There are lots of people (pilgrims) already planning their 2019 Camino de Santiago. With this year’s pilgrimage around the corner, it is time to set new goals, objectives, and plans and take stock. With the Camino on the minds of many pilgrims, Camino con Correos is there to help pilgrims plan their route with essential yet simple tips that make it easier for them to experience the thrill of the Camino.
Before You Start Your Journey
Which route do you take?
There is no wrong or right way to pick a Camino de Santiago walk. It’s all about understanding what to expect from the experience and making a decision based on that. For instance, if you want to meet other pilgrims, the Camino Frances is the best option considering that it is one of the most popular routes. If you want to enjoy trekking through breathtaking coastal landscapes, then Camino Del Norte is the route to take. But, if Camino de Santiago was your destination from the beginning, then consider making it your starting point; the best start point on this route is Camino a Fisterra. All in all, regardless of your reasons to take on this journey, the Camino will undoubtedly provide you the answers you are looking for! Here, you can view all the available Camino options and make a decision based on the information provided.
What about luggage?
Many a pilgrim, especially those from abroad, take on Camino de Santiago for the sole purpose of taking a couple of days at the end of the journey sightseeing. If that is the case for you, we recommend that you only carry essentials for the Camino and bring the rest of your baggage for later. We recommend that you use the PaqPeregrino option Correos offers pilgrims for a smoother, hassle-free and comfortable Camino. With Correos, you can send the rest of your luggage to Santiago, or any other city along the Camino for pick up once you get there. What if you are traveling via bike? A lot of people today are opting to experience the Camino cycling.
However, this option leaves a lot of pilgrims with questions. Can I travel all Camino routes on a bike? Are there rental bikes that I can use or do I have to bring my own? If I do bring mine, how do I get it to the start point of the Camino? All of these are valid questions. However, it is worth noting that no Camino, whether you are traversing it by foot or by bike, is easy. With that said, all routes are in good condition and can be traveled by bike as you meet and mingle with other people and take in the scenery. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of having to transport your bike by taxi, plane, or train, you will be glad to know that we offer transportation from your location to any point you want. If you’d like that, contact Correos and ask for PaqBicicleta and they will ship it in an adapted package – all you have to do is dismount your bike.
During the Camino
What do I Carry with Me?
Well, as with most things, this is personal. However, there are several essentials that you should have with you during your Camino. To start with, you need your credential. This document shows public hostels that you are a pilgrim. With it, you have access to amenities and accommodation. If you want to receive a Compostela for completing your journey (i.e., when you arrive in Santiago), it is essential that the document gets sealed at the different stages you pass as your journey through your Camino.
As for your belongings, it’s advisable that you get a sturdy backpack with adjustable shoulder straps that can run to your chest or waist. It is also recommended that you carry a waterproof cover for those rainy days. And do not forget about footwear. It is essential that you wear the proper shoes for trekking or hiking – they don’t have to be new as long as they are comfortable and provide support. Do I have to make hostel reservations? No, don’t have to. Accommodation is strictly assigned according to the order of arrival. However, there are private hostels (hotels, lodgings, and rural homes) that you can get in touch with beforehand and make reservations.
Do I have to carry my backpack?
If you do not want to, you don’t have to. Whatever your reasons are, be it because you want to enjoy your Camino without luggage dragging you down or because of medical reasons, you will be glad to know that there are services that offer pilgrims the option of trekking free of their backpacks. PaqMochila is one such option.
This is a service Camino con Correos offers. Under this option, we transport our client’s luggage from stage to stage to the accommodation they specify daily. You will also be glad to know that we also transport any extra luggage or purchases you might have made during your trek to any Correos del Camino office or your location for pick up once you arrive.
Finalizing Your Route
What do you do once you reach your destination (Santiago?)
Arriving at the destination, that is Santiago de Compostela after a long pilgrimage is usually a very emotional experience for most people. After most pilgrims have experienced the long-anticipated arrival to Obradoiro, the only thing they typically want immediately after is to go inside the Cathedral. However, it is worth noting that you won’t be allowed to enter the sanctuary with your luggage. The best thing to do is to head to the Correos at Rua do Franco 4, just two minutes from the temple, where you will find a locker service that you can use to store your walking sticks, backpack, or bicycle.
You can also use the service to send your bike or luggage back home. What Shouldn’t I Miss Once in Compostela? Visiting the cathedral, attending a Pilgrim’s Mass, embracing the Apostle, strolling through the unique and momentous town ( a World Heritage site), witnessing the Botafumeiro ritual, enjoying the local cuisine – there is so much you can do, see and experience once you get to Compostela.
Here is a list/map of 10 essentials you shouldn’t miss out on when in Compostela. What if I Still Want To Continue with the Journey? Every year, thousands of pilgrims journey on to Finisterre (which means “the end of the world.”) This beautiful journey offers pilgrims the opportunity to experience the Costa da Morte and relish in some of the most stunning Atlantic sunsets. Before taking on this journey, it is worth noting that the road to Finisterre is almost one hundred kilometers long and takes place in four or five stages. If you get tired along the way, you can always take a bus to the site. The Monbus company’s buses ply the route daily, and trips take about two to three hours.
The tips provided should help make your Camino successful. The Camino de Santiago is an
unforgettable and unique experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and nostalgic.
Therefore, make the best of your trip. Enjoy the moments of solitude; marvel at the
landscapes; meet new people; make new friends; enjoy every site and every place you pass;
enjoy the local cuisine; marvel at the scenes. But, most of all, enjoy your Camino
experience. Safe journeying!