Today we would like to help you discover how to decide the best Camino de Santiago route for you. There are so many Camino de Santiago routes, that it can be difficult to choose one of them. However, there are some tips that you can follow to pick up the perfect itinerary for you. At Galiwonders we can assist you finding an answer to this common doubt. Let’s start!
How to decide the best Camino de Santiago route for you
We know the saying “There are as many Camino de Santiago routes, as pilgrims walking them“. On one hand this is great, because you have several itineraries to choose among and you are free to follow the Camino that best suits you. On the other hand, it can be quite confusing when you need to take a decision about the journey and don’t know much about the different options you have. So, if you are also asking yourself “Which is the best Camino route for me?”, keep reading and we will help you out!
Here you have 5 questions that could help you to decide the best Camino route for you.
- How much time do you have available?
- How many kilometers can you walk per day?
- Is this your first Camino?
- Will you be traveling solo? With friends? Big group?
- What are you looking for on the Camino?
Don’t worry if you can’t answer precisely to all these questions, this is just a starting point to know more about your preferences and needs. You can always contact us if you have doubts or questions on the Way of Saint James and a member of the Galiwonders Team will get back to you as soon as possible! If you need some extra help to decide the best camino route, you can also do our Camino de Santiago test!
How much time do you have available?
This is probably the most important question, since you can decide where to start according to the days you have at your disposal. For instance, if you only have one week to do the Camino and you want to get the Compostela Certificate at the end of your journey, you can only choose among the last 100 km of the Camino de Santiago routes. In this way, you can avoid checking any of the complete routes and can choose among the following ways (last 100 km): The French Camino, The Portuguese Way, The Portuguese Coastal Way, The English Way, The Winter Way, The Northern Way, The Via de la Plata, The Primitive Way.
To the contrary, in case you have available more than one month and a half, you can choose among the Full French Way (35 days), the Northern Way (37 days) or the Via de la Plata (48 nights) and adding the Finisterre Way after arriving in Santiago de Compostela.
How many kilometers can you walk per day?
This question is very important when you book an itinerary with Galiwonders, because we are expert in creating tailor made caminos and we can offer you different options depending on your needs and preferences. For example, if you do not feel like walking 20-25 km/day we can suggest you easier options such as the French Way Easy, the English Way Easy and the Portuguese Way Easy. These itineraries will allow you to enjoy a slower camino, especially if you want to walk with kids or with your dog and need some extra time to complete the daily distances.
Is this your first Camino?
In case you walk the Camino de Santiago for the first time, we suggest you to follow one of the most popular route such as the Camino Francés from Sarria or the Portuguese Way from Tui. Thus, you will meet many other pilgrims on your way and this can represent a help for the beginners. Also, you can find a lot of services on these routes such as bar, cafeterias, restaurants where you can stop and have a break. We recommend you to start with the busiest caminos to be sure to easily find someone who can assist you on the path.
Even if in the recent years the Camino started to be more popular also along other itineraries, you could feel a bit alone on some caminos (the more isolated routes are the Winter and Primitive Ways). You might prefer to start from the more social routes and leave the less popular ones for later caminos, when you will be a bit more expert.
Will you be traveling solo? With friends? Big group?
This question is quite connected to the previous one. In fact, in case you are traveling with other people you will not need to follow the most popular routes because you won’t be alone and you will get the help of your friends on any paths. However, if you are walking in a big group you need to consider the accommodation offer of the route you choose (especially during high season). The French Way is the route with more services and it will be easier to find a place for the night for many people traveling together.
What are you looking for on the Camino?
Nowadays, pilgrims follow the Way for many different purposes: for their health, for cultural reasons, to connect with the nature, for self-awareness, for religious and mystical grounds. Every pilgrim has his/her own motivations to walk the Camino and this is one of the main characteristic of this experience. Moreover, these reasons could help you to decide which route to walk.
For instance, if you want to know other pilgrims and have a very social experience we suggest you to do the French Way. In the opposite case, if you want to deepen into the nature and walk far from the noise, the Winter Way is the perfect camino. If you are looking for a physical challenge, you should choose the Primitive Way. In case you like to walk close to the ocean, there are different coastal routes you can decide among.
Remember that most of the pilgrims, walk the Camino de Santiago in sections. Therefore, you can start walking the first part of a route and keep on walking it, from the point you left, in the following years. The Camino has to be a pleasant journey, where you enjoy the experience to the fullest. Don’t get stressed to walk the complete route at one time and contact us if you need any extra information about your trip. Buen Camino!