So You Want to Walk The Camino de Santiago – Resources

During this time of the COVID-19 I will periodically post about my travels and travel ideas. Hopefully we can soon return to the world. Take care, stay safe, stay inside.

Photo taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World

At time of posting all Camino de Santiago routes closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Internet. Apps. Guidebooks (paper and e-books). There is no lack of information available to pilgrims. Often it seems there is too much information. In my case, I used a bit of all of them. Listed first are the resources I used. Second, resources I did not use though you may find helpful. Some of them I will consider using for future Camino pilgrimages.

MY RESOURCES

APPS:

BUEN CAMINO (iOS and Android): This FREE app is courtesy of Editorial Buen Camino. I utilized it most often. I learned of it several days into my Camino.

PROS:

  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Comprehensive guide that includes:
    *Maps
    *Elevation and route profile
    *Accommodation information including amenities, pilgrim ratings, and approximate cost for lodging
    *Index of localities
    *Points of Interest
    *Notifications
    *Weather
  • Guides for all main routes that are downloadable
  • Record/plan daily stanges

CONS:

  • Recording of daily stages did not work. Granted this could have been me. I could not get it to store my routing at all. I used paper for that

WISELY+ THE CAMINO FRANCES (iOS and Android): Created by Wise Pilgrim, this is a for-purchase app. If memory serves I paid approximately $7 – $8 CAD for it. I downloaded it about a few months prior to leaving.

PROS:

  • Offline map is the best feature – I consulted it frequently
  • Map legend is helpful
  • Accommodation information
  • Well organized – e.g. route and localities listed with info by province
  • Includes tips and helpful information

CONS:

  • Each route has its own app for a fee
  • Accommodation information is not as thorough or up to date as Buen Camino app

INTERNET:

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO FORUM SHOP – I purchased my credencial or “Pilgrim Passport” online from this website. I wanted to have one ahead of time. The cost for a credencial is €2 + shipping. I also purchased a plastic cover as well as a patch for my backpack.
**Note – days before I left Canada I learned I could have purchased my credencial in Canada. See “Associations” below for the website.

FACEBOOK GROUP: CAMIGAS – BUDDY SYSTEM FOR WOMEN ON THE CAMINO – There are many groups and resources on social media. I decided on this one and did learn a fair bit from the posts and asking questions.

GUIDEBOOKS:

Guidebooks can be a good resource, having something right on hand. Personally, I also like marking them up with little notes and tips. A variety of guidebooks are available in many languages. When I purchased my guidebook it appeared to have good information on first glance. However, once I started my Camino I quickly found it was lacking in the information I was hoping it contained. In my opinion, it does not have the comprehensive information I had hoped for. Much of the information appears dated. I did not find it helpful at all. I will not list the guidebook name as I personally did not find it of any use.

Camino signage

OTHER RESOURCES:

OFFICIAL PILGRIM’S OFFICE – Located in Santiago de Campostela. This is where you collect your “campostela” or certificate of completion by showing your stamped pilgrim’s passport. This website has some useful information.

ASSOCIATIONS:
Associations and cofraternities may offer information, tools, credencials, and/or promote the Camino de Santiago. Numerous ones also have local chapters. There are links below. This list is by no means extensive.

GUIDEBOOKS:

For my future Caminos I plan to buy a new guidebook based on which route I will take. I will then use the guidebook(s) written by John Brierly. I was able to peruse a few copies as several people I met had them. It had more usable information than mine had, in my opinion.

TOUR COMPANIES:

The decision to walk the Camino on your own, with friends or family, or to use a tour company that specializes in trips on the Camino is entirely personal. There are many reasons to do this pilgrimage your way, whichever that may be. After all, it is YOUR Camino. In my case, I started out with a friend and we both agreed we would each go at our own pace. I myself did not want to use a tour company as I wanted to stay in alberuges and plan my days as they came. Something I did not think I could do with a tour company.

So why I am including them in my list? The reason is two-fold. First, they can provide some useful information about the trails. Secondly, one of you may want to know of a few of them. Please note, that I can not comment on the service any of these tour operators provide on the Camino as I have not used them. I’m posting them only for information purposes only.

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