Camino de Santiago for beginners
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- 1 Some things you need to know about the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Europe. Mainly because of its Christian pilgrimage routes, where its origins take visitors back to medieval times.
Firstly, pilgrims choose how they prefer to undertake their journey, i.e. by bicycle or on foot, although there are those who prefer to do it by riding a horse or by boat along the coast.
There are many doubts that can be presented to the pilgrims before, during and even after the trip and that often remain unanswered. This is not an ordinary route and many travellers take it to find themselves, apart from enjoying the landscape and nature.
For this reason, you will find below the perfect recommendations to enjoy the best trip of your life.
Some things you need to know about the Camino de Santiago
What are the best dates to do the Camino de Santiago?
One of the most important facts for people who have just decided to do the Camino de Santiago is to define the date of the trip.
In this case, as it is an area in the north of Spain, the weather and the conditions of each season have a great influence on the journey as these can affect the outdoor route, which lasts quite a few kilometres.
Generally, it is advisable to take into account the crowds of pilgrims. There are routes that are more elapsed than others and if what you are looking for is solitude, you will be happy to know that there are roads with fewer people.
Bear in mind that depending on the season you are going, there are certain routes that are more recommended. For example, there are some routes that help the pilgrim to undertake his journey more easily as he will not find muddy places created by the rain during the walk.
What route should you take if you are a beginner ?
It’s not an answer you’ll get easily if it’s your first time going through it. You need to experience it from your own eyes at least one time to see what you really like. However, you should bear in mind that the Camino de Santiago has several routes and not just one as it might seem.
The most popular route and the one that is best adapted if it is the first time you do the Camino de Santiago is the French Way. There are also other options that might catch your attention such as the Northern Way, Primitive Way, Portuguese Way or the English Way.
How long does it take to do the camino de Santiago?
It is very Simple! It’s a question that you can answer by yourself just by knowing how far you want to walk or how many days you have free to get to Santiago’s Cathedral.
There are people who look for shortcuts in order to reach their destination, whereas on the other hand, there are those who choose to spend more than a month to travel hundreds of kilometers from the Pyrenees.
The most common thing is to dedicate between 5 and 15 days to the whole journey, but everything will depend on the free time you have, as well as your physical preparation, experience and even whether or not you are on holiday. We recommend about 7 days of travel.
Therefore, as recommended by the guides, if it is the first time you do the Camino de Santiago, you should start by planning a maximum of one week and evaluate your responsiveness on the route, level of fatigue, among other aspects. If you feel able to walk more, you only have to extend the route.
What should I bring to the Camino de Santiago?
As I mentioned before, this depends a lot on the season you go, but you should never go without a good raincoat! The weather in northern Spain is a bit unpredictable and you can get caught in a downpour when you least expect it. It is best to get organized in advance and make a list of things to bring.
How much is it going to cost me?
As we have explained in the previous point, the travel time will depend on the amount of money you have to spend on the Camino de Santiago, since you will have to pay for expenses such as food and lodging. Generally, pilgrims carry a budget for one month.
If you plan to walk only five days or a week maximum, you will have a more flexible budget and maybe you can spend more on food or the renting of individual rooms.
Get to know the Camino de Santiago’ ways
– Portuguese Way: Here you will see the side of Galicia starting from Portuguese territory. The main point of reference is Porto.
Regarding the itinerary, from Lisbon to Santiago there are 600 kilometres of route that can be done in stages of 24 days, each one of 25 kilometres per day.
– Northern Route: This is one of the first routes chosen by pilgrims who are located on the border of France.
It is catalogued as the greenest route due to the diversity and beauty of its nature. On the way, tourists can pass by cliffs and the beach.
– Camino de Madrid: A very advantageous route because it is near the capital of Spain. The route has 13 stages, the Cercedilla-Segovia of 31 km being the most complex one.
The Camino de Madrid is seen as one of the stages with the most beautiful landscapes due to the natural characteristics it has.
– French Route: The most famous and first route chosen by pilgrims, it has two entrances to the peninsula, one is called Somport and the other Roncesvalles. Its stages are not so complex and it has a considerable amount of accommodation and hostels for visitors. The most comfortable thing is to organize the Camino de Santiago well beforehand and then be able to enjoy this experience one hundred percent.