The Camino de Santiago walk in numbers | 2017

Camino de Santiago statistics 2017

2017 was a record-setting year for number of pilgrims who walked the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago (or the Way of Saint James) can be described as a network of pilgrimage routes towards the tomb of Saint James the Apostle, in Santiago de Compostela. According the the Christian tradition, the remains of the Apostle are buried there.

There are many pilgrims who take on this trip for spiritual reasons, retreat, and self growth. There are different motivations to walk the Camino de Santiago: religious, cultural, spiritual… and even physical challenges! This trail is also very popular among hiking and cycling enthusiasts, and walking groups.

Let’s find out a bit more about the key figures related to the Camino de Santiago in 2017, collected by the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago de Compostela. But please bear in mind that the Pilgrim’s Office only takes record of those pilgrims who get the Certificate (Compostela); which means those who end up in Santiago de Compostela. These figures do not take into account those walkers who choose a different Jacobean route or section of the Camino that does not finish in Santiago; nor those who do not request the Pilgrim Certificate.


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Evolution of the number of pilgrims on the Camino: from 1986 to 2017

In 1986, the number of pilgrims was 1.801. Since then, this figure started to increase, particularly in 1993, because of the Holy Year and French Way being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. On the Holy Years, the number of pilgrims is always higher.

Over the last three years, the number of Pilgrim Certificates issued by the Pilgrim’s Office, has almost surpassed the last Holy Year (2010). 2017 was record-setting year in number of Certificates (301.036, compared to 272.135 in 2016; this means 27.901 more).

Evolution and pilgrim profile in 2017


➡ Number of pilgrims by means of transport: walking, cycling or horse riding

As previously mentioned, 2017 was a record-setting year. The barrier of 300,000 pilgrims was exceeded (which meant surpassing the last Holy Year in 2010).

How did these pilgrims arrive in Santiago de Compostela?

  • Walk: 278.490
  • Bike: 21.933
  • Horse: 417
  • Wheelchair: 43

In 2017, the Vía de la Plata Way was officially recognized as the first route for horse riding. There are plans to improve the pilgrimage routes in 2018, in terms of access for wheelchairs.

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The number of pilgrims always increases from April to October. Winter time is not a very popular period to walk the Camino, because of the weather. But there are also options for this time of the year, like the Winter Way.

➡ Nationality

In 2017, there have been more international pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago (168.558) than nationals (132.478).

Spanish pilgrims came from:

  • Andalusia: 27.472 (20,74%)
  • Madrid: 24.983 (18,86%)
  • Valencia: 15.926 (12,02%)
  • Catalonia: 13.604 (10,27%)
  • Galicia: 9.166 (6,92%)
  • Castilla-la Mancha: 7.133 (5,38%)
  • Castilla León: 7.065 (5,33%)
  • Basque Country: 4.542 (3,43%)

International pilgrims came from:

  • Italy: 27.073 (16,06%)
  • Germany: 23.227 (13,78%)
  • United States: 17.522 (10,40%)
  • Portugal: 12.940 (7,68%)
  • France: 8.835 (5,24%)
  • Ireland: 6.643 (3,94%)
  • United Kingdom: 5.768 (3,42%)
  • Brazil: 5.113 (3,03%)

➡ Age

  • Under 30 years: 84.064 (27,92%)
  • Between 30 and 60: 164.625 (54,69%)
  • Over 60 years: 52.347 (17,39%)

➡ Motivation


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➡ Which were the most popular Caminos in 2017?

  1. French Way: 180.737 pilgrims
  2. Portuguese Way: 59.235 pilgrims
  3. Northern Way: 17.836 pilgrims
  4. Primitive Way: 13.685 pilgrims
  5. English Way: 11.321 pilgrims
  6. Vía de la Plata: 9.138 pilgrims
  7. Portuguese Coastal Way: 7.327 pilgrims
  8. Muxia – Finisterre: 665 pilgrims
  9. Winter Way: 555 pilgrims
  10. Other Caminos: 537 pilgrims


  1. From Sarria to Santiago (Last 100 km French Way) : 79.717 pilgrims
  2. Saint Jean de Port (French Way Full): 33.717 pilgrims
  3. Oporto (Portuguese Way Full): 22.336 pilgrims
  4. From Tui to Santiago (Last 100 km Portuguese Way): 20.139 pilgrims
  5. From León to Santiago (French Way): 11.614 pilgrims
  6. Ferrol (English Way Full): 10.882 pilgrims
  7. From O Cebreiro to Santiago (French Way): 10.130 pilgrims
  8. Oviedo (Primitive Way Full): 7.903 pilgrims
  9. Ponferrada (Winter Way Full): 7.656 pilgrims
  10. Valença do Minho (Portuguese Way): 6.982 pilgrims


And the winner is the French Way, particularly its last 100 km, from Sarria to Santiago!

What do you think about the statistics of 2017? Any figure caught your attention?

And finally, here you have 5 reasons to walk the Camino de Santiago in 2018. Besides, there are new Camino de Santiago routes for 2018.

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And, if you do not know which Camino to walk… We help you with our Test of the Camino de Santiago. Please keep in mind that, at, we organize tailor-made tours!

”There are as many ways as pilgrims”

Buen Camino!


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