.02%)

Oviedo – Camino Primitivo – 9.531 (2.74%)

O Cebreiro – 8.367 (2.41%)

Ponferrada – 6.804 (1.96%)

Where do Camino pilgrims come from?

Pilgrims favourite Camino routes Via de la Plata trail Camino de Santiago CaminoWays

Pilgrims from 190 different nationalities ‘did’ the Camino in 2019 but these are the top 10 nationalities

Spain – 146.350 (42.11%)

Italy – 28.749 (8.27)

Germany – 26.167 (7.53)

United States – 20.652 (5.92)

Portugal – 17.450 (5.02%)

France – 9.248 (2.66%)

United Kingdom – 9.132 (2.63%)

Korea – 8.224 (2.37%)

Ireland – 6.826 (1.96%)

Brazil – 6.025 (1.73%)

Australia – 5.301 (1.53%)

Most pilgrims chose to experience the Camino on foot 94.16% (327.281 people), while 5.63% (19.563) chose to cycle, 0.12% (406) on horseback, 243 by boat (0.07%) and 85 (0.02%) on wheelchair.

For more information about pilgrims favourite Camino routes or to book your trip, contact our travel experts



  1. By Maria

    Hi Laura, the Camino Portugues along the coast is a wonderful trail and a memorable trip to celebrate your 60th birthday. You are likely to make friend and meet other pilgrims along the route so don’t worry about travelling alone, it’s a fantastic challenge. Kind regards

  2. By Maria

    Hi JJ, cycling is a great way to experience the Camino de Santiago, but we’d only recommended if you are used to cycling or cycle regularly. If you are more confident as a walker, we would definitely recommend walking in that case but it is totally up to you. They are two different experiences, different paces… but both great!

  3. By Maria

    Hi Carolyn, we have the list of all 190 countries but decided to include only the top 10, in addition to Spain. Canada comes in at number 11, with 5279 pilgrims in 2019 (1.52%). Thank you for getting in touch!

  4. By Carolyn Dittmar

    I can’t believe there’s no Canadian stats in your breakdown by country! I’m sure there are many of us. Not enough to include??

  5. By JJ Tevlin

    I am going to do the Frances Camino and doing it by cycling from Leon. Is walking a better option? Love to hear your views.

    Regards JJ

  6. By Laura Allen

    I am wanting to do the Camino and start in Portugal on the coast on my 60 th birthday. I am doing it by myself is there any insiite for travelling alone. Canada ??

  7. By Maria

    Hi Mark, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us! According to the Pilgrims Office 33.197 (9.55%) pilgrims started in St Jean in 2019 and reached Santiago, as their numbers only reflect those who have received their Compostela. There are many more who start in St Jean and do a section of the trail to be continued then in following years but unfortunately they don’t have those numbers. I hope this helps!

  8. By Mark Boyde

    I did the Francés in 2019, it was life changing. I walked the whole way, 790kms, it would be nice to know what percentage started in SJPDP and did the entire Way. I will do it again in May 2020

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