The Way of Saint James
The way par excellence, the best known
The Way of St. James or the Pilgrim's Way, as well known, was declared the first European Route of Cultural Interest by the Council of Europe in 1987. In addition, the route is considered World Heritage[...]Read more
- Travel Gear
While doing the Camino de Santiago you should carry certain essential items, whether on foot as if it is by bicycle.
The backpack should not lack the appropriate clothing - light, comfortable, durable and good breathability-. The shoe is undoubtedly the best friend for the traveler, so it should be light and be appropiate. Best if it has been used to prevent chafing and blisters that often produces the newly released.
A cap, beret, hat or visor will need protection from the sun and avoid sunburn, especially during the summer months and when walking in the middle of the day.
We recommend carrying waterproof raincoat or another priority items that should not miss at home. The same goes with the kit, which should contain the key to healing the wounds (gauze and bandages, hydrogen peroxide, bandages, ointment for cramps....).
- Tips and health information for pilgrims
Among noted the following prevention tips:
- Make the Way at your own pace, not the other.
- Avoid the exhibititon to the sun. Wear appropriate clothing, sunglasses, hat and sunscreen.
- Drink water frequently. Make sure your drinking.
- Do not eat foods that are not properly conserved
- Wash your hands frequently and always before meals.
- Avoid walking in low light and always observe traffic regulations.
- If you make the way by bike, wear a helmet and a high visibility vest.
- Bring insect repellent.
- Do not bathe in rivers unfit for swimming.
- Do not walk out of the paths.
- Advice for the pilgrim: before, during and after the road
Before you take the way. Prepare and inform yourself:
Do not forget, in addition to the ID or passport, health card or similar. See your Health Center will advise you, especially if you follow some type of treatment or have any health problems.
Kit: It is useful to carry antiseptic, healing material (plaster, plasters, bandages), analgesics, antiinflammatory, hypodermic needle and thread to the healing of sores, mosquito repellent, antihistamines (for allergies), antifungals, and protection cream solar.
Prepare your wardrobe, adapted to the time when the pilgrimage takes place. The footwear is essential. It is advisable high boots to prevent ankle sprains, it is also waterproof and breathable to prevent problems arising from excessive sweating (blisters, fungal infection). Bring flip-flops to wear in the shower.
Work out. Walk a few days before with the same shoes you will use on the road and with a weight on your back like that will carry it. Keep it up, but little weight. Do not overload the bag (not more than 10 kilos) and place the heaviest down, glued to the back.
On the way...
Prepare daily. Avoid the heat of the day. Start the day as early as possible and protect yourself from the sun (cream, hat, sunglasses). Stretch before you go.
Watch your diet to prevent possible gastroenteritis. Wash vegetables and fruits. Eat mayonnaise always industrial type, never home. During the summer, watch out the pantry. Do not drink water from fountains, rivers, etc. unfit for consumption (not drinkable).
In the shelters, for your health and that of the others, it is essential good personal hygiene.
Back home, if there is any health problem you have had in your pilgrimage, please consult your doctor.
Follow these tips and happy pilgrimage!
- Consumer Decalogue of the Pilgrim
Ten tips for a good Way:
- Plan in advance the stages and make a budget with expenses to be faced along the Camino.
- All products and services must contain information, clear and visible, about the price and payment methods.
- Buy labeled products; it is a guarantee of safety. Demand and save the ticket or receipt.
- Check the expiration date or best before food. Choose establishments to ensure their proper handling.
- Check before leaving the establishment that the items purchased are in perfect conditions. Remember that all goods are guaranteed for two years.
- If you use information services on the Camino de Santiago through the Internet, or mobile via SMS or MMS, make sure about the cost.
- Remember that calls from one country to another country have a special rate or roaming. Find out the price beforehand whether to make such calls.
- Keep on hand the IMEI of your mobile phone. In case of loss, you must provide it to your phone operator.
- Choose ATM is located inside the premises of the bank. They are safer. Do not throw the receipt of the transaction without having previously broken.
- Order the complaint formulary if you have a problem.
For more information on these and other topics, please visit the Consumer Portal that the Junta de Castilla y León offers.
Exercise your rights. Good Way! Ultreia!
- Useful tips to walk the pilgrim's route to Santiago de Compostela
For many, making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela on foot is one of the most fulfilling and gratifying experiences of their lives. It is both a physical and mental challenge that requires thorough preparation. A good way of starting is to read up on the history of the Route and the pilgrimage. This will help pilgrims identify with those that have gone before them, as well as enabling them to get more out of the experience.
There is a vast number of books on the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago, make your choice from this wide selection, read and try to plan your various stages beforehand; bearing in mind that ideally you should cover an average distance of between 25 and 30 kilometres a day. You could also include the odd rest day, or alternate longer stages with shorter ones, making them coincide with places you would particularly like to spend longer visiting. This will provide you with rest periods, but will not break your rhythm.
You don’t have to be a highly-trained athlete to make the pilgrimage on foot; however, it is important to pace your efforts in accordance with your possibilities. Prior training and walking sessions are therefore highly recommendable.
There are basic points for consideration when getting your gear ready. Your backpack will be your faithful travelling companion for long hours, and must therefore be comfortable and light to carry; a sleeping bag is essential if you’re planning to stay at the pilgrims’ refuges and hostels; clothing should be kept to a minimum and a cagoule or cape that can also cover your backpack in the event of rain.
