Eight Recommendations for Experiencing the Camino

Experts and professionals reveal their recommendations for making the most of the Camino

Section of the Camino arriving at Portomarín (2020)Original Source: S.A. de Xestión do Plan Xacobeo

Considering grabbing your backpack and setting off? The Camino is a life experience that can take many forms. Here are recommendations from eight experts in different fields, to help you find your place on the Camino. Remember, though: there's no one way to complete and enjoy the Camino. That will depend on you.

Nacho Munilla, biologistRegional Government of Galicia

Nacho Munilla, biologist
00:00

Nacho Munilla, biologist

For biologist Nacho Munilla, “it's almost as though the Camino had been planned as a way of showing pilgrims the variety of landscapes in Galicia and, by extension, the variety of flora and fauna living there. The Camino in Galicia takes you from the mountains to the sea, from the habitat of the brown bear to the habitats of marine birds.”

Sierra de O Courel (2016)Original Source: Axencia Turismo de Galicia

"If you had to choose a route that showed off nature and Galicia's landscapes in all their variety, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than this. So, my recommendation is to be aware of that landscape. Stop from time to time, look around you, and listen."

Diego Rojo Garrido, physical trainerRegional Government of Galicia

Diego Rojo Garrido, physical trainer
00:00

Diego Rojo, fitness coach

Diego's recommendation is clear: train beforehand and stretch after every stage. "On the Camino, you can cover between 12 and 18 miles on foot every day, which is around six to eight hours of physical exertion, or sometimes more when you take into account the fact that some stages are extremely hilly."

Pilgrim on the Maior Staircase of Sarria (2021)Regional Government of Galicia

"We therefore recommend training in the months beforehand, until you can walk distances of between 12 and 18 miles on all types of terrain. We also recommend that you strengthen your lower limbs and torso, and work on your flexibility and stretching, both while training and at the end of each stage, to ease your muscles and any tension in your joints. Good luck and Ultreya!"

Rosaura Reza, policeRegional Government of Galicia

Rosaura Reza, police
00:00

Rosaura Reza, police officer

Although the routes of the Camino are very safe places, with few reported incidents, Rosaura has some safety advice for avoiding problems of this type: "Always make sure you are identifiable, make sure you can see your belongings, carry your money distributed over several safe places, always follow the marked routes, and make sure your phone is fully charged."

Stone sign of the Camino de Santiago (2020)Regional Government of Galicia

"Wear bright, reflective clothing so you can be seen, always walk along the verge against the flow of traffic, and in single file. In case of any emergency, call 112. If you're close to a city, you can also call 092 or 091, and if you're in a rural area, 062. I hope you all enjoy your pilgrimage and that it is a magical experience!"

Manuel Castiñeiras, Professor of Medieval HistoryRegional Government of Galicia

Manuel Castiñeiras, Professor of Medieval History
00:00

Manuel Castiñeiras, Professor of Art History, the Autonomous University of Barcelona

“Pilgrims: you are immensely privileged, because the Camino is a thousand-year-old route and a World Heritage Site." Manuel Castiñeiras outlines some of the heritage sites that you should visit on the Camino Francés: Charlemagne's Silo in Roncesvalles, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Torres del Río, the cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Saint Dominic of the Causeway) …

Cathedral of Santiago of Compostela (1075)Regional Government of Galicia

... the church of St. Martin in Frómista, the churches in Carrión de los Condes, the Royal Pantheon in the church of San Isidoro in León, the church of St. Nicholas in Portomarín, the Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago, and the gothic cathedrals in León and Burgos. "Have a great pilgrimage and I hope you enjoy all these historic buildings.”

Manu Mariño, Mindfulness expertRegional Government of Galicia

Manu Mariño, Mindfulness expert
00:00

Manu Mariño, mindfulness expert

Manu is a walker with detailed knowledge of the different routes of the Camino, which he has walked in silence on numerous occasions. He now takes small groups on organized walks of the pilgrimage routes, using relaxation and mindfulness techniques. If you want to walk the Camino while fully concentrating on it, "it's important to have good quality equipment, good boots, and a good backpack."

The road as it passes through A Terra Chá (2020)Regional Government of Galicia

Manu is a walker with detailed knowledge of the different routes of the Camino, which he has walked in silence on numerous occasions. He now takes small groups on organized walks of the pilgrimage routes, using relaxation and mindfulness techniques. If you want to walk the Camino while fully concentrating on it, "it's important to have good quality equipment, good boots, and a good backpack."

Raquel Freiría, APACARegional Government of Galicia

Raquel Freiría, APACA
00:00

Raquel Freiría, Asociación Protectora de Animales del Camino (APACA; the Association for the Protection of Animals on the Camino)

Want to walk the Camino with your four-legged friend? Raquel has some tips to bear in mind: "Thoroughly prepare your trip. Organize your transport and book your accommodation. Choose your route and the time of year carefully. Make contact with other people via forums, social media, and blogs. Make sure you and your dog are physically fit beforehand."

Doggy pilgrimage on Way of St. JamesOriginal Source: APACA

"Choose your equipment carefully, and include a well-stocked first-aid kit for both of you. You can always contact APACA for support. Request your credential and get hold of your own copy of the Codex Canini, a guide to walking the Camino with your dog. Enjoy your doggy pilgrimage!"

Father Paco Castro, parish priest of O CebreiroRegional Government of Galicia

Father Paco Castro, parish priest of O Cebreiro
00:00

Paco, parish priest of O Cebreiro

Paco is the parish priest in O Cebreiro, one of the most symbolic places on the Camino Francés, and the entry point into Galicia. For him, "the Camino is a profoundly transformative experience, and one of continual learning."

Palloza in O Cebreiro (2020)Regional Government of Galicia

That's why he recommends, "going with a mind that is as open as a satellite dish, so that you notice all the spiritual values that are the essence of this pilgrimage. Leave behind the burdens of your life, all your worries, all your concerns, everything that makes you sad. Simply experience each and every step as an opportunity for inner growth."

Mercedes Murillo, Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago in AlmeriaRegional Government of Galicia

Mercedes Murillo, Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago in Almeria
00:00

Mercedes Murillo, pilgrim and hospitalero

Mercedes is a pilgrim and hospitalero, and a member of the Asociación Jacobea de Almería-Granada Camino Mozárabe (the Camino Association for the Mozarabic Way in Almería-Granada). She recommends that pilgrims, "empty their backpacks of unnecessary things and fill them with experiences and emotions,” as well as understanding, "that what's important isn't finishing first, but finishing with everyone else; taking a step back to help a fellow walker is worth more than a hundred steps forward without so much as a backward glance."

Pilgrim´s monument (1993)Regional Government of Galicia

“Pilgrim: I recommend that you turn the pilgrimage into your life, and your life into a pilgrimage, and that you feel the same excitement on waking about your walk to work, as you did about your walk to Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrim: I recommend that, when you go on the Camino, you open your heart, open your senses to everything that the pilgrimage has to offer at every turn, because you are the pilgrimage.”

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.
Explore more
Related theme
¡Buen Camino!
Join Europe's iconic pilgrimage routes along the Camino de Santiago.
View theme
Google apps