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Backpackers Camino

Backpackers Camino

If you’re looking to walk the last 100 km of the Camino on a limited budget - this is the option for you. You’ll stay in pilgrim albergues, providing dormitory accommodation with bunk beds, shared bathrooms (both male/female split) & kitchen facilities.

Overview

Last 100 km of the Camino Frances

After spending your first night in Sarria, you set out on a 6-day hike along the iconic Camino Frances, widely regarded as the quintessential Camino experience. You walk a total of 112km / 73 miles to finish at the Cathedral of St James in the heart of the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela.

You will have a mix of traditional and modern lodgings, depending on availability when you make your booking. Each morning you get packed and leave your backpack in the designated place, to be delivered to your next stop.

We provide you with your pilgrim Credencial to have stamped along the way, which proves that you have completed the pilgrimage and are entitled to the Compostela certificate. Along with that, we send you a baggage label. We will also email you walking notes, local maps and accommodation vouchers.

Albergues

Pilgrim Albergue of the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene, SarriaPilgrim Albergue of the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene, Sarria

For many Spanish pilgrims, staying in the albergues is the customary choice for this journey. The other group of travellers who prefer this type of accommodation are young adults; especially the teens and twenty-somethings who like to make a small budget go a long way. Although eating out on the Camino can be fairly inexpensive with plenty of generous 3 course set menus, you have the option of cooking for yourself at night in the communal kitchen. You'll be able to make a saving and have plenty of company too.

The albergues have a great atmosphere and there are local staff to assist you if you need any help. They do operate a curfew, so you'll not be able to roll in at any time during the night. As you're sharing dormitories it's important to remember everyone wants to get a good nights sleep before the hiking the next stage.

Traditionally pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago would stay in modest lodgings provided by the Church. Religious orders offered pilgrims shelter, nourishment, spiritual sustenance and medical care. Many of these places were called Hospitals - such as the now 5* Parador Dos Reis Catolicos, beside the Cathedral in Compostela. The religious orders cared for pilgrims who had travelled from the farthest reaches of the Christian empire, many of them suffering arduous journeys. The first Friends of the Camino de Santiago Associations developed in the 1950s and are now present across 5 continents. The Friends Associations established their own pilgrim lodgings, as well as many Spanish Camino towns and villages which also set up municipal albergues to serve those travelling to Compostela.

Today, many of the religious Albergues are still in operation. Some of them are housed in historic architectural gems, such as the Augustinian Monastery of Santa Maria Magdalena in Sarria. Dating back to 1219, it blends Romanesque and Gothic architecture and has a beautiful cloister. Mass is celebrated daily here.

In modern times, new secular establishments have opened up. These are similar to backpacker hostals to be found the world over and also offer communal dorms, washing and cooking facilities. Many also offer extra services, such as laundries, cafeterias and handy convenience stores.

Itinerary

To earn the Compostela Certificate you must prove you have walked a minimum 100 km to finish in Santiago de Compostela. In practice, that means starting from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela - a total of 112 km / 62 miles completed over 6 walking days / 7 nights, averaging 10 - 12 miles (16 - 20km) per day.

We highly recommend spending a second night in Santiago, so you're not under pressure to make it to Santiago and the main Pilgrim Mass in the Cathedral which takes place daily at noon. Take your time on the last day in the knowledge you'll be able to attend this daily event without rushing on your last day's walk.

Our popular 7-day itinerary starts at Sarria on the Camino Frances:-

1 . Sarria
2 . Portomarin - 22.4 km / 13.9 miles
3 . Palas de Rei - 24.8 km / 15.4 miles
4 . Melide - 14.6 km / 9.1 miles
5 . Arzua - 14.3 km / 8.9 miles
6 . Arca - 19 km / 11.8 miles
7 . Santiago de Compostela - 20.1 km / 12.5 miles

Highlights

Galicia's Food, Beer & Wine

Fresh, local produce from land and sea plus world class beer and wine.Fresh, local produce from land and sea plus world class beer and wine.

This is an area that still preserves a traditional way of life. Galicia is the green corner of Spain and its lush meadows support many family-run dairy and beef farms. Galician cooking is simple and hearty, using mainly fresh local produce.

Those with a sweet tooth will love Tarta de Santiago, a type of almond cake dusted with sugar outlining the shape of the cross of Santiago. A gastronomic point - in Melide lookout for the local speciality "Pulpo Gallego" - octopus, sprinkled with paprika and served with potatoes.

