Making a pilgrimage may seem old-fashioned, to say the least, but the truth is that a walk is something that will never go out of fashion and that is why every year more than three hundred thousand pilgrims visit Santiago de Compostela, arriving from hundreds of different countries around the world to make their own Camino de Santiago for beginners.
Why do the Way of Saint James?
A pilgrim does not necessarily have to seek prayer in the cathedral of Santiago – a symbol without doubt of the pilgrimage – but many make the journey through the journey, through the experience, through the events of the journey. For some, it is an excursion and an exotic way of spending a holiday, while for others it is a search for themselves, part of a journey of spirituality.
But what is it that makes the Way of Saint James so attractive? What am I going to find? Can anyone do it, or do I need a physical preparation? There are many routes, which one should I choose? how many kilometers should I walk? Yes, there are many questions you are asking yourself, we understand, the same thing happened to us when we thought about doing the Way, but don’t worry! Put on your hiking boots and warm up your legs as we are going on a pilgrimage!
Why Santiago de Compostela to refer to Santiago Apostle?
In the crypt of Santiago’s cathedral rest the remains of Santiago Apóstol, a 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 Way of St. James did not start to be walked for that reason, but long before Christ, people made that same route thinking that it could indicate the end of the world, because of its Milky Way shape.
Surely, on the Camino de Santiago you will not find the end of the world, nor the light of Santiago itself nor any music that will take you to it in the woods, but what you will find on the way is what you are looking for. Are you looking for peace, experience, challenges? Are you looking to find yourself, meet the locals or simply get away from the routine and technological congestion? What do you want from YOUR Camino de Santiago?
Where does the Way of Saint James begin? Which route to take for beginners?
In the old days the route simply started at your doorstep. You’d pack your bag, put on your hiking boots and go for a walk! Until you found the nearest path. It’s that simple (or that complicated).
We now have 7 official routes, so you can choose from the 7 your starting point. The French Way is the most popular, 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 on how much time you can spend on the route. Do you have a month? 2? 15 days? how much can you walk each day?
All along the way, as long as you stay on the official trails, you will be able to observe the famous scallops that indicate that you are on the right track.
How many kilometers should we walk on the Way of Saint James? – This is how a day on the Camino is
To give you an idea, on a day on the Camino, the normal thing to do is to walk about 20 or 25 km. You should start walking before the sun comes up, so getting up early is one of the obligations of the route, so that when the sun comes up you have already guaranteed a large part of the route done.
It’s not easy to walk with your bag on your back with the sun hitting your face, I assure you. Don’t worry if you’re not a morning person, that’s part of the magic of the road. You do things that you don’t usually do in your routine, in your daily life and those things that take you out of your comfort zone are what make the Way of Saint James so special.
If you start walking at about 7 in the morning, you will probably have achieved your goal by 12 and will 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, that you sleep well, eat well and relax so that you have the necessary strength to achieve your goal. The Way of Saint James is not a sprint, so you don’t want to finish it fast, it’s more like a long-distance race. So, without hurrying, but without pausing, enjoy and savour every moment.
The most traditional pilgrims still stay in abbeys or monasteries, as they have done all their lives. The truth is that it’s super cheap. 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 guarantee enjoyment and a fantastic experience.
How does the credential work? The tradition of the Camino
For your Camino de Santiago to be 100% official you must have your pilgrim’s credentials which will identify you as such throughout the 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 made the way.
Tabla de Contenidos
- 1 Why do the Way of Saint James?
- 2 Why Santiago de Compostela to refer to Santiago Apostle?
- 3 Where does the Way of Saint James begin? Which route to take for beginners?
- 4 How does the credential work? The tradition of the Camino