How to organize your Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago?

organize your Pilgrim's Way to Santiago?

In order to know how to organize the Way of St. James it is essential to have everything very clear and detailed. When the opportunity to do the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago is born, many pilgrims begin to organize everything. In spite of being a trip that will connect us more with the Christian faith, we must consider many important factors.

That is to say, to know all the itinerary that we are going to develop in the way of Santiago de Compostela. In the next post we prepare a series of tips to make the way to Santiago more pleasant for us. Believe it or not, this trip merits high-level planning because we should not leave anything to chance.

It is a trip full of adventures where we will be away from home for a few days. Every year this road to Santiago receives hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who make the route on foot, by bicycle, on horseback or by car.

Regardless of the means, the organization of the trip must be done in advance. Perhaps the more experienced only need two things, a backpack and a credential to make the journey.  But there is nothing to worry about, in this post we will touch on the most important topics for the Way of St. James to be done with total normality.

Planificación del viaje al Camino de Santiago

A good help or tips for the road to Santiago are always well received even by the most experienced. The first thing we should do to organize the Camino de Santiago is to start from the purpose of the trip.

In other words, why do we do it? This may sound irrelevant, but if we are clear we can choose a more comfortable backpack, which would be the second step. But let’s know more in detail this planning of the best trip of our lives:

Why do we do the Way of St. James?

Motifs abound along the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago. Some pilgrims choose to do so in order to renew their faith with religion and Christianity. It is a way to improve their communication with God and with themselves.  However, there are other very interesting reasons such as:

Religious Contact : The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is a space that has gained the fame of being very religious. Those who are believers of this religion attend every year to renew their vows with God. In addition, history tells us that these paths were only used to cry out to the apostle as the Christian leader of the time. Today, the demonstration of faith on the part of the pilgrims increases every year being this the main reason of the trip.

Spiritual contact : something very different from religion, many pilgrims look for the way to Santiago to improve their interpersonal relationships. Connect more with their inner self to find the peace and calm they have lost.

Natural contact : the road to Santiago, no matter which route you decide to take, offers contact with nature at higher levels. We talk about landscapes, climates, flora and fauna that leave anyone captivated.

Do sport : the route is very demanding and every time new enthusiasts of extreme sport and hiking who use this path to improve their physical condition. It is a challenge to finish the way and even make the 10 official.

Social contact : although some choose to go quietly and meditating, others seek social contact. This religious event is very visited by a large number of people who create very interesting links along the way.

What’s in my backpack?

This would be the second step of planning, knowing what I’m going to wear. It can be much or little luggage, the important thing is that it is necessary. If you go with relatives, pets or young people it is necessary to have what is required so that nothing is left over or missing.

Depending on the season of the year we choose to go, the clothing should be in harmony with that decision. Whether it is winter, summer or spring, each season obliges pilgrims to wear a certain type of clothing.

It is also necessary to include personal hygiene items, food that is easy to consume and transport, sleeping clothes, some photographic equipment, among others. Everything should be written down in a list and cross out what we already have.

A good advice is to put all the clothes inside the luggage wrapped in an airtight bag. A resistant one that keeps our belongings away from the water.

Which route to choose?

We already know what we’re going to and what to take, now we have to choose which way to walk. However, tradition indicates that to make the original route we must leave our home and join some nearby road.

Many begin their journey through the most popular roads, which are the French, the primitive or the Northern. Those who come from Lisbon make the Portuguese way.

There are also other interesting roads such as the English, winter, Via de la Plata and the Fisterra-Muxía road. These are the most conditioned to make a route with comfort and all the necessary services.

Although there are many options to start with the nearest can be a good alternative. At the end of the day you will be able to come back the following year and try another way.

How to make the road to Saint James?

Those who have no experience in the services offered on the Santiago Trail, to make this one more comfortable, there are several that are very fascinating. Within the planning contemplating some or all of these methods could make a good difference. Here’s what it’s all about:

  • Go walking: this is the most popular one and the one that doesn’t deserve much explanation. We only have to take into account the selected way and know each stage of the route.
  • Go by bike : the bicycle is a total adventure transport mechanism that we can use on the way to Santiago. Some companies offer the service of take the bicycle to the point of origin. There is no special route for cyclists, it is the same as what they choose to walk, so it is necessary to do it with care and respect for others.
  • Horseback riding : this is a very interesting medium that we can include in our planning. Some hostels and inns have the service that we can hire without any problem. They are calm and well trained horses for the route.
  • Going in Kayak : is the novel way to go to the way of Santiago through its waters (one part). It is done starting from O Grove.
  • Go by car : this method of transport is used by those who have reduced mobility but still want to get to Compostela. It is a very interesting route where you can appreciate great landscapes and tourist inns.

Lodging on the way to Santiago

Another important aspect is the lodging on the way to Santiago. Before we start talking about the subject, we must give valuable advice that can be summarized in make the reservation . When we travel in high season to try to find accommodation on the route could be almost impossible.

If we have the audacity of every traveler and make our reservations, the concern will cease to be in our minds. We must know what networks of hostels we find along the way. We can also choose to take advantage of the occasion and visit charming accommodation, such as Casa do Sal (Combarro).

We know that there are public and private hostels, which generally do not all open in winter, and in summer they run out quickly. Another interesting feature is that they are accommodations with many beds, bunk beds and individual where the bathroom is shared.

There are also hostels, pensions, hotels, rural houses , pazos and luxury villas that offer different alternatives. This allows us to open up a world of possibilities in which to rest, which will not be a problem for anyone.

Duration time on the Way of St. James

There is talk of long stretches and distances that we must travel in the different stages of the official roads. This translates into hours, days and weeks that we must be away from home. But really, how long does it take to do the Way of St. James?

This can vary significantly depending on the type of person. It is not necessary to make the long route of each way, we can shorten it and reach Compostela in four days. Even if we use several means of transport we can do it more quickly.

It also varies depending on the availability of accommodation in the area’s hotels. The ideal would be to do the full time and feasible adjusted to our condition.

Experts talk about travelling between 20 and 25 km per day. If we make a short route of 100 km in a week we would be finishing the way. These are referential data that help us to better plan the time of stay and budget.

As a conclusion, the most important thing about the road is to plan your routes well , make the necessary reservations and be precautious with the distances to travel each day.