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“Long, tough hike.”
Review of Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago
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USD 1,033.67*
and up
8-Day Spain Tour: Northern Spain and Galicia from...
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: A network of paths leading to a church holding the remains of St. James (Santo Iago), the patron saint of Spain...
Reviewed 13 August 2011

I walked the Camino de Santiago in April 2011, with my partner and about a dozen friends & acquaintances from Australia. My partner organised the walk through Peregrine Travel in Brisbane. My partner researched the route, which started at Bilbao, then went through Burgos, Casteljeraz, Leon, Astorga, Rabanal, Molinaseca, Saria, Portomarin, Rua and on to Santiago de Compostela, about 500km in all, and it took us 12 days. Peregrine then used a local Spanish agency to confirm the hotels, arrange for a bus to carry the luggage, and obtain a guide. We planned to ride the bus part of the way, but walk long sections, including the entire last 100km, which is required if you want to collect your Pilgrim Certificate at the end of your journey.

Peregrine Travel was generally very reliable.

However, there were a few hiccups, because the Spanish Travel Agent which Peregrine dealt with apparently tried to cut costs here and there. Thus, Peregrine said we'd have a bus carrying the luggage from stop to stop, and if anyone got tired or didn't want to walk, they could ride in the bus with the bags for free. But the Spaniards used different local taxis or mini-busses to transport the bags each day, and there was either no room for us, or we had to pay extra to ride in them. I must add when Peregrine found out, they later apologised and reimbursed us some money - but it was a pain at the time. There were also some small problems with the Spaniards changing our chosen hotels. But our Spanish guide (Luis) was very good, and tried always to help us in every way possible. We all liked him.

I have four important tips for you, if you consider walking the Camino de Santiago.
1) Do some walking training before you go - you should be able to walk at least 10-15km per day at home without a problem, or you'll never last the distance on the Camino.
2) Don't travel with friends who are keen walkers, unless you're also one. Keen walkers charge ahead and never look sideways, and if you stop to smell the flowers they will soon outdistance you and leave you all alone on the track. The horror for me was that I'd stop to take a photo or look at a site, and when I turned back to the trail they'd all be half a kilometer ahead, and I'd never catch up!
3) Get your gear together. You need to wear good boots and socks, and carry a good waterproof backpack with such items in it as a waterproof jacket in case of rain (some carry a folding umbrella), and your camera and wallet, and maps/guide books, and spare socks & undies, and some emergency food and a water bottle.
4) Some (much) of the trail is rough, so a walking pole is very handy. You can buy them in Spain for a few Euros.

ALSO, before you start the walk, make sure you have your CREDENCIAL (Pilgrim Passport). You get this at shops all over Spain, or from your hotel. Our guide Luis had purchased ours before we started. You enter your name and details and start date, then get it stamped at hotels and shops and restraurants in every town along your Camino, but you must especially get it stamped each day along the last 100km of the journey because it becomes proof you have comp[leted your walk over the last 100km when you reach Santiago and apply for your Pilgrim Certificate at the Pilgrim Office in Casa do Dean, near the junction between Rua Vilar and Rua Gelmirez, just near Santiago Cathedral. Without this proof, you cannot claim your Certificate

Your Pilgrim Certificate (and your Pilgrim Passport) are proud souvenirs of what will be quite an achievement after you're completed your Camino de Santiago.

Also - spend a few days unwinding in Santiago. You must attend the Pilgrim Mass in the Cathedral there after you finish your Camino, because your name will be read out at the Pilgrim Mass there on the day after you receive your Certificate. And you'll enjoy eating in the many little restaurants wround the Cathedral, especially in Rua Franco.

Date of experience: April 2011
136  Thank onero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"bed bugs"
in 8 reviews
"life changing experience"
in 19 reviews
"father and son"
in 5 reviews
"six weeks"
in 5 reviews
"st jean pied de port"
in 20 reviews
"pack light"
in 5 reviews
"yellow arrows"
in 11 reviews
"walks of life"
in 8 reviews
"rural spain"
in 5 reviews
"spiritual journey"
in 6 reviews
"sleeping bag"
in 5 reviews
"different routes"
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"fellow pilgrims"
in 12 reviews
"per day"
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in 6 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 16 reviews
"beautiful countryside"
in 7 reviews
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413 - 417 of 866 reviews

Reviewed 28 July 2011

We have just returned from the last 115 kms of the Camino. A small group of friends - aged 55-68 -with different levels of fitness.We flew with Aer Lingus to Sanitago de Compostelle and started our walk in Sarria,We walked between 12 and 18 kms per day; stayed in beautiful 2 star Hotels on route; our luggage was transferred and very nice evening meals were provided in the hotels. The walk is through little hamlets, oak and eucalyptus forest, very rural, very beautiful. The weather is lovely at this part of northern Spain - and never hot.
In Santiago we were given a lovely reception by Sister Mamen ,Sister Eileen and Ann in the pilgrims office. Santiago is a beautiful city with a magnificent cathedral and a very quirky old town.Our trip was organized through "One foot abroad" in Dublin"
Don't think about it - do it. A magic trip and a great experience.
Diti from Dublin

Date of experience: July 2011
44  Thank Diti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2011

The Camino parallels major roads during much of it's final 100 kilometers. Meditative walking is inhibited by constantly passing vehicles and dirt bikers going too fast.

Pretty woods when you come across them are littered with toilet paper and human waste.

Much of the rest of Galicia has real beauty and charm, but the Camino is like a walk through a very littered suburb (New Jersey?).

The route to Canterbury (North Downs Way) or some of the paths in the High Sierra in California are much more rewarding spiritually.

Date of experience: June 2011
32  Thank Charlie133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2011

I recommend you to visit this page if you want to make an organized trip to St.James way.

Date of experience: April 2011
10  Thank toni76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 May 2011

Anybody can do it! I did! No training was our pre Camino mantra. I weakened, trained with drank red wine and tapas - We took 6 weeks and a tent. Spring is beautiful - everything is bursting with life, the countryside is clean, locals are pleased to see you and there aren't so many pilgrims on the Camino. My diary is http://www.caminodesantiagowalk.com
You start where you want - St.Jean Pied a Port, Roncesvalles, Pamplona - depending on the time you have available. Walk alone, meet other pilgrims, walk with a friend and make friends at your hostal each afternoon. Scenery is amazing - wine and food are fabulous (usually). Buen Camino - I'm happy to help anyone who needs information

Date of experience: March 2011
30  Thank caminowalker2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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