The Camino de Santiago is perfect route for families and children. However, you must consider some details when you plan your adventure, so all the members of the family can enjoy the experience, and avoid any issues during the walk. The length of each walking day, the accommodations you will be staying at… are just some examples of the aspects you should take into account before starting the journey.
Walking the Camino de Santiago with children during summer holidays is a great choice, healthy, fun, and rewarding. Keep reading and we will let you know some tips to consider when organizing the experience, according to their age, their level of fitness… and especially, how to thrill them about the journey.
How to organize the Camino de Santiago with children
We must start saying that walking the Camino de Santiago is not an easy challenge, and doing it with children could seem to be too difficult. However, please note that the itinerary can be adapted to each pilgrim: there’s no need to walk an exact number of kilometres each day. When you plan your itinerary, you will need to adapt it to their ability and resistance.
Experts usually say the minimum age to approach the walk would be from 3 years old, onwards. If kids are younger than 6 years old, it is a good idea to bring stroller (this would avoid a lot of stress in case they are too tired or sleepy).
Same as it happens with adults, kids need a minimum level of fitness to walk the Camino de Santiago, that is why we strongly recommend to bear in mind the following recommendations:
We strongly recommend to organize walking routes on your free time, along terrains that are similar to the Camino de Santiago (at least 2 months before the trip starts). You can start with short walks and, step by step, you can increase the duration. This way, you will be able to checkÂ the resistance of your kid.
Children, same as adults, will need to get used to their footwear before starting the Camino de Santiago. This way, they will be able to avoid blisters and chafing (which could ruin the walk!). We recommend to buy their walking shoes or boots with enough time, so they can adapt to their feet.
If your children wish to carry their own backpack, that is no problem at all. Just bear in mind the size (it must be proportional). Also, when you prepare for the walk, your kid must take the backpack with him/her, to get used to the official Camino de Santiago.
Duration of each walking day
You can adapt the duration of each walking day. For example, the stretch from Sarria to Portomarín, on the French Way, is about 23 km long. You can split it in two walking days, and stay overnight in Morgade, which is half way.
Public Albergues for Pilgrims might not be the best option if you are walking with kids: you will need to be there very soon to get a place, noises during the night are almost guaranteed, common spaces, less privacy… There are different kinds of accommodations on the Camino de Santiago: from hotels to guesthouses, private Albergues, country cottages… There are many options, especially on the French Way.
For more information about walking the Camino de Santiago with children, or any other route in Galicia, please do not hesitate to contact us here.