It’s always a good idea to carry a small amount of food with you, especially nuts or chocolate, and keep your water bottle full at all times; don’t forget your European Health Insurance Card; the Certificate of Completion; you may also find it useful to carry a small diary or notebook to write down your impressions or include the many and varied stamps you will find along the Route.
When walking, remember that the entire Route is marked with yellow arrows and milestones. In summer, get up a bit earlier to avoid walking in the full heat of the day. Remember to use sun cream and for the first few days avoid wearing just T-shirts and shorts. At first, try not to walk too fast - you’ll soon settle into your own natural pace. If you’re part of a group, adapt the pace to that of the slowest walker, and take care when walking on roads.
- Useful tips to make the Way of Saint James by bicycle
Before setting off, draw up a plan based on the total number of kilometers you plan to cover and your daily average.
As for your physical preparation, if you do not cycle regularly, tackling long hours on your bike each day requires some serious training. In this sense you should consider visiting a specialist for a check up, as you will be making a major physical effort over a prolonged period. Draw up a training schedule, star ting off with just a few kilometers a day and gradually building up the distance. Complete your physical training with visits to the gym to improve the flexibility of your legs, back and neck.
As for your bicycle, it is essential to get it checked by an expert. Your cycling technique is also vital. You should train with experienced cyclists, who will advise you on questions such as the best cycling posture, how and when to change gear, pedaling rhythms…
As for carrying your luggage, the best idea is to use saddlebags that can be tied to the back wheel and handlebars. Remember that the less weight you carry, the better it will be for your bike and you.
Choose your clothing carefully too. It’s a good idea to use relatively skin-tight clothes in bright colours, as they will reduce wind resistance and make it easy for drivers to spot you sooner. Try not to have anything hanging or loose that may get caught up in the moving parts of your bicycle. A toilet bag, a sleeping bag and a tracksuit or normal clothes are also essential when you eventually dismount.
Make sure you abide strictly with the Highway Code. In addition, you should always keep mineral water with you and avoid drinking from the fountains you will find on your way. Carry a small tool kit with you in case of a puncture or other minor mechanical problem. By following this advice, your pilgrimage is guaranteed to be an unforgettable and extremely positive experience.
- About the 'Credencial' (credential) and the 'Compostela'
The origins of the modern-day pilgrim’s credentials, which are only given to those completing all or par t of the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago on foot, by bicycle or on horseback, lie in the letters of recommendation or safe conduct passes that were granted by kings, princes, members of the clergy, popes and other authorities during the early days of the Pilgrims’ Route to those travelling to Compostela.
The credentials are granted by the Church, the Friends of the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago Associations, the Brotherhoods or other institutions duly authorised to this effect by Santiago Cathedral. They are issued prior to the star t of the Route or at the starting point by the organizations listed above. It is advisable to take a letter or document that identifies the applicant.
The credentials entitle those that have covered at least the last hundred kilometres of the Route on foot or horseback, or the last two hundred kilometres by bike, to obtain the certificate known as the ‘Compostela’. Issued by Santiago Cathedral, it certifies that the pilgrim has successfully reached Santiago de Compostela and has done so for religious reasons. In recent years the religious authorities in Santiago de Compostela have introduced an alternative diploma that replaces the credentials for those who opt to follow the Pilgrimage Route for other reasons.
Originally the ‘Compostela’ was written on parchment, and for some time now it has been printed on paper, featuring the characteristic border of oak leaves and scallop shells – the traditional emblem of Saint James -, with the pilgrim’s name written in Latin. The document is signed at the bottom by the Pilgrims’ Canon, who is in charge of the Pilgrims’ Office. Originally, the ‘Compostela’ would in theory have been signed by the Archbishop, although common practice was for the canon responsible for the pilgrims to sign it on his behalf.
- Recycling at the Way of Saint James
The Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago boasts international acclaim and offers visitors a unique experience.
It has its own special significance for each pilgrim, one which is not necessarily spiritual, and is followed by people from all over the world eager to experience for themselves everything this route has to offer.
Of the many pilgrims’ routes leading to Santiago de Compostela, the French Way is by far the most popular and busiest. It starts in the French town ofSaint Jean de Pied de Port and extends for 781 km as far as the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
What is the Collaboration Route?
This is a joint initiative set up by Ecoembes and the Junta de Castilla y León, bringing together the efforts of both organisations to guarantee the environmental conservation and care of the stretch of the French Way that crosses the autonomous community of Castilla y León.
The project includes a total of three provinces (Burgos, Palencia and León), almost 400 km of the route and over a hundred participating hostels.
What are its objectives?
The Collaboration Route is designed to raise eco-awareness among pilgrims in order to ensure that the efforts of all will contribute to maintaining and keeping clean the unique settings that form the pilgrims’ route, recycling the containers pilgrims use during their journey.
How does it work?
Two recycling bins will be placed in each participating hostel:
- YELOW (Plastic containers, tins and cartons)
- BLUE (Paper and cardboard packaging)
They will be accompanied by information panels explaining how to put the packages in the correct bin.
Pilgrims will also receive a kit containing information and other items that will help them to separate their waste packaging correctly in the hostels.
Here you will shortly be able to find a list of all the hostels taking part in the Collaboration Route.