Camino de Santiago travel advice

Walk your own Camino

Walk your own Camino

Rasmus Pedersen, from our supplier Spain is More:
“Most people can walk the Camino. Of course you need to be in shape so you'll be able to walk the kilometers, but most people can do a lot more than they think, as long as they walk at their own pace. If you know from the beginning that you can't walk the 'normal' distances, we can split the stages, dividing them into two. Like that, we are able to customise a Camino for almost everybody. If, along the French Route, they want to cross the Pyrenees and see vineyard in Rioja and walk into Santiago in just one week, it’s not a problem at all. We will get them comfortably from A to B.”
Advice on routes

Advice on routes

Ana Rodríguez García, from our supplier Peak Me Languages, which offers Spanish language courses combined with walking sections of the Camino del Norte in the Picos de Europa:
“Don't fully trust the "official" paths. Do a little bit of research before you travel and discover the original routes as some parts have been standardised to prevent people getting lost, but miss some of the most beautiful spots, particularly along the coast. There are lots of reasons, why we recommend the Camino del Norte, but the main three are that it's a lot less busy than the other routes; the landscape is a lot, lot nicer (greener and with a mix of coast and proper mountains); and the weather is a lot milder (not hot in the summer, not as cold as further south in the winter."
Rasmus Pedersen, from our supplier Spain is More, on his favourite sections of the Camino de Santiago:
“I have several favorite parts. I love the coastal route after Comillas and the five to six stages ahead. The first part of the Primitivo is really beautiful as well. On the French Route, I love the last part – from Rabanal onwards. It’s such a cool atmosphere, you meet so many wonderful people and the landscape is really beautiful as well. But I could mention a lot more favorite parts. One of my single stage favorites is probably from Finisterre to Muxia. It’s really beautiful.”
Being prepared

Being prepared

Responsible Travel's Saul Greenland walked the Camino de Santiago. He shares what he learned:
“I decided to walk the Camino because it was a good way to meet people as a solo traveler. The walk is lovely but it isn’t a leisurely stroll like I assumed. I ended up with knee problems on the second day and had to buy a knee brace. I would definitely recommend some walking practice just to get your knees used to it or perhaps some walking sticks for the downhill sections. Also take a good book! I took Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ and sat under a few grapevines to read in the shade. Although a wonderful book, I would recommend something a little thinner!”
Packing tips

Packing tips

Rasmus Pedersen, from our supplier Spain is More:
“I normally tell our guests, to wear what they normally would use. If you walk three to six weeks, boots or really good hiking shoes are recommended, but if you walk fewer days, running shoes, trekking shoes or even good sandals in the summer can be as perfect. It depends a lot on the route, time of year, weather and your shape – and if you are a fast or a slow walker.”

Our top Camino de Santiago Vacation

The French Way hiking vacation, Sarria - Santiago

The French Way hiking vacation, Sarria - Santiago

Walk through fairytale like forests of Galicia

From 695 to725 8 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made from the end of March to mid October
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If you'd like to chat about Camino de Santiago or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Tips from our travelers

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.
We have selected some of the most useful Camino de Santiago travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation, and the space inside your daypack.
Walking into the square in front of Santiago cathedral after walking 111 kilometres to get there, the emotion of achieving it and the realisation there was no more walking overwhelmed me.
– Tony Finn
“Train for it by doing a lot of road walking with a lot of hill work. I met people who had trained in a gym and they had problems with the grim reality of the actual experience of road walking. Wear a good pair of boots with thick soles, they don't have to be expensive ones, I bought mine from Aldi for less than £20 and they did me very well for 500 miles and I did not have a single blister ...water bottles most important and can be filled at fountains en-route and keep one empty for the wine fountain at the Irache monastery…The chocolate museum in Astorga and the Plaza Obradoiro in Santiago were also amazing.” - Philip Francis

“Go with the flow – no early starts in hotels in Camino Norte. The earliest breakfast was at 9am. It doesn’t get dark until late and you have all day to walk… I was told the Finistère was the most beautiful part- but most of Camino Norte was just as beautiful and quieter- so if doing this again, I would stop the journey at Santiago.” – Wendy Williams

“Walking into the square in front of Santiago cathedral after walking 111 kilometres to get there, the emotion of achieving it and the realisation there was no more walking overwhelmed me. The square was filled with other pilgrims each one full of the same joys. It is all about the feet and you cannot have too many Compeed blister packs! A good pair of rugged footware and the best hiking socks will repay the investment. Be in the moment, if you think how far you have to go to finish you will be overwhelmed. We stopped every 45 mins for a drink of electrolytes and a shared energy bar. Smile, everyone is on the same walk and all are your companions. The Camino walk is hard but it repays in so many ways. You grow in your belief of yourself. The scenery is stunning and the walks so peaceful. A week where cars were rare and the sound off birdsong was the noisiest part of the day, what's not to like!” – Tony Finn

“Although this was our third time walking the Camino Santiago de Compostela. It was still as fantastic spiritual experience as our first. I do not think that there is a walk like it. Prepare well and walk at your own pace if walking as a group spread out so that everyone can go at their own pace. Do not let yourself be pushed to fast it leads to injuries and possibly worse blisters… this is the most spiritual walks available and having the bags brought from hotel to hotel meant that all we had to carry was a small day pack. We walked the Camino in a vacation mode.” – David Lohan

This is a fiercely mountainous area and walking in it is not for the unfit. We expected the Picos de Europa to be lovely but they are dramatic and stunning
– Margaret Andrew
“It was an amazing experience. I went with my 15 year old son in order to practise Spanish for his GCSE exam. We were looked after by a local mountain guide in the mornings who knew the mountains like the back of his hand and took us on some strenuous hiking through beautiful, unspoilt and mostly deserted terrain whilst speaking to us in Spanish.” – Rosie Pennie, learning Spanish and walking the Camino in the Picos de Europa

“I'd buy and wear in a decent pair of lightweight walking boots. Ignore people who say it can be done in flip flops. The Way is uneven in places and you are dependent on the state of your feet.” – Maire Lowe

“Pack lots of layers outside of summer. We were there in late March and although it only rained properly on one day it generally felt colder in the village than the temperature indicated as it was quite damp.” – Paula Rutherford in the Picos de Europa

“We went in early October and were fortunate generally with the weather... This is a fiercely mountainous area and walking in it is not for the unfit. We expected the Picos de Europa to be lovely but they are dramatic and stunning.” – Margaret Andrew

“The afternoon walks along the coast (Camino del Norte) were well organised and brilliant fun. I brought trekking poles for the first time on a walk and found them useful when we climbed one of the Picos. They were invaluable when we climbed La Ruta del Careas.” – Helen Kearney, learning Spanish and walking the Camino
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Fresco Tours] [Walk your own Camino (Rioja): colin houston] [Advice on routes: José Antonio Gil Martínez] [Rasnus Pedersen quote (Primitivo): José Antonio Gil Martínez] [Being prepared: joan] [Packing tips: Fresco Tours] [Traveler reviews introduction: José Antonio Gil Martínez] [Review 1 - Tony Finn: Fresco Tours] [Review 2 - Margaret Andrew: Daniel Muñoz]