Walking the Camino de Santiago: Northern Route

The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a combination of ancient pilgrim walking routes which start across Europe, culminating at the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain.

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At the end of our masters program we really wanted to go for a hike in Spain. We thought what better than the Camino de Santiago. We did some research to see which route was better for us and what interested us the most. We chose to do the Northern route which follows the northern coastline of Spain.

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You can start the Camino in nearly any city in Spain or across Europe, hiking all the way to Santiago de Compostela. To receive the certificate that says that you finished the route you need to walk the last 100 kilometers to Santiago.

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Recommendations if you are planning on doing the Northern route of the Camino de Santiago:

  1. Prepare yourself to carry your backpack for at least 20 kilometers a day to find the next place to sleep.
  2. Buy the Stamp booklet, it helps you to stay in the pilgrim’s hostel. If you do not have it the hostels might reject you, plus it is only 2 euros for the booklet and it is a nice souvenir.
  3. Carry enough water to go from city to city. It is not worth carrying a lot of water when you can purchase it or fill up for free in each town.
  4. Do not forget your camera, you will see stunning beaches, beautiful landscapes and want to keep these amazing memories.
  5. Bring a nice pair of comfortable walking or hiking shoes. You will walk a lot and your feet will hurt.
  6. Buy blister band aids. They will be like heaven.
  7. Get the Camino de Santiago App. It is really helpful plus you do not need to carry a guide book with you.
  8. Bring a poncho or rain jacket.The reason the northern route is so green is because of its abundant rainfall.

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We did not finish the camino because we had to catch a flight back to Ecuador but here is a video with the highlights of our trip:

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