Walking the Camino: together or rather alone? Obviously that is a very personal question. I walked three months 2000 km from Vezelay to Santiago de Compostela by myself. However during my Camino I didn’t spend one moment alone, unless I wanted to be on my own of course. After I’ve been walking the Camino with my partner Roberto, the Camino Portugués. A totally different experience, but also very special to be on the road together. How do you prefer to walk the Camino? Together or alone?
Walking the Camino by yourself
If you need time to have a look at your life, looking back but at the same time looking ahead, it will be best to walk alone. As I said before, alone doesn’t mean lonely. During walking the Camino you can easily connect with pilgrims from all over the world. Of course it depends on when you exactly decide to go and which Camino you’re going to walk. Because for example on less popular Camino’s or in winter you can be on your own walking the Camino.
Would you be able to cope with that? Do you have someone to call when you have a bad day? Or what if something happens on the road. You should know that Spaniards are always willing to help. Are you a person that starts panicing fast and is improvising not your thing? Don’t go by yourself.
Advantages of walking the Camino by yourself
What are the advantages of walking the Camino by yourself?
You never have to make compromises
You decide your own pace, you decide when to take breaks, where you sleep, what you want to visit. You don’t have to do anything, but you can do everything. Nobody will tell you what to do or how you should do it during walking the Camino. The only thing you have to do is walk everyday, without thinking about others.
Connect with yourself
During walking the Camino you have a lot of time for your thoughts, ideas, an opportunity to get to know yourself better. Nowadays, with all the stimulus and distractions, this is not always easy to do. Also, you don’t have any other roles. Colleague, friend, mother, sibling. You just have to be a pilgrim.
You connect more easily with other pilgrims
It is a fact that you connect more easily with others when you are alone. That’s no different while walking the Camino. On your way to Santiago de Compostela you meet a lot of other pilgrims, every single person with its own story.
Disadvantages of walking the Camino by yourself
Of course there are also disadvantages of walking the Camino by yourself.
You might worry about your safety
Especially women frequently ask if they are safe walking a Camino by themselves. Unfortunately, there is not a single place in this world where you are 100% safe. Also not while walking the Camino. However, the Camino is very safe. Of course there are always people that have other plans with you or your belongings while walking the Camino. Just use your common sense and trust your own intuition while walking the Camino.
You can get lost
Obviously four eyes are able to see more than two eyes while walking the Camino. However, the Camino to Santiago de Compostela is very well marked. The yellow arrows are everywhere, in different variations. The experience is that if you just for a moment deviate from the Camino route, Spaniards will point you directly in the right direction.
Walking the camino together
You can walk the Camino together in several ways. With your partner or with one or multiple good friend(s). If all is well between you and your partner and you want to walk a beautiful Camino together, it can be a very special journey to experience together.
There are a few things to consider when you go with one or a few friends. Don’t just do it. One or a few months walking the Camino and spending day and night together is not nothing. You really have to be on the same level, being willing to make compromises, have understanding for each others smallest weaknesses, accepting that your hiking buddy sometimes has other interests.
There are many stories of good friends that start together and then decide to go on their own after a week. On the other hand, walking together could intensify the friendship and result in even more respect for each other.
Advantages of walking together
You always have a buddy with you
Laughing, crying, talking and enjoying together. There is nothing more beautiful than sharing this with someone you love, right?
You can help each other
In case something happens along the way, you can help each other. There is someone with you that speaks the same language, knows you and someone that can cheer you up when you’re having a bad day.
Disadvantages of walking a Camino to Santiago de Compostela together
Of course there are disadvantages of walking together as well. We already mentioned a few. Other disadvantages are…
You have less freedom
You need to adjust yourself to your hiking buddy. Going out together also means coming home together. That means waiting for each other, taking each others pace into account. Of course you can make agreements for on the road together. For example, that you walk during the day on your own and meet each other in the evening again.
Whether you’re going to be walking the Camino alone or together, we are here to help you organize this unforgettable experience!
Concluding Thoughts: Solo vs. Group Camino Experience
Walking the Camino Santiago de Compostela alone offers a unique opportunity for introspection and personal growth. It’s a chance to connect with yourself and other pilgrims in a way that might not be possible when traveling with companions. However, it’s important to consider your comfort with solitude, your ability to handle unexpected situations, and your personal safety. The freedom of making your own choices and the ease of connecting with fellow pilgrims come with the responsibility of being completely self-reliant.
Embarking on the Camino with a partner or friends can enrich your experience through shared memories and mutual support. It’s a beautiful way to strengthen bonds, but it also requires a willingness to compromise and accommodate each other’s needs. The camaraderie and support system are invaluable, especially during challenging times. However, this comes at the cost of personal freedom and the need for mutual adjustment.
Final Thoughts: Your Camino, Your Choice
Whether you choose to walk the Camino Santiago de Compostela alone or with others, each journey offers its own unique set of rewards and challenges. Reflect on what you seek from the experience – be it personal reflection or shared discovery – and choose the path that aligns with your aspirations.
We at WAW Travel are here to support you in planning this unforgettable pilgrimage, ensuring that your journey, whether solo or shared, is as enriching and fulfilling as possible. Buen Camino!