It's our 40th Birthday! Take a look at our birthday offers page here

Guide to Walking the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a network of ancient pilgrimage routes leading to the shrine of the Apostle St. James the Great, in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.

This pilgrimage has been a significant spiritual journey for centuries with various starting points across Europe, the most famous being the Camino Francés from St. Jean-Pied-de-Port in France. These ancient pilgrimage routes have created an extensive network of trails for avid walkers to explore. Whether you're journeying through Portugal, Spain, France or a combination of all, the journey offers a profound personal experience. These holidays are not only a religious pilgrimage but also a cultural and adventurous trek.

Understanding the complexities surrounding the Camino de Santiago trek can be time consuming. This guide will ensure you have all the essential information at your fingertips.

Why take on the Camino de Santiago?

The Camino de Santiago offers a profound journey through history, nature and culture. With various route options available, you can choose the trail that best suits your preferences, determining the unique places you will pass and visit along the way. Regardless of the route you follow, you'll traverse diverse landscapes—from the culturally rich city of Porto to the lush Galician forests—each step offers breathtaking scenery. The Camino isn't just a physical journey but a spiritual and cultural immersion, connecting you with the footsteps of countless pilgrims over the centuries, making it a unique and enriching experience. Below are some of our favourite highlights: 

Amazing Walking Trails


The Camino de Santiago boasts an incredible network of walking trails, each with its own unique charm and challenges. As you embark on a trekking holiday along these historic paths, you'll traverse stunning landscapes. Along the way, you'll not only experience the physical journey but also encounter the cultural and spiritual journey that makes the Camino de Santiago an unforgettable and transformative experience for trekkers.

Stunning Scenery


On a trekking holiday along the Camino de Santiago, you'll be treated to a feast of stunning scenery. The journey from Porto to Santiago de Compostela, for instance, passes from the lush vineyards of the Douro Valley to the historic charm of Santiago de Compostela itself. Along the way, you'll encounter the serene Gandra River, picturesque bridges in Logroño and admire the architectural wonders of Leon. Each step is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Camino de Santiago.

The History


The Camino de Santiago is steeped in historical significance.  A highlight is reaching the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James the Apostle and a beacon for pilgrims since the Middle Ages. As you traverse these ancient trails, you'll encounter many historic churches, monasteries and medieval towns, each with tales of centuries past, adding a profound historical dimension to your journey.

Camino Routes

The Camino de Santiago is not just one route but features a variety of routes, each offering its own unique blend of landscapes, historical landmarks and cultural experiences. From the coastal beauty of the Portuguese Way to the tranquil paths of the French Way, there's a trail to suit everyone's preference and desire for adventure. The map below shows the seven most popular camino routes. 

Read on further to discover which hand-selected camino routes we offer here at KE and find the perfect path for your journey.

Point Point
Direction Direction
The Silver Route
St James Way
The French Way
The Northern Way
The Original Way
The Portuguese Way
The English Way

What regions can you visit on the Camino de Santiago Trek?

Our Camino de Santiago treks include sections in both Spain and Portugal. The following are some of the regions this network of trails makes its way through, depending on which of our trips you choose.


Leon, a historic Spanish city along the Camino de Santiago, is a captivating stop for trekkers. Its ornate Gothic cathedral, impressive Plaza Mayor and rich cultural heritage make it a must-visit. As you traverse this ancient city, you'll encounter a blend of history, art and vibrant local life, leaving you with lasting memories of your Camino journey. You will walk through Leon on our Self-Guided Camino: The French Way



Logroño, a prominent stop on the Camino de Santiago, is a city in the La Rioja region of Spain. Known for its rich history and excellent cuisine, pilgrims often find respite here, enjoying local wines and tapas in the vibrant Calle Laurel. With its lively atmosphere and picturesque landscapes, Logroño provides a memorable and culturally rich experience along the Camino trail. Discover Logrono on our Self-Guided French Way: Logrono to Leon



Porto, a picturesque city in Portugal, serves as a captivating stop on the Camino de Santiago trekking holiday. Its historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features narrow cobbled streets, stunning Baroque churches, and a vibrant riverside promenade along the Douro River. Discover Porto on two feet or two wheels on our Self-Guided Camino: The Portuguese Way or Self-Guided Cycling: Portuguese Coastal Camino



Minho, a picturesque region along the Camino de Santiago route in Portugal, offers trekkers a serene and lush landscape. As pilgrims traverse the Minho River, they're greeted by quaint villages, vibrant vineyards and captivating natural beauty. Our Portuguese camino trips will allow you to explore this beautiful area. Experience Minho for yourself on our Self-Guided Camino: The Portuguese Way



Galicia, a region in northwestern Spain, is a captivating and culturally rich destination along the Camino de Santiago trail. Trekkers on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela will find themselves immersed in Galicia's lush, green landscapes, dotted with charming villages and rolling hills. The region's unique culture, marked by Galician language and folklore, provides a warm and authentic backdrop for your journey. Experience Galicia on any of our camino trips ending in Santiago de Compostela:

Camino de Santiago Trek

Self-Guided Camino: The French Way

Self-Guided Camino: The Portuguese Way

Camino de Santiago Trek


How Difficult is the Camino de Santiago?


