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– Yes, all the villages of the Way of St. James are accessible by car, you will find it very easy with a normal road map, even better with gps 🙂
– The pilgrims hostels or “albergues” are strictly restricted to pilgrims on foot, by bicycle or on horse, so they won’t let you stay. Think that make sense otherwise any tourist could take advance of the very cheap prices of the albergues.
– The pilgrims passport or credential can be stamped also in churches and many other places along the way. Nevertheless, even having an stamped passport, people running the pilgrims hostels can know very easily (thanks to experience) who is walking and who is not. Having said that, there is a really wide range (in price and comfort) of private accommodation along the way of st. james where you or you and your wife could stay so that wouldn’t be a problem at all. These private hostels not exclusively for pilgrims are normally the best option if you don’t want to sleep in a shared bedroom, having more privacy and facilities. But they’re not expensive, I can’t tell the price nowadays since it’s been already a couple of years that I don’t go to the Camino…
Hope this helps!
Good luck to your wife and yourself in the Camino!
Do you mean the minimum km to obtain the Compostela diploma? In that case the minimum km for pilgrims on foot is 100km. Nevertheless that is just a paper, the important thing is to walk the camino that one wants to walk, and if you want to walk the English way from Coruña I think that is great!
I’d say September could be a good month for your Camino since it’ll be not as hot as in summer.
Hey Josh! I’m the French Way of Camino de Santiago there is only one stage of pure Pyrenees, from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles. Then from Roncesvalles onward it’s really descending very easy.
So, from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles the Camino de Santiago is doable, some very steep slopes sometimes but the path is in good condition and quite good surface. A bit long around 30 km but with plenty of time and taking your rests is not a major problem for most of the people.
Now, this is the most important: watch out the weather. If the weather is nice you should be fine and will enjoy a fantastic day and breathtaking views. But if the weather is bad, especially if it’s foggy, it can be very dangerous and you can get lost. In October there is a good chance of fog, so I wouldn’t recommend it at all in a foggy or rainy day. Better wait another day in St. Jean or take a taxi which follows a lower road to Roncesvalles (or follow that road yourself walking).
But really, the best advice on weather and general conditions have to be got in real time in the village of St. Jean Pied de Port, ask there to the local people or the persons in charge of the pilgrims hostel once you get there, because there is no way of planning it in advance. Another good practice is joining another group of pilgrims if you are walking alone.
Buen Camino de Santiago!
The French Way of Camino de Santiago is very safe, it’s very popular and you will find many pilgrims walking it, normally after a couple of days you could be walking within a group of new friends if you like.
The more Spanish you know the better, but having said that many pilgrims come to Camino de Santiago speaking no Spanish at all and they are ok!
Hello JessieBird, firstly congratulantions for your adoption of your two children. I think it is very beautiful your plan about walking el Camino de Santiago all the family together.
I think it is perfectly doable. Probably el Camino Frances (French Way) could be the best choice for you because it is the flatest (actually Via de la Plata is also quite flat but with less services and accommodation, so I wouldn’t go for that one walking with children). The Northern Way and English Way can be really rainy, and hilly too. On the other hand, in El Camino Frances you will find plenty of private accommodation with private and confortable room in case you children have problems sleeping in the common rooms of the public hostels. It would be a good idea if you buy a Camino de Santiago guide that includes all the hostels in el Camino de Santiago with their phone numbers so that you can book a room the previous day. Normally that’s not necessary but just in case.
Normally pilgrims get free health care as if they were Spanish but since the situation is now changing due to the economic problems and the cuts (and I don’t live now in Spain so I can’t tell you exactly), it’s better if you double check if there is an agreement in this matter between Spain and your country. If you are from Europe, the European Health card will do.
There are plenty of services, so don’t worry about it. You can take a taxi in any village to a major town if your children need something.
All-terrain strollers would be a good idea and you won’t have any problem with them in most of the route. There might be some exceptions like the first day crossing the Pyrenees with very steep streches. That stage is really beautiful but you might consider skipping it….
It’ll be really helpful if you can learn some Spanish before you leave, because travelling with children you will need to ask for more information on the go than when you are only adults.
Good luck in everything and come back to me if you have more doubts about El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
Hello Josh, sorry for the late reply but my new job is not letting me much free time for managing the website. But thanks for the compliments, I’m glad you like my Camino de Santiago website!!
