Camino de Santiago: Our Top 10 Tip Bits

Madrid & Beyond
2 min read
Camino de Santiago

There are many ways to arrange the trip along the Camino de Santiago, including the Camino Portugués or Portuguese Way, a fantastic route for pilgrims looking for a more rural experience on the Camino de Santiago. Whichever route you take, we at Madrid & Beyond rely on in-house experience and knowledge, employing bilingual guides who have walked the Camino dozens of times, guides who enthuse about the Camino and its beauty, know its little secrets, and who will introduce you to unique characters along the way, and with their good humor and cheer make your trip a fun and memorable one. Read our top 10 tip bits to help plan your own experience. ¡Buen Camino!

  1. The Camino de Santiago is a collection of pilgrimage routes to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, North West Spain. According to legend, the remains of the apostle St James are buried in Santiago’s cathedral
  2. There are nine main routes to choose from. The Camino Francés, the most popular route, starts in St Jean Pied de Port in the foothills of the French Pyrenees and is 800km long
  3. When the Feast of St James, July 25th falls on a Sunday, it’s classed as a Holy Year or “Ano Xacobeo”. This happens 14 times every 100 years – 2021 is the next Holy Year
  4. The symbol of a scallop shell lines the routes of the Camino de Santiago, its lines representing the different routes pilgrims take from all over the world, which head to the same single point of Santiago de Compostela
  5. In northwest Spain, weather is unpredictable, and you can expect some rain. April, May, June, and September are the best months to walk any of the Camino routes; the weather is generally warm, everything is open, and the routes are not as busy as the main summer months
  6. Before you start the Camino, make sure you pick up your pilgrim passport, known in Spanish as a “credencial”. Pick up stamps along the way and make sure you walk at least the last 100km to Santiago de Compostela where you can collect your certificate
  7. You can do the Camino de Santiago on foot, on bike, on horseback, even in a kayak along the Rías Baixas! If you take your dog, he or she can also get his pilgrim’s certificate!
  8. The key to staying comfortable while walking the Camino is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation, and weather protection
  9. Make sure your walking boots are broken-in and invest in a good pair of hiking socks which may minimize the risk of blisters. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip!
  10. As Madrid & Beyond Camino expert, Clara Moreno says, don’t miss the octopus at Casa Ezequiel in Melide on your way to Santiago