Over 240,000 pilgrims trekked at least 100km of the Camino de Santiago last year alone with thousands more walking the different Camino routes and sections across France, Portugal and Spain each year.
There are many ways to Santiago but which Camino de Santiago routes are favoured by the pilgrims? The CaminoWays.com travel specialists take a look at the top Camino routes:
French Way – Camino Frances
The majority of pilgrims choose the French Way (over 68% of pilgrims arriving in Santiago), the most famous Camino route, featuring in films such as ‘The Way’ and many books. Starting in St Jean Pied de Port, at the foot of the Pyrenees, you will journey 800km across beautiful Northern Spain and discover bustling cities, charming medieval towns and lush vineyards. Reflect on your travels among the peaceful hills of rural Galicia before reaching Santiago de Compostela. The entire route takes a month to complete or two weeks if you’re cycling. If you don’t have a whole month, don’t worry, many pilgrims start in other towns along the way, the most popular being Sarria, Leon and Ponferrada.
Price: from €560 per person sharing for a 6-night Camino trip from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.
Portuguese Way – Camino Portugues
The second most popular route with pilgrims is the Portuguese Way (over 35,000 in 2014), which begins in Lisbon and takes pilgrims through colourful towns such as Coimbra, well-known for its UNESCO 13th century university, and Porto, home of delicious Port wine. This route is perfect if you are a nature lover as you’ll walk past miles of lush forests and vineyards. The most popular starting points for walkers are Porto in Portugal and Tui, in the Galician-Portuguese border. Take two weeks to walk this route from Porto and experience the best of both Portuguese and Galician cultures.
Price: from €693 per person sharing for a 7-night Camino trip from Tui to Santiago de Compostela.
Northern Way – Camino del Norte
The Northern Way or Camino del Norte is the third Camino route in terms of pilgrims, with 6.34% (over 15,000 in 2014) choosing this route to Santiag. Begin your trip in chic San Sebastián, famous for its abundance of Michelin star restaurants and buzzing night life. The Northern Way is primarily a coastal route taking you through picturesque fishing villages so there are plenty of opportunities to take a dip in the clear blue waters. Other stops include artistic Bilbao, unforgettable Santander and interesting seaside towns such as Ribadesella, Luarca and Ribadeo.
Price: from €632 per person sharing 6 nights from Bilbao to Santander.
Finisterre Way – Camino de Fisterra
Join the 20,000 pilgrims that take on the Finisterre Way each year and walk to the ‘End of the World’. This route is unique as it’s the only one which begins in Santiago and covers an area steeped in history and mythical legends. Traditionally pilgrims burned their clothes and swam in the sea on completion of the Way. You can walk to Cape Fisterra and also continue to the fishing village of Muxía, following the coast.
Price: from €545 per person sharing for a 5-night Camino trip from Santiago to Cape Fisterra.
When and Price:
CaminoWays.com organises guided and self-guided tours on the many routes of the Camino de Santiago, all year round. Standard packages include half-board accommodation in guesthouses and selected hotels, luggage transfer from hotel to hotel and holiday pack with pilgrim passport and practical information.
Does not include: Price does not include flights, transport or insurance.
Also available: Airport transfers and hotel upgrades in towns and cities are also available.
For more information about the different Camino de Santiago routes in France, Portugal and Spain or to book your Camino trip, contact our travel specialists.