So, the weather can be quite unpredictable for the month of October, it may still be really hot, especially at the beginning, but it can suddenly change to be rainy. It won’t be that cold (even at the beginning of November) during the day time but the nights will be chilly (that’s for sure), so you better carry a jumper for the nights. Galicia, the last region of el Camino de Santiago, is a rainy land all year round. It’s a good idea to carry light raingear and also waterproof cover for your bagpack.
This might sound awful, but it’s not that bad, I think October (the autumn) is a really good month for walking El Camino de Santiago.
Good luck and Buen Camino
Hello! You’re website is a great resource and so easy to use so first off, thank you for the time you’ve put into it as it has really helped with planning and preparation!
I’m planning to walk the Camino (French way) from the start of October to mid November this year, from what i’ve read the weather during late October early November starts to turn, do you have any tips or advice about walking the Camino at this time of year?
Actually, someone just wrote in our Camino de Santiago facebook page http://www.facebook.com/caminosantiagodecompostela
that you also should take into account the water supply, because the dog is going to need a lot of water, especially during summer, and el Camino de Santiago crosses some very dry areas without any rivers or water streams. Probably you should have to carry some water for the dog too.
This is actually a very good question. There is not a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer though. There are always pilgrims who walk el Camino de Santiago with their dogs, so it isn’t something uncommon or rare but sometimes it can be a bit problematic.
Most of the public albergues or pilgrim’s hostel wouldn’t let you in with the dogs, some of them have a backyard where the dogs can stay but don’t count on that possibility as a norm. The reason for this is very simple, some people don’t understand it, but I, having been running a pilgrims hostel for a while, see clearly that dogs can be a problem for others. Probably the most important problem is the hygiene, because public albergues are really crowded with pilgrims coming and going everyday, so it’s already too hard to keep them clean and hygienic enough, just receiving people. Having said that I understand that sometimes animals can be cleaner than people, but just generalizing…
Another problem could be people being afraid of dogs, since most of the spaces are common areas, including dorms.
Regarding the food, I don’t think you will have any problem along El Camino de Santiago since there are always small shops selling a bit of everything.
About vets, you will be crossing a big enough town, sometimes also cities, every 2 or 3 days, so you should find a veterinary easily enough in these towns and cities. Do not worry about that.
If I can give you a tip, I would carry my own tent because sometimes when they reject pilgrims with dogs in an albergue, they can tell you where to put your tent so that you can have the dog just outside the tent without a problem. Plus you could still go to the albergue (if it is public) to have your shower.
I think it is a very nice thing to walk el Camino de Santiago with the company of your dog, and I encourage you to do it since you won’t be the first at all. But, be prepared to deal with some objections from time to time, and don’t take it personally, because the people running the hostel might be themselves dogs lovers, but if they have to forbid dogs it will be just thinking about the rest of the pilgrims.
Don’t worry at all about that, it’s very easy and cheap to take a bus to the following village or even hundreds of km if necessary, just ask the locals or the person in charge of the hostel in the village where you want to take it. Taxis are also available, in case the bus timetable is not good for you, normally at a rate around 1 euro per km.
Hello, we are going to the Camino de Santiago on Sept. 12.
We are going to train or bus to Leon or Bugos. We want to find out if
after you begin walking and want to go on to another city or town can you get in a taxi or bus to fast forward yourself towards the Compostela. We want to enjoy the larger towns and also see some of the little villages along the Camino de Santiago but not sure if it is easy enough to get on a bus towards the next town. We have to leave Santiago on Sept. 21st in the evening to fly to Barcelona. thanks for your input.
In my opinion, the best months with good weather are May, June, September, October (better first 2 weeks), and generally April too (depending of the year). Remember the closer to July&August, the hotter and more crowded, well actually June and September can be really hot too haha, and May. So there is not “good” or “bad” month for el Camino de Santiago. But I could say I prefer Spring or Autumn.
Regarding the guide I can provide a more clear answer than before: you don’t need a guide at all. Just read some guide book before or take it in your backpack with you. Actually with the information on http://www.caminosantiagodecompostela.com , it can be enough to get you confident to start el Camino de Santiago, and once you start walking you learn on the go.
Good luck and buen Camino!
Hi my name is Julie. 🙂 My friends and I are planning on walking the Camino De Santiago. We would like to know what month would be the best recommended to go with good weather? Also if it would be better to go with a guide to El Camino de Santiago?
