One of the great reasons that inspire us to travel is, of course, to know and taste the typical food of the places we visit, so we can find all kinds of food from Spanish diets. Sometimes you feel like discovering it on your own and/or following local recommendations, but you may also prefer not to worry about it and hire a package that includes this service.
The Camino de Santiago is history, culture, nature and people, but it is also gastronomy. And it could be said that gastronomy in turn also reflects the history, culture and idiosyncrasy of each village along the Camino.
In each of our trips to the Camino de Santiago you have the possibility to hire all the meals you want or manage them on your own.
In case you prefer not to worry about it and do the Camino de Santiago with your meals contracted, you can do it without any problem by contracting any of the following types of meals.
Breakfast is the most important meal for the pilgrim. You will have complete breakfasts, perfect to face the stage full of energy. They usually include a drink of your choice (coffee, tea, milk, colacao), fresh juice, toast, pastries and a piece of fruit.
Half board (HB) includes breakfast and dinner. The contracted restaurants will offer you for dinner a menu of the day with a first course, second course, dessert, coffee, bread and drink, with several options to choose from.
The stages are designed to start walking first thing in the morning, arriving at your goal around noon. But it’s possible that one day, for whatever reason, you might take a little longer to arrive and find the unpleasant surprise that the kitchen is closed. For this reason it is not advisable to do the Camino de Santiago with the contracted lunch.
Upon request, every morning we will provide you with a small snack including a drink, a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a chocolate or snack. We recommend this service only for routes with little traffic or for very large groups. During the Camino and every few kilometres you will find a wide variety of bars, restaurants and shops where you can refresh yourself and rest.
Meals on your own
We almost always advise against hiring meals, as, in our opinion, it detracts from the freedom of the trip. Nowadays the Camino de Santiago has a large number of restaurants and bars that serve pilgrims. Therefore it will not be difficult to find a table where you can taste typical dishes at a good price.
During your trip we are sure that you will find wonderful people to share your route with and why not a good lunch or dinner exchanging stories and experiences. Bringing meals contracted with the accommodations means being subject to closed schedules and menus that can detract from the charm of your trip.
Remember that when you book your trip we will provide you with a dossier with the best bars and restaurants on the Camino de Santiago, as well as a list of the best restaurants and bars on the Camino de Santiago. the typical dishes that you should try in each place. Your mouth will be watering!
Tips for organising meals and diets on your own
When it comes to organising meals on your own, it will be interesting if you can count on some guidance in this regard. However, ideally you should always leave room for flexibility and spontaneity– after all, that’s the most exciting thing about going it alone.
Breakfast; the most important meal of the day:
After a good night’s sleep you will feel more energized to start a new day full of different experiences. Of course, you should not lose sight of the walk ahead of you and the energy expenditure that this will entail. This is the main reason why eating a hearty breakfast is going to be essential in every day.
The best time and place for breakfast.
In all the villages where we spend the night you will find bars and restaurants that are usually located a few meters from the hostel or hotel where you slept the night before, often you can even have breakfast in the same establishment.
In the case of spending the night in a place with little choice of accommodation or being one of those early risers who find the bars still closed, there will only be one alternative: planning. You’ll have to think about buying a few things the day before to get out of the way.
What to have for breakfast?
We are not going to get into personal tastes when it comes to breakfast, but it is worth mentioning that a tea or coffee is not enough to positively support the journey that awaits you. The healthiest thing to do is to have a balanced meal first thing in the morning, which is not too heavy, but which will help you to have enough energy.
This you can adapt to your personal taste and get, in your own way, consume some fruit, protein, carbohydrates and dairy, which are the most advisable elements in these circumstances. In the more substantial part you can opt for toast or sandwiches, consume fruit pieces or juices and garnish it with coffee, tea or cocoa drinks with milk. You will have different alternatives to choose from according to your palate to start off on the right foot.
A snack during the stages
Snacks can be essential along the way. Moreover, if you are not used to eating between meals, your needs may change during this experience, since you are going to spend the day walking and sooner or later your body will ask for a little more fuel. This will also help you to lighten up your main meals and avoid heavy digestions.
The best foods to eat during the stages.
The ideal is to consume carbohydrates in a mid-morning stop, as these will give you enough energy. So that you can do it calmly you will find different picnic areas and areas enabled for the service of the pilgrims along the way, so in that sense you will not have to worry. It will be the ideal time to try local pastries or delicious homemade buns.
If you are in a stage with little infrastructure, and few businesses, you will have to carry your own supplies, nuts can be good allies, as they provide a large energy intake in small doses and are very convenient to carry in any pocket. Also cereal bars or chocolate, which will give you the sugar you need. Finally, fruit is a healthy and really practical alternative. This food can last for several days without deteriorating as well as making its contribution in hydration and natural sugars it possesses.
The midday meal:
If you went for an early walk, by lunchtime you will have reached the end of the stage, and now you have a great reward to recover energy, and of course for your palate. There are many restaurants that have menus designed for pilgrims and are usually already adapted to the needs of the pilgrimage route. When in doubt this should be your safest bet, and after a few days you will notice that your own body is probably asking for it. In addition, if you include the service of diets and previously contracted meals, this is the meal that we recommend the least to include.
A dinner to enjoy
This is the ideal time to get together with other pilgrims and taste the culinary tradition of each place, to do a bit of gastronomic tourism without affecting your performance. It is probably the most enjoyable meal of the day.
Dinners on the road are usually taken early so that you can go to bed early, this is beneficial when it comes to getting a table in a restaurant or taking your time to savour the goodness of the place you are in.