Pilgrimage Walk in Spain

pilgrimage walk in spain

The famous pilgrimage walk in Spain is popular all over Europe and even in North America. What does the pilgrimage walk in Spain mean, and why do thousands of pilgrims join the journey every year?

Today I will explain the meaning of the Pilgrimage walk in Spain, why people walk, when and where you should start Camino de Santiago, and everything else about the journey.

Let’s start!

What is the pilgrimage trail in Spain?

A pilgrimage is a devotional journey toward a sacred place. A pilgrimage trail is a standard route people take to reach their destination.

Spain has several pilgrimage trails. The most famous pilgrimage trails in Spain are:

  • El Camino de Santiago: Camino de Santiago, or the Way of Saint James, leads to Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.
  • The Ruta Mariana: The Ruta Mariana has several stops in the path and ends at the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain.
  • The Ruta Teresiana: The Ruta Teresiana pilgrimage starts at Avila and ends at Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain.
  • El Rocio: Andalusia city in Spain is the destination for the pilgrimage of Rocio.

What is the famous walk in Spain?

El Camino de Santiago is a famous walk in Spain. It is one of the most famous pilgrimages in Europe.

El Camino de Santiago is also called the “Pilgrimage of Compostela” and the “Way of St James.” Millions of people participate every year in the famous walk of Spain.

But what does it mean, and what is the significance? Continue scrolling to find out. 

What is the Camino pilgrimage walk in Spain?

Camino Pilgrimage walk in Spain is an ancient trail and is a devotional journey for Christians. The tradition of participating in the journey originated in medieval times.

But what does Camino mean in English?

What does Camino mean?

Camino is a Spanish word that means “way, path, or road.” So, therefore, the whole phrase is “El Camino,” meaning “the way.”

El Camino de Santiago means the way to Santiago. Santiago was a popular name for Saint James in Spain

Why is Camino de Santiago important?

Camino de Santiago is important for religious significance. It leads to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, where the remains of Patron Saint James are buried.

If you don’t know about Saint James, I recommend you read my previous article on Spain’s patron Saint.

People walk on the Camino de Santiago believing it will reduce their punishment for their sins. However, many pilgrims also participate in the journey for spiritual reasons.

Why is Camino de Santiago a pilgrimage?

Camino de Santiago is a Catholic pilgrimage walk in Spain because it leads to the burial place of Saint James, who was one of the twelve apostles.

The tombs were discovered in the early ninth century, and the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage started. However, it was 1492 when Pope Alexander VI officially declared Camino de Santiago one of the three great pilgrimages of Christendom. 

Why walk Camino de Santiago?

Besides religious purposes, today, people walk Camino de Santiago for various purposes.

You can walk the pilgrimage as a new challenge in life. Although most of the trails are flat, it’s not as easy as walking in a park.

Besides, the Camino de Santiago gives you a break from your daily busy life. You also can experience different cultures while participating in pilgrimage walk through Spain’s various trails.

How many Camino routes are there?

There are 281 main Camino routes listed that start from different points in 29 countries. Out of these routes, seven ways are most popular, which are:

  1. Camino Frances
  2. Camino Portuguese
  3. Camino del Norte
  4. Camino Primitivo
  5. Camino Ingles
  6. Camino Finisterre-Muxia, and
  7. Via de la Plata

Where is Camino de Santiago’s walk?

The Camino de Santiago walk takes place all over Europe. It starts at several points, but all routes lead to the same destination.

Let’s talk about the starting and ending points:

Where does Camino de Santiago start?

Traditionally the Camino de Santiago starts from your door. However, people gather at different points and walk together.

The pilgrimage walk across Spain starts from all the cities. For instance, the Pilgrimage walk in northern Spain starts in Basque city.

St. Jean Pied de Port in France is the main starting point for the pilgrimage walk from France to Spain. The Pilgrimage walk Portugal starts from Lisbon.

However, there is no hard and fast rule for starting Camino de Santiago. You can join the pilgrimage from any point that is suitable for you.

Where does Camino de Santiago end?

All the trails of Camino de Santiago end in front of the Cathedral in the center of Santiago de Compostela. It is located in the Spanish province of Galicia, the resting place of Saint James. 

Which Camino route is best?

Camino Frances is one of the best and most crowded Camino routes. The pilgrimage gets more crowded in the last stages before entering Santiago de Compostela.

Not to mention, Camino del Norte is the most beautiful one, in my opinion. You can enjoy the serene view of the Bay of Biscay and several beaches along the way.

How long does it take to walk the pilgrimage walk Camino de Santiago in Spain?

It takes around 7 to 30 days to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, depending on from which city you are starting. If your city is close to Galicia, it may take fewer days.

Here’s a better idea of the distance and time required for walking the pilgrim trail in Spain:

How long does it take to walk the Camino de Santiago Frances?

If you are fully prepared, it takes approximately 35 days to walk the Camino de Santiago Frances. This route has the most foot traffic and often takes longer if you walk slowly.

How long does it take to walk the Camino de Santiago Portuguese?

It will take around 14 days to walk the Camino de Santiago from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. 

How many km Camino de Santiago?

The most popular Camino de Santiago Frances is approximately 825 km. For Portugal, if you start at Porto, it is 260 km, and if you start at Lisbon, it is 610 km long.

How many days is Camino de Santiago?

The preferable duration for Camino de Santiago is five days. However, some pilgrims also stay for six days and experience the roam around the city to celebrate Camino de Santiago.

When does Camino de Santiago start?

You can always start walking the El Camino de Santiago. There isn’t any specific time of the year when you need to begin the pilgrimage.

However, not every month is good for going to Santiago de Compostela. So then when should you start?

What is the best time to walk the Camino de Santiago?

April, May, June, September, and October are the best times to walk the Camino de Santiago. During these months, the crowd is not too high, and the weather is also favorable.

I skipped July and August because, in these two months, Camino de Santiago gets too crowded, and the weather also gets hot.

How much does it cost to walk the Camino de Santiago?

The cost to walk the Camino de Santiago varies from $30 to $70 per day. That means it will cost approximately $900 to $6,300 for a 30-day walk in Camino de Santiago.

Moreover, on the way you will see “albergues”; hostels for peregrines. Generally, albergues work with the gift economy. So if you can not afford it, you can stay there for free. If not, you can pay as much as you can with your feeling of gratitude. 

Besides, if you don’t have hiking gear, you may need to spend an extra $400 to $500.

Can you walk the Camino de Santiago alone?

The El Camino de Santiago trail is safe, and you can walk alone. Plus, the routes are easy to track, and you aren’t even required to take a guide.

Can you cycle Camino de Santiago?

You also can cycle Camino de Santiago as the routes are mostly flat. Still, it would help if you had good fitness to cycle as the distance is quite long.

Can you camp Camino de Santiago?

You can camp on all the routes of Camino de Santiago. However, free camping is rarely available, and you may need to pay a small amount of money to the garden owners for camping.


Thousands of people attend the Pilgrimage walk in Spain every year. Whether you are seeking forgiveness from God or spiritual growth, El Camino de Santiago can be an incredible journey for you.

As I have told you about the ritual of walking a labyrinth, you can consider Camino a spiritual journey with an intention/inquiry in your heart and contemplate the meaning during the journey. 

I still have not walked the way. However, I have heard amazing stories from my close friends about how one can listen to life-changing wisdom and have clarity in the silence of the path.

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so, you can pin it to your Rituals or Ancient Wisdom Board!

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