Camino de Santiago is the famous pilgrimage route for many centuries to the tomb of St. James in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela. According to legend, the remains of the Apostle James are buried in the city’s cathedral. Since the early Middle Ages, Santiago de Compostela has been considered one of the main shrines of the Catholic world. If earlier only pilgrims went to this city on long roads, today travelers come out to Camino de Santiago who simply wants to overcome hundreds of kilometers on foot or by bicycle, with a backpack and a staff, admiring the surrounding landscape.
Even forty years ago, pilgrims on this path were numbered in units. The popularity of the Camino de Santiago in the 80s of the last century was due to the publication of Paolo Coelho’s book “Diary of a Magician”, for which the Spanish State Council subsequently awarded the writer the Gold Medal of Galicia. Euro pulse continues to share life hacks for inexpensive and interesting travel in Europe. Olga Lovi from Moscow told us about her personal experience of Camino de Santiago, having covered more than a hundred kilometers without much preparation. There are many routes in the Camino de Santiago map. Formally, any road to Santiago de Compostela can be called Camino, but only certain routes are marked for pilgrims with arrows on the road, equipped with albergue shelters and drinkers. Their maps are available in tourist offices and on specialized websites.
The most famous and one of the longest routes – Camino Francaise – starts in France and stretches over 900 kilometres. We, having soberly evaluated our strength, chose a short road – the final part of the Coastal Route, Camino de la Costa , 115 kilometres. We started in Bayonne, in the Spanish province of Galicia. This route starts in Portugal, but we shortened it, starting from the border.
Where to live
There are special shelters for pilgrims – albergue ; they are all along the Camino. You can spend the night for 5-6 euros in municipal shelters or for a voluntary donation in parish. In private albergues, the price per night can reach 20-25 euros. It is better to take care of booking in advance – there is a good choice of albergue not only on specialized resources, but also on ordinary booking.com or airbnb.com. Albergue is different, but, as a rule, these are rooms for 10-15 people with shared showers. In any albergue on the way, without even renting a room, you can ask to go to the toilet and wash – you will be hospitably taken to the right place.
To check-in in Albergue, you need to present a pilgrim’s passport – credential. It is sold for one and a half euros in large churches along the way or, less often, directly in the albergue and at tourist information offices. Another credential can be ordered to your home by mail, through Spanish and international sites dedicated to the Santiago Way. We bought ourselves a couple more for future playthroughs. Credencia is still needed in order to receive the “Compostela” in Santiago – a certificate that the Path has indeed been passed. A pilgrim’s passport is stamped in the albergue or in churches.
How to navigate
The entire Path is marked with yellow arrows and scallop shells, symbols of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. They can be found on the road, on poles, on trees and on the walls of houses. It is almost impossible to get lost on the Way of Santiago: it seems as if someone very caring always prompts you in time where to go. At the exit from the town there is a fork in the streets. But the guiding yellow shell on a blue background is not visible.
There are ways you can help self-fund your Camino trip and find work that you can do remotely while traveling. One example of remote work would be to work as a NetSuite developer helping businesses with their IT systems. This method gives you the ability to travel for long periods of time and afford weeks or months off of work