THE CAMINO

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The camino

You're probably reading this because you're thinking of walking the Camino and I can really understand that. There's something almost magical about walking the route that pilgrims have walked for centuries and it's a seductive thought that here, right here, another adventurous pilgrim has walked, seen the same thing, thought the same thing and had the same sore feet at night.

The Camino is many things. There are the many different routes, which I describe in more detail below, but there is also the inner Camino - that is, the inner journey you go through as you walk day after day with the goal of reaching Santiago de Compostela.

 

 

Which Camino should I choose?

Most pilgrims who walk the Camino walk the last 100km of "The French Way", which is from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. The route offers easy walking where most people can join in. Almost as many choose to walk the Portuguese Way, which goes from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. The latter is a two-week hike, so more people choose to do only the last part of the walk from Baiona to Santiago de Compostela. Both versions are a fantastic experience.

 

Camino Frances - The French Way

The Camino Frances is without doubt the most famous of the Camino routes and is described in countless documentaries and books. The Camino is an ancient pilgrimage route along the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. It starts in the red and white city of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and ends in the holy city of Santiago de Compostela.

The Camino Frances passes through stunning cities and beautiful landscapes, such as the city of Pamplona, famous for the Bull Run, the famous wine region of La Rioja with the city of Legroño, the city of Burgos with its beautiful cathedral, elegant Leon and Ponferrada with the ancient Templar Castle. From Ponferrada, the Camino enters Galicia through the mountains and the picturesque town of O Cebreiro.

Internationally recognised as a historic symbol of European cohesion, the Camino was chosen by the Council of Europe in 1987 as the first "European Cultural Route". The Camino and the buildings along the route are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Although the route from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is very popular, most pilgrims settle for the last part of the route from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. This is mainly because you need to have walked at least 100km on the Camion (and have got stamps in your pilgrim passport along the way!) to get your pilgrimage certificate in Santiago. This is also one of the most social things on the Camion, because you often meet other pilgrims at the tourist offices in the towns and chat. There is simply a special camaraderie among pilgrims on the Camino.

If you're taking the route by bike, you'll need to have cycled at least 200km to get your pilgrimage certificate, and you'll need to start your journey from Ponferrada. 

 

Camino Portugues - The Portuguese Way

The coastal version of the Portuguese Camino is an incredibly beautiful alternative to the traditional Camino Frances. With the Atlantic Ocean as your companion, this route starts in Porto (itself a UNESCO-listed city) and takes you through charming little fishing villages in northern Portugal such as Viana do Castello and Vila Praia de Ancora before crossing the Minho River to A Guarda in Spanish Galicia.

After entering Galicia, you'll wander into the heart of Rías Baixas, where the famous Albariñho white wines are made. From Baiona to Vigo you can enjoy views over the bay and if you want a rest day on the route we recommend you take this in Vigo, so you can visit the beautiful Cies Islands if you wish.

You finally reach Redondela, from where you enter the country and join the original Camino Portugues and from here you start to meet more and more pilgrims on the same route towards Santiago de Compostela.

It takes about two weeks to get the Portuguese Camino from Porto to Santiago or one week if you cycle the Portuguese Camino. If you only have one week to walk, you can take the shortened route, walking the last 100km of the Portuguese Camino from Baiona to Santiago.

Along the route, you will discover the beautiful Atlantic seas, the beautiful beaches of northern Portugal and Galicia, taste amazing fish dishes and wine, stay overnight in small fishing villages and fall in love with the beautiful countryside.

 

Camino del Norte - The Northern Way

This tour goes from San Sebastian to Santiago. The route runs along the northern coast of Spain from the Basque Country, through Cantabria, Asturias and finally to Ribadeo in Galicia. From Ribadeo, the route heads inland through forests and across fields to Santiago de Compostela. It is possible to take an alternative route, leaving the coast at Oviedo, where the Camino del Norte meets the Camino Primitivo, which then follows the rest of the way.

