Today we share some simple tips on the different travel options available to pilgrims and how to book the Camino de Santiago.
There are many different ways to experience the magic of the Camino de Santiago routes, whether you are walking for a week or a month, travelling alone or with friends, staying in hostels or hotels.
Traditionally, pilgrims used to just pack their bags and hit the road from their own towns, wherever that might be but in the 21st century technology allows us to research and plan our trip in advance.
For those who don’t like to travel without a route map, here’s a simple guide to how to book the Camino de Santiago:
If you are looking to book the Camino and travel independently, you’ll have to book your flights or alternative transport, pack your bags and go. In terms of accommodation, you have a few different options available:
‘Albergues’, public hostels, are the classic Camino accommodation. They work on a first come, first served basis and therefore they can’t be booked in advance. They are frequent on the Camino Frances but other Camino routes don’t have a network of public hostels as extensive and developed.
Public albergues generally work on a donation basis, offer basic accommodation in shared dorms and are run by ‘hospitaleros’, which is the name for Camino volunteers.
In some towns you’ll also find private hostels or albergues and since they are private businesses they can be booked in advance. Hostels tend to offer pilgrims beds in shared rooms and dorms of various sizes, depending on the individual hostel.
Other private accommodation types are also available along the Camino de Santiago routes and these can be booked in advance, such as ‘pensiones’ guest houses and hotels of all budgets and levels, from basic 1 star to boutique ‘casas rurales’ and luxury historic Paradores.
WITH A TRAVEL COMPANY
You can also do the Camino de Santiago with the help of a travel company, like JWT Camino. Whether you are travelling on your own or organising a big group, specialist travel companies will take care of logistics such as flights, transport and lodgings in advance and provide you with a travel plan.
Travel companies generally have two main options for pilgrims to book the Camino de Santiago, whether you are looking to walk it as part of a guided group or not:
SELF GUIDED CAMINO TOURS
Self guided Camino tours refer to trips where the travel company will organise services such as flights, accommodation, luggage transfers or even meals and transport from the airport.
You will be provided with information about the trail and services that have been booked for you but you will experience the Camino de Santiago independently, with the peace of mind of having all your lodgings arranged for you in advance.
Private accommodation generally ranges from guest houses to hotels of all categories, from comfortable 2 and 3 stars to luxury properties, depending on the availability in each town and village.
GUIDED OR ESCORTED TOURS
Another option to book the Camino de Santiago is joining a Camino guided tour or escorted tour. Camino escorted tours are group trips with a limited number of spaces available that you can join as an individual.
These tours generally depart on specific dates and cover a stretch of a particular Camino de Santiago route. You will travel as part of a group of walkers and with a local guide to support the group.
You can find upcoming dates for JWT Camino guided tours here: Camino Guided Tours.
PRIVATE CAMINO GROUPS
A third option to book the Camino de Santiago is organising a private group whether you and your friends or family would like to experience the Camino de Santiago on your own, taking a self guided tour, or prefer being accompanied by a guide (which is highly recommended for larger groups of ten or more people).
Private Camino groups are custom made with your requirements in mind, including the route you prefer, number of days, type of accommodation, etc… you can find more information here: Camino for Groups.
We hope you enjoyed this easy article on how to book the Camino de Santiago and the different options available.
If you’d like to join our Camino de Santiago guided tours or you’d like us to help you plan your self guided Camino de Santiago trip, contact our experienced travel team.Contact Us