History of the Camino de Santiago: In 40 AD,
according to legend, the body of the Apostle St James was
clandestinely buried in Northern Spain. Centuries later, a
hermit witnessed a shower of stars leading to James'
forgotten tomb. Further legend claims that during a battle with
the Moors St James' ghostly apparition appeared to Christian
soldiers spurring them to victory. The story of this miracle
started the golden age of pilgrimage to Santiago with multitudes
of wayfarers seeking the tomb of St James. Towns along the
Camino hosted these travellers and today many villages have
scarcely changed since the 1300's. In 1987 the Camino de
Santiago was declared the first European Cultural Itinerary -
one of the great footpaths of Europe.
Today's Camino: Traditionally there
were various pilgrimage routes to Santiago but the main trail
was called the French Route leading from France through the
Pyrenees and across northern Spain. Today this trail is
well-trodden and marked with signs showing the scallop shell
symbol. The route traverses many types of terrain including
mountains, plains and the gentle hills of Galicia.
This walk is sometimes done for spiritual reasons but many
hikers on the Camino are there for adventure, challenge and
camaraderie with fellow walkers from all over the world.
Walkers' World Self-Guided Itinerary
is for those who prefer to walk independently rather than with a
group. A comfortable room with private bath is waiting at the
end of each day. Luggage is transported from inn to inn so all
walkers carry is their daily necessities. An English
speaking local tour host is on call for advice and assistance
and a Spanish cell-phone is provided to contact the host or in
case of emergency.
The 13 night route starts at the magnificent city of Leon
and covers the last 285 km of the trail in 13 days. This
itinerary can be customised if you would like rest days or
shorter distances on some of the days.
The 6 night walk starts at Sarria and covers the last 100 km of
the trail into Santiago.
Independent walks can be arranged starting any day (subject to
accommodation availability) but we suggest that the best time is from
April to October.