Credencial: The Pilgrim’s Passport
An old tradition of the Camino, obtaining a Credencial is one of the first things most people do before they start walking the Camino de Santiago. Also known as The Pilgrim’s Passport, the Credencial is a document which pilgrims on the Camino carry throughout their walk. Broadly speaking, it is a successor of the medieval safe conducts issued to pilgrims.
The Credential is stamped in each town or village along your route and provides a record of the places where you stayed. This is an integral part of the Camino de Santiago experience and will make your Credencial one of the most cherished mementoes of your Camino journey.
Most importantly, the Credential serves as proof to the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago that you have walked the Camino as a Pilgrimage in a Christian sense. You must be able to show you have observed the minimum qualifying requirements. On arrival at Santiago de Compostela, you take your stamped Credencial to the Pilgrim’s Office, where staff issue you with a Compostela certificate proving you have followed the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
We provide you with the authentic credencial in your Camino Travel Pack, authorised by the Cathedral authorities in Santiago de Compostela.
Compostela: The Pilgrim’s Certificate
The Compostela is the certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims on completing at least the final 100kms of the Way of St James. The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral has been issuing the pilgrimage indulgence since the Middle Ages.
Once you have made it all the way to the St James Cathedral, you will present your stamped credential at the Pilgrim’s Office. The Compostela entitles you to the traditional free pilgrim meal at the old pilgrim’s hospital, the Hotel de los Reyes Católicos.
To earn the Compostela, you will need to have walked at least the last 100 km of the Camino. In practice, that means walking from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.
Alternatively, you can also earn your Compostela by walking other Ways to Santiago such as the quiet Via de la Plata. If you have chosen to do the Camino by bike, you will need to have cycled at least the last 200 kilometres.
You must ensure your authentic Credencial is properly stamped, recording the dates and distances you have travelled, by the collection of "sellos" along the route.This new document reflects the desire that many pilgrims expressed for several years more registered order to put the details of their pilgrimage. Indicated therein day and the starting point of the pilgrimage, the kilometres, in addition to the day of arrival and the route you have sojourned. it can also apply for those who have made the pilgrimage before.
This certificate is distinctive from the Compostela and is printed on parchment paper and decorated with a Latin phrase and a miniature from the Codex Calixtinus.
Certificate of Distance
A Certificate of Distance was introduced in 2016. This document records the total number of kilometres you’ve travelled and is complementary to the Compostela.
The Certificate of Distance is the second certificate made available two years ago. It is a response to those pilgrims who requested a way to record the long distances they walked.
You can obtain this in person at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago de Compostela.