Safety in the Camino de Santiago

When we travel anywhere, whether abroad or at home, the normal thing to do is to be concerned about our safety and to know the levels of danger that exist in each place so that we can take the necessary precautions. In the case of the Camino de Santiago, safety is also a concern for pilgrims, especially those who have never visited Spain.

Every year more than 300,000 pilgrims from all over the world walk the Camino de Santiago, and most of them are concentrated in the summer months. It is therefore normal that from time to time there are incidents. However, if you have never visited Spain, you should know that like many other European countries, it is among the safest countries in the world to travel to.

Since 2015, the Spanish Government, the Xunta de Galicia and the Galician Provincial Councils have been working together to create a Safety Commission for the Camino de Santiago. This commission aims to ensure the tranquillity of the pilgrimage on the nine routes that arrive in Santiago de Compostela.

In addition, the Civil Guard and the Police have special surveillance devices on the Camino throughout the year. In summer it is common to meet with the Civil Guard Cavalry Unit in the less accessible areas of the Camino

Unidad de Caballeria Camino de Santiago

 

National Campaign for Prevention and Safety on the Camino de Santiago

The Guardia Civil has developed a National Prevention and Security Campaign aimed at pilgrims who walk the Camino de Santiago between 2020 and 2021. 

The state security forces have made the following ten good practices available to the public, which will reinforce your own security on the Camino de Santiago.

●   Alertcops by your side

The free app of the Guardia Civil and the National Police Force. It has multiple utilities and you can communicate any alert or emergency from your mobile device in real time. Your location is automatically sent to the police operation centres and you will be quickly located and attended to.

 You can download the Alertcops app here: https://alertcops.ses.mir.es/miarertcops/

●   See always identified

Carry your ID card or passport and show it at the request of the competent authority, in case you are urged to do so.

●   Keep an eye on your belongings

 In particular personal effects, electronic devices (mobile phone, tablet, computer, camera), documentation, money and objects of special value. Particularly in unguarded, transit or busy places. Do not display them unnecessarily. Travel light. Do not carry large amounts of cash and share it between your equipment and your usual clothes, in places that are difficult to access such as inside pockets. Write down the PIN, PUK and IMEI security codes of your mobile phone.

●   Better in company and during the day

 The experience will be even more unforgettable if you share it en route. Avoid walking alone (especially if you are older) and, if possible, between the months of November and March. Try to move around during the daytime and rest or make cultural visits during the day under unfavourable weather conditions.

●   May your journey leave no trace

It respects the environment, which is invaluable and irreplaceable. Uses the facilities for the deposit of rubbish, waste and other rubbish. Do not collect living beings (flora, fauna) or elements of the landscape. Camp in authorised and designated areas. Do not make inscriptions, marks or paintings on stones, trees, milestones, informative signs or any other natural element or sign. Do not light fires in the mountains, do not throw cigarette butts indiscriminately and be alert if you observe any situation of risk or an attempt to start a fire. Respect private property and the neighbours and locals, not altering their daily way of life. Be polite to other pilgrims as well.

●   Be wary of strangers

Especially if they get too close with any excuse (such as asking something or offering to help you with the burden of your belongings) or if they bump into you in a fortuitous way. Don’t trust anyone who recommends shortcuts, points of interest or off-road services either.

●   As if it were your home

It looks after the common facilities (hostels, information points, rest and refreshment areas), milestones, fountains, signs, information panels and other direction indicators. Leave everything as you found it: those who follow you will be grateful.

●   Preserves historical and artistic heritage

It belongs to everyone. Whatever its location or relevance. It helps to pass on the heritage of the past and the present so that it can be passed on to future generations. Inform the authorities if you observe any deterioration or intention to commit it. Do not inflict any damage or plunder this common wealth.

●   Follow the yellow sign, respect the road rules and make yourself visible

The shell, the star or the arrow will mark the way to follow. Do not venture into different paths or shortcuts, remote or unmarked. Neither by PRs or GRs. If you use conventional roads, respect the rules of the road, take extreme precautions and make yourself visible at all times by means of reflectors or bright clothing. Always walk on marked paths; if you go to the side of the road, walk on your left and in single file. Do not cross a road on a bend or at a change of gradient without visibility. If you are cycling or riding, ride on the hard shoulder or as close to the right as possible, wear a helmet and do not ride in a pack.

●   Do they know where you are?

Make sure your family and friends often know where you are. Always carry a mobile communication device -with a sufficient battery- that allows you to be located and with which you can alert them of any emergency, either your own or that of others. You can use a tracking and geolocation device, such as those available for walkers or the ALERTCOPS app’s own Guardian.

●   Protect your home while you are away

Do not inform strangers or in public places of your intention to do the El Camino. Nor during the realization of it through social networks.

 

Seguridad en el Camino de Santiago

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