How many pilgrims walked the Camino in 2021? As well as welcoming pilgrims into the city, the Pilgrims Office in Santiago de Compostela records the number for pilgrims who arrive each day and receive the Compostela pilgrim certificate.
This is the most detailed information we have about the Camino and it gives us a fantastic idea of what life is like on the Camino: from pilgrims’ nationalities, gender and ages to the place where they started their Camino journey and which Camino de Santiago routes they took.
Despite the travel complications posed by COVID, 178.912 walked to Santiago de Compostela in 2021, which was a year Xacobeo or Holy Year.
In 2020, 54.144 Pilgrims travelled to Santiago despite the pandemic. While 2019 was the busiest year so far with 347.578 pilgrims doing the Camino.
How did they get to Santiago?
- 93.75% of those pilgrims chose to walk the Camino
- 6% travelled by bike
- In addition 199 people travelled by horse, 165 by boat and 37 on a wheelchair.
What was their motivation for travelling?
- 36% embarked on the Camino for religious reasons
- 43% did the Camino for religious and other reasons
- 20% travelled for non religious reasons
What age were they?
In terms of ages, the Camino de Santiago had pilgrims of all ages in 2021:
16% of pilgrims who arrived in Santiago were over 60
26% of pilgrims were under 30
58% were aged between 30 and 60
How many pilgrims walked the Camino from different countries?
While Spanish pilgrims accounted for the vast majority of pilgrims on the Camino in 2021 (73%), pilgrims came from 168 different countries.
After Spain, these were the top 5 countries on the Camino in 2021:
- Portugal – 5%
- Italy – 4%
- Germany – 3%
- United States – 3%
- France – 2.5%
Which Camino de Santiago routes were the pilgrims’ favourites?
- Camino Frances – 54.83%
- Camino Portugues – 19.14%
- Camino Ingles – 6.14%
- Camino Primitivo – 5.67%
- Camino del Norte – 5.36%
- Portuguese Coastal Camino – 4.44%
- Via de la Plata – 2.26%
- Other Caminos – 1.19%
- Camino de Invierno – 0.52%
- Camino Fisterra Muxia – 0.45%
*Please note the Pilgrims Office keeps records of pilgrims walking from Fisterra – Muxia to Santiago, but not from Santiago to Fisterra – Muxia.
Where did pilgrims start their Camino journey?
There are many possible starting points on the Camino de Santiago routes, as you can start your journey anywhere along the trails, however there are certain cities and towns that have become important starting points for Camino pilgrims, these are the top 10:
- Sarria – Camino Frances – 31.07%
- Tui – Camino Portugues – 8.48%
- Ferrol – Camino Ingles – 5.91%
- Porto – Camino Portugues and Portuguese Coastal Camino – 4.88%
- Saint Jean Pied de Port – Camino Frances – 4.55%
- Oviedo – Camino Primitivo – 3.24%
- O Cebreiro – Camino Frances – 2.79%
- Valenca do Minho – Camino Portugues – 2.73%
- Leon – Camino Frances – 2.23%
- Ponferrada – Camino Frances – 2.07%
*Please note that in order to obtain the Compostela pilgrim certificate you must walk at least the last 100kms of any of the routes into Santiago de Compostela.
*Source: Oficina del Peregrino
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