The difficulty level of the Camino de Santiago trail can vary depending on the specific route chosen and individual fitness and hiking experience. The Camino provides a well-marked and relatively gentle path that allows hikers of varying skill levels to complete the journey. While there are some ascents and descents, as well as long daily distances, it's often manageable for those with a moderate level of physical fitness and adequate preparation. All of our Camino trips are graded between Grade 3 (leisurely) and Grade 5 (moderate).

Find out more about our trip grades.

Walking Vs Cycling the Camino

You don't have to walk the Camino de Santiago, cycling is an accepted and wonderful way of completing this pilgrimage. In order to get your certificate at the end, you must be able to prove that you have completed at least 100km of walking or 200km of cycling to get there. Both methods share the awe-inspiring beauty and incredible achievement of completing the Camino.

Walking the Camino


Walking, the traditional mode of pilgrimage, provides a slower, more contemplative journey, allowing you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and local culture. This method enables you to form a deeper connection with fellow travellers and the spiritual aspects of the journey, as you embrace the slower pace.

Cycling the Camino


Cycling the Camino de Santiago offers a thrilling alternative to traditional pilgrimage on foot, allowing cyclists to cover greater distances while still experiencing the route's cultural and spiritual significance. Cycling promises an exhilarating journey through picturesque landscapes, filled with adventure and unforgettable encounters.

What accommodation will I be staying in along the Camino trail?


When embarking on a Camino adventure with KE, we pre-book all of your accommodation in comfortable hotel rooms for the duration of your trip.

Along the Camino, many people rely on hostels with limited availability and no forward booking, operating on a first come, first served basis. This means that some people get up at 05.30 just to make sure they can find accommodation for that night!

You can relax and enjoy each day of your trek, safe in the knowledge that you have a comfortable bed reserved for you each evening. You will stay is a selection of comfortable guesthouses and 2* or 3* hotels, each offering warm hospitality and close proximity to your route.

Do I have to carry all my bags?


We offer a complimentary baggage transfer service for all pilgrims that join our Camino De Santiago trails, whether on foot or bike. Simply pack up and leave your bags at the mornings hotel. Our team will pick them up and have them at your next stop, all ready for you when you arrive that evening

What is my Pilgrim Passport?


The Pilgrim Passport, also known as the 'Credencial,' is a fundamental document for those embarking on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. This modern-day version carries on the tradition of the medieval 'documents of safe conduct' given to pilgrims. 

It acts as proof that you have walked at least the last 100km, or cycled 200km of a route into Santiago, which is necessary if you are hoping to obtain your Compostela certificate, the official testament of your journey. To receive the Compostela certificate in Santiago de Compostela, you'll need to collect stamps or “sellos” in your Pilgrim Passport along the way as proof of your journey. It's a cherished memento and an essential element of the Camino experience.

What does the Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell Represent?


The Camino shell, also known as the scallop shell, is a powerful symbol deeply embedded in the tradition of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.

The shell serves multiple symbolic purposes on the Camino. Firstly, it acts as a wayfinding tool, guiding pilgrims along the route. The stylised grooves on the shell converge at a single point, reminiscent of the various Camino paths converging at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

Beyond its practical role, the shell carries spiritual significance. Traditionally, pilgrims collected shells along the shores near Santiago de Compostela as proof of their completion of the pilgrimage. Today, pilgrims are more likely to acquire a shell before starting their journey. Wearing or displaying the shell signifies a commitment to the pilgrimage and fosters a sense of unity among participants.

Do I need to be religious to walk the Camino de Santiago trails?


No, you do not need to be religious to walk the Camino de Santiago. While the Camino de Santiago has deep historical and religious significance, it's also a remarkable walking adventure that appeals to people from various backgrounds, including those seeking physical challenges, natural beauty, and cultural exploration.

Footer logos
Your Wishlist
No Wishlist Items

Start your next adventure.

Click the heart icon on the search or holiday pages to save a holiday to your wishlist.

Holiday Search