How To Earn The Compostela
To earn the Compostela, you will need to have walked at least the last 100 km of the Camino. In practice, that usually means walking from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela (115 kms). However, many choose to start their walk from the Sanctuary of O Cebreiro in the Galician mountains (158kms).
We provide you with the credencial document issued by the Cathedral of Santiago as part of your travel pack. You must have this stamped at the beginning of your journey in Lugo and collect at least two more stamps each day. This way you are recording your journey by distance and by route. On arrival at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago, your credencial will be checked for compliance before receiving your Compostela certificate.
Most people on the Camino spend a week or two walking the final section of the Camino Frances through Galicia, but you can also earn your Compostela by walking other the final 100kms of other Camino routes to Santiago.
- Camino Frances from Sarria
- Via de la Plata from Ourense
- Camino Portugues from Tui
- Camino on horseback on the Camino Frances, Camino Portugues or Camino Primitivo
- Camino by bike requries at least the last 200 kilometres.
The Camino Experience
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela was proclaimed the first European Cultural itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987 as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This European pilgrimage route has been taken by pilgrims to Santiago for more than one thousand years.
There are many reasons to walk the Camino - seeking spiritual enlightenment, for adventure, freedom from everyday life, the opportunity to meet new people and enjoy the camaraderie of the road. We hear tell from our clients, stories of encounters with many others who become like a Camino family during the journey. There are many special aspects of the Way that makes this experience so special and memorable.
As experts in the Camino de Santiago, we have considerable experience tailoring walks for those who are new to walking or who find it difficult walking for long distances.
See our Gentle Steps Camino Frances if you prefer to walk at a slower, more relaxed pace.
We will be happy to create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests.
Earn the Compostela Certificate by Completing the Final 100km of the Camino de Santiago
In practice, this means walking the Camino Primitivo from Lugo to Santiago de Compostela in 6 days.
You can also earn your Compostela by walking the last 100 km of other Ways to Santiago such as the Camino Portugues from Tui, or the Via de la Plata from Ourense.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like us to create a different, personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests.
The following is our most popular 7-day itinerary starting at Sarria on the Camino Primitivo:-
Day 1 - Arrival in Spain and Transfer to the Camino
Arrival and transfer to Lugo on the Camino Primitivo, the last section of the route that originates in Oviedo in the Royal Province of Asturias. Stay overnight in Lugo.
Day 2 - Lugo - San Roman de Retorta, 19.6kms
You follow the bronze shells out of the ancient Roman city, passing through the Santiago Gate, to shadow country roads winding through an undulating wooded landscape. There are one or two stopping points on the way to San Roman with its C12th Romanesque Church.
Day 3 - San Roman - Merlan, 14.7 kms
A walk along the old Roman road and country tracks, passing small settlements like Ferreira with it's Roman bridge and onto a country hotel at Merlan (San Salvador).
Day 4 - Merlan - Melide, 13.6 kms
Today you walk through stands of aromatic eucalyptus trees, on well trodden country paths, passing small villages until arriving in Melide. This medieval township has close links with the Jacobean pilgrimage, and you will notice a surge in the number of walkers in town. Visit the town's medieval centre and churches, and try Melide's local delicacy: Pulpo (Octopus).
Day 5 - Melide - Arzua, 14.3 kms
Today's walk takes you through meadows, oak and eucalyptus woodland through countless small hamlets, some of which bear names that echo their historical connections with the Pilgrim's way. This is the county of Arzua, a land with a strong dairy production and known for its delicious cheeses.
Day 6 - Arzua - Arca, 19 kms
Walk on natural pathways with good shade offered by trees. The Camino now becomes busier with pilgrims as we near the fabled city of Santiago.
Day 7 - Arca - Santiago de Compostela, 20.1 kms
The first part of your final stage into Santiago is through dense woodland. Enjoy the shade and peace -as you approach the city, aspahlt roads take over. After leaving the town of A Lavacolla, the Way approaches the Monte do Gozo (The Mount of Joy), a small hillock from which the pilgrim was able to see, for the first time, in the distance, the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago, hence the name of this spot.
Before you know it you descend into the urban stretch that will lead you to the heart of Santiago de Compostela's old town and on to the tomb of St James, housed in the stunning Cathedral.
A second night in Santiago de Compostela is highly recommended as there is so much to experience and enjoy.
For any traveller on the Camino, nourishment and refreshment becomes a major part of the daily routine. And also a daily reward. There are many places to enjoy good food along the way to suit all tastes and budgets. We also aim to cater for those with particular dietary needs.
Breakfast whether light or substantial can be topped up mid morning at cafes or bars - the Spanish "desayuno" is between 10 and 11 when cafes and bars fill with locals having their proper breakfast.
Lunches are often taken as picnics, with items of fresh local produce purchased each morning before you set out on the trail.
Dinner is not served until 8pm at the earliest earliest - so take advantage of the Spanish merienda of coffee, tea and pastries or early evening cerveza, copas de vino and tapas, once you have arrived at your daily destination.
Hydration is essential - carry at between 1.5 and 3l of drinking water, depending on season, temperatures and distance to cover. Plus a sugary and salty snack kept in your pocket or day pack will give you that little extra burst of energy to keep you going.
Typical Camino Lodgings 1-3*
Hand-picked establishments are well known to our team and we have developed strong personal connections over the past 12 years. We prefer to work with comfortable, small, family run establishments on or close to the Camino. This can include a variety of traditional farmhouses, historic home and 1-3* equivalent inns and hotels. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
If your budget allows, we can suggest some superb accommodation upgrades, as we often work with the top-end establishments on the Camino. Sometimes this can mean a short transfer off the Camino but we can include your transfers both ways. Santiago de Compostela has a full spectrum of upgrades and luxurious establishments.
Types of Board / Meal Options
Our itineraries are mainly offered on Bed and Breakfast basis. We encourgae you to get out and about to try local dishes in the vicinity. Sampling the widest range of Spanish dishes and soaking up the local atmosphere is all part of the Camino experience. You'll be rubbing shoulders with international walkers and the local people in the bars and diners along the Way. If you prefer to have dinner prebooked, then in-house set menus are often available too. We can also arrange for you to half board accommodation along the way if you prefer to havbe everything booked and paid in advance.
Baggage Transfers between Accommodation
We recommend using the luggage transfer option. We will handle arrangements to move your baggage from inn to inn as you walk the Camino. All you have to carry is a light day sack with your Walk The Camino travel pack and essential items.
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We enjoyed our holiday very much - it was a wonderful experience. Something completely different! The organisation of the holiday was spot-on. You really couldn't have done a better job. The whole thing was perfectly tailored to our needs. It's hard to express in an e-mail how good it all was.
Anne Corrigan, UK, walking the Camino Frances
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and found the organisation excellent. We were also impressed by the friendliness and welcome we received everywhere. The information pack was useful and contained all the information we needed. So many, many thanks again for your kindness, efficiency and help in giving us such a good holiday.
Anne and Brian Harris, UK, walking the Camino Frances from Sarria to Santiago
We had an amazing time on the Camino... I would recommend this 6 day walk to anyone. All in all a memorable trip, and you guys did a great job in planning, arranging and organising it.