What is the Camino de Santiago? posted: 2016-09-15 06:27:00
Camino de Santiago or Way of St. James is an ancient pilgrimage with it's roots in the 9th century, when a shepherd named Pelayo found remains of a body at a place in a field that he was led to by the stars. The local bishop declared the remains those of The Apostole St. James The Great and with this the Camino de Santiago was born.
The bishop ordered a church to be built on the site to house he remains of St. James or Sant Iago and as word spread pilgrims start walking from all across Europe and even further afield to visit the sacred burial site of one of Jesus's apostles. Over the years that small church grew in to the epic Catedral de Santiago de Compostela that it is today.
Camino de Santiago is not just one route. As you can imagine thousands of people walking from their homes throughout the middle ages paved many roads all across Europe, however they all come together in a network and all arrive in what has now become a city called, Santiago de Compostela.
The most popular routes today along Camino de Santiago today are the:
- 1. Camino Frances
- 2. Camino del Norte
- 3. Camino Portugues
- 4. Le Puy Route
- 5. Finisterre
- 6. Via de la Plata
- 7. Camino Primitivo
- 8. Camino Ingles
The words Camino de Santiago literally mean the way of St. James when translated from Spanish to English.
Nowadays the Way is walked by thousands of pilgrims every year. Each pilgrim usually walks between 15-35kms per day, depending on speed and fitness level. There a many amenities dotted along the Way so pilgrims have plenty of facilities to offer home comforts as well as places to stop for coffee and chats. Some of the routes are more popular than others so they may have more places to stop off to eat or stay over night. The French Way for example is so popular that you'll never really walk more than 3kms before seeing a restaurant, coffee shop or hotel to stop for a rest.
Other routes you may have to walk further before your next stop. The Camino de Santiago is walked each year by people of all ages and fitness levels so you don't have to be an expert trekker in order to take such holiday. The terrain is very manageable and some even walk it in regular sports shoes. Some days are more hilly that others yet you will never be climbing up mountains so a decent 20km day is very doable for a person of average fitness.
Most pilgrims choose to walk the famous final 100kms in to Santiago. Anyone who completes the last 100kms of the Camino de Santiago is entitled to get their pilgrim certificate or Compostela as proof and souvenir of your experience along the famous Camino de Santiago.
Although the Camino de Santiago has been traditionally a religious pilgrimage there a many people who choose it as a walking holiday for many other reasons. Some walk the Way for fitness, others for peace or self-development, some to clear their head or to feel a connection with nature and others to fund-raise for charity groups. The one thing we will promise you is that whatever your reason, everyone gains and grows from walking the Camino de Santiago.Previous Blog:
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