Camino de Santiago Travel Itinerary & Trip Plan
How do I explain and write about the Camino de Santiago experience? Santiago means St James – so Camino de Santiago literally means the Walk of St James. My Camino de Santiago Itinerary and Travel Advice is my pilgrimage advice, and observations. I believe it’s best to just walk the trail. Your plan will develop as your journey unfolds. The one thing to plan is transportation. Buy train tickets to your starting point in advance, especially if a legal or religious holiday is happening in Spain when starting your walk. This bit us. We had to rent a car for $400.00 dollars for one day. The Camino de Santiago, Galicia route, (which is what I did) has a small cost associated with it for hostel rooms, transporting your bag, and food. The most significant cost is time.
Camino de Santiago Travel Itinerary and Trip Plan
Many share the same experience I had. Regardless of the weather, the experience is outstanding. Being outside all day, admiring the Spanish countryside, the beauty of nature, the smell of eucalyptus, make the Galicia route an unforgettable travel experience. The weather in Galicia is wet, no matter when you walk it. Galicia is unusually wet this April. Last year Spain had a drought in this area. The locals appreciate the rain. I appreciated the rain too, I think it added an interesting aspect to the walk.
- This is the final section of Camino de Santiago, it is the busiest section of the 800-km or 500-mile trek.
- Want to see a list of where we stayed, click and download my Camino de Santiago Itinerary file, includes hotels, where not to stay, & recommendations.
- Two company’s you can try are for booking in advance, are Santiago Way & Camino Way. Camino Way’s video shows what to expect to see while walking. Both will book a trip for you if you want to use an agent.
Camino de Santiago Travel Planning Tips
If you are going as a solo female traveler or a solo traveler, lots of friendly, interesting people are walking the trail. You’ll meet them along the way, so you won’t be lonely. You will meet all sorts of personalities. Expect to hear snoring in the shared hostel rooms. If someone is irritating, just keep walking. Bring earplugs and a sleeping mask – to sleep well in shared rooms. This helps you sleep through anything.
The Camino walk releases a tremendous number of endorphins from days of extended exercise and Vitamin D; this makes the world a happy place. The fresh air and exercise make falling asleep, the best parts of the day. I slept well while doing the trip – when there wasn’t snoring. My first three days were very hard because of jet lag due to a 10 hour time difference.
Lastly, the views are spectacular. There is plenty of time to think, reassess, understand the purpose, and stage of life. I found my time alone was the highlight of the journey. The Camino de Santiago has many wonderful sights such as the ones I posted here today.
Bridges for Shelter
Graveyards to See the Past
Churches that Give Pilgrim Blessings
Cows Who Want to Be Friends
Laundry is Part of Life
Bien Camino de Santiago Travel Planning Tips
If you happen to mention that you are traveling to walk the Camino de Santiago experience, you might find a friend is doing it also. I found my cousin was on the trail the same time I was. Another family member is taking a Camino Tour in May. Share your trip plans – tell your friends, you might find they are doing it too. Bien Camino de Santiago – this is a very popular trek.
Camino de Santiago Travel Advice
Everyone likes to do this trek their way. If you are walking with a friend be sure to talk about fitness levels and if you walk at the same pace. Discuss with your walking companion your strategies and options if you walk ahead. If you need to walk ahead, it’s not a big deal. Suggest to meet up at the end of the day, at your hostel. Camino de Santiago or The Walk of Saint James is an experience of a lifetime. Don’t let differences get in the way. Don’t over think it and over hash it out.
Camino de Santiago Itinerary
My itinerary is simple, especially when compared to using a booking agent. Mine is a straightforward plan.
Stamps Document the Journey
Stamps are collected at stops along the way. At churches, homes, graveyards, restaurants, and about everywhere, stamps are given to the Camino de Santiago travelers and pilgrims. Collecting stamps from the local people is one of the fun parts of the trip.
You’ll Meet The Nicest People
Albergues & Hostel Reservations
If you don’t have a hostel reservation, don’t fret. You can book rooms the day before based on availability or when you arrive. If you like your hostel or hotel, ask the manager to book your next room. They will book it and provide the hotel name. The hostels are easy to find when you reach the destination because the towns are very small.
Send your bag or backpack ahead for about 3 euros. Bring change, because some hostels won’t have change. It’s cash only for luggage transfers.