The wines, cheeses and seafood are all renowned Galician specialities. Unlike the mainly red wine-producing rest of Spain, Galicia's climate is better suited to whites. Albariño is a straw-coloured wine, dry and refreshing with a distinct peach flavour. It's now highly respected outside Spain and the perfect companion to fish and seafood dishes.

At the end of a day walking on the Camino, there's nothing to beat that first cold beer. Before you do anything else get to a bar and gulp down a deliciously cold and refreshing Estrella Galicia.

Camino Camaraderie

Camino is a FamilyCamino is a Family

This really is the aspect of the Camino that takes it from being an enjoyable walking holiday to a truly memorable one - and it's down to the people you will meet along the Way.

The Camino gathers people together from all over the world, whether they have a religious faith or not. On this trip, you'll collect many stories and memories of the people you meet and take home to share with friends and family. Some of our clients have made lasting friends with other travellers, visited each others countries, planned new trips together - one lady even married the man she fell in love with on the Camino.

You'll discover there are a huge variety of reasons for walking the Camino, some may have a very special purpose. There are lots of first times and many others who are veterans of many different Caminos. Walking the Camino is a social experience, making it fun and friendly for anyone walking on their own. You'll also find the Spanish people open, welcoming and helpful.

Food & Drink

For any traveller on the Camino, nourishment and refreshment is an important part of the daily routine. There are many places to enjoy good local dishes to suit a variety of tastes and budgets.

Breakfast
Breakfast is provided in each albergue apart from Santiago de Compostela. The amount provided does vary between lodgings - from a generous spread to a coffee and a bun. Whether you have a light or substantial offering, you can always top up mid-morning at cafe bars along the route. The Spanish custom is to stop for breakfast between 10 and 11. This is when local cafes and bars are filled with locals having their "desayuno". Look out for churros and chocolate.

Lunches
Lunches on the Camino are often taken as picnics, and you'll easily find local shops selling items of fresh local produce to purchased each morning before you set out on the trail. Or make a plan to stop off in a cafe-bar or restaurant on the Camino.

Dinner
Spanish people tend to have dinner from 9 pm. But on the Camino, dinner is usually served earlier from 7-8 pm. We suggest you take advantage of the habitual afternoon snack or "merienda" to keep you going, once you have arrived at your daily destination. That could be cold beer "cerveza" and tapas or coffee and cake.

Hydration
Hydration is essential — carry between 1.5 and 3l of drinking water, depending on the season, temperatures and distance you plan to cover. Keep a sugary and salty snack handy in your pocket or daypack - this will give you that extra burst of energy to keep you going.

Mid morning / afternoon snacks are the perfect way to sustain yourself on the Way. Especially if you are not used to the later meal times which are the norm here in Spain. It is customary for Spanish people to have a mid-morning stop for breakfast and late afternoon for a bite to keep them going until the traditional late dinner.

Accommodation

We use well established and licensed lodgings on the Camino that specialise in providing accommodation for pilgrims, known as "albergues".

Some of these are located in religious or historic monuments, others are modern and purpose-built establishments.

The sleeping dormitories provide bunk beds and are split by gender, as are the bathrooms/toilets. Depending on the establishment, you could be in a dorm of between 4 and 50 bunk beds.

Lockers are provided in all the albergues, but management do not accept responsibility for the safety of your property. Theft is unusual, given the nature of the Camino and the travellers it attracts. Use your common sense and keep valuables on you at all times.

Other areas of the albergues are shared by other guests. There will be a communal kitchen and dining area to share with other travellers.

Some albergues offer laundries, bike storage, shopping, cafeteria, wifi, internet access, drying room, vending machines, picnics for pre-order.

We will provide you with a packing list of things you need for sleeping in the albergues.

  • Please note that the Albergues do operate a curfew
  • Doors are often locked at 10 pm
  • This is to respect the comfort of your fellow travellers
  • Many walkers/pilgrims prefer to get to sleep early and be well-rested for an early start the next day.
  • Fly into Santiago de Compostela, Ovideo, Vigo, A Coruna - these are the local airports in Galicia & Asturias.
  • Transfers by coach from local airports each take around 2 hours to Sarria.
  • Intercontinental flights are usually into Madrid or Barcelona.
  • We provide private return transfers to the Camino available from your airport.
  • We do not sell flights but we can advise you on the best option for getting to and from the Camino.

Map

About Us

WalkTheCamino.com is the Camino de Santiago website for Walk the Camino, a specialist organiser of tailor-made walks and tours on the Camino de Santiago and other parts of Spain.

Contact Us

Walk the Camino

13 Main Street
Suite 9
Milngavie
Glasgow
G62 6BJ
Scotland
United Kingdom

+44 (0)141 956 1569
info@walkthecamino.com

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