Which Way of the Camino de Santiago to choose? Posted -18 Aug 2016
Not sure which route to do and how? Then follow our guide to choosing the right route and to find out which itinerary will suit you best.
Remember the most important point to consider when selecting a route is YOU: Ask yourself what you want out of this journey and what you can realistically achieve.
Good questions to ask yourself when planning on going on the Camino de Santiago are:
1. How long do I have?
Whatever the duration of holiday you are looking for we can help you:
- Less than 5 days: have a look at one of our Short Breaks or stay in Santiago only and do one of our day tours.
- 1 week: almost all our routes have been divided into convenient 7 days / 6 nights sections so you have plenty of choice
- 10 nights / 11 days: We have 3 options for you: French Way - Gentle Walk - 115 km, French Way - Long distance walk - 211km to Santiago (Section 7 and Section 8), Original Way - 11 Days/10 Nights - 208 km or you can simply add nights in Santiago.
- 1 month: French Way - The full 800km to Santiago
2. Is my goal reaching Santiago de Compostela?
- Yes: The French Way, the English Way, the Portuguese Way, the Original Way and the Via de la Plata all finish in Santiago. However remember that in order to obtain the Compostela you will need to walk at least 100km into Santiago (200km cycling). The Finisterre Way starts in Santiago and finishes at the lighthouse of Finisterre which was considered by Medieval pilgrims to be the end of the world.
- I just want to stay in Santiago: We can simply book hotels or pensions in Santiago and organise day tours for you if you do not wish to leave the city of the Apostle.
- Santiago is not my priority: Maybe you would prefer our other favourites: the French Way from St Jean to Pamplona, Le Puy Route from Conques to Cahors, the Original Way?
3. What level of comfort do I want?
- Only the best: Stay in our selection of 4 and 5 stars hotels in large towns including the Paradores – ask us for details.
- I prefer authentic accommodation with high levels of Comfort: Stay in our Rustic Guesthouses along the French Way from Sarria to Santiago or along the Portuguese Way from Tui to Santiago.
- I need higher levels of comfort: All our itineraries include stays in the best 2-3 stars hotels along the way.
- I want to stay in hostels but have a minimum of comfort: Starting from €270 per week per person we can book you into shared dormitories in our pre-selected and approved hostels or budget hotels.
- I’m on a shoe-string budget: Choose walk-in Municipal Albergues and stay in shared dormitories (we do not book this accommodation for you). Download our Camino de Santiago Android Smartphone Guide for free, and get your luggage transferred on the hardest / longest walking days for €10 per day.
4. Do I prefer walking or cycling?
- I want to walk: All our itineraries are walkable.
- I want to cycle: We recommend cycling the French Way. I you are looking for a more challenging itinerary, please contact us for a customised quote.
- Other Activities: We offer horse riding, a donkey camino and sailing trips; just ask us for details.
5. What is my reason for walking the Camino de Santiago?
- Introspection / Spirituality: Choose one of the quieter routes for quality time alone, i.e., the Finisterre Way, the English Way, the Original Way or the Le Puy Route.
- Meeting new people: The full French Way or the French Way from Sarria to Santiago is your best choice.
- Exercise: All our walking or cycling itineraries are great exercise but if you are looking for a bit more of a challenge have a look at our Camino challenge selection.
- Local Culture: For a unique immersion into local culture we recommend the full French Way, any of the Le Puy Route or the Portuguese Ways.
- Gastronomy: If enjoying delicious wine and meals on the Camino de Santiago is your main motivation we recommend the Le Puy Route, the Portuguese Way Lisbon to Porto, the Via de la Plata or the Camino Surf & Turf.
- Landscapes: If you want spectacular scenery we recommend the French Way from St Jean to Pamplona, the Le Puy Route from Conques to Cahors, the Original Way and the Surf & Turf.
6. Do I want to go alone, with my partner or as part of a group?
- Alone: We strongly recommend the French Way where you will never feel lonely being by yourself.
- With my partner: For a romantic feel we recommend staying in Rustic Guesthouses or the Finisterre Way ending with a night in the Lighthouse, and check out our Camino Romantico.
- I have a pre-formed group: Contact us to discuss the ideal option or go to our group section for further details of what we can do for you.
- I want to join a group: During the high season we have several Guided Departures along the French Way Section 8 a month. Check out the available dates and join one of our English-speaking groups.
Follow the Camino organises walking and cycling holidays in Europe for adventure seekers from all over the world. Since 2006, we’ve offered a great range of manageable walks and cycles for all age groups, in particular on the famous Camino de Santiago. We were the first ever tour operator to operate the Camino de Santiago by creating manageable sections along the main routes to Santiago de Compostela. We are often copied but never equalled!
To find out which route might be best for you, contact our Camino Planners through the form on the top-right-hand side of the page to get your free customised Camino itinerary.