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Ultimate Camino de Santiago Guide – Planning Your Path

*Photo from followthecamino.com

This is part three of a series written by our Bucket List Events guides.

Here is:

Part 1 – Camino de Santiago Packing List

Part 2 – Camino de Santiago Frequently Asked Questions


Different Routes

Katie: There are many different Camino de Santiago routes. Historically, peregrinos set out from their front door. Since it is safer to walk in groups, paths converged into the common routes we see today. 

The Camino Frances is the most popular route today. Three main Camino routes through France converge at the starting point in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France. The route is about 780 kilometers through Logroño, Burgos, Leon, and many other Spanish towns, ending in Santiago de Compostela. It has been featured in movies, such as The Way, and books like The Pilgrimage by Paul Coelho. Camino Frances takes you through many different terrains, including the Pyrenees Mountains and the flat mesetas. Cassidy and I chose this route because it has built up infrastructure that allows peregrinos to have lots of flexibility in terms of distance per day. 

The Camino Portugese is 600 kilometers along the coastline from Lisbon, Portugal, to Santiago. The terrain is fairly flat and offers spectacular views of beaches and towns. It’s well marked with the familiar yellow shells and arrows, but we have heard that the first half from Lisbon to Porto is lacking in accommodations. Cassidy and I

are already planning our Camino Portugese!

The Camino del Norte follows the 825 kilometers of the Northern coast of Spain from Irūn to Santiago. It passes through San Sebastián, where Cassidy and I had some of the best gin andtonics ever. It joins in the Camino Frances in Arzúa for the last leg into Santiago. The terrain is mountainous and may be the most difficult route, but we have been assured the views are worth it. We have heard the middle has unclear marking and accommodations are sparse. It is currently the least popular Camino route, which is a draw for many peregrinos that want to escape the crowds.

The Camino Finisterre and Muxia is the only route that doesn’t end in Santiago. Instead, this route starts in Santiago and is about 90 kilometers to either Finisterre or Muxia. Both are beautiful beach towns. Finisterre was thought to be the end of the known world and is the proud owner of the 0.0km marker. It takes about 3 days to walk to either Muxia or Finisterre, and if you want to walk to the other beach town, it will take an extra 3 days. Many of our friends continued walking from Santiago to either Finisterre or Muxia. Due to time constraints, we took a bus to Finisterre to relax by the beach before backtracking to Pamplona for Running of the Bulls. We didn’t make it to Muxia, but our friends that did said it was one of their favorite Spanish towns! 


How much did it cost?

Cassidy: While there is no exact answer to this question, I will try to give you a basis for what a typical day costs and you can multiply that across the amount of days you plan to walk. Of course, people and their spending vary. Some choose to spend as little as possible, staying in only the municipal albergues, making their own food, and carrying every ounce on them. While others will spend quite a bit of money on the experience: food and dining, lodging, shipping packs forward, souvenirs, etc. Katie and I were fairly moderate with our spending. We did splurge on a nice place to stay and a great meal every so often!

 

So, here’s our (read: moderate spend) daily price breakdown:

  • Albergue: 5-12 euros
  • Meals & snacks: 15-30 euros (you can save a lot of money by making your own food!)
  • Breakfast: 5-7 euros
  • Lunch/Snack: 5-7 euros
  • Coke or beer stop: 3 euros
  • Dinner: 10 euros

TOTAL AVERAGE SPEND AROUND: 35 euros per day

 

If you have any other questions for us, feel free to message us on instagram:

@caminaritas (not monitored, but a fun resource)

@cassidyllovett

@katieanne_rogers

 

Thanks so much for reading! We hope this will be a helpful resource to those of you looking to take a leap of faith and walk the Camino de Santiago. BUEN CAMINO!

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