What is the Appeal of Walking the Camino de Santiago? 

The Camino de Santiago is arguably the most famous walking route in the world. Pilgrims have walked its paths since the Middle Ages to reach the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, which is said to hold the remains of Saint James. Today, the Camino de Santiago is not just walked as a religious pilgrimage. Over 300,000 people complete it every year and for their own special reasons. 

Our team at Walk the Camino have crossed the numerous paths that make up the modern Camino de Santiago and knows first-hand the incredible power of this great trek. We organize a range of pilgrimages in Spain for people around the world to complete their own journey. 

So what is the appeal of walking the Camino de Santiago? Whether it’s for spiritual enlightenment or cultural discovery, the Camino draws people from far and wide for myriad purposes. Keep reading for inspiration, or contact us to learn more about our Camino tours.

Camino de Santiago’s Physical and Mental Challenge

One of the top reasons people do the Camino de Santiago is for the physical challenge. The Classic French Way spans 480 miles, or 770 kilometers, from the French side of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. It takes around 30 days to complete the full route, averaging around 16 miles a day, at the fastest pace. Should you want to take it slower, you can opt to take up to 50 or 80 nights. 

Completing the Camino requires a great degree of mental stamina and physical fitness, especially if you choose to carry all of your belongings on your back. Luckily, there isn’t much climbing on the Camino, except for the first day where you ascend nearly 1,500 meters along the Napolean Route. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing the Camino is one of its greatest draws. You may feel tired and your feet may hurt, but nothing beats reaching the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral after 30 days of trekking. 

To learn more about the challenges of the Camino, read our blog on How Strenuous the Camino de Santiago is

Discover Local Culture along the Camino de Santiago

Another reason people choose to walk the Camino is to experience local Spanish culture. Spending weeks walking between big cities, small villages, and stretches of countryside will show you the country in ways you wouldn’t experience if you hit the usual touristy locations. 

Along Classic French Camino de Santiago, you’ll pass by historic buildings, ancient monasteries, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take rest days to explore a town of your choice and get to know the locals or do some sightseeing. Passing through Pamplona, you even have the opportunity to witness the famous bull run. 

Another highlight of the Camino is the food. Nutrition is vital during your trek and luckily there are plenty of eateries and local shops along the way. Dine on tapas, paella, and tarta de Santiago, and wash it down with a delicious glass of Spanish wine. 

For foodies, why not join our Gourmet Camino La Rioja? This route focuses on the gastronomic scene along the Camino, taking you to vineyards and Michelin-starred restaurants for a truly delectable experience. 

Reconnect with Nature on the Camino

One of the major appeals of the Camino is the escape from modern life. Walkers find a great deal of freedom as they embark on their journey, away from the stress of traffic, the pressures of their job, or the hustle and bustle of the city. Long stretches of the Camino travel through the pristine countryside where you can reconnect with nature. 

On the Camino, you can turn off your notifications and focus on the present moment. Placing one foot in front of the other, you have nothing but time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air. From the majestic mountains of the Pyrenees to lush forests, hiking the Camino is a nature lover’s dream and an opportunity to rediscover our wonderful world. 

Meet Fellow Travelers while Walking the Camino

The Camino De Santiago attracts people from all around the world, giving you the opportunity to meet pilgrims from a diversity of backgrounds. You’ll find travelers from as young as 18 to as old as 70, each with their own purpose. 

While you all may find yourself in Spain, walking the Camino with strangers offers a window into other cultures as you interact with people from America, South Africa, Italy, Germany, and more. Dine together in the evenings or enjoy a communal picnic with your fellow walkers. Along the way, you may find you make friends for life!

Find Spiritual Enlightenment on the Camino de Santiago

While many walkers may not embark on the Camino de Santiago for religious reasons like the first pilgrims, many still make the journey in search of spiritual enlightenment. Whether religious or not, the Camino de Santiago offers people a unique opportunity to reconnect with their sense of purpose and meaning in life. 

Many choose to walk the Camino as a way of overcoming personal difficulties or uncovering a new perspective. Some may even journey the Camino alone, seeking the peace and solitude of a long solo walk. Upon arrival at the stunning Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, you’ll be struck by the weight of history that carries the Camino. Whatever your personal reason may be, embarking on this ancient pilgrimage is sure to imbue within you a deeper reverence for and understanding of life. 

To learn more about the origins of the Camino and its enduring legacy, read our Short History of the Camino de Santiago.

Make Your Way with Walk the Camino

Are you ready to trek the Camino de Santiago? Our team at Walk the Camino can organize the ideal Camino tour for you, whether you choose to complete the full route or do the Classic French Way Last 100 km. Feel free to get in touch with us for more information about our packages. We can’t wait to help you along your journey!

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