Which Camino Should I Choose?
The Camino de Santiago is not just a single trail. In fact, there are many different Camino routes to choose from. Starting from different points across Europe, pilgrims travelled to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. The most popular countries where pilgrims came from were France, Portugal, and different parts of Spain. From these destinations, many different Camino ways were formed.
Today, you can walk the many different routes of the Camino at your own pace, alone or with on a guided group tour. The choices are endless. You can even cycle the Camino by regular bicycle or by e-bike. The most important question you need to answer is which Camino route you should choose.
So, which Camino should you choose? Each Camino route has its own history and uniqueness. The top three Camino routes are the Camino Frances, also known as the French Way, which attracts approximately 60% of all pilgrims; followed by the Camino Portugues which attracts roughly 20% of pilgrims and the Camino del Norte, which attracts nearly 6% of all pilgrims.
The beauty of the Camino is that there are many routes to choose from and you can start at any point, making it as short or long as you like.
The Last 100km: From Sarria to Santiago
The last 100km of the Camino Frances route is the classic Camino experience. This is the most popular stretch as you can get your certificate in Santiago and it can be completed in just a week. You will walk from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela across the green Galician countryside, meeting many pilgrims along the way.
Camino Frances: from Saint Jean Pied de Port
The Camino Frances first section starts in France, in Saint Jean Pied de Port, and immediately crosses the border into Spain after only 13km till you reach Roncesvalles after 26km. From Saint Jean Pied de Port, it takes 3 walking days to reach Pamplona and 7 walking days to reach Logrono. From there you are on the most famous Camino, the Camino Frances or French Way, featuring in movies such as Martin Sheen’s The Way and books such as Paulo Coelho The Pilgrimage. The Camino Frances starts in the French Pyrenees and crosses the La Rioja wine region, passing fantastic cities such as Pamplona and Burgos, before reaching the stunning mountains of León, the Templars Castle of Ponferrada and finally Galicia across the wonderful O Cebreiro mountains.
Portuguese Coastal Camino: Porto to Santiago
The Portugues Coastal Camino is quickly becoming a favourite, particularly for the summer months. Starting in wonderful Porto, the route takes pilgrims along the Atlantic Ocean, stopping in seaside villages on the way. The route takes in the scenic shores of Northern Portugal and the Rias Baixas in Galicia.
Camino del Norte: along the Northern Coast
The Camino del Norte, or Northern Way, is another stunning coastal Camino: it starts in chic San Sebastian, in the Basque Country, and follows the lush Northern coast of Spain into Cantabria and Asturias. You will get the chance to sample the region’s delicious cuisine and go for a swim in one of the many beaches along the way.
Camino Primitivo, or Original Way
The Camino Primitivo is the oldest and first Camino route. This is a mountainous and more challenging Camino route, starting in the city of Oviedo and crossing the mountains of Asturias into Galicia. You will get rewarded with peaceful and magnificent views. Highlights also include the city of Lugo to Santiago with its spectacular UNESCO Roman wall.
The Camino Ingles
The Camino Ingles is the route traditionally taken by pilgrims from Britain and Ireland who would have arrived by boat to the Northern shores of Galicia and continued on foot towards Santiago de Compostela. This is a short Camino, starting in the port cities of Ferrol or A Coruña. Along the way, you will stop in lovely historic towns such as Pontedeume and Betanzos.
Camino de Fisterra: to the end of the world!
The Camino Finisterre Way is the only route starting in Santiago and takes pilgrims to the ‘end of the world’, Cape Fisterra, on the rugged and beautiful Atlantic Coast. The Cape, on the Costa da Morte, has a mystical allure for pilgrims. We recommend you continue to Muxia to admire its sanctuary and fascinating ‘magic rocks’.
Via de la Plata
The Via de la Plata is the Camino for adventurers, the road less travelled. The trail starts in the fascinating Andalucian city of Seville and heads North across rural landscapes but also passing beautiful historic cities or wonderful culture and rich Roman heritage such as Merida, Salamanca, and Ourense.
Le Puy Camino: a classic French route to Santiago
The Le Puy Camino is a truly spectacular trail, starting in Le Puy-en-Velay in the heart of France with its imposing cathedral and volcanic landscapes. Le Puy Way is the most popular Camino route in France and a classic trail, passing some of France’s most beautiful towns such as Conques, Cahors, and the picturesque Lot Valley. It is also known as Via Podiensis.
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