The Camino in numbers: top routes and pilgrims in 2018

The Pilgrims Office in Santiago keeps record of each pilgrim that receives the ‘Compostela’ certificate after completing the Camino and these figures give us a fantastic picture of the Camino in numbers. These interesting statistics answer many frequently asked questions by prospective pilgrims such as: What are the top Camino routes? Where do Camino pilgrims come from? Where do they start their journey?

Accoding to the latest statistics from the Pilgrims Office, 327.378 pilgrims from nearly 200 different countries received their Compostela certificate in 2018. It is worth noting that these won’t take into account pilgrims who didn’t finish their trip in Santiago or who have walked sections in France, Portugal or Spain for instance.




The Camino Frances  remains the Camino de Santiago most famous and pilgrims’ favourite route. 56.88% of all pilgrims took this trail in 2018 (186199).


The classic Camino route from Portugal, the Camino Portugues, is the second favourite. This route was chosen by 67822 pilgrims (20.72% of the total).


Camino del Norte is third in the list of pilgrims favourite routes. 19040 (5.82%) chose this route last year.


This is the first and oldest Camino route. 15038 (4.59%) walked the Camino Primitivo in 2018.


The Camino Ingles attracted 14150 (4.32%) pilgrims.


13841 (4.23%) took to the scenic Portuguese Coastal Camino route from Vigo, Baiona and beyond.


9127 (2.79%) people chose the Via de la Plata.


1131 pilgrims walked the Finisterre Camino to Santiago (0.35%) but remember most walkers walk the other way, starting in Santiago and heading to Muxia instead.


Those looking for an off the beaten track Camino trail will love the Camino de Invierno, recently added to the official list of Camino routes. Only 703 (0.21%) people completed this route in 2018.


  1. SARRIA: The market town of Sarria on the Camino Frances, always comes as the top starting point. 88509  (27.04%)
  2. PORTO: Combining the number of pilgrims starting the Classic Portuguese and Coastal routes from Porto, the city has become the second favourite spot for pilgrims to start their Camino journey. 32987 (10.08%) started the Camino from Porto in 2018.
  3. ST JEAN PIED DE PORT on the Camino Frances comes third with 32899 (10.05%).
  4. TUI on the Camino Portugues saw 21308 pilgrims start their journey in this lovely town (6.51%).
  5. FERROL on the Camino Ingles attracted 13335 (4.07%) pilgrims.
  6. LEON on the Camino Frances: 10915 (3.33%).
  7. O CEBREIRO on the Camino Frances: 9189 (2.81%).
  8. OVIEDO on the Camino Primitivo: 8799 (2.69%).
  9. VALENCA DO MINHO on the Camino Portugues: 8726 (2,67%).
  10. PONFERRADA on the Camino Frances and Camino de Invierno: 7209 (2.20%).


  1. Spain
  2. Italy
  3. Germany
  4. United States
  5. France
  6. UK
  7. Ireland
  8. Korea
  9. Brazil
  10. Australia

Of those, 93.49% walked the Camino and 6.35% cycled the Camino. 54.81% of all pilgrims in 2018 were aged between 30 and 60. 26,83% were under 30 and 18.35% were over 60.


For more information about the Camino de Santiago routes or to book your next trip, contact our travel specialists



  1. By Maria

    Hi John, they could have started from any other points along the way; the city of Lugo for instance would be a very popular starting point for the Camino Primitivo as it is approximately 100kms from Santiago. I hope this helps!

  2. By John

    I thought that the Primitivo went from Oviedo to Santiago so If 15038 walked the Primitivo and 8799 started in Oviedo where would the other 6239 have started from.

  3. By Maria

    Hi Ian, you would need to fly to Santiago de Compostela to start your walk from Sarria (last 100kms of the Camino Frances) and other routes such as Camino Primitivo from Lugo, Camino Portugues from Tui or the Camino Ingles from Ferrol. Vueling Airlines fly directly from Santiago de Compostela to Rome. I hope this helps, let us know if you need anything else, an itinerary, etc… kind regards.

  4. By Ian Harris

    My wife and I intend doing the last 100km to qualify for the certificate next year (2020) June/July. Please advise more info eg. which airport to fly to etc, Thereafter we want to travel to Rome. We live in Cape Town, South Africa.

    Thank you.
    Ian harris

  5. By Maria

    That’s completely right, Trevor, the statistics only reflect those arriving in Santiago, not those walking stretches along the different routes. There are many pilgrims on the Camino trails across France each year such as Le Puy for instance.

  6. By Trevor Ockenden

    Thank you. I found these statistics to be very interesting and informative even though they are only statistics gleaned from arrivals to Santiago.

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