The Camino del Norte starts in the delightful town of San Sabastián, where there's a lot to discover - especially if you want to explore Spanish gastronomy - there are many Michelin-starred restaurants dotted around the town. As most of the route runs along the coast, you'll discover charming little fishing villages, swim at beautiful beaches and enjoy all kinds of fish dishes.

Get inspired at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, stroll past the Royal Palace in Santander, taste Asturias' famous apple cider and travel back in time to Mondoñedo - Galicia's ancient royal seat.

The Camino del Norte is one of the more challenging Camino routes and we recommend it for experienced walkers in good health.

 

Camino Primitivo - The original Camino

This is in fact the oldest Camino route. King Alfonso II the Chaste was the first pilgrim ever to walk this route. He walked from Oviedo in Asturias to Santiago in the 800s. He had a single mission, which was to confirm that it was indeed the remains of St James that lay in Santiago de Compostela.

At the time, Oviedo was the capital of the Kingdom of Asturias and the king's pilgrimage inspired many others to make the same journey to Santiago de Compostela.

Pilgrims on the Camino Primitivo came not only from Asturias and other parts of northern Spain. Pilgrims also came from other parts of the world.

When the capital of the kingdom changed from Oviedo to Leon, the Camino Frances became the main route to Santiago for the pilgrims of the 11th century. That said, many pilgrims still choose to visit the Cathedral of San Salvador in Oviedo, which is its own sanctuary and is said to house the cloth that was wrapped around Christ's head after his death.

Less than five percent of today's pilgrims choose to walk the Camino Primitivo, but that doesn't change the fact that the route is tough and incredibly beautiful.

 

Camino Finisterre

Finisterre (Fisterra in Galician) is located on the Atlantic coast about 100km from Santiago de Compostela. Cape Finisterre and the lighthouse, have been the final destination for pilgrims for centuries.

It was the Romans who named the town 'Finis Terrae', meaning the end of the world, and they considered the site to be the westernmost point of the Roman Empire. After the discovery of the tomb of St James in the Middle Ages, pilgrims began to flock to Finisterre, to worship the image of the Sacred Christ and to see the end of the world.

Since then, many pilgrims have taken the route there after reaching Santiago and it is still common for pilgrims to burn their clothes or hiking boots at Cape Finisterre while enjoying the view of the Atlantic Ocean. It is almost a purification ritual or perhaps just a symbolic end to their journey.

Either way, the sunset is stunning from the lighthouse.

The end of the world on the mythical Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) is also thought by some to house the Ara Solis, which was/is an ancient altar used to worship the sun. Some say it was treasured by the Phoenicians, others say it was Celtic tribes. It is also at this place that ancient societies (before Christianity) believed that the world of the living and the world of the dead met.

There are plenty of myths and legends to explore on the Camino Finisterre.

Although the Camino Finisterre is one of the more dangerous parts of the Camino (it is called the "Coast of Death", after all), it is also a stunningly beautiful walk.

 

The other routes of the Camino

In addition to the routes mentioned above, there are also the following other routes:

  • Camino Ingles
  • Camino Espiritual
  • Camino Invierno
  • Via de la Plata

 

Stay in hotels all the way

In the old days, it was common to stay in hostels when walking the Camino. Of course, a lot of people still do, but it's becoming more common to stay in small hotels instead.

On our journeys we only use small, specially selected hotels, where every room has its own bathroom and toilet. We think the experience of walking the Camino is best this way.

 

Packing list for the Camino

The Camino is no different from many other walking holidays. That's why you can get a good overview of what you should bring on our "13 tips for the walk". Remember that the absolute most important thing is to have some good trekking shoes or hiking boots that you make sure to wear before the trip.


Holy year in 2027

A Holy Year is something very special on the Camino. You can read a lot about it on this page "Holy Years in Santiago de Compostela".


Pilgrim's Passport on the Camino

Included in all our tours on the Camino is of course the Pilgrim's Pass. The passport is stamped in all the towns where you stay overnight and once you have enough stamps, you can get the pilgrim's certificate in Santiago de Compostela. Remember that you need to have walked at least 100km on the Camino to get your camino certificate.

Feel free to contact Bering Travel if you have any questions about the Camino.

