Before your trip
I don’t speak Spanish, will that be a problem?
Nope! We specifically have tour guides who speak both Spanish and English to prevent any language difficulties.
What is a Holy Year?
A holy or ‘jubilee’ year in Santiago de Compostela is a year in which June 25th (the day of St. James) occurs on a Sunday. These years see a dramatic rise in pilgrims who wish to complete The Way of St. James. The next holy year occurs in 2021.
I’m not religious, can/should I still do The Way?
Yes. While for many people The Way is a religious experience, it is also a cultural experience through which you can get to know northern Spanish history and cuisine. Upon completing The Way, you’ll receive a ‘certificado’ affirming you’ve done the trip.
Can you get lost on The Way of St. James?
It’s difficult to get lost on The Way. All roads are marked with clearly visible yellow arrows, many times next to or above a shell (the symbol of The Way) indicating the direction to go. The route to Santiago de Compostela has plenty of those handy pointing arrows, painted around stones, pillars and crossroads, making the likelihood of getting lost near impossible!
What is the certificate of Santiago de Compostela?
Otherwise known as “The Compostela”, the certificate is a document issued in Latin to this day, affirming that the owner has made the journey and has visited the shrines of the saints. Shell-shaped badges were initially given out to pilgrims who had finished The Way, but the written certificates have been used since the 13th century.
How many kilometers must I walk or cycle to receive the certificate “La Compostela”?
You must walk a minimum of 100 kilometers or cycle a minimum of 200 kilometers in order to receive the certificate.
What is the Botafumeiro?
The Botafumeiro is a large thurbible (incense-burning, swinging censer) in the Cathedral in Santiago. It is one of the largest in the world, weighing over 80 kg and measuring over 1.6 meters tall. When swung, it reaches 68 km/h! It is typically in use at Friday Mass (19:30) and during special celebrations.
What is the recommended age to walk The Way?
There is no age limit–the only condition before embarking upon The Way is the ability to cover the daily distances. People of all ages complete the journey, ranging from families with young children to people quite advanced in age. The usual daily distances are
20-25 kilometers on foot per day, for 5 days, or 50-60 kilometers a day by bike. After all, the certificates aren’t just handed out to everybody!
Is it better to travel alone or with a group?
Quite hard to answer, every one of us is different!
It depends on the nature of your holiday or pilgrimage. Some prefer to test their abilities, both of the body and the mind, by doing The Way alone (then joining groups in the evenings to talk, exchanging experience, and insight). Others prefer to walk with the groups themselves and enjoying each-other’s company.
Is The Way safe?
Absolutely yes, for people of all ages! Over two hundred thousand people make the venture per year, and as mentioned before, even with their children. Generally, people who do The Way, are open minded and friendly, and people you meet are respectful.
The one thing worth mentioning are the cars–just a small part of the path is curved alongside a highway.
What is the Pilgrim’s passport?
It’s a special booklet, in which to collect at least 2 stamps per day from different locations along The Way. These locations can be shelters slept at, restaurants ate in, or churches passed through or prayed in. The stamps are there as confirmation of passing a certain section of The Way. Upon completion of the Passport, and the path itself, we will receive a “Santiago de Compostela” –certificate of completion.
How can I extend my trip?
If you’d like to stay longer in Santiago, visit Oporto, Portugal, or discover the Spanish cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, or Valencia by high-speed train, we’re happy to book you an extension of your trip.
During your trip
What are the accommodations like?
What does the daily schedule look like?
Breakfast is available from 8 am, by 9 you should start the daily stage. You will have lot of time till more less 8 PM when we will enjoy dinner (believe it or not, people in Spain eat dinner even later! Usually at 10 PM!!)
Will there be WiFi connection?
Complimentary WiFi is provided.
Is there cell-phone coverage along The Way?
We will provide you with a phone with a Spanish SIM card with good coverage.
Are there toilets along the path?
You will be able to find toilets in the small restaurants you will pass-by, usually it’s free but a small contribution for the cleanliness of it will always be appreciated by the owners!
Do I have to carry all of my luggage?
No, every day we will transport your luggage to the stage-end.
What equipment do I need?
Worn-in boots, comfortable clothing, preferably sportswear–avoid cotton.
What kind of bikes will we use?
The rental of comfortable mountain bikes is included in each trip done by bike. These bikes are Ghost Kato 7 model 2017, with aluminum frame, disc brakes, and 24 or 27 gears.
Can we use our own bikes?
You can, though transporting your bike is expensive and is unlikely to be cheaper than our included rental bike.
What if we get a flat or other problem along the way?
The guide and support van will be there to assist you in case anything goes wrong.
Are there stores along the way?
Yes. While you’ll pass through many small villages without stores, every day you’ll pass through a town where you can buy food or basic First Aid.
Where can I eat lunch?
Most villages have at least one restaurant, and these restaurants usually have a traditional ‘menu of the day’ for between 10-14 EUR. You can also purchase food from the store and have your own picnic.
Are there medical centers along The Way?
Yes. If that becomes necessary, our support van will take you to the nearest place.
Will the guide be walking or biking alongside us?
The guide will travel in the support van and will meet you at specified checkpoints each day.