Walking a camino, or pilgrim path, often raises many questions. In this blog, we‘ll try to answer the most frequently asked questions, and get you started.
1. How do I prepare to walk a camino?
Before walking a pilgrimage, we recommend that you prepare yourself both physically and mentally. First, let‘s talk about physically preparing for a camino. This of course depends on the length and difficulty of the camino you decide to walk. You have short and long caminos and some caminos are tougher than others. It‘s good to figure out in advance how many km’s you plan to walk per day and whether this corresponds to what you are already used to walking or if it requires some additional practice.
It can never harm to prepare yourself physically for the strain on your body and feet that you will get to experience while walking your camino. Try walking several km’s several days in a row to feel what affect it has on your body. In our blog Walking pilgrimages in 2022? This is how you prepare! (in dutch) we offer to help you with a useful step-by-step plan and tips that can help you with the physical preparation for your camino.
Besides physical preparation, walking a camino can be mentally challenging too. It probably doesn’t happen often that you spend days in a row just walking from point A to point B and spending a lot of time with yourself and your thoughts surrounded by nature. Although this experience is very unique for every camino walker, as experts we can give you some tools to mentally prepare yourself for walking a camino.
In the blog How to prepare for Camino de Santiago with WAW Travel! A focus on mind training! we have already listed a number of tips. Also, the blog How the Camino de Santiago experience can change your life positively in 2021! can give you a clear idea of what to expect if you decide to walk a camino.
2. What do I take with me on my camino?
You finally decided to walk a camino, hero! But then the important question follows; what to pack?!
We keep repeating our important packing motto: “Less is more“.
You don‘t need much while walking a pilgrimage. But what do you need? Fortunately, you don‘t have to think about this too long because we‘ve put together the ultimate packing list.
If you book your camino with WAW.travel we will help you with some personal packing tips, summed up in the travel document you will receive from us.
3. How much money does it cost to walk a camino?
The cost of walking a camino can vary by the choices you make. You can go for extremely low budget and bring your own tent or sleep in cheap albergues or you can go for comfort and luxury and maybe treat yourself with a night at the hotel Paradores in Santiago de Compostela. Based on five important expenses to take into account, you can roughly calculate what walking a camino costs.
4. How do I choose the right camino route?
There are an infinite number of wonderful hikes you can do, but which camino route fits best to your expectations? This is perhaps the most important question you should ask yourself before you start with the rest of the preparations for your camino. Our 16 tips for choosing a hiking route that suits you best (in dutch) will definitely help you to make a decision.
Is Santiago de Compostela your chosen final destination? But you’re not sure yet which camino route you want to walk? Then read: How to choose the right Camino de Santiago route (in dutch).
5. How does it work in Santiago de Compostela?
The finish line is close, you walk into Santiago de Compostela feeling tired but fulfilled. Perhaps some tears will come or maybe you will jump a hole in the air of joy. All in all, you did it! You have arrived in Santiago de Compostela! But now what?
At the pilgrim office in Santiago de Compostela, you can pick up your personal Compostela. A certificate saying that you have walked a minimum of 100 km by foot to reach Santiago. Don‘t let the long line outside the pilgrim‘s office scare you because it goes quite quick. You can take a number at the entrance and keep track on when it‘s your turn via your phone. The pilgrim office is located on Rua Carretas, number 33 in Santiago de Compostela. The pilgrim office is open every day between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm. Here you can also ask other questions about other camino‘s, Santiago de Compostela, pilgrim‘s mass etc.
6. Can I have my luggage transported?
Surely you can! If you don‘t want to walk around with a heavy backpack, you can choose to have your luggage transported from point A to point B. If you book your pilgrimage with WAW.travel, we will arrange this for you. Find in the blog: 5 Important Questions About Luggage Transport (in dutch), all the information about transporting your luggage.
If you choose to have your luggage transported, it is recommended to bring a daypack with all the essential items you need during the day. We‘ve also listed these for you in the blog: 5 Important Questions About Luggage Transport (in dutch).
7. Can I walk a camino in corona times?
It remains a turbulent time with all the restrictions constantly changing. It can also affect a pilgrimage. Perhaps this is just the perfect time to escape the pandemic and get out into nature. We have 5 tips (in dutch) for walking a pilgrimage during corona times. But we can’t express more to encourage you to just do it!
8. Is the route clearly marked?
The route on all pilgrim routes is marked with clear yellow arrows that point you in the right direction. In case you don’t have good orientation skills or if you are afraid to get lost, certainly don‘t let that stop you from walking a pilgrimage.
An interesting website about the Camino is Follow the Yellow Shell. You can find a lot of information about the routes, a packing list and true stories about people who walked a Camino de Santiago.
9. Hiking poles, yes or no?
Walking with hiking poles is a very personal choice. Are you in doubt whether you want to bring hiking poles or leave them at home. Then read our 10 important tips about hiking poles.
10. Do I need travel- and cancellation insurance?
Before you travel, it is always important to check what insurances you need. At WAW.travel, it is not possible yet to purchase a travel- and cancellation insurance. However, we are happy to help you find the right insurances.
We often get questions about filling out the pilgrims credencial. You don’t know what to fill in? We made it easy for you and translated all terms. Good luck!
Nombre = Name
Appelido = Surname
Passaporte = Passport number
Direcion = Street name, postal code and the place you live
El dia: DD/MM/YYYY (day of departure)
De: place of departure
Select: Pie (meaning by foot), depending on how you decide to do the camino
You can get the passport stamped at various locations along the way. For example, at the place where you are staying or at various restaurants, bars or churches along the way.