Making a pilgrimage may seem old-fashioned, but the truth is that a hike is something that will never go out of fashion and that is why every year more and more people go on a pilgrimage. three hundred thousand pilgrims who visit Santiago de Compostelaarriving from hundreds of different countries around the world to make their own Camino de Santiago for beginners.
Why do the Camino de Santiago?
A pilgrim does not necessarily have to seek prayer in the cathedral of Santiago – the symbol of the pilgrimage – but many make the journey for the journey’s sake, by experience, by the events of the road. For some, it’s an excursion and an exotic way to spend a holiday, while for others it’s a search for themselves, part of a a journey of spirituality.
But what is it that makes the Camino de Santiago so attractive? What will I find? Can anyone do it, or do I need physical preparation? There are many routes, Which one
How many kilometers do I have to walk? Yes, there are a lot of questions you are asking yourself, we understand, it happened to us exactly the same when we thought about doing the Camino, but don’t worry! Put on your hiking boots and warm up your legs, we’re going on a pilgrimage!
Why Santiago de Compostela to refer to St. James the Apostle?
In the crypt of the Cathedral of Santiago lie the remains of St. James the Apostle, disciple of Jesus, who, as the local stories tell, appeared in the forest in front of a hermit.
Since then, Santiago has become a sacred city and many devotees walk towards it. But the most curious thing is that the Camino de Santiago did not begin to be walked for that reason, but already long before Christ, people did the same route thinking that it could indicate the end of the world, because of its shape of the Milky Way.
Surely, on the Camino de Santiago you will not find the end of the world, nor the light of Santiago himself or any music that leads you to him in the woods, but what you will find along the way is what you are looking for. Looking for peace, experience, challenges? Looking to find yourself, meet the locals or just get away from the routine and technological congestion? What do you want from YOUR Camino de Santiago?
Where does the Camino de Santiago begin? Which route to take if I am a beginner?
In the old days the route simply started at the door of your house. You would pack your backpack you put on your hiking boots and started walking! Until we find the nearest path. It’s that simple (or complicated).
We now have 7 official routes so you can choose your starting point among the 7. The French Wayis the most popular for beginners, which starts in Saint Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees and is 769 km away. Choosing the right route will depend on many factors, but mainly the time you can afford to spend on the route. Do you have a month? ¿2? 15 days? How far can you walk each day?
All along the way, as long as you keep to the official paths, you will be able to see the famous scallops that indicate that you are on the right track. This is a must-have signal for beginners.
How many kilometers do I have to walk on the Camino de Santiago? – This is what a day on the Camino is like
To give you an idea, in a day on the Camino, it is normal to walk about 20 or 25 km. You should start walking before the sun rises, so getting up early is one of the obligations of the route so that when the sun comes up you are guaranteed to have already done a large part of the route. This is something that the veterans have learned well and that you, as a beginner, should take into account.
It’s not easy to walk with your backpack on your back with the sun beating down on your face, I assure you. Don’t worry if you are not an early riser, that’s part of the magic of the road. You do things that you don’t usually do in your routine, in your day to day life and those things that take you out of your comfort zone are what make the Camino de Santiago such a special experience.
If you start walking at 7am or so, you’ll probably have achieved your goal by 12am and be able to relax for the rest of the day. It is important to rest and pamper our feet along the way. I recommend that you bathe your feet and take good care of them, sleep well, eat well and relax so that you have the necessary strength to achieve your goal. The Camino de Santiago is not a sprint, so you don’t want to finish it fast, it’s more like a long-distance race. So, slowly but surely, enjoy and savour every moment.
The more traditional pilgrims still stay in abbeys or monasteries, as they have done all their lives. The truth is that it is super economical. But you can also stay in inns, hostels or wherever you prefer. What I do recommend is that you make sure they are places where you can rest well to ensure enjoyment and a fantastic experience.
How does the credential work? The tradition of the Camino
In order for your Camino de Santiago to be 100% official you must have your pilgrim’s credential which will identify you as such during the whole route, giving you access to accommodation and menus with special prices, etc. In addition, in this document you will be able to collect the stamps that certify your achievements along the way. Finally, it is the requirement to get the Compostela when you arrive in Santiago, which is the certification that you did the Camino.
We hope we have helped you with these small recommendations for beginners. Veteran pilgrims! We encourage you to share with us some useful advice.