Camino Ingles - English Way
In bygone times pilgrims from Northern Europe would travel to the Galician ports of Ferrol or A Coruña by sea, to commence their pilgrimage walk to Santiago de Compostela. Ferrol is 118 km & qualifies for the Compostela, but A Coruna is just under at 75.
Camino Ingles from Ferrol or A Coruna
If you are looking for a contemplative, rural Camino experience this could be for you. It has a different character and atmosphere from the very busy Camino Frances.The Camino Ingles' paths are well maintained, with good waymarking and are easily accessible.The Camino Ingles experience does feel more authentic than others. We have a mix of charming rural guest houses and urban hotels - there is even a Parador to top and tail your Camino route, at the start in Ferrol and the end in Santiago de Compostela.
The climate is fresh, being close to the Atlantic coast, so you would expect to use your showerproof jacket most of the year. Although English is not so widely spoken, just a couple of easy phrases in Spanish make all the difference and we give you our handy phrasebook.
To qualify for the Compostela certificate, you would need to set out from Ferrol. This tiny city is sited on a naturally protected harbour and port, where you'll discover something of Spain's impressive seafaring history.
You also have the option of starting in the seaside city of A Coruña which is an official starting point, but you will not qualify the pilgrim's certificate as you only walk 74 km of the required 100 km. A Coruna has the feel of a cosmopolitan city with interesting architecture, especially the world's last Roman Lighthouse - the Torre de Hercules.
Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela, 118 km
- Day 1 - Transfer to Ferrol and overnight stay
- Day 2 - Walk to Neda - 16.4 km
- Day 3 - Walk to Pontedeume - 13.3 km
- Day 4 - Walk to Betanzos - 20.2 km
- Day 5 - Walk to Bruma - 27.8 km
- Day 6 - Walk to Sigueiro - 24 km
- Day 7 - Walk to Santiago de Compostela - 16.7 km
- Day 8 - Explore Santiago, 2nd overnight
From Ferrol, a coastal promenade guides you along the estuary past the seaside monastery of O Couto at Xubia dating back to the 12th-century then onto Neda area for your first night.
Pontedeume makes for an interesting stopover next, with plenty of Camino heritage. It's reached by way of a long bridge across the estuary, which once supported a pilgrim hospital run by Franciscan monks. Look out for sculptures of boar and bear - emblems of the Andrade family, whose defensive Tower rises above the town and is today an interesting museum.
Nearing Betanzos, the Church of Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios, was once a hospital for pilgrims. You can admire the facade with images of Christ, Santiago and San Roque.
Betanzos is another attractive town with a medieval bridge brings you to its grand central square, an excellent museum and many bars and restaurants. The Church of Santiago contains the sarcophagus, born by carved a boar and bear, belonging to the Lord of Andrade who built the Tower in Pontedeume. The Pasatiempo park here is a Victorian curiosity built by a local family who made their fortune in South America.
The walk to Bruma and Meson do Vento is a longer more challenging day with some challenging sections. There is an option for a drop off at Leiro or you could break this into two days and return to Betanzos for a second night. Around Bruma, pilgrims from A Coruna join as it converges with the path from Ferrol.
The last two days of walking are straightforward. As you near Santiago, you enter the medieval centre on the traditional Camino Ingles path, a street called Porta da Pena towards the main square, Plaza Obradoiro and the magnificent Cathedral of Santiago.
Camino Ingles from Ferrol
Ferrol has a long history as an important naval port and the Camino begins within sight of the walled naval docks at the same ancient stone pillar marking the start of the Way.
It is easy to imagine yourself a medieval pilgrim, fresh off the boat and ready to embark on your pilgrimage. You'll encounter echoes of those ancient British and Irish travellers along the route.
There are several religious buildings and places of interest to see all along the Camino Ingles. In Ferrol, the Church of San Francisco with its statue of the Saint shown as a Pilgrim accompanied by a dog.
The real highlight is the ever-changing countryside and your first two days feature coastal walking before turning inland onto a green and contemplative path.
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. We also aim to cater for those with particular dietary needs.
The local bars and cafes offer light snacks, seasonal plates of freshly prepared food, tapas and refreshments. As you pass through the regions you will encounter local specialities - often of the variety that best sustains a weary, hungry traveller.
All our itineraries are booked for Bed and Breakfast. Half board with dinner is possible too, but these set dinners can become repetitive, featuring similar dishes each night. We encourage you to eat out and try a wider range of local specialities.
Where available we always order a full breakfast spread for our clients. But breakfast does vary between establishments - from just a light pastry and hot drink to a full buffet spread. Whether you have a light or substantial offering, you can top up mid-morning at a cafe on the route. The Spanish habit is to have breakfast between 10 and 11 when cafes and bars fill with locals having their "desayuno".
Lunches on the Camino are often taken as picnics, and most places have local shops selling items of fresh local produce to purchased each morning before you set out on the trail. Certain lodgings will offer pre-ordered packed lunches. Or check your guide and plan to stop off in a cafe-bar or restaurant on the Way.
Spanish people tend to have dinner from 9 pm. But on the Camino, dinner is usually served from 8 pm — so do take advantage of the habitual afternoon "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.
Many of our lodgings offer 3 course set menus with water, bread and often a glass of wine for just a few euros. These are advertised locally as "Pilgrim Menus" and available pretty much everywhere along the route. You'll notice that there are staple common dishes as well as regional recipes according to the season.
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 little extra burst of energy to keep you going.
Mid morning/afternoon snacks known as "merienda" 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 across 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.
The larger towns and cities of the Camino have a variety of lively plazas with bars and restaurants, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy a wider range of Spanish gastronomy and a variety of local and world-famous Spanish wines.
Many people enjoy shopping for lunch items and snacks in the local food shops each day. You'll find little stores offering local produce, fruits and vegetables, cheeses and cured meats, fresh local baked goods - ideal for making your daily picnic for the daily walk. On certain days, Markets also make an appearance in some villages and towns. Our rural lodgings will provide a picnic lunch by request.
Spain has a great wine making culture. All of the regions you cross produce their own vinos (red and white), cervezas (light beer), and licores (strong spirits). For those looking for non alcoholic drinks have plenty of choices as well.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie, why don't you try our Gastronomic Camino in La Rioja? You'll enjoy special places to stay, excellent cuisine and outstanding wine tasting at local vineyards on the route. And a lovely long walk before your next meal.
Hand-picked comfortable, small establishments with high levels of personal service
Hand-picked and well known to us, we usually choose comfortable, small, family-run establishments on the Camino.
Your accommodation will include a variety of guest houses, apartments and 1 -3-star hotels & hostals. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
If your budget allows, we can suggest some accommodation upgrades, as we often work with the top-end establishments on the Camino. Some rural lodgings may require a short transfer off the Camino, but we think you'll find them very charming and comfortable.
Our high level of personal service and customer care offers the best in the local food, culture and history.
Getting to and from the Camino Ingles
Fly into Santiago de Compostela or A Coruna which are the local airports. You can take a train from Santiago de Compostela up to Ferrol.
Intercontinental flights into Madrid or Barcelona then transfer by rail, bus or internal flights.
Transfers to the Camino available from airports by train bus or private transfers.
We do not sell flights but we can advise. We also arrange local transfers in Spain.