Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela, the capital of the Spanish region of Galicia, is the destination of thousands of pilgrims each year who walk the famous Camino - a route that has been followed since the 800s.

The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Apostle St James the Elder is buried in its famous cathedral. Legend has it that in 813 AD, a shepherd was led by a guiding star to the burial site and, after relaying his experience to Bishop Teodomiro, the king was informed that this was where St James was buried. This led to the king ordering the great cathedral to be built on top of the tomb. And it is precisely this tomb that is the destination of pilgrimages on the Camino.

Santiago de Compostela is also home to a famous university, the University of Santiago de Compostela, which was established in the 1500s.

The old town is made up of winding narrow streets and historic buildings everywhere.

Santiago de Compostela has a temperate climate with hot dry summers and mild wet winters. Below you can see climate data from


klima i Santiago de Compostela


Saint James the Elder

According to the New Testament, James is one of Jesus' 12 disciples. He is said to be one of the first disciples to follow Jesus and the story goes that the brothers James and John were at the seaside with their father when they first met Jesus. St James is now the patron saint of all Spain and his remains are said to be buried under the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

The legend of Santiago de Compostela says that the Virgin Mary appeared to St James in 40 AD on the banks of the Ebro River, where he was spreading the Holy Testament in Spain. She appeared on a pillar, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, in Zaragoza, after which James returned to Israel, where he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa in 44 AD and martyred. His remains were reportedly taken to the burial site at Santiago de Compostela.

A twist to the story is that there is also a rival story that St James was actually buried in Toulouse, France - but that's a different story altogether.

Holy Year in Santiago de Compostela

Walking the Camino in 2027 will be a particularly great experience, as it's a Holy Year and that means there will be far more pilgrims, more activities and more buzz about the experience. The highlight of the Camino is reaching the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. In the cathedral there are many doors, but one of these doors is particularly special. It is the "Puerta del Perdón" in Plaza Quintana and it is only open during Jubilee and it is really something special because when you go through that particular door, all your sins are forgiven. Yes, you read that right: you walk through the Puerta del Perdón (which is only open during a Jubilee) and all your sins are washed away.


Well, that's really just another really good reason to walk the Camino.  

Of course, whether you're religious or not, it makes sense that this particular door is particularly appealing if you're Catholic - and even the not-super-religious might think that it never hurts to walk through the Puerta del Perdón and get absolution at the same time.

So what are you waiting for? A fantastic pilgrimage (which is always fantastic) combined with total absolution? It couldn't be better :)

Katedralen i Santiago

What is a holy year?

In Santiago de Compostela, the Holy Year is celebrated every time 25 July falls on a Sunday. This is because St James died on 25 July, marking his birth into heaven. In Spain, St. James is better known by his Spanish name "Santiago".

There is a system to these Holy Years and there are 5 to 11 years in between. The last Holy Year was in 2021 and the next "real" Holy Year will be in 2027 (although 2022 was also declared an extraordinary Holy Year).

The next Holy Years in Santiago de Compostela

  • 2027
  • 2032
  • 2038
  • 2049
  • 2055
  • 2060
  • 2066
  • 2077
  • 2083
  • 2088
  • 2094
  • 2105


What does a Holy Year mean for you?

  1. It's a very good idea to book your trip as far in advance as possible. There are significantly more pilgrims who want to walk the Camino in the holy years and therefore hotels can simply be sold out. This is particularly true of the Camino from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela, which is the most popular.
  2. If you want to travel so that you are in Santiago de Compostela on 25 July 2027 (on the anniversary of St James's death/birthday), then make sure you book extremely early and prepare for the fact that Santiago de Compostela will be extremely busy on that day.
  3. If you travel in the spring (March-April) or in October, there are far fewer visitors than there are in May-September.

Our walking holidays on the Camino are all based on staying in hotels the whole way and having your luggage transported from hotel to hotel.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the holy year or just about walking the Camino.

Facts about Santiago de Compostela

Residents: 96,000
Region: Galicia
Province: La Coruña


Camino Frances

Spain - The Camino Francés - The full route from St. Jean to Santiago

The full Camino Francés from Saint Jean Pied de Port all the way to Santiago de Compostela itself. The trip takes 34 days in total, staying in hotels all the way and we transport your luggage from hotel to hotel. The tour can also be split into several parts.

This is the full Camino Franc├ęs, the Way of St James - El Camino de Santiago, which runs from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela and which pilgrims have walked for centuries. The total ...

34 days - Trip Grading : 3

PilgrimageThe caminoSantiago de CompostelaHiking holiday in SpainWalking holiday - Trip Grade 3A-B Walking holiday - The tour ends somewhere different than where it starts
Price from EUR 3.119,00
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
Camino Francés på Cykel

Spain - Cycling the full Camino Francés

Cycle the entire Camino Francés from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela. The trip takes 18 days / 17 nights and the stages are between 50 - 75km per day. The overnight stays are all in small hotels with private bathroom/toilet and we transport the luggage from hotel to hotel.

This is no ordinary bike ride. People from many countries in Europe have been travelling the Camino de Santiago for centuries. The Camino itself is part of our history and heritage. Of all the long-di...

18 days - Trip Grading : 3

PilgrimageThe caminoNew tours 2024Santiago de CompostelaCycling holiday in SpainCycling holiday - Trip Grade 3
Price from EUR 2.145,00
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb

Contact us

We are available every day from 9am - 4pm (EST+1)

Phone UK: +44 203 936 1208
Mail: [email protected]


Atta Logo Horisontalt


×Get our Newsletter

We write about active holidays, contests and good travel tips

Contact us ×

You are more than welcome to contact us if you have questions about anything.

Phone: +44 20 3936 1208
Mail: [email protected]

View opening hours