When to Arrive to Find a Bed
If carry your backpack or bag, is your thing, it is easy to do. If you choose this option and you decide to stop early, you can select a hostel along the way, based on availability. Most hostels are full by 4:00 pm so get up early and plan to arrive around 3:00 each day. We left every day between 9:02 and 9:06 – we all thought it was funny because without trying, we always started at the same time.
Cost of Private vs. Public Rooms
Most rooms cost between 10-35 euros for Private Albergue for a single room with shared or private bathroom. If your sleeping bag is staying home, and you want the hostel to provide sheets, pillow, blanket, and towel ask to have your bed dressed. Dressing the bed costs about 10-15 euros. But again, it all depends on what is available. First come first serve but, they are excellent for the price. If you book a room for 20 euros a night and ask the manager to book your next place, it should be a comparable accommodation and cost. Public rooms or Public Albergues were about 6 euros when I went in April, and very few were open.
Most Albergues Open May-October
Interesting to note that most Albergue or hostels don’t open until the end of April to the beginning of May. If you are walking and carrying your bag to the next place, to stay in a public or state Albergue, may have limited openings. What this means is there are a fewer state-run Albergue to select from, and this may add extra kilometers to walk each day to find a public Albergue.
When sharing accommodations make sure, you and your friends value the same experience. I appreciate a clean, quiet room. I am willing to pay a little more to have a good night sleep. Some may value price over comfort. Talk about this before you start, to be on the same page and to avoid conflicts.
Arriving Santiago de Compostela
We arrived quietly and celebrated by admiring the Cathedral, the sunshine and the scallop shell on the sidewalk. Others arrive with a lot of fanfare.
I eat healthily. I don’t eat processed food and like fresh, well-made local cuisine. French fries at every meal isn’t my thing. My favorite meal is breakfast. A good breakfast to me has a little protein. Unfortunately, when I did the Camino de Santiago, lots of sweets and bread were preferred.
Great food is important to feeling well when walking. Just skip the french fries and ask for the local bean dishes. The local food is great!
I don’t go to McDonald’s unless it’s once to see how it compares to the US McDonalds. In Spain MackyD serve beer. Indeed, I never eat two meals in one day at MacDonalds. I would rather skip the meal than eat McDonald’s. I don’t eat junk food or ice cream daily or multiple times a day.
Local food, local dishes, and farm to table is my passion. After all when in Spain eat Spanish food. Before you go, ask your Camino travel friends what is their idea of good food. It’s crucial for this walk to eat well. If you don’t eat well you will be very sore. If you don’t drink enough water you will ache everywhere. For less pain eat well. Drink lots of water, protein, veggies, fruit for carbs, and olive oil, all make the walk easier. Here is some information about food and how to use food to improve your experience.
In Spain, every restaurant charged a service fee. Maybe this is because we went to tourist locations. It’s only a small fee but, it’s on most receipts. The surcharge is a tip. Check your bill to see if there is a service fee charged. In our case, a tip was left even though the service fee was on the bill. It’s not up to me to tell someone when to tip. I said nothing. But, according to the receipts, they were paying twice for service. Read the bill, tip, if it makes you feel good.
What’s Your Travel Purpose?
I go to places to see the sites, especially UNESCO sites. It’s a shame to go and not pay the 10 euro entry fee when it’s taken time and money to get the destination. More importantly, you may only be there once. What are the chances you will return to this location? Very slim I bet. Pay the entry fee. You only live once.
Shared Travel Goals
Make sure when traveling you are on the same page with your friends or travel companion. If you are an early to bed, early to rise-type person, and want to see the morning light, and then take a long lunch or break in the heat of the day, make sure your friends share your plan. If you are a party animal and stay out late, probably sharing your room with an early to bed person isn’t a great idea. The bottom line – share the vision and purpose of your trip or have a plan in the event your lifestyles clash or don’t mesh.
Check-in and check-out should be a smooth process. Have only one person talk to reception. Remember, English may be the language of tourism, but, it’s usually their second language.
I need receipts when I travel. On two trips, my companion corrected me in front of the hotel staff stating, “I didn’t need a receipt,” when I do need receipts. When I make reservations, I let the company know I need a receipt. Don’t butt into someone else’s business.
If you are leaving early, make sure your room charges have been settled the night before and are on the right credit card. Sometimes rooms are secured with one credit card, and then each person pays for their room separately on arrival. It’s easy to fix this at the hotel. Fixing it, from home is incredibly time-consuming. Check out and review your bill before you leave the hotel to avoid future problems.
To Learn more about the Rules of Tourism, read more by clicking here.
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