We are very excited n aiming for next year to make this dream come true.
Your opinion is greatly appreciated. 🙂
Hi darija! I advise you to enter the same post in the wall of our Camino de Santiago’s facebook page because it has much more exposure among future pilgrims. This is the address:
Anyway if nobody contacts you, be completely confident that after one or two days of walking you will have found plenty of walking companions, and sometimes friends for all your life! That’s the magic of el Camino.
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by Pilgrim.
There are several companies that provide a service of luggage transfer along El Camino de Santiago. I can only talk about the only one that I’ve used when I was running the pilgrim’s hostel of El Burgo Ranero, in the province of Leon.
At that time, many pilgrims who stayed in my hostel were already having the services of Jacotrans and they were quite happy about it. That’s how I got to know them. They were efficient and reliable in my opinion. Plus I became friend of Luis Angel, the driver in charge of that area, who was a really good man.
I’m sure the others are good too, but I can just talk about what I know. Maybe you can “google” it to compare it with other companies of luggage transfer along El Camino de Santiago. Or maybe someone else can share here his or her experiences regarding this subject.
Hi Digigian! Thanks for your message and good luck with your Camino movie and the pilgrimage itself!!
Please let us know how the movie has gone after finishing your Camino, maybe we can include a trailer, that you could provide us, in our videos section.
Buen Camino! ultreia et suseia
This year is being quite odd since the weather should be much better at this time of the year. But still I think (and hope) that it can suddenly change very soon to real summer like, specially along the central part of El Camino de Santiago. Still I would carry waterproof gear for you and your backpack because Galicia (the last region along El Camino de Santiago) can be quite rainy in any time of the year.
Regarding the Spanish Sim card, it’s not as easy to buy as in other European countries because they had to start asking proof of identification some years ago in order to stop illegal sim card trading from Canary islands. So make sure you have your passport with you, they’ll photocopy it. You can buy it in Pamplona, just on the third day on your Camino de Santiago, it’s a big city and you’ll find there shops for every operator: Movistar, Yoigo, Vodafone, Orange…, I don’t know which is the cheapest (maybe Yoigo) cause I don’t live in Spain now, better check the call rates online before leaving. And your iPhone should be unlocked to use any sim card otherwise it won’t work.
Most of the times it’s possible to check the emails once a day in El Camino de Santiago.
Good luck and Buen Camino!
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Hey Garth, welcome to el camino de santiago forum! I don’t think you need any reservation because they are kind of short distance bus lines that don’t need to be booked. I would walk el Camino de Santiago without worrying about it until Burgos, and once there ask to the albergue’s staff or tourist office precisely for the bus timetables and the villages with bus stop in the bus line. In that way you will have a better idea where you will finish and you’ll get the exact information.
And remember if for some reason the timetable doesn’t fit to you, or you miss the bus or whatever, you can always call a taxi, just ask the phone number to someone in the albergue or the village. In a village of Leon where I was running a pilgrims hostel the taxi fare was 1 euro per km, so it shouldn’t be much different there.
By the way, be well ahead of time in Burgos for the train because Burgos train station is quite far from the center and you have to take a local bus or a taxi to get there.
I hope this helps.
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A follow up to the public transport from another traveler. We are only able to do two weeks in September this year, so will start in SJPDP and not sure where we will end up, Somewhere past Burgos for sure. To return we will have to take the train from Burgos to Bilbao. Will we really have access to public transport for the trip back to Burgos? If so are advance reservations required?
Exactly, Buen Camino my friend!! 🙂
They are completely different paths, they all get into Santiago de Compostela. As I said, the most popular camino is The French Way (El camino frances)
Hola, la mejor forma de llegar de madrid a irun es por tren (renfe.es) o por bus (alsa.es), el bus es bastante mas economico.
Sobre los documentos y maletas, lo mejor es que los lleves contigo y que no lleves mucho y en vez de maleta sea una pequeña mochila que te permita caminar.
Desde Irun a Santiago siguiendo el camino del norte te llevara al menos un mes caminando.
El presupuesto, calcula alrededor de 30 – 40 euros por dia.
To Ed Kirk, that would be the French route starting in Sarria. Do not worry at all the route is perfectly safe for females walking alone, in fact she won’t be alone but with many fellow pilgrims. The weather could be changeable, but nice temperatures.