St James Way in Europe

Learn about the Ways in other parts of Europe.

By Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Saint James way in Europe (2021) by Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN)/Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica (CNIG) -Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (FEAACS)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

In 1987 the Council of Europe declared the Camino de Santiago the First European Cultural Itinerary. There are currently 281 recorded Ways, covering more than 51,000 miles (83,000 km) spanning 29 different countries, maintained by 100 Jacobean associations throughout the whole of Europe.

Camino Francés (2021) by Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (FEAACS)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The classic route is the French Way, covering approximately 450 miles (750 km), starting in Roncescalles (Navarra) or Somport (Aragon), the two points where the four main French routes converge.

Maritime Routes to Santiago (2021) by Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (FEAACS)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

In addition to the land routes, there are 30 recorded maritime routes to Santiago, ranging from historical routes dating back to the first centuries, to more recent ones, such as the Antarctic Way (Camino de la Antártida).

World heritage routes (2021) by Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (FEAACS)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

In 1993, the Camino Francés and the Caminos in France were declared World Heritage Sites. Later, in 2015, the routes known as the Northern Routes, in Spain (the Coastal, Original, Basque, and Santo Toribio de Liébana) were also added to the list.

Abbey of Saint Felix (Séte) -Voie de Piemont (2021)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

In Spain the Way routes were declared World Heritage sites. In France, however, it is the monuments surrounding the four main traditional Ways (the Turonensis, Lemovicensis, Podiensis, and Tolosana routes), which were included on the list.

Asking for El Camino. Boriqua way between Lesser and Lacombe (2015)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Each of the more than 100 Friends of the Way European associations set out to assist pilgrims, welcoming them, and providing them with all kinds of help during their pilgrimage.

Brussels-Palace of Justice Square (2015)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The Caminos in Europe are signposted differently, with yellow arrows, Council of Europe scallop shells, and other types of signs, all to help pilgrims make their way to Santiago.

Slovakia way (2019)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Slovakia completed its signposting in 2019, one of the most recent countries to do so. This route joins the links from the northern and eastern European routes to the central area.

Signs in Slovenia (2019)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Slovenia has signposted four Ways, traversing vast forests and rivers, running parallel to the coast. One branch joins to the south at Trieste with the Italian routes, and another joins to the north with the Austrian and Swiss routes.

The hard climb-On the way to Slovakia (2019)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Although the Ways in central Europe run along the great plains of the Danube River, there are some incredibly challenging stretches, such as the Carpathian Pass before arriving in Bratislava.

4,500 km_Isasi_Rumania (2019)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The furthest point of the Camino in Europe is the city of Isasi in Romania, where a Jacobean milestone was placed in 2019 marking the 2,796 mile (4,500 km) point.

Antarctica Trail (2021)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

The longest Way is the Antarctic Way which starts from Spain's Gabriel de Castilla base on Deception Island in Antarctica, 8,745 miles (14,075 km) from Santiago de Compostela. A stamp is available there to prove that pilgrims have set off from this far-flung place.

Arrival of the Antarctic pilgrimage (2016)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

In 2016, a group of scientists and soldiers from the Spanish military performed the Antarctic Way for the first time, making the trip on the Hespérides ship to Cartagena, and the 60 miles (100 km) from Pontevedra via the Arousa estuary.

Gradignan Credential (2016)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Associations throughout the whole of Europe provide the document that identifies pilgrims, the credencial, which is duly signed at various points and albergues, such as Gradignan, near Bordeaux in France.

Waiting for Compostela (2005)Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the St. James Way

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrive in Santiago every year after having completed the Way. They have to stand in a long line to receive the Compostela, the certificate proving they have completed it.

Credits: Story

Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago
www.caminosantiago.org
Pilar de Luis

http://www.demadridalcamino.org
Jorge Martínez-Cava

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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