The Cathedral in the dusk over the red tiles roofs of Santiago de Compostela
The 5 Camino Ways can be done in a week or less - but which is the right one for you?
- Camino Frances is the classic route and far & away the most popular, with over 60% of travellers choosing this route. On the upside, this means you enjoy the widest choice of lodgings, bars and restaurants. Plus full-on Camino camaraderie of hundreds of companions on the trail each day. On the downside - for those seeking a more contemplative escape, you may find there is simply too much activity at the busiest times of the year. We recommend this as the ideal Camino for first-time long-distance walkers.
- Camino Invierno was traditionally the route taken to avoid the snowbound mountain pass around O Cebriero. The Camino splits after the Knights Templar town of Ponferrada, passing the Roman gold mines of Las Medulas to the medieval town of Monforte and the terraced vineyards of the Ribera Sacra, then joining Via de la Plata to enter Santiago from the south. This is a very quiet Camino and more physically testing than the other 4 trails. You will encounter far fewer pilgrims - an important consideration if it's company on the Way that you seek. The views & landscapes are wonderful and it's peppered with small traditional towns and villages. Recommended for those with good stamina, considering their 2nd or 3rd Camino.
- Camino Ingles has 2 start points - Ferrol and A Coruna. Choose to start in Ferrol if gaining the Compostela is a must, as from A Coruna is a bit too short. Historically many British and Irish pilgrims sailed into Ferrol to start their pilgrimage. The first part passes close to the sea before heading inland through a traditional farming landscape with small villages, to enter Santiago from the north.
- Camino Portugues is the 2nd most popular route after Camino Frances. Starting in Tuo on the southern border with Portugal you pass through interesting places such as Pontevedra, the hot spring town of Caldas de Reis and Padrón, where St. James' body is said to have drifted ashore. You often follow the Via XIX Roman Road over rolling green hills and through eucalyptus forest trails. Recommended for those who have walked the Camino Frances and wish a similar experience with different sights. Good for first timers too.
- Via de la Plata is one of our most popular trips which features some special places to stay with great food and wine a highlight. Ourense is a medieval university town known for its roman hot spring baths. This route is very rural, passing through a lush green landscape and takes you past the great working monastery of Oseira. On occasion, we provide you with a driver to ferry you between the country house hotels and the route, so you get the best all-round Plata experience. The trail enters Santiago from the south - the nicest approach of all - passing through the last surviving ancient pilgrim gate to the heart of Compostela.Recommended for those who like some higher graded lodgings. The bonus of a driver allows you to shorten to longer walks.