Tours

Vandring på Caminoen fra Sarria til Santiago de Compostela

Spain - Walking the Camino ➤ Sarria to Santiago

Enjoy the lovely landscape in Galicia while you walk the ancient pilgrim's path from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. We provide nice hotels, transfer your luggage, pilgrim passports and ensure that you get the most out of your Camino.

This is the most popular part of the walking route the Camino de Santiago. Perfect for those looking to capture the essence of the Camino: a challenging trip with good food and wine along the pilgrim ...

8 days - Trip Grading : 2

PilgrimageThe caminoSuitable for solo holidaysHiking holiday in SpainWalking holiday - Trip Grade 2
Price from EUR 735,00
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Caminoen - Porto til Santiago de Compostela

Portugal - The Portuguese Camino ➤ Coastal route from Porto to Santiago

A hike from Porto in Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, by the Portuguese Camino that bends along the Atlantic Ocean. Luggage transport and half board included.

Whether or not you are religious, there is a special atmosphere on the Portugese Camino. The route has been popular with pilgrims for centuries and many have traveled along these paths and roads. It i...

15 days - Trip Grading : 2

PilgrimageThe caminoWalking holiday in Portugal35 days free cancellationWalking holiday - Trip Grade 2Walking holidays along lakes and oceans
Price from EUR 959,00
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Camino Portugués

Portugal - The Portuguese Camino ➤ The central route from Porto to Santiago

This is the traditional Portuguese Camino. You walk the ancient pilgrimage route along the coast from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. Enjoy the beautiful countryside, lovely beaches, fantastic regional food and finish the experience standing in front of the impressive cathedral in Santiago.

- The old Camino from Porto to Santiago de Compostela - For centuries, the Portuguese Camino de Santiago has been one of the main pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela. Set off on a journey of d...

14 days - Trip Grading : 2

PilgrimageThe caminoWalking holiday in Portugal35 days free cancellationWalking holiday - Trip Grade 2
Price from EUR 919,00
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Caminoen i Portugal de sidste 100km

Portugal - Walking the Portuguese Camino ➤ Baiona to Santiago

Enjoy a lovely walking holiday along the Portuguese Camino from Baiona to Santiago. This route covers the last 100km of the famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. We arrange the hotels, pilgrim passports, and transfer your luggage.

- Walk from Baiona to Santiago de Compostela - Baiona is one of the most attractive and important coastal towns in Galicia. Its protected bays offer beaches with character and safe harbour in its ...

8 days - Trip Grading : 2

PilgrimageThe caminoSuitable for solo holidaysWalking holiday in PortugalWalking holiday - Trip Grade 2Walking holidays along lakes and oceans
Price from EUR 619,00
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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 Francés, 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 caminoNew tours 2023Santiago de CompostelaHiking holiday in SpainWalking holiday - Trip Grade 3
Price from EUR 0,00
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Camino Finisterre

Spain - Camino Finisterre - From Santiago to Finisterre

This tour lasts six days and goes from Santiago to Finisterre. Along the way you will stay in good hotels and we will transport your luggage for you.

- Walking from Santiago to the end of the world - This walk goes from Santiago de Compostela all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The road to Finisterre and Muxia also has a special place with pilgri...

6 days - Trip Grading : 2

PilgrimageThe caminoSuitable for solo holidaysHiking holiday in SpainWalking holiday - Trip Grade 2
Price from EUR 590,00
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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 2023Santiago de CompostelaCycling holiday in SpainCycling holiday - Trip Grade 3
Price from EUR 1.959,00
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cykelferie på Caminoen fra Porto til Santiago

Portugal - Cycling the Camino ➤ Porto to Santiago

The Camino from Porto to Santiago de Compostela is an amazing and historic route. On this holiday you cycle the ancient trail while we transfer your luggage.

Whether you are religious or not, following the St. James Way feels special. Possibly because you are so aware that this has been a pilgrim’s route for centuries. So many have travelled along these tr...

8 days - Trip Grading : 3

The caminoCycling holiday in PortugalCycling holidays on E-bikesCycling holiday - Trip Grade 3
Price from EUR